Biohacking might sound like something taken out of a sci-fi movie, but Dave Asprey explains how easy it is to biohack, and how we can benefit from hacking our organism. A former Silicon Valley VP and the author of Bulletproof Diet, Dave is a true entrepreneur, who is devoting a major part of his life to learning how to hack your body and optimize its functions — especially when it comes to our brain.
Hear about what makes a great coffee, and learn how a truly amazing coffee can benefit your daily life in more ways than you might think. Dave explains how coffee and other foods and drinks impact your body and digestive system, and he gives valuable advice on controlling your food intake and staying healthy.
Click here to learn more about Dave Asprey.
In Today’s Episode:
00:30 – Introducing Dave Asprey
01:32 – What is Bulletproof?
03:16 – Biohacking
06:02 – Training Your Mind With the Aid of Biohacks
08:37 – High Fat Is Healthy?
11:10 – What Defines a Great Coffee
14:54 – The Bulletproof Coffee
17:17 – Self Reliance
18:33 – How Bulletproof Nutrition Has Helped
23:26 – The FirstEver Bulletproof Coffee Shop
24:07 – (Bio)Hacking the (Bio)Hackers
26:01 – Controlling Your Foods
32:38 – Is All of This Doable?
37:13 – End Credits
Introducing Dave Asprey
Buck: Hello folks, it’s Buck Rizvi,and I’m here with Dave Asprey. Dave is the founder of the Bulletproof Executive.He’s a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who over the last 20 years has invested over $300,000 to hack his own biology. As a result,Dave lost and has kept off 100 excess pounds without counting calories or turning to excessive exercise. He’s used his special techniques to upgrade his brain by more than 20 IQ points and has lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently in less time.
Learning to do these seemingly impossible things transformedhim into a better entrepreneur, a better husband, and a better father —and we’re going to check in with his wife on those last two points. But most recently,Dave is the author of the Bulletproof Diet, available now wherever books are sold.
Dave, are you there?
Buck: [Laughs] OK.
Dave: Since you’re plugging the book, it looks like that. It’s awesome. [Shows book]
Buck: Oh, it’s beautiful. I love the cover. We’re going to talk about that in just a moment, but let me ask you a burning question:What’s your definition of being bulletproof?
What is Bulletproof?
Dave: Bulletproof is a state of highperformance where you make your biology more resilient,so that you don’t burn out, and you don’t act like a jerk because you just don’t have enough energy. It’s when you have the ability to bring it all the time.It’s not a state that I was born with;it’s one that I built.
Dave: When I was 300 pounds, my biology was not working very well.
Dave: You can consciously, and with intent, buildyour resilience, and it doesn’t come from just lifting weights everyday.
Buck: I like that.You figured out e-commerce on the Internet when most people couldn’t even spell “web.” Can you tell us about those early entrepreneurial days?
Dave: In fact,I’m the first person to sell anything over the Internet, and that’s a big claim.
Buck:(Laughs) OK, that’s a huge claim.
Dave: If you look at — I think it’s a 1993 or ’94entrepreneurial magazine — one of my fat pictures was published to like a million people.And Isold caffeine T-shirts out of my dormroom over Usenet to pay for my undergrad. And within a week of that,maybe within a day, [some] guys started Virtual Vineyards, which became wine.com.They sold over the Internet right after I did. So it’s a matter of public debate as to whether it was them or me, but I’m willing to say thatI’m the first guy to do it. And we didn’t call it e-commerce back then because no one thought you could do it. I was just trying to pay my tuition for Computer Science.
Buck: So this was “pre-web web” selling stuff.That’s amazing. Bold claim. I’ve interviewed Tim Ferriss twice, and your journey and methodology seem very similar to his. Is biohacking something you’d recommend everyone to try?
Dave: Everyone is biohacking,whether they know it or not.And I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferriss — he’s been on Bulletproof Video too. And his work has helped millions of people. So, biohacking is interesting because it’s the art of changing the environment around you and inside of you, so that your body will do what you want it to do. Most people miss that step;they think, “I want to make myself do something, and I’m going to. I’m just going to will it.”
Dave: Your will is a finite resource; you shouldn’t squander it. We finally proved that will is finite. Your decision-making capacity is finite.It can run out. When you change your environment, you take away some of that energy that it takes to make your biology do something. And sometimes you’re just not going to do it by willing it. It doesn’t matter how much you want it. You don’t have the right environmental inputs. So you are biohacking when you put, you know, a Frito-lay,GMOcorn-thing in your mouth. That’s a biohack:you’re changing the environmental inputs to your body.
Buck: But not everyone notices what’s happening.
Dave:Well yeah, they might be unaware of it. You’re changing the environment. So, people will freak out and say, “Yeah, you’re biohacking your kids too.” You consciously choose what goes into their brain when they watch TV, and what goes into their mouth when they eat.
Dave: Right. So, we’re in charge of our environment with an unprecedented level of control. Throughout history, we never had this much control. It’s like, “Oh, it’s cold? Well, I hope the fire keeps the cave warm. Otherwise we die.”
Dave: Or,“I’m hungry. I hope I kill a mastodon today.” Like, none of that is that big of a deal to us, but yet biology is still like that.
Buck: And I guess we have an unprecedented access to tests to see what’s happening to our bio-chemistry.
Dave:Like, what color of LED light bulb would you like to have right now? You can have any color you want, right?
Dave: Couldn’t do that 10 years ago. And, you know, what temperature do you want it to be? What kind of oil do you want from what tropical country? There’s so much you can do now.You want plums from Chile? OK, fine you got them. Like, this didn’t exist. So, a lot of the things that we can change [now] we couldn’t change, and we’re just figuring this out now. That’s not even talking about things like Wi-Fi antennas. And I use Pulsed Electromagnetic frequency things to improve my ability to recover. Like after a long trip, I’ll lay on a mat that changes the way my biology works.This is amazing.
Buck: [Laughs]Well, speaking of stuff that happened a long time ago:over 20 years ago, I bought the book Smart Drugs and Nutrients by Dr. Ward Dean and John Morgenthaler.I’m sure you’re familiar with that title.
Dave:Yeah, and the other author is Steve Fowkes, who’s a good friend. He’s an advisor to the research group I run. So I also got that book around that time. It totally changed my life.
Buck: Yeah, I’m a big fan. So, what major memory- and IQ-enhancement discoveries have been made in the last 23 years since that book was published?
Training Your Mind With the Aid of Biohacks
Dave: Well, we’ve certainly learned a lot about Dual N-back training. And this is something that increases Fluid Intelligence, and it’s one of the few forms of brain training that has really stood the test of time. And it’s amazing, but it’s uncomfortable. Lifting heavy weights, doing sprints, all the kinds of exercises that make you improve the most cause physical discomfort.
Dave:Brain training causes your brain to improve, but it causes mental discomfort. You feel like a total failure when you do this. If you’re training for some brand-new stuff, and it will not cooperate. And it’s… You get distracted, you get annoyed, and you’re irritated. So, it takes a lot of willpower to do that training. But, yeah, when it works it can add 10 IQ points in about 20 days. That’s a huge grade.
Buck: Wow. That is a big jump.
Dave: Yeah. I’ve interviewed a couple of guys on the Bulletproof Radio Podcast about that technology. Like, it’s real, and it works. So that’s one thing that’s come out. There’s also some stuff around tDCS,which is more around learning versus intelligence enhancement. And tDCS is the idea of running small amounts of electro current directly into one part of the brain from the surface of the scalp.
Dave: I’ve used tDCS for about four years. And before that — and even now — I use something called CES,which came out of the Russian Space Program. So this actually did exist 23 years ago. But it’s a current that moves between both ears in order to put the brain in a certain state for faster recovery.
Buck:Oh wow. OK.
Dave: That’s some pretty heavy-duty stuff. But, like, you can put yourself in very altered states. I wrote a book or diet book, much of the time with electrodes on my ears running a gamma frequency across my brain cause I write really, really well. I pull out all the biohacks in order to do that. But I wrote really well in the gamma state.
So, rather than hooking myself into a gamma state, I’ll just turn the dial up, and there goes the gamma, and *BAM* I’m in a gamma state, and then I’m just going to write.So, I did a huge amount of the writing over the course of about seven days, and for five of those days I’ve pretty much pulled “all-nighters,” and I stop for like two hours, and I just write all day. I was in a flow state all the time. It was kind of cool.
Buck:I was an tech in the military,and they always told us not to run a current through our heart or our brain. So, this is an interesting [laughs]approach that folks might not want to take at home.
Dave: Yeah, the current can sort of kill you if it’s the wrong current. But I have other machines that, you know, you can put an electrode here, an electrode here, and you’ll just get big from it. Like, it doesn’t hurt your heart. So it depends on the current quite a lot.
High Fat Is Healthy?
Buck: Amazing. So,what are your thoughts on the Time Magazine “Eat Butter”issue this past summer? Is the concept of eating — I know you talk a lot about this, right? Eating healthy fats, and we’re going to get into that when we talk about your book —is the concept of eating more healthierfats going mainstream now?
Dave:I think that health fat’s out of the bag. You can’t put it back in either, so you get some of these low-fat kind of apologists at this point. They’re the minority now. And the damage they’ve done for the past 30 or 40 years is still in the mainstream consciousness. But, I just don’t think…In the average room full of people,who are paying any attention at all,they’re “fat’s bad, we aren’t suppose to eat all fat.” People are going to laugh at you, like, they’ll do the Simpsons laugh [laughs sarcastically], you know.
You might say “some fats are bad” or “don’t eat fried food,” and I would actually agree with that. Because if you go on a high-fat diet, you could die. The point is you’re eating canola oil or soybean oil and a bunch of damaged seed oils, you’re probably not going to like what happens to your biology. Like think “Supersize Me” kind of direction, where you’re liver doesn’t like it. But if you’re eating a high healthy fat diet, it’s different. And then people say, “Oh that’s great, I just need to eat only fish oil and maybe some avocados, and that’s healthy fat.” And maybe some other crappy oils. So, the definition of healthy oils has been influenced by the seed-oil marketing companies.
Dave: As long as you’re eating the right high-healthy-fat diet, it’s amazing what your brain’s capable of. Like, your hormones get better, your skin gets better — everything gets better because a lot of the things that go on in your brain when you don’t have an optimum level of fat, they stop, and all of a sudden you just have more energy.
Buck: Are we going to be in a world where we walk into the store and instead of saying “low-fat” or “no-fat,” it’ll say “high-fat” [laughs] on the packaging?
Dave:I’d like to think that.The problem is that knowing how food distribution works…I mean, I run Bulletproof Nutrition, and we have a line of nutritional oils and things like that. And I look at how to get into grocery. And you look at the markups that the distributors and the grocery stores take. The stuff that you buy on the shelf[includes] probably like 8 cents worth of ingredients.
Buck: Oh wow.
Dave:And all the distributors along the way took those piece of it. And that sucks because if we can make distribution more efficient, maybe you’d pay 16 cents.
Dave:And the people who made the stuff would actually make a higher margin, so that manufacturers would be encouraged to use higher-quality stuff.
Dave: So, if you’re going to mainstream Sorensen’s high-fat, I somehow imagine we’re going to find a way to sneak in the cheap fat, so that we wouldn’t [just] break even.
What Defines a Great Coffee
Buck: Exactly. So, let’s talk about one of yourfavoritesubjects:coffee. I’veheard you say that cheap coffee —speaking about cheapingredients —stealsyourmentaledgeandactuallycanmakeyouweak,whichreallyupsetsmebecause I lovecoffee,and I willdrinkcheapcoffee if forcedto. Whyisthat,andhow do youdefine cheap?
Dave: Throughout the history of coffee, there has really been two parts that you think about if you’re a coffee person: you think about flavor, and you think about costs. And it’s a sliding scale. And we have slightly different brios—this one is more raisin-y, and this one’s more chocolaty or whatever, right? OK, fine. But at the end of the day, flavor costs. And you want as good a flavor as you can get for whatever your price point is, and they come together.
No one’s ever thought, “Well, what if flavor and costs were both important, but how it made you feel was even more important?”
Buck:OK, now that you mention…
Dave:Yeah. And that’s what Ipay attention to. So, I want my coffee to taste amazing, that’s a requirement. But it’s not enough. What I’ve found in the course of using neuron feedback and hacking my own brain and looking at losing a hundred pounds in my biology is that the mold toxins that are in coffee matter greatly. I gave up coffee for about five years coz I would drink it, and I would get sore joints or a headache. I feel good, and then I crash.
And a lot of people who drink coffee know this: it’s good for two hours, and you need another cup, and you probably want a croissant with it too. Well, what’s going on here is that when coffee is fermented it grows toxic molds. And it’s depending on details in the fermentation process, details about the harvesting and agricultural techniques, anddetails of further coffee processing. All this is before it’s roasted at the roaster down the street.
Dave: Right. So, that whole process, that’s where all this stuff happens. And it turns out it’s a big enough problem that the governments throughout the EU and most of Asia put limits in place for 1 of the 27 toxins that I test for. And there’s no limit in the U.S. So, if you’re a coffee merchant, and you have some coffee, and it’s illegal to sell in Europe, and it’s legal to sell in the U.S., what you’re going to do clearly is dump it in the ocean… No.
Dave: I mean, right? Well, I’ve got one of the top coffee guys in the world on Bulletproof Radio talk about that problem of coffee dumping in the U.S. And we’re talking five parts per billion…
Buck: So, this is why I get suchgreatcoffeein Europe,and I get junk here? We’re getting the dregs?
Dave: It’s part of the reason, and people in the specialty-coffee industry here are like, “Meeeeh, that’s preposterous. I would see molds in my coffee, but you don’t see parts per billion. As a matter of fact, a lot of the tests that are used stop working at five parts per billion.
So, I created a standard in terms of coffee. When you have more than one kind of mold in it, these molds amplify each other. So, it has the safe limit of the only one that’s regulated. And it has other things in it that are not regulated, and they amplify each other. And what you get is coffee where you drink it, and then you have to go pee right away. Did you ever notice that?
Dave: That’s coz caffeine’s a diuretic. Caffeine’s a weak diuretic. What’s going on there is the main mold toxin that’s in coffee irritates your bladder and your kidneys.
Dave: So you drink it, and your bladder’s like, “I got to get this out of here, coz this stuff causes, like, liver cancer, sorry, bladder cancer and kidney cancer.” Then it automatically pulls plasma from your blood and dilutes stuff in your bladder, so you can get rid of it, and that’s why coffee makes you have to pee. When you drink clean coffee, like the beans that I’ve lab-tested, it doesn’t have the same effect. And that’s one of the little things that you’ll notice. Most importantly, you don’t crash and get a craving for sugar and a doughnut two hours after you’ve had the coffee.
The Bulletproof Coffee
Buck: Amazing. Do you mind — I knowyou’vedonethis a milliontimes —do you mind sharingyour BulletproofCoffeerecipe? Because I’ve triedit. I loveit. Just give our listeners justashortcourse.
Dave: Alright. Step One: Upgraded coffee beans that were lab tested for molds — you can get those at Bulletproof.com.
Dave:Brew those with a French press or [an espresso maker]. You want the coffee oils because they have a beneficial effect on you. Don’t use a paper filter;use a cold filter even on a normal coffee maker. Take that hot black coffee and add grass-fed, unsalted butter. Kerry Gold butter is the most widely available in the U.S.
Buck: Love that stuff.
Dave:Adda tablespoon or two, depends on how hungry you are. And then add Brain Octane Oil, which is 18 times extracted from coconuts. That’s also on Bulletproof.com. I make that because you’ll get sick if you eat 18 spoons of coconut oil, but you can eat one spoon of this, and it has no flavor. You won’t get a coconut flavor in your coffee that’s not nice.
So, when you blend these things together in a blender, you get a creamy, frothy, amazing latte. You drink it, and you’re just not going to care about food for four to six hours. Like, let’s say someone could put a plate of the most delicious doughnuts [in front of you], or whatever you crave. And you’ll just look at it and be like, “You know, I just really don’t care.” And you’ll go back to doing what you’re doing. It’s truly liberating to just have a choice about food instead of letting the food push on you.
Buck:So, I’m skipping ahead, but am I allowed to drink this coffee while I’m in the middle of a fast period?
Dave:That would be right out of the book.
Buck:OK. I haven’t mommedreading ahead then. Good.
Dave:That’s Bulletproof intermittent fasting you’re describing.
Dave:Because intermittent fasting is something that helps you lose weight, and it helps you maintain muscle while you do it. And the idea there is you don’t eat for 18 hours a day. Sounds crazy, but it’s easy. You eat dinner, don’t eat anything till you have a late lunch the next day. So, you basically skip breakfast to late lunch. It works, but most people have jobs and kids and families and all. OK, around 11 o’clock in the morning you get really hungry and tired and cranky and cold. And you can do it, but it doesn’t make you feel good, and it’s right in the middle of your work day.
Bulletproof Coffee in the morning doesn’t turn your blood sugar or your protein digestion machinery on. So your body’s still repairing yourself with proteolytic enzymes, and it doesn’t mess with your blood sugar, but it provides a source of energy and a source of satiation, so it [gives you] the benefits that are meant in fasting. You just feel good the whole time, and you still can lose weight.
Buck: I love it. And I can attest to that, and I love that recipe. I thinkyoumentionedonone of your podcasts that you’re into self-relianceand have started your own — and I’m going to call it —homestead; you might call it somethingelse. Canyoutellusmoreabout it?
Dave:I havestartedanorganicfarm. I’m on about 30 acres outside of Victoria, British Columbia.
Dave: And I’m actually putting in, like, a human biohacking facility there. So, it’ll have my podcast studio, but it also has the equipment that increases human performance. Right now, the grass on the front of the property feeds the cows next door. And then I eat the cows, which is really nice.
Dave: Like, that cow ate that nice plate of grass at the front. And over the next couple of years. I’ll be actually shooting some video as we transform it from what it was, from clearly filled land.Some of it is still forested, and we will keep it forested. And we’ll put some of the local food-producing species back on the property. And the idea there is I’d like to produce all the food that my family needs, but it also has to feed the local community. It’s a very, very fertile area. So, basically, I’ll be taking stuff to farmers’ markets.
Buck: It’samazingwhatyoucandoevenon5 or 10 acres, let alone 30 acres.
Dave: We were very,verylucky. Part of this involved restoring a gravel pit.
Dave: It was on sale. Let’s put it that way.
How Bulletproof Nutrition Has Helped
Buck: So, likeme, youalsorun a health business, Bulletproof Nutrition, asone of yourbusinesses. What wasthegenesisof Bulletproof Nutrition? Was it thecoffee? Was it somethingelse?
Dave: You know, I’ve been a successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for a long time. Until January of this year, I was a VP at a big Internet security company. So I work from home, well-paying job. But about three years ago or so, I said, “You know, I just spent 300,000 dollars in 15 years just doing stuff that I’m really lucky to have discovered. For 10 years, all these people at theantagion group have been teaching me how stuff works. And I just realized it, when I was 20 or 25,and some just sat me down and said, “Dave, here’s what will make you kick ass.” The amount of energy that would have freed up in my life for me to pursue other self-improvement learning things, entrepreneurial… anything versus sitting around and going, “I feel really crappy today. I want to take a nap.” Like, I wonder what I should do.
So I put so much focus after I learned this coz there wasn’t a roadmap. And I talked to Steve Fawkes, I talked to the guys out there. We didn’t have the Internet, we didn’t have communities of people working on this. And so, I wrote this stuff down because I thought it might help, like, a hundred people. I put it up on a blog, and then, literally, one 16-year-old kid, who was fat and had brain cloud, read this stuff and like transformed his life.
Buck: You would’ve been happy.
Dave: It’s worth it. I know coz I was that 16-year-old kid.
Dave:That was my motivation. So, I didn’t collect email addresses for a long time. Like just, “Hey,here’s the info.” Guess what the first post was? It was Bulletproof Coffee.
Dave: I’ve been interested in lab testing coffee for a long time even before that. And once I realized there was, you know, 20 people reading the blog, I’m like, “Whoa, maybe there’s 20 people who will help defray the cost of testing coffee. Coz it’s really expensive. Until that, I would just buy a pound of coffee, and I would drink it, and I can feel mycotoxins inside.
I lived in a few houses with toxic molds, and my immune system is prime for them. So I went canary, I’ll drink it.“Damn, like that was 19 dollars a pound. That was really tasty coffee, but it’s got toxins in it.” So I’m not drinking it. And I just got tired of that, so I wanted to create this. I went around and tested a whole bunch of different coffees, and talked to a lot of producers to find ones who would meet the Bulletproof standards.
And I created the coffee — I had no idea if it would be, you know, a hundred people a month, enough to help defray the cost of lab test, or if it would be popular. It turns out people don’t get the jitter and the crash they used to have with coffee. They feel the clarity. It’s, like, instead of taking off and crashing, you take off and you land. And that was the genesis of some of our products there.
I also decided early on that everyone and their mother selling digital products… and I decided, well, it’s convenient; I’ve come out of the software industry. Digital products are amazing coz they don’t cost you anything.
Buck: Amazing margins.
Dave: Yeah, amazing margins. But it’s also like a high-pressure sales tactic thing. And what I thought I would do instead was giveaway my very best info. And there’s a quarter million words on the site. And I would just do a soft sell, like, I offer my products to people.
Buck: I’d like to come back to that because it’s… I love your businessmodel, and you kind of —youjumped ahead on me. Dothemost of your sales comefromyour media, your publishing, editorialactivities,andreferralpartners, or areyouactuallybuying media foryourbusiness?
Dave: It just comes from organic traffic.
Buck: That’s great.
Dave:Because they want to hear about the stuff that I do. And right now, 10 million downloads of the podcast. That’s ten million hours, that’s somewhere in, like, 35 lifetimes or something close to that number. I did the math once, but I did it in the waking hours. But if I’m creating bad content, it’s like I’ve murdered 35 people. That’s the way I look at it. So, I really am serious about quality content.
Dave:And that’s not to say that typos don’t get out or something. I feel, like, an ethical obligation to create stuff that’s meaningful, and stuff that doesn’t waste people’s time.
Dave: So, from that perspective, I’m going to give the best info away, and when people see that they got value there… And then the other thing, this is like the oldest part of the business model ever, it’s like this stuff has to work.
Dave:I drank Bulletproof Coffee, and it actually made me feel better than the other coffee beans. And Brain Octane Oil is not the same as coconut oil because, “Oh my God, I can feel the difference.” And I get these emails every day from people. So for the past six months, you know, I drank whatever cheap coffee I was getting and coconut oil. And one time that I tried this I was like, “You’re lying.” I’m like, “No, I could be working in hi-tech as the CEO of some tech start-up. I still get those calls.” I’m like, I like what I do, I’m helping more people this way.
Buck: Feelthedifference. I love it. Andthat’sa huge take awayforpeoplethatarelistening: not only is it drivenbypassionand a desiretomakeadifference and put great contentoutthere. So, is the BulletproofNutritioncompletelyvirtual? Or do you have an HQ withabunchofpeopleinabox?
The FirstEver Bulletproof Coffee Shop
Dave: It’s all virtual. We are, however, opening a Bulletproof coffee shop in Santa Monica in February.
Buck: How nice. OK.
Dave: So, there will be a physical location where you can go and actually try it. And the reason I want people to try it is it’s going to be shocking, because it actually works.
Dave: Come in,you’ve never heard of us? Just take this one time and see the quality of your thinking. See what happened to you that day.Your biology just changed,butyou’re in control of that. Maybe you want to do something else that’s going to change your biology.
Buck: Youheard it here,folks. We’re going to see Bulletproof coffeestoresalloverthecountryand all over the worldhopefully, sothat’sfantasticnews.
(Bio)Hacking the (Bio)Hackers
Buck: Well, let’s switchgearsandtalkabout the Bulletproof Diet Book. The pre-head reads, this is a big one, “Loseupto a pound a day, Reclaim energy and focus, Upgradeyourlife.” Wow. Thenthere it is. So,whatmakesthe Bulletproof Diet different,andwhyshouldpeoplepayattention?
Dave:The Bulletproof Diet isultimately about willpower and energy. It’snot about losing a pound a day. It just so happens when you eat for those things that we’re turning out the information, and the pound a day tends to happen if you have a lot of weight to lose, and if you’re a man. It’s harder for women to lose a pound a day —it’s possible, but women just lose weight more slowly than men. And I write specifically, “Here are the changes for women versus men” in the book.
It turns out that when you eat for energy and willpower, you make different decisions than if you just eat to be thin. It is entirely possible for some people, but not everyone — except maybe in very extreme circumstances — to get thin the old-fashioned way. And that it’s “Damn it,” right? And then on top of that maybe have a tiger chase you a couple of hours a day.
Dave:That would be the traditional prescription for losing weight, right?
Buck:Starve yourself and join cross-fit, is that the idea?
Dave:I mean, most cross-fitters know not to starve themselves. It would be more like,”Join the long-distance running club,” right? So, I would say that calorie restriction doesn’t go well with cross-fit, but I think that they’re pretty into the “Paleo” thing, as a lot of people drink Bulletproof Coffee and cross-fit.
Buck:OK, sorry, I don’t want to diss cross-fit. Sorry![Laughs]
Dave:I appreciate the intensity of cross-fit. The interesting thing, though, is those things make you weak. They lower your testosterone levels, and they lower your estrogen levels. They increase cortisol. They reduce resilience. So, you do these things, and what happens? As soon as you stop doing it, the body is like, “Oh my God, there’s just a famine, I better get ready for the next one.”
Buck:Kind of store.
Dave: And one of the things that’s really interesting is I write about hacking the hackers. So, I mentioned computer security. I have worked in computer security for a long time. And one of the things you do when you, say, penetrate a system, or you’re seeking to penetrate, you get in. Who else is already there? So, one or two hackers are hacking the same computer. Well, one of those wants to get in on top of the other one. And often times you can exploit what the other guy did to break the system.
Dave:When you look inside a human, there is a hacker, and it’s already there and firmly entrenched. It’s called your gut biome: this is the bacteria in your gut. “Oh, you’re going to have your yogurt, it’s so good for you.” Well it’s a little bit more complex than that because — I hate to tell you this — the bacteria in our gut aren’t there for us. They’re there for them. And that’s OK because there is this thing called symbiosis. So, there is some of that behavior.
But there are also some things that are self-serving. And we’re just learning this — it’s fascinating stuff. One of the things that came out on the research is…My experience was I was trying to gain weight. I was going to prove that this “calories in and calories out” stuff doesn’t reallywork.
Buck:Gain fat or gain muscle mass?
Dave:Gainfat. I was going to eat, you know, enough calories to gain 20 pounds of fat and gain 2 pounds of fat and be like, “Where did it all go? It’s magic.” What I didn’t expect was that I would actually lose weight, even at 4,000 to 4,500 calories a day for two years.
Buck:Oh wow. OK.
Dave:And I would actually grow a six-pack without exercise. That’s shocking, and it didn’t make any sense to me. So, I started digging in more, and I used Bulletproof Coffee in massive quantities during that time just the only way I know and be 4,000 calories a day, but 1,200 calories worth of butter and breakfast, you can get up there.
Dave:So I did that. And I felt amazing, I just didn’t stop. And it was an odd thing, but the reason, one of the reasons, that I experienced what I experienced is that the gut bacteria, depending in what species they are, excrete a substance called Fasting-Induced Adipose Factor or FIAF.
Dave:What they do is they are worried that you, “you walking bag of water where the bacteria live,” that you won’t have enough fat. You won’t have enough fuel. So, when there’s extra sugar in your diet,extra carbs — really, any carbs — these bacteria can grow. These bacteria use this hormone, which your liver make. So, your liver will control your weight just fine, but they mess with that system to make you gain extra fat in case you need it for a famine.
Dave:So, it’s really in their best interest to carry this extra fat, but they want you to have it just in case. So, they’re the little bastards,right?
Buck:Your gut biome is kicking in.
Controlling Your Foods
Dave:All of them. These are just some of the species there. But what they’re doing is they’ve taken over your fat regulation, and they’re making you store more fat. But you can hack them by controlling when you eat sugar and to some extent protein. When you have fat only in your breakfast, guess what feeds those bacteria? Nothing. They can’t eat the fat.
Dave:So they panic. They go, “There must be a famine,” even though you’ve got the fat. So then they secrete more of the substance that causes you to burn fat.
Dave:So, what you’re doing with Bulletproof Coffee is you’re hacking the hacker. You’re manipulating the system that’s manipulating you. You change the environment, and the bacteria would be like, “Darn it, I guess it’s time to burn fat.” And that is why you see these people who have a ton of weight to lose when they do this. If they have this gut bacteria ratio going in, they’re using Bulletproof Coffee very strategically to change the gut biome, which is a really cool idea.
There are other things that happen around willpower and brain that come from the Brain Octane Oil where it grows more ketones in your blood. Ketones normally happen after days of fasting or eating a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. But it takes several days. When you’ve haveBrain Octane in your food, you can get ketones, or release energy from ketones in a much shorter way. So, you put it in your Bulletproof Coffee — I put it actually on every meal; there’s always a sprinkling of it,because I just never think about food. I can skip lunch, I can skip dinner; it’s not going to ruin my day.
Dave:Before that, I was like, “End the meeting at 11:45, or I’m going to have to kill you and eat you.”
Dave:I just do not have those few more minutes of patience, like, “Bye now, I’m going to go eat a chicken breast.”
Buck: Cool. Thisiswhatprobablyeveryoneisinfearof: that, you know, “Skipping breakfast? Oh my God. You know, I’m going to walk past that Starbucksandthatdessertcounter,andhow am I going to skip all those carbs when I normally have my coffee?” So,thisistheabilitytohavesomethinglike Bulletproof Coffee, where you get the satietytaken care of.It’s actually helping your biome work foryou,notagainstyou.It’s an amazingthing.
Dave:It is soamazing when I dug in on the science because I knew some of the reasons that coffee was good. And, so many people have labeled superfoods, like kale, you know, kale is supposed to be a superfood. In the book I write about maybe cookingkale is a really good idea. Like doing a raw kale smoothie is not a great idea because kale has defense systems in it. And if you think about this from the perspective of someone who’s thinking about systems, and how systems protect themselves, which basically some of the people listening to this podcast might be thinking about.
Pretend you’re kale, and you don’t get to have a homestead. So, what you do is you evolve chemical defenses to keep animals from eating you. And if you do have a homestead, and you try and feed raw kale to a horse or a cow, you know what it’s going to do?
Buck: Spit it out?
Buck: Wow. OK. Wash the animals, yes.
Dave:Animals are smarter than the average person who put them there [laughs]. But the truth of the matter is that kale has oxalic acid in it. And when consumed in larger quantities, that’s the defense mechanism of kale that it can cause problems. There is debate whether it causes vulvodynia, which is a painful… basically painful sex in women, extremely painful. And the theory is, if what we know, it’s really oxalic acid. It forms crystals with calcium in your blood, and it can make your muscles weak, and it can make your brain weak. There’s a group looking at links between oxalic acid and autism. And there are also studies that say oxalic acid from vegetables isn’t the problem; it’s oxalic acid from mold toxins —at which part I’m like, “Gee, we kind of talk about those on the Bulletproof Diet too.”
Dave:But what I’ve found is that when reducing oxalic acid by cooking your kale and dumping the water,and then having kale soup instead of a kale smoothie, you get the benefits of the kale with an intelligent perspective coz kale doesn’t want to be eaten: it wants to reproduce.
Buck: I’m going to go runupstairs and stop mywifefromhittingtheVitamix[laughs] in the next five minutes.
Dave: And I have bad news for you: kale soup tastes way better than kale smoothies anyway. You’re going to win on this deal.
Is All of This Doable?
Buck: OK. Good deal. Thank you, sir. I put biohackers like you and Tim Ferriss into a different league. Is the Bulletproof Diet something that’s doable by mere mortals? This is something big for me coz I don’t consider myself to be a mere mortal. I mean, I consider myself to be a mere mortal, sorry.
Dave: I put hundreds and hundreds of hoursinto designing it to make it accessible because it’s relatively simple to sort of identify perfection. People — in fact, if you want to get this, you can text 58885 and then put the code BPDIET and your email address, and I’ll send you the roadmap for free. I’d appreciate it very much if you bought my book on Amazon.
Dave: I want you to have the info. The info is on the website. I don’t charge for the core of the book as that roadmap. [You] can print it out and put it in your fridge.
Dave:And when you do that, it tells you not how to do this. It says like,”Here’s a spectrum, there are three kinds of foods.
There’s kryptonite foods, and this is “Don’t eat those.” If you’re starving, it’s OK to eat those, right? It’s better to have the gluten, nutra sweet soy burger that could give you man boobs than to starve to death. Like, we all agree on that. But I’m not in a starvation situation; I’m in a kick-ass situation. So I’m going to eat that way. So, avoid the kryptonite foods — there’s no good reason to eat those.
The next level up issuspect foods. And these are foods that for many, many people cause problems that they’re unaware of. So, these are what you would avoid for a while, and you eliminate suspects. You know what, maybe you’reOK on white potatoes — a lot of people are.For 20 per cent of us, they cause growth in our arthritis. And you’ll basically have really crappy autoimmune conditions, and we’ll never know why if you don’t look at white potatoes as a potential suspect, and then either clear them or show that they’re guilty. If they’re guilty, they’re on the kryptonite list for you, but maybe not for me.
Dave:And then there arebulletproof foods. And these are foods that work for just about everyone. And when you eat those foods, you feel really good. The idea is you go for 14 days, and you eat the bulletproof foods. A high-fat, high-vegetable…There’s more vegetables than fat in your plate but they’re covered in butter and other…
Dave:… things like guacamole, bacon. Like, it’s really not so bad. And it’s quite good.
Dave: When you do that, you get mental clarity, and you feel good. And your brain turns on, and lots of good things happen. And then you go, “Alright, I’m gonna have a pizza.Let me test all the kryptonite or at least all of the potential suspect foods.”
Buck: All in one. Right.
Dave: And you just feel like you got hit by a truck. “Oh wait, that’s what those foods are doing to me.” Once you finally got the chance to relax, you can see what these foods do. So, this roadmap,it tells you this food is less likely to be bulletproof than this food. And this food is better than this food.
Dave: So, if you’re going to go out to eat, and the place just doesn’t have a lot of good choices, you can at least make the best choice that’s possible.
Buck:You can prioritize.
Dave: Yeah. You can eat the industrial-fed meat, which I don’t recommend eating, really, ever. But, alright, you’re hungry — you’re on the road or whatever. But you have a choice: you can eat a Filet Mignon, you can eat some sort of deep-fried chicken steak, or you can eat, like, a soy burger. Most people have no idea which is better. And I’ll tell you that the filet mignon is better even than the rib eye. Right? Because it’s got less of the fat that contains the hormones that were given to the cow.
Buck: Ha, OK.
Dave: It’s kind of amazing. You don’t have to know all the reasons; I just tell you this is the way to do it, go from this to this to this to this. So,it’s stack ranked, so you can just choose where you want to be right now on the roadmap.
Buck: I love it. So,lastquestionforyou. I thinkwe’rebothin our 40s, I’m 49, sodoesthe Bulletproof Diet work for people of any age? Maybe that’s a softballquestionforyou,but, you know, for old farts like me, is this going to work?
Dave:It works better for old farts like you.
Dave: Alright, and there’s a lot of young high-performers on it, but when you get older your brain is less efficient at processing glucose. And in fact, some people have called Alzheimer’s disease type 3 diabetes. So by shifting some of your brain energy to fat, you can fuel your brain in a different way that is liberating. Like, it can really help with memory and things like that. There’s even a study that I cite in the book that said that after about 30 days of using BXCT oil, which is the Bulletproof Extra Pure and CT Brain Octane oil, it can increase the amount of energy in your brain that comes from fat by about 14 per cent. So even if you’re eating sugar — and you’re not in ketosis — just by making that change of drinking Bulletproof Coffee that has those oils in it, you can start having brain metabolism coming from two sources of energy: sugar and fat. And when you’re older, it really, really feels different. It’s a good thing.
Buck:Good. Well, fantastic. Well, Dave, thankyousomuchforjoining usonthe Survival Dad show. Howcanfolkslearnmoreaboutyourbookandyourbusiness?
Dave: Goto Amazon right now. Order the Bulletproof Diet.
Dave: We are just launching the book this week. I really, really think it’s going to be on the New York Timeslist, and I’d be grateful if people would just go to Amazon and order it. And you can go to orderbulletproofdietbook.com, which is a website — there’s an email address; you can forward your Amazon receipt, and I’ll send you a bunch of free stuff, which is kind of cool —just more info about how to make this work for you. And this has been a labor of love;it’s taken years to create the program. And I’m putting it out there genuinely to help people. I’m writing a book — that’s actually way more work than the other stuff I do for a living. This is that help.
Buck: You know, I’m on Dave’s list. I highly recommend anyone listening to this podcast get on Dave’s list. The probably best way to do this is go to orderbulletproofdietbook.com. As Dave mentioned, get on his list,get all his free stuff. Download that chart, that fridge chart that he mentioned to you and try the Bulletproof Coffee. It’s amazing.In fact, I have a confession to make: I went to my brother’s house in Virginia. He actually had your coffee sitting on the counter[laughs].So, yeah, good news. Well, thanks Dave for joining us.Best of luck to you on the book tour, and I’m very confident this is going to be a best seller. Congratulations!
Dave: Buck, thanks so much. Have an awesome evening.
Buck: Sounds good, thank you.