This great diet is something like Paleo Atkins meets high tech. Dave Asprey, the author of this diet, spent many years researching and experimenting on himself to come up with this plan. He communicated with leading edge doctors and scientists, and he invested a substantial amount of his own funds on equipment and testing in his quest to get the truth about what really works with respect to diet and health. During that time up through the present day, he maintains a blog and a radio show. His site also has a forum where others can ask questions and report their own results.
I became aware of Dave Asprey’s work at least three years ago. I have an early version of his food guide that I downloaded back in March of 2012. The latest version of The Complete Bulletproof® Diet Roadmap is attractive and quite useful. On this chart, various foods are categorized as Bulletproof®, Suspect, or Kryptonite. I can vouch for some foods being absolute Kryptonite. For instance, if I fall for the advice that oatmeal makes a great breakfast and have a bowl of it, I will soon be back in bed asleep. A food is definitely Kryptonite if it can knock someone out like that.
Anyway, I became interested in Dave’s material again when I saw his email with the subject, “Vision quests for neuroscientists?” The title of that show is Alberto Villoldo: Brain Hacking & One Spirit Medicine. This got my attention since I am currently taking classes in shamanism. During the interview, Dave talked about the extent of his research and experiments, and I became intrigued all over again. I found out that he had recently published his information as a book, The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life.
I bought the book for my Kindle and began reading. Dave talked about how his diet encourages the growth of the type of intestinal flora that encourages slimness. Now I was even more interested! I was at the time going through yet another round of concurrent antibiotics and antifungal medications to treat various conditions. I liked the idea that perhaps I could encourage my body to restore itself in that direction as I recovered from the antibiotics.
Dave Asprey’s suggestions in The Bulletproof Diet turn standard dietary advice upside down, but he certainly isn’t the only one saying that standard recommendations are all wrong and even opposite of what the body actually needs. For instance, Dave recommends getting 50% – 70% of calories from fat with much of it coming from saturated fat. He claims that saturated fat and cholesterol are the building blocks for all of our hormones. The highest recommended meats are grass-fed beef and lamb as well as pasture-raised eggs. Poultry, even the organic pasture-raised kind, is down in the Suspect category due to its higher content of inflammatory unsaturated fats. Conventionally raised meats of any kind are in the Suspect to Kryptonite range due to the hormones, antibiotics, and GMO ingredients that are often in the feed. Some conventionally raised animals are literally fed garbage. On top of that, the conditions in which these animals are raised are quite unsanitary. It is not unusual for cattle at a feedlot to be standing deep in their own filth.
As Dave says in his book,
One of the biggest leaps I took was to begin eating more butter made from the milk of grass-fed cows. This was scary. It went against everything I’d been told about healthy eating my entire life, but I had done the research and checked the science and I wanted to fix my hormones, so I took a deep breath and stopped holding back on butter. I knew that if I was wrong, my body would show more inflammation in blood panels and I could always stop eating it. Immediately, magical things started to happen. My ability to focus increased, I started losing weight, and my blood panels showed less inflammation, not more—but why?
From there, he began his quest to find out why the butter worked so well.
At the foundation of The Bulletproof Diet is Bulletproof Coffee®. Among the benefits Dave cites for his coffee recipe are (in his words):
- stomps on hunger and cravings
- lights up your brain with an alternative energy source
- helps you lose weight and build muscle
- increases focus and performance
Dave emphasizes that the quality of the ingredients of Bulletproof Coffee® is key to its function. The coffee MUST be as free as possible of mycotoxins from fungal contamination. The butter MUST be from grass-fed cows. While coconut oil can be used in Basic Butter Coffee, MCT Oil is preferable and gives the Bulletproof® results.
Since coffee in the United States is not tested for these mycotoxins, Dave has made his own Bulletproof® brand available. Paper filters should not be used when making Bulletproof Coffee® since the oils containing some of the best components in the coffee will cling to the paper. A gold filter can be used in a drip coffee maker. I chose to give a French press a try. Admittedly, it is more work to make coffee that way, but the results are worth it. The flavor is that much better.
The butter from grass-fed cows most readily available in the United States is Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter. It is shown here to the right.
If choose to get a French press and you are serious about using it every day to make coffee, I suggest getting a quality item. With less expensive coffee presses, the plunger may fall apart, the screens may rust, and the carafe may not be adequately heat tempered. The SterlingPro Coffee & Espresso Maker comes highly rated; and at the time of this writing, it is available on Amazon.com with 2 bonus screens included for only $29.95.
What follows is the recipe for Dave’s Bulletproof Coffee®. I expanded the instructions a bit.
- Up to 1 liter filtered water
- 2 heaping scoops Bulletproof® Coffee, ground
- Up to 2 Tbs MCT Oil such as Bulletproof® Brain Octane Oil (It’s STRONG – start with 1 tsp. and work up over several days.)
- Up to 2 Tbs unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee (In Dave’s words: “Realize salted coffee is a crime. Do not do this with salted butter. Bleah.”)
- Use the carafe of the French press to measure the water for the coffee. Pour it into a kettle and heat until just boiling.
- While the water is heating, put the coffee into the carafe of the French press.
- When the water is ready, slowly pour it over the coffee in the carafe, moving the stream around to break up any lumps in the coffee. If necessary, use a soft spatula to stir away any remaining lumps. Place the plunger and lid on the French press, but do not press the plunger down just yet. Let the coffee steep for 5 minutes.
- While the coffee is steeping, put the butter and oil into the blender jar.
- When the coffee has finished steeping, SLOWLY press down on the plunger of the French press. This will separate the coffee from the grounds. It is best to do this slowly to minimize the amount of grounds that slip past the filter screen on the plunger.
- Pour the coffee through a fine-mesh tea sieve into the blender jar. This should catch grounds that slipped past the filter in the French press.
- Place the lid securely on the blender jar. This is IMPORTANT since you do not want hot coffee flying around your kitchen!
- Hold down the lid long enough to make sure that it won’t fly off and turn on the blender. Blend for at least 30 seconds.
- While the coffee is blending, rinse the screen of the French press and set it out to dry to prevent rusting of the screen. Dispose of the coffee grounds properly. Do NOT put them down your sink.
- Pour the coffee into a mug and enjoy!
Please pay attention to the warning about starting slow with the MCT Oil. The potential result of overdoing it could be, as Dave puts it, “disaster pants.” He’s not kidding about that. If you choose to start with the full amount anyway, please do so on a low-stress day when you will have easy immediate access to a toilet all day long. I don’t want anyone coming back here after not heeding this advice and saying that they had a blow-out in front of their company president or best customer.