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Take This Supplement When You Eat At Restaurants Or Drink Alcohol

by jenny sansouci on June 23, 2015

Hey guys!

What’s shakin? I’ll tell you what’s up over here. At the time that I’m starting to write this post, I’m in Germany on a layover to Barcelona (where I’ll be for 2 weeks) and it’s about 9am. I left NYC at 5:30pm yesterday and I haven’t slept a wink yet…so let’s just say I’ll be in rare form when I land in Barcelona. πŸ™‚

FYI, even when I’m not blogging here on the site, I’m ALWAYS “mini-blogging” everything I do on instagram, so make sure to head over there and click “follow” to get my daily snippets of mostly-healthy fun.

(At the time the post is finished, I’m chilling on a terrace in Barcelona. Beautiful city!!!)

I’m having a really good time with the travel though, even with the lack of sleep. I watched “Gone Girl” on the flight (my 2nd time watching it on a flight) and I must say I felt very differently this time about the ending of the story. The first time I watched it I was totally on Ben Affleck’s side and was shocked about how it ended. But this time I was kind of like, you know what, Amazing Amy? You are KIND OF an insane badass. I mean really, you gotta give the girl a little bit of credit. A LITTLE. Don’t judge me for saying that.

Let’s get to the point.

I’m gonna talk about a supplement I’ve been taking pretty regularly for the last 2 months whenever I eat food or drink anything of any questionable quality (i.e. at restaurants) and I can genuinely say it makes a HUGE difference in how I feel.

I actually have it in my bag right now and I’m carrying it with me all throughout my travels. I pop a couple capsules at almost every restaurant. It makes me feel way more even keeled no matter what I’m eating.

Note: Do not use this supplement an excuse to eat crap (no!!!) — it’s not gonna “cancel out” unhealthy food, but it definitely helps a TON when you’re eating out, to rid your body of the toxins more quickly.

It’s called ACTIVATED CHARCOAL and it’s my new favorite thing in all the land!

How did I find out about activated charcoal?

A few months ago, I was listening to a Bulletproof podcast about mold toxins (exciting things I do while taking long walks). One of the things Dave Asprey mentioned on the podcast was that if you have mold in your house/apartment building, it can cause you to have very vivid dreams/nightmares. At the time, for some reason I was having unsettling, vivid dreams every night in a row for a period of about 5 days. I live in a super old brownstone building in Brooklyn, so my brain clicked when he said the thing about the mold. Is there mold in my apartment building? I have no idea, but I ordered my first bottle of activated charcoal anyway. Watch the “Moldy” documentary for more on mold.

The Bulletproof store has the 90 capsule bottle here.

I didn’t know much else about activated charcoal at the time of my order, but I started taking it for the bad dreams, thinking there might be mold toxins entering my brain.

When I take activated charcoal

Personally, I’ve been taking 2 capsules of activated charcoal anytime I eat at a restaurant that I’m unsure of the food quality or what kinds of oils they’re using. I can SERIOUSLY tell the difference — I feel great after a restaurant meal now, instead of feeling tired or getting a stomach ache or just generally feeling “affected” by the food.

I am usually the type of person who feels extremely affected by EVERYTHING (I just have a lot of feelings) so this charcoal is a serious miracle in my life. I love it. (I also don’t have the bad dreams anymore but that could have been a combination of other things too. Who knows).

Fast forward a couple days – this morning I woke up at 7am in Barcelona after having a questionable meal in touristy Las Ramblas of multiple kinds of tapas AND a dulce de leche gelato…but I took 2 capsules of activated charcoal with the meal…and I feel like a spring chicken! HAHA. What is a spring chicken? Let’s just say I feel pretty much fine when normally I’d want to slam my head into a wall after eating that. I don’t feel as great as I would have if I had something healthier, and as I said, this shouldn’t be an excuse to eat crap…but it certainly helps when you do.

What exactly IS activated charcoal?

I started doing more research into activated charcoal and found the following.

From the Upgraded Self site:

      • Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent material with millions of tiny pores that can capture, bind, and remove up to 100 times the charcoal’s weight in toxins. The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged toxins and gas to be carried easily out of the body.
      • Activated charcoal is made by burning a source of carbon such as wood, debris, or best option = coconut shells. The high temperature removes all the oxygen and activates it with gases like steam. What is produced is a highly adsorbent material with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, and intestinal gases which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself.
      • Activated charcoal has been used for 10,000 years in Chinese Medicine, Ayuredic Medicine, and Western Medicine to soak up poisons and improve intestinal health.
      • Chronic exposure to toxins from low quality, processed food and environmental pollution produces cellular damage, allergic reactions, compromised immunity, and more rapid aging.
      • Activated charcoal is used for detoxification, digestion issues, gas, bloating, heart health, and anti-aging.

Even if you assume the restaurant you’re eating at is using only the best quality of everything, you really never know. The other day I ordered an omelet at a place where I would have believed they were serving healthy food (in fact, the menu was catered towards health/wellness professionals!!!), and I watched as the chef sprayed a THICK layer of soybean/canola oil spray ALL OVER the omelet. I shrieked and embarrassed my friend who was with me, and he re-made it for me with olive oil. Ha. I know it happens everywhere but I don’t always see it happening so I had to take action. You just don’t know what’s being added to your food unless you make it yourself and that’s the damn truth!

Dave Asprey says:

“My family and I take activated charcoal whenever we eat at restaurants. The difference is dramatic. It often prevents you from feeling bloated and tired after eating a big restaurant meal. When I feel unusually moody or suddenly tired, activated charcoal helps me get back in the game within minutes.

When my young kids (4 and 6 years old) suddenly drop into uncharacteristic fits of whining or tantrums, especially after snacks at a friends house, activated charcoal brings them back to normal within about 10 minutes. It is amazing to watch.”

When to take activated charcoal:

        • Take it when you eat out at restaurants or eat low quality foods
        • Take it with bad quality coffee
        • Particularly helpful to take when drinking alcohol
        • Take it if you suddenly feel moody or tired
        • Open a capsule on your toothbrush and brush to whiten teeth
        • Helpful for jet lag

When you should NOT take activated charcoal:

        • With any other supplements or prescription drugs (the charcoal can interfere with absorption). I would wait at LEAST an hour after taking other supplements or drugs to take the charcoal.
        • With a superfood green smoothie or something similar (you wanna absorb all of it!)
        • With a healthy meal you’ve made for yourself with high quality ingredients
        • At a restaurant that is known for being super serious about food quality (such as Hu Kitchen or Gingersnap’s Organic)

Ok, as you can tell I am super pumped on the activated charcoal. It helps you detox, it can whiten your teeth, it can basically turn a Snickers bar into a piece of organic broccoli. KIDDING!!!! Don’t quote me on that! Sheesh.

(As a side note, I also just found out that I have a double mutation of the MTHFR gene (woo! mutants unite), which can prevent you from properly detoxifying – I believe this could possibly be part of the reason I feel so good on the charcoal. More on that to come in my next blog post)!

P.S. The Bulletproof site says it’s fine to take on a daily basis. Feel it out for yourself.

Get on board with the charcoal. πŸ™‚ Here’s where you can get your hands on some. (I recently got 2 bottles along with a box of Vanilla collagen protein bars). #totalgroupie

(Or you can get it on Amazon).

Have you guys had any experience with activated charcoal? Let me know in the comments!


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kathleen June 23, 2015 at 7:51 am

i just watched gone girl for the 2nd time too and has the SAME reaction!! I was laughing so hard – AMAZING AMY SHE IS. Oh and love this tip – buying some activated charcoal now. Have fun in Barcelona!

jenny sansouci June 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

hahaha! so glad someone else understands. my boyfriend doesn’t think it’s very funny that I “admire” amazing amy but you gotta give the girl props. enjoy the charcoal!!

Nicole June 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

Um this is amazing. I’ve been hearing great things about activated charcoal, but mostly for teeth whitening (so I’m glad you mentioned how to do that in here- you’re the best!) I never knew you could use it like this. Like you, I feel it all! Haha I pick up on people (and animal) energy and I totally feel it in my body when I eat something toxic like that. Case in point, I ordered something for lunch yesterday off of a new healthy fuel menu at a restaurant known for fresh ingredients, and had a stomach ache within minutes. Wish I had some of this then! And I will definitely be buying the big bottle! πŸ™‚

jenny sansouci June 23, 2015 at 9:09 am

I totally relate to that! One of the biggest things I’ve noticed from the charcoal is definitely less of an energy dip after eating restaurant meals. I used to wake up feeling hungover from questionable food but that doesn’t seem to happen with the charcoal. It’s really pretty amazing stuff. Let me know how you like it!!! Good luck. πŸ™‚

AJ June 23, 2015 at 9:28 am

Great post! I used activated charcoal while I was backpacking Europe last summer and didn’t have access to my rituals and I found it really helped with keeping my skin clear and regulating my bowel movements. I am excited to try Dave Asprey’s brand of it! Jenny, I would love to know your thoughts on coffee enemas and colonics to aid detoxification. The gravity colonics are a big thing in NYC and I would love your thoughts!
Also, would you be open to doing a post on birth control? I have the Lady Comp to use as a non-hormonal method; however, as a women in her early twenties this device still leaves me feeling a little concerned that it requires a lot of discipline and a regular cycle. I am considering a copper IUD. I would be so grateful for your voice on this matter. Thanks for being such a wonderful light in this world!! Love!

Aileen June 23, 2015 at 9:30 am

Thanks so much for this! I bought some a month ago after reading a few articles about it but have been too scared to jump in/wasn’t sure when makes the most sense to use it. Now I feel more informed! I also recently bought some digestive enzymes… I know charcoal can interfere with other supplements, do you have any insights as to when makes sense to take which? I’m guessing digestive enzymes may be more helpful for eating healthy things that I may have trouble digesting (aka lots of raw veggies in one sitting) whereas charcoal makes more sense for helping with more questionable food/booze? Thank you!!

Monica June 23, 2015 at 9:51 am

I actually just started taking charcoal, recommended by my ayurvedic nutritionist – she suggested that I take Triphala at night & charcoal in the AM to help with elimination.
Thanks for the suggestion to take it a step further at restaurant meals etc.
And now I want to see Gone Girl again!

jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm

nice!!! yeah, i’ve heard other people say they take charcoal first thing in the morning too to help with detox/elimination. hope it goes well!

Maria June 23, 2015 at 10:51 am

great tip. Have you tried diathomeas earth?

Whitney June 23, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Thank you so much Jenny! I have been hearing about this, but now that you explained it so well I am giving it a try : ) After listening to Dave Asprey I had a mold inspector come to my house, and he found mold! So I am doing everything to detox and also having it removed.
And super weird, I too just re-watched Gone Girl and found myself ‘explaining’ Amy’s actions to my boyfriend, he was definitely disturbed πŸ˜‰ but I thought my transition second time around was pretty funny!
I adore you, thank you for your guidance!

jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Hahaha!! exactly what happened with my boyfriend. that’s hilarious. thanks for your comment and let me know how it goes with the charcoal!! curious to know if you had any mold-related symptoms that are getting better…

Stephanie Kirylych June 23, 2015 at 8:39 pm

Something is in the air because I just watched Gone Girl for the 2nd time last night and found Amy to be a little more amazing and a little less batsh*t crazy. (But I’m keeping that between you and me and not letting the bf in on it!)

Also – I’m intrigued by the charcoal – I’m going to research it more to see if I can find smaller capsules or a powder I could mix into a smoothie. (Not sure about the taste on that one!)

Enjoy your travels!

jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 3:00 pm

there’s definitely powder out there and i don’t think it has much of a taste! let me know what you find!! <3 <3

Gaby June 24, 2015 at 1:06 am

Hahaha i almost die laughing when u said that everything affects u ’cause u just have lots of feelings! Because im exaaaactly like that, too! haha… I always say, it’s not only that i wear my heart on mu sleece, but more like my hearth wears meee on it’s sleeve! hahah

But of course, working always on it to stay on a HEALTHY BALANCED LIFE! πŸ™‚ …and about the charcol! Yesss, this friend of mine had an awful food intoxication and her Dr told her to buy and take 2 of those asap! Minutes later, she felt alive again, Thank God!…. amd her Dr also recommended her to take a couple of those, at least, once a week, as a way lf cleansing the body lf all those toxins… So im all in too, now!!!!!! πŸ™‚


jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Nice!! Glad to hear so many doctors are on board with the charcoal!! And yeah…I feel it all…*sigh*!!! πŸ™‚ It’s a blessing in disguise though I think. Thanks for reading and commenting!!

Vivian Trinh June 24, 2015 at 12:49 pm

I just wanted to say I appreciate the new supplement and your post made me laugh because you’re a really funny and cute person :^)

jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

thanks vivian!! that means a lot to me. πŸ™‚ <3

Tiffany June 26, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Loving the info on this SO much! I was telling my husband about my new supplement discovery all proud cuz I do that, and hes all lime Omg I had to take a ton of that back in the gulf war when he had to go to Saudi Arabi! Im like, REALLLY?? Lol Oh well, I am totally digging this info that you have shared, really enjoy your blog! Thk u so much!!

jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Wow! That’s crazy – thanks for sharing that. I think this charcoal is powerful stuff!! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Tiffany June 26, 2015 at 10:36 pm

I totally agree with Vivian, you make me laugh and I enjoy reading your blog, cute personality! Thanks again!!

jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Thank you!!! <3 *blushing*

Judith June 30, 2015 at 7:38 am

Hey Jenny! Thank you so much for this blog! I always have problems after eating in a restaurant so I’m going to order a bottle of charcoal. Really enjoyed your writing skills (again) πŸ™‚ Keep up the good healthy work!

jenny sansouci July 6, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Hey Judith!! Let me know if the charcoal helps!! I know it helps me. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚ <3

victoria July 28, 2015 at 2:55 pm

Hey Jenny,

I have been taking activated charcoal occasionally since you posted this a month ago, and I have an interesting observation to share with you…. I don’t take birth control (for so many obvious reasons) so unless I am actively monitoring my cycle, I only know my period is on it’s on its way because of some variety of PMS symptoms. This month, I was totally surprised when my period arrived without any form of its normal fanfare. No sore boobs, no crying at commercials (I have a lot of feelings too,) nothing at all.

I sometimes take evening primrose oil for PMS, which helps a lot, but I haven’t taken that at all this month. In fact I haven’t done anything different as far as diet or exercise. It has to be the charcoal! Would love to know your thoughts. Have you noticed any improvement in this department since taking charcoal? It makes sense, considering many of the PMS symptoms we accept as normal are actually signs of imbalance. Feel free to discuss with your hormonal expert friend – would love to hear her thoughts too.

This is just too good. For anyone who struggles with PMS/PMDD, this is major. I feel like a new person!


Nicole J July 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

WOW Victoria this is really awesome! It makes complete sense because of how sensitive our reproductive organs are to inflammation and how effective charcoal is at removing anything that can cause inflammation. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m gonna put this info into an upcoming blog post. xo

jenny sansouci July 28, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Nicole you are amazing.

jenny sansouci July 28, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Hey Victoria!!
First of all, thank you SO much for your comment. I was working at Dr. Lipman’s office when I received it, and we all read it together and we are fascinated.

It’s crazy that you say this because the same EXACT thing happened to me last month, and I probably had an entire bottle of charcoal pills over the course of the month!!! But I’ve been taking supplements to manage my MTHFR mutation (Thorne B Complex and Crucera SGS) so I figured my lack of PMS symptoms had to be from that. But maybe it’s from the charcoal!! Or a combo of it all.

Have you ever gotten tested for the MTHFR mutation? I ask because I have a homozygous mutation and it leads to difficulty with detoxing properly and more intense PMS symptoms because of that…my hormone gal Nicole thought I might have the MTHFR and I got tested and I do have it. Would be super curious to know if you do too…

So much to find out. I LOVE THIS STUFF – thank you.

victoria July 28, 2015 at 10:01 pm

SO much to find out!! I’ve never been tested for MTHFR (is it just me, or do you also read that as mother f***er) but I am about to go reread your post on it right now. I love conducting experiments on myself. I’ll keep you posted if I do this.

Jessica August 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

Quick question–have you heard of Dirty Lemon Detox? Do you have any thoughts? Curious if it will help me do a quick pre-vacation detox and recharge!

Mairi October 8, 2015 at 12:08 pm

If you’re traveling and eating out all three meals a day, do you take it three times a day? I’m just starting to take them (starting out small), but curious what works for you.


Cheryl Major October 14, 2015 at 12:29 pm

I’ve long been a fan of using charcoal caps as a remedy for a bad, gassy tummy, but I had no idea I could use it preventatively for a meal out, alcohol or bad coffee!

Great information…Thanks!

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