Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, is a British fitness coach, TV presenter and author, specialising in cookery and fitness books. His career began with him posting 15 second recipe videos on social media, and he now has one of the most followed fitness accounts on Instagram. We caught up with him to ask about his latest cookbook, ‘Veggie Lean in 15’, and get a few fitness tips along the way…
The Vegetarian: Hi Joe. How much veggie food do you eat during the week – and do you have a favourite dish?
Joe Wicks: I’ve found that I am gradually eating more and more veggie food. There’s this silly idea that veggie food is boring but that’s not true. I love the green Turkish eggs recipe from the new book. The yogurt, almonds and asparagus give you a great dose of protein, and the kale is a great source of iron. Then the two perfect poached eggs have lots of protein and you get a chunk of sourdough to mop all that delicious egg yolk up with. I also love the barbecue butternut quesadillas from the book because there’s lots of beans in there that keep you nice and full. It’s also a really great recipe to make ahead if you’re busy in the middle of the week.
TV: How have your die-hard fans and followers responded to the book?
JW: I think, really well. The book got to number one which is really exciting! Back in the day, whenever I posted a veggie recipe on my channels, there just wasn’t the same interest but now I think there is. People are so much more aware of what we put in our bodies and the impact the food we eat has on the environment.
TV: What do you think are the advantages to a meat-free diet?
JW: You can get all the necessary nutrition from a veggie diet and when it tastes so good, you won’t even miss the meat. You can get proteins from eggs, beans, soya, mushrooms, tofu, pulses and nuts. Things like carbs come from beans, wholegrains,
rice and potatoes. You can get good fats from stuff like cheese, coconut oil and avocado. I’ve really tried to educate myself on sustainable food. Eating veggie meals is something we can all do to help the environment too.
People are so much more aware of what we put in our bodies and the impact the food we eat has on the environment.
TV: What are your top three tips for vegetarians intending on getting fit?
JW: I would say definitely spend some time, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, four to five times a week from home, smashing out a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session. If you do it first thing in the morning then you’ll start the day motivated, energised and in that healthy mindset to get the next session in. If you know me then you know I always say ‘prep like a boss!’ Planning meals in advance means you’re less likely to go for the fast food or the easy option. Take a bit of last night’s dinner
for lunch the next day or batch cook meals in advance. My last tip would be to ditch the sad step – that’s what I call weighing scales! They only ever make you feel unhappy and taking before and after pics and measurements of your body will be so much more inspirational and helpful in hitting your fitness goals.
TV: For anyone concerned about protein which protein-rich recipes would you recommend rustling up?
JW: You need to combine different sources of protein to get all the complete amino acids you need. You need to mix pulses, veg, grains and good fats, so things like cheese, yogurt and avocado. In the new book, there’s loads of different recipes that can help with this. It’s about being adventurous and making tasty meals. There’s recipes with eggs, there’s a lentil bolognese, and quesadillas with lots of beans in there.
Veggie Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks is out now (Bluebird). Image credit: Conor McDonnell.
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