For years I loved waking up and grinding my coffee in readiness for that magical moment where I blend heaping tablespoons of butter making it into a delicious creamy brew. But, after a while things started to go a bit… shall we say… fiery? Today we are taking a dive into coffee from the perspective of bio-individuality to see if the worlds most popular drink is right for you?
- Listen to Little Lover ‘TEEMID Remix’
- Ep 17 – How To Stop Binge Eating
- Ep 21 – Ayurevda Series 1 – What Is Your Body Type?
- Ep 44 – Longevity Series – Get Your Antioxidants
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P.S. Always listen to your intuition (and your doctor or practitioner) before trying any new health practice.
This episode is all about my journey with Bulletproof Coffee which I have now not been drinking for the past 8 months. And I am going to talk about the process of elimination I went through to finally determine whether coffee was good for my body type and unique constitution.
Yes I know, I know… If you have been following Melissa and I for a whole, you would know how much we loved our Bulletproof Coffee. If you don’t know what Bulletproof Coffee is, it’s basically a high quality brew of coffee blended with grass fed butter and MCT oil. In fact, Melissa and were probably largely responsible for the extreme shortage of Westgold Unsalted Butter in Australia for a while there.
Let’s face it… there are few things more satisfying than hand grinding your own coffee, the aroma of that magical brew filling all your senses and the rush of clarity you get once those caffeine delivered lipids and polyphenols rapidly absorb into your bloodstream, supposedly fuelling your mitochondria. But, what happens when you take this magical morning routine all away? Well, I can only speak for me, but after years convincing myself that I just naturally had amazing energy in the morning, I realised that perhaps my creamy buttery brew was in fact propping me up more than I would have liked to admit.
It was a Monday morning and my son was off to school. I wouldn’t be seeing him for a week as it was his last morning with Melissa and I before he headed back to his mum’s place. Now, anyone that has met Leo knows what a little angel christ like buddha he is. Wise beyond his years and impossibly lovable. To be honest, I sometimes wonder if I am anywhere near as good a human as he is. So when I witnessed myself all of a sudden erupting into a volcano of anger over something ridiculously insignificant (I think he couldn’t find his soccer boots after looking ‘“really hard”), I knew that something in me was not quite right.
Now, being a parent is certainly one of life’s greatest challenges. They are your greatest mirror and can reflect all the things about yourself that you may find hard to accept. You can forgive yourself for the occasional meltdown, but for me it was becoming increasingly common. I promised this would be the last time I treated him poorly and vowed to figure out how I had become… well… an angry human.
So, I turned to the lowest hanging fruit – my diet. Was there something I was having which could be causing an imbalance? The obvious place to start was with my Bulletproof coffee (oh dear God, please don’t let it be the coffee!). I don’t know why this never occurred to me, but I decided to take a look at coffee from an Ayurvedic perspective.
the traditional Hindu system of medicine which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.
Without going into all the potential modern day scientific benefits of drinking coffee which you can get in this interview with Dave Asprey (who I love and respect for his work and dedication by the way) on The Melissa Ambrosini Show, I want to explore a more subtle side that is almost always overlooked – is coffee really good for YOUR bodily constitution?
In Ayurveda there are three main body types or doshas. We each have our own unique balance of all three doshas, but more often than not we tend to be more dominant in one or two. If you haven’t heard my Ayurveda Series 1, head to broadhurst.world/21 where I take a deep dive into each body type… but in a nutshell:
Pitta (fire) – ravenous hunger, can devour food, strong digestion, fiery at times, type A personality
Vata (air) – hard to stay warm, needs more rest, likes to graze on food, weaker digestion, can be a bit flighty
Kapha (earth) – heavy, grounded, happily can eat an extra piece of brownie or two
These are outrageous over-simplifications, but you get the point.
I have a Vata constitution (I can get cold and my skin dries easily) and Pitta constitution (fiery, driven, intense, unforgiving). It had taken me several visits to various Ayurvedic practitioners before the significance of this dropped. I had been ignoring the Pitta part of me, thinking I was just a delicate little Vata who just happened to be a total ass at times to those around me. But this was not always how I was. As I pondered my latest eruption, I reflected on my pre-coffee life and realised… I used to be nice person (oh dear God, not the coffee!).
So I turned to Dr Google and within 0.43 seconds was faced with 553,000 reasons why ‘pitta coffee ayurveda’ was not such a good idea. For starters, coffee can be an intestinal irritant that inflames the digestive tract (Pitta imbalance here we come), it is acidic in nature (hello again Pitta) and to top it all off, it’s dehydrating. Sorry Mr Pitta Vata. Coffee is out of the blender for you.
Could it be that my increasing rage was simply coming from imbalancing my Pitta day after day? So I gave it up, and the immediate results were… depressing. Literally. I was frickin sad! Is it normal that a food should be ‘making’ you happy? Why can’t my body just naturally be in that state?
And then there was the issue of energy. Or should I say no energy. None. Nada. My usually focused mornings resembled more of a walk on the moon where everything just went soooo sloooow. It all started making more sense. After jumping on the Bulletproof band wagon, which I will say is AMAZING for some people, I had to face the fact that it simply was kryptonite for me. It had become a vicious circle of maxing out my adrenals but not knowing it because that MCT oil just made me feel so good! I had energy, but it was exogenous and not from within.
So faced with the age old question of what-the-hell-do-I-eat-for-breakfast, I headed into the slippery slope of dietary wilderness to find a truly upgraded Bulletproof brekkie alternative. And I think I may have nailed it.
But first, a disclaimer – it is up to you, and only you to ‘see’ what is true for you. Don’t believe me because others do, and don’t believe what you have read in books, seen on Instagram or heard from ‘authority’ figures, doctors, teachers and musicians who write about health. You already have all the answers, it’s simply a case of remembering what is true for you.
Ok, that said, it’s time for my big old blueberry morning smoothie. Rather than go over this again, you can check out episode 44 /.world/44 Longevity Series – Get Your Antioxidants where I talk about the magic of berries.
And while I am not recommending that everyone ditch their Bulletproof or regular coffee, I would like to point out that in this day and age with the amount of environmental toxins we are exposed to, don’t we all need to make every meal count? Could it be that your morning pick me up is a missed opportunity to have a super nutritious meal? If you are looking for polyphenols which comes from coffee beans, something tells me that a beautiful fresh bright purple berry could just be the upgraded alternative for getting our daily dose of polyphenols, and best of all, they are in their natural state and have not been roasted. After all, coffee is dark because it has been burned to some degree, and burned food in general is not such a great thing.
But as with all things, there is always divine order, perfect balance, equal opposites, and in this case it just so turns out that coffee can actually be used medicinally to improve some of my vata body type constraints. So now, my mentor Stephen Cabral has me drinking a very tiny cup of decaf coffee after breakfast to do two things… 1) bring heat into my digestive tract when it is at it’s slowest in the morning, and 2) bring more acidity into my digestive tract because naturally as a vata I have less stomach acid. So you never know. They key here is to stay open, always.
Intermittent fasting does also have its benefits, and if anything I think that my daily habit over the past few years of replacing breakfast with a BPC was a huge step forward towards learning to eat less and trusting my body. Overeating has always been an issue for me, and hearing cries of “but it’s healthy” drip from my mouth along with the crumbs of a keto cookie (or 10) can get pretty boring for those around you. I talk about overeating in episode 17, How To Stop Binge Eating. But my body needs constant fuel. It runs on carbs… yep… carbs… and it turns out that missing my chance to fuel up with nutrient dense foods in the morning was actually hurting my mitochondria. The exact opposite of why I thought my BP Coffee was good for me in the first place.
While there were many things I was doing that contributed to this fiery Pitta imbalance, I do believe that a great route to take is to identify and remove anything that could be causing an imbalance within you and see how you feel. Eight months on I am not an angry human anymore, my wife actually wants to be around me again (plus there are loads more little flowers in her Period Tracker app ;), and Leo doesn’t think Daddy is a crazy person. Win-win.
I know I am kind of taking the piss here a little bit, but seriously, I just want to put bio-individuality back on the breakfast table. There is so much pressure these days to do as we see on Instagram. If that person looks so good and they drink coffee, then maybe it’s good for me? Maybe… it all depends on your constitution.
I honestly believe BP coffee can be amazing, if used almost therapeutically, and for the right body types.
Remember today to … look up … see the beauty around you … see the beauty within you … be gentle with yourself … be love … listen to your intuition … listen to your beautiful messenger that is your body, it’s always whispering, and sometimes screaming at you to be heard… and as always, have a beautiful day … I love you heaps.