Coffee Substitutes for Energy, Focus and Healing Adrenal Fatigue (My Mostly Failed Journey Off Of Coffee)

Coffee Substitutes for Energy, Focus and Healing Adrenal Fatigue (My Mostly Failed Journey Off Of Coffee)

The first question to ask is why would you want to get off of coffee to begin with? Outside of the nirvana and brag-worthy state of not being addicted to anything, the real reason I started looking for alternatives was to fix my adrenal fatigue and inflammation, which you can see my lab results from the Human Garage here. Caffeine, especially from coffee as opposed to green tea, is counterproductive for your tired adrenals. Whether or not you know that to be your situation, I still recommend going a month every so often free of coffee (or at least swap for decaf coffee) for related reasons. It wasn’t easy giving up my Bulletproof coffee every morning, so I had to find something to tide me over. I mostly failed in that endeavor but figured I’d share my findings anyway.

Option 1: Mocha Maca Powder

One of the recommended alternatives I picked up from the Human Garage was glorified maca powder so I started there. It looks like coffee when you blend it with hot water, but that’s about as far as the resemblance goes unfortunately. It was a bit more palatable adding the standard Bulletproof/fatty coffee ingredients (grass-fed butter, coconut oil, cocoa, collagen, etc.) but still nothing to write home about. I’ll do this a couple times a week, but it’s not a daily go-to after sufficient experimentation.

Option 2: Kombucha

Kombucha is the best tasting of all three options, but the drawback is due to the small sugar content I wouldn’t consider it to be the best option while trying to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting. If you just want something to sip on in the morning, and the mocha maca powder doesn’t float your boat, give the kombucha a try. I teach you how to ferment your own kombucha here. Heal your gut with the probiotics, and heal your adrenals with the reduced caffeine and coffee intake.

Option 3: Matcha Green Tea

I really, really wanted to like matcha green tea. It is literally the “10x” of green teas containing ten times the amount of antioxidants in regular green tea, or something to that effect. It’s a research-backed, generation-over-generation-proven superfood. I first tried steeping it in hot water and drinking it as a standalone hot tea, but it literally tastes like moss. What does moss taste like you might ask, and that answer is I don’t know but I do know matcha tastes terribly (unless it’s served as a frozen yogurt or ice cream that one would find at Kippy’s or Pressed Juicery, but then again sugar with anything is the ultimate antidote).

Next I tried drinking it cold, which took it from an F-flavor to a D-minus. Lastly I tried simply adding it in with the rest of my first-thing-in-the-morning water morning routine (with lemon juice, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and Athletic Greens). This is where I’ve landed, but with the added matcha powder in it, I down it as fast as possible with all the other aforementioned ingredients to mask the matcha taste. One unexpected benefit of the matcha powder is that it tangibly reduced my appetite, rendering it the strongest solution I’ve found to endure a 16-hour fast without food cravings. Beyond that, my goal in life is to see how much money I can waste in one cup of water by adding all those added ingredients each morning.

If you have any other non-obvious healthful alternatives to coffee, feel free to comment below. I’ve tried yerba mate as well, but the cold hard fact is nothing compares to a good Bulletproof/fatty coffee (which is why I still drink it once a week for the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine for a personal record-shattering workout day).

P.S. Decaf coffee often has its own issues, so I’m not considering that right now, but it does seem to be the logical alternative.


How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

I saw that Ben Greenfield (prominent health and fitness influencer and self-proclaimed biohacker) recently chanced upon a place I have been holding in my back pocket for several months, waiting for an opportune time to give it my full endorsement. The Human Garage, in beautiful Venice, California is the place of which I speak. Simply put, it’s the most holistic and bleeding-edge health center to improve your body alignment, biochemical wellbeing, energy, and mind. They have several modalities to accomplish this, along with the absolute best supplements one may find on earth. Basically, their standard for anything they do or sell to improve your health is an 11 out of 10.

I’ve gone through their full protocol of multiple sessions, along with a subclinical wellness test to better tailor their recommendations for me. My results are below, along with Ben Greenfield’s. The provider they use for the wellness analysis, QurEcology, is apparently one of the best, with extremely unforgiving and stringent gradings for the most relevant biomarkers ranging from digestion to inflammation to toxicity. If you’ve ever wondered if you have “adrenal fatigue,” this would be the best indication. Sure, you can just go off of how you feel, but why not get reliable data on your health. In God we trust, all else bring data.

Now, health is not a competition and this post title is admittedly a bit clickbaity, but I have very real lessons learned through comparing my results to someone like Ben Greenfield, such as:

  • Get tested. Get the data. Don’t assume anything.
  • Never give someone too much credit or worse, not give yourself enough credit.
  • Lifestyle takes its toll. Ben travels all over the world and has a packed schedule giving talks, training for long-distance endurance competitions, etc. That undoubtedly impacted his results.
  • Simple is better than complex. Ben has tried every biohacking tool under the sun, but that is majoring in minors. The majors being the basics of health (meditation, breathing, gratitude, love, nature, non-excessive exercise, and the rest of the stuff I beat you over the head with in this blog). I get caught up in the latest and greatest as is human nature to seek novelty, but discipline myself to execute on the 80/20 of health (and per below that has evidently paid off). Anything I do past that is whimsical and hopeful experimentation derived from my obsession with health.

If you have lingering back pain or neck pain, want to realign yourself to undo years of sitting and the 21st century sedentary lifestyle, or simply want to upgrade your mind and body through the most exquisite experience, I highly recommend you make the trip to Venice and visit Human Garage. They have a waiting list and all that jazz, so check in with them first.

Brian’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage (QurEcology Biochemical Wellness Analysis)

  • Green/good count: 8
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 6
  • Red/poor count: 0

Ben Greenfield’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage

  • Green/good count: 1
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 7
  • Red/poor count: 6

If you’re reading this Ben, know that I would jump at the chance to learn from you, as I have done so in the past, along with your friend, old roommate and vacuum-vixen Brett.

Emotional and Mental Health – Elite Tips


  1. Meditation
  2. Miscellaneous


  • 3 critical steps
    • Sit upright comfortably.
    • Focus on the breath (nose, chest, and/or stomach)
    • Don’t control the mind. When it wanders, bring it back to the breath. Goes out, bring it back. That is the exercise and training.
  • TM is best meditation.
  • 40 years of zen to expedite meditation long term benefits.
  • Benefits
    • Long term meditation allows you to enter flow state much easier.
    • Virtually everything, including seemingly unrelated afflictions like psoriasis and IBS
    • Studies show transcendental meditation may decrease the amount of sleep we need to still perform well.
  • As a simple form of mediation to achieve optimal heart rate variability, breath in a slow and controlled manner while summoning a feeling of gratitude.
  • Think about actively releasing and relaxing your body parts as you set up and do meditation.
  • Keep an upright posture during meditation.
  • Say out loud the negative thing you want to stop. Eg “thinking” while you are trying to meditate and quiet the mind. Worrying, impatient, mad, etc. when you name something you don’t identify with it as much. This will help break bad patterns through this simple interruption. “When you name a fear, you have power over it.”
  • Exhale longer than inhale to engage parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Balance left and right brain so you are not too dominant in problem solving without being able to use intuition. Ziva meditation (alternate nostril breathing, start and end with exhale on left nostril).
  • Mantras
    • Soooooo (inhale) Hummmm I am that. Repeat
  • Guided Meditation
    • Holosync Meditation
      • Always use headphones, for all versions.
      • Can let mind wander or do anything; other meditations are compatible but not at all necessary. Observe your thoughts.
      • Sit 3-5 minutes after finishing to lessen the emotional material experienced as you move through the day.
      • Dive moves you through alpha, to theta, to delta brain waves over 30 minutes. Immersion is only delta.
      • Holosync gives you the benefits of meditation, eight times faster. Do with with affirmations and/or repeatedly saying “release” to prompt you to release all mental, physical, and emotional tension.


  • EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to overcome fear, anxiety, emotional wounds and trauma.
  • Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:
    • Ask, “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
    • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name, and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
    • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
    • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.
  • In their fascinating study “Would you be happier if you were richer?”, published in Science, Princeton professors Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, found that perhaps the best indicator of happiness was frequency of eating with friends and family.
  • Unseen Therapist – Gary Craig 
  • Tension, Stress, Trauma Release: Watch the 8-minute Tremors video on T.R.E.’s official website to see how it works.
  • To be free of stress and in the unfuckwidable zone. Forgiveness is the ultimate health and life hack. Improved physical performance tests, etc. mindfulness, and self love. All three together. 
  • When feeling down/depressed:
    • Don’t worry alone. Find people.
    • Get the facts.
    • Have a plan.
  • Find at least one positive for every negative event.
  • Vagus nerve etc. think and say peace love and joy and avoid anxious people to make yourself calmer and happier
  • Simply observe your thoughts and feelings without judgement, as if you are a 3rd party, vs. trying to stop and control all of them. Distanced observation naturally makes us more calm and at ease.  Notice don’t judge.
  • Stress is the PERCEIVED threat of something real or imaginary. Don’t think about your lack of sleep and unhealthy behaviors as stressful.
  • Bout of exercise when stressed or anxious.
  • Your intelligence is not fixed and we grow new neurons throughout life. To maximize, do new challenges, course corrects, and exert effort to get the achievement. Mental effort builds mental abilities.
  • Reframe anxiety as excited. It’s much easier to go from negative to positive than from high arousal to low.
  • HRV takes 5 mins for efficacious assessment. For better coherence, close eyes, envision nasal breath going into your heart. Then envision something or someone you love floating in front of you and go into your heart. Then feel an intense feeling of gratitude for what you put into your heart.
  • Lavender oil: relieves anxiety
  • Happiness hack: smile and tilt your head up. It’s biologically incongruent to be sad or depressed when doing this.
  • Have a clear goal and anticipating achieving that goal is a natural and strong way to get dopamine flowing. Great to combat depression of any form. 
  • You don’t have energy. You GENERATE ENERY. You can do things to generate energy, happiness, etc. Embrace this mental reframe.
  • Batch checking emails and messages vs constant checking and monitoring. The latter messes with your dopamine and puts you in a state of chronic stress. Self-observation: applies to constantly checking the stock market or anything with surprise/volatility. 
    • Own or take care of a dog.
    • Watch cute animals on TV/computer.
  • When you are feeling down in the day, doing a short burst of exercise (e.g. pushups) can quickly pull you out of it with the endorphin rush.
  • Exercising gratitude tangibly reduces our stress.
  • Self-Hypnosis (autosuggestion)
    • Record your voice and replay it back (goals, hopes, who you want to be, etc.)
    • Use neutral computer voice (Kindle text to speech app.) so you don’t lose the persuasion in your vocal tonality when you may be lying to yourself otherwise.
    • Text to voice app.
  • Take an 80/20 analysis of your emotional wellbeing. What are 20% of the things that are causing you 80% of the joy and happiness. Same for negative (stress, guilt, etc.). Change your life accordingly. Cut the fat, double down on the wins.
  • Arguably the best of thing we can do for our health is have quality loving relationships, including friends family and significant others. One study showed different benefits received from having a close guy friend than wife/girlfriend. Give hugs, connect with others, and be PRESENT when doing so.
  • Loneliness promotes negative bio-markers. Social connection promotes health and longevity.
  • There is a strong feedback system between your physical and your mental/emotional. Positive posture, breath, etc. dictates mental sense of control and power. Vice versa. Work on one, to help the other, creating a positive cycle.
  • GEE of happiness. Gratitude, enthusiasm, engagement.
  • Stress reduction technique: close eyes and focus on your heart as you breath in a slow and controlled manner
  • Cultivating a positive, self-perceived efficacy mindset can be the make-or-break differentiator in trying to succeeding at a relatively large endeavor. Moreover, it is crucial to avoid people who cause you self-doubt.
  • Stop ruminating on past negative events as this increases your stress and can be addictive.
  • Heart Math
  • Expensive but effective: EEG Neurofeedback
  • Adopt confident posture, restore movement, breath into belly
  • Get a massage (many of it’s benefits are debated but one for sure benefit is it reduces depression/anxiety
  • Write down positive thoughts
  • Shake and vibrate
  • Mindfulness Meditation
    • Being in the present
    • Focusing on sounds, sensations, taste
    • Thoughts: label thoughts rather than engaging them can make it easier to let them go
  • Make a daily list of things good about your job and life. This re-wires your brain to see the positive, boosting your performance and overall life satisfaction.
  • We are less happy when we have excessive choice, because it raises our expectations, and prompts us to regret our choice knowing there may have been a better option.
  • Three elements of positive psychology: pleasure, flow (time stops as you are using your strengths for something), and meaning (doing something for a cause bigger than yourself). These affect happiness in increasing order; pleasure does not affect life satisfaction. 
  • Writing or thinking of gratitude, and what someone has done from you to greatly affect your life, also positively influences your happiness.
  • Gratitude kills fear and anger. Embody as much as possible.

Mindset & Self-Talk – Elite Tips

  • Understand you are not your mind: Observe negative thoughts, rather than tying them to your identity. You will notice they are tied to your ego and will no longer bear influence on you.
  • Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.
  • You are not your thoughts. They are objects that can be manipulated depending on how you respond (reinforcement of positive or negative thoughts/beliefs).
  • Change your mindset from what can I get from each person you meet/have a relationship with to what can you give them. The universe will then open up for you.
  • Never put someone on a pedestal as it is telling yourself he or she is better than you and you are not good enough. Even the richest people have deep issues like the rest of us, for example. Don’t lower your own self-worth.
  • Self-affirmations (affirming what you know to be true about your or your definite assets) are much more efficacious when we are feeling down than positive affirmations (too generic) which only work when we have high self-esteem at that point in time.
  • Stop and pause for 20 seconds anytime something bad or inconvenient happens to you so you can numb yourself instead negatively reacting.
  • Water has memory. It can capture positive or negative energy. So since you body is made of water, and your subconscious is always on, negative self talk really hurts us. Be cognizant of anytime you say “I am” as you are programming your subconscious mind which will create the reality. 
  • For attitude and beliefs, use “but” to your favor to make affirmations more effective and believable. I am shy but I’m meeting the right people vs. I’m an extrovert.
  • Gratitude kills fear and anger. Embody as much as possible.
  • You don’t chose what happens to you, you chose how to respond.
  • “Trade your expectations for appreciation.”
  • Always protect your gratitude and your confidence.     
  • Think of life as a game, which erases excessive fear and stress. Do your best, but don’t be overly attached. You will lose everything you have.  And it all starts all over for the next person.
  • “It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end.”
  • Use positive not negative affirmations. Don’t use the word not. Don’t say don’t x. You have to think of X to not think of it after.
  • One heuristic for distinguishing stuff that matters is to ask yourself whether you’ll care about it in the future. Fake stuff that matters usually has a sharp peak of seeming to matter. That’s how it tricks you. The area under the curve is small, but its shape jabs into your consciousness like a pin.
  • Don’t be so impressed in people. You can do it to, or 10x better, with systematic improvement. Don’t be so impressed.
  • Reframe your anxiety and nervousness before a performance as you are just readying yourself, which is true. Need adrenaline for optimal performance.
  • Don’t identify with or wrestle with negative thoughts. Raise your consciousness by observing them until they run themselves out. The more you fight it the more active it becomes.
  • Successful people learn the lessons from their mistakes and failures and pain endured. Unsuccessful people complain and pity themselves.
    • Self-talk for high performance and to avoid performance anxiety: use your first name instead of “I” as this detaches yourself to a degree.