People are curious about how we got our start at Natural Living Family. We get questions about how we met the Lord, how we met each other, and how we were introduced to Bible health, essential oils, and natural living. Well, welcome to our origin story: a tale of balance. 

We’re not perfect. On this podcast, we’ll share our personal stories and how we each faced serious health challenges along the way. You’ll hear how we met – and discover what happens when an eating disorder meets a health fanatic.

We’ll share how we began our journey to health, as well as how we overcame the idealism of finding the “perfect” marriage partner. We’re going to tell you about some of our bumps along the road and how we learned to balance our marriage.

Join us to find out how we got became a Natural Living Family and how you can get started being part of the family, too.

Listen to Natural Living Family Podcast Episode 2 Here

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Transcript & Timeline Natural Living Family Podcast, Episode 2

What Happens When An Eating Disorder Meets a Health Fanatic: A Tale of Balance

The contents of this presentation are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This presentation does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

[0:00 – 0:33] Prelude
Mama Z: I remember we met one of his friends for dinner.

Dr. Z: Yeah, Matt and Crystal. I’ll never forget that.

Mama Z: And I remember him saying, “Even when two even-flowing, beautiful streams come together, it creates rapids.” And I remember thinking, Oh, good, finally someone with reality here because I want my husband-to-be to realize that a real relationship is going to have real issues, but we’re going to deal with them in a real way.

[0:35 – 1:00] Intro
Dr. Z: Hi, this is Dr. Z.

Mama Z: And this is Mama Z. And welcome to our show.

Dr. Z: Each week we invite you into our home to talk about how you can master the art and science of natural living. And we share the very same tips our family uses every single day to enjoy an abundant life.

Mama Z: So come on in and get comfortable! After all you’re one of our family…Our Natural Living Family.

[1:02 – 2:22] Sponsor Spotlight
Dr. Z: But before we dive into all the fun today, we are excited to share a special note about today’s sponsor.

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[2:30 – 4:34] Welcome
Dr. Z: Welcome to episode 2 of the Natural Living Family podcast titled, “What Happens When an Eating Disorder Meets a Health Fanatic: A Tale of Balance.” Whoa! That right there, that speaks volumes. I can only imagine what people are thinking right now. So who do you all think the health fanatic is? What’s an eating disorder? You’re going to learn.

So you know what’s funny? First of all, thank you for tuning in. And for those of you who listened to episode 1, we loved it. And we loved all your comments, and thank you so much for those of you especially leaving comments and emailing, and for those of you who signed up for our podcast newsletter. We get all your comments and feedback and questions, and we really appreciate it. And you are part of the family. You’re part of our community. You’re part of our tribe. And we just wanted to just thank you and welcome you.

And if you didn’t get a chance, watch episode 1. We cover what a natural living family is and why we started this podcast. And we actually started to dive little bit into our origin story. But you know what’s really funny? Is that we’ve been able and very blessed and very fortunate to be able to share that we’ve been able to help tens of millions of people now.

And it’s almost hard to believe because we’ve been on documentaries, because we’ve been on TV, because we’ve been on podcast and radio, because we have more than five million people a year visit our website, because of all the hundreds of thousands of people that follow us on Facebook. You kind of do the math, it’s like wow!

And one question that we get regularly is people want to know a little bit about us. How did we meet? And this isn’t just the origin story of Eric and Sabrina, Dr. Z and Mama Z. This is how did this all come to be? And I hope as you listen to our story, you’ll be inspired. Maybe you’re believing God for a spouse. Or maybe you’re believing God for some guidance of your ministry, what it is that He has for you. Or maybe you’re just stuck in a dead-end job and you’re like, “I hate this. What do I do?” I hope you’re going to find some inspiration because we were there every step of the way.

Mama Z: Absolutely.

[4:37 – 12:53] How Dr. Z and Mama Z Met and All This Came To Be
So how did we meet?

Mama Z: We met at church. And I remember. I really relate the young professional days between college and when you get married to being some of the most awkward days, almost like junior high school. And it really is, that time between then and marriage. And I remember listening to my favorite pastor, his preparing yourself for wedding day sermon. I literally bought that. Back then it was tapes, and then eventually CDs—

Dr. Z: You are that old, by the way.

Mama Z: I am. I’m 40.

Dr. Z: Four, zero.

Mama Z: Yes.

Dr. Z: I’m not 40, by the way.

Mama Z: No.

Dr. Z: I’m in my 30s.

Mama Z: I know. And I always remind him to respect his elders.

Dr. Z: I’m 38 and a half. Actually I’m 40, but by the time you listen to this, I’m probably close to…I’m almost 39. But still.

Mama Z: Yes. So I literally have bought this teaching for dozens of people. And I listened to it no less than a hundred times, at least.

I was newly saved. And about a year after that, I was just really believing God for a husband. And I remember my pastor saying, “If you look around this church and all you see is a bunch of nerds, then just pray that God brings your husband here.” And I didn’t think all of them are nerds, but like they were friends. And they weren’t my husband.

Dr. Z: They are listening right now, some of them.

Mama Z: Yeah.

Dr. Z: We say that with a disclaimer.

Mama Z: So I really was believing God. I saw the Lord do that for other people, and I knew God would do that for me. So then this one day, I’m sitting with an older lady who really mentored me. And I looked over and I said, “Oh, my gosh, who is that? He is hot.” And she goes, “I think he’s with that youth group over there.” And the lady still joked because some of the ladies overheard me, that were sitting behind me. And they still remember that day. And I thought to myself, he looked older than youth group.

Dr. Z: But you said what? You said something cuter, though, remember? “He’s not youth group material.”

Mama Z: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I said, “He doesn’t look like youth group material.” He looked older. So I was on the praise and worship team. And I really felt that God was going to give me a ministry to help so many people. But I remember, I really felt the Holy Spirit saying I needed to clean up the toilets in my own life before I could help other people.

So I literally signed up for the cleaning team because I figured the best way to do that would be starting by cleaning the toilets. So I signed up for the toilet team and washing windows. And then I also was involved in the hospitality. And I saw Eric come out that first day. And I’m washing windows in my suit. I saw him walk right by and he didn’t even say hi to me.

Dr. Z: I was on a mission not to meet anyone, by the way. I’ll tell my part of the story, but I wanted nothing to do with women.

Mama Z: But he said he did notice me. So the next time I happened to be talking to a friend and he happened to be talking to her husband, I reached my hand out and I said, “Hi, I’m Sabrina.” And he said, “Well, I think that means that God opened the door here.” And by the end of that day, I had him washing windows with me!

Dr. Z: So for me, I was 26 years old. And I had just moved from Detroit, where I grew up. And I had a job opportunity. I actually managed a bank at the time. So I moved up to the middle of Michigan, and first time really that far away from home. And I moved out for college for a couple years. But this was like, “I’m on my own.” I’m an adult living away from my family, can’t sneak in and grocery shop at mom’s house anymore or get her food or cooking or nothing.

So I just remember wanting to focus on my career. And this is the first real, cool job that I had, a neat opportunity, right? Big potential to be an executive with the largest bank in the world, kind of thing. And I remember going to work every day. And one of the greeters at work there said, “Hey, looking for a place to go to church?” And I’m like, “No, I’m pretty good.” I wanted to sample.

I just wanted to try as many churches as I could in the area. I didn’t want to settle down. And she had a church that was a half an hour away. I’m like, “No, there’s enough churches five minutes from here.” And I lived like a five-minute walk from where I worked, by design, because I spent so much of my time driving when I lived in Detroit. I went to Wayne State. I went to a community college. I literally have spent weeks, weeks, weeks of my life in traffic, probably years. And so when she said to me her church was a half an hour away, I’m like, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Well, bless her heart. She was absolutely relentless. And after day after day after day I’m like, “Okay. I’ll try your church.” So I go to her church very reluctantly, but just wanting to be honorable because you can only say no so many times before you officially offend somebody, right?

So I went to church. And I remember seeing you. I’m like, “Wow! I don’t want to get involved with anything right now.” I started thinking because I was previously engaged. And I found myself—and Sabrina was too—I found myself in a season where something almost bad happened, and I almost got unequally yoked with the wrong individual. And it was a very dramatic breakup. And I asked God just for a year of singleness, a year of purity, a year of just not focusing on women, which for me was something I never did. I’ve always had a girlfriend or something like that.

And so God gave me a year. And up until that point, it was the best year of my life. And I didn’t want it to let go. Just having my guy friends and spending all that extra time with the Lord, I really did not want to complicate my life at all at this point with a woman. And I was on a mission to be single, and I loved it.

Mama Z: You were in the middle of fasting at the time because I so remember that. And just like Isaiah 58 says about fasting, you hear the Lord more clearly and all of this. And I remember you saying, “I’m not going to meet another Sabrina.” And that was within a week of actually meeting you.

Dr. Z: It’s almost to the day. It was almost to the day that I asked God for that year of singleness and purity and just focus on Him that I met you.

And before that, though, right after my engagement broke up with my ex-girlfriend, I did something. I did something that our friend Adam recommended. Adam is a minister, by the way. I love him. He was one of the people that led me to Christ many years ago.

He said, “Hey, write down a list of all the things that you want in a wife. And it could be godly things, and it could be not-so-godly things. It could be eye color or hair.” That’s not like a godly thing, but, “things like what your desire is in a wife, what your desire is. And be sure to focus on those things, like, ‘mission,’ ‘heart,’ and, ‘loves God,’ and all that great stuff that men of God want.” So I wrote a list.

And I remember it was like a year or so before I even met Sabrina. I had this thing. It was locked and sealed. It was sealed literally in an envelope. I brought it with me when I moved. And I had that. And when I met Sabrina I was like, “She’s my list.” I was like, “Already? Lord, really?”

And so it was a rapid romance. It was unbelievable. We ended up getting engaged three months later. We ended up getting married three months after that. And it was unbelievable just what happened. It was like at the right time at the right season. And I don’t recommend that because this goes into our idealism aspect of the story.

[12:54 – 16:07] How Mama Z Got Started With Natural Living and Essential Oils and How She Met the Lord
But before we go into two rushing rivers colliding, which is basically what we were, a little bit about our story because people also need to know and have asked us how did we come to know Lord and where and how were we introduced to Bible health and essential oils and natural living.

So do you want to start?

Mama Z: Sure. I’m going to start first with the natural living piece. And you know my mom is a culinary herbalist. And I grew up with a lot of herbs. And my dad is an agroscientist, so really more of like the science and the focus there.

Dr. Z: You’re not going to tell them about your dad? Come on. Seriously.

Mama Z: Okay. So my dad helped to create GMO corn for Dow Chemical through Monsanto on a top secret—

Dr. Z: Genetically modified organisms.

Mama Z: Yes.

Dr. Z: Her dad invented GMOs.

Mama Z: Yes. And actually it was a 10-year top secret government project.

Dr. Z: Okay, I should have had you investigated. I had no idea. When I found out, it was actually after we married. I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” I said if my friends find out, they’d take away my natural green card, I call it, right? I was mortified. I’m like, “What?!”

But it really opened up my heart and mind because your father really believes that he did something that was a service to humanity, and he still does. And we could not disagree anymore in a very respectful way, but we are so non-GMO. We are so organic. And we’re going to share so much of this in our upcoming episodes, y’all, from this Natural Living Family podcast because that is the exact opposite of everything that we stand for.

Mama Z: Right, but within what my mom does and has done over the years, our family sold fresh herbs at the local farmer’s market from the time I was five. And I actually have a picture from when I was five at the farmer’s market. And I helped sell there for so many years. And our family sold for 37 years there at the market. And it was a blessing because I learned so much about natural living from the farmers and other things like that, and also some of the unnatural things, as well, in talking to the farmers.

But one of the other things is she was involved with was the International Herb Association, and still is. So that’s both culinary cooking and also medicinal use of herbs. And I got to sit under some of the most amazing talks from some of the most life-giving people from around the country. And, as well, her best friend was an Ojibwa Indian. And she practiced holistic medicine, and she taught me about essential oils and other things.

So I got my first essential oil kit in the 7th, 8th grade, and a little aromatherapy book, and used those oils ever since I was young. It actually helped heal my face and other things like that.

[16:08 – 23:03] Mama Z’s Health Issues and How They Were Resolved
Fast forward many years, and I had a lot of issues with some of the unnatural things that we did with medicines and whatnot. And at one point, I was on nine different prescription drugs. And I was really searching for something else, something better. And then I met the Lord. I was invited to go to church from some friends. And I remember walking in the very first day and feeling the power of praise and worship.

And literally shortly after, that Easter I accepted the Lord. And it was an amazing experience. And I’m so grateful. And my life has never been the same. And I was searching for different things. Food allergies, I knew I must have some food allergies and other things like that because I knew that I got sick every time I went out to eat and every time we had service or other things with all of the young professionals. We went out and hung out after church. And every time I would get sick. My stomach would just be writhing in pain.

So I had narrowed it down. I knew for sure I couldn’t do dairy. I knew that. But it developed into an eating disorder because I knew if I ate all of these foods that made me sick, I would be sick. So I had this desire in my heart that it would be—

Dr. Z: What type of eating disorder?

Mama Z: It was bulimia.

Dr. Z: Bulimia. And how long was that again?

Mama Z: It was not long, but definitely over a year.

Dr. Z: And that’s when I met you.

Mama Z: Yeah.

Dr. Z: And I remember when I saw you and I visited you at work, you looked like you put on 20 pounds. You were so bloated. And we have a picture of that actually. We still have a picture of that.

Mama Z: Yeah.

Dr. Z: And I just remember when you shared it with me, just hearing your heart’s cry like, “I need help. I don’t know what to eat anymore. I don’t know what to do.”

Mama Z: I was down to like four different foods. But the thing was, it was not about weight. I was gaining weight. I was literally eating four foods: tuna, eggs, and then a couple of vegetables, and that was it. And I literally couldn’t stomach anything else. There was so many problems. And I was on medicine for my stomach and this and that. And so I went on a 10-day water fast.

Dr. Z: An Isaiah 58 water fast, right?

Mama Z: Yes.

Dr. Z: If you guys haven’t, read chapter 58 of Isaiah. It really describes how you should fast, right?

Mama Z: Right.

Dr. Z: And what kind of things? I love when you tell the story about this.

Mama Z: So I knew God would bring forth healing speedily. And literally on the third day, I saw black stuff come out of my pores. It must have been heavy metals or whatever. People ask, you know, “What kind of medicine were you on?” Well, I was on ADHD medicine. I was on stomach medicine. I was on a lot of different allergy medicines.

Dr. Z: Dysmenorrhea, right? You had a horrible periods, right?

Mama Z: Yup. Exactly.

Dr. Z: I remember that because that’s something essential oils really helped you with later.

Mama Z: Yes. Absolutely.

Dr. Z: That was a big issue.

Mama Z: Literally, I prayed. I asked God to lift this burden. I really felt that I was ready. I had already weaned myself off or close to off of some of the medicines, but I just knew that God would heal my body. And I was able to get off of all those prescription drugs. Praise the Lord. I knew God was going to perfect those things that concern me.

And a little funny side note, how I interpreted it was in the Word, like the food that you would have eaten, give that to the poor. So I literally packed up all the canned goods that I had in my pantry, threw a can opener in there. And it’s so funny. I worked actually a couple minutes away from where Eric worked. And there was this one corner, and there was always a homeless person there. And every day when I was on my fast, nobody was there every time I’d go by. I’m like, “Seriously? I’ve got all this food.”

And so my sister happened to be with me one of the days. And we were down by the arena that our games were at. And I saw somebody. And I was so excited. But it was the one time that there was total traffic there. So I remember opening the door and going, “Bless you!” and throwing the food out.

Dr. Z: With the can opener.

Mama Z: With the can opener! And they probably thought I was totally crazy.

Dr. Z: Like, “What are we going to do with all these canned food?!”

Mama Z: I took all the baked goods materials that I had. And I baked baked goods for the church. Even at my baby Christian stage, God just really honored my prayer. And the other part of that was learning about what foods made me sick.

Dr. Z: Yes. That’s so key.

Mama Z: And what foods were so inflammatory to my body. And then I met Eric. And he knew those things. And so it literally fit the pieces together. And I knew that the weight would naturally come off as I did those things. I can’t even tell you if our scale even works. I have not been on a scale in years. But I knew by feeling the way that I felt, I knew that it was changing my body.

And learning about things like wheat and gluten and sugar and dairy and other things like that and soy. I remember knowing I couldn’t have dairy, so I got soy ice cream. And it made me sick, too. So it was learning about all of these things that are inflammatory.

But the thing was is that Eric, all he ate was stuff that was green or brown. And it was super healthy, but it was green or brown. And having a culinary herbalist who everything tastes amazing and looks amazing, I knew we could do better.

Dr. Z: Yeah. I totally ate to live. I didn’t live to eat. And that was a discipline I actually had to unlearn when I met you because I was like, “Oh, I can have my organic, gluten free, non-GMO, sugar-free cake and eat it, too.” I was like, “Oh, I can do this.”

Mama Z: Yeah.

[23:04 – 24:34] Eating Healthy and Fad Diets
Dr. Z: And you know what? You responded so well and so quickly. And spoiler alert for those of you who are wondering what’s coming up in episodes 3, 4, 5 and beyond, we are going to talk in depth about biochemical individuality and how to eat right and live right for your body type because like Sabrina said, certain things just didn’t work for her. But those same things can work for other people, which is why fad diets never work.

Mama Z: That’s right.

Dr. Z: They’re always short-lived. And there’s always going to be people, in my opinion, the majority of people that aren’t going to respond, which is why when we wrote our Essential Oils Diet book, it’s really not a diet book at all.

Mama Z: It’s a lifestyle book.

Dr. Z: Yes.

Mama Z: An anti-inflammatory lifestyle book.

Dr. Z: Yes. And by the way, just to be real with you all for just second—don’t tell my publisher I’m telling you this—I did not want that title. I wanted it to be called The Essential Lifestyle or The Essential Transformation. And our publisher is Random House, like the largest publisher in the world. And they have like the best marketing people in the world.

They’re like look, “We have to have the word diet in there or people just aren’t going to find it or understand what you’re doing.” And I’m like, “Okay.” But it’s really not a diet book. It’s about achieving your ideal weight. It’s about being proactive and living a very healthy natural living lifestyle that is, dare I say, easy, simple, and cost-effective.

But before we talk about that, here’s a quick note about our sponsor.

[24:35 – 25:14] Sponsor Spotlight: Thrive Market
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Mama Z: Yes, from ingredients to snacks, it’s so awesome. And the kids go nuts.

Dr. Z: We love Thrive Market, the convenience, the price, and just the movement because we know that every dollar spent goes towards a more sustainable, healthy, natural world. So if you haven’t joined, what are you waiting for? You’re going to absolutely love it!

[25:15 – 39:42] Dr. Z’s Story – How He Met the Lord and How He Dealt with His Challenges
Mama Z: As Long as you follow the five Ps.

Dr. Z: Which are?

Mama Z: Proper planning prevents poor performance.

Dr. Z: Which is going to be another podcast episode too.

Mama Z: Absolutely.

Dr. Z: So anyway, just so you know, there’s a lot that we want to share because at the end of the day, you could learn the top 20 ways of using essential oils for toenail fungus and this diet for this or that diet for that or whatever.

But if it doesn’t work for you, there’s a reason. And most of the time, it’s about finding what works for you. And that’s really part of my story is what I was doing really wasn’t working for me. And what I was doing is I didn’t have a relationship with God. And I didn’t realize my need truly for a savior until I hit my own proverbial rock bottom. And, again, going back to the title of this podcast, “What Happens When An Eating Disorder Meets a Health Fanatic,” I’m an extremist by nature.

Mama Z: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Z: And there has been always something in me, in my spirit. I remember being five years old thinking, I’m destined to do great things when I get older. You know? Like when you talk to most kids, most kids don’t really… Like our son, like, “Isaiah, what do you want to be?” He wants to be a police officer. He wants to help people and serve the community. And Elijah, he wants to be a baker. He’s a great baker, by the way. He wants to do awesome things.

When you talk to a kid, they typically don’t say, “Oh, I want to, whatever,” be something that isn’t really impressive. They want to be an astronaut or president or something kind of cool like bake awesome food or be a cop or be in the army or something awesome, right? I just knew in my spirit that I was here to do something great.

And something happened. And it’s been years of mental, emotional, beatdowns, bullying, abuse, trauma in my own life that caused me, when I was a teenager, to really just not want to live anymore. And I tried. I was that guy in high school that tried to be invisible.

And something happened. I started to develop aches and pains in my body, cystic acne. Maybe a lot of the antibiotics and the bad food that I ate when I was a kid started to catch up with me. So I started having chronic gas and bloating issues. And depression started to settle in. And I actually took Accutane, which is known as a suicide drug, because of the horrible acne that I had. And lo and behold, few years later, I started having suicidal thoughts and deep depression.

I actually started to medicate myself as a late teen, early adult, with narcotics, cocaine, ecstasy. I was drinking every night, smoking a pack of cigarettes, smoking marijuana just to get high and numb the pain. I was a wreck. And there are a few people. And I mentioned Adam earlier on, and my mentor at the time, Enoch, and a few other people that shared with me a better way, a way that was purposeful, a way that had balance, a way that enjoyed abundance. And that way was through Christ.

And I became a Christian when I was 23 years old, just about 23, actually, a couple of days before. It was March 2003. And my world changed, absolutely transformed like overnight, where interestingly enough, not the aches and the pains, that didn’t go away. And there’s a reason for that by the way, I believe. But what went away immediately was the depression, the anxiety, the panic attacks, the suicidal thoughts, the addiction, the addiction.

I had energy. I woke up in the morning and I didn’t need that pot of coffee just to get up anymore. It was like, “What happened?” My body just changed. Why? Because I prayed and I asked God. And He answered my prayer. Hallelujah!

Mama Z: Woo-hoo!

Dr. Z: But what didn’t change, though, was my gut issues. What didn’t change was the acne. What didn’t change were things like body odor that I don’t struggle with anymore, and other things that make sense because, you know what? I believe that God wanted me to figure out a solution to help you and other people because if everything would have come easy, what good would I have been? You know what I mean?

I had to research and study. And that started me on a lifelong journey to be a researcher and a Bible health educator and a health advocate because I literally, by the grace of God, learned how to cure myself of all of the different health conditions that I dealt with.

And when I met Sabrina, I was at a very, very disciplined part of my life where I literally ate to live. I meant straight up, rice cakes and spring mix and whatever it was. Again, I was juicing collards and kale. And I remember, because before I managed a bank, I used to work in a mortgage office. And I used to bring my green juice to work. And it smelled miserable. I didn’t even add apples. I was that hardcore. It was just green, the darkest greens, collards and broccoli and cucumber.

I’ve got to say, it tasted gross. But I did it because I knew it was healthy for me. And I remember going to the office and people were like, “What’s in your drink today, Eric?” They’re making fun of me because I never went out to eat with them. I just couldn’t. I’ve been living my life the way that I am trying to be healthy, and I felt great.

Well, who do you think they went to when they got sick? I’ll never forget. Leon, I’ll never forget, Leon and Leonard when they started getting sick and something happened. When Leonard got cancer right before Leonard died actually, Leonard smoked. And Leonard had lung cancer. Bless his heart, he was a sweet man.

But I remember him coming to me. I started helping him, coaching him. And I started loving on him. And that started a journey where God opened up this door where when I met you, Sabrina, it was like, “Yeah, I think I’ve got a solution.” And it was like, “Let’s cut out the junk, the stuff that we know that your body won’t respond well to.” And that’s easy folks; it’s sugar. That’s pasteurized, non-organic milk that is stuffed with hormones and GMOs and bad feed that the body just can’t interact with. And I said, “Let’s go gluten-free, wheat-free.” Remember?

Mama Z: Mmm hmm.

Dr. Z: You know what? The main thing is, remember Esther? Our poor baby girl, who was home birthed, by the way, with no vaccinations, never went to a hospital, she had horrible, horrible open sores on her bottom, like diaper rash.

Mama Z: And we thought we had had all of the gluten out of our diet, and the dairy. And there was a couple of things that were hidden ingredients. And I remember clearly because it was within the pizza dough that we were doing because I hadn’t developed a pizza dough yet. And I remember 24 hours later, looking at her bottom. And I would wipe it, and it would literally run with blood.

Dr. Z: And we did everything. We did Desitin. We did medicated cream. We did natural stuff. We did everything you could think of and nothing worked. The doctor didn’t know what to do. The midwife didn’t know what to do. We cried out to God.

Mama Z: And the midwife said, “It looks a little yeasty.”

Dr. Z: Yes, candida. It was thrush.

Mama Z: Yeah. And so immediately, we looked at every package. And little did we know, there was hidden wheat and other glutens and dairy within this one crust, and something else, too.

Dr. Z: Yeah. There were several things, condiments. That really was the thing that opened up the door: our condiments, our soy sauces, our things. It was like, whoa.

Mama Z: Yeah. Soy sauce.

[33:07-35:54] Why listen to Natural Living Family Podcast

Dr. Z: And, again, why are we sharing this? It’s because I want to say we’ve been through a lot. Not all, but we’ve been through a lot.

Mama Z: Oh, my goodness.

Dr. Z: And combining together the resources that we’ve learned, we hope and pray that as you listen to this podcast and go through these episodes, you’re going to be really inspired to find solutions to your own health issues. But not only health issues, but like we talked about in episode 1, your mental health, your emotional health, your financial health, your spiritual health, your social health, even your job relationships, or your relationship with your job.

And so there’s so many different things that we could do together in our Natural Living Family. And that’s why it’s really important, y’all. It’s really important for you to get plugged in. I mean really. And please, please, please go to and join our newsletter. And let us know what you want. Let us know the thoughts and the questions that you have.

[35:55-39:42] Idealism, Reality, and Finding Balance 

And wherever it is that you’re following us, be sure that you subscribe to this podcast, and you just get connected. It’s so important because we want to adopt you into our family because truthfully, I was very idealistic, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I married you.

Mama Z: Well, because we’ve been through as much as we have, it’s really important. Our passion is to help speed up the pace for you, give you our hacks and our different things around what’s going on in your lifestyle that we’ve been through, and that we’ve seen. Even on Eric’s side and what the research says and what we can do about it and just have you get through these things a lot faster than we did.

Dr. Z: Yup. Yup. Yup. And I want to talk about that. I want to talk about that and upcoming shows, and even why listen to us. My daughter asked me what grade I was in because I just graduated with my doctorate a couple years ago. And I calculated it. I’m in like 23rd grade right now. I’ve been to school for a lot of years. And I say that to say I’m just a research geek at heart. I’m a voracious reader and lover of information.

Sabrina is your practical DIY, “Let’s figure it out.” I’ll give Sabrina an assignment, and she’ll run with it. And she’ll figure out solutions. In the book that I wrote, The Healing Power of Essential Oils, she formulated most of those recipes, and they’re beautiful. They’re fantastic. Just wait until you get the recipes in our new book, The Essential Oils Diet. You’re going to love them.

Because here’s what you do. Seriously, imagine this. You’re culinary, like Sabrina. You’re raised in this environment where taste and flavor and aesthetics makes a huge difference in your meal choices. And then you meet me. Everything’s green or brown. It’s healthy. Everything, again, is vegetables and rice cakes and fruit. And I was like really simple. And I think I was raw vegan when I met you, or close to it. It was really I was extreme when I met you.

Mama Z: Oh, yeah.

Dr. Z: And I have gone through all of that. I’ve done re-vegan. I’ve done raw. I’ve done everything you could think of. I’ll tell you something. Something that’s really practical. And I know I’m going to reach someone right now. Your heart drops when someone says, “Oh, you’re sensitive to gluten.” You go to a doctor, a functional medicine practitioner, a nutritionist that says, “You can’t have dairy anymore.” And you’re thinking, Oh, I love creme brulee, or, I love, whatever. Oh, what’s my favorite? Tiramisu. And then it’s like you mourn the loss of your loved foods.

And I’m telling you something. God designed us with taste buds for a reason. God designed us with a sex drive for a reason. So what does that mean? Sex is good in its proper context. And eating food is good in its proper context. And out of everything that I’ve seen, especially in the church, people really struggle with satisfying healthily sex drive and food cravings. And those are two of the most primal, cardinal instincts we have because without sex and without food, our species is going to die really quick, right? Just think about that, y’all.

So what we’ve been focusing on, what Sabrina’s done a great job with is creating the solution to the problem that lot of people have when they go into natural living lifestyle. So again, sneak peek into the future shows because we’re going to cover step by step by step by step how we’ve done a lot of this stuff. So I can’t wait to keep the conversation.

But before we do, I think this is really important: idealism.

Mama Z: Yes.

Dr. Z: Because when I met you, being who I am, extremist-

Mama Z: Oh, yes.

Dr. Z: Because I prayed and fasted. And I was like, “Okay. We’re going to get married. We’re never going to have an argument.”

Mama Z: And I was thinking, This is not sustainable.

Dr. Z: This is going to be perfection, and everything is going to be great. We’re going to finish each other’s sentences, right? Right now, I’m thinking of Frozen like, “You finish each other’s sandwiches.” Our daughter loves Frozen, by the way. Disney joke for parents. So I thought we’re going to finish each other’s sandwiches and that when we connected like the stars would align, and epiphanies.

Mama Z: And I was thinking, Oh, man. And I remember we met one of his friends for dinner.

Dr. Z: Yeah. Matt and Crystal. I’ll never forget that.

Mama Z: And I remember him saying, “Even when two even-flowing, beautiful streams come together, it creates rapids.” And I remember thinking, Oh, good, finally someone with reality here because I want my husband-to-be to realize that a real relationship is going to have real issues, but we’re going to deal with them in a real way. And definitely I think our streams were a little bit faster than an even flowing deal going on over there.

Dr. Z: Yeah. We are two rushing rivers. And when we married, it was like class six whitewater rapids. And I got to say though, it almost caused our marriage to implode at one point. And I want to share a lot about that. We’ve got to fit this in this year. Hopefully, that doesn’t go into next year. But what do you do? Like what do you do when things aren’t working the way that you know they should work? But you know what we did was we found balance.

Mama Z: Exactly.

Dr. Z: And we balanced, and we have. You know what it was, Sabrina? I had to finally come to terms with the fact that God knew what he was doing more than I. And He put you on my path for a reason, and you really helped ground me. I am completely flying high, especially when you give me a matcha green tea latte, which by the way, I love. I’m drinking these things every morning. This is my thing.

I usually do an intermittent fast. I usually don’t have my first meal till about noon, 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon. I got good, healthy energy. My mind’s flowing. I’m like going a million miles per hour. Bless our team, the people that work for us. They’re like, every time we get on a team call like, “What else are you doing this year?” It’s like boom! And you’re like, “Settle down.” Right?

[39:43 – 43:54] Becoming a Healthy Family
So you know one thing that reminds me of this is what happened when I learned, because I was doing research for a client because again, I was a medical writer for several years. I was doing research on artificial fragrance. And I realized that parfum, the ingredient in all of these Bath & Body Works type of stuff and all of these synthetic products, were linked to Alzheimer’s, dementia, cancer, and autoimmunity. My jaw dropped because I’m the guy that used to be at Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works every January after Christmas because they have their semi-annual sale. How do I know this? Because I would buy literally $500-$600 worth of stuff at once to have a big box to come back home to so that whenever there was a birthday, it could be anything, anniversary, Mother’s Day—

Mama Z: Valentine’s, Kwanza.

Dr. Z: Hanukkah, every holiday in the world, I had my go bag, where I didn’t have to think about it. I would be like, “Boom! Sabrina loves this Vicky Secret’s lotion and that Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer.” And I’d get all that ready. Hundreds of dollars.

And when I found out that these things had chemicals in them that were harmful, I threw them all away immediately. And Sabrina is like having a coronary over here. And when I told Sabrina, “You’ve got to throw away your Wallflowers,” that was the beginning of World War 3 in our home.

Mama Z: Yeah. It was. I was not at the same place, but before we had our baby at home, I wasn’t in the same place either. And I had to get to that place. And part of what got me to that place with that was that we lived a natural living lifestyle. And when I went to these baby classes, they’re talking about all these things, and I’m like there’s got to be a better way.

Dr. Z: Hold on a second. You’re glossing over this. What did you tell me when I told you were throwing all this stuff away? Seriously, what did you tell me?

Mama Z: Well, no, I’m telling you.

Dr. Z: No, you were like … Come on. This is real.

Mama Z: No, I’m getting to that. I’m getting to that.

Dr.  Z: Come on. You’re like, “No.”

Mama Z: Well, yeah, I said no.

Dr. Z: You’re like, “I’m not throwing away this stuff.” I’m like, “It causes poison. You’re killing our kids.” Don’t say that to a mom, by the way.

Mama Z: Yeah. Don’t say that.

Dr. Z: You were hurt. I did. I was like fanatical. I’m like, “You’re going to kill our daughter.”

Mama Z: And I’m like, “Listen, we have all this stuff. Just as we finish it, we’ll transition it out, and then we won’t use it anymore.”

Dr. Z: I’m like, “It needs to be quarantined. Let’s get a hazmat suit.”

Mama Z: And I had sensed that I had planned for different times of the year and all the stuff in all the rooms, and I didn’t have to think about it and all of this stuff, except for the baby’s room. Because in the baby’s room I had an organic plug-in diffuser, but back then, they didn’t make them like they do now.

Dr. Z: No, it’s so much easier now.

Mama Z: It’s so much easier. So it was a lot more maintenance and all the stuff with the baby’s diffuser. Oh, my goodness. So fast forward whether it was home birth and deciding a better way because of that, or fragrances, I actually developed, because of black mold, my immunity was down, and I developed pneumonia. And what happened was it made me so over-sensitive to anything that was a non-natural smell. And for Eric, it was like a dream come true. But for me, anything, a candle.

One time, we had a person cleaning the house. And they had non-natural cleaners. And I came in and I’m like, “I don’t know what it is,” and it was like in January, “but every room’s got to get open and then we’ve got to air this out.” It was horrible.

Dr. Z: It was almost as bad as I had tuna when you’re pregnant the first time.

Mama Z: No, it wasn’t tuna. Listen here, people. It was anchovies or sardines. And I remember being up in the bathroom, pregnant, and it was wafting under the door, like your pregnancy sense.

Dr. Z: You made me eat it on the porch.

Mama Z: I said, “Whatever that is, you and it need to go outside, and I don’t ever want to smell that again.”

Dr. Z: Yeah. What did I get myself into with you? Love it.

Mama Z: Yeah.

[43:55 – 45:48] Becoming a Healthy Family
Dr. Z: So what do you do though? Here’s the bottom line, what do you do?

Mama Z: The bottom line was you know-

Dr. Z: You have to balance each other out. And I had to be patient because I’m the extremist. I wanted to change everything yesterday. And you’re like, “Hey, let’s have it be gradual.” And you know what? It all worked in its proper timing. And we are definitely going to be talking about this in another show because what do you do?

Mama Z: And that’s a low hanging fruit, getting rid of all the aerosols.

Dr. Z: But you weren’t sold on it. And that’s really important because you helped ground me. And I also helped kind of maybe push you along a little bit, where you might be dragging your feet. And it’s all about the tact.

And so for those of you who couldn’t recognize this, especially the women listening right now. I’m going to make a stereotype that is pretty proven to be true. You, most women that are listening, which are statistically proven, more women are listening right now, 75% to 80% of our website followers are women. We get this.

So what I’m imagining is you are dragging along your family, sometimes kicking and screaming. Your husband, chances are, isn’t a hundred percent on board with you. That’s just statistics. If you could relate to me, I’m just going to implore you: be patient. Be loving, and essentially trust the process because if you’re like me, and if you watch one of these telesummits or get on a documentary or you read a book and you’re like, “Whoa!” And you’re just like, “Boom! We’re going gluten-free tomorrow,” and your husband’s like, “No, we ain’t,” what do you?

Mama Z: Right.

Dr. Z: And we’re going to talk about that on our future episode because there are practical tips. But I just want to encourage you, be patient with your spouse. Be patient with your friends.

Mama Z: And we also are going to cover our choice of home birth and whatnot.

Dr. Z: Oh. yeah, there’s a lot.

Mama Z: And maybe that one should be called, “Are you one those home birth people?”

[45:49 – 46:50] Be Patient With Others During Your Transformation 
Dr. Z: Ooh, I like that. I’m going to write that down. Oh, and also, cat out of the bag, we’ve got to talk about this more, too. You wanted to vaccinate Esther, and you wanted to get a medical birth.

Mama Z: Yeah. We were just talking about that.

Dr. Z: But the transformation, though, the transformation. And for me, I was mortified because you know what? That was not part of our preliminary discussion during our rapid six-month romance. I was not thinking about that. I just assumed you were in sync with me because we were going to have a perfect marriage and think alike.

And by the way, that doesn’t work. So for those of you who are single right now and believing God for a spouse like Sabrina was, have these discussions with the person you’re dating because this can cause a huge issue. But anyway, obviously, God worked on both of our hearts, and we’ve had four very successful, non-vaccinated home births. And praise God.

Mama Z: Absolutely.

Dr. Z: And you are now like more into it than I am. But that’s a cool story of how you got converted. I call it converted because that was a big issue too.

[46:51 – End] Final Thoughts
But anyway, so folks what happens when an eating disorder meet a health fanatic? You’re listening to it. What happens is a natural living family is birthed. And I just want to thank you all for listening because this has just been a joy just to share a little bit of our heart, a little bit of our story.

And we just really want to plug in. We want you to plug in with us. We want to plug in with you, and we want to do this together. So be sure to join us next time when we discuss how green has become the new black. Yes. Even though healthy natural living is in vogue now, you may still need to overcome some stigma and judgment from friends and family. And our next show is going to help you do just that.

As a reminder, you can find all the Natural Living Family podcast episodes, show notes, transcripts on While you’re on our website, please don’t forget to sign up for our weekly podcast newsletter, which includes a personal invite to join us on our private Facebook group so we can connect one on one and so you can meet thousands of other natural living lovers just like you.

And finally, please don’t forget, subscribe to our podcast and leave a review. We love hearing what our fans have to say about the show.

Mama Z: Awesome.

Dr. Z: Well, as always, this is Dr. Z.

Mama Z: And Mama Z.

Dr. Z: And our hope and prayer is that you and your family truly experience the abundant life. God bless.

Mama Z: God bless.

Dr. Z: See you soon.

Dr. Z: And to wrap up today’s show, we have a special natural living tip for you.

Mama Z: A quick tip about transitioning your pantry into a natural living safe place. Although some of your pantry items can be transitioned over time, there are a few that are important staples to do right away. First off, throw away any white sugar and artificial sweeteners. You can replace them with raw honey, maple syrup, coconut crystals and stevia. Next, give traditional white flour the boot and replace it with all-purpose gluten-free flour. And of course, you can find all these products at Thrive Market.

Dr. Z: As a special gift to our podcast listeners, Thrive Market is giving you 25% off your first order.

Mama Z: Keep in mind, Thrive Market’s prices are already 25% to 50% off. And now they’re giving you an extra 25% off your first order plus a free 30-day trial.

Dr. Z: Now, many of you will be making a grocery run this week so why not give Thrive Market a try and shop from home?

Mama Z: Simply go to to find the special link so you can redeem this deal on the show notes from today’s episode.

Natural Living Family Podcast Episode Two Highlights:

  • How Dr. Z and Mama Z met and all this came to be – Our origin story (3:43)
  • How Mama Z got started with natural living and essential oils and how she met the Lord (12:38)
  • Mama Z’s health issues and how they were resolved (16:50)
  • Eating healthy and fad diets (22:20)
  • Dr. Z’s story – how he met the Lord and how he dealt with his challenges (23:32)
  • Becoming a healthy family (30:03)
  • Why listen to Natural Living Family podcast (33:07)
  • Idealism, reality, and finding balance (35:55)
  • Be patient with others during your transformation (43:06)
  • Final thoughts (46:20)

A Special Gift from Our Sponsor...

And before we get any further, we want to give a huge shoutout to our friends at Thrive Market.

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Dr. Z and Mama Z's Favorite Natural Wholesale Grocery Store - Try it Today and Save on The Essential Oils Diet foods.

Favorite Quotes from Episode Two – Our Origin Story: A Tale of Balance

And I remember him saying you,, ‘Even when two even flowing beautiful streams come together, it creates rapids.’” – Mama Z

“I hope you’re going to find some inspiration because we were there every step of the way.” – Dr. Z.

Even at my baby Christian stage, God really honored my prayer… part of that was learning about what foods made me sick.” – Mama Z

“I totally ate to live. I didn’t live to eat and that was a discipline I had to unlearn when I met you because I learned, ‘Oh, I can have my organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, sugar-free cake and eat it too.’” – Dr. Z

I knew I must have some food allergies and other things like that because I I got sick every time I went out to eat …” – Mama Z

“If you relate to me, I’m just going to implore you: be patient, be loving, and essentially trust the process.” – Dr. Z

Sharable Infographic

Our Origin Story: When an Eating Disorder Meets a Health Nut - A Tale of Balance. Natural Living Family Podcast #2

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