Monday, April 8, 2013

You Should Drink Coffee and The Best Coffee to Drink

Bulletproof coffee photo via weightlossguru.com, keep forgetting to take my own
Saturday,  while getting a haircut, I flipped through a magazine. I wouldn’t suggest this diversion as a lot of cutting occurred as I read probably because I was annoyed with a certain article. Asked for her opinion of the Paleo diet an expert quoted offered “it’s never good to remove a whole category of food” a sentiment already filed in my collection of worthless diet advice. I’m not against category slashing. If there’s a reason to give up gluten or dairy or sugar that leaves you feeling better with improved digestion or more energy, breakups are fine. If you tell me you’re swearing off soda or icky sweeteners, cold cereal and “faux” whole wheat bread, I’m going to cheer you on versus hold you back. But if you tell me you’re giving up coffee, I’m going to ask why?

There is no problem with coffee, there’s a problem with too much coffee (over 2 cups) or what you put in your coffee. For example, that skim milk and Splenda should be at the top of your nutritional worry list. I’m not here to say “coffee in moderation is OK”. If you read regularly you know I’m not a fan of feeling “OK” or the useless word moderation. I’m here to say coffee can make you healthier.

Coffee may reduce your risk of type 2 Diabetes. With Parkinson’s, it lowers chances of both the disease and with some related movement symptoms as well. Coffee reduces the incidence of certain cancers such as bladder and kidney and impacts Alzheimer’s disease. Coffee is a well-established exercise helper or ergogenic aid. In fact, because tolerance increases I have athletes cut back (not cut out!) caffeine in the week leading up to an event so that they get the maximum effect on race day, sneaky. Interestingly coffee also affects GI flora. And Let’s not forget those Ikarians with the enviable life spans. “The Secret May Be in the Coffee

There are a few coffee considerations. First, your cup of coffee (and maybe your second) should be consumed by lunchtime or right after. I don’t want to boost your health and disrupt your sleep. Even if you think “caffeine doesn’t bother you” it may affect the quality of your sleep. Speaking of quality, all coffee isn’t the same. Choose organic coffee (coffee is a pesticidey crop) and be careful not to brew it using bleached coffee filters.Yes you can roast your own coffee, there are only so many DIY projects I can handle so I don't roast but chime in if you do.

I’ve been a splash of grass-fed, organic half and half, in my coffee girl for some time.  During a twitter chat, someone suggested coconut oil in coffee. Soon after this mention I was fielding questions about  "Bulletproof Coffee" from clients. This concept is now all over the blogosphere. I was intrigued as I had never heard of it but also curious that this mixture combines two foods that conventional wisdom tells us are bad butter! and coffee.

Bulletproof Coffee was developed by Dave Asprey, an entrepreneur who has lost a tremendous amount of weight and was greatly affected by a cup of “butter tea” he had while traveling.  Dr Weil actually wrote that butter in teas has long history and via Google I learned butter is used in coffee in Ethiopia and parts of India. The Bulletproof recipe calls for MCT oil and unsalted butter blended with coffee. I thought this sounded weird and frankly vile until I realized butter is made from cream. Bulletproof coffee is said to increase alertness, more than black coffee, to keep hunger at bay until lunchtime and to urge the body to use fat for fuel.

I tried this with coconut oil (coconut oil contains MCTs or medium chain triglycerides) as I like the coconutty taste and Kerrygold unsalted butter. I used 1tsp of each for starters blended with 1 mug’s worth of coffee.  Asprey calls for more butter (1Tbs) and oil (1-2 Tbs) but "digestively" I would work your way up. You combine the butter, oil and freshly brewed coffee in a blender for approximately 10 seconds. I have experimented with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom as well. You can stir the ingredients in your coffee, skipping the blending step, but it doesn’t incorporate well. When you blend it it froths up. Think of it as a coffee breakfast smoothie.

If you’re wondering how this works, coconut oil helps your body utilize fat for fuel, it’s also a natural immune booster. Grass fed butter is much higher in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which was a popular supplement a couple years back. CLA also helps reduce body fat, specifically abdominal fat. If you combine these two ingredients with coffee you have something that’s potentially life changing and “weight changing” as well. And if nothing else, it’s distracting me from my haircut.
Are you a coffee drinker? Have you ever tried to give up coffee? Why? Have you heard of Bulletproof coffee? Or encountered buttered tea or coffee in your travels?

30 comments:

  1. Did you read the information about CLA in the news last week? IT was sent to use via the AND daily news, and it basically said it's a trans fat (which I knew) and that it might not be as good as we think (potential downsides). Ugh, we can never win!
    I agree, go coffee! I'm drinking it right now (and although I'll admit to more like 3 cups a day....) and it's black. I can't stand anything in my coffee.

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  2. I use coconut oil as my moisturizer (face and body) & in my hair - never thought to put it in my coffee! I'm a splash of goats milk in my coffee gal.

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  3. Reading this as I drink my organic unbleached filter brewed coffee with whole grass fed milk :-). It drives my crazy when I read an otherwise well-advised health blogger slamming coffee. I'll give that bulletproof coffee a try, just to say I did. Curious about the GI flora effects (the link wasn't working). Cheers!

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  4. Just when you think you have a good idea of the basics of nutrition you read something about adding butter to your coffee! Thanks for posting - I love this idea...will definitely give it a try. I don't think I could drink this everyday instead of breakfast though. I really love my oats/buckwheat/nuts/seeds/almond milk cereal concoction with my coffee. BTW - love your blog - it's my go-to source for hot topics in the world of nutrition.

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  5. Ooh thank you, which Lauren is this? Trust me, my green smoothies aren't going anywhere but it's an interesting on the go option. Worth a try and really delicious.

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  6. Yeah- don't slam coffee just for the sake of it. Bulletproof is good but I decreased the fat for digestion's sake don't want to lose weight "that way".

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  7. PS will check the link, interesting it's said phenolic compounds are used almost like prebiotics.

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  8. swoosh some in the coffee, not as good if not blended but still worth a try.

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  9. I love grass fed butter, much more nutritious than grain fed (omega 3's etc) but will look into CLA. happy/shocked you have coffee with your GI system.

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  10. This is so good - in my late teens/early 20's there was a coffeehouse that served "Dutch Coffee" made with - yes butter. It was really tasty (partially because they added frothed milk, cinnamon and sugar, but it was the buttery taste that made it so much better than anything else).

    I've been experimenting with Choffey too - this weekend I mixed it into my regular grind and was in heaven, I'm thinking the butter might bring it to another level. And I even found a tea I like "Mate Chocolatte", though it will NEVER replace my morning coffee.

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  11. Hmm never heard of buttered coffee--but it sounds interesting. I just don't think I'd ever try it (brew coffee and then put it in the blender? too much clean up with a lil one ha). I just recently started to drink coffee (after having sleep-less nights with my daughter and needing a pick me up). I made the mistake of putting peppermint mocha CRAP in my coffee over xmas and it was incredible (and terribly bad for me). Ever since, it's been hard for me to drink black coffee. I found coffee mate makes a "natural" creamer with no artificial junk or trans fats--just lots of sugar. I like it but since I have a problem, I switched to lots of tea instead. Still pretty good and I don't need sugar to enjoy it. :)

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  12. So glad to hear this, I hear way too much about the negatives of coffee--not enough about the good. Curious about the GI flora thing too...I would've thought it was pretty harsh on the stomach?

    Butter! Crazy. Definitely going to have to try that. Maybe a weekend project.

    Also, I got my nutcase the other week and i LOVE it.

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  13. I love coffee and I love this post :)

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  14. Thanks Ayala, actually thought of you when we were away in Mexico, i will have to em you.

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  15. GI again really depends on quality, something harsh loaded with pesticides and chemicals or a good-quality, mold free organic coffee...from a single producer. Try the recipe use coconut oil (great flavor) and butter (makes it froth) and let me know.

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  16. I thought the same thing about the clean up but it's really a breakfast item more than a coffee and keeps you so, so full. No coffee mate for the new mama.

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  17. Trust me, I thought it sounded beyond weird and I'm not sure I can do the "whole" recipe but it's this smooth, treaty concoction that tones down the coffee and in my opinion intensifies alertness. I'm already a smoothie girl most days so this wasn't such a stretch. In fact coffee and smoothie- this is just one beverage.

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  18. Jen, when you look around you see from less healthy hot buttered rum to tea many beverages employ butter (or ghee). Many bulletproof fans use cocoa so I'm thinking the Choffey would be along those lines. And I love tea too, ginger and green, pu ehr you name it but that morning coffee makes life better.

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  19. Andrea@WellnessNotesApril 9, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    I drank coffee for 25 years and loved it. And I know about the health benefits. The problem was that I drank too much. I agree, one or two cups a day is perfect, and I did that for a while. Unfortunately, there would always be times in my life when my coffee consumption would increase to much more. And cutting back was always hard. I gave up coffee when I did a cleanse earlier this year, and giving up coffee was by far the hardest of all the things I gave up, and I decided to not go back to drinking coffee. I just don't want to go down that slippery slope again... The bulletproof coffee sounds interesting. I'd try it if I still drank coffee...

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  20. I am a latte drinker (usually I make my own at home but occasionally buy them), and I keep it to 3-4 times a week. I could never handle more than one a day, I'd get way too jittery! I have not tried butter or coconut oil but that sounds interesting and worth looking into.


    I am also here to confirm that coffee after about 1-2pm is a bad idea, at least for me. I have definitely found that it makes it more difficult for me to get to sleep if I drink it after 2pm. I typically keep it to first thing in the morning.

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  21. It's the Lauren from Toronto...www.laurenfollett.com :)

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  22. Thanks for the tip! As you know, you were the one who illuminated me about skipping skim. I love sweetened coffee, though. Is Stevia an alright substitute? Sweet guidance, please!

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  23. Did you meet someone named Ayala ;) Just kidding em me.

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  24. Stevia is totally "kosher" for coffee (love nustevia brand) BUT when you bulletproof, you don't need sweetening. I find when people move from skim and there's a creamy quality you can decrease sweetening.

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  25. I am so happy you mentioned a latte Jen b/c this is latte-like to me. And I'm with you, I used to be not late afternoon but coffee's effects linger and PM isn't advisable.

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  26. I hear you, if it's a trigger/takes on a life of its own sometimes better out, even when it's a perfectly healthy something. Love that you had lasting effects from your cleanse Andrea. I find being coffee-free prevents some people from cleansing at all.

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  27. Hi Lauren! I am slowly catching up with your posts (I've been delinquent!) and have been meaning to ask a question about the coffee... I can't handle the caffeine in coffee so when I have coffee i have decaf (and when at home always organic). If I drink decaf, am I still getting the benefits of coffee?

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  28. I'm a little late to this party but I don't understand how coffee is healthy. While I completely see the benefits, I also know that it artificially "revs" up your system. Your body starts to depend on it for energy - it taxes your adrenals. People get the shakes from coffee, headaches from withdrawal and need it to function. How can that be good? Women TTC and pregnant women are advised to abstain...

    A cup every so often probably won't hurt but how can it be considered healthy? I'm just trying to figure it out in my own head b/c of all the conflicting information out there...

    Having said that, I'm with you on pastured butter and coconut oil!

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  29. I am catching up on posts (took a break from blog reading) and I wanted to chime in on my experience. I did the coconut oil coffee in the morning (combined with Intermittent fasting) for almost a year and my mid-section got leaner than it's ever been. I also experienced an increase in thyroid function (my blood tests came back showing high after years of being normal- I am hashimotos). IF did NOT work for me in the long-run (that's a story for a different post). But the coconut oil coffee sure did! It tastes really good and I find I only need one cup, whereas with regular coffee I can drink a whole pot. I stopped doing it for about 5-6 months (another long story) and I have since gained some belly weight. Not sure the two are connected or if it's coincidence because my eating and exercise was in a bad place as well. I am returning to coconut oil coffee and will see if it improves the tummy area. Even if it doesn't, it tastes good and gives me more energy!

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