Someone’s in the Kitchen with Zola

Guest Contributor Chris is married to Zola. They are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary this month. 

"No one is born a great cook," said Julia Child. "One learns by doing."

One of the “secrets” of losing weight on Plan Z is that you cook your own food. That puts you in control of everything that goes into your mouth.

You may have said to yourself, "I don’t have time to cook." The processed food companies are counting on that.

On the other hand, do you have time to spend in doctors’ waiting rooms? Because "the path to feeling good from day to day and staying clear of dialysis machines, heart stents and prescription pain pills runs through a place that’s long been a center point of human living—our own kitchens." Melanie Warner wrote that in Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Foods Took Over the American Meal.

Staying healthy and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals is a big reason why I make the time to make dinner with Zola most evenings.

Zola’s mother told her, "If you can read you can cook." And Zola can really cook.

There are about a thousand recipes on the Plan Z Diet website. I've tasted every one of them. Usually, I’m Zola's prep cook. I wash vegetables, chop them and clean up behind Zola. It’s a nice way to spend time together.

Here are three more thoughts about cooking to reinforce the need to do more of it.

—Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life


― Robert H. Lustig, The Hacking of the American Mind: Inside the Sugar-Coated Plot to Confuse Pleasure with Happiness


― Mark Hyman, M.D.


Most evenings I’m in the kitchen with Zola; watching and learning from her.

Last night I made Zola’s delicious Mushroom and Bacon soup for dinner all by myself. All I had to do was read and follow the recipe. I can read. And — what do you know? — I can cook. If you’ve read this far, I bet you can cook, too.

Chris Lytle

VP Anger Management

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

A nice, summery meal that can also be eaten in cooler months.

The Critical Difference Between Successful and Unsuccessful Dieters (and People)

I have two jobs.

You know me as VP of Anger Management for the Plan Z Diet.

And at the same time, I’m also a professional speaker and author. My book, The Accidental Salesperson: How to Take Control of Your Sales Career and Earn the Respect and Income You Deserve, is a business bestseller. Over the years, I have conducted more than 2200 seminars on three continents.

I was working on a project for my “other job” and ran across an article I want to share with you:

How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don’t Want To is by Heidi Grant Halvorson. It was posted on the Harvard Business Review website on February 14, 2014.

Halvorson describes how this applies to the commitments we make to ourselves at work. As you read the next two paragraphs, just think about your commitment to weight loss instead of work.

“In his excellent book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman points out that much of the time, when we say things like “I just can’t get out of bed early in the morning, “ or “I just can’t get myself to exercise,” what we really mean is that we can’t get ourselves to feel like doing these things.  After all, no one is tying you to your bed every morning.  Intimidating bouncers aren’t blocking the entrance to your gym.  Physically, nothing is stopping you – you just don’t feel like it.  But as Burkeman asks, “Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it?’”

“Think about that for a minute, because it’s really important.  Somewhere along the way, we’ve all bought into the idea – without consciously realizing it – that to be motivated and effective we need to feel like we want to take action.  We need to be eager to do so.  I really don’t know why we believe this, because it is 100% nonsense. Yes, on some level you need to be committed to what you are doing – you need to want to see the project finished, or get healthier, or get an earlier start to your day.  But you don’t need to feel like doing it.”

“In fact, as Burkeman points out, many of the most prolific artists, writers, and innovators have become so in part because of their reliance on work routines that forced them to put in a certain number of hours a day, no matter how uninspired (or, in many instances, hung over) they might have felt.  Burkeman reminds us of renowned artist Chuck Close’s observation that “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.”

So if you are sitting there, putting something off because you don’t feel like it, remember that you don’t actually need to feel like it. There is nothing stopping you.” (End of excerpt)

See what I mean? This is a powerful concept.

You don’t feel like eating the burger without the bun? You don’t feel like skipping the bagel a coworker left in the break room? You don’t feel like doing the Plan Z Diet and losing those last 30 pounds?

That’s okay. Feeling like doing something has nothing to do with whether or not you do it.

There is nothing stopping you.

I have been doing an exercise routine called SuperSlow for the past nine years. Every Thursday at 10 AM, I have a standing appointment. I pay $57 for the privilege of doing 7 exercises agonizingly slowly—each exercise to the point of failure meaning I can no longer move the weight.

I never “feel” like doing it. I do not enjoy it. It is not fun. It is very hard work. I do it anyway because I want to maintain muscle mass and bone density into my old age. (I’ll be 80 in 12 years.) I don’t have to like it or feel like doing it. All I have to do is show up and get the work in.

When I started the program I used to dread it. I would think how hard it was going to be or how sore I would be the next day. Now, I don’t think about it until I’m at the gym. I just go, do it and leave.

I’m always glad it’s over. And I’m always glad I did it.

I don’t have to feel like it or enjoy it to do it and benefit from it.

What a liberating idea!

Think about the implications and the power of this idea in taking charge of your own weight and health.

You don’t have to wait until you feel like taking control to take control – of anything.

Stay Angry My Friend,

VP Anger Management

Plan Z Diet

Chicken Piccata

Light, easy and delicious.