Tiramisu (and Lorraine Bracco’s Four-Bite rule and Colbert’s Book)

Had to share a few pictures of the Tiramisu we had on Valentine’s Day.

For those that do not know, Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made with ladyfingers, mascarpone, eggs, cream, sugar, coffee and cocoa powder. 

The one we bought did not use ladyfingers. And as my step-daughter put it – this one was “almost” a real tiramisu. 

 I love when blogging connects to our real life – and after enjoying our cake – Lisa Dorenfest (here) posted highlights from South Africa and she had tiramisu while in an apartment there:



If you are here just to see the cake photos – please skip this next part.



One of my favorite health books from last year was Lorraine Bracco’s (2015) To the Fullest

I will try to share more about this gem of a book in an upcoming post.  

In the meantime – here is a tip she shared about cake and sweet indulgences.

She suggested using the “four-bite rule” for times one may want to indulge but they do not necessarily want to go overboard.

She suggests that folks “have four bites of the sweet rather than a full serving.”


Another tip I heard – from this body builder guy on the radio – well he suggested that sometimes you can “spit the food out” after you taste it.  He argued that you can get some of the taste without having to terrorize your pancreas and fully digest food that does not give life. 

If that sounds silly, well I know it does sound silly, and it reminds me of Bush Boy’s Friday Sign Folly (here) earlier this month:

You see, even if it sounds silly, some people who have a compromised immune system really cannot have sweets. They cannot have cake every week – they cannot have refined sugar every day (and even fruits like bananas and grapes can be on the NO list while they are healing up). They will NOT get well if they REGULARLY eat cake, candy, protein shakes with junk added in, fruit smoothies with 13 teaspoons of sugar, breads, most dairy, and GMO foods.  For some people, sugar is on the very serious “abstain” list – and so for these folks –  tasting a little – and then spitting it out – could be a very helpful tip.


My tip?

Sometimes before we have cake, we might really need to eat something nutrient dense, like steak.

When I was down in Florida recently, I went to Dunkin’ Donuts for some early morning coffee. 

It was pretty amazing because while there, a donut was not even tempting. I was not sure how I would feel while in the store. Nada. Just wanted the coffee (with cream only). 

And I know why.

It is because I am nutritionally satisfied. I still “like” sweet things (I am human), but do not need it every day –   

Also, my sweet threshold has gone down and less is more. 

The tiramisu on Valentine’s Day was an appreciated treat and it was not a major health setback because I don’t eat that stuff every day. 

Oh and While having that Dunkin’ java, I was reading Colbert’s (2003) Toxic Relief book. I grabbed it from my mother’s bookshelf – and I did NOT expect it to be so good.

I was surprised at how much I agreed with Colbert’s arguments (on how humans “can” get things from lake water while swimming in it) and his health tips on how to support the liver and heal from the inside out.  The gut is our second brain and the entire GI is connected to immunity.  

 More on this book later too – hopefully. 


In closing, here is one more snippet from Lorraine Bracco’s book. 









22 thoughts on “Tiramisu (and Lorraine Bracco’s Four-Bite rule and Colbert’s Book)

    1. Hi C – thanks for sharing that about the taste and also about not sure about applying it to tiramisu – whew –
      Tiramisu got me.., 🤪
      was it the cocoa – the lightness or the cake and real cream
      The all natural ingredients -???

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great tips for staying healthy with foods you especially sugar loaded desserts. I think I am more like you now that my craving for sweet stuff has subsided significantly (no sugar in coffee for years now, just with half-half only and that is sweet enough for me). When folks at work brought fancy donuts (just yesterday), I do not feel like having one at all. Of course, once in a while either by habit or ?, I was looking for sweet (mostly after dinner) but that has not much power over me any more. Sugar that comes naturally as in fruits, I am still happy with 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing – and sometimes it is mental – so often make that!
      And habit –
      In bracco’s book she had a page about “feasting” and how we are conditioned in our cuiture to feast and imbibe and it usually ends with rich sweets
      ( I will share a snippet later)
      And so conditioning plays a big part.
      And you are right about how thenhalf and half can bring sweetness in to the coffee

      But if your threshold is used to two teaspoons of sugar the sweetness in the half and half is not always noticed.
      It is kind of like if I turn the TV down from 10 to 7
      I cannot notice a difference

      But if I turn the TV volume off and go from 10 to zero
      Wait a while for my ears to adjust –
      And then put it on a 4 or 5
      The volume the seems loud….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m fortunate not to have much of a sweet tooth. I work part time in a patisserie and people always ask how I/we can work there and stay so slim. Most of the things we sell are much too sweet for me or, as you say, I stretch them out for a long time. I prefer dark chocolate, which isn’t sweet, and tend to take most of the frosting off any cake I eat. Not really much of a cake-eater anyway. I tend to prefer savory a/o salty things. However, if I’m going to have sweets, I want mine made with sugar, the effects of which I know and can control for, not something else with who knows what side effects.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi – thanks for sharing and it sounds like you have balance and health (even tho omg I used to love frosting – more than the cake)
      But to appreciate savory and salty is huge –
      And sounds like you have awake taste buds in all areas and not just the high sweets we are offered at every junction

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m extremely picky about tiramisu and I’ll agree to daughter’s “almost.”

    I like to drink soda, as I believe I have mentioned I am constantly battling this addiction and win more days that not? When it comes to food stuff, though, my sweet tooth doesn’t seem to match up with others around me. It’s not like I don’t eat plenty of sugar, more than I should, less than most Americans, but I like savory stuff better. My body really likes certain foods that make it perform better. I’ve had my body for 45 years and I’ve paid attention. It’s why I eat a rotation of the same foods all the time. They’re the most agreeable. I do like to feel good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And Joey – your recent lemon meringue is a great example (I think) you savored it and appreciated the quality – I mean – best lemon meringue is a huge title and then you savored and all that.
      And it also sounds like you get good fats and oils (-am I right ? In your mix of meals?) and my biggest mistake was for years I thought fats were artery cloggers – when it is industry oils (like canola – vegetable – soy ) and stress and processed carbs that hurt atery health and inner cellular function.
      I was the type who had black coffee for breakfast (or sugar creamer – never aspartame cos I never used chemicals) and then for lunch tea with milk and ginger snap cookies. I thought less was more and that light (ad long as chemical free) was better.
      And now I eat the skin in my chicken thighs
      The grizzle on my steak
      And have butter in my coffee and feel so “satiated” and not hungry
      Dave from Bullet proof has the tag line to “live strong and not hungry all the time”
      And I won’t ramble – but certain foods have no nutrient value and leave us hungry and wanting
      Thanks for the rich comment and for being objective and also open as you share your personal stuff

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My regular foods are: Greek yogurt/kefir, bananas, stone fruits, pears, apples, dried fruits, especially dates, prunes, raisins, and cherry, eggs, cheese, olives, nuts, cold cranberry sauce from the can, celery with peanut butter — those are my everyday foods, staples for years and years. Every single day I choose from that list, then add whatever. It strikes other people as odd, but those are foods that work for me.
        I don’t fear the fats, never have. I’ve cooked primarily with olive oil, butter, ghee, and coconut oil all my life (they’re ‘cooling’).
        I’m more of a grazer than a diner.
        I don’t much care for mammals.
        I’m convinced it’s the additives that do us the most wrong.
        I’m a foodie, so I don’t like to say good or bad, kinda like naughty or nice, the judgment lands on the consumer instead of the food. I call out food for what it is — it’s crap or it’s nutritious, I know what I’m doing while I’m doin it 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m not sure I could stop at 4 bites, but I have gradually learned to stop eating some things before I finish them. What I take from this is an appreciation that I can pretty much eat anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a sweet tooth. I prefer sweet over salty any day.

    However, as I age, I find I’m becoming very picky about my sweet treats. No cheap sweets for me. If I’m going to indulge, it needs to be worth the calories … and then it will be worth every bite. As you said, more often then not, it won’t take much to satisfy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne – and it is so much better when the quality is there. And you reminded me of something with your note about preferring sweet to salty. Too often people only have sweet or salty —- when to wake up the taste buds and more of the satisfaction of food — we humans need more bitter and we need more sour and we need more “umami”
      And a while ago this yoga teacher shated how she ate this whole container of ice cream. It was shared in good fun- and I did not think much of it at the time – but now two things come to mind – one – she was likely extremely low on all minerals – esp mag and calcium – and two- she maybe needed fats and oils to satiate

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 4 bites?! Lorraine is being generous. I was always told to take 2 bites because the first bite and the last bite are the best ones so you don’t need the ones in-between. Think of all the sweetness I’ve missed over the years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow – I have not heard of the two bite rule – and good for you Ally for knowing so much of this for a long time now. I am still surprised at how some of the names for sugar make it sound elevated – I was in Trader Joe’s with my mom and They had samples of soup – I looked at the box and it had 10g of sugar and the employee defended it as “cane sugar” and I said I couldn’t have it and I use stevia – she said stevia was processed – but that’s another story – (some can be – especially the stevia with additives – but the drops from Whole Foods are processed to make drops but don’t suppress immunity) anyhow – it was the way she defended “cane sugar” that stood out. Yes – high fructose corn syrup amd are the liver and is really bad – but the “pure cane sugar” is processed and should not be part of every day – and in Lorraine Bracco’s book she has a great page on the sneaky names that sugar gets – I will share it later in a post
      -anyhow – thanks for the comment

      Liked by 1 person

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