Bulletproof Video: Get Stable Energy & Perform Better

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Here’s a video of a talk that I gave recently about one of the major unidentified energy-sapping problems.  It will revolutionize the way you think about food and cholesterol, and along the way it will help you troubleshoot how your think and perform.

As an example, I was on the phone this week with Ben Rubin, CTO of sleep hacking company Zeo, going over his personal biohacking regimen with him.  He’s on fire already and I’m helping him tune his program to be even more impactful.  He’ll be blogging about that on The Bulletproof Executive in the coming weeks.

He asked me, “How do I stay in that high performance state for even longer?  I need to avoid the downtime that sometimes hits me. Last night, about 5pm, I just zoned out and didn’t do anything for several hours.  It was like I was just too slow and foggy to feel like my normal high productive self.”

It’s a common feeling.  You’re rocking it one day, and then you just hit a wall and crash.  If it happens every day at the same time, it’s probably blood sugar, but if it’s random, look at what you ate in the hours before and see if it’s any of the high-risk foods I identify in this video.

Foods like chocolate, nuts, coffee, cheese, and processed meats very frequently contain high levels of neuroactive chemicals made by the molds and fungi that inhabit them.  Many of these are active in a parts per billion level.  It’s one of the prime reasons that you will perform *much* better on a fresh & local diet.  Processed foods usually contain detectable levels of toxic molds that affect your brain.

In Ben’s case, he’d eaten some cashews a half hour before he hit the wall.  Cashews are a healthy nut when they’re raw, fresh, and stored properly in a refrigerator after they were shelled.  My own experience tells me that about 60% of the cashews you can buy contain toxins at a level high enough to lower your performance.

We’re not taught that foods have an immediate and noticeable impact on our energy level and mental performance, but they do. Watch the video to learn more about where to find these hidden performance-hindering substances, and what to do to block them. Then, start noticing whether Starbucks makes you feel worse that that high-end coffee roaster down the street.  Keep in mind that not every piece of chocolate has the same level of chemicals in it.  By choosing higher quality foods, you can perform better.  It can help you avoid *hours* of downtime.

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By Dave Asprey

  • Zingbo

    Scary stuff. Do some spices represent big mycotoxin risks as well? (I would think that the combination of ground powders made in large quantities could be a problem). Also, any thoughts on vacuum packed grass fed beef jerky – is that more likely to be clean or contaminated?

  • ArmiLegge

    Great post Dave!I’ve often wondered about the importance of molds and fungi and it’s effect on the human body. Especially after you being to dive deeper into the major importance of gut flora and microbial activity in the body. There have to be some effects after eating foods that contain these foreign microbes.I always store coffee in either the freezer or fridge, and same thing with nuts. I love cashews, and have experienced this before. I’ve actually done a little testing and found that the longer they sat out, weeks, days, etc. The more I got that unfocused and irritable state.Excellent work Dave.

    • Dave Asprey

      Armi (www.armilegge.com), that’s awesome feedback. I now know dozens of people who’ve confirmed this problem with nuts, particularly cashews. I wish food processors would figure this out and fix it. It’s not hard to do if you pay attention to the supply chain and are aware of the problem.

    • Brian Pennington

      I’ve read that storing coffee in the fridge actually causes moisture and can ruinf the taste as well. It was recomended to store beans in a air-tight container in a cool dry place.
      Any thoughts on this?

      • Dave Asprey

        Brian, storing in fridge can cause condensation, yes. I freeze some beans in vacuum pack but usually store up to 1 week on the shelf away from moisture sources. Fridge flavor on coffee is gross.

    • Armi, I’m glad you wrote this! I store my bulletproof coffee in the freezer and wondered if this was a good idea.

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  • Andy Newport

    Hey Dave just a heads up that the vid on this page is cutting out at about 15 mins in where you’re talking about cholesterol; it looks like the file you’re serving up is incomplete (or possibly corrupted), a direct download of the file puts it at about 80meg.

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  • Dave Asprey

    Andy, the new video is updated with the complete version!

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  • Jason

    Thanks, Dave!

    I live in an old victorian in SF, and am going to make sure that I get my place tested. Can’t wait to share results with my landlord. 😛

    Also, can you tell us when/how we should take those supplements? Should I take charcoal, bentonite, etc. everyday? Or, should I only take them when I think I’ve been exposed via a restaurant meal etc?


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  • “Many of these are active in a parts per billion level.” are there specific studies that show harmful effects of those substances in those low concentration. If so, could you link them for further reading?

  • Jolie

    Thank you for sharing this, very powerful. I work with allergies, eczema and asthma clients as a health coach. Mold is always a consideration, this 30 minute presentation greatly broadened my horizons. I do find however, that healing the gut with superfoods strengthens the immune system and greatly decreases my client’s reactions to the molds. It looks like you have experienced the same thing by eating higher quality foods. Congratulations to you and thank you for this information.

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  • Twagner1

    At first, it seems a little daunting and discouraging: to have to do all of this WORK just to eat and live optimally. The you realize that the fox is in the henhouse and that people who are trying to sell you something are generally willing to sell you anything, even poison. Even if they know it is poison. So really, it becomes this sort of antagonistic view of life. Me or them. The point is, you had better have a plan for yourself for just about everything, because if you don’t, somebody else has a plan for you and it is not in your best interest.

    • Dave Asprey

      You certainly do have to keep your wits about you. Staying calm and making informed decisions is key to staying Bulletrpoof 🙂

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  • Naomi

    My jaw just about dropped when i read the words: “chocolate, nuts, coffee,cheese ,and processed meat”. These are exactly the same type of foods you are supposed to avoid according to that Israeli doctor Bruce Semon in his book “Feast Without Yeast” for the same reason: mycotoxins. I had been exploring his work because of my son with mild autism. I love the upgraded coffee,btw, and so does my 11 year old daughter who found 1/2 a cup of it sitting cold on the counter (been sitting there all day). I pointed out to her that despite having sat there all day it still did not have that nasty film that inevitably forms over the surface of old coffee.She picked it up to take a sip, got a surprised look on her face, and then drained the rest of the cup. She said “That’s really good coffee!”

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  • Thank you for the tremendous resource this site is. I’ve been devouring it over the last week.

    I developed gluten sensitivity and tests revealed a parasitic infection that I just completed a one month Phytofuge treatment for. Feeling much better.

    However, I’m trying to sort out nasal problems. I’ve had problems with mucus sticking in my throat for as long as I can remember. I have to hack and spit them up at least once a day, usually more. I keep searching online and haven’t really found any answers. You mentioned testing for MARCONS – is this only recommended if you’re suffering from obvious signs of serious immune problems? If not, do you know where I can get more info on it?


    • Gail Haugen-Poste

      Brandon, have you read anything from Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker? He has a treatment program and talks about MARCONS and what to use to treat it. Here’s his website: http://www.survivingmold.com/

      • Thanks Gail, I’ll take a look. Since my previous comment 10 months ago, I’ve adopted the bulletproof diet and now have very little mucus problems. Can’t pinpoint the exact fix, but it’s cumulative, along with high amounts of vitamin C

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  • SeanRippin

    Resources from the above?. . . . .

  • Kath

    Cashew nuts will burn your skin if you eat them without roasting or cooking them first. I grew up in Costa Rica, we had a cashew tree in the backyard and that was a basic lesson about tropical fruit. Some information here http://www.wisegeek.org/are-raw-cashews-really-poisonous.htm

  • fatso

    Level 1 in the Asprey Coctail….do you take all of these or a combination of some?

  • Terram Lux

    Got any studies to back up these claims on molds and fungis in our cheeses, nuts, etc.? Not that I doubt it ever happens but to what degree if at all. Just curious. There are all kinds of foxes and all kinds of hen houses.

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  • Jak Pli

    Yo Dave, what do you know of brine-ing and it’s benefits on nuts. We’ve been doing this and ‘raw cooking’ all of our nuts for years… so you may want to amend the recommendation on raw nuts — particularly with almonds – which have arsinic in their skin.

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  • Vivian

    I know this is an older video but can you address Kombucha? I brew it.. drink it and now I am wondering about the “health” benefits, even though I seem to tolerate it well.

  • moors

    The video doesn’t work. Are there foods other than “chocolate, nuts, coffee, cheese, and processed meats” that may contain harmful levels of mold ? Can cocoa or cocoa butter be one of those foods ? How to choose these foods when buying other than trying or choosing the expensive brand ? Are all of these foods suggested to be stored in the freezer or the fridge ? Which ones in the freezer and which ones in the fridge ? Please add a link to more info about the neuroactive chemicals made by the molds and fungi.

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  • This is, like everything on the blog, incredible information. Is there a post somewhere that lists all the ways of binding molds, what to use internally, around the house, on food, etc.? There was so much great info on the video that it would be great to have it in written form. Thanks Dave, you’re doing us an amazing service.

  • Greg

    “Detectable levels of toxic molds that affect your brain” That makes no sense. But is sounds scary. I can see how you’ve made tons of money mixing people’s lack of knowledge about biology, fear, pseudoscience and a big stinky mound of self improvement voodoo. Great work! Hope your biology hacks (LOL) keep upgrading your brains. Haaha

    • bp101

      You don’t sound as though you have a bone to pick or anything like that.
      Love it when people rip something apart and offer no argument to back up their view.

    • Jp

      I have over 16 year experience in identifying relationships between the environment and behavior. At first I could not believe it, but I can be exposed predictably to water damaged buildings or even my air filter and have neuro effects. This is very real. Early on I lost words and my speech. Due to diligence and especially the work of shoemaker I am 90 percent better and functioning… As soon as I hit an old building, school etc… Bam. Like clockwork… Neuro symptoms fatigue. I take binders, use infared sauna, get a colonics, bam, I snap back again. This is a horrible condition, but with reading and practice and places like this, I keep getting better.

    • M. Ratcha

      Ever heard of LSD? It’s basically a mold toxin, from the rye mold ergot. Yep, mycotoxins can affect your brain. If you doubt this, take two tabs of acid and call me in the morning.

  • Jake

    Hey Dave, thanks for all the great info. Over the past 2 years I’ve been dealing with Mold exposure along with Candida and Histoplasma infections. The stuff that has been incredible for me is a pharmaceutical primarily used by veterinarians called Lufenuron. The closest studies out there are on primates, but it’s been amazingly effective for me, clearing up in weeks what just diet and supplements couldn’t do in a year. Just thought I’d share with you and the bulletproof community, hopefully it helps someone out.

    • Gail Haugen-Poste

      Jake, I too have had toxic mold exposure. For people who don’t believe: there’s a urine test that measures mycotoxins and toxins are stored in fat. Our brains potentially consist of 60% fat.
      Can I ask you what treatments you tried prior to Lufenuron and what exactly cleared up for you? Have you had any side effects from Lufenuron?

      • Jake

        Hi Gail, I apologize for the late reply. I had tried a number of natural fungal remedies, some quite powerful ones, but I had not been on a pharmaceutical until Lufenuron. I have a pretty persistent fungal infection in my brain and pituitary, the lufenuron has kept it quite under control, and will hopefully knock it out soon 100%. Hope this helps.

  • Evil Genius

    I get all of my almonds from a farmer in California (truly raw)and I was wondering if there is a “test” I could do to determine if there are any of the toxins and molds in them that you speak of.

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  • John

    Where are you getting the information about these high levels of mycotoxins? I found this that showed it happens at low frequencies and no further studies were needed. I assume I assumed the roasting process would easily remove anything on the chaff. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7451391

  • kristin

    Didn’t some lab run tests on Starbucks coffee and determined there were no mycotoxins in their roasted beans? Joe Rogan did some kind of segment and mentioned it.

    • lisa

      that’s great news

  • debbie

    What is the most effective way to test for mold in ones home?

  • Michael Neville

    I am reading that cashews and cashew butter is potentially toxic. I also know they are in Bulletproof bars. If they are potentially harmful why are they in such a clean product? ~Thank you,