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Bulletproof Coffee -- What is it?

Have you heard of bulletproof coffee before? Maybe at your cross-fit gym or yoga studio. You may have even heard it called keto-coffee, butter coffee, etc. Either way it's all pretty much the same thing.

I'm not a biologist, nutritionist, or dietician, so I'm probably not best suited to explain the myriad nutritional complexities of bulletproof coffee. However, there's a large following of folks that swear by it so I decided to take a deeper look and see what all the buzz is about.

Let's start off by telling you what's in it, later we'll tell you how to make it. As the name implies, bulletproof coffee consists mostly of coffee. There's also some butter and fancy oil mixed in. From our understanding the fat in the butter curbs your appetite while the oil feeds your brain with some special compounds that make you think clearer and boosts your metabolism. I'm still trying to figure out where the bullet-proof comes in. Perhaps because you'll turn into a lean mean machine that can't be stopped. Let's dive into all of this a little more. 

Regular consumption of coffee has myriad health benefits. Most recently reported by the Annals of Internal Medicine, "Regular coffee consumption is related to greater life longevity." Also, coffee has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, Type II diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and cardiovascular disease. Studies further suggest that 3-5 (8oz) cups per day is the target to shoot for to obtain the greatest health benefit, but be careful; too much caffeine can make some folks unwell. Also, if caffeine is effecting your sleep pattern then you'll want to get that in check by either reducing your intake or start drinking decaf. Sleep really is most important when it's all said and done. Let's go back one step. Yes, you read that correctly, even decaf coffee will give you the same health benefits. You see, it's not the caffeine that your body likes, that's just a bonus, what your body is really digging are the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants floating around in your cup(s) of joe. Consumer beware -- you'll want to be sure that you're drinking organic coffee or water processed decaf coffees if that's your thing. Also, try to stick to coffee that's roasted light to medium. When the roast degree gets a little too toasty there is potential for some negative health affects linked to acrylamide, a potential carcinogenic. The jury is still out on that, though.

Now, let's talk about butter. The recipe calls for cultured, grass fed, unsalted butter. I'd take it a step further and recommend organic butter from free range cows. The benefits of the aforementioned go far beyond the scope of this message. The butter works like this -- the fats in the butter help get your body ready to burn more fat.

Imagine this; you've been sleeping for eight hours. You just woke up and it's likely that you've been fasting now for at least twelve hours, give or take. At this point your body is running on energy produced from your stored fat because it's likely that last night's dinner has been used up. Since you're already in "ketosis" then your body is primed and ready to continue using fat as energy. When you ingest the butter in your coffee your body breaks down the fat and produce ketones to feed your brain. You'll continue to run your energy production system throughout the morning on stored fat until you introduce another energy source. If and when you mix in some carbs you'll likely slow down the fat burn and switch over to regular metabolism. Keep the carbs and sugars low in the morning and the [good] fats high. 

Moving on to MCT oil, otherwise know as medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oil is a dominate ingredient in coconut oil -- about 62 - 65 percent of the fatty acids found in coconut oil are MCTs. Medium-chain triglycerides are a form of saturated fatty acids that have been shown to improve cognitive function and boost metabolism. Without going too far in the weeds on the science of all this just know that you'll likely experience less stored body fat, more energy, improved digestive function and mental clarity. We've found a lot more valuable information here if you're interested on digging deeper.

Ingredients: You'll need coffee, grass fed unsalted butter, and MCT oil. 

Coffee: 8 ounces of freshly brewed coffee is recommended. Make sure your coffee is made with filtered water and fresh ground coffee beans. You'll also want to be sure your coffee was roasted some time this century (you'd be surprised). If you're using Calioh Coffee it's likely that your coffee was roasted within the last couple weeks. I like to use a nice Central or South American coffee in my butter coffee. These coffees typically have more robust flavors and the chocolate and caramel characteristics of coffees from these regions tend to work well in the concoction. If you want to keep this whole process simple and streamlined then you can pull 8 ounces of coffee out of the coffee pot, but if you're an enthusiast or have a few extra minutes in the morning then opt for a french press. 

Butter: 1 tablespoon of grass fed unsalted butter is used in this recipe. You can add a little more or less depending on your preference. Also, you could use salted butter, but salt isn't so good in coffee -- totally your choice though. I use a nice butter from Vital Farms; they do good butter and eggs! I found it at Lassen's -- a Southern California health food store.

MCT Oil: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of high quality MCT oil is suggested. Because some folks might have a slight digestive sensitivity to MCT oil I like to recommend starting at the lower end of the dose. You can also use coconut oil in a pinch but you get max benefit from the concentrated stuff. I use the Bulletproof brand 'Brainpower' oil in my recipe.

Preparation: Ok, this is where it gets fun. Dust off the old Vitamix blender that's been sitting on the counter for two years that you swore you were going to make smoothies with every day. Give it a rinse then throw your coffee, oil, and butter in there together. Starting at a lower speed briefly get the mixture spinning, then speed up the blender quite fast and emulsify the concoction until the color changes to a creamy beige. This should take just 10 seconds or so. Once you get a cappuccino looking color and a creamy head you're done. Shut off the blender and dispense your coffee into your favorite mug. That's it!

Want to take it to the next level? Try adding some fresh almond milk to the blender before starting the blade. You'll want to stay away from anything that's sweetened with sugar as you'll be defeating the purpose. What I really like is the Horchata Almond Milk from our friends at Lux Milk. They make a few flavors but the horchata flavor is amazing. It adds a nice autumn essence to the beverage and makes it 10 times more enjoyable. If you can't make it to the Camarillo Farmer's Market to get some milk for yourself then try adding a couple ounces of high quality almond milk, a few medjool dates, and some cinnamon to taste. We shared this recipe with a bunch of yogis at an event recently and it was a hit! 

You're probably feeling bulletproof and ready to conquer the world. Go get 'em!

I'd love to hear how this recipe works out for you. Please add your thoughtful comments below.

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