Home & Leisure

Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

It was late afternoon. I was at the grocery store picking up a few items to make dinner.

I passed two women greeting each other. One of them had a young daughter in tow. The girl was maybe 7 years old. The moms were maybe in their late 30’s.

We were all in the dairy section; the area with the big refrigerators full of milk and cream. The ...Read more

Famous Burger Meatloaf

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

When you’re on a diet, having a strong weight loss support system can mean the difference between success and failure. We have a major league support team at Plan Z, but if you can add a personal support network to that and buddy up with a partner, the benefits are even greater.

A weight loss buddy (or an accountabilibuddy) can be a spouse or...Read more

Mango Curry

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

The football game is over. The score is in the record books. The bets are paid off.

Interesting fact: over $6 billion is bet on the Super Bowl worldwide. Most of that is illegal betting; the kind that happens in the office pool, the corner bar, or even between fantasy league players.

I can make a bet too, and have pretty good odds. I bet ...Read more

Cognac Truffles

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Many diet gurus will tell you that chocolate is high in fat and calories and to stay away. But there’s more to it than that. I’m here to tell you that when you are finished dieting, chocolate can be part of your eating plan on a fairly regular basis.

As president and “Chief Dieter” of Plan Z, I get chocolate-related questions fairly ...Read more

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage, Red Pepper, and Broccoli

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

I’ve been low carb for a long time now. That doesn’t mean I don’t like pasta. Most restaurants just serve too much of it. What you get at most Italian restaurants in the US is a huge portion – dare I say a pile of pasta. Even the International Pasta Association will tell you that a portion of pasta is one cup, cooked. That’s more like ...Read more

Creamy Ravioli

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

When I was a young teen in the early '70s, I can remember coming to breakfast one morning and my father was sitting at the end of the table crabbing about his breakfast.

My father had eaten the same thing for breakfast for decades. Two poached eggs, 2 pieces of toast slathered with butter, and on many occasions, a couple of pieces of bacon.

...Read more

Creamy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Stew

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

My 7 Reasons to Resolve to Eat Low Carb in 2020

When I was growing up, most people believed that losing weight was all about "calories-in, calories-out." Today, we know it's a lot more complicated than that. The key to successful weight loss is understanding that not all calories are equal. It's critical to understand what your body does...Read more

The Chili Championships

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Beefy Chili with Roasted Poblanos and Chicken Chili -- Caribbean Style

One of my favorite Super Bowl parties was one I called the Chili Championship

Here’s how it works:

You set up a chili buffet with all the fixins. This works really well because people can get up from the TV viewing area and do self-service on the chili. At my ...Read more

Zucchini Fritters

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Why NOT to Renew Your Gym Membership This Year

1. Exercise really doesn’t help you lose weight; unless you do a LOT of it.

You almost have to be a professional loser. One study showed that women over 40 years old who do moderate exercise 60 minutes a day, five days a week, will maintain their weight but they won’t lose weight.

2. ...Read more

Creole Meatloaf

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

The question is: How fast can you lose weight and stay healthy?

I’m not sure anyone knows the answer for sure. In my experience with dieting I’ve heard everything.

Those who say you can only lose one to two pounds a week and diet safely are using methodologies that generally can only produce one to two pounds of weight loss per week. That ...Read more

Lemon Brownies

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Although we are practicing social distancing, many people will still be faced with small holiday gatherings this season. Plan Z dieters want to know how to keep from gaining the 6 – 7 pounds many do at the holidays. Some of these ideas are meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek. Others are dead serious. I’ll let you decide which are which, but...Read more

Seafood Dipping Sauce

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

We sat down recently to chat with Zola and learned all “merry” of things holiday-related:

Do you go “all-out” with your holiday decorating? 

I used to. Now I do what I call “holiday lite.” This year I decorated the balcony with two lighted trees and another planter with sticks and greenery. I also have a miniature Alberta juniper ...Read more

Quick Ham and Bean Soup

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

A lot of people call me a clean freak. My house is pretty spotless most of the time. I have two cats, but I don’t have any small, human children, so frankly, this is not that hard to do. My husband and I split up the household duties pretty evenly.  I do the menu, shop for the food, and cook it. Sometimes he chops veggies.  He’s a great ...Read more

General Tso's Chicken

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Does Wine Make You Fat?

We’ve talked about beer.

Today we are going to give wine its day. People ask, “Does wine make you fat?”

“How can I drink my wine and not gain?”

Those are two big questions, followed regularly by, “Can I drink wine and still lose weight?”

Let’s explore.

First, I’ll tell you a story. I had ...Read more

A CDC Thanksgiving

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

My husband and I have decided we will be following CDC guidelines for our Thanksgiving this year. I’m hoping this will be the only year we have to do this, but we can make the sacrifice. Another year will come.

I have gotten creative. I hope you like some of my ideas. It might be too late to use them this Thanksgiving, but the December ...Read more

Sweet Potatoes with a Butter Pecan Crust

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

Traditionally, my menu for Thanksgiving gets set this week. This year, of course, is anything but normal but I am carrying on as though everything IS normal except the size of the guest list. Here’s a little bit of the history of Thanksgiving in my family.

I always tell people it was my mom who taught me not to be intimidated by any holiday ...Read more

Tea Breads

Recipes / Recipes by Zola /

In my mother’s Betty Crocker cookbook (written in the 1950s) they were generally categorized as Quick Breads and then further categorized as Tea Breads. I still have that cookbook. You can buy a First Edition online for $147. Mine is not a first edition but it’s special to me and I have saved it for decades.

I was raised on banana nut bread...Read more



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