How To Focus Without Prescription Speed

Here at the Dirty Beauty, we’ve declared it National Adderall Week!


That means that I’m going to be posting a series of essays detailing my experiences (as well as my friend’s experiences) with good ole’ prescription speed. Woohoo!

Disclaimer: I will not be posting any shame-y content intended to make you feel shitty about your choice to stay on Adderall (or the slew of other narcotic amphetamines like Adderall). My intention is simply to spark-up a real, no-bullshit conversation about the drug we all love to hate and hate that we love.

I mean let’s get real: Prescription speed is the ~dirty little secret~ of the millennial generation. I can count on only one hand the number of people I know who have never popped one of those pale-blue-productivity pills into their mouths. However — I couldn’t even begin to count how many people I know that have and do take Adderall regularly.

Like myself.


I’ve taken a ton of Adderall in my life. I’ve also taken Dexedrine. Vyvance. Ritalin. And let’s not forget about the “limitless” pill that’s ever so popular in the tech-bro underworld: Modafinil.

While I’ve been prescribed every single one of the aforementioned pills — I’ve also knocked ’em back without a prescription many times (I’m not proud of this). Scoring Adderall in your twenties is as easy as scoring a one-night stand on a Friday night in the East Village.

It’s understandable why we’re so collectively drawn to prescription speed. If you don’t take it you can feel an immense pressure to keep up with the rest of your medicated-peers — plus Adderall doesn’t give you those elusive “red bull wings.” It gives you super-powers.

Who needs food when you’re jacked up on stimulants? Who needs love when you’re perfectly happy crunching numbers and color-coordinating your closet? Who needs sleep when you’ve got the vibrant energy of the glorious sun on a beautiful summer’s day?

Obviously, some of us take it as prescribed and it truly helps — and that’s perfectly fine, babe. But a lot of us are abusing it or taking it without truly needing it and are simply tired of its soul-sucking side-effects.

There is a dark side to all narcotics, especially amphetamines. Not only can they completely change your personality, disrupt your body’s natural rhythm, tamper with your creativity, make you bitchy and short-tempered — they can make human experiences, like intimacy, friendship bonding, and sex(!) feel strange and foreign too.

Since I’ve been super-open about my choice to get off the sauce, a lot of you have asked me to write a piece about Adderall alternatives. After much hesitation, I believe the time has come for me to share the ~natural~ focus-enhancing products I’ve spent the last several years researching. Ones that I swear to Lana Del Rey work even better than Adderall for me!

And I’m not playing, here, babes. I’ve had actual, doctor-diagnosed ADHD since I was six. These products aren’t Instagram-yoga-green-juice bullshit. These are the real deal.

And trust me, I’m a skeptic with a sky-high tolerance for stimulants. I’ve taken a lot of hard-drugs of my life, so I’m not approaching this from a place of innocence. I didn’t expect any of this shit to work either, trust me. And most of the supplements I’ve tried over the years, haven’t worked.

(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m a writer who is simply sharing what’s worked for her. Don’t do anything without seeking medical advice, first. And don’t just stop taking your meds cold turkey without consulting a licensed professional because that shit is dangerous, OK?) 

Today I’m going to talk about five products that have worked (for me. All bodies are different). Purr. And upon discovering these products, I’ve become a proud biohacker.

Let me introduce to the wild and wonderful world of biohacking.

Biohacking, according to the lovely Merriam-Webster dictionary is defined as: Biological experimentation (as by gene editing or the use of drugs or implants) done to improve the qualities or capabilities of living organisms especially by individuals and groups working outside a traditional medical or scientific research environment.

In layman’s terms, biohacking is pretty much the art of hacking your body and brain so they reach optimal performance. It’s all the rage in the tech-nerd, Silicon Valley world — a total boy’s club. But I think it’s high time us bad girls snatched these hacks out of the hands of the boy geeks and applied them to our own fabulous lives.

So here it is! Five products I use to hack my brain for ~optimal~ focus.

1. Bulletproof coffee. 

Bulletproof coffee is one of the great loves of my life. I would have intellectual sex with her (she’s a girl) every night if she was down.

David Asprey, the mastermind behind bulletproof coffee and the entire bulletproof brand (one of my favorite brands ever) is the dude who actually created the term “biohacking.” He’s hacked his body and brain so intensely he intends to live to 180. He’s an overall impressive guy (I sometimes like to listen to his podcast on the treadmill).

Asprey aside, bulletproof coffee, simply works. When made correctly, it feels like really clean Adderall. It gives you the same super-charge burst of morning energy but bears no soul-scorching comedown, no social-awkwardness, no anxiety, no disconnected “druggie” jitters that go hand in hand with prescription-speed.

Over the years so many brands have attempted to replicate the bulletproof coffee experience, but I (strongly) urge to you use the ~actual~ bulletproof brand. This is for no reason other than I trust the quality of ingredients — and there is no greater expert in this field than Asprey, himself. Why get the knock-off when you could get the real deal?

Important To Note: In the biohacking world the quality of the product is everything and not all supplements/products are created equal. Don’t cheap out on this shit. It’s going in your body, girl.

Here’s what you need to make bulletproof coffee:

Blend all ingredients together in a Nutri-bullet or Vitamix or whatever the f*ck you use to blend shit. Drink on an empty stomach and feel the burn, baby.

Also, bulletproof coffee is incredible for weight-loss, as it speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn fat. I lost weight on bulletproof coffee. You’ll also find that it fills you up and curbs those pesky carb-loading cravings that seem to endlessly screw with us throughout the day.

2. Qualia Mind.

Qualia Mind is my holy-grail supplement. It’s not cheap — but this isn’t a budget guide, sister. I’m here to introduce you to the crème de la crème of biohacks here, darling.

Qualia Mind is a nootropic. A nootropic is a smart-drug or supplement that is said to improve our cognitive function. One could say Adderall is *not* a nootropic, because it’s an amphetamine. However, one could definitely say that caffeine *is* a nootropic because it increases your motivation and stimulates your brain.

Qualia Mind is a “nootropic stack” which essentially means it’s a capsule full of different ingredients that will bring you and your brain to the absolute peak performance possible.

It is not a drug and you shouldn’t get high from it. 

According to their site: “Qualia Mind is the result of thousands of hours of research and development by top scientists in complex-systems modeling, neurobiology, organic chemistry as well as dozens of MDs and PhDs.”

Qualia Mind contains six nootropic compounds, seven neuro vitamins, two antioxidants, six adaptogen extracts, five amino acids, and two chlorine donors. You can find the full list of ingredients here. 

I’m not a neuroscientist so I’m not exactly sure how it works, but I will assure you…it works. 

Five days a week (I take the weekends off, as suggested) I pop five to seven Qualia Mind’s into my freshly-glossed lips (the serving size is seven). They are massive, potent, horse pills you can smell from a mile away — but who cares? Swallowing a fishy-smelling horse pill is a small price to pay for life-changing effects.

Qualia Mind feels completely different than Adderall, in the best way. Qualia Mind puts me into a flow-y, focused state instead of that speedy, flighty, agitated, Adderall state. It increases my creativity, allows me to dig deep inside myself and write some of the most profound shit I’ve ever written, increases my empathy, and just makes me…happier. Also, I sleep better, my hair is growing faster than a Jaguar in the night, and oddly I’m more motivated to go to the gym. 

I found Qualia Mind after doing deep, intensive research as to what the best nootropic stack out there was, and all the biohacking experts agree: It really doesn’t get more sophisticated than Qualia Mind, babe.

Note: I’m not being paid for any of this shit. 

3. Lion’s Mane 

Oh, how I love me some Lion’s Mane in the afternoon! Don’t worry it’s not an actual lion’s mane (that would be dark) it’s a mushroom. A large, white, shaggy mushroom that resembles a lion’s mane when it grows.


I’m not venturing into the woods and chowing on raw lion’s mane, for I’m not that primal (yet). I like to drink it; as if it’s a hot cup of English tea. I strictly use the brand Four Sigmatic. 

I like this brand because it’s backed by all the health experts I admire, and they’re well-priced.

Studies have found that lion’s mane (a nootropic) contains two special compounds that can stimulate the growth of brain cells, make you feel focused, and help to stave off depression and anxiety. I usually drink the lion’s mane elixir in the afternoon, around 3PM when my brain has been reduced to mush.

You can even mix a pack of the lion’s mane elixir into your bulletproof coffee if you want to get super-serious (who doesn’t want to get super serious?!).

Also lucky for you, ~Dirty Beauties~ get a 10 percent discount using my code: Anxietea.

4. Krill Oil 

The EPA, DHA, and GLA in krill oil are fatty acids that are essential in clearing the inevitable brain-fog that plagues the bodies of us ADHD entities. They are vital in promoting brain health, in general.

I’m not a scientist, so I choose to describe krill oil, as brain-lube. Seriously. When I take krill oil I feel like my brain has been lubed up and is ready for business. And what is brain-sex if it isn’t sharp-thinking, stimulating conversations and laser-sharp focus?

Bulletproof sells krill oil and I wildly recommend it. Great for upping your beauty too. Glowy skin, long stiletto nails, and lush hair — oh my. 

5. B12 Injections in the bum or arm. 

The first time I got B12 injected into my left butt-cheek, I felt as if I was suddenly in a musical. Everything looked so gorgeously vibrant! I had all this natural energy! The bright lights of the world shined on upon my dark brain! I ran faster! I wrote faster! I was a better version of myself!

A lot of us plagued with both ADHD and anxiety have a B12 deficiency. And B12 plays a huge role in metabolizing serotonin (and we need all the serotonin we can get, girl).

And the way to really absorb B12 is to get it injected into your bloodstream. Otherwise, you just might be peeing it out.

A bi-weekly B12 shot is a non-negotiable for little ole’ Zara. For I am sharper, more focused and generally happier when I have B12 swishing through my system. (Really helps to overcome the symptoms of a hangover too).

Just make sure you never pay more than $25 for a shot. I’ve had B12 shots around the world, and I never pay more than $25 a pop.

So girls and bois, tell me, what are your favorite biohacks? How are you managing to focus? How do you feel about Adderall? Email: to get the conversation started!

If you’re struggling with Adderall addiction, you are not alone, babe. Recovery is possible. Please check out SAMHSA today.



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