A cardinal rule of good writing is that it should offer readers at least one solid “take-away,” something they will remember out of dozens or hundreds or thousands of words and sentences and paragraphs. Be it a novel or short story or poem or sermon or essay or newspaper column, a piece of writing is weak if your audience doesn’t pull something of value from it.
Last month I wrote column entitled “Leaving the Butter Out.” After it was published, many readers were eager to share with me their butter habits. More folks than I could have ever imagined leave butter out of the refrigerator. (Those with house cats tend to secure their room-temperature butter in cabinets or bread boxes.) They love spreading softened butter on biscuits and muffins and pancakes and toast. Other readers told me they once feared getting sick from consuming room temperature butter but that now they were going to try it. Hooray! My goal in writing that column was to stimulate conversation and reflection about butter storage.
But the really fun part came in learning about take-aways I’d never anticipated. In that column I also wrote, “I enjoy a modified version of ‘bulletproof’ coffee, which involves stirring a little pat of butter into my brew every morning.”
“You put butter in your coffee???” several readers asked. “Why is buttered coffee called bulletproof???” others wanted to know. I couldn’t answer right away because topics that were more time-sensitive topics took precedence. I wanted to write about “Born on the Water” before Black History Month was over. I wanted to write about pronouns on National Grammar Day.
Thankfully, I now have an opening to share what I know about the not-so-recent phenomenon known as “bulletproof” coffee. First, let’s define the word “bulletproof.” The definition that likely comes immediately to mind is “capable of resisting or absorbing the impact of a bullet.” “Bulletproof” can also mean “not subject to correction, alteration or modification.” But the definition we’re going with for the purposes of this column has just one word: INVINCIBLE.
“Bulletproof Coffee” was popularized and trademarked in 2013 by Dave Asprey. His company now sells coffee beans, ground coffee, coffee pods, cold brew lattes, ghee, creamer, collagen protein and brain octane C8 MCT oil. Also frothers.
The nutritional thinking behind consuming coffee laced with butter, cream, oil and perhaps powdered protein, in place of a traditional meal, is that if the human body isn’t provided with carbohydrates to burn as fuel, it will tap into stored fat. Regulating blood sugar is also part of the equation. The notion of carb restriction has been around for decades—think Atkins and Sugar Busters and Protein Power and Primal Blueprint and Keto and lot of others. Though I’m neither a physician nor a dietician, these plans make sense to me. Once the body adapts to using fat rather than carbohydrates for energy, it will become a lean, mean, healthy machine. INVINCIBLE, in other words.
I’ve been starting my mornings this way for several months now and I like it. The coffee I drink isn’t “Bulletproof” brand. It’s store-bought and not expensive. I often buy Community Coffee with chicory, but sometimes I choose McCafe or Folgers. I use butter that’s neither organic nor clarified into ghee. I add a dollop–room-temperature, of course–along with a splash of real cream. Because I see no value in dirtying my blender or purchasing a frother, I simply stir it all together with a spoon.
Even though I have more coffee mugs than I need, I splurged last fall after the Braves beat the Astros and bought an “official” red, white and navy WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS 2021 mug. I’m drinking buttered coffee from it as I write these words, hoping against hope that any day now I’ll become bulletproof.
(March 12, 2022)