An Occasional Splurge Is Good for You

June 25, 2010

78688-026dgEven a “no-no”—in moderation—can benefit wellness.

Drinking a few cups of tea—and, yes, a little coffee—can help lower your risk of dying from heart disease, Dutch research recently reported. A long-term study of over 37,000 people shows that moderate tea drinkers had a 45% lower mortality risk than those who drank less than one cup a day.

And those who enjoyed several daily cups of “Joe” had a 20% lower risk of death from heart disease than those who drank either a lot of coffee or none at all. “For healthy people, it appears that drinking coffee or tea is not harmful and may even have some benefits,” says Yvonne T. van der Schouw, one of the study authors. In this case, the benefits come from the polyphenols in coffee and tea.

New research in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention also suggest that the compounds, cafestol and kahweol, may be protective against cancer-causing agents, preventing head and neck cancers. Earlier studies link coffee consumption with lower incidence of kidney and ovarian cancers. And Italian research finds coffee combats weight gain and insulin resistance that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Coffee and tea aren’t all that you can enjoy—in moderation. The “French paradox” has shown that a glass or two of wine offers cardiovascular benefits. Once again, it’s the flavonoids in red wine that protect your heart and longevity, so raise a glass—or a “cuppa” as the Brits call their national beverage—to your health.

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

As my longtime readers may know, despite the latest research about the benefits of more than one cup of coffee and regular tea, I am still not sold.

Why? Coffee dramatically impacts blood sugar levels, has been known to raise cortisol, and can chelate calcium out of the system. In addition, coffee tends to be high in pesticides because it such an important cash crop. Tea is a hidden source of copper—a topic I’ve written about in many books (like Why Am I Always So Tired?) because of its link to hyperactivity, insomnia, hair loss, and adrenal burnout.

Of course, I’m certainly planning on splurging a bit Sunday when I celebrate my birthday. “Legal cheats”—like a daily cup of organic coffee—have always been part of my Fat Flush program. And Fat Flush for Life highlights splurges for each season of the year, as well as Fat Flushing Festive Superstar Foods, along with specific menus and recipes for special occasions.

I recommend Purity Coffee because it contains the highest level of antioxidants of any coffee beans available today. Purity Coffee is organic and has zero contaminants, including mold. Save 20% off of your FIRST order with code: DETOX20.

Who doesn’t deserve a special treat every now and then? Look for flavor hits—luscious local berries, juicy melons, tomatoes right off the vine with fragrant herbs snipped over them. Serve these treats on pretty plates, and use cloth napkins. Get creative and enjoy new seasonings like Seaweed Gomasio, so good for your thyroid and delightful in veggies, salads and dips.

For holiday gatherings and festive occasions, here are some more ways to indulge your taste buds—and why these foods—in moderation—are good for you.

• Up to 1 tablespoon of tahini provides antioxidants like sesamol
• 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or 4 tablespoons of whipped cream provides healthy saturated fat for strong nerves
• 1 cup almond milk, a dairy alternative for vegan and lactose sensitive individuals, provides calcium plus vitamins A, D, and E
• 1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened) provides potassium and heart-healthy fat; it’s antiviral and antimicrobial too.

Celebrate with Me
Join me on my birthday this weekend—or whenever you need a healthy treat—and splurge with one of my favorite recipes. I am serving this to my guests who are dropping by for a B-day toast (with cran-water, of course)!

Fiber High Truffles
½ cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup unheated natural honey
¾ cup whey (Fat Flush Vanilla Whey Protein)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup coarsely ground macadamia nuts
2 teaspoons milled or ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 cup Uncle Sam’s Cereal
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots
¼ cup crushed toasted sliced almonds
Carob powder for dusting

1. Place the first 10 ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel knife. Process using on-and-off turns until well combined and the mixture holds together.
2. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes.
3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
4. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the crushed almonds, pressing gently to adhere.
5. Place the carob powder in a small sieve. Sprinkle the truffles lightly with the carob, rolling the balls to evenly cover the surface.
6. Let the truffles rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
7. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
Tip: This recipe freezes well, so it’s easy to save extra truffles or to make ahead for that special occasion. Kids love it!

Fat Flush for Life
The Fat Flush Plan

The Fast Track Detox Diet

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Jan

    Happy birthday, Ann Louise! And thank you for all that you do for all of us@

  2. Sharon

    Happy Birthday Ann,

    I really appreciate your blogging. I find it hard to delete your blog from my e-mail because I want to remember all the subjects you have addressed that I have enjoyed. I am glad to hear that you are still leary about coffee. I have weaned myself off of coffee and have a cup of teecino instead each morning.

    I was wondering why you allowed coffee in your new book, but it must be because of the die hard coffee drinkers that you allow at least a cup. I had thought you had changed your mind. Glad to see that you haven’t. Thanks again and hope you have/had a wonderful birthday.

  3. Tara Henry

    I just want to say happy birthday to ann louise and I hope you have a fantastic one! I also want to say that I truly admire the work you do,i find your work inspirational,I have
    been a fan of yours since the age of 19,canyou believe that!

    I hope to meet you one day.

    Best wishes,

    Tara (from London)

  4. Administrator

    Dr. Ann Louise sends her thanks for all of your kind birthday wishes!

  5. mamalove

    I am a newbie to all things Ann Louise and I am happy to report that perimenopause is now a non issue in my life thanks to you!!! Thank you for your insight as to what can easily become a hellish time in my life. Happy happy birthday to you and many blessed days be yours in the year ahead. thank you for all you do to promote HEALTHY health, especially for women. I am a living example of that for my daughters…

  6. Delfina  Toellner


  7. Kathleen

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday, Ann Louise. You are my nutrition guru! I so appreciate the way you’ve dedicated yourself to women’s health–especially those of us past 40. I trust your advice more than anyone, and go to you when I want a question answered. I also refer any woman I know who has a nutrition question to YOU, because I know you’ve researched it thoroughly.

    A quick question: The article above mentions the benefits of red wine. Will a glass of red wine raise blood sugar or insulin levels in an unhealthy way? Should we only have a glass when eating, rather than by itself? That matter aside, good organic wine is not always easy to find. Are there “safe” red wines–say, from certain countries?


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