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