Saturday, January 14, 2017

brewing up brain-happy coffee and tea

I jumped onto the Bulletproof coffee train in late 2014, and have gotten much more consistent in my consumption this year - I have Bulletproof coffee or tea 5 or more times each week. You can find plenty of pro- and anti-Bulletproof articles online, but here is the basic recipe, along with some notes and observations from me below:

  • 1 cup hot coffee or tea (8-12oz)
  • 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter (Kerrygold is a reliable brand that you can find anywhere)
  • 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons MCT Oil (Medium Chain Trigylercides; fatty acids typically derived from coconut oil - I use Left Coast brand)
  • 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • Add-Ins (optional): cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, honey, nutmeg, etc
  • BLEND (5-10 seconds on my Blend-Tec works fine)

Notes & Observations:

  • Grass-Fed Butter. Grass-fed butter is a game-changer when it comes to healthy fats and for understanding why they're healthy. Grass-fed butter comes from cows fed grass, not grain/feed (generally, pastured cows). David Servan-Schreiber gives a great description of how this impacts the end product (in our case, butter), in his book Anti-Cancer - short version: grass-fed products generally contain higher amounts of Omega-3s as opposed to Omega-6s, a balance which is critical to our overall health.  I typed out the full version Here
  • Add-Ins. As I've struggled with some knee and hip pain related to running, I've worked on incorporating as many anti-inflammatory foods into my diet as possible. In that regard, I've begun blending up fresh ginger into my Bulletproof, and it tastes great! I've also played with cinnamon (great), turmeric (ok with tea, not my favorite with coffee), and cayenne (surprisingly great!).
  • Tea vs. Coffee. I only started playing with Bulletproofing my tea recently, and the flavor took a while to settle with me. Now I love it, and the slight variety that it affords my mornings. Black tea works fine, but I love the slightly grassy taste that Bulletproofing brings forward when using green tea, yerba mate, or similar types.
  • Health Considerations. I don't worry about the amount of calories I consume, but focus more on the type of calories. To that point, I limit my carbs (particularly sugars), while pushing healthy fats and proteins; there's plenty of science to back up these ideas. I make sure that I still eat a varied diet throughout the day to get all the nutrients I need, and Bulletproof is never a standalone meal for me.
  • MCT Oil. Medium Chain Trigylceride Oil can be tough on your stomach if you're not used to it. I started using a teaspoon in each blend, and gradually built up to my current 1 tablespoon. On a side-note, here's an overview of MCT Oil and its potential benefit for cognitive health, dementia, and Alzheimer's:

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully we are all past the notion, that contributed greatly to the obesity epidemic, that "a calorie is a calorie". The bodies response to a calorie of sugar is very different from the response to a calorie of Kerrygold, for example. I find I put the ingredients into a cup with a tight lid, bring it to work, fill with coffee, and shake the heck out of it. Comes out smooth and nice.