Research of Bulletproof diet
Imagine a stranger approaching you on the street and asking you for advice on how to improve their life. What would you tell this person? That advice would most likely fall into the broad domains of exercise, eating right, and taking control of their life. Yet these three simple seeds of improvement grow and branch into a forest of options. Should they lift heavy or go home, is stretching important, how many meals should they eat, does it matter how the food is prepared? Every answer leads to more questions and the listener soon finds themselves overwhelmed. This is where I come in. I believe that by combining scientific analysis with a delivery that is more familiar to the average person, we can keep those just beginning their journeys into self-improvement from being lost in a forest of questions and answers.
The purpose of this article is twofold. The first is to discuss the experiment I will be conducting. I am not a professional scientist and realize that any research I conduct will be flawed. Hopefully with the assistance of the health conscious communities I can improve and conduct as through of an experiment as possible. Once it is completed, I will post the results online to add another data point to the world of health and nutrition. The second reason is generating support to conduct the experiment. On December 11th I will be launching a crowd funding project to generate capital for research. The following information will be broken into three segments. What is the experiment? How will I conduct it? What you can do to help.
My research will be primarily focused on the physical results of eating a Paleo diet. I will also measure emotional and psychological effects yet as these are more subjective and harder to measure accurately they will not be as heavily scrutinized. The core idea of eating Paleo is to only consume food that a caveman would eat. These foods are unprocessed meats, eggs, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. The specific type of Paleo diet I am eating is referred to as the “Bulletproof Diet” and was created by Dave Asprey. It is his belief that eating a diet consisting of 50-70% fat, up to 20% protein, up to 20% vegetables and up to 15% carbohydrates that are not from grains is ideal. His diet is more strict than the general Paleo diet because he recognizes certain foods are less nutritional, have toxins, or cause inflammation in the body. An individual eating his diet you wouldn’t consume fruits, nuts, and the only dairy products would typically be butter or ghee (clarified butter). The ideal meat would be grass-fed beef due to its higher nutritional value compared to other meats, including grain-fed beef. When comparing grass-fed to grain-fed, Asprey says grass-fed “…contains more antioxidants, omega-3’s, CLA, TVA, trace minerals, and vitamins than any other food, including conventional meat.”
To discover the effects of eating his diet, while staying in the first level of his green zone, I will perform several test to establish my current health and then repeat these test at the end of each monthly stage. The changes we want to measure involve the risk for heart disease, nutritional changes, excessive stress on organs, and any changes to hormone levels. The core test will be blood panels. These test will consist of Hormone Tests, Liver Tests, kidney test, vitamin, mineral and nutrition test, and a lipid panel with total cholesterol HDL ratio. These test will cost $775 using the website walkinlab. Eating whole foods that contain as much nutrition as possible is the foundation to becoming the optimal you. Yet the core idea of becoming Bulletproof is to optimize one’s self through any method that you determine offers a reward greater than any potential associated risk. It is my belief that you cannot fully become optimal by only eating whole foods. Supplementation with vitamins and minerals is necessary and more reasonable since the amount of food required to meet ideal levels is too large to realistically be eaten every day. It also has the benefits of creating more flexibility in your daily food choices. To determine if my hypothesis for optimal nutrient levels in blood is valid, we will perform a second blood test after the first month and continue supplementing for the remainder of the experiment.
Another key component of the Bulletproof lifestyle is “Biohacking”. Biohacking is defined as the activity of exploiting genetic material experimentally without regard to accepted ethical standards. An example of biohacking is running electric current across the brain to make it align with certain desired states. These can lead to deeper sleep, requiring less total time asleep, or improved wakefulness. Another popular biohack is to take supplements, both natural and pharmaceutical, to improve one’s cognitive abilities. I hypothesize that biohacking is an effective method of purposely increasing ones abilities beyond what achievable by only eating a paleo style diet.
Given the above statements, I believe that best method is to establish a baseline of health, eat as optimal as possible for one month, test wellness again, then begin using supplements that are readily available to the typical consumer to push my body to the optimal micronutrient levels. Once again we test any changes to body using empirical data, along with subjective data of energy and mood, then during the third and final month we use biohacking to push even farther.
We can establish my level of health by using the aforementioned blood panels. All other testing is dependent on funding and ingenuity. I believe it is reasonable to measure body fat composition by using a dunk tank, cortisol levels to determine fatigue, using heartrate monitoring software to determine stress and my body’s response. I will perform n-back testing, take an IQ test, and perform various exercises to determine my physical capabilities. There are many methods to quantitatively measure my baseline health before testing and changes that occur during this test. The extent of testing will be determined by the amount of funding received and to a lesser extent by suggestions from the community. Once I’ve obtained funds to pay for food, supplements, and biohacking, all additional capital will be use to determine wellness.
The necessities for this test are wellness testing and food. A lack of funding to complete the three month trial will result in early termination and the subsequent publishing of all collected data. Grass-fed beef is a staple of the Bulletproof diet and it is more expensive than its less nutritional Grain-fed counterpart. Prices in my region range between $7-$10 a pound. I will consume roughly one pound of beef per day for 90 days. That makes a maximum of $900 for beef yet we still have to factor in the other parts of the Bulletproof diet. I project approximately $6 a day for vegetables, $3.00 in oils, $2.00 in carbs. This comes out to $1530 for the total listed expenses. Bulletproof coffee with Brain Octane is another staple. For a 3 month supply it cost approximately $150. We need two blood panels at a minimum to continue. At the moment that would cost $1500, although I am still investigation cheaper testing options. That brings us a starting requirement of ~$4000. It will be another $3500, including the wellness test, for the remaining stages of experimentation if we simply meet the minimum requirements.
I will not go into great detail on the supplements and bio hacks in the second and third stages. They are highly variable and dependent on funding. The second month is essentially all the typical vitamins and nutrients, in most bioactive form, taken orally. I want the products taken in the first two stages to be as reasonably close to what the average consumer could purchase without having to resort to resort to the internet. There will of course be differences in the brands I will be using and what is available in your local markets. The manufacturing and production differences shouldn’t have a large impact, the most important factor is using the same forms of food and supplements.
The third month will be biohacks. The purpose of biohacking is to allow a person to perform things that they couldn’t have without some form of assistance. For example, Heartmath is technology that allows you to measure your heartrate variability. This is important because being able to calmly react to stressful situations would improve your health, allow you to live longer, an is even used my the military to preemptively battle post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It doesn’t seem like a difficult task to persuade someone hesitant to biohacking to perform Heartmath but the idea of running current across your brain to sleep less, taking smart drugs to alter the chemistry of your brain, and consuming adaptive mushrooms to make yourself more resilient are a much more difficult sale.
I will now establish certain rules and restrictions that I will observe for this test. The first are dietary. I will be consuming large amount of food that is considered by the public to increase cholesterol and heart disease. To have a better idea of the effects of these food in the window of this experiment, I’ll eat a minimum of 14 pounds of beef, 35 whole eggs, and 3 pounds of butter a week. I will weigh all my food, including seasonings used, and keep a daily log. The only fluid I will drink will be water, which will also be accurately recorded. I will not consume alcohol or use and recreational drugs. Three times a week I will perform full body workouts. The following list is all of the excercises that I will be doing for an entire week, not the lifts I will do each day. Deadlift, squats, dumbbell and barbell bench press, pullups, lat pull down, iso dumbbell overhead press, abb wheel, hanging leg raises, decline situps, ez-bar curls, triceps pushdown, dips, bike tabata. I will record and post these videos, along with detailed explanations for why I’m eating, supplementing, and biohacking. Videos will be posted on youtube three times a week. The reason for recording and posting each workout is it will give unsubjective recounts of the intensity of my workouts.
How you can help
You can assistance me beyond simply donating money to my research. The primary method is giving me feedback. What am I doing right? What can I do better? Are there any specific things you would like to see added? The answer to these questions can improve the quality of my experiment. I believe another very important means of support is raising awareness. You have my permission to repost this on other websites, you can inform people using social media, if you know of other ways to help generate donations then please feel free to help or inform me of them. The crowd funding website I will be using is kickstarter. I chose kickstarter they allow you to keep whatever money you raise if you don’t mset your goal and if I’m unable to meet my financial goals for this experiment I can still use the money that I do save at a later time. If I only generate $6000 then I could still perform the research in a few months by using my own savings.
This is the general outline of everything I will be doing for the experiment. When the experiment commences I will go into far greater detail and provide information on everything I can accurately measure. Please feel free to comment and provide any support you can. Thank you for your time.