If you’re a fan of Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach), you’ll know the Lean in 15 star is partial to a burger. And a steak or two. So, it might come as a surprise to hear the protein-loving PT has just released a vegetarian cookbook Veggie Lean in 15 (Bluebird, £16.99). Indeed, when a vegan friend suggested a while back that Joe should use his fame to encourage a more sustainable, plant-based way of eating, the fitness influencer admits he wasn’t really interested. Likewise, when Joe did share veggie recipes on social media, he found there wasn’t much demand.
Fast forward a couple of years and how things have changed. Thanks to a growing awareness of eco issues and greater exposure to tasty vegetarian food, Joe like millions of others – has found himself moving towards veggie-centric cooking. ‘I used to think veggie recipes were all boring salads and quinoa but, the more I experiment, the more I see how totally wrong that view is,’ he admits. ‘Veggie food can be easy, delicious and satisfying when done well, and that’s what my new book is all about.’
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QUICK AND TASTY
Not ready to give up the steak just yet, Joe’s quick to point out he’s not a vegetarian or vegan. ‘I still enjoy a steak and a burger now and again,’ he says. ‘But now I’m creating really quick, tasty and satisfying [veggie] meals, I realise I don’t miss the meat. I love a burger, but a peri-peri halloumi burger makes a nice change. It’s still a burger.’ And that’s the philosophy behind Veggie Lean in 15. ‘It’s the veggie book tor the meat lover,’ explains Joe. ‘I’ve taken all the foods I love and “veggified” them. ‘I’ve worked hard to create recipes that are so satisfying, you won’t even question where the meat is.’
But what about that all-important protein? ‘When I started as a personal trainer, I just didn’t believe you could build a strong physique out of spinach, quinoa and sweet potato,’ admits Joe. ‘So I carried on eating animal protein sources three times a day. In reality, for years there have been vegetarian and vegan trainers with incredible physiques.’
In Veggie Lean in 75, Joe has used a variety of plant-based protein sources, from beans and pulses to buckwheat and quinoa, as well as cheese and dairy, that ensure you get all the essential amino acids your body needs. ‘I’ve discovered that, with a little thought and preparation, you can stay lean and get enough protein with a veggie diet,’ says Joe. ‘Not only that, you’ll know you’re also doing your little bit to keep our planet healthy for the future.’
Want to be green and lean? Here are a few of Joe’s favourite veggie recipes to try, plus his top superfoods to help fuel your workouts.
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