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.

Skin Care Simplified: 4 Step Holistic Health Guide to Glowing Skin For Men (and Women)

Skin Care Simplified: 4 Step Holistic Health Guide to Glowing Skin For Men (and Women)

How come women get all the attention for amazing skin care products? Seems unfair, but then again most female-oriented skin care products are absolute chemical-ridden garbage. It’s time to level the playing field! Not really, the program and products below will work equally well for both sexes, but I recently had a guy friend ask me about my skin care regimen so I wanted to let the cat out of the bottle (?). I never considered myself the authority on amazing, vibrant, glowing, jaw-dropping, panty-dropping skin. I do, however, consider myself the authority on finding the simple tactics, products, and routines that maximize results (clean skin) with minimal time and effort involved, so let the sharing begin.

Step 1: Probiotic Facial Cleanser

Most cleansers are pretty irritating to the skin, and you can actually do pretty well without one altogether. I use/recommend the Mother Dirt Biome Face Natural Skin Cleanser. Apply once in the shower to repopulate the right, healthy bacteria that helps fight acne and keep your skin clear.

Step 2: Natural Moisturizer (+Frankicense Oil)

At least once per day, apply a natural, organic moisturizer. I’ve tried several (avocado oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, etc.) and found Organic Jojoba Oil and Emu Oil to work well and clog my pores the least. Both work, but as with diet, exercise, and almost anything, it’s worth switching things up so your body doesn’t become overly accustomed to one input. Emu oil is excellent if you’ve had a bit of sun exposure/burn to cool your skin down.

Using the moisturizer as the carrier, try adding frankincense oil to the mix as well. It has a bit of zing to it (“astringent”), will tighten your skin/pores, and add more glow. More glow is like more cowbell, always a good thing.

Step 3: Clay Facemask

Now here’s where it gets more interesting. A few times a month, apply a clay mask (while something super masculine to even out your manhood). Jokes aside, a good clay mask will work wonders for everyone. I recommend the Clay Mask by Alitura Naturals – “The Best Anti-Aging, Anti-Acne & Detoxifying Bentonite Clay Mask.” The CEO and founder Andy Hnilo has an interesting story with this product. I always have maximal confidence in products/companies that originated from the owner desperately trying to solve his/her own dire problem – you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more motivated to find the respective solution. For instance, you care and think about a speck of dust in your eye infinitely more than a stranger’s intense bedside suffering

Step 4: Clean Diet

This may, hopefully, go without saying, but all the best skin care products and moisturizers in the world can’t fix a broken system or diet. If you know and love the 80/20 or Pareto Principle, diet is the lead factor for skin results. Most people respond best to eliminating dairy, wheat, and sugar. Beyond that, start monitoring certain foods you’re eating and see how your skin responds. The next best thing to a healthy tan and sun-kissed glow is slightly orange skin from excessively eating beta-carotene rich foods like sweet potatoes (I haven’t yet decided whether or not I’m being facetious).

Your Environment Simplified: 6 Things to Consider That Could Be Make or Break Your Health and Hormone Balance

Your Environment Simplified: 6 Things to Consider That Could Be Make or Break Your Health and Hormone Balance

Male fertility has dropped all over the Western world. Sperm counts have fallen by half between the 1930s and 1990s and an additional third since 1904. If you’re buying and using normal, conventional products and taking life as it’s handed to you, you’re surely doing your health a deep disservice. If you’re looking at health through the narrow lens of food, diet, and sleep, let’s broaden your aperture.

I often complain/exaggerate that health is a full-time job, and this article will help elucidate that belief. Everything you come in contact with affects your health, for better or for worse. Common sense for most, but most aren’t properly accounting for everything they come in contact with. Let’s review the big hitters. Use this as a checklist to see where you may fall short and adjust accordingly.

Without it, you could be messing up your hormone balance and taxing your body’s detox system if you’re still using the run-of-the-mill crap out there.

Air (Indoor & Outdoor)

Both indoor and outdoor air quality plays a massive role in your health. Avoid busy, traffic-congested streets as much as possible (or at least live a fair distance from the heavy traffic and pollution areas). If that sounds too impractical then (reconsider, and) start with some easier wins: a high-quality air purifier and some indoor plants. Most furniture and upholstery contains formaldehyde, fire retardants, and other toxic chemicals that off-gas into your living environment – a no-go for your health.

Indoor Houseplants

Solution? Drape your house with plants. The Spider Plant and Peace Lily are effective for absorbing these toxins, but really kind any will do – at least that’s what my friendly neighborhood houseplant seller told me. I love plants because you only have to give them some water attention once a week and they’ll still love you.

indoor plant, houseplant

Air Purifier

A nice couple with your indoor nature-fest is a high-quality air purifier. HEPA is always a bare minimum. Beyond that, recommend brands are IQAir, Blueair, Austin Air, and AllerAir. Trust me, I’ve done my research, or at least someone else has and I leveraged their hard work. Keep one of those bad boys running in the background and you’ll be golden-er.

Breath

Take stock of how you are breathing. Ideally, you are breathing through your belly/diaphragm, versus your chest. If you’re diligent enough to do some slow, deep breaths as a form of meditation, focus on slowing down the breath hold and exhale. Simply put, the more you can prolong the exhalation, the better your body is able to detox itself via breathwork. If you find yourself sneezing after 5-10 mins of slow, deep, diaphragmatic breathing, you’re doing it right as your body is detoxing itself. This is baked into my morning routine for at least 10 mins a day. If you don’t have 10 mins, you don’t have a life. What if you have 10 mins but you still don’t have a life?

Sun

If you’re pounding the vitamin D and think you are good here, don’t let your eyes glaze over this section. Vitamin D, as with magnesium, is one of the power cofactors affecting so many of your metabolic functions that you’d be sorely remiss to miss this one. Beyond vitamin D, science is now proving that there are measurable benefits that you can only receive from direct sun exposure, as opposed to just taking a vitamin D supplement. Boosting mood, energy, and hormone balance/production, be sure to get at least 20 mins of sunlight, or stock up while it’s available to you.

sun, tanning, vitamin d

Water

As per usual, the process towards better health begins with elimination. Eliminating the chlorine, fluoride, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and heavy metals in water is a worthy investment. These substances will drain your energy and tax your liver. We live in a toxic world and you’d be hard-pressed to avoid everything sabotaging your health, so the idea is to limit your exposure as much as realistically, still-have-a-life, possible. Brita won’t cut it here, though it will help with the chlorine.

A reverse osmosis water filter system is your best, most practical solution. I was fortunate enough to have a friend help me install the under-sink version, but if you don’t have a friend/handyman available, I recommend the Aquatru Countertop Water Filter. Quality you can afford, and install via not having to install anything.

If you really want to go the full nine, you can also get a shower filter as well since your skin absorbs the same toxic chemicals and substances in your shower water.

Chemicals & Toxins

The short answer is everything you come in contact with (touch, breathe, smell, and taste), has the potential to harm you. We’re at the point where there are pharmaceutical compounds in our drinking water from people pissing out all the prescription drugs we taking – ‘Merica at it’s finest. We either need to stop urinating or stop taking so many drugs, and I’m uncertain which could happen first. It may feel overwhelming initially, but once you buy and use the right natural products, it’s literally zero extra time to your day to manage this.

I provided you with a headstart on which healthier natural products to use for your home and bathroom care here, but if you want to dig through it yourself by checking your current products and comparing them with healthier alternatives, I recommend these resources:

Social

We’re wired to be social creatures, but more interesting to me, your social relationships greatly dictate your health. Social pain activates the same brain circuitry as physical pain, so think twice the next time your ego gets in the way of forgiveness or resolving issues in your relationships. The Blue Zone centenarians (people in pockets of the world with abnormally high longevity) all have social, family, and community as a big part of their daily lives. Instant messaging and phone calls won’t suffice, so go for the real, raw, and untamed.

If you have that energy vampire you need to cut from your life, now’s the time. Go find someone you at least marginally like and give them a hug, as it releases oxytocin. Connect deeply like your life depends on it because it does.

 

Hopefully this expands your awareness and understanding to better empower you to take control of your health and environment. Take stock of every person, place, or thing you come in contact with and make the simple tweaks in your favor. Most of the items listed above are set-it-and-forget-it solutions, so I encourage you to start chipping away. Post below if you have any questions, save for how to set up a reverse osmosis water filter system. Much love, more thanks.