Head Strong – Dave Asprey

Rating 2/5

Read more on: Amazon.com or Amazon UK

Head Strong Review

Good to see the biohacking crowd start moving away from food and supplements for optimising performance and health. Full credit to Dave Asprey for this and the amount of scientific references and research he puts into this book.

As one of the people who bought biohacking to the masses it is good to see him expand his work to light, environment, sleep, stress and EMFs. Whilst there are a few too many promotions for his Bulletproof products he does a good job of suggesting alternatives.

There wasn’t much new or interesting in here for me but it is a good place to start for people getting into biohacking who has so far only been focused of diet, supplements and exercise.

The book is split into 2 parts:

  1. All the research and science behind the recommendations – think of this like the why and the what
  2. A two week action plan – the how and the when

Although there is a temptation to think that all you need is an instruction manual I urge you to start with the why and understand his recommendations in part two. When you have a why there is much more of a chance that you will follow through.

Head Strong Book Notes

Two week program to upgrade your brain.
So much of life is all in our heads. Our brains use up to 20% of our energy.

Key to brain performance and energy is mitochondria – bacteria from maternal DNA.

Focus on increasing energy but more importantly not wasting it.

3 Brains:

  1. Reptile – low level functIons like breathing, temperature regulation
  2. Mammal – feed, fear, fuck
  3. Human Prefrontal Cortex – logic, decisions

4 Step Process:

  1. Stop doing stuff that makes you weak
  2. More Energy
  3. Efficiency and Delivery
  4. Strengthen

Brain Weaknesses

  1. Forgetfulness
  2. Cravings
  3. Inability to focus
  4. Low Energy
  5. Moodiness / Anger

Things that influence brain: food, products, light, exercise, environment, stimuli, emotions, noise, toxics, stress, water, sex

Basics:

  • Stop blaming yourself
  • Reduce stimuli
  • Make important decisions first thing

Brain Boosting Foods

Polyphenols:

  • Dark Veggies
  • Low Sugar Fruits
  • Coffee
  • Dark Chocolate (85%+)
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Grape Seed
  • Grape Skin

L-tyrosine:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Avocado
  • Almonds

L-phenylalanine:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Liver
  • Almonds

Tryptophan:

  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Wild salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts

L-carnitine:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork

Choline:

  • Eggs
  • Beef
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Salmon

L-glutamine:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Organ Meats

Fats
Saturated Fat:

  • Grass Fed Animal Fat and Meat
  • Beef Tallow
  • Egg Yolks

Mono-saturated Fat:

  • Olive Oil

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  • Seafood (sardines, salmon, anchovies, mackerel, trout)
  • Fish Oil

Ketosis: limit carbs to 20g and 70-85% calories from fat. Better way is to use MCT oil.

Fasting: 16-18 hours a day.

Various Bulletproof Coffee recommendations.

Brain Limiting Foods

  • Trans Fats
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Vegetable Oils – Canola, corn, cottonseed, peanut, safflower, soybean, sunflower
  • Mold Toxins
  • Cereals and Grains
  • Coffee – look for single estate, washed, Central America, high elevation
  • Dried Fruit
  • Wine and Beer: bulletproof.com/wine
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Corn
  • Sweeteners
  • MSG
  • Aspartame
  • Soy Sauce
  • Fluoride
  • GMO
  • Mercury
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Frying
  • Safflower and Sunflower
  • BBQ

There are no safe levels of mycotoxins

Detox

  1. Diet
  2. Supplements – activated charcoal and bentonite clay
  3. Candida – anti fungal: Grape seed extract, oregano, berberine, coconut oil, and regular use of Brain Octane Oil will all help to control yeast overgrowth. A good probiotic will help, too.
  4. Heavy Metals
  5. Pharmaceutical Drugs

Detox Actions

  • Sauna
  • Exercise
  • Chelation
  • Chlorella

Light, Air, Cold

“Junk Light is as bad as junk food”

Sunlight is key to health

Blue light “can cause cell dysfunction through the action of reactive oxygen species on DNA and that this may contribute to cellular ageing, age-related pathologies, and tumorigenesis [the creation of tumours]”

Colour clue last to appear in most languages. It is the hardest colour for your brain to interpret.

IR turns water in our bodies to EZ water.

Add red and IR light to indoors to balance blue. Also look into full UV sun lamps

Blue Light Blocking Glasses at night to improve deep sleep.

Breathe

  • Warm up by inhaling deeply and drawing the breath in until you feel a slight pressure. Hold the breath for a moment before exhaling completely, pushing the air out as much as you can. Hold the exhalation for as long as you can, and then repeat this fifteen times.
  • Next, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth in short, powerful bursts, as if you’re blowing up a balloon. Pull in your belly when you’re exhaling and let it expand when you inhale. Do this about thirty times, using a steady pace, until you feel that your body is saturated with oxygen. You may feel light-headed or tingly, or you may experience a surge of energy that’s literally electric. Try to get a sense of which parts of your body are overflowing with energy and which ones are lacking it—and where there are blockages between these two extremes. As you continue breathing, send the breath to those blockages.
  • When you’re done, take one more big breath in, filling your lungs to maximum capacity, and then push all of the air out. Hold this for as long as you can and try to feel the oxygen spreading around your body. When you can’t hold it anymore, inhale fully and feel your chest expanding. Hold it again, sending energy where your body needs it.

Cold
Cold water 60F/15.5C
Start with face for 5-10 mins

Sleep, Meditate, Exercise

Sleep is a virtuous cycle.

Feedback key for mediation. HRV is most affordable.

High Intensity Exercise. Sit or lie on back between sprints. 400m sprint, walk for 1 min.
Functional Movement. Daily exercise better than less frequent – walking and/or yoga.
Resistance training. Make sure you work hard – once a week is enough if done right.
Endurance.
Vibration – plate, trampoline or rope

Two Week Head Strong Program

Diet – close to ketosis using brain octane

Proteins:

  • Gelatine
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Lamb, Beef, Port
  • Salmon, Scallops

Fats:

  • MCT
  • Ghee
  • Butter
  • Coconut Milk
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado

Veggies and Herbs:

  • All

Fruit:

  • Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries
  • Coconut
  • Tomato
  • Lemon, Lime

Nuts:

  • Pistachios
  • Almond

Other:

  • Coffee
  • Collagen
  • Matcha
  • Rice
  • Cocoa
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Breakfast

  • Bulletproof Coffee (inc collagen)
  • Bacon, Eggs, Avocado, MCT Oil
  • Salmon, broccoli, eggs
  • Blueberries, coconut milk, coconut

Lunch

  • Meet and Veg
  • Lamb Burgers and Guacamole
  • Avocado matcha with coconut

Dinner

  • Salmon, rice, veg
  • Tacos
  • Curry

Sleep

  • Chamomile tea, brain octane, honey
  • Almond butter, honey, salt

Lifestyle

Light

  • Block LEDs
  • Iris software
  • Eliminate at night
  • Bedroom dark
  • Tinted glasses
  • Protect Skin
  • Morning Sun or UVB tanning lamp (reptile or narrow spectrum UVB bulb)
  • Add red to normal lighting

Block EMFs

Exercise

  • Movement everyday
  • Sprints 1x a week – 400 yards
  • Resistance – seated row, chest press, pull down, overhead press, leg press

Sleep

  • No coffee after lunch
  • No Exercise within 2 hours
  • Honey on empty stomach
  • Turn off phone and WiFi
  • Breathe box or ujjayi
  • Meditate
  • Bed pre 11pm

Cold

  • 30 second cold showers
  • Face in bowl of ice <10c

Supplements

  • Caffeine – 1 to 5 cups coffee
  • COQ10 – 30-100mg with fat
  • BCAAS – 5g
  • B12 and Folinic Acide
  • Magnesium – 600-800mg
  • D3 – 5000 IU
  • Activated Charcoal
  • Creatine – 5g
  • Krill Oil – 1,000mg
  • Polyphenol
  • Sprout Extract
  • Ketoprime
  • Glutathione
  • ActivePQQ

Sleep Hacks

  • Magnetise Sleep
  • Acupressure mat

Other Hacks

  • Cranial Electro Stimulation
  • Ozone
  • Cryotherapy
  • Infrared Sauna
  • Vibration
  • Grounding
  • Nicotine
  • Methylene Blue
  • Smart Drugs
  • Stem Cells