In order to be Bulletproof, the first thing you must do: stop doing things that make you weak!

Today we’re talking about how to be bulletproof so you, too, can crush it in all areas of your life!

My guest today is Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof, creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio. and author of New York Times bestselling book The Bulletproof Diet.


Dave was a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who spent two decades and over $300,000 to hack his own biology. How did he do this?

Well, Dave lost 100 pounds without counting calories or excessive exercise. He used techniques to boost his IQ by 20 points, and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently. Learning to do this transformed him into a better entrepreneur, husband, and father.

And, today here’s some of the awesome stuff he’s going to share with you:

  • How the Bulletproof diet can help you lose weight and change your health
  • “Trigger” foods to look out for that can cause bad reactions in your body
  • The inflammatory disease that’s triggered by nightshade vegetables in 1 out of 5 people(!)
  • The precursor condition to insulin resistance you’ve never heard of…
  • What the heck…can green peppers make you fat?
  • How many hours a night does a “healthy” person need to sleep on average?
  • The “innocuous” habit you’re doing before bed that’s keeping you from sleeping well
  • Why conventionally made coffee causes you to crash (hint: it’s not the caffeine!)
  • Stop putting this common ingredient in your cup of coffee (it makes coffee antioxidants unavailable to your gut, which kind of defeats the purpose…)
  • The amazing compound in Vanilla beans that can help you get to sleep
  • How the Bulletproof diet differs from the Paleo diet

The ability to BRING it!

In a nutshell, Dave’s philosophy boils down to a few simple but powerful points:

  1. It’s easier to remove the things that are making you sick than to add in the things that will make you healthy. This is the whole basis of The Bulletproof Diet. Try eliminating common trigger foods for a few weeks and see how you feel, then slowly add them back in one-by-one.
  2. Exercising and fasting all the time puts your body in a state of chronic stress and is actually counterproductive to losing fat and getting healthy. Instead, try upping your healthy fats intake, reducing carbs, exercising less frequently, and sleeping more.
  3. Being Bulletproof isn’t just about bodily health. It’s also about mastering your mind and emotions. That’s why Dave traveled to Tibet to learn how to meditate (and discovered the precursor to his now-famous Bulletproof coffee!) “A healthy jerk is still a jerk.”
  4. What the Bulletproof diet and lifestyle gives you is, quite simply, the ability to BRING it!

Items mentioned on the show

Additional links to check out




Dr. Trevor:

Hi there I’m Dr. Trevor Cates, welcome to the Spa Dr. podcast.

Today we’re talking about how to be bullet proof, so you can crush it in all areas of your life. My guest today is Dave Asprey founder of Bulletproof, creator of the wildly popular bullet proof coffee, host of the number one health podcast Bullet Proof radio, and author of the number one New York Times best selling book The Bullet Proof Diet.

Dave was a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who spent two decades, and over $300,000 to hack his own biology. Dave lost 100 pounds without counting calories or excessive exercise, he used techniques to boost his IQ by 20 points, and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently. Learning to do this transformed him into a better entrepreneur, husband, and father.

Today he shares how he did, and how you can too. Dave was in Park city, so we did his interview in person on the Gondola.

In the interview Dave shares his keys to taking control of, and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work together in unison, helping you execute at level far beyond what you’d expect without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions. This is what it means to be bullet proof, so I hope you enjoy this interview with Dave Asprey.


Dr. Trevor:
Are you ready?

Yeah, I’m ready. Let’s see. I’m going to put my shades on, it’s too bright.

Dr. Trevor:
Okay. Hey, everyone, I’m here with Dave Asprey and we are in Park City.


Dr. Trevor:
We’re on the gondola and we decided to just take this on the road. Dave is in Park City visiting so we decided to do the interview in person.

In person with all these amazing scenery around us. It’s way better than a studio, thank you.

Dr. Trevor:
Absolutely, yeah. We’re talking about how to be Bulletproof, right?


Dr. Trevor:
Okay. Let’s start it with your background because I know a lot of people know you but some people don’t. They don’t know your story. Why Bulletproof and how did you get there?

Well, I used to weigh 300 pounds and I had massive brain fog in my mid 20’s. I was becoming really successful with my career but I was struggling greatly both with weight loss and just with having enough energy to make it through the day. I got a little concerned, and being a computer hacker kind of guy, I went a little overboard. I ended up spending, now, it’s north of half a million dollars and 15 years doing everything possible to hack my body, to actually get control of my biology.

What I learned came from more than 10 years of running an anti-aging research group called the Silicon Valley Health Institute and I learned from hundreds of top experts. I also read thousands of books and papers and spent the money to get my own data and to do the experiments to see what was actually going on. What I learned really pissed me off. I learned that if someone had told me all these stuff when I was 16 or 20 that I didn’t need to spend tons of money and I didn’t need to struggle or suffer as much as I had.

It was just bad information mostly from like food marketing companies. These have terribly influenced what everyone thinks is healthy. I can’t believe it’s not butter was somehow made healthy when it turns out it’s butter was actually what was healthy the whole time. A lot of people made a lot of money making me fat and I still think that’s okay and I also felt guilty because I guess, I’m not trying hard enough.

There was a time, I worked out an hour and a half a day, six days a week and I ate about 1,800 calories, low fat and I did this for about a year and a half and I was so focused like, “I’m going to get strong, I’m going to get lean,” and what I got was … Well, I got so strong that I could bench press all of my thin friends while they eat french fries and I was eating like the little low fat salad. It wasn’t okay but I was still fat and I just felt, “Maybe it’s because I should have eaten only 1,500 calories. Maybe I should have worked out seven days a week.”

That’s not sustainable. It’s not good for you. Actually, it harms you and this is what most people do now. We’re taught to exercise way too much and that somehow that makes us a good person and to eat nothing and somehow that’s going to make us a good person. Here’s the deal, the meat in your body, it responds to the environment around you. If you tell it that there is a tiger chasing you every day because you’re super over-exercising, and you tell it that there is a famine because you only eat raw kale all the time, you should expect to be chronically stressed all the time and you should expect not to get the results you want. That’s what exactly had happened to me.

Dr. Trevor:
Yes, then you wanted to make sure that for other people, they didn’t have to go through everything that you went through, that you wanted to share what you do and you’re continuing to always … I mean, I know you’re always out there trying the latest everything to see what you can do to enhance performance, be the best you can be and live to a 180, right?

That’s actually my goal and why it’s not 175? I don’t know, 180 seemed like a good thing. It’s what you do when you’re skiing, right?

Dr. Trevor:
Well, I think that a lot of people think about living to 80 which is so young, really, so 180 is even better.

Yeah, the other thing is I was older when I was young. I had arthritis in my knees when I was 14. I had many of the chronic degenerative diseases by the time I was in my mid 20’s. That sucked and I don’t ever want to experience that again. I’m 43 and I have more energy and more testosterone and just more of all the things that give you zest for life than I did when I was young. It’s within our control far more than most people believe.

I’m going to do every single thing possible technologically, personally, stress-wise, meditation-wise, everything. I’m pulling all the stops. I don’t care about this bizarre science fetishism that says you can only change one variable at a time. The number of variables that are changing around us right now as we sit in this gondola is profound like what is the mix of exhaust gases we’re breathing right now coming through this little window? I don’t know, but it’s a variable and we’re not tracking it. What is the temperature? What color is the light? What about the mechanical vibrations, do those matter? No one has ever measured that, so we’re always testing tens of thousands of variables.

My goal in living to as long as I can with full energy is to take every variable that we think might matter and to maximize it for my benefit, so that I can feel amazing and I can do the most good and have the most fun along the way. Be a better dad, be a better entrepreneur and just help more people. To only do one thing so I can see if that was the one that worked, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s not how we are. We’re always doing tens of thousands of things. I just wanted to do the tens of thousands of things that give me the most energy all the time.

Dr. Trevor:
Yeah. That’s so inspirational too, to see you doing that paving the way for everybody and you’re probably learning some things just don’t work and then other things that do and then sharing those with people. This is what it means to be Bulletproof, right?

In order to be Bulletproof, the first thing you do is stop doing things that make you weak. It’s easier to set down a big ball and chain you’re carrying that you don’t know you’re carrying than it is to become strong enough to carry a ball and chain. Most people, they think about, “How do I get stronger,” than actually, “How do you get less weak,” is easier and then how do you get stronger after that. Dropping the habits, dropping the foods, dropping behaviors that are taking away for your performance, that’s the simplest thing you could ever do. Then, adding in the things that give you the most improvement for the least effort is the next thing you do.

Most of the other common things you’ll read out there like “4-Hour Body” which is a really good book and Tim Ferriss’ book, the one that I recommend to people, it very much felt like, “Here are all the things you need to get strong,” but the part about, “How do you stop doing things that make you weak,” isn’t as pronounced as it is in Bulletproof.

In Bulletproof, it turns out the things that make you weak, Trevor, they might be a little bit different than things that make me weak because we have different genetic histories. My immune system is going to respond to some foods in a way that yours doesn’t and vice versa. That’s sad. We know that there are huge numbers of foods that are trigger foods for lots of people, things like nightshade family, foods that are high in oxalic acid. A lot of people don’t even know what these are who are listening necessarily.

However, the important thing is that maybe one in five people, rheumatoid arthritis is triggered by nightshade family vegetables. That’s because the polysaccharides, these little complex sugars that surround your cells, they stick to some of the proteins in these foods. These foods are not food for you. In fact, they’re not foods for me because I’m one of those people. When I eat those foods…

The lectins that are in this foods, this is the kind of protein that is sugar-seeking. When it sees the kind of sugar that my cells expressed because that’s what’s in my genes, they stick to my cells and create free radicals, basically inflammation. That means that if I eat bell peppers … I grew up in New Mexico. I love New Mexico green chile. It was probably making me fat, because when lectins stick to those things, it causes leptin resistance. Leptin resistance, as you know, being a doctor and all, that comes before insulin resistance and essentially, you end up becoming fat because of that.

That’s 20% of people. If you’re sensitive, how are you going to know? Well, there might be some tests for some of these things but the easiest thing to do, and this is the whole idea behind the Bulletproof Diet. The reason I wrote this book is I identified all the common things that are triggers for people. I said, “Why don’t you just go for two weeks with none of them?” You’re going to eat like a few of the best vegetables, very high quality meat and lots of clean fats. When you do that, you’d be like, “Whoa. I felt different.” You might be the 1 in 50 who’s like, “I didn’t feel any difference.” If so, like you have the best genes and your grandparents probably are Viking stock and ate only like raw seal meat their entire life and you inherited that epigenetically, I want to trade genes with you.

If you’re not that person though, some of the things you’re doing are making you weak. I just want to show you in two weeks with the Bulletproof Diet, there’s something there and the way you feel after you have Bulletproof Coffee which is like the gateway drug to feeling good, if you feel that way, that’s what you’re supposed to feel all the time. That kind of energy, that’s your natural state.

I didn’t know that. I never have that. When I was 12 years old, I didn’t have that. I didn’t have it when I was 25 years old. I made $6 million when I was 26, Trevor. I lost it when I was 28. Part of the reason I lost it is that my brain wasn’t working very well. I didn’t make good decisions because when you have the wrong foods, when you have toxins that you shouldn’t have, your ability to regulate your emotion goes down. Like you’re a jerk. I certainly was a jerk.

Knowing all of this, I’m just saying like it’s not that hard. Try Bulletproof Coffee to crank up your mitochondrial energy the first time you try it to see if you feel different and you probably will, and then try this program and the program is free like you can download the infographic. I’m not even going to charge you for the book. You can also get the book which is like 20 bucks or something and it’s well worth it. It’s thousands of hours of research compressed into four hours of time to read.

Even if you don’t buy the book, I will give you the infographic on the website, It’s a free download. This tells you the skeleton of the book. These are the foods that might be a trigger. These are foods that are always bad and these are the foods that are probably not going to bother you and should just try those. If someone had just told me that when I was like 19, I wouldn’t have stretched marks.

Dr. Trevor:
I know. It’s amazing. I see it over and over again on my practice. They think things are going to be more complicated. Maybe they go and see their regular doctor and their doctor orders labs, they’re like, “Because they just don’t feel right. They’re like, ‘I can’t think straight. I can’t sleep at night. I’m tired during the day. I just don’t feel like myself.'” The doctor runs all these labs and everything and they’re like, “You’re normal. Maybe you need an antidepressant. Maybe you need a sleep aid and a medication.”

Then, they come see me and we’ll talk about their diet and they’re like, “It can’t be that simple. It can’t be that simple, just to change my lifestyle.” I’m like, “Well, just try it for a couple of weeks, just even a week, and see how you’re feeling.” They come back and they’re like, “Oh, my gosh, I had no idea that this was possible. I didn’t know that at 40, 50, 60, I could feel this way. I thought that it was because I’m getting old and that’s just how life goes.”

You get used to chronic pain. I always had pains in my shoulder blades and my knees. Often times my hands are weak. This is all are mediated by food and toxins in our environment. When you’re doing it right for your genetics, you’re like, “Wow, I wake up and I don’t feel groggy. I don’t have dragon breath when I wake up. I don’t have body odor. I just have this energy.” I called it like the ability to bring it no matter what.

Even if I flew for 23 hours, I landed in Japan. I’m going to give a keynote presentation in two hours, I have the ability to bring it. I did not have that when I was in my mid 20’s and I’m 43. I sleep 5 hours and 58 minutes a night on average for the last 1,100 nights according to my little monitoring system. This isn’t that sleeping less is good for you at all. It’s just that … This is going to sound really, really radical. People who are healthier need less sleep.

Sleep is a repairing and restoration cycle. What if you caused less damage during the day and your body have less detoxing to do, would you require less sleep? The evidence says yes and the evidence is a study of 1.2 million people. They track them for three years. The people who live the longest, people who die the least, slept 6-1/2 hours a night. In fact, they lived much longer than people who slept nine hours a night.

Dr. Trevor:
I’m going to suggest that there might be a reason that you’re getting more quality sleep and that’s why you don’t need as much. Because I think so many people, even if they don’t wake up and get up in the middle of the night a lot, most people are not getting that high quality sleep that we need because they’re living a crappy lifestyle and they’re drinking too much. They’re just not living a healthy life. Then, they feel like, “Oh, I need to have 10 hours of sleep or something crazy,” or they wake up after 8 hours of sleep and they said, “I still don’t feel good.”

It’s really interesting, yeah. If you need 10 hours of sleep, that should be a really good sign that you did something really wrong and you need to fix it like right now. I’m not saying 6 hours is ideal by a long shot. For me, it is. When I’m relaxed and I don’t have to wake up, I still get 6 hours of sleep. I used to need 8 hours or 10 hours, but as I changed my biology, I needed less sleep. I did improve the quality of my sleep and I’ve written a lot about sleep hacking. In fact, I might have coined the term sleep hacking as far as I know.

Every substance you can take, a lot of the natural substances … I’m not a fan of the drugs for sleep. I’ve categorized all of those and shared that with people, “Should you eat before bed?” It turns out some people, a little bit of fat to turn up their energy. For some people, a little bit of starch makes a huge difference or raw honey. Generally, I don’t eat honey. It’s a sugar source but right before bed, a couple of teaspoons of raw honey, it can stabilize blood glucose.

The reason, especially, women wake up in the middle of the night sometimes around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and have a hard time going back to sleep is that they ran out of glucose. The little pump, it’s called your lymphatic system, that pumps out your brain toxins, it washes your brain and cerebrospinal fluid, it’s dependent on mitochondria. These are the little power plants in your cells. Guess what, if you have no energy in your body and your mitochondria are dependent on glucose, you’re in trouble.

People who burn fat well, they take brain octane oil before bed and they’re like, “Oh, I slept so well,” and people who are relying on glucose, they take a little bit of raw honey. Some people do both. Those little tweaks … Oh, my goodness. What if you had more efficient washing up your brain at night, would you wake up feeling better? Yes. Would you need less sleep? Yes. What if you ate a lot less toxins so then your brain has less toxins to wash out so then you wake up feeling like, “Wow, I have that energy that I missed from when I was young.” This is entirely possible and it’s done with little variables that no one ever talked about because they didn’t look at sleep as a system.

Other things like staring at your phone before bed, on my phone screen, you can’t see it because well, it’s just a phone but there’s a cover on it and it’s called the Zen Tech cover. It’s something that I make. It blocks a narrow spectrum of blue light. You can’t see it during the day. It doesn’t change the color purity, but this is the spectrum that suppresses melatonin the most. If you have fluorescent light bulbs or bring white LEDs, or you’re staring at your screen before bed, for four hours, you won’t make melatonin.

Heck, I take melatonin too, like I make sure that I have the things that my body needs to sleep effectively and efficiently every single night. Otherwise, I’m wasting time. I could do something fun or I could get low-quality sleep. Give me a break. It’s the most important thing you could do. I’d rather play with my kids.

Dr. Trevor:
Right, awesome. Let’s talk a little bit about Bulletproof Coffee, because I think this is one of things … I don’t even know if all people associate Bulletproof Coffee with you, but you’re the one that started that.

Yeah. I invented Bulletproof Coffee. No one had done this before. I went to Tibet and I went to something called Mount Kailash. It’s in remote western Tibet. It’s the headwaters for the Ganges and Indus Rivers, and I decided at that time, I wanted to learn meditation from the masters. Being Bulletproof is about having not just control of your body but also your mind. Once you get enough energy that you feel good, you can still be a total jerk. You’re just now a high-energy jerk which is even worse.

I went there and on the side of the mountain, this is about five days, 4-wheel drive trip across just the most amazing vistas I’ve ever seen. You get to this place and I’m about 18,000 feet elevation at a little guest house. I’ve done enough high altitude mountaineering to know that you’re going to feel like you’re dying because you kind of are at that altitude. You feel really bad and you don’t have energy and it’s just like all of your power is to put one foot in front of the other.

Now, keep in mind, I had an arthritis when I was a teenager. I have a screw in my right knee. I’ve had three knee surgeries before I was 23. I’m so lucky that I was able to trek long distances at high altitude. That was something, for me, that I thought I would never be able to do, like it was off my list but I did it anyway. I stumbled into one of this guest house. It’s 10 degrees below zero and my CamelBak, the hose froze solid. You can’t even drink water because it’s just so gnarly cold.

This little Tibet lady who’s like half as tall as me, she gives me like a bowl of Yak butter tea. I drank some like at [inaudible 00:18:03] and it tasted like fat. That was gross. This stuff was pretty good because the butter was fresher. I drink it and like five minutes later, I’m like, “I feel amazing.” I didn’t just feel okay, I felt like, “Oh, my god, this is the best thing I felt in a long time.” I’ve been a raw vegan for about almost a year before that, maybe, I don’t know, eight months or something. Maybe I was deficient in some saturated fat or something but it just did something and like my heart sang. I remembered that. I drank like 20 cups of it that day.

When I got home, I’m like, “I’m going to make some yak butter tea. This is going to be great.” This is 2004. I couldn’t find yak butter. Apparently, it was so hard to find.

Dr. Trevor:
I was wondering.

Yeah. I went to the store and I bought some butter and I bought some tea and it was disgusting. It didn’t make me feel good. It was horrible. I’m like, “All right, what am I going to do here?” I went and bought every kind of butter at the store. I bought 24 sticks of butter from all the different places and I realized the grass-fed butter was a big difference. There’s good evidence like it’s biochemically different, so this is as close as I could get to yak butter which is mostly lichen-fed butter because there’s no grass in Tibet. It’s like little toughs of weird moss-like stuff. That stuff worked, and I’ve given up coffee for almost five years because when I drink coffee as soon as I get sore joints, but I would get like jitters and cranky. I would crash hard and would drink more coffee and I would crash. I didn’t like the crash.

When I came back from Tibet, I had a cup of coffee and I felt so good. I’m like, “Oh, my god, I’m not allergic to coffee anymore. This is great.” The next day, I had another cup of coffee and I crashed and I felt crappy. It was this huge revelation like, “Wait a minute.” It wasn’t me. It was the coffee. It’s not that I went from being not allergic to allergic in one day, it was that there was something else in the coffee and I really dug in on coffee biochemistry and agriculture practices.

They got a set of rules to get coffee that didn’t cause this response and to understand the reason and the reason is that there are toxins in coffee that come from the fermentation process. They’re called mycotoxins. They’re neurotoxic. They’re toxic to the mitochondria, the energy producing things in your cells. There are safe government limits for these toxins in coffee because they are known contaminant in coffee except there are no safe limits in the US. In US, they are unregulated.

I interviewed some people and one of them is a president of the Specialty Coffee Association. This the governing body of bad-ass coffee. His name is Mark Inman and I have him on video saying this. He’s like, “Well, I was in Japan and there were a thousand containers of coffee shipping to Japan and the mold levels were too high in the coffee. The Japanese trade minister rejected the lot. I said, “Mark, what happened to this coffee?” He said, “Oh, we send it to the US.”

Mark says, “Well, we send it to the US because it’s not illegal to sell it there but it is illegal in all of Europe and all of Japan.” Even in China, they protect their citizens from this. Europe recently changed the levels for this one toxin they monitor from 8 parts per billion to 5 parts per billion. Guess what, we don’t taste parts per billion of things. It’s invisible but it actually matters.

What I had done at the beginning of my research on this, is I would buy $19 a pound bag of coffee and I would drink it and go, “Oh,” and I throw it away because it had toxins in it. Every now and then I’d find a clean one, I found that roughly half the time, if I was able to purchase coffee from a specific region from a specific year that was processed in a specific way, it was probably clean enough. But I got tired of this.

I started doing advanced lab testing that no one else does on coffee and eventually went to Guatemala and Colombia and changed the green coffee processing, like hack to the system of coffee so that all of the risk points along the way where molds may come in, we eliminate those as much as possible and then we validate it at the end. Bulletproof Coffee Beans are mold free and when you drink them, you don’t get the jittering crash that is associated with toxins in coffee. If you’re caffeine sensitive and all caffeine messes with you, Bulletproof Coffee will have the same effect, but there are so many people who say, “I’m allergic to caffeine. I only eat chocolate and I only eat soda and tea but not coffee.” Newsflash. They all have caffeine in them. If you’re responding that way, it’s because it’s something else in the coffee. It’s not the caffeine.

For me that was a huge thing. I now had coffee that didn’t cause a crash, didn’t cause food cravings later, didn’t make me jittery and I had mixed in the right butter and that got me some of the way there. Meanwhile, for 10 years, I run this anti-aging research group and we’ve talking about coconut oil and the different sub-fractions of coconut oil. I tested out first MCT oil which is a mix of four different kinds of oil but it turns out MCT oil has some problems with manufacturer.

In the early days, it was a very common just a joke amongst people who were the early adopters of Bulletproof Coffee. We talked about disaster pants which is where impurities from MCT oil would cause diarrhea. It was like, well, I put a little too much in and people would also get like burning in their throat sometimes. It turns out this was because of purity issues and composition issues with MCT oil.

Eventually, I came up with brain octane oil which is only one of the four kinds of MCT. It’s not an MCT oil and this is the kind of oil that doesn’t trigger that disaster pants effect.

Brain octane oil raises ketones way more than coconut oil and more than MCT oil. Ketones are these fat-burning bodies that are critical for brain function. You don’t normally have any. You know this, Dr. Trevor, but the way we’re normally wired is if there’s carbs in our diet, we run on glucose and our ketone levels are very, very low. If we’re fasting or on a very high-fat, low-carb diet, our ketone levels go up and then you go into the state of nutritional ketosis.

What my research showed is that there’s a level of ketones that’s below nutritional ketosis but above zero that does magic things for you. That’s what I’m targeting with the Bulletproof Diet. I love it when people go into ketosis and then come out and go back in and come out but if you have a few ketones every day in a way that we probably didn’t evolve to do because you can’t do this nutritionally. You can do it with brain octane oil though.

Bulletproof Coffee has these three ingredients. It’s the beans without mold, the Bulletproof beans, grass-fed butter and brain octane oil. The generic, I wanted to make coffee better than with milk is you could just mix any butter and any coffee and you’re going to have benefits from that because the protein and milk binds to the antioxidants, the polyphenols in coffee. When it binds to them, it makes the goodness of coffee unavailable to your body. You get back [inaudible 00:31:05] won’t respond to the polyphenols in the right way if you took milk with them.

Milk in your coffee is just bad news. I want everyone in the world to put grass-fed butter instead of milk in their coffee. It’s going to be better. It’s not going to be Bulletproof. Bulletproof has to have the right beans because you don’t want the jitter and the crash and the sugar craving that often comes with getting toxins in the body. A lot of people say, “Well, I’ll put coconut oil in there.” In fact, some of the big coffee companies are now like, “Oh, let’s start putting coconut oil. Hallelujah! Coconut oil is on the Bulletproof Diet.” It’s so much better than the stuff that coffee companies are putting in before which is like crappy, hydrogenated fats and corn syrup and stuff.

Moving coffee in the direction of health is a good thing but it’s not Bulletproof because coconut oil doesn’t work the same as brain octane oil. Then people say, “Well, we’ll just use MCT oil.” The problem is that MCT is four kinds of oil that have been just bucketed together by a chemist a long time ago. Unfortunately, they all do different things in the body. There are companies now selling MCT oil. They’ve been selling it for a long time and what I found in the early days with Bulletproof Coffee is that people, including me, I would use just generic MCT oil and then some people would experience throat irritation and everyone experienced disaster pants which was … It was a running joke actually because people were like, “Well, I feel so good I’m willing to occasionally have too much MCT oil and poop on myself.”

It was Kelly Starrett from San Francisco CrossFit who coined the term disaster pants and so it’s a joke but it was a real problem. With brain octane oil, people don’t get that bad effect and some of the so-called MCT oils are actually not processed in the body like MCT oils. It was a mistake made by a chemist but it legally allows companies with either companies who don’t understand biochemistry or just don’t care to label some of the MCT oils as having benefits that they don’t actually have.

I don’t use MCT oil in Bulletproof Coffee because I use brain octane oil which is only one of the four kinds of MCT. That stuff raises ketones more than MCT oil and it doesn’t cause the disaster pants problem that is so common. I’m like, “Look, if you’re going to use generic MCT oil, it’s better than coconut oil but you might poop on yourself.” If you’re going to use coconut oil and butter, it’s better than using milk. If you’re going to use high quality coffee that is from, hopefully, Central America, maybe from South America but is washed … It’s a crapshoot but it’s better that you do [single state 00:33:36] than if you just do like generic coffee that’s been blended by drying coffee companies that is almost guaranteed to have levels of mold toxins that are way higher than what would be acceptable in Europe. You’re going to have that in the US and that’s just how it’s going to be.

This is what it comes down to. There are levels of goodness. If you stop putting corn syrup and hydrogenated fat in your coffee, that’s a win. If you stop putting milk in your coffee, that’s a win. If you start putting butter in your coffee, that’s a win. Putting coconut oil in your coffee, that’s a win but if you do it right, you should expect to have outsized gains because I will tell you right now, 99% of what I tell people do has nothing with what I sell. I could make all kinds of things. I was a VP at a big company with stock options when I quit my job because I thought that this work was way more important than computer security software and what I spent my career in Silicon Valley doing, like I helped to create modern cloud computing.

I have a choice. I could have kept doing the high tech work, I could have done Bulletproof and I could have launched any product I want. The number of things I want to do is there’s hundreds of items on my product fantasy list. I just chose the most important ones first. The reason I’m sharing this knowledge with your listeners today is this is what I do every day like this is what matters. If I’m going to spend $100,000 to make a new product, I’m going to make the one that I think is most important that works the best.

That’s why Bulletproof Coffee is the way it is because I’ve done at this point, hundreds of thousands of cups between what I have consumed, what my family has consumed and what we’ve shared at hundreds and hundreds of conferences with tens and tens of thousands of people. I can tell you what makes people poop on themselves and what doesn’t because they tell you when they poop on themselves.

I feel like we’ve got this dialed in and I share how to do this. If you don’t want to buy the coffee that’s lab-tested that cost exactly the same amount per pound as Starbucks when you buy a 5-pound bag, look, don’t support it. That’s fine. At least do one of those many things better like toss out the milk, toss out whatever other fats were in that weird blended cold drink that you probably ate that was more like ice cream made out of junk food. Get rid of all that crap.

You’re still going to be a better person because when people eat less toxic stuff, eat less bad fat and eat more of the good fat, they’re nicer. The world is a better place. If you don’t buy any of my stuff, you just put butter in any crappy coffee. I’m totally okay with you doing that. You go for it.

Dr. Trevor:
I think there’s definitely something to the Bulletproof Coffee that you started on this because it’s really taken off. We seemed to be seeing so much about it.

People feel the difference now.

Dr. Trevor:
Can you do it with tea?

Absolutely. In fact, we have a cacao tea that’s really interesting. People who don’t drink coffee love this cacao tea because it’s not a hot chocolate. Like the hot chocolate, we make that as well with zero sugar and lab-tested chocolate. That’s another source of this ochratoxin-A, one of these neurotoxins. The cacao tea is made from the outer layer of the cacao bean. It’s a clear tea and you drink it and it has a chocolate flavor with no other parts of it. It’s just a very pure thing. I love that and it’s got some of the theobromine which isn’t caffeine but it’s still like calming and stimulating at the same time. It is a good feeling.

I do that and you can also do Matcha and you can do other green teas. It’s interesting, green tea has polyphenols that are also good for gut bacteria. They’re not as strong as the coffee polyphenols and it doesn’t have the coffee oils which have really interesting effects on the human body but I love green tea like a good jasmine tea. I think it’s like a Dragon Pearl, it’s really, really nice. At night, we even have something that people order at the Bulletproof Coffee Shop and the recipe is in both of my books, the “Bulletproof: The Cookbook” as well as the “The Bulletproof Diet” and it’s called a No-Coffee Vanilla Latte.

What this is, is brain octane oil, grass-fed butter, hot water and we make a vanilla called Vanilla max. This is not the fake vanilla but 95% of vanilla you can buy is a chemical compound called vanillin. This is actually hand scraped vanilla beans that are processed in a 10-day curing process that breaks down the toxins that form in vanilla beans. I keep talking about food toxins but let’s face it, if you’re a plant, your job is to not get eaten so you can reproduce. If you’re human, your job is to run away so you don’t get eaten so you can reproduce like we all have our defense mechanisms.

Well, since plants have these problems, one of the things happens in vanilla beans, it’s a tropical crop, it’s a human environment. You pick them and they start to mold. This is just a normal thing but some molds make things that are very poisonous for people in very small amounts. Vanilla is one of them. We went with a different process of curing the vanilla and it’s actually like 2 ounces of solid ground vanilla beans. You put some of those in there. Vanilla contains this amazing compound that’s called a vanilloid. Have you come across this in your practice?

Dr. Trevor:
A vanilloid?


Dr. Trevor:
I’m not sure about that one.

You have but you didn’t know its name.

Dr. Trevor:
Vanillin, it’s not the same thing?

No, it’s not. What does cayenne pepper do for inflammation?

Dr. Trevor:
It helps decrease inflammation.

The pathways that cayenne pepper uses to decrease inflammation are via the vanilloid pathways which is really interesting. Capsaicin, the active ingredient, it affects vanilloids. I didn’t expect to know that. That’s like a super bit of trivia. I was hoping you’d do it like wow, I’d bow down to you know now, that’s right. Vanilla activates vanilloid. In fact, they’re named after vanilla because that was the first time we discovered. Vanilla used to be considered like an aphrodisiac medical herb if you go back 700 years. Now, it’s like an amazing flavoring agent.

When you make this tea which is a whole teaspoon of ground vanilla bean blended with the butter, the brain octane and if you want some sweet, you use some birch sap called xylitol or erythritol which does come from non-GMO corn but it’s sugar alcohol so it doesn’t raise insulin. You do feel like, “Oh, my god, this stuff is amazing and it’s un-caffeinated. You have that before bed. I’ve got to get all of fat energy, my brain is like satisfied, all the things that are going to wake up when I ran out of energy is gone and like the vanilla is soothing.” [crosstalk 00:39:51] That’s what I do.

Dr. Trevor:
There you. Those people that can’t drink coffee just because they … I don’t know, I mean there are some people that choose not to drink caffeine beverages …

We call those bad people. There’s actually a cult following on the Bulletproof Hot Chocolate in Utah. I’ve lots of Mormon friends and they love this stuff. They’re like, “Yes, I got my butter. I got my brain octane,” but they’re avoiding coffee. That’s totally fine to avoid coffee. If you’re into the polyphenol thing and by the way, you should be. If you want to live a long time, having polyphenols matters. Where do you find polyphenols? Let’s see, find them in leafy, dark green vegetables. You find them in brightly colored vegetables and berries. You find them in huge abundance in coffee, chocolate and to a lesser extent in red wine. I hate to see this but coffee beats red wine.

Dr. Trevor:
All right, well, that’s good to know. Getting back to just the Bulletproof Diet. You got a book out, you got a cookbook and you got all that stuff in there, I mean, some people might look at it and think, “Oh, it’s just like a Paleo Diet it’s different though?

It’s pretty different than Paleo. It’s funny, I was definitely inspired by the Weston A. Price Institute. My first book is called “The Better Baby Book” and Wiley published this four or five years ago now and this was based on five years of research. My wife, Dr. Lana, Karolinska-trained physician, she was infertile when I met her. At 35, we couldn’t have kids. I’m like, “No, you could hack that.” I did all these research and looked at what are the things you could do to restore fertility and that was the basis of the first book. There were 1,300 studies that we did and I cooked everything based on this food, based on this plan about what are the things that inhibit your hormones? What are the things that make yourselves not work well?

We successfully have two kids, one at 39, one at 42 with no IVF or any of the aggressive interventions and Lana today runs a consulting practice helping people around the planet get pregnant. She does one-on-one hour long coaching sessions, looks at hormone levels, looks at nutrition and she’s having profound effects for people who, “It doesn’t work,” and then they remove toxins that are getting in the way of their biology and they increase fat in their diet and it works. That kind of thing was all in there and that research started before Paleo had a name.

I took that and I journalized it to overall hormonal health. The roots of the Bulletproof Diet are an anti-aging medicine and fertility medicine because here’s the crazy thing. Fertile animals are healthier. If you’re not fertile, you’re not healthy unless you’re past the point where you’re supposed to be fertile. Even then, a 60-year-old woman or man who’s still highly fertile, is going to be one hell of a healthy 60-year-old man or woman. Maximizing fertility is a great proxy or a great way to track, “Okay, am I maximizing my longevity? Am I maximizing my health? Am I maximizing my performance?” If you’re energetic enough to have a baby, you’re probably energetic enough to kick ass at something else too, right?

Dr. Trevor:
Yes, absolutely.


Dr. Trevor:

I hope you enjoyed this interview today with Dave Asprey. To learn more about Dave and going bulletproof you can visit my website Go to the podcast page with his interview, and you’ll see all the information and links there.

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