“Don’t forget about the human behind the player.”

Toni Pressley

What You will Learn

  • Tips on how to embrace living a vegan lifestyle.
  • Toni’s recommendation for the #1 way to improve soccer fitness.
  • Advice on how to endure some of life’s biggest challenges.

In this episode I am proud to introduce you to Toni Pressley. Toni is American professional soccer player who spent most of her playing career with the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

Toni is an inspiration to us all. In 2019, Toni was diagnosed with breast cancer after getting a check-up at the recommendation of the team nutritionist. She successfully underwent surgery and returned to play in the Orlando Pride’s final game of the 2019 season. Over the course of her career, she had twice earned Goal of the Week and is a member of an elite group of women having achieved 100 career starts.

On a personal note, I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the hard work and dedication she puts into not only her career as a pro athlete, but also her passion for living a vegan lifestyle.

Toni has embraced her creativity and joy for cooking by launching Girls Gone Veg – a dynamic duo of 2 professional soccer players exploring their passion for cooking for a vegan lifestyle. Toni and her co-anchor Ali Riley have created a vegan cookbook and generated YouTube content teaching us several ways to cook up delicious, Instagram-worthy vegan meals.

Toni’s 10+ years of being a professional athlete and the challenges she has endured along the way offers incredible insight into how we can all upgrade health & performance, not only in sports but in life.

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

001 | Toni Pressley: Returning to Pro Soccer After Breast Cancer and How to Live a Vegan Lifestyle

Notable Quotes

“Be kind to yourself, it is ok to mess up.”

Toni Pressley

“Communication that is upfront and authentic is the most effective.”

Toni Pressley
Photo courtesy of Cody Cunningham codywcunnigham

Key Takeaways:

[1:46] Toni introduces herself and shares how she met Adam.
[2:30] Toni talks about Girls Gone Veg.
[3:32] Toni talks about what motivated her to launch Girls Gone Veg.
[4:24] Toni shares her secret recipe for the best vegan lasagna,
[5:02] Toni expresses her thoughts about vegan meat and processed foods.
[6:55] How does Toni combine a vegan lifestyle with her life as a professional soccer player?
[8:28] What does it look like to be a vegan who plays for the Orlando Pride in the NWSL?
[9:06] Toni advises other athletes who also travel and want to maintain a vegan lifestyle.
[10:54] Was there a particular moment when Toni decided to embrace a vegan lifestyle?
[12:48] Toni confesses that she feels better since she became a vegan, and she shares the changes she noticed with a meatless diet.
[13:52] Did Toni’s training change due to her becoming vegan?
[14:28] Is it hard to meet the nutritional requirements while following a vegan diet?
[15:34] What do rehab specialists or performance practitioners need to be mindful of when training a female athlete?
[18:04] Toni advises coaches on how to communicate more effectively.
[19:47] Toni talks about her experience battling breast cancer.
[21:19] What were Toni’s daily habits that kept her strong when healing from cancer?
[23:48] What does Toni do to stay grounded and present?
[26:25] What is involved in playing professional soccer?
[28:39] Is Toni able to just play soccer, or does she have to do other things to supplement her salary?
[29:05] Have other players needed to look for other sources of income?
[30:54] Toni explains why soccer fitness is different from regular fitness.
[32:15] Toni remembers the time she went into pre-season with a struggle.
[34:54] How can we continue to elevate women in sports?
[36:50] Does Toni’s team have an academy system?
[37:39] “For Youth soccer, you need to have money to play.”
[40:03] Does Toni remember a moment when she thought, “If I didn’t play sports, I would have struggled here.”?
[41:08] How does Toni define a small win?
[42:05] Has Toni ever had a long-term rehab?
[45:02] Toni talks about the importance of showing others that you care.
[48:13] Toni answers rapid-fire questions!

Adam Loiacono


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