Coffee-Plus: It’s What’s For Breakfast!

Coffee:  it makes life worth living, right?

Okay, that’s obviously a silly overstatement.  But most of the research coming in recently about coffee indicates that it’s a healthy addition to the diet – lots of antioxidants, great for the brain, helps to increase insulin sensitivity, and more.

First, let’s get this fact out now:  like anything, it’s easy to have too much of it and that’s where the problems usually start.  Too much of anything isn’t good for you.  But a moderate daily coffee habit seems to have more benefits than most people seem to think.

The problems with coffee mostly seem to come from what people put into it: sugars, artificial creamers, etc.  That’s where the weight gain and insulin resistance and other stuff come from.

So let’s talk coffee for a bit.  I think I may be a bit different than most people in that I’ve liked coffee-flavored stuff from a young age.  My grandfather was a fan of coffee ice cream and I always enjoyed that, as well as the Jamocha shakes at Arby’s (back when they were still moderately naturally made, I suppose).  And when I got into college and my brief Army Reserves training time, coffee was a friend.

But I was one of those people who was doing whatever creamer was available and sugar in it.  Didn’t see any problems with things like Coffeemate or its various clones, or the amount of sugar I was putting in, etc.  As I’ve gotten older and wiser (yes, my dear wife, I have done that latter one), I’ve found a blend of coffee that really works for me.

It starts with the same ideas as Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee.  If you’re not familiar with this blend, Bulletproof Coffee is a product Asprey makes that goes through a very specific production process to massively lessen or even eliminate the amount of mold in the coffee, which the standard production (cleaning, roasting, etc.) process of coffee does not do.

But the next step that Bulletproof Coffee takes is to add some grass-fed butter and Medium-chain Triglyceride oils to the mix and blend it.  His highest-level MCT oil product is called “Brain Octane” and it has a lot of benefits to the body such as better mental functioning, quick energy, and more.  It’s produced from sustainably-harvested coconut and palm oil.

I had been using half and half, or when I could find it, heavy cream from grass-fed cattle sources (luckily, we have two local producers of those products here in the Columbus area: Hartzler Family Dairy and Snowville Creamery).  And that is absolutely delicious.

But after reading some of the studies on Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee, I switched over to it for a while.  I used butters such as Kerrygold, Président, and Isigny Ste. Mère (and still do!).  And I have tried using MCT oils as well.

I have to say that I didn’t care for the MCT oil by itself.  It was a bit TOO concentrated for me and resulted in some…um..”gastric distress” for me.  I switched over to coconut oil, and now I do around tablespoon of each in my mix.

So that was going well for a while, and then Mark’s Daily Apple posted an article on how Mark, though he totally understood and agreed with the Bulletproof Coffee, just didn’t care for the taste of it.  But he did try some stuff as other options, and came up with one that may freak a few people out:

Dark Egg Yolk

Dark egg yolks have more nutrients and are healthier for you! Look for pastured eggs for these gems.

Eggs. That’s right, chicken eggs.

Now, before you go flying away in fear of salmonella or other diseases, keep in mind that most people in the Paleo world aren’t talking about your average store bought eggs.  Nope, we’re talking about the most naturally raised and fed eggs you can find.  The problems with eggs arise from how they’re produced for the most part – factory farmed eggs are pretty nasty, there’s not a doubt.  So when choosing your eggs, I recommend looking for the keywords that Abel James (the famous Fat-Burning Man) talks about in his book, The Wild Diet: Get Back to Your Roots, Burn Fat, and Drop Up to 20 Pounds in 40 Days.  His hierarchy of preference is as follows:

Pastured > Organic > Free-Range > Omega-3 enriched > Cage-free > Conventional

I highly recommend reading The Wild Diet for more on this – but there are also a lot of great places here on the internet with this same hierarchy and a discussion of what each one really means (hint: terms like “free-range” and “cage-free” don’t mean that the chickens are toddling around a beautiful farm).  But basically, the darker the yolks in your eggs, the healthier they are.

So I tried Mark’s Primal Egg Coffee for a while.  I tried both the whole-egg recipes and the yolks-only recipes for a while, and they were good… but the consistency of the coffee was less than I wanted.  The whole-egg blend was watery because of the whites in the eggs, and the yolks-blend had a chalky consistency that I didn’t care for.  But I loved how it made me feel in the morning.

So my friend Sandy told me what she was doing – adding a whole egg to her morning Bulletproof Coffee.  I gave that a try, and it was a match made in coffee heaven.

I’m feeling really great in the mornings now.  I do 16 oz. of coffee, butter, coconut oil, and and an egg. It keeps me feeling full (I’m rarely hungry until lunch), gets me fantastic nutrients to start the day and get my mind moving, and it’s an overall healthy addition to my morning.

The only other things I add to the blend each morning are: a dash (no more than a teaspoon) of cinnamon and one of organic cacao powder.  The cinnamon gives it a sweetness without the added carbs of sugar, and the cacao gives me a slightly mocha-y flavor.  Both also have a ton of health benefits.  I may try other things in the future as well, but that’s the situation right now.

I blend the whole thing with a stick blender and pour it into my cup of choice for the day.

So that’s my morning blend.  And I will, occasionally, still just do a simple coffee and heavy whipping cream on the weekend when I am having a more substantial breakfast, but for my everyday use, it’s working out great.  It makes my mind clear, it fills me up, and obviously I’m getting a ton of different nutrients from it.

So – how do you take your coffee each day?  Or do you prefer something else? Comment below, and please share this with someone who is also a fan of their daily cup of joe!