Last week I decided I would do a review of Joe Wicks Lean In 15 book. I chose 3 random recipes to cook throughout the week to assist with my overall opinion. I love to cook and try new things, so this was an absolute joy for me.
I read the book completely to get an understanding of what it was about. I very well couldn’t just cook some meals and say whether or not you should go buy it. I totally agree with a lot of what Joe has to say in his book. Society has misconstrued our visions of healthy foods. Because of the media and faulty studies from the 1950s, a lot of people reach out for fat-free yogurts, fortified breads and milk with extra vitamins. Why? Advertising and manufacturers lead you to believe that by eating these things you are improving your health and living a better lifestyle. Sure, in a sense you are because you’re thinking about what you’re eating and trying to make informed decisions. My argument to this is simple, why do you need manufactured foods to be healthy? Eat
natural for the healthiest option.
Lets take my mother-in-law as an example. The poor soul suffers from osteoporosis. Because of this, she started taking a multivitamin and all sorts of foods fortified with vitamin D thinking it would help. She now has toxic levels of vitamin D in her system causing her extraordinary pain in her abdomen and is exasperating a prior condition she has. Now was she wrong in doing what she did? Of course not, she was doing what she thought was best based on what society and the media have told her. The brilliant thing about Lean In 15, it isn’t afraid of fats. So many people think fat is the enemy, but our bodies need it. It’s about eating the right foods to get the fat, such as avocados and not chocolate. I mean we all need a little bit of chocolate though don’t we?
The recipes in this book all look amazing. However, as good as they look and sound, I don’t find them very practical. Quite a few of them require ingredients which aren’t basic kitchen staples or are a tad on the expensive side. I had to dismiss a few recipes simply because the ingredients needed I wouldn’t use other wise and therefore was a waste for me cost wise. Other people may not feel this way, and that’s fine. I know I’m a cheap skate. I’m also aware fresh ingredients are more expensive than frozen or packaged ingredients. I personally like to use a mix of both. For instance, you’ll find I use ready cooked frozen chicken breast pieces in a lot of my recipes. It’s cheap, quick and easy. It’s no different than buying a chicken breast fillet except for, well, its frozen. I also will use tinned vegetables when I can rather than buying fresh. Now I will admit, fresh vegetables taste the best. However, I don’t use carrots often. Most stores near me only offer bags of carrots and I can’t get through them before they rot. So, tinned carrots it is for me. It’s give and take.
The other minor gripe I have with the recipes is that quite a few require an acquired taste. This is okay for me as I love most foods and flavours. For my husband and daughter though, this is a nightmare. I love cooking for my family but I know that 3/4 of the recipes they wouldn’t eat. Sure, I could cook for myself, but I’ve already done 6 months of not eating with my family. I now want to cook with them and enjoy sitting down eating the same meal together. This brings me to my next point as well, there aren’t many of the meals that cater for more than 1 person. There is a small handful, but not enough for a decent variety if you were using this as your weekly meal planner. Sure, you can double a recipe to accommodate two people, but those of you who are familiar with this know that this can alter the taste. I suppose I could just cook two batches as most of these are 15 minute meals, but who has the energy or time for that these days? I don’t!
Okay give me a chance here, I can hear you saying, “Seriously Tiffany, 15 minutes isn’t long at all. Get a grip.” In general, yeah I agree. But when you’re working overtime, rushing home, sorting out your family, doing daily housework and trying to cook a healthy meal makes every minute is special and important. Again, this is just my view on it.
Now for the recipes I cooked. I chose the Chicken Pie, Sag Aloo and Gnocchi & Sausage Ragu. All three tasted amazing, let me start with that. I was expecting to not like one of them, but I can honestly say I enjoyed each one. Only one didn’t follow the 15 minute motto which was the chicken pie. Even with that said, it was still a quick weekday meal that I could easily make after work without eating too late. The recipes are also very simple. I suppose they have to be if they are meant to only take 15 minutes to cook. If you’re like me though, you want recipes to be simple. The simpler they are the easier they are to remember. I would rather keep complicated cooking to personal experiments.
The only thing I haven’t tried was the 15 minute work outs. I did read them over though. They seem really affective and easy to do even if you’re just starting out with exercise. In the absence of dumbbells, you could fill up milk cartons with water or something to that effect. I will probably use these workouts in the future when I can’t get to the gym, which unfortunately is becoming a norm due to life commitments.
All in all, I think this is a great book. The recipes might not be for everyone depending on if you’re a picky eater or frugal with your money regarding ingredients. I would suggest it though, even if it is just for the 3 recipes I cooked and the workouts. I know quite a lot of people on Instagram have been ooing and aahing over getting this book. Just go get it, you wont be upset that you did. I’m really happy I bought it after seeing his videos on Instagram. You’ll definitely be seeing a few more of his recipes up on here!