Years ago, a friend told me that people were starting to blend butter in their morning coffee as a weight loss trick. My immediate reaction was that people had gone mad. Then later, as I delved into the research and teachings of primal nutrition, it became apparent to me that what I had learned about nutrition for most of my life (consume higher carb, low fat) was completely backwards. Healthy fat and protein were the two macronutrients to focus on if you wanted to optimally balance your blood sugar, eat for better brain health and energy, heal your gut and improve your mood. Simultaneously, I was introduced to the nutritional philosophy of Dave Asprey, who kept touting his morning elixir: bulletproof coffee. I finally understood the why behind what everyone was talking about!
I remember the first morning I tried it. I felt the effects on my mental clarity and hunger and cravings almost immediately. I began telling friends and health coaching clients about it as well, and they too felt better after making the shift from their cup of coffee made with just milk and sugar.
Given that coffee is a stimulant, it affects our blood sugar by raising cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which are naturally elevated in the morning anyway (it’s what wakes you up). We don’t want cortisol that is too high, or it can send you into that “fight or flight” response. So that is why you get those people that are jittery and anxious after dumping a bunch of caffeine into their system.
Healthy fats, as found in bulletproof coffee, will negate the sudden spike in cortisol, causing blood sugar levels to remain at bay. Coconut oil (or ideally brain octane or MCT oil – a more potent coconut oil) is so good for brain health and will leave you feeling clear and energized. It is also a medium-chain triglyceride, which is a fancy name for the type of fat. As I have previously written about, MCTs bypass being processed in the liver and immediately get converted to energy. Ghee contains a compound called butyrate. It’s a short-chain fatty acid known to reduce inflammation, prevent cancer, and increase healthy bacteria in the gut. Both of these fats are like the ultimate brain and energy food. To start your day with these high quality sources (without the presence of other macronutrients carbs and protein), will leave you feeling clear, energized, hormonally balanced and will keep your body in its natural fat-burning state.
So how do you make it?
- High-speed Blender
- a cup's worth of brewed coffee (1½ – 2 cups)
- 1 – 2 teaspoons ghee or grass-fed butter (I recommend Kerry Gold)
- 1 -2 teaspoons coconut oil or brain octane oil
- 3 – 4 drops liquid stevia (optional, OR 1/4 teaspoon monk fruit)
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides (optional: some people like the protein; I leave it out)
- Place everything in your high-speed blender and process until good and frothy!
Don’t drink coffee but want to try it? Use Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee instead!
After drinking my bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning (around 6AM), it is enough to (em)power me through the morning and fuel a fasted workout a few hours later. I will then have a blood sugar balancing breakfast around 10:30 or 11am, which entails an Empower Bar or smoothie/yogurt bowl with Granola Clusters. The best (and blood sugar balancing) start to the day!