Frequently, I am asked what I eat in a typical day. One topic that generates a great deal of interest is my daily consumption of Tweaked Bulletproof Coffee, the concept of which I learned from Dave Asprey on his site, http://www.bulletproofexec.com/coffee/. I call my version the Tweaked version because I have taken Dave’s original recipe and added a few tweaks to further increase the nutritive value and benefit of this outstanding beverage.
Research has validated the numerous health benefits of coffee consumption. The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a 13 year observational study with over 400,000 people correlating the health benefits of coffee consumption and its role in longevity and disease prevention. Basically, those who consume coffee on a regular basis are less likely to die from several common health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and infection.
Of course, studies such as this are not to be considered as absolute truth as they are observational in nature and not always reliable in concluding a cause and effect relationship. What can be gleaned from this information though, is that there is likely a benefit (or at least not harm) from daily coffee consumption.
As the leading source of antioxidants in the American diet (either representing the poor state/quality of our diet or our over consumption of coffee) it is important to consider a few things when consuming coffee. Coffee is one the most processed food substances in the world and it is best to consume an organic, single sourced, fair trade brand of coffee, if possible. For those with adrenal dysfunction/chronic fatigue, the stimulant effect of coffee may further tax already dysfunctional adrenal glands and ultimately lead to further problems. As in all things, moderation is the key.
I have outlined below, how I make Tweaked Bulletproof Coffee and have explained why I add some of the ingredients that I do. Credit goes to Dave Asprey for the concept of Bulletproof Coffee, he even has a version available on his site. I have just added some Tweaks that I believe further enhance some of the health benefits. Some of the ingredients (butter and coconut oil) may shock those who are ardent believers in the lipid hypothesis, but if you see beyond this, it will be easy to understand why this is a great way to start the day.
I use the best coffee I can (I personally like Life Extension Rich Rewards), brew it, and then blend in unsalted grass-fed butter (Kerrygold Irish Butter), coconut oil, cacao powder (chocolate), ceylon cinnamon, turmeric, raw honey and peppermint or cinnamon essential oil, or both. That’s right, butter and coconut oil. One receives all the benefits of healthy fat with none of the damaging denatured casein protein found in cream. The coconut oil adds medium chain fatty acids that are utilized as a great source of energy. The butter and coconut oil make for a creamy, satisfying cup of coffee like you’ve never had. It keeps me satiated for a good period of time. Since I’m having it for breakfast, I’m helping my body burn fat for energy all day long! I will occasionally add coconut milk too.
This is easy to prepare. Just add about 2 tbsp of Kerrygold unsalted butter, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp raw, organic cacao powder (Navitas Naturals), 10 shakes of organic cinnamon and 10 shakes organic turmeric, 2-3 drops peppermint or cinnamon essential oil (optional) and 1 tbsp raw honey (more if you would like it sweeter (the less the better), you can also use Yacon or Jerusalem Artichoke syrup as a sweetener) to 24-28 oz of coffee and blend with a unipole hand blender or Magic Bullet until there is a thick layer of foam like a latte. I add all ingredients together in a quart mason jar to facilitate mixing and to make it less messy and then transfer the concoction to a jumbo mug. You can add or subtract ingredients as you see fit. I mix all the non-coffee ingredients together before going to bed each evening.
Kerrygold butter or another grass-fed brand of butter really matters because corn or soy-fed cows don’t make butter with the same beneficial fats and essential nutrients (omega-3’s, vitamin K2, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, etc.). Butter from grain fed cows doesn’t blend well and doesn’t taste good. The nutritional value of grass fed butter is significant compared to conventional/regular butter. Starting your day with grass-fed butter and coconut oil will give you energy and it will give your body the healthy fats it needs to make proper cell walls and hormones and a well functioning brain.
In addition to the butter and coconut oil, the other added ingredients also have significant health benefits. Cacao powder (chocolate) is nature’s number one source of magnesium and is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids which have powerful anti-inflammatory effects (much new research revealing this). Cacao is a great source of anandamide and phenylethylamine – bliss chemicals. Cinnamon sensitizes insulin receptors and has many beneficial metabolic qualities. Turmeric is a great source of curcumin, natures anti-inflammatory which has a significant record of being beneficial for cancer, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune disorder prevention. Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid and has been found to have weight regulating (lowering) effects and even recently has been touted as a nutrient which may be useful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.
If at first this recipe is a little too rich, try using less butter and build up to the amount you like. Though it seems complicated to put all of this together, it is quite easy once you establish your routine. I assure you, you’ll never be tempted to indulge in a Starbucks fancy coffee drink again. I look forward to my Bulletproof Coffee each AM as it is a great way to start the day. I face the world with all the energy needed to conquer the challenges each day brings. I would recommend trying it first on a weekend so as to be able to gauge the “feel good” energy surge this concoction often brings. When I first incorporated this little habit, I experienced a rush of energy I hadn’t experienced before. The rush has calmed some but I still feel that I derive significant benefit from this daily habit.
Many have said this is too much work for a cup of coffee. As I see it, this is not “just” a cup of coffee, this is a high ORAC energy beverage that is just one piece of the puzzle for optimal health. Our genes are at the mercy of their environment (food is information, not just calories) – provide the optimal environment for your genes and they will reward you with a healthy, happy life. The road to perfect health starts with small shifts, make a change, not an excuse!
The brands I use are:
1. Rich Rewards Coffee from Life Extension Foundation – www.LEF.org or you can get organic coffee elsewhere. Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof brand is available here – http://www.bulletproofexec.com
2. Kerrygold unsalted butter
3. Coconut oil
4. Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder
5. Simply Organic Cinnamon and Turmeric
6. Peppermint essential oil
7. Raw Honey – local vendor
Starting your morning with a BANG,
PS – For those concerned, my recent blood tests demonstrated low triglycerides, extremely low inflammatory makers, low insulin levels and fluffy LDL (good) cholesterol levels. So for those who are afraid I am killing myself drinking this – my blood tests have never looked better (although that may also be due to my other dietary and lifestyle choices).