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Upgrade the Food in Your Bug Out Bag
Guest Post by Dave Asprey
First off, thank you to the good people here at SHTFPreparedness for featuring me on their blog. I’ll start by introducing myself. I’m the founder and CEO of the Bulletproof Executive and the bestselling author of The Bulletproof Diet. I’m also a biohacker – that means I’m interesting in hacking my body and brain for peak performance.
The Bulletproof Diet is designed to optimize both your physical and mental function by maximizing nutrition and minimizing toxins (you can read about it here). I came across SHTF’s post about Bulletproof Coffee recently, and it got me thinking: How can you stay Bulletproof on the go? In a natural disaster? During a zombie apocalypse? What would you eat?
Common food options for a bug out bag are freeze-dried pasta dishes and MRE kits. Better than starving, maybe, but they’re filled with simple carbs, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soy, and preservatives. That makes eating them counterproductive for a couple reasons:
- Soy decreases blood flow and enzyme activity in the brain, to the point where the brain literally shrinks [1,2,3]. It also increases estrogen activity in the body and decreases testosterone production [3,4]; for men, that can mean a sharp decline in energy after eating soy.
- Simple carbs, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup are all terrible for you in the long run – most people know that – but they’re just as bad in the short term. The first reason is intuitive: simple carbs spike your blood sugar, giving you a quick boost of energy, but your blood sugar comes right back down just as quickly, leaving you with low energy. Furthermore, sugar dulls hunger signaling, meaning you’ll be hungry soon after eating, and you’ll probably eat more. Simple carbs also spike insulin levels, and just like soy, that causes testosterone levels to plummet [5,6,7], making you tired and sluggish.
In summary: the ingredients in many emergency rations will probably end up physically and mentally blunting you. On top of that, you’ll have to eat every few hours. If you’re in an emergency situation, you don’t want to stop four or five times a day to prepare a meal, and you want to be as physically and mentally quick as possible, in case of danger.
I designed this list with a few things in mind:
- Foods should give you steady energy for hours
- Foods should promote vigilance and mental sharpness
- Foods should be nutrient-dense, so they provide a big effect without taking up much space
- Foods should be shelf-stable
Here’s the list I came up with. These 5 foods will upgrade your bug out bag to make you stronger, faster, sharper, and more resilient in the face of an emergency.
Bulletproof Coffee is high-quality coffee blended with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane oil. It takes the first spot on my list for several reasons:
- Coffee promotes wakefulness, gives you energy, and keeps you attentive. Most people don’t experience the headache or energy crash often associated with coffee, provided they use high-quality coffee beans that are mold-free.
- The fats in Bulletproof Coffee amplify and smooth out the effects of the caffeine, giving you hours and hours of heightened focus.
- The Brain Octane in Bulletproof Coffee resets ghrelin and CCK, two hormones that cause hunger. The reset keeps you feeling satiated, even if all you’ve had is a cup of Bulletproof joe. Brain Octane also rapidly converts to ketones, fuel your brain can use. This system promotes mental precision.
- Grass-fed butter/ghee provides slower-burning energy and tons of vitamins and nutrients.
This stuff will give you effortless clarity and satiety for up to 18 hours (seriously; you can read more about the science behind it here), easily earning it the space and weight it takes up in your bag. Here are the products I recommend:
- Upgraded Coffee Beans. My company produces them. They’re processed with exceptional care and third-party tested for mold and toxins. Pre-ground is probably the most convenient for an emergency bag. If you don’t go for my brand, buy organic, single origin coffee, preferably grown at high altitude (all to minimize toxin exposure).
- Upgraded Brain Octane oil. It’s pure caprylic acid, a fat that converts to energy rapidly and gives your brain and body a noticeable boost minutes after you drink it. This is my brand as well.
- Grass-fed ghee. Ghee is butter with the proteins removed, giving it a longer shelf life, and meaning it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Ghee is also more nutritionally dense than butter, so less will go a longer way. That’s key when you’re trying to save space. It’s important that the ghee be from grass-fed cows. Factory-farmed cows are fed low-quality grains and byproducts that they can’t properly digest and they’re pumped with hormones and antibiotics. They’re unhealthy, and that affects the nutrient profiles of their meat and milk products.
EPIC Bars are awesome. The company uses grass-fed/pasture-raised meat and combines it with all kinds of tasty addition. EPIC Bars are an excellent source of grass-fed protein and fat, they’re low in sugar, and they’re vacuum-sealed for freshness. The beef-apple-bacon bars are especially tasty.
Raw Nut Butter
Raw nuts are another source of dense nutrition and fat. Nut butter keeps a good long time, and a little bit goes a long way. Raw is key – cooking nuts spoils the delicate fats in them, making them inflammatory and robbing them of many of their beneficial properties. No peanut butter, either – peanuts are legumes, not nuts, and they’re very often contaminated with mold. Opt for raw almond, cashew, or pecan butter. Artisana is a solid brand.
Canned Sockeye Salmon
Sockeye salmon is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with omega-3s, B vitamins, folate, thiamin, and selenium. Again, a small amount will go a long way. Sockeye salmon is always wild caught (much better for you than factory farmed fish) and it’s low in mercury, making it an ideal choice. It’s canned, so it will keep pretty much indefinitely. Go for salmon packed in BPA-free cans. Wild Planet is a good option.
A Local Flora Guide
This one isn’t food, but it can turn into food with a little effort. Veggies are important, but they don’t keep well and they take up a lot of space. The solution? Get a guide to local flora and study up. Find edible plants in your area and commit them to memory. Doing so will ensure that you can eat well if you’re stuck in the woods for a few days.
These options are a dramatic upgrade to the standard fare in bug out bags. Stay sharp, stay strong, and stay prepared!
Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof and creator of Bulletproof Coffee, is a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who spent 15 years and $300,000 to hack his own biology, lose 100 pounds, upgrade his IQ, and lower his biological age. You can find more about biohacking, the art of changing your environment and your biology so you perform better, on the bulletproofexec.com blog.