For the past decade, Venus Williams has honed in on her diet and has spent time learning about nutrition and wellness. With a wealth of knowledge accumulated over the years, she decided to go all in and create Happy Viking, a plant-based food company.
"Adopting a plant-based diet and creating Happy Viking has changed my life," Venus wrote on the Happy Viking website.
In 2011, the 40-year-old was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that causes extreme fatigue and severe joint pain. She would take six months off from the game and work tirelessly with doctors and her family to find a solution.
The American switched to a plant-based diet and carefully monitored what she put into her body, and this would soon alleviate the pain of the chronic illness.
“When I first started eating plant-based, it was for health reasons. I couldn’t play tennis," she said. "I learned a lot about it. A plant-based lifestyle is what you need for optimal health and aging well."
The seven-time major champion would kick off her 2012 season in March at the Sony Ericsson Open ranked No. 134. She would finish the season at No. 24 with a title in Luxembourg. Not to mention, she would win Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal alongside sister Serena on the doubles court.
The benefits of a plant-based diet were shining through and that's why she wants to share it with others. Currently Happy Viking offers one plant-based shake, which holds 20g of complete protein from yellow peas and brown rice, all nine essential amino acids, five macronutrients & prebiotic fiber, and DHA omega-3 for cognitive function and brain health. The shake is also sustainably sourced and comes in recyclable packing.
"Fuel for all occasions," is what consumers can expect. Venus says that the protein shake can be taken as a meal replacement, workout boost or even a mid-day snack.
"I truly believe the better fuel we drink and eat, the better we perform and feel," Venus said. "Happy Viking helps you fuel your inner fighter – your inner Viking – while feeling happy and satisfied with what you put in your body."
A 12-pack of either the vanilla bean or triple chocolate flavor is priced at $34.95. The starter pack, which includes two vanilla bean and two triple chocolate shakes is set at $14.95, but is not yet available.
Happy Viking is far from Venus' first business venture as she already runs a clothing company and an interior design company.