Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Experiences with Bulletproof Coffee

People are putting butter and coconut oil in their coffee. And they say its the greatest thing - more focused, more energy, feeling satiated. I read it on the internet and like many things, I took it with a grain of salt.  Then, a few weeks back, I decided to give it a try. I'm a morning person. I like to get up, work out and then eat breakfast.  My regular wake up time is 5:20 AM, so, usually within 2 or 3 hours of getting up I'm eating breakfast.

My daughter has an early morning swim practice which starts at 5AM on Wednesdays, which means we're both up at 4:20AM. I can still go to my 6AM CrossFit, but that really messes with the eat breakfast within 2 or 3 hours. The same week that inspired me to try Bulletproof Coffee (aka butter coffee), I had some changes to my morning schedule and I was going to go to CrossFit at 8AM. But I still got up at 5:20, which didn't quite leave enough time for breakfast to digest - and no one wants to go to CrossFit with a full stomach.  So I decided to try Bulletproofing my coffee, and see if it was worth it.

Bulletproof coffee is simply your morning coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of (grass-fed) butter.  The clean fats provide calories (energy) and really make the coffee creamy. Drinking something is easier and quicker to get down than eating something, so its a way to kickstart your day. You can read more about it and get a recipe here.

My first day trying out Bulletproof coffee was an early morning swim practice day. I made my coffee with my Caffe Vita Theo Blend beans after dropping her off at practice. I used the blender to mix it all in, some people just let the hot coffee melt the fats. The coffee had a nice frothy top and boy was it creamy tasting.

Now here is a little something about me, I like coffee for its taste. I drink my coffee black, my drink of choice is an espresso. But no cream, no sugar. If I drink an espresso, its so dry the foam just stays on top. Its all about the flavor of the coffee.  And so much fat in the drink covered up the coffee flavor. It was like a super-creamy latte. So, it loses a few points for covering the taste of my coffee.

I drank it on my way to CrossFit and was feeling quite energized. My workout went well and I wasn't really that hungry when I came home, but I ate a small breakfast because... Well because you're supposed to eat breakfast, aren't you?  I felt pretty good all day long, but I was also wearing my Captain America t-shirt - he's almost bullet proof.

But that day, I was so thirsty. I couldn't drink enough water. I even emailed some of my friends who've bulletproofed their coffee and they drink 32 ounces of water before drinking their coffee. Lesson learned.

The next day, I got up at my usual 5:20, but wasn't planning on CrossFit until 8AM. So I drank 32 ounces of water and made my butter coffee.  I then sat down and worked on an class I was taking.  And I felt really focused, considering I was studying big data analytics at 6 in the morning.  CrossFit at 8AM was alright, my energy levels great considering that I hadn't eaten anything and I wasn't all that hungry when I got home and then didn't eat anything until lunch time.

Those two days were a pretty successful test and I've continued to bullet proof my coffee when I have early mornings or planning on going to the later CrossFit sessions. Its been working out well for me. Its almost like a meal replacement - it has enough calories for a meal.  I'm energized, focused and satiated.  My two big lessons are:

  1. Don't use your great tasting, special beans or single origin beans. The nuances will be lost under the uber-creaminess.
  2. Drink lots (32 ounces) of water before your coffee. I guess it has to do with how the fats are processed by our bodies.

So, what do you put in your coffee and would you put butter in it?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Jawbone MINI JAMBOX - These go up to 11

AT&T provided a Jawbone MINI JAMBOX  for Heather to review, but I'm the big music listener in our house. So, I've been using it quite a bit and AT&T will get two reviews out of it!

The Jawbone MINI JAMBOX is a rechargeable, portable speaker that connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth or mini-stereo plug. Its the smaller sibling to the BIG JAMBOX speaker, but it still has the good sound quality that Jawbone is known for.  The MINI JAMBOX also serves as a speaker phone and I've only used it for one call and my parents didn't even notice.

I primarily use the MINI JAMBOX in my bedroom and bathroom. Dropkick Murphys playing.  It's great listening to music as I read in bed and I love having music in the bathroom with me.  I'll bring the speaker into the bathroom while I shower, and its loud enough to be heard over the running water and the bathroom fan. I've recently switched to a double edged razor (more on that in another post) for shaving and I savor shaving with some

The speaker has an all aluminum construction and is small enough to fit in my back pocket. Its small enough to take it on trips or on a picnic lunch.  There are a few controls on the speaker itself, a multi-purpose play/stop/forward/backward button (depending on how many times you push it) and volume up and down buttons.

The battery lasts about 10 hours and its never a guessing game how much battery life you have left.  When paired with a phone running the Jawbone application, the remaining battery percentage shows up in the notification bar.  It charges through a mini-USB port.

I now keep my Bluetooth on my phone turned on all the time, so its just one button to turn on and my phone can make great sounding music. I just wish my Jawbone II headset was upgrade-able so it'll tell me the battery life through the app.


  • The MINI JAMBOX has excellent bass response, especially considering how small of a box it is.  You can feel the bass when it makes its startup sound. Enough to move the speaker if on uneven footing
  • The Jawbone app is awesome and is available from iTunes or Google Play.
  • The speaker will talk to you; alerting about low battery or no devices attached. You can even change the voice!
  • It goes up to 11.


  • To change the voice, you need a Windows or Mac machine, unfortunately there isn't Linux support. Yes, I want  the MINI JAMBOX to speak to me in the sultry voice.
  • There is some audio lag when watching video. I think that this is just a function of Bluetooth and its only slightly noticeable when watching a documentary type video.
I was not monetarily compensated for this post. Heck, I might not even get unfettered usage of the MINI JAMBOX if Heather decides to take it back from me. But I still honestly think its an awesome speaker.

Monday, May 05, 2014

A snack that I can say YES too

A few week's ago, I got a package in the mail that made me jump up and say "Yes!" I got some YES Bars to snack on. If you haven't heard of YES Bars, they originated in a home kitchen in Southern California when a mom was trying to make a healthy snack for her food sensitive son. Her son loved them, her husband loved them and their friends loved them.  People wanted to buy them and then she was able to get local stores to carry them and it just grew from there.

On top of having such a positive name, YES Bars are clean - gluten free, paleo friendly (meaning no grains, dairy or soy) and no fake, chemically stuff.  The ingredient lists are long, but their made of almonds, macademia nuts, dried fruits, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and the ingredients that really get me going are coffee and cayenne pepper! I like spicy and I love coffee, but if you're not like me, the Macadamia Chocolate Chip is for you. That just means there are more of the Coffee Cayenne for me!

The two flavors each have 4g protein and 16g carbohydrates, making it a great snack. Combined with the healthy fats, 170mg of omega-3s, its a snack that I can feel good about eating any time. It's not quite the bar for after my CrossFit work outs, but in the afternoon when my stomach starts to rumble from when i didn't pack enough lunch, well, if I had more of these bars, they'd be in my messenger bag ready for snacking.

The YES Bars are more like cookies than your typical nut and granola bar, with a nice, chewy texture. They don't fall apart when you sink your teeth into them, as its a moist-chewy cookie. The Macadamia Chocolate Chip had a nice chocolate taste, but not too sweet, as its made with dark chocolate.  The Coffee Cayenne bar warmed my mouth with the subtle spice, like a Mexican chile infused chocolate, not an open assault on your tastebuds.  The coffee was there in the background, making the bar live up to its name.

If these sound like your kind of clean eating and yet delicious snack, get some from  There is a long list of stores in California (and one lucky coffee shop in Denver) that carry the bars as does Amazon Fresh Los Angeles. UPDATE: YES Bars are in Seattle! You can pick them up at Tom Douglas' Assembly Hall and soon to be at Healeo on Capital Hill.

What kind of things do you like for clean snacks? Which one of these sounds good to you?

Note: I got a few bars in trade for an honest review. I wouldn't write about them if I didn't like them. I liked them. I wish that stores in the Pacific Northwest carried these bars. I wish I had more to carry around with me for when I needed a snack.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Book Review: The Carnivore's Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat

I got my hands on an advanced readers copy of The Carnivore's Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat by Patrick Martins and enjoyed the book. The book comes out on June 10th, 2014 and you can pre-order it on Amazon.

The Carnivore's Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat
The Carnivore's Manifesto: Eating Well, Eating Responsibly, and Eating Meat really is a manifesto. The author, Patrick Martins, has been instrumental in founding the Slow Food movement and is passionate about clean, sustainable, eating and farming.  He uses words and phrases like 'complicit in their crimes' and talks about the extinction of heritage pigs and turkeys.  He wouldn't be out of place in Berkeley, yelling on Sproul Plaza about his cause.

The book is a series of short essays on a topic ranging from the food supply chain, breeding conditions, artisan producers and vignettes told from the perspective of a cow, pig and turkey.  I'd read a few at night before going to bed.

Like other books I've read, this book does not take the stance that being a meat eater is good and vegetarianism isn't. This isn't a foil to the vegetarians, but to the Concentrated Agriculture Feeding Organizations. His view is that if you're going to eat meat, give the animal the best life, rather than constrain it to some dark, fume filled barn. The activist in Patrick wants people to make decisions that get food production out of the big corporate, profit centric organizations and into the hands of sustainable, heritage producers and help them become profitable. These sustainable operations not only make great tasting food, but they help the whole life cycle as opposed to creating waste while producing genetically modified meat.

Something I found to be very interesting was his perspective on ground meat - we need to eat more of it. This allows the farmer to sell the fewer desirable cuts of meat from the cow/pig/turkey and get a good price for the rest of it. If we only buy filet or pork loins, the farmer won't have a good opportunity to sell the rest.

It's a good read, but every once in a while you have to push past the activist cries. This book won't change vegetarian's opinions, but I don't think it was meant to. It's really targeted to those that already eat meat, but don't yet understand the dark side of what happens to get meat into your grocery store.

As a note, this isn't a sponsored post, but an my own book review and like everything else, my own opinion. The post does contain affiliate links, so if you click it to Amazon, I'll get a little back. I was able to get my hands on the advanced readers copy at work. As I write my reviews on Goodreads, I think about the book reports that my kids have to write for school.  Now, if any publishers would like me to read and review books on clean living or the paleo lifestyle, I'd be happy to!