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.

Dental Care & Hygiene – Complete List of Tips

  • Add hydrogen peroxide to Waterpik water for killing of bacteria (can replace flossing).
  • Reverse cavities naturally
    • Fermented cod liver oil
    • Vitamins D
    • Vitamin K
    • Coconut oil pulling
  • Healing Oral Thrush
    • Oral Thrush Top 6 Foods That Heal Oral Thrush
      • Cinnamon — Studies have shown that people who supplement cinnamon into their diets generally suffer from less candida overgrowth than those who don’t. According to a Brazilian study, of the many health benefits of cinnamon, one is its anticandidal compounds that can be effectively utilized for the control of thrush. (11)
      • Unsweetened Cranberry Juice — Drinking a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice creates an acidic environment that makes it difficult for candida to thrive.
      • Fermented Vegetables — Fermented vegetables strengthen the immune system and boost microflora in the body. Kimchi, pickles and sauerkraut provide the body with probiotics and help to restore the balance of bacteria in the mouth and body. Regular consumption of fermented vegetables also improves the immune system.
      • Warm Starchy Vegetables — Vegetables like sweet potatoes, yams, peas, mung beans, lentils, kidney beans, butternut squash, carrots and beets are able to support the spleen in clearing candida from the body.
      • 5. Cultured Dairy — Adding cultured dairy and probiotic foods to your diet, like goat milk kefir and probiotic yogurt, can effectively kill the candida in the body by boosting probiotics and helping to restore the balance of bacteria.
      • 6. Coconut Oil — Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and the combination of lauric acid and caprylic acid found in coconut oil kills off harmful candida through ingestion and topical application. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that coconut oil was active against species of candida at 100 percent concentration compared to fluconazole, a common antifungal medication prescribed to patients with candida overgrowth. (12)
      • Coconut oil pulling is one of the best ways to promote a healthy mouth. According to the Indian Journal of Dental Research, oil pulling detoxifies the oral cavity and creates a clean, antiseptic environment. (13)
    • Supplements for Oral Thrush
      • 1. Natural Antibiotics•Raw Garlic — The allicin in raw garlic is a powerful antifungal, antibiotic and antiviral. Take one clove of raw garlic per day and use an organic raw garlic supplement to fight infections.•Oil of Oregano — Oregano oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties! Take 500 milligrams or 5 drops daily for no more than 10 days at a time.•
      • Colloidal Silver — This beneficial alkaline and antiviral agent will support and strengthen the immune system. Take 1–2 tablespoons daily to fight infections.
      • 2. Milk Thistle — Milk thistle supplements help to cleanse your liver from prescription medications, such as steroids, birth control pills and antibiotics. It also helps the body to detoxify environmental pollution, heavy metals and the remnants of chemotherapy and radiation — all factors that lead to a weakened immune system. (15)
      • 3. Vitamin C — Take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C twice daily to boost the adrenal glands and restore the immune system.
      • 4. Caprylic Acid — Because caprylic acid acts as a natural yeast-fighting agent, it’s believed that it can penetrate the cell membranes of candida yeast cells and cause them to die off, detoxifying the digestive tract and speeding up the healing process. A 2001 study found that caprylic acid reduces symptoms associated with viral and fungal infections like candida. (16)
    • Natural Remedies for Oral Thrush
      • Essential Oils
        • Clove — One of the most powerful applications of clove oil is its ability to fight oral thrush. A study published in Microbiology was conducted to see how clove oil fared against other antifungal treatments; the results suggest that clove was as effective as nystatin, a drug commonly prescribed to manage oral thrush (which comes with a slew of ugly side effects). (17) Another study conducted in 2005 found that clove oil possesses strong antifungal activity against opportunistic fungal pathogens such as candida. (18) Use 2–3 drops of clove oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil and swish in the mouth for 20 minutes, then spit it out and brush your teeth.
        • Oregano — Oregano oil acts quickly to kill bacteria, viruses and infections within the body. A 2010 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology notes that oregano oil has powerful antifungal activity against candida and may represent an alternative treatment for oral thrush. (19) Add 1–2 drops of oregano oil to a glass of water; do not use oregano oil internally for more than 10 days without taking a week off.•
        • Myrrh — Myrrh oil kills a variety of parasites and fungi, including candida. A 2012 study found that a combination of sodium fluoride present in toothpaste and herbal components such as myrrh, sage and chamomile exhibited antifungal activity, stimulated immune response and reduced inflammation. The herbal toothpaste effectively controlled candida in the mouth. (20)
  • Copper tongue scrapper
  • Doterra on guard natural whitening for healthy toothpaste and teeth whitening
  • Don’t brush right after eating something acidic. If you do, wash mouth out first. It wears away the enamel otherwise.
  • Oil of oregano drops in water to help with bad bacteria (candidia) etc. May not kill good bacteria but not proven.
  • Brushing your teeth with Activated Charcoal (can purchase via Bulletproof)
  • Strawberries applied to teeth for whitening (easily done via eating, or deliberately, but brush teeth after as they are acidic)
  • Mouthwash with oil (coconut, MCT, etc.)
  • Gargle apple cider vinegar, but not excessively as it may weaken enamel
  • Avoid oral antiseptics as they kill both good and bad bacteria which grow back in the wrong proportions. For bad breath, instead use oral probiotic lozenges and a tongue scraper.
  • Brush tongue to prevent cavities, plague, etc.
  • Re-mineralze teeth
    • Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil / Butter combination.
    • Toothpaste: Baking soda + sea salt
    • Swirl coconut oil around for 15 mins 1x/day
    • After Flossing: Hydro Floss using Water Ozonator (Longevity brand)
    • Most toothpastes distort the acidity in your mouth, so brush teeth with Earthpaste and/or hydrogen peroxide
    • Toothpaste: Dental Herb Company Tooth and Gum Paste
  • Root canals trap bad anaerobic bacteria that release toxins. Use alternatives like partial denture instead. Find holistic dentist at
  • The use of oral irrigating devices such as a Waterpik® is highly effective in treating gum disease.
  • Activated charcoal and probiotics to reduce bad breath.
  • The most effective method for healing gum problems is to rinse your mouth with warm salt water using an oral irrigator. Sea salt or equivalent high quality salt would be ideal for this; do not use commercial table salt. Warm sea salt water used in an irrigating device is one of the best protections against gum disease. I have heard claims that sea salt in the oral irrigator may shorten its life span. This could be true, but the benefits surely outweigh the cost. Alternatively a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar diluted in the oral irrigator water can also help with gum health. Herbal liquids for gum disease can also be used in the oral irrigator and injected deep into inflamed gum tissues.
  • Bad breath is many times caused by decaying food trapped below the gum line. Oral irrigating with warm salt water or blotting will relieve or improve many cases of bad breath by removing the rotting food particles.
  • Resources and Finding a Holistic Dentist
  • Natural Tooth Whitening
    • Dab a small amount of organic peppermint essential oil on your finger (much less than a drop), rub your finger on your toothbrush, and then brush normally.
    • Some people might find that organic tea tree oil provides wonderful benefits.
    • Another suggestion is charcoal. Keep in mind some of these methods are slightly abrasive to teeth.
    • Dental Tip for Whiter Teeth To naturally remove stains and whiten teeth polish your teeth using a wet cotton swab dipped in baking soda. With a bit of pressure, rub the tooth enamel only, avoiding the gums.

Cosmetic / Facial Care – Complete List of Tips


  • Hair Care / Hair Loss
  • Moisturizers
  • Skin
  • Misc

Hair Care / Hair Loss

  • Natural hair loss prevention supplement and reversal using holistic 4-prong method. Great for skin, overall stress-management and anti-aging:
  • Nonsurgical hair restoration system or hair restoration surgery.
  • Hair loss (episode 249 with Ben greenfield)
    • Need fat soluble vitamins 3 to 7k IU, more for the more obese you are. Take with vitamin k to avoid calcification risks.
    • Fish oil: 2 to 5 grams per day. Omega 3 low leads to hair loss.
    • Magnesium deficiency: take 500 to 1000 mg (until your stool gets too loose)
    • Selenium (Brazil nuts)
    • Zinc, but with an alpha reductase inhibitor to reduce conversation to DHT. Too much DHT leads to hair loss. Pumpkin seeds have zinc AND reduce conversion to DHT
    • Adaptogens
  • Castor oil: unrefined and cold pressed hexane free
  • Rosemary Oil
    • Improves memory
    • Prevents and reverses male pattern baldness when applied topically.
      Any truth? One recent study compared minoxidil (an over the counter hair loss treatment) to rosemary essential oil. Both were rubbed into the scalp on a daily basis. At six months, both groups had experienced a significant increase in hair growth, with the rosemary group having slightly less itchy scalps.
  • Peppermint oil stimulates hair growth. A 2014 animal study found that compared to saline, jojoba oil, and minoxidil, topical peppermint oil stimulated the most hair growth with an increase in dermal thickness, follicle number, and follicle depth.
  • Natural Topical Remedies (Can be mixed together in any combination)
  • Onion and Garlic: sulphur increases collagen which helps hair growth. Crush these up, blend with coconut oil, boil, and massage into scalp.
  • Oils: Emu, Coconut, Castor, Almond, Lavender, Olive, Avocado
  • Hibiscus: crush and mix with coconut oil
  • Amla
  • Aloe Vera
  • Having the right amount of Copper to Zinc ratio
    • Have mineral status tested by serum, urine or hair mineral analysis
  • Massage
  • Silica (can supplement or get from food)
  • Food sources of silica include leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb
  • Minimize Di Hydro Testosterone (DHT)
    • Minimize estrogen levels
      • External exposure
        • Avoid xenoestrogen exposure (pesticides, fertilizers, chemical fumes, plastic containers, etc.
        • Avoid soy (both fermented and unfermented) and flax
        • Creatine MAY cause baldness in men as it increases DHT which is connected to hair loss in people genetically susceptible to hair loss.
      • Internal production
        • Green tea
        • Pumpkin seeds
        • Giant Dodder
        • Tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, mangos
        • Supplement with Saw Palmetto
        • Supplement with Myomin (aromatase inhibitor and estrogen blocker)
        • Flavone rich herbs: passionflower and chamomile tea
        • Fermented foods (apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented dairy, etc.
  • Maximize testosterone levels
  • Maca powder (not capsules): 1-2 tablespoons/day.
    • As with spinach a good bit of maca needs to be eaten to have the good effects noted. Of the powder of any type, raw, sun dried, cooked or gelatinized, it takes 3 to 6 tablespoons of maca intake daily to have its positive actions.
    • Use gelatinized maca powder if you have stomach issues with regular
    • Black gelatinized (raw also a good option) maca would be the optimal choice with multiple studies of it’s benefits, ranging from learning/memory to bone density.
  • Increases testosterone, progesterone (which is an aromatase inhibitor) and blocks the action of estrogen with a natural E blocker known as Di Indole Methane (DIM)
  • Supplement with Enkindle (herbal formula). Note: extremely expensive
  • Hair Products / Other
    • Polysorbate 80: will neutralize DHT in hair follicles and help cut back on hair loss
    • Nizoral Shampoo: removes DHT from hair follicles
    • Creatine MAY cause baldness in men as it increases DHT which is connected to hair loss in people genetically susceptible to hair loss.
    • Shampoos with Keratin to boost growth

Natural Moisturizers

  • Macadamia Oil: Because palmitoleic acid is found in the sebum of human skin, macadamia oil can also double as a potent skin moisturizer.
  • NOTE: Squinting causes lines and wrinkles. Avoid squinting by using glasses and avoiding moisturizers/products that irritate your eyes and make your squint.
  • Jojoba Oil: plethora of benefits, including balding mitigation when applied to hair as it unclogs hair follicles, so use Jojoba shampoo. Even has SPF 3 protection.
  • Avocado oil, which also has SPF 10 protection.
  • Emu oil is a great moisturizer.
  • Olive oil is great moisturizer due to Polyphenols.
  • General Skin Care
    • Annmarie Gianni Skin Care
    • Purigenex Intensive Collagen System: top notch collagen face mask.
    • Nuskin Ageloc
    • Thorne Clay SkinCare bar
    • Ben Greenfield Anti-Aging Serum


  • Sunscreen: Badger Balm. Other good sunscreens are Raw Elements Eco Formula, Kabana Skincare and Mexitan.
  • Cologne: Zen for Men Cypress Yuzu Spray Cologne by Enchanted Meadow
  • Female-specific
    • Makeup: 100% Pure, BiteBeauty and  Josie Maran – these companies use healthy food-based or plant-derived ingredients, like Manuka honey and mango seed oil.
    • Nail Polish: Scotch Naturals. This is a 100 non-toxic nail polish.
    • Fragrance: Lavanila or Pacifica Perfume – similar to the men’s cologne I use, the bases are all healthy essential oils.
  • Use water/wet face when applying skin lotions/products to absorb better
  • Lemon squeezed onto a conch shell creates a paste that can be applied to reduce scars.
  • (Need to research) Sauna breaks down collagen, which you stop naturally producing after age 35.
  • Mother dirt probiotic soap
  • How to lighten skin
    • Don’t scrub face with towel
    • Use oil-free moisturizer with chamomile or other soothing botanical
    • Cinnamon, peppermint, aloe vera, or lemon juice (for acne too) work well
    • Put lemon juice in an abalone seashell overnight, and apply the paste in the morning (improves scars and redness)
    • Papaya soap
    • Hydroquinone
  • Acne mitigation
    • Don’t wash / rub face too roughly as that increased oil production and acne. Very gentle.
    • Minimize grain/sugar consumption
    • Apply tea tree oil
    • Orange oil:
      • Improves acne
      • Reduces anxiety through lowered cortisol and pulse rate
    • Good acne cleaning face wash. Wet face and apply Manuka honey for ten minutes. Rub in circles all over your face.


  • For allergic conjunctivitis and red eyes:
    • Use tear gels at night and tear/eye moisturizer in morning.
    • Avoid using Visine as it has a rebound effect. It is a vasoconstrictor which then causes a rebound/more redness.
    • Biggest factors for redness
      • Dryness
      • Wind
      • UV Damage
  • Oil of oregano to cure toe fungus.
  • Non-nano zinc oxide is best sunscreen as has large particles to not be absorbed through the skin.
  • Don’t Q-Tips as they push the earwax back which builds up in your ear. Instead use hydrogen peroxide to flush it out.
  • Having a beard promotes your face self-moisturizing and traps helps allergens (as nose hairs do too)
  • Avoid being in ocean during 10-2 hours as it deflects of the water and damages eye.