Monthly Archives: April 2011

Matt Roberts’ “I will make you fit fast”

Written by personal trainer to the stars (and the Camerons) Matt Roberts who learnt the importance of fitness from his father, the footballer John Roberts who played for Arsenal and Wales and later trained with the sprinter and Olympic gold winner Darren Campbell.

Matt Roberts presides over a multi-faceted fitness and nutrition empire, including 4 personal training centres (he opened his first gym in an abandoned art gallery in Mayfair at the age of 22), 8 books, fitness DVDs and an exercise clothing range; he is a fitness expert for BBC Radio 1 and BBC Breakfasts, columnist and a nutrition and fitness consultant for brands including Sony, Gillette and Danone.

In his latest book, Matt encourages you to think like a celebrity, presenting two of his tried and tested fitness & diet programmes. By setting very precise, clear goals against a timeline, Matt gives his clients purpose and direction and, crucially, gets results – every time!

The basic principle of the 12 week plan described in his latest book is to combine a pretty strict diet with a rigorous, albeit short, daily workout. This, Roberts says, increase calorie usage, increases muscle activity and generally makes heart and lungs stronger, allowing time to radically change your body – sculpting your shape, stripping fat and increasing fitness levels.

The second part of the book, the 2 week blitz, describes the approach Matt uses with celebrities who are preparing for a fast approaching “red carpet” moment.

It is intensive. You will need to work out 6 days a week, with one day off for recovery. The upside (!) is that you won’t need to restrict your calorie intake too much because the programme is so intense …

The  book is broken down in such a way that it provides all you need to focus on each day during the programme: “today’s diet” and “today’s workout”.

Diet is an important part and there is breakdown of your meals for each day. A small collection of easy to follow recipes are provided.  Meals are typically low-fat and low-ish carb (think Portobello burger, chicken fajitas, wheat-free pasta with smoked salmon … ), and portion sizes on the small side. Meals are repeated throughout the programme, but you could substitute meals/ingredients to suit your palate, provided they fall within the plan guidelines.

Having given up my gym membership a year ago, I was interested to find out how my routine compares and what I could do differently to make my workouts as efficient and effective as possible.

As with most things worth having in life, there is no easy, quick fix or magic wand  – and Matt states very clearly that in the 1st chapter of the book. If you eat too much and do too little, you will get out of shape and fatter. No short cuts!

The main thing that I took away from the book is that goal setting is absolutely key. Having purpose, direction and a recognisable end point is important for anyone who wants to be successful and this is an ethos that can equally be applied to fitness.

 I was pleased to read that I am, unwittingly, already implementing a number of Matt’s exercise principles designed to achieve maximum results in the shortest possible time: interval training, super sets, compound training and MHR (maximum heart rate).

Here’s an exercise from the book, knee crossover tucks, which I do a couple of time a week: it’s great for developing stability around the lower back.


Here’s how:

1. Assume a face down position on the ground with palms of hands on the floor under the shoulders and legs extended with the balls of the feet touching the ground. Raise yourself up using your arms, maintaining a stable, straight torso.

2. Holding this position, slowly lift one foot off the floor and raise the leg, bringing the knee across the upper body. Stop raising the leg at the point you feel your lower back bending and slowly lower back down to the starting position. Repeat for the other side.

Not feeling your best? Unhappy with the shape of your body? Preparing for an event where you need to impress?

Prepared to work hard + diligently and to give exercise your undivided attention?

If you answer “yes” to one of more questions, then this book could be for you.


Supper & brunch menu w/c 25th of April


Spring vegetable casserole with wild garlic-walnut pesto and multi-seed bread


Chicken with leeks and mustard, served with new potatoes


Chermoula pollock fillets with roast sweet pepper couscous


Japanese style chicken, egg and rice bowl


Lemony lamb meatballs, rice and wilted chard


Boiled egg and Serrano ham soldiers

Fruit salad with natural bio-yoghurt and seeds


Wholemeal pancake stack with banana and honey

Almond milk thickie

Supper & brunch menu w/c 18th of April


Spicy aubergine curry served with Thai jasmine rice & toasted sesame seeds


Griddled mackerel  with spiced cannellini beans and wilted spinach


Linguine with sprue asparagus carbonara


Risotto style barley with tarragon chicken and Portobello mushrooms, grated Parmesan


Moroccan lamb meatballs, roast vegetable bulghur wheat & minted yoghurt


Eggs Florentine

Espresso banana muffins


Scrambled eggs,  smoked salmon & watercress

Apricot multi-seed bar

Supper & Brunch menu w/c 11th of April


Spring vegetable casserole with wild garlic-walnut pesto and spelt bread


Griddled salmon with new potatoes, olives and herbs


Chinese style noodles with ducks’ liver, pak choi & toasted sesame seeds


Chorizo & chickpea stew served with wilted baby spinach


Warm lentil & purple sprouting broccoli salad with goats’ cheese


Eggs Florentine

Tendresse aux pommes


Buttermilk pancakes with maple cured crispy bacon + vine tomatoes

Rhubarb + oat crisp



SavvyCook. Keeper of the kitchen. Invisible chef. Fuss-free wife.

“Not having to plan, shop for, and prepare my own meals is brilliant. It really takes the stress off your plate! Portions are generous and the meals are healthy, convenient and tasty. I highly recommend it when you are working & playing hard”.

SavvyCook’s kitchen-keeping service provides you with an invisible chef who makes sure that your kitchen is stocked with everything you need to keep, or get, your healthy eating habits on track.

Meal planning, shopping & chopping are all taken care of.

 On a weekly basis Savvy Cook supplies

 5 ready-to-cook dinners 

The menu changes every week and is published here on SavvyCook’s blog on Friday Very simple cooking instructions accompany every meal.

5 breakfasts (e.g. fruit compote with live natural yoghurt + home-made granola  or fruity porridge  + our own super seed mixture)

5 delicious but nutritious desserts OR energy boosting snacks

 The ingredients for a weekend brunch (e.g. Parma ham or bacon, vine tomatoes, field mushrooms or smoked salmon + watercress, free-range organic eggs, muffins/loaf cake)


 Fresh bread, milk, fresh juice, seasonal fruit, fresh mint


 A top-up of basic groceries (such as tea, coffee, butter, olive oil, marmalade/jam/honey, mustard, pepper/salt etc.) as required.


Full service described above £ 200 per person per week. £375 for 2 people at the same address.

 The grocery start-up pack costs £ 95 which includes a top-up of the groceries as required.

No breakfast or no dinner on request. 

Want to be savvy too?

  1. contact SavvyCook
  2. we’ll meet or contact you to discuss the finer details
  3. start the week after


Supper & brunch menu w/c 4th of April


Nasi rawit with atjar tampoer and a fried Burford Brown egg


Griddled mackerel fillets with farro, wilted Swiss chard & tahini


Chicken & courgette frittas, boiled new potatoes and watercress salad


Pasta Puttanesca, rocket & Parmesan salad


Griddled chicken thighs with barley, orange, walnut & chicory salad


Griddled field mushrooms, Parma ham & roast vine tomatoes on sourdough

Apricot, banana & cardamom muffin


Smoked salmon & scrambled Burford Brown eggs and watercress on toasted rye

rhubarb compote with fromage frais