I am really excited today to share with you a recent interview I did with Dave Asprey from the BulletproofExecutive.com.
Dave is a Silicon Valley investor, computer security expert, and entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $250,000 (yes you read that right $250,000 of his own money) to hack his own biology.
He upgraded his brain by >20 IQ points, lowered his biological age, and lost 100 lbs without using calories or exercise.
The Financial Times calls him a “bio-hacker who takes self-quantification to the extreme of self-experimentation.”
His writing has been published by the New York Times and Fortune, and he’s presented at Wharton, Kellogg, the University of California, and Singularity University.
Aside from that Dave is an incredibly nice person and I feel very fortunate that he gave me some time to pick his brain on how parents (and other busy people) can benefit from his 15 years of bio-hacking experience.
Here’s the interview….
1. Dave, can you tell me what it means to be “Bulletproof”?
Bulletproof is a state of high performance where you take control of and improve your biochemistry, your body, and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or just acting like a stressed-out asshole. When you feel good, when your body feels good and your mind feels good, you are kinder to your family and coworkers, and you make better decisions.
2. Why is a Bulletproof diet superior to other diets?
It is the only diet I know of that recommends the right ratio of nutrients (higher health fat, then protein, then carbs), along with the right nutrients (avoiding omega 6 inflammatory oils and grains, for instance), and – this is important – avoiding the anti-nutrients that come from the way foods are created and stored. The closest well known diet is the Paleo diet, but the Paleo programs out there ignore mycotoxins, toxins made by mold in the food supply. Mycotoxins are a major cause of obesity and cancer, and the BP diet helps you to make choices that work best for long term health. The BP Diet is also based on a single diagram that took 6 weeks of effort to create, combining more than 1000 data points into one infographic. It’s at www.bulletproofexec.com/diet and it is simpler to understand than any other diet. It’s so good that the health blogger with the most traffic, Dr. Mercola, actually copied my diet without permission and then took it down after public protest. Story is at http://www.bulletproofexec.
3. Why are mycotoxins so bad for our health?
There are several reasons to be concerned about mold-derived toxins in our food and environment:
-They are active at parts per million concentration
-There are several classes, including potent estrogens, mutagens (cancer causing), protein-formation-inhibiting, and more.
-28% of the population gets overactive innate immune response from exposure (breathing) that causes a lifetime of poor health, unless treated.
-Molds are hundreds of times nastier now than they were 50 years ago thanks to some genetically active fungicides we started using 25 years ago.
-Molds can give you allergies to wheat and dairy.
4. What foods have the highest mycotoxin levels and should be avoided at all costs?
-peanuts are the worst
-grains (esp wheat) are the second worst
5. Can you give me an example of a Bulletproof meal that a family could easily incorporate into their lives?
Grass-fed tri-tip, roasted rare or medium rare, with sea salt and oregano, served with steamed butternut squash that has been blended with grass-fed butter and MCT oil (and more sea salt) until it resembles orange mashed potatoes, along with a salad (optional if you’re in a hurry) that has mixed vegetables and a dressing made of avocado blended with home-made mayo (raw egg yolk, vinegar, MCT oil or olive oil) and herbs.
6. Many parents have almost no free time and are on a tight budget. If a parent in that situation wanted to to start bulletproofing themself, what would you recommend they do first?
I’m a parent too, of a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. Both are much denser than their non-Bulletproof friends. They weigh 10-20% more than others of their same physical size, but are not fatter. Their bones are more dense. A 65 year old teacher picked up our son when he was 18 months old and said, “Wow! You feel like a baby from 30 years ago! Kids now are so light.” So it’s not just for parents! In fact, my first book is coming out mid next year, from Wiley, and it’s about what to do with nutrition, stress, and toxins during pregnancy to have smarter, stronger kids with better genes. www.betterbabybook.com
But the first thing I’d do is get a half size chest freezer from Costco, about $150. Then I’d order some grass-fed beef from one of the safe vendors I list on the site in this post. http://www.bulletproofexec.
7. Most parents don’t get enough sleep. If we can’t control how much sleep we get, what can we do to improve the quality of our sleep?
I write a ton about this topic in my sleep hacking posts – I did my most aggressive sleep hacking after my 2nd was born, and I slept 5 hour or less (often a lot less) per night on average for 2 whole years, and lowered my stress levels and increased my muscle mass without exercising as I did it. Seriously. There are 10 blog posts full of info listed towards the bottom of the home page of my site! The single thing you can do first is to get yourself a zeo, which will let you track your sleep so you know how good it really is. Improving something without measuring it is hard to do.
8. One of the biggest complaints I hear from most parents is that they are tired all the time. Can you share one or two bulletproof techniques, foods or supplements that will help increase energy?
Oh yeah. I sleep less, I’m a VP at a publicly traded computer security company, I flew more than 100,000 miles in the last year, on more than 70 flights, including 3-5 day or less trips to Singapore, Manila, and Beijing, and I gave presentations to large audiences about 40 times. I make time to see my kids because I work from home when I’m not at a trade show. I also launched my blog which is now getting more than a quarter million page views a month (wow, thanks everyone!), and Wiley is about to publish a book I wrote about nutrition. I’ve been on the cover of the Financial Times this year for my hobby, and I’m about to present at South by Southwest! So I totally get the “I’m tired thing.” My #1 tool is the Bulletproof Diet which lots of people say lets them get by on an hour less sleep, or more. One narcoleptic reader told me he now only falls asleep once per day, but without the bulletproof diet, he falls asleep 15 times per day. Ouch. Being a new parent is pretty close to being a narcoleptic sometimes…. The other tool is BulletproofTM Upgraded Coffee which is described in full at on the site . It is so much more than a cup of coffee that readers describe it as “like an anti-depressant” or “wow! I’m awake for the first time in the last 10 years.” The short version is that it’s high quality, toxin-free coffee blended with unsalted grass-fed butter and MCT oil (instead of cream). The effect on your mental function is profound.
Note: I am a coffee snob and I was really skeptical about putting butter in my coffee. But once I tried it I was hooked. It’s shocking how good it tastes and it gives a nice even energy boost unlike when you drink straight coffee where you get a really big energy boost and then come down pretty hard when it wears off.
Dave, thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for the Renegade Dad community. You are making it easier for us to understand how to live healthier lives which will ultimately help us parents perform better in all areas of our lives.
Tim, thanks for the chance to share this knowledge. When parents feel good, they are better parents. The Bulletproof program is all about making you feel strong and centered so you can be better at anything, including being a parent. But it’s most important of all for parents. If you feel good, you have more patience, and it means you will treat your kids with more respect and kindness. It will help you be a better person, and that helps you shape your kids into better people too. And that’s awesome.
4 thoughts on “Interview with Dave Asprey the Bulletproof Executive”
Great interview Tim!
Keep ’em coming 🙂
Thanks Armi! Will do.
Love my Bulletproof Coffee. Even started making smoothies for my girls with MCT Oil and Collagen in it. And we eat primarily a Paleo/Bulletproof diet. It’s funny that other conversations with people are like, “but that’s not healthy for kids.” And when I ask what they feed their kids, it’s all about the dairy and whole grains. Crazy how brainwashed everyone is by what’s considered “healthy” And no one wants to correlate the rise of obesity back to the start of the low fat/whole grain movement in the 50’s. Anyway, good stuff.
Hey Sean, that’s awesome your kids are drinking smoothies! That’s probably the easiest way to get kids to eat healthier foods.
Yeah, it’s a shame that whole grains have been so heavily marketed as a health food. It’s incredible how big companies with lots of marketing dollars can influence belief about what is healthy. It’s a shame and it pisses me off.
But the positive side of it is that we can all help to educate others about what really IS healthy and how to incorporate those foods into our lives.
Constant self-education is key in addition to experimenting to see what works for us individually and trusting our intuition.