Good afternoon everyone, we’re back with a lovely new design, courtesy of Ben. Last week, we drew the prizes for the Propane Challenge: Robert S was the proud winner of 5lb Pina Colada whey and a Platinum Consultation for making the best 10-week results on the Propane Protocol:

Winner Robert S – 10 Weeks Apart on the Propane Protocol

See the rest of the entrants here.

Anyway, today we have 7 things I currently can’t live without.

1) Rice Cooker (or rather, everything cooker)

This was the purchase of the century. (It was actually a gift from my friend – but it only cost him £10).

You’ve just come back from the gym, you’re tired, and you can’t be bothered to spend half an hour concocting a complex gourmet dish. No problem: this baby cooks rice perfectly every time, without you having to hover over it to check it doesn’t burn. I’ve been experimenting with it, and it turns out you can cook whatever you like in it: chicken, barley, quinoa, tomato sauce, aubergine, vegetables, curries – always successful.


Perfect – Every time

I’ve since been using this for practically every meal: it keeps the meat tender while cooking through, allows you to steam vegetables or turkey breast over the top while the rice cooks, and switches off automatically when it’s done. Genius.


2) Liquid Chalk

I used to opt for the chalk ball:


But since making the conversion to liquid chalk, I’ve not looked back. Unlike powdered chalk, it stays on your hands all session without having to reapply, stops slippage and smells like roses. Actually I lied about the roses part – it smells and tastes bad. Who’d have thought?

Mmmm. Chalky goodness.


3) Quinoa

This is like couscous, but tastier, higher in protein (14g/100g), and has a complete amino acid profile*. I get excited about this, because it’s a very rare attribute of a plant proteins, which explains why vegetarians rely on it so much. My vegetarian flatmate introduced this to me: she adds it into salads or sauces and always tastes great. If you’re lazy or inept at cooking, it also works in a rice cooker. You can find quinoa in the fancy-pants-artsy-fartsy-section of any supermarket pretty cheaply.


The only disadvantage is that you sound like a pretentious new-age hippy trying to explain to people what you’re eating.


*While the amino acid profile is complete, the best approach would be to add an animal-protein source to it, otherwise you’d have to eat hefty amounts of quinoa and overdoing the carbs to meet your daily protein requirement.


Quinoa with Chicken, Tomato, Garlic and Peppers


4) Whey Protein

While this is probably a staple of yours already, we don’t believe there are any negative dietary effects of using copious amounts of whey to bolster your protein intake and help you hit your macros if cost is a constraint.

BUT – Watch out for incidental carbs/fat, which can add up quickly if you’re not careful. For example, Bodybuilding Warehouse premium whey has 5.1 grams of sugar per scoop. i.e. a teaspoon of sugar.

If you’re having 5 scoops in 1 day, that’s 25g. Or the amount of carbs in a maple pecan plait!

You could end up accidentally accumulating the equivalent of one of these through incidental carbs/fat.

Therefore, we recommend MyProtein’s True Whey, which tastes far better, has a good range of flavours, and has added digestive enzymes to counteract undesirable reactions from dairy.


5) Coco Pops

By virtue of them being (mostly) gluten free, they don’t bloat you up or have the appetite dysregulating effects of wheatier cereals. If you’re carb backloading, a bowl of coco pops with some skimmed (red) milk never goes amiss.

Come to think of it, we’d rather have a bowl of coco pops…

6) Zero-calorie sauces:

If you’re following the Propane Protocol, you’ll be keeping fat low on training days – that means no mayonnaise, salad creams or other fatty sauces. Adding zero-calorie sauces keeps it interesting and eliminates the ‘chore’ feeling of dieting. My personal favourites are: Frank’s hot sauce, Tabasco smoked chipotle and Dark Soy Sauce (Fermented, so no issues with phytoestrogens).



7) Weightlifting shoes

Weightlifting shoes have a raised heel that helps you to squat more upright and hit full depth more easily. If you squat often, or ever dabble in olympic lifts, these are a must. I own a pair of Ristos, which I reviewed here:


The Next Step

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9 responses to “7 Things That Enhance My Life: Yusef

  1. Hrmm I used some crushed chalk today and made a massive mess. I guess liquid chalk use is anecdotal, a rugby player was telling me it was good and I have spoken to someone who DL’s twice as much as I and it’s OK for him.

    True Whey
    Per 25g:
    Energy: 412.0kJ
    Energy: 98.0Kcal
    Protein (as-is): 19.0g
    Carbohydrates: 1.8g
    of which sugars: 1.5g
    Fat: 1.7g
    of which saturates: nil
    Dietary Fibre: 0.3g
    Sodium: 0.0g
    Digezyme®: 50.0mg
    Lactospore®: 100.0million

    Impact Whey
    Per 25g:
    Energy: 98.3Kcal
    Energy: 414.0kJ
    Protein (dry basis): 20.5g <=== LOL used to be 25!
    Protein (as-is): 19.6g
    Fat: 1.7g
    Carbohydrates: 1.5g
    Calcium: 125.0mg
    Cholesterol: 0.5mg

  2. All of these things are great, but the guy who reviewed the oly shoes needs to never show those videos of him squatting ever again. Worst form ever.

  3. intensityjunkie said:
    All of these things are great, but the guy who reviewed the oly shoes needs to never show those videos of him squatting ever again. Worst form ever.

    Worst form ever? Do you have a video of yourself squatting that we can all admire?

  4. For someone who has the worst leg proportions in the known world I think Yusef does an alright job.

    Plus the video was meant as a comparison and worse to bad is still an improvement.

    7 things that currently enhance my life:
    1) seatbelts
    2) airbags
    3) no bullshit gyms
    4) oly shoes
    5) blue rehbands
    6) straps
    7) Yusef

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