I’ve written before about whether coffee’s good for you. (It depends.)
If you’re a coffee drinker, I recommend reading that in-depth post here, particularly if you:
- Are frequently stressed out
- Aren’t getting enough sleep
- Are over-exercising
- Are sensitive to gluten or grains
- Experience heartburn or indigestion after coffee drinking
- Are using coffee instead of addressing places of imbalance in your eating, sleeping, exercise and lifestyle routines
Meanwhile, today’s post has a more modest aim—to answer a question I get quite a bit:
What about bulletproof coffee?
Truthfully, my focus here is smaller still, really just answering: What about my bulletproof coffee? (It’s fabulous.)
Thing is, as with many food/eating questions, my response depends on a host of factors.
When I work with clients, I take all sorts of individual variables into account. Lifestyle, for instance, and specific wellness goals. Also age and health conditions.
In short, the question of whether any sort of coffee, including bulletproof, is right for YOU is a complex one.
But this is how I do it. And based on questions I’ve gotten and bulletproof information on the Internet, my version may not be what you expect.
Let’s break things down into categories…
I drink bulletproof coffee instead of—rather than in addition to—a meal. Specifically, it is part of my regular “intermittent fasting” routine.
Intermittent fasting, or IF, warrants a whole post in itself and isn’t suitable for everyone. But it can bring excellent results for some (me included).
IF looks different, depending how you do it. For me, it goes this way: not eating between dinner (ending around 8pm) and lunch (starting around 11:30am), other than the bulletproof coffee I have soon after waking each morning.
In other words, my “eating window” is between lunch and dinner. I also do not snack (not a requirement for IF—I just do better eating full meals and letting my body rest and digest in between). Because I’m not dependent on sugar and carb infusions and eat high-fat, high-protein fare, I don’t get hungry until meal time and my energy level stays high and steady.
A starting point for trying IF in a safe, healthy way is to first become “fat-adapted”—meaning, your body and metabolism adapt to run on fat, or ketones, rather than needing frequent sugar/carb infusions.
How? Sticking to a relatively strict paleo-primal eating pattern for a month often does the trick—so long as you’re not overdoing paleo-approved carbs and sugars (sweet potatoes, fruit, paleo baked goods and such). If you have trouble with this, IF probably isn’t the best choice—at least for now (and may cause more harm than good).
Again, IF is not for everyone. It’s very individual, and many men do better with it than women. Definitely steer clear if you’re struggling with a hypothyroid condition or an eating disorder or if you’re under-eating (i.e., not consuming enough calories a day on a regular basis).
But for some—including me—IF really is the optimal eating routine, and my morning bulletproof plays a starring role.
Your bulletproof agenda may not go this way (and you can certainly enjoy bulletproof without doing IF). In general though, I’d be wary of adding huge amounts of butter or coconut butter to your coffee and having it in addition to a huge breakfast on a regular basis.
Still—that’s just me. So by all means experiment and see how it goes (just be clear that I don’t do that or recommend it to my clients).
You know, the specifics of my bulletproof beverage go through phases.
For a while, I was into a “deconstructed version” featuring two shots of black espresso alongside an espresso cup of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk and a capful of MCT oil.
Later, I shifted away from coffee entirely and played with different takes on bulletproof matcha, sometimes mixing in coconut milk and coconut oil…sometimes just one or the other. Part of me wishes I’d stick to that, because I personally do better without coffee in my life. Alas…at least I’ve cut back to one mug a day.
For the past handful of months, I’ve been using the real-deal blender method: blending drip coffee in a Vitamix with my fats of choice to get a deliciously foamy effect. I transitioned away from coconut milk during this time…and toward butter or ghee with coconut oil.
I was super-pleased with grass-fed ghee…but since our recent trip to a winter farmers’ market have been hooked on a local, handmade butter that comes wrapped in brown paper and string. It is divine. Either way, I add coconut oil too.
Oh, and for coffee, make sure to use organic ground beans without additives. Never choose conventional (high in pesticides) or instant (processed…and harder on the digestion).
There are plenty of other factors you could take into account here too (whether it’s fair trade and sustainably grown, for instance). But at the very least pick organic, real beans without extra crap.
Okay. Pay close attention here, because I diverge from lots of my bulletproof brethren on this one.
I DO NOT USE A WHOLE OR HALF STICK OF BUTTER IN MY COFFEE.
I DO NOT USE A WHOLE OR HALF CAN OF COCONUT MILK IN MY COFFEE.
I use 1 tablespoon of butter (or 2 tablespoons of coconut milk) and a teaspoon of coconut oil. That’s it.
I’m not saying this is the perfect amount for everyone, and individual needs vary.
But, in general, I don’t think it’s wise to have a half or whole stick of butter each morning…or a half or whole can of coconut milk in one sitting. (Please don’t hate me Bulletproof Brigade.)
And…recipe time! Again, the specifics of my bulletproof beverage go through phases (and sometimes don’t involve coffee at all). But here’s what I’m making these days…
- Large mug's worth of organic coffee (no sugar added)
- 1 Tablespoon of grass-fed, local, full-fat butter (or similar, such as Kerry Gold butter or grass-fed ghee)
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- Brew coffee (or make espresso shots, adding extra hot water as desired)
- Pour coffee in a high-speed blender
- Add butter/ghee and coconut oil to blender and blend until frothy on top
- Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!
Anyway, that’s how I do it.
But, of course, there are lots of variations. Have a favorite? Please share in the comments!
If you’re looking for support figuring out what foods and eating patterns are best for you, you might consider working with me one-on-one.
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