By Clifford L. Petersen
This is the beginning of a new blog series to help bring awareness to how easily we can so often lose perspective in our lives. You may have noticed that I have named my practice “Perspectives.”
I did so because I have discovered that more often than not, the mental and physical ailments that plague those I love and others I have met throughout my life. Are often self-inflected by carrying on the dysfunctions others have imposed upon them, resulting in the current self-perception or perspective they carry. Such burdens can become the mortar we use to build the walls of protection we needed to survive. They become buried inside of our belief system, like the roots of a poisonous tree, and turn out to be toxic to ourselves and those who risk getting close to us.
It was in my discoveries through theological and psychological study that my own perspectives begin to alter and in so doing I found healing from past hurts inflicted by others, and from the self-harm, self-medicating, and self-perceptions I carried of myself. While my spiritual journey began in my early years it was not until my awakening that things began to fall in place. Still, the spiritual awakening was only one milestone. The psychological journey did not begin until I was finally diagnosed with chronic PTSD in 2007 and things began to become clearer.
This breakthrough propelled me into the study of psychology to better understand myself but to also learn how to help others and in the process, I not only found myself, but I found purpose. For fourteen years now, first spiritually now combined with psychology and nutrition I have been helping others discover that often the path to healing is in gaining a new perspective. In this blog, I will share insight from psychology, theology, and nutrition that will help guide those in search of truth, health, and wellbeing. For now, this is a one-person project, but I hope over time this will grow to guest writers and leaders within the field of all three realms of wellbeing so that you gain the perspectives of others as well. Thank you for your time and I pray what you encounter here will help you in your journey, to become the best version of yourself you can be and the masterpiece you were created to be. CP
The Power of Perspectives
By Clifford L. Petersen
Many of you may remember back in 1994 the city of Los Angeles suffered a 6.7-magnitude earthquake, one of the worst in history. Many awakened in the city by the severe shaking discovered damage beyond imagine and a power outage they have never experienced. As they began to exit their homes to check the damage they discovered the unnerving darkness. Finding a world with no streetlights, and very few cars, they began to notice something they had never seen before. What was revealed to them gave them a fright, and one by one they began to call 911, to report a very large silvery cloud spanning across the city. What could it be they asked; was it a toxic cloud, was it aliens or was the city under attack, the panic began to rise as the calls flooded emergency operators.
But what they were witnessing for the first time was the glory of the Milky Way. The celestial body had never been seen before within city limits. The cloud of pollution from cars and city lights had never allowed it to be seen, their perspective had been obscured. This is what can happen when our perspective is changed, we begin to see the beauty and truth we could not have seen before. Sometimes we cannot accept the truth of what we are seeing but once we do it is in that acceptance that our world begins to open to a new perspective. It can be frightening, it can be exciting, but it can never be put back into the darkness that it was once hidden in. Are you brave enough to make the journey? Only you can answer that question, but I would like to point out if we never look at the night sky, we miss the beauty of the heavens and the immense possibilities that lie ahead. CP
Core Beliefs That Sabotage Success and Happiness? Constructing Paradigm Shifts.
By Clifford L. Petersen
It can be argued that we are a product of our environment. Our primary belief system becomes our core beliefs, these beliefs are so deeply ingrained they govern how we act or react from learned experiences. Many of the beliefs we carry come from our culture, our families, and reinforce and dominate our thinking until we believe them to be true.
However, that does not mean we should not examine our belief system. In fact, often when we go through an identity crisis it is because we begin to question our belief system and who we are. That is not to scare you from the task, it is stated to challenge you because only you can decide if your foundation or the framing of the house you have built is sturdy enough. Or if there are cracks and weak points that need to be shored up so you can withstand the storms to come.
Do you find yourself building a future only to tear it down and start from scratch? Do you discard your joy and destroy relationships? Do you always feel that you will never get ahead that you were not meant to be wealthy? Have you ever thought this is just my lot in life? Have you come to believe what’s the point? Do you find yourself questioning your existence and have no clear direction in life? All these may be a result of your core beliefs.
Often when we find ourselves struggling and cannot figure out why we can never catch a break, or the world is against us. It is not the world but our own beliefs shackling us to the status quo. Have you ever heard that when a lifeguard goes into the water to perform a rescue, they are taught to be aware of the victim’s panic? They are warned against it because they cannot save another if they themselves are at risk of drowning. In the same concept, if your own belief system is drowning you, your belief system could be what is pulling you under.
One of the ways our traditional educational system or self-help culture fails us is, it does not prepare us in the critical thinking skills needed to question status quo, to reevaluate our belief system. Our culture feeds us rhetoric that you must do this, or do that, to become successful. Or that you are not meant to live a spectacular life. That you are just an ordinary person and the majority of people are content with this status quo, but most are actually conditioned to lie to themselves.
We hear it all the time, adjust your attitude, cultivate a good work ethic, and be positive. All useful habits because when we apply these concepts, we can turn things around. Still, these things can be hard to do if our core belief system is flawed.
Nevertheless, a positive attitude will only moderately improve your life, because if it is not accompanied by a shift in your core beliefs a positive outlook cannot be maintained. If you want to produce a profound change in your life, if you have had enough of status quo, you must challenge your core beliefs, you must make a paradigm shift.
What is a paradigm shift? A paradigm is a philosophical, theoretical structure for life, and becomes the foundation we build our lives upon. At one time people believed the earth was flat and that belief became the framework as to how we explored our environment. But a few brave souls challenged that belief and proved it wrong. This opened an entire new world to explore, new possibilities, advancements, and scientific discovery.
Therefore, a paradigm shift is a fundamental change in how we approach and see the world, it is defying a method, system, model, or pattern. A personal paradigm shift alters and challenges our core beliefs and thus opens new exploration for personal growth, personal presentations, and thereby new opportunities. This does not happen overnight, it will take effort, and hard work, after all, we are challenging conventional paradigms in culture and deep within our psyche.
The choice is yours, you can accept status quo, keep repeating the same cycle, or you can defy conventional thinking, you can define your own truth, a truth that will bring you joy, success, and contentment.
So how do we identify the paradigms we have constructed? By examining the concepts, we accept and the actions we repeat. It is questioning the way we think about money, happiness, relationships, and everything or anything that impedes our ability to achieve our ideals of money, success, happiness, and relationships. We must redefine success, happiness, how we use money, and how we love ourselves so that we can properly love others.
Here is an example of a paradigm and a paradigm shift. You set your alarm for the next day so you can get a good jump on the day, but when the alarm goes off you hit snooze and try to get another ten minutes. Maybe you hit it again and postpone your day by another ten minutes. Then when you do get up you are in a rush. The rest of your day can feel like you are behind the gun. Procrastination has become the norm for you, and it leaves you feeling like you can never accomplish everything you need to do. Procrastination no matter how small is a paradigm that goes to a core belief that must be examined and challenged, because the filter down effect creates negative outcomes. From, impatience and irritation, to failed projects and missed deadlines.
A better approach would be to stick to your set schedule, push through the desire to put something off. Set big goals, the kind that seem out of reach, but build execution via little achievable goals, like a staircase, each step taking you closer to the bigger goal. When your desire becomes greater than your status quo, you will choose to maintain forward momentum toward your goals. If procrastination persists then dive deeper into why examine your desire.
You may find you agreed to a project to avoid confrontation, or because you put pleasing others above your own needs and desires. I am not saying you should be selfish, but like a lifeguard, you cannot place yourself at risk to rescue another, because eventually, you will both drown. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to learn how to say no. The only way to change this paradigm, to break this pattern, is with consistency both in choice and in self-examination. You must examine the subconscious to make better conscious decisions and alter actions. If time and time again you choose to enable bad habits the subconscious will adopt that paradigm and influence everything you do. Done long enough it creates an attitude of defeat, a core belief.
To yield new results think of it like this. Say you need to alter the structure of your business because clients or customer base has changed. To survive you must build a new customer base or take a new approach to reach a new audience. The action you take, the decisions you make will determine your survival. In the same way, you can manage paradigm shifts in other areas of your life. You can go from externalizing your problems to finding solutions within yourself. Refuse to live in the past and make a conscious decision to live in the present. From living as though you are a boat adrift on the sea to living with intention. You can go from seeing yourself as inadequate or living without, to practicing gratitude for what you have. Instead of being emotionally unavailable, embrace emotional harmony, that is become receptive of your emotions and those of others, empathy for others will help you become more sensitive to your needs and offer perspective to those of others.
With that said here are some ways you can initiate paradigm shifts.
1. Define the paradigm (core belief) you desire to change.
2. Write your goals down or create a vision board.
3. Cultivate positive thoughts to negate negative thoughts.
Keep a journal and for every negative thought you have of yourself or situation, define the positive, flip the script.
Read something uplifting or inspirational
4. Redefine your support system. If your circle of friends are a negative source it may be time for a new circle of friends. After all, if our friends do not challenge us to exceed our own expectations we never will. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and our friends cannot be that link.
5. Force yourself out of your comfort zone.
Bravery is not the opposite of being afraid, bravery is facing your fear and doing it anyway.
6. Practice makes perfect so practice who it is you want to become.
Have you ever heard the saying; fake it until you make it? I am not suggesting that you are not your authentic self, but you can adjust your picture of success to match your point of gratitude. If you can enjoy where you are in your self-development while striving to be better, you will. Just keep reaching for those little goals that add up to the sum of the whole.
7. Stabilize your emotions.
If you fail to manage your emotions and the emotions of others. You become more influenced by your emotions and/or the emotions of others, and you become reactionary instead of regulating. When you fail to regulate your emotions, you open yourself up to repeating the same defeating actions or thought patterns that maintain the status quo. You also become susceptible to negative thought processes and negative self-defeating cycles.
8. Approach your emotions with intention.
Emotions are a very powerful motivator, so use them to your advantage, not your disadvantage. I am not talking about manipulating others with your emotions. I am talking about manipulating your emotions to achieve your goals.
9. Evaluate, reevaluate, learn, and upgrade, alter, and adjust your paradigms.
You will never get to where you want to be until you step back and take an honest look at how you got to where you are and who you are.
If you fail to accept that learning is a necessary process in discovering yourself, and who you are meant to become. You will always live in a state of existence, and a state of want.
If you fail to alter bad habits with good habits, you will always be in the rinse and recycle modus operandi. You will never arise above circumstance, but worst of all you will never become the person you were created to be, and you will deprive the world of the gifts you have. CP
As with fire ants attacking a DOT officer inspecting logs, beware the ANTs in your own mind.
By Clifford Petersen
This is a piece I wrote for Overdrive Extra who has given me permission to repost it here. I have decided to because so many people suffer from ANTs-Automatic Negative Thoughts. The link provided will take you to the Overdirve Extra page.
We’ve all encountered things that just drive us nuts. Like those ants that somehow keep finding their way into your kitchen and onto the honey-do list. You’ve cleaned until there is nothing left to clean, sprayed, cleaned again, but the little pests just keep showing up.
There’s another kind of ant, too – the Automatic Negative Thought. This ANT, like the insect, can be intrusive and difficult to exterminate, especially trucking down the road when the replay switch is stuck in the on position in your brain. Yet there are ways to combat these irritants and build defenses against their self-defeating natures. One way is practicing mindfulness, which helps to properly identify the vermin.
There are nine types of ANTs.
1) All or nothing patterns of thought. Some refer to this as “black and white” thinking — everything is all good or all bad. Say you’ve been doing well, eating healthy, sticking to a planned diet. You decide it is OK to cheat and treat yourself. Then you chastise yourself for your lack of willpower, or tell yourself how weak-minded you are, all the while jumping right off the wagon again as stress builds. One cheat does not have to mean a week’s worth of giving up on a plan you were well on the way toward executing. Just tell yourself you can get right back in the wagon seat at the next meal.
2) Always-type thinking, or overgeneralizing. You can identify these ANTs by paying attention to key words and phrases like never, every time or everyone. … “I will never lose this weight.” Or: “Every time I see cake, I’ve got to have it.” Thinking like this can sabotage your goals, causing you to give up control and dooming you to fail.
3) Negative focus. When this ANT invades it makes you see only the downside perspectives on any given situation, even if the positive possibilities or attributes are a fact. “I lost five pounds, but I want to lose 15 — I am such a failure.” With such thoughts, we are more likely to give up on attaining our goals. Put a positive spin on it and encourage yourself. You will have better results.
4) Thinking with your feelings. “I feel like everyone is out to get me.” Or: “Everybody’s talking behind my back.” Feelings can lie, and if we give those lies the control they want, they can run away with our future and destroy our relationships.
5) Should, must, ought to, have to. Yet another predictable ANT, this pattern of thought involves excessive guilt brought to bear and then controlling your actions. No one likes to be pushed into doing something, and when we are, our typical response is to push back. A certain amount of guilt can be beneficial, of course. Excessive self-imposed guilt can become a heavy burden to bear.
6) Using negative pronouns to describe yourself or others – find yourself doing that, and it’s time to break out the pesticide. A labeling ANT — “I’m a loser, a failure”; “he’s a jerk” – might follow a setback that wouldn’t by itself be defeating. When you feed this ANT, one little setback follows another and then another, until you are ready to quit. I’d wager this ANT alone may be responsible for many a driver giving up and moving on to a new carrier. The problem with labeling yourself or others: You’re avoiding taking responsibility for your own actions or choices, and/or justifying bad or reactionary decision-making.
Finally, beware of red ANTs
If you live in the South, you know all about red ants. I learned about red ants after picking up a load in North Carolina years ago with my co-driver. I had driven to the port the night before and climbed into the sleeper. The next morning my co-driver pulled into the port to pick up our container going to Chicago. He hollered at me to help him strap it down and I told him we should throw chains, but he decided not to. After we secured the load, I climbed in the jump seat to have a smoke while he got the BOL. Just outside the gate I could see DOT working, so before he went in, I told him to catch up his log. I was going back to bed. An hour later he pulled out of the port and was promptly pulled over for inspection. I heard him get out of the truck, but I was soon fast asleep.
Next thing I knew, an officer was beating on the truck, demanding my logbook. After some unfortunate exchange of words, he stormed off without my logs. But 20 minutes later another officer knocked politely and informed me my co-driver was going to be shut down for 8 hours, so if I had time on my book we could leave. The time had given me a chance to make my book presentable, so I got dressed and climbed out of the truck.
There, I met the original officer, who yanked my logbook out of my hands. “I’ll find a reason for you both to sit here for 8 hours,” he said, throwing my book on the hood of his car.
After about 10 minutes of combing through it all the officer began to dance and fidget. Suddenly, he let out a yelp and ran off the shoulder of the road into the grass, yanked down his pants and started slapping red ants that were biting him.
We had never laughed so hard in our lives. Even the second officer was busting a gut.
Having pre-determined to find fault with my logbook, this very angry officer had spent 10 minutes standing on a low ant mound he failed to take account of. He paid the price. Red ants — fire ants — have a nasty bite and can wreak havoc when mad.
Red ANTs do the very same.
7) Predicting or fortune-telling a bad outcome to something that most likely is trivial, for instance.
8) Believing you know exactly what others are thinking, usually something negative.
9) Blaming, too, which is the worst of all. When we blame others for our problems and fail to take responsibility for our own failures or successes, we dive into a pool of toxic thinking and swim in a victim mindset, giving our personal power to others. Remember empowerment comes via responsibility, and personal growth can only be achieved when we accept responsibility for our own destiny.
You have a choice, ultimately – either feed your ANTs, or feed your ANTeater.
Through the Valleys of Depression
By Clifford Petersen
I have talked before about the struggle for truckers dealing with mental health issues, and isolation. How such can lead to burnout, job dissatisfaction, overall professional achievement, even poor health, and accident proclivity. After three years of trucking, in 1996 following a divorce I packed everything I owned, put it in storage and climbed into my truck. I was essentially homeless for the next nine years. Yes, I said that correctly, I remained homeless and held only a PO box for an address. Though I did not know it at the time I had some major mental health issues going on. Until 2007, I was not diagnosed with chronic PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Some of the symptoms of PTSD are depression and anxiety and the isolation of trucking amplified these symptoms, leading to some very dark times.
Up until 96, I had for years self-medicated due to my PTSD. Not understanding what I was going through, self-medicating worked but it was of course an unhealthy temporary fix that did not mix with trucking. Before I became homeless, I had checked myself into treatment for my substance abuse and thanks to the VA, I came out the other side clean for the first time in almost twenty-five years. Still, the first couple of years of my homelessness my PTSD symptoms went unchecked and untreated. I was a very private person when it came to my past and the hell I was raised, and because I was a Marine surrender was not part of my mentality, believing that it was my fight and my fight alone.
When I say I went through some very dark times it is truly an understatement. I had no spiritual foundation, I had always been an extreme risk taker with underlying suicidal tendencies another symptom of PTSD, and I began to push doing over a thousand miles a day never out running the darkness that seemed to envelop my very being.
Finally, in 98 I found my way to Christ and my spiritual journey began. While I had a new awakening, my fight was far from over and after some pastoral counseling I finally sought out medical treatment for my depression. One of the side effects of depression medication is drowsiness and fatigue, so the days of trying to outrun the darkness was over. I had no choice but to run legal and sleep, so I began to try to understand more about what I was fighting. Scripture helped a great deal and without trying I became a theologian spending hours in Scripture daily and sharing what I had learned. Not on fire as is often seen with some new believers, but with an analytical approach that just laid out facts. I also began to dive into the psychology of depression attempting to understand and stock my battle bag with more weapons I could use in the fight.
Being homeless and on the road, I had no access to weekly counseling but was able to make use of my VA benefits and worked with a very caring counselor once every three months when I went in for a refill of my medication. Using some cognitive behavioral techniques, she was able to help me fill my battle bag but there was just so far, she could take me and eventually our sessions ended and soon after I quit refilling my prescription. While my fight had become easier, I was far from where I needed to be, and psychotropic medications are not something that should be stopped cold turkey.
With this realization I dove deeper into Scripture and made use of pastoral counseling when I was able to get to a church. I also took a deeper dive into the psychology, but my resources were limited being on the road. I switched my mailing address to a family member so they could receive packages for me and once a month I cycled through. Unloaded about two hundred pounds of books and picked up another two hundred pounds for the next month. Which led me into a deeper theological understanding and psychological understanding. This learning taught me how to battle my demons, how to stay clean, and how to finally find the peace which I sought. Without discounting the spiritual journey, I would like to share the psychology journey and offer you some suggestions and tips you may need if fighting the same fight.
Below are three tips for staying well, taken from www.mentalhealth.org
Regular exercise may be a difficult task for truckers though not impossible. Exercise produces endorphins in the brain, that are natural pain killers and help balance a chemical imbalance often treated with medications. Endorphins can improve your mood, sleep, and lesson tension in the body. Even a 10-minute walk can have the same effect on endorphins as a 45-minute workout though it may not be as long lasting.
2. Learn to recognize and acknowledge your emotions.
Remember I said you will have to question yourself, your truths? This begins with honest evaluation and challenging your emotions. This is being mindful of your feelings, and what triggered the feelings not nullifying them. You must remember no one can make you feel anything what you feel is a choice. When you have an emotional reaction, it is because there is an underlying reason for it and once you know the trigger you can decide if you truly need to load the gun. Avoid self-defeating labels such “you are crazy, or stupid,” do not berate yourself, when you experience an overwhelming feeling. Do not second guess why just identify, control your response, and set it aside until the emotion has passed so you can do an honest evaluation. If you have too, step outside of yourself and look at it from the perspective of the same understanding you would offer a friend or a loved one. You will have to learn how to be self-compassionate. Honesty without compassion is cruelty and compassion will light the way out of the darkness.
3. This brings us to self-acceptance.
This can be the hardest part of the battle, but the truth is everyone has a burden to carry. We all fight, demons and find ourselves in the darkness of the valley at times. There are no magic pills only temporary fixes that treat the symptoms not the underlying issues. Self-acceptance does not mean being content where you are at in your journey of self. It means accepting yourself where you are at knowing you are working on becoming better.
Depression is often described as going through a valley of darkness, giving one the impression the only way out is to climb out of the shadow of the mountain to the peak and find the daylight. But mountain peaks are just part of the expedition and rarely the end. Mountains are always surrounded by foothills and valleys that must be traversed to reach the base where the actual climb begins. The psychology can get you through those but the actual assent to peace and the top can only be achieved through the spiritual side.
The cognitive behavioral techniques I mentioned work, but they take time, vigilance, and practice. You will need some guidance to achieve the results you seek because it is very easy to fall back into old habits and while you can find the wellness you are searching for, staying there is only half the battle. Fact is, staying on an even keel is about all you can hope for without traversing the spiritual journey as well. To reach that point you must pay attention to what you eat, what you think, and honestly evaluate how you are daily. You will have to brave the darkness inside to fight your demons, because demons do not come into the light. It is the bravest journey you will ever take because you have to question self-truths, habits, and tendencies.
Finally, you should not worry when you are in the valley because when you are at rock bottom there is only one way to go, up. When you reach the peak, remember the struggle and what it took to get there, and help others achieve the same. The fight is in the climb and if we trust the path God has set us upon, we can have the confidence He will be there every step of the way. What makes the climb harder is when we second guess His path, take our own and fail to do the work required to become the person we want to be. It is always more difficult to climb a mountain in a straight path. Sometimes a mountain climb requires a horizontal angle approach you often need to zig zag back and forth yet always going up. So be kind to yourself, lift your eyes to the summit occasionally so you do not lose sight of the peak, and take each step bravely. CP
Your Triggers Are Your Trainers.
By Clifford Petersen
Are you allowing the past to trip your triggers? To answer this, you may need to know what a trigger is, and why you may have them. A trigger is, a hint, a sign, or a signal of a past trauma, that can cause us to feel overwhelmed with anxiety, panic, or sadness. It often causes flashbacks of a negative memory and may happen without warning, causing someone to lose track of time and surroundings. They may even relive the traumatic event and experience the same emotions and reactions to the event. They can be a result of locations, anniversaries, smells, sounds, key words, even stress.
The term triggers are associated with different mental health issues from, PTSD, self-harm, anxiety, anorexia, bulimia, and emotional eating, substance abuse, or other risk-taking behaviors. Behavioral triggers are often seen in angry outbursts, bullying, emotional breakdowns, panic attacks, and withdrawal. Even being a jokester, the life of the party, can be a sign that someone is dealing with a negative past. The point is a trigger is often the result of an unhealed emotional and/or physical wound, that play out in our relationships both personal and professional.
However, our triggers can be indicators, trainers, revealing emotions that need to be healed. In order to do so we must first be able to identity what trips our triggers, to alter the resulting behaviors. To gain a better understanding of these triggers ask yourself:
1. What annoys me?
2. Why am I so angry?
3. What makes me feel
The point is you must be intentional and question emotional responses when they arise.
For instance, when someone cuts you off in traffic and you become furious that is a trigger. Identify it ask yourself why you are so angry. We can fix blame on other people for triggering us, but the fact is they are just helping us identify these triggers and we must take responsibility for our own emotional reactions. The fact is people cannot make us feel anything, because for every emotional reaction there is always an underlying root cause. The better we can perceive the cause before the reaction the more at peace we become with our past and negative emotional reactions subside.
By practiced identification of our triggers, we bring a subconscious habit into the conscious mind and choose the appropriate reaction to the situation. We are no longer living a reactionary life. Taking that step back may not be easy in the beginning but like any other skill it can be mastered.
Emotional reactions are energy in motion, once you identify the emotion take a breath allow the energy to pass through you and then allow it to dissipate. It may take a little bit, but once they fade you can then control the response you want. Each time you practice and succeed becomes a win in the battle for peace and emotional healing. One way you can tighten your grip on this peace and healing is to keep a journal detailing your triggers and the emotions you have from them. This can also offer a clear vision of progress and encouragement from what you have overcome thereby building social confidence. By taking these steps your triggers become your trainers and your liberators. CP
My Morning Ritual That Helps Me Lose Weight and Boosts Energy.
By Clifford Petersen
It has been awhile since I’ve posted something on here so I thought that since I treat people through nutrition, I would share some healthy recipes for those of you that love coffee and healthy alternatives. Many people do not realize that the body feeds off of three things for energy, (1) sugar, (2) alcohol, (3) and fat. If you restrict your diet intake of sugar and alcohol you may find yourself feeling a little run down. However, you can replace your sugar and much of your carbohydrate intake with good healthy fats that will boost your energy levels. Two of those good fats are coconut and avocado. Of course, everyone understands the effects of caffeine. So, you will find this recipe is not only healthy, and delicious but you may also find a nice energy boost as well. Enjoy! (Please note if you no longer have a gallbladder, you of course cannot digest fat well, so this may not be for you. However, there is a product you can try to help you digest fat called Beta Plus you might google and try).
Avocado Iced Coffee
1. ½ ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2. ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
3. ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (I uses simply organic which you can find at Thrive Market, link provided under recommended products)
4. 1 to 2 drops liquid stevia (Note, if you are trying to cut out the sugar or cut back on sugar you may elect to eliminate this).
5. 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
6. Ice, to serve
Combine avocado, coconut milk, vanilla, stevia, and coffee in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over ice in your favorite mug and enjoy.
For those of you who have heard of bullet proof coffee here is my simple recipe
Bullet Proof Coffee
1. 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
2. 1 teaspoon of organic grass-fed butter (made from grass-fed cows)
3. 1 12oz cup of hot coffee
If you are a black coffee drinker like me this may take a little getting used too, and you can use a natural sweetener like stevia. However, it will boost your energy. For me I have been drinking this for some time now and have a slightly different recipe, but my advanced recipe should be worked up to gradually because some of the ingredients will require the need to stay near a bathroom for the next hour or so until your body gets used to it.
For those of you wanting to work up to my advanced recipe here it is.
Advanced BP Coffee
1. 1 tablespoon of Brain Octane
2. 1 tablespoon of XCT or MCT oil
a. (These two ingredients you should build slowly up to the tablespoon amount)
3. 1 tablespoon of organic grass-fed butter
4. 1 tablespoon of avocado oil
5. 1 tablespoon of collagen (I like the chocolate or expressor flavors)
6. 1 14oz cup of hot coffee
Blend and enjoy!