Wicks is no av­er­age Joe

Joe Wicks is back with his lat­est cook­book, Cook­ing For Fam­ily And Friends. ELLA WALKER chats to the Lean In 15 en­trepreneur and In­sta-foodie about his lat­est ven­ture

Harefield Gazette - - Food & Drink -

JOE WICKS should run for pub­lic of­fice. Not only has the 31-year-old fit­ness coach and In­sta­gram sen­sa­tion got a pas­sion for chang­ing lives (and physiques) and a size­able fol­low­ing (1.8 mil­lion on In­sta­gram; 274,000 on Twit­ter), he also knows when to ad­mit he hasn’t got all the an­swers.

Take his ideas on Bri­tain’s health ser­vice, an area he’d “love to re­ally make some im­pact” even though, as yet, he says, “I don’t know how I can do it with the NHS – that’s a big beast”.

“I just feel it’s sad that peo­ple are get­ting sicker and sicker, and more and more un­healthy, and (the coun­try) spends bil­lions and bil­lions at the other end of it; on heart dis­ease, di­a­betes, obe­sity – it’s food, diet and ex­er­cise re­lated,” he ex­plains.

“If only we could just get some knowl­edge and ed­u­ca­tion at the be­gin­ning to pre­vent all that stuff – it’s the an­swer to it all, you know, bil­lions of pounds would be freed up to do other stuff.

“It’s all eco­nomics – I don’t un­der­stand the eco­nomics of it all, but I know I’ll do my bit to in­spire peo­ple as much as I can.”

The Ep­som-born per­sonal trainer is, of course, best known as ‘The Body Coach’ to his fit­ness dis­ci­ples. Three years ago, Joe launched his sub­scrip­tion-based 90 Day Shift, Shape and Sus­tain Plan, and went, strato­spher­i­cally, from shar­ing am­a­teur recipe videos and workouts on­line, to help­ing thou­sands of peo­ple trim down and get fit for a liv­ing.

Full to the brim with charm, you can see his ap­peal – a com­bi­na­tion of end­less en­thu­si­asm and a mon­u­men­tal work ethic. That and the fact he’s not in the least bit starry, even sit­ting on a London rooftop ter­race await­ing a ‘Joe-mito’ (a riff on his wa­ter­melon and mint ‘posh slush puppy’), at the launch party of his fourth cook­book, Cook­ing For Fam­ily And Friends.

It marks the half­way point in an eight-book deal for Joe, and is a more in­clu­sive fol­low-up to his wildly suc­cess­ful trio of Lean In 15 cook­books (all three still grace the best-seller charts, and sales have topped 2.4 mil­lion). This time around, he’s ca­ter­ing for busy din­ner ta­bles, rather than solo gym bun­nies.

“You know how some­times you feel like, if you’re on a diet, it’s just you on your own? I wanted you to think, well ac­tu­ally, you can have bar­be­cues and par­ties and make them healthy,” he ex­plains.

“You can still batch cook and make your kids’ lunch. In fact, the whole fam­ily won’t even know it, but they’re eat­ing health­ier, so are go­ing to get leaner, with­out any­one say­ing, ‘You’ve got to eat this, you’ve got to eat that’.”

The for­mer boot camp trainer has also in­cluded a few treats – namely sticky tof­fee pud­ding and choco­late fon­dant.

“Just be­cause choco­late isn’t ‘clean’,” he says, fin­gers mim­ing air quotes, “doesn’t mean you can’t en­joy it and have it now and again.”

Joe ad­mits that no one per­son got him into cook­ing, but as for be­com­ing an en­trepreneur, his ul­ti­mate hero is Jamie Oliver.

With­out tak­ing a breath, he reels off his ev­ery en­counter with the Naked Chef, the most re­cent be­ing when the duo grabbed din­ner to­gether at Jamie’s restau­rant Fif­teen.

“We sat there for four hours on our own talk­ing, and he’s just so gen­er­ous with ad­vice. He down­loaded all this wis­dom and knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence.

“He’s on a mis­sion. I told him, ‘Mate, you work hard’,” says Joe, vis­i­bly gal­vanised.

Aside from trans­form­ing the NHS and writ­ing another four books, what else is left on his own mis­sion?

“The mes­sage is, no mat­ter how old you are, you can ex­er­cise and feel good; you can take con­trol of your body, you don’t have to starve your­self.

“I’m for ev­ery­one; fit­ness and food for ev­ery­one.”

Cook­ing For Fam­ily And Friends by Joe Wicks, pub­lished by Blue­bird, is priced £20.

The Body Coach Joe Wicks, above, and his lat­est cook­book, Cook­ing For Fam­ily And Friends, in­set left

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.