There are many factors that help athletes perform at their highest level. A balanced diet can improve an athlete’s endurance and strength, and Vanessa Gonzalez is helping NFL players do just that.
“You no longer have to eat unhealthy alternatives; the vegan food industry has grown vastly and taken on a whole new lifestyle built and fueled people who want to live a healthier lifestyle and take care of themselves from the inside out,” Gonzalez says.
Gonzalez now serves more than a dozen NFL players as their private chef.
How did your upbringing inspire your cooking style?
I was raised as an only child, and my mother greatly influenced my culinary skills. I started cooking at 8, watching her and my aunt, a chef in Costa Rica. They used a lot of fresh ingredients, like herbs from their land, which inspired me. The flavor profile that I stick with always goes back to my roots.
What do you see for the future of healthy eating?
I want people to know what healthy eating is like. [I want people to be able] to read a nutrition label and educate [them]selves on what food does to [their] bod[ies]. We need more resources available to our community so we can confidently step into veganism. The option should be available worldwide to spread more information about eating clean; it takes hard work to maintain this lifestyle.