Q&A: Coffee, Kale, and Adrenal Fatigue

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This week is a special podcast comprised of questions from the Bulletproof community! Sources for the questions include e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, the forum and the blog.

Bulletproof Executive Radio at the iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

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What We Cover

  •   1:20 – What is the best way to store Bulletproof Coffee and can you pre-grind it and store it?
  •   4:10 – For people who like to do heavy workouts several times a week what do you recommend for  recovery and muscle building?
  •   5:30 – What’s the deal with drugs, specifically marijuana? Is it Bulletproof?
  •   7:14 – What about marijuana by-products like Hemp protein powder or Hemp seed oil?
  •   8:44 – How can I get a Bulletproof T-shirt like the one Dave had on the Joe Rogan Experience? 
  • 10:01 – What are the differences between the new Bulletproof Upgraded Brain Octane Oil and the Bulletproof MCT Oil? Does the Octane Oil replace the MCT Oil or is it mean to be an addition?
  • 13:10 – Can I add the Upgraded Whey into my coffee without pushing myself out of ketogenesis?
  • 14:28 – Why is there no Certified Organic label on the MCT Oil?
  • 15:10 – How do you make a proper iced, and blended iced, Bulletproof coffee without the fat sticking to the sides?
  • 16:22 – Is taking Bioidentical growth hormone safe?
  • 17:34 – In the Kale Shake you list raw eggs as a potential addition, would eggshells work as well?
  • 18:49 – I massage my kale before blending or sautéing it, do I still need to stew this before steaming, or should I just cut the massage out altogether? Also are the oxalates in baby kale less?
  • 19:43 – Should I make a kale shake in addition to or in lieu of Bulletproof coffee?
  • 20:35 – Are kale chips Bulletproof?
  • 22:19 – Why is Bulletproof Coffee NOT affected by the coffee fungus problem?
  • 24:21 – Changing your diet making you stinky?
  • 26:40 – Activated charcoal and its benefits
  • 30:24 – How do I recover if I eat in the red zone of Bulletproof Diet?
  • 32:03 – How to schedule Bulletproof Coffee and Diet around a crazy sleep schedule
  • 35:30 – Can I substitute kale with broccoli to avoid the toxins?
  • 35:50 – Adrenal Fatigue, how do you know you have it, what are some common causes, and how do I make it better?
  • 39:35 – How do you gain weight while Bulletproof?
  • 42:35 – Biohacks of the week and other conversation…

Links From The Show

Food & Supplements

Bulletproof Coffee

Hemp Force from Onnit

Bulletproof Upgraded Brain Octane Oil

Bulletproof XCT Oil

Upgraded Whey

Upgraded Collagen

Fatigued to Fantastic! Adrenal Stress End


Himalayan Salt


Bulletproof Kale shake

Bulletproof intermittent fasting

Bulletproof physician list

40 years of Zen in 7 days


Nalgene bottles for storing ground coffee for traveling

Bulletproof T-Shirts

Tinted sunglasses 

Questions for the podcast?

Leave your questions and responses in comments section below.

You can also ask your questions via Podcast Question formThe Bulletproof ForumTwitter, and Facebook!

Don’t forget to leave a ranking in iTunes. It helps more people find the show.

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By Dave Asprey

  • mikeymileos

    Great podcast, as always. Thanks for all the info!

    I was looking at the 7 day Advance Biofeedback Brainwave training site – as I’d love to do this at some point when I have the cash – and it occurred to me that a free alternative could be a 10 day silent meditation retreat (Vipassana). Have you heard of or considered this before?

    It might not be AS good, but is more accessible and still offers some benefit. Kinda like the difference between coconut oil vs MCT, or more aptly MCT vs Brain Octane.

    I’ve done almost 3 of them, and you definitely come out with a quiet mind, and in an incredibly blissful state of peace.

    The only problems I see are that they feed you vegan food and you can’t really control that aspect of it, although they do cater for dietary needs, but it’s usually for people who have illnesses and such. Perhaps people can ask if they can do it as a raw vegan, and use it as a 10 day cleanse period, like you’ve suggested you can use raw veganism for instead of an actual lifestyle change.

    When I recommend it, I also suggest focusing on the method and taking whatever you like from the lectures at night, but more focusing on the method.

    They have places all over the world too. You can check them out at http://dhamma.org

    What are your opinions on this?

    • A.Stevenson

      I’ve been a Dharma Practitioner (ie. a Buddhist) for a decade and that’s honestly the big thing that’s kept me from doing more retreats (which I’d desperately like to/need to do).

      The people who run these retreats unfortunately can’t see past the surface level of “meat = dead animal” to clue into the fact that more animals actually died to put those rice puffs and strawberries on their plate.

      The first few I went to I got tremendous cognitive benefits but physically came out feeling like I’d been run over by a truck and every time I caught a cold the following week (immune system in the toilet after no meat or fat).

      I’d really like Dave to expand some more on what the Advanced Biofeedback Brainwave Training actually entails since he mentions it all the time. We’re obviously all not internet millionaires who have the luxury of being able to part with 15 grand (however great the benefits) and if there’s a way to piece together a poor-man’s version (I’ve incorporated a lot of cheap bio- and neuro-feedback into my meditation practice already) I’d like to attempt it. Even knowing only what the actual outlined process they run you through is, without the nitty gritty details, would be of enormous benefit to me personally at least as I’m sure with what I know I could fill in the gaps.

      So, I guess that’s my question for the podcast:

      Dave, taking all the above into consideration, can you describe what this 7-day retreat actually entails in any kind of detail beyond “I did 40 years of Zen meditation in a week!” and can you suggest any ways to cobble together a cheaper alternative for those of us who aren’t rich?

      • mikeymileos

        From what I understand it’s like a super advanced emWave2.

        It’s an fMRI that is connected to your head, and you watch it live as you think things, and see how your brain is affected.

        Then I guess they make an application over the top of this in what I would imagine would be “good” neural connections and when you hit them some sound occurs, and the more you hit it the louder/stronger the sound gets. And then you spend 7 days trying to make that sound as loud/strong as you can.

        This is what I gleamed from the first JRE.

        • A.Stevenson

          Thanks, Mikey.

          It would seem the 15 grand is somewhat warranted then to rent the fMRI for the entire week.

  • Trenna Berry

    Hi, this is the RN whose question you read on the podcast. Thanks so much for reading my question regarding bulletproof lifestyle and shift work, however while info about sleep supplementation is helpful (I’m a big believer in all Dave mentioned!); I REALLY want to know how I should eat/fast with this type of schedule?

    Also, while Dave suggested keeping low lighting while working at night, I have also read that light therapy should happen during these shifts and since the sleep hours are during the day….I/we should make the room as dark as possible during the day time sleep hours and wear the tinted glasses from the time I get off work in the morning til the time I go to sleep. Thoughts?? Particularly about when to eat/fast/drink bulletproof coffee!!! HELP!!!

  • MoNelly

    Hey Dave, any chance you’ll offer green coffee beans for us home roasters who like being bulletproof?

  • Alec

    Great show, I look forward to more Q&A episodes. PLEASE talk about juicing (not blending). I bought a juicer, I love guzzling that frothy green stuff and I NEED to know how bulletproof it is. Am I assaulting my body with oxalic acid? What are the best veggies to juice?

    Thanks for the info, your take on juicing would be MUCH appreciated!

  • Jay

    Dave – curious to hear more about the adrenal stress formula. There area TON of very negative reviews of that product on Amazon and people saying they became sick after taking it..,any idea what’s up w that? Are there any other companies that make similar product?

    • abright

      I’ve taken adrenal support supplements from Fatigued to Fantastic and from Solaray- subjectively I like solaray better.

      • golder

        Really want to try this but I’m scared now because of the reviews. Is it just this supplement that makes people sick? Are there any alternatives? Please someone help, would really appreciate it!

        • abright

          I’ve taken both solaray adrenal caps and from Fatigued to Fantastic adrenal support and have had 0 stomach issues, whether I take them with food or without.

        • Xin

          Hello to everyone in this thread: I’ve had success with adrenal cortex extract from grass-fed cows (try either nutri-meds, or Dr. Ron’s), and in different ways with nettle seed with the calyx.

          I prefer ACE (adrenal cortex extract) but prefer to be on nothing at all. The ACE & nettle are supposedly (i.e. I don’t have enough of my own understanding to state this so am repeating others’ statements/opinions) “very safe — enough so that children can take ACE.”

          I have metal poisoning and am embarking on frequent-dose oral chelation. I think mercury & arsenic poisoning is messing physically with many of the hormonal pathways linked to the adrenals & pituitary in me, although stress and personal work with PTSD probably also accounts for ~40-60% of adrenal issues.

          I’ve had shaky results with adaptogens, and my personal theories are that adaptogens affect individuals differently across a wide range of experiences.

          General word of caution: ***Supplement/test (salivary cortisol) adrenals to optimal levels first BEFORE treating the thyroid; kicking the thyroid into gear can further burn out the adrenals otherwise, whether you immediately perceive it or not. (Unless, of course, you have real reasons to believe that your case is rather unique.)

        • Xin

          *I should clarify — I prefer to be on nothing at all because I worry quite a lot about downregulating my adrenals via engineering dependence on long-term supplemental herbs, supplements, etc.

          On the other hand, I don’t have severe adrenal fatigue, so I can tolerate not being on support all the time while trying to rebuild (and chelate for) my internal adrenal function.

          (Probably mid-level adrenal fatigue. Nothing close to Addisonian, and I don’t take cortisol (“Cortef (Rx)”/hydrocortisone) — I especially don’t like the downregulation implications of this and have only needed a very very small — .75(mg?) to the typical 5 (mg?) when I did take it for a brief period of time.)

  • Jesper E

    Great to hear you answer some general questions.

    I am wondering why most yogi og qigong masters live on a more or less vegan diet – do you know why? I’m very curious, hope you have a guess, thanks!

  • LeMonocledemonOncle

    Perhaps this is a worth a longer blogpost, but you might have heard of a new book in which the author (Dr. Paul Offit) argues that, with very few exceptions, supplements generally do more harm than good: Killing Us Softly: The Sense And Nonsense Of Alternative Medicine, by Dr Paul Offit. There is an edited excerpt here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/07/vitamins-stop-taking-the-pills

    You, of course, recommend using a good number of supplements. Dr. Offit, I take it, would probably disagree with some or most those recommendations. Some of the claims in his book appear to be unwarranted generalizations/extrapolations from known dangers, such as the danger of supplementing with beta carotene. But there are other points that I, at least, haven’t heard before and that seem to be of theoretical (and practical) interest. Here is an example:

    “…free radicals aren’t as evil as advertised. Although it’s clear that free radicals can damage DNA and disrupt cell membranes, that’s not always a bad thing. People need free radicals to kill bacteria and eliminate new cancer cells. But when people take large doses of antioxidants, the balance between free radical production and destruction might tip too much in one direction, causing an unnatural state in which the immune system is less able to kill harmful invaders.”

    I — and I’m sure other readers of yours — would be curious to hear your thoughts on this and/or on the Offit book in general, when you have some time to look into it sufficiently. Thanks.

    • RebelLibertarian

      Yup. And plants do not have the best interests of their predators at heart.

      • RebelLibertarian

        And if the OT’s fire-demon demiurge created the world, he sure as @(#*$ didn’t have our best interests at heart either.

  • Mitch Fletcher

    Phenylated GABA?

    Why are you bothering to make a new version of this…
    It already exists: Phenibut (ß-phenyl-?-aminobutyric acid).

    It is a very powerful anxiolytic, although you will build a tolerance to its effects if you take it daily.

  • Julia

    Dave, two questions:

    1. How can one tell when they are in ketosis?

    2. If a person wants to lose weight via bulletproof fasting but they don’t drink coffee, what alternative would you suggest as a medium by which to consume the butter & MCT?

    • Rob Hamilton

      I use 2 tea bags of Roastaroma tea. Tastes like coffee enough for me with no caffein.


    • Troy Stanley

      Testing your ketogenic state can be done via urinalysis to test for wasted ketone bodies in your urine or you can test for the level of ketone bodies available in the blood via a prick test as measured in millimolars.

      Testing the urine is the less accurate test of the two tests. The success of the test also depends on the individual person. Some people never register on the Ketostix(Bayer Brand) Ketone Litmus Strip. Most people do, however. It’s a very basic test and offers simply an indicator of how many ketone bodies are being wasted through the urine. However, it is not accurate because the levels of ketones can be misrepresented depending on the hydration state of the, uh, pisser. After being in ketosis for 3 – 6 weeks the strips may not register at all. See work by Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek Low Carb Performance on YouTube for more information about Keto-adaption. Also, http://ketopia.com/why-you-need-to-stop-worrying-about-the-color-of-your-ketostix/

      Testing the blood with a glucose/ketone blood meter is the most accurate method. You can actually see how many ketones are in your blood available for systems that use them for fuel. You’re fully keto-adapted at between .5 mMol and 3 mMol. Above that I think you need to seek medical attention as you are either starving or entering diabetic Ketoacidosis. But, I don’t know enough to comment about that lol.

  • Thanks for addressing how to gain weight. I lost quite a bit when I discovered I was gluten sensitive (6’3″ from 185 to 160, size 34 to 31 – a “hard gainer”). Definitely at that stage now where it’s uncomfortable to sit.

    I have either sweet potatoes or white rice every night and sometimes for lunch. Last month I really packed on the food and was able to gain a few pounds, but lost it pretty quickly – probably because I’ve been having just the Bulletproof Coffee in the mornings (mostly because I have more energy that way, but also convenience and budget reasons)…

    So my question is, based on your recent breakfast post, I’m guessing adding collagen or some other protein in the morning to eat along with the coffee would be necessary in my situation?


    • I should add that Metametrix reported a parasite so I just finished a 60 day parasite herbal treatment. I’m also dairy, egg, and yeast sensitive/intolerant/allergic. Otherwise I’d be eating eggs in the morning.

      BPD has been great with these intolerances and I’ve had several days of “Wow, that’s what it feels like to feel great?! I want more!”

      • abright

        I’m curious to know how gaining goes after the parasite protocol! Congrats on figuring that out!

        • I’ll probably post something in the forum at the end of August sharing my experience since the end of September. Been on BPD for approx 45 days so far

        • Yikes! I had the chance to weigh myself yesterday and I’m down to 152… so I guess that answers my question: I’ll be eating breakfast with my coffee (I suppose it was a silly question)

  • Matt Monk

    How do I collect and record my data in a way that makes it usable or valid medically speaking? Im assuming my bathroom scale wont do… Im a 35 year old male who is 45lbs overweight (in my estimation). Im 5’11” and currently weigh 250. I have an appointment with Dr Rocky Patel this thursday to discuss my current health before I start the bulletproof diet. I would also like to record my data before and during the diet. I plan on doing moderate exercise along with the diet. What types of things should I be measuring (I am far from a biohacker) and how do I make my data more ‘valid’ or usable to the medical community?

  • Julia


    Should I avoid taking activated charcoal when I am eating healthy,
    bulletproof foods…. Even when detoxifying via ketosis? Does the charcoal absorb
    everything, toxins and beneficial nutrients alike?

    If I eat a crappy meal with bad oils, should I counteract
    with both grass-fed butter and activated charcoal?

    • Sally_Oh

      This is my question. My understanding is that charcoal absorbs everything, good and bad. Great for controlling vomiting or diarrhea. Not sure it should be used for b.o. and would like to know more about this. One son has mega b.o. and won’t use deodorant because of the chemicals in it. I use coconut oil myself and never have b.o. anymore since cleaning up my diet.

  • Sean


    Thanks for the reminder about mineral salt in the morning. Did this a year ago, and didn’t notice a benefit. Did this the past two mornings, and NOW I can drink coffee in the morning without sleepless nights.

    1/2tsp salt first thing in the morning –> Surge of relaxation –> Adrenals restored –> better tolerance for coffee…and chocolate

  • Nick

    Regarding the part of gaining weight. Why do I want to enter ketosis once a week? And from my understanding it is when you are in ketosis that you have improved brain function… Im a naturally skinny guy and I’ve become even skinnier on the bulletproof diet. Now I weigh 64 kg and Im 181 cm tall.
    Right at this moment I am pretty sure im suffering from adrenal fatigue after the explaination given by Dave. I’ve been following the bulletproof diet for over 6 months. I do once aweek high intensity training and go for a 1.5 km run aswell.

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  • I wish there were dates on these podcasts. The “X years ago” on the comments only give a ballpark idea…