When tennis pro Venus Williams discovered her fatigue and pain resulted from an autoimmune disease, she took action by adopting a raw vegan diet. And she proved the wisdom of that choice by slamming her way through a winning round one in the U.S. Open, reported the Los Angeles Times August 28. "I can never be surprised when Venus is playing well," her opponent declared. But since becoming ill with Sjogren's syndrome, which drains her energy, "playing well" has taken on new meaning for Venus.
Although "dry eyes and dry mouth are the hallmark symptoms, fatigue can be so heavy that sitting in a chair is a huge effort," Venus recently told a CBS reporter about her autoimmune disease. She drinks "a lot of wheat grass shots, lots of fresh juices and things like that. As a professional athlete, if you have fatigue, then that's tough. You can also have joint pain," and she also has problems with her "internal systems." But Venus is hopeful. She believes that she has made "huge improvements since I was first diagnosed," and that "changing my diet has made a big difference."
As evidenced by her winning form on the court this week, Venus has improved dramatically since changing her diet. When she was first diagnosed, she told People magazine that she could not raise her arm over her head. She said that the "racket felt like concrete. I had no feelings in my hands. They were swollen and itchy." Venus chose to use holistic alternatives, such as the raw vegan diet, yoga, and massage, based on her sister Serena's suggestions, reported the Daily Mail. Serena did more than make a suggestion: she joined her sister in her vegan diet. "I don’t want her to come home and see a piece of chicken and be like, ‘Oh, I want it,’ and she can’t have it. It would be like a stumbling block for her," Serena said, in explaining why she decided to change during a phone interview with the Washington Post.