Dave Asprey, who first introduced the idea of bulletproof coffee in 2009, is a person with serious IT street cred, having worked for Trend Micro, Blue Coat and Citrix. According to some sources, he was also among the first to think of putting the caffeine molecule on a tee-shirt. Awesome.
Despite my admiration for his tech chops, the idea of putting butter in coffee seemed a bit, er — yakky — pun intended. Then, I tried it. It tastes pretty good!
The simple recipe for bulletproof coffee is a combination of high-quality coffee, butter, and a fractionalized coconut oil that is composed of medium-chain triglycerides.
While Asprey’s intent was to biohack his own body to an optimum physical state, I was trying to get out of the clutch of dreadful blood tests, and increasing illness — back to a reasonable “normal” level of health, despite disease. By trying to increase the amount of healthy fats in my diet, I had a special interest in coconut oil, and eating more of it. Grass-fed butter also has many beneficial qualities.
I first started drinking bulletproof coffee around August of 2013. At that point, I had already just started a ketogenic diet too, so this coffee was helpful in getting my fat consumption in the right percentage, with its high-quality fats.
What happened next?
I had already been making healthy changes in my diet, since the disaster years of 2008-2012 when I was diagnosed with celiac (’08), then MS (’09), and during which I gained 100 pounds on my high-glycemic, albeit gluten-free diet.* I also turned a nice shade of yellow, with a persistent fever, thanks to one of the “proven” CRAB** MS disease-modifying drugs. In 2010, I I figured I was headed for a wheelchair, and made some changes.
First, I went off the traditional health path and found a doctor, eventually, team of doctors, practicing integrative medicine. I had been thinking my whole grain, gluten-free diet was fine, until my blood sugar kept creeping up to very unhealthy levels. I fixed many things that were wrong. One of the most important things I did was to elevate my vitamin D levels from an abysmal 7 ( I think. The test doesn’t go below 7) to just over 100.*** I tried some different therapies to control the MS. Next, I began experimenting with paleo or primal diets, which helped a lot, by eliminating all grains. From that, came keto.
Instead of describing what happened, I’ll show you some pictures:
Remember, the earliest reading on all these charts is a FANTASTIC one compared to what the numbers were in the years before . . . and for those of you not tracking your A1C, levels between 5.7 and 6.4 are considered “pre-diabetes.” Two separate readings above 6.5 means “diabetic.”
Insulin, I don’t miss you. Glucose, I could still do with less of you. A “normal” glucose serum reading is between 65-99 mg/dL. A “normal” insulin reading is between 2.6 and 24.9 uIU/mL.
This last one, you might have to click on to see properly. LDL –think “lousy”– is the unhealthy cholesterol. HDL–think “healthy”– is the good stuff.
Small LDL particles are not what you want to see in this test, since they can clog arteries. The large LDL particles–even doctors call them “fluffy”– find it harder to get stuck in any arterial-wall damage, and might even be protective. Verdict: a high number of small LDL particles is BAD. One of my doctors describes the small particles as “BBs.” The big ones she called “beach balls.” Beach balls are much better than BBs and the LDL size should be greater than 20.5 nm.
Of this last image, you might ask, “mscellenea, what the HECK happened in the last few months?” At least if you were my doctor, that’s what you DID ask at my last appointment.
Here’s what happened.
I moved house in the week between Christmas and New Year’s 2014/15.
I barely had the strength to heft my Vitamix onto the counter, let alone use it. I was just grateful to see the back end of all those cardboard boxes. (I’m ashamed to say, I wasn’t finished unpacking until March. April and May, I just vegged out on the weekends.)
I was utterly faithful to my ketogenic diet, despite the holidays. No more than 30 grams of carbs per day. Lots of fat, but maybe not enough. Medium levels of protein.
What’s missing? Six months worth of bulletproof coffee. I got out of the habit of mixing it up each morning.
What else is missing? In the time covered by those blood charts, I lost 70 pounds.
This past month I got BACK in the bulletproof habit.
I have a lot of LDL particles to lose. Particularly those small buggers.
*For those people who think going gluten-free is a great way to lose weight, you are far different than I am if it works for you. For me, it was like mainlining sugar. back
** That acronym is the first initial of the four most common disease-modifying drugs prescribed for MS patients. There are now more of them, but these four inject-ables are where most people start. back
***I get regular tests to make sure I don’t have too much calcium owing to the high D levels. back
p.s. Here’s the theme song for this post. It’s a personal anthem. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a YouTube ad for some blood-sugar medicine as a warm-up act. I did, and it made me laugh.