Showing holiday hospitality, especially at this time of year, is a great way to serve and show your love for others. However, for some of us, hosting holiday events can be intimidating, stressful or downright scary -but it doesn’t need to be!

If you don’t know how to get started, we’re here to help make it easy. In this week’s podcast, we will provide expert tips from Mama Z’s years of experience as a “hospitality pro.” Tune in to learn everything you need to know to host a smooth function, from planning to clean up.

And if you’re attending an event and don’t know what to do, we have tips for you as well. From what to bring to a potluck, to setting the mood when hosting, we have it all covered so you can have a blessed and joyous holiday season with those you love!

Listen & Watch Natural Living Family Podcast Episode 46 : Holiday Hospitality

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 Natural Living Family Podcast, Episode 46 – Holiday Hospitality: Tips from a Hospitality Pro

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 – 1:06] Prelude

Mama Z: You don’t want to have too much or too little, unless you like too much like you do and you like to have leftovers.

Dr. Z: Well, yeah. I love … Hey, hold on a second. You might want to stock up because then you don’t have to cook for the rest of the week. Think about that.

Mama Z: You just like to nibble forever.

Dr. Z: No, I love your leftovers.

Mama Z: I know you do. So it-

Dr. Z: I mean, because you step up your game. We don’t eat like that every day. I mean, when people come … No?

Mama Z:

Well, I mean, we have a planned schedule of what we eat.

Dr. Z: Yeah, no, no, no. No.

Mama Z: But we take it to the next level-

Dr. Z: If it weren’t for people coming over here, we’d be eating Chef Boyardee and Rice-a-Roni every day.

Mama Z: Don’t listen to him. He changes it every time.

Dr. Z: No, she feeds us out of a can. Don’t let her believe. No. Then when she’s hostessing …

Mama Z: Oh, listen to him.

Dr. Z: … she … oh-

Mama Z: Okay, first, disclaimer. I do not feed you out of a can, nor have I ever feeded you out of a can. And if you ate out of a-

Dr. Z: We don’t get anything good until the hostess comes out.

Mama Z: No, no, no. If I fed you out of a can, then it’s because you went to the store and got a can to feed yourself, because I wouldn’t do that. So anyhow.

Dr. Z: Make extra so you can enjoy the leftovers. That’s my tip.


[1:07 – 1:31] Intro to Holiday Hospitality

Dr. Z: Hi, this is Dr. Z.

Mama Z:And Mama Z. Welcome to episode 46 of the Natural Living Family Podcast.

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 same tips our family uses each and every day to enjoy an abundant life. And you’re going to love today’s talk.

Mama Z:Come on in and get comfortable. After all, you’re one of the family: our natural living family.


[1:32-2:27] Sponsor Spotlight: Air Doctor

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[2:28–7:07] introduction, Diffuser Reveal, Book News&an Announcement

Dr. Z: Well hey there, everybody. Welcome to the show. This is episode 46: Holiday Hospitality, aka If You Leave Hungry, It’s Your Own Fault.

Mama Z: Yep.

Dr. Z: We’re going to cover why and where that came from, but before we do, Mama Z, what’s in our diffuser?

Mama Z: Yes, so we have Holy Night in our diffuser. This is three drops of white fir essential oil, three drops of orange essential oil, that can be sweet or wild, two drops of bergamot, one drop of wintergreen essential oil, and one drop of peppermint essential oil.

Dr. Z: Cool.

Mama Z: Absolutely.

Dr. Z: Hey. Before we go into the Praise Report and the wonderful reviews and testimonials y’all share us, I got a really cool announcement to make. It is official. I know we’ve been seeding this and talking about this the last couple weeks, but we are looking at a January 2021 …It’s almost, I can’t believe it’s 2021 we’re already talking, but believe it or not, you blink and it happens. We’re looking at a January 2021 release date of our third book.

Mama Z: Woo hoo.

Dr. Z: Now, I’m going to hold up on revealing the title because it might change. It sometimes does. But this is going to be a book on essential oils for chronic disease. And the reason why I’m sharing this is because so many of you listening have listened to previous episodes when I asked, “Hey, if you like us talking about oils, what do you think about us doing a special midweek essential oil tidbit kind of show for just a few minutes and let me know what your thoughts were.” Well, we had so many people say they wanted that that I think we’re going to start that.

Mama Z: I love it.

Dr. Z: So every Monday, we’re going to continue doing what we’re doing, Natural Living Family Podcast. Every Monday’s about an hour long, me and Sabrina, Mama Z here, we just chat. We go back and forth. We talk about everything from prepping for flu season to how to be an inspirational person and how to be a person of influence, how to live your best life now. So we’re going to continue that, yet we also want to honor and respect the fact that many of you really love our essential oil information, whether it’s our first book, The Healing Power of Essential Oils, whether it’s the second book, The Essential Oils Diet, or whether it’s the soon to be third book on chronic disease, we’ve got a lot to say about essential oils, so I can’t wait.

Mama Z: Absolutely.

Dr. Z: And as we’re writing this book as we speak, the deadline of the manuscript is February 15th, which is a blink away. Like, wow, coming around the corner.

Mama Z: So does that mean we’re still going to go out on a date on February 14th?

Dr. Z: I don’t know. If you can get your part of the book done, we’ll see. But as of this point, I have been immersed just in hundreds and hundreds of research trials regarding essential oils for chronic disease, and I’m just brimming over with just little stuff I could just share with y’all so I could probably just spend one day putting out 50 different tips myself. It’s just unbelievable what you could do when it comes to heart disease risk factors, whether it’s blood pressure, hypertension… anything. Anything. Blood sugar, whether it’s fatty liver. We’re going to talk a lot about fatty liver. People don’t even know what that is and that’s affecting 25, 30% of everyone listening right now.

We’re going to cover all kinds of things like stress and anxiety, so I’m pumped, which is one reason why we really appreciate those of you who join our newsletter, because you let us know the things that you want. And this show is absolutely free. It’s our gift to you. It’s our ministry and we want to make sure that we’re delivering the goods, the goods that you all want.

Mama Z: Absolutely.

Dr. Z: All y’all’s. That was actually kind of funny, I remember. That was actually in my orientation when I went to chiropractic college when I first started 10 years ago. She taught us, “Okay, there’s y’all, but there’s all y’all’s.” So if you’re doing a plural-

Mama Z: See, I had a Southern pastor, okay, growing up …

Dr. Z: See, I didn’t.

Mama Z: … when I was in junior high and high school, and that’s … no, high school and college. He actually gave a sermon about what it’s like to be in the South, and that’s when I learned all y’all’s.

Dr. Z: Well, we’re going to be talking a lot about hospitality and as the proverb goes, “There’s Southern hospitality, so there must be something special down here.”

Mama Z: Absolutely. And I was raised on Southern hospitality even though we weren’t from the South.

Dr. Z: I know.

Mama Z: And still to this day, this is what we practice and we love it.


[7:08 –11:00] Your Reviews

Dr. Z: Well, before Mama Z talks about her holiday hospitality tips, If You Leave Hungry It’s Your Own Fault, episode 46 …

Mama Z: Absolutely.

Dr. Z: … of the Natural Living Family Podcast. What is our fun review?

Mama Z: Yes, okay. This one is Teehee! And we have five stars.

Dr. Z: Aw, thank you.

Mama Z: Thank you so much. Okay, so, “I must be related to the Z children. I love the story of when they were wide awake, completed all their responsibilities in order to use their iPads. My story is a little different but not. I was six years old, loved to watch the Christmas lights on the tree. Would get up at 5:00 AM while it was still dark just to turn them on. Unfortunately, one night I got up, made my bed, got dressed for school. It was 1:30 AM. What a great memory and what a great memory that story will be for the little Zs. I’ve since birthed six children and my husband and I are raising a son who is not our own. Your podcast on discipline for children was spot on. I forwarded the link to my three daughters who have just had our first grandbabies. All three are just about to turn one.” God bless you, Grandma. “Thank you for sharing your view on spanking, time out, and potty training. Be encouraged to share more, and thank you for adding your faith to the mix. I love you both and the Lord, Bird520, United States of America.”

Dr. Z: Aw, we love you, too. Thanks so much for the review. That’s so sweet.

Mama Z: So it was really funny. We’re recording this a little earlier than you hear it, and our kids got to participate in a Veterans’ Day celebration at school. Well, our adopted Papa in the Lord came to be honored because he was in the military service, and he came over extra early and all of the children … We had gotten up really early that day. We wanted to make sure everything was ready because he was coming over for breakfast at 8:00 AM.

So the kids, they were “on” that day. In order for them to qualify for breakfast, the kids, they have to have their beds made and the bedding put away, their pajamas folded, they need to get oil on their bodies, wash their face, get dressed. It’s a system we have in order to qualify for breakfast. Okay, so then they eat the breakfast, but they’ve got to have their vitamins and they eat their breakfast and then they clear their plates, they fill up their water bottles, they brush and floss their teeth, and then we clean the kitchen, and so we have a certain process.

So it was so great. Papa was there, and Bella … just like she does, she’s three years old … she jumps off of her chair once I took the highchair tray out, she went in the pantry, she got the swivel sweeper out, and she proceeded to swivel sweep the kitchen, the breakfast area, the other room, and he goes, “Wow. You got these kids trained up.” Esther is washing the counters and she’s scrubbing it with the granite cleaner and the boys are helping Bella empty the swivel sweeper out, and it was just … It was like a clockwork day, and so then they were like, “Well, since we got all of our stuff done, do we qualify to get our iPads for a couple minutes?” And I said, “Well, no, because we have a guest today. But that means that later when you’re done with your homework, then you will get a little bit of iPad time.”

Anyways, it was so cool. I love what you said. We kind of have our systems over here, but you’ll find your system for your own house and it works.


[11:01 –20:47] A System For Hospitality

Dr. Z: Well, and you need a system for hospitality, and one thing that I recognized, and this was passed down to you from your mother who was passed down from her mother, and I’m guessing your great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, the legacy of hospitality. You definitely have a gift of hospitality, and I love what your mom said and you’ve coined, and it’s part of this podcast title is, “If you leave hungry, it’s your own fault.”

Mama Z: Right, because-

Dr. Z: So talk to us a little bit about that, because it’s kind of cute.

Mama Z: So my mom had only a couple rules. Everybody was welcome and nobody leaves hungry. But then later, she added, “If you do leave hungry, then it’s your own fault.” And I totally agree. So when we plan out an event … and just like as you’re gearing up for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, whenever you have your gathering, whether you host or somebody else hosts, at some point you’re going to have to host. It could be Easter, all different kinds of things.

Dr. Z: Well not so. There are professional un-hosts out there.

Mama Z: Yes, there are.

Dr. Z: I mean, there are those people that you know, “You’ll never host.”

Mama Z: But guess what? I am going to speak to those people as well.

Dr. Z: Professional un-hosts?

Mama Z: Yes.

Dr. Z: Okay. What about the one bedroom apartment un-hosts? What about the, “my house is so filthy I don’t let my mother in my home” hosts?

Mama Z: But guess what? They are still a guest somewhere else, and there is a way to be a good guest, too.

Dr. Z: Oh, okay.

Mama Z: So we’re going to-

Dr. Z: So yes, we’ll have you be … Okay, for those professional guests, you’ve got to work with us professional hosts because there is … Yeah, that’s a good point.

Mama Z: Yeah, so I’m going to talk about that.

Dr. Z: Profession un-hosts.

Mama Z: Un-guests, yeah, un-hosts. I love it. So we always talk about, “Proper planning prevents poor performance,” and when you’re thinking about hosting, I like to say start early, because if you start early, then the thought process starts early. And as you are thinking about things, most of us have our phones with us. Not everybody carries a notepad, however, in your phone, there’s usually a thing called “notes” or a place, or you can write yourself an email or whatnot. So that’s where I start for any event that I have, and I start with the guest list. It might sound super simple, but people will say, “How many people did you have there?” And I’ll say, “Well, we had 17 adults and we had X amount of kids.” Because when you plan for things, you need to think about, an adult portion is like two children’s portions, because you don’t want to have too much or too little, unless you like too much like you do and you like to have leftovers.

Dr. Z: Well, yeah. I love … Hey, hold on a second. You might want to stock up because then you don’t have to cook for the rest of the week. Think about that.

Mama Z: You just like to nibble forever.

Dr. Z: No, I love your leftovers.

Mama Z: I know you do. So it-

Dr. Z: I mean, because you step up your game. We don’t eat like that every day. I mean, when people come … No?

Mama Z: Well, I mean, we have a planned schedule of what we eat.

Dr. Z: Yeah, no, no, no. No.

Mama Z: But we take it to the next level-

Dr. Z: If it weren’t for people coming over here, we’d be eating Chef Boyardee and Rice-a-Roni every day.

Mama Z: Don’t listen to him. He changes it every time.

Dr. Z: No, she feeds us out of a can. Don’t let her believe. No, unless hosting… Then when she’s hostessing …

Mama Z: Oh, listen to him.

Dr. Z: … she … oh-

Mama Z: Okay, first, disclaimer. I do not feed you out of a can, nor have I ever feeded you out of a can. And if you ate out of a-

Dr. Z: We don’t get anything good until the hostess comes out.

Mama Z: No, no, no. If I fed you out of a can, then it’s because you went to the store and got a can to feed yourself, because I wouldn’t do that. So anyhow.

Dr. Z: Make extra so you can enjoy the leftovers. That’s my tip.

Mama Z: He loves that. But I do two things with that. I keep a list of the kids and the adults and a couple times a year, I make sure that I have a babysitter there so that the adults can have adult conversation. Because if you don’t, then you have to keep after your kids. And please keep after your kids if you are a guest and you bring your kids, because we all know that there are certain people that we invite that don’t do that. So you want to be a good guest as well.

When I start my guest list, I start by who I’m going to invite, and always throw out a, “Hey, if you’re interested, do you want to pencil us in for this date?” Because things fill up and as you get around to different holidays, so many people have so many different places to be and go, so I always want to be the first on the list. I learned this because my son, Isaiah, has a birthday around seven other kids his age between activities that he does, school, and whatnot. So when I send out his brother’s invite in February, I send out his invite for the end of March at the same time, and people are like, “Whoa, when I saw that, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s like really early.'”

Dr. Z: Well, you’re already starting to recruit people for New Year’s.

Mama Z: Oh yeah.

Dr. Z: I mean, again, we’re filming this on … What’s today?

Mama Z: November …

Dr. Z: November 15th or something?

Mama Z: November 13th.

Dr. Z: Yeah, so I mean, you’re a good month and a half before New Year’s.

Mama Z: Right. So pencil us in. I’ve already got my list, I got my list started. And guess what? You know what?

Dr. Z: What?

Mama Z: Right now … because we eat very plant-based, but we do have a few times a year where we make sure that we get an organic, pasture-raised turkey, yada yada. So I already actually purchased the turkey. It’s at our local health foods store with my name on it and paid, and it’s all set, ready to go, so we already got part of the main dish is already done. It’s already over there, ready to go. And they’ve got a bigger freezer. We’ve got a lot of things, we’re prepping for Christmas cookies, and I’m going to talk a little bit about that as well. So I don’t want to use the space, that primo space there in the freezer for the turkey, and so they graciously will house my turkey until the week that I need it.

One thing I do is in my little notes section, I also do a second thing, and as I think of it, I start writing down everything from beverages to desserts. So we’re talking beverages, we’re talking appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, other things that I’m going to have, snacks, and then dessert. I have the place that I put the beverages, I have a place that I store the desserts until it’s dessert time, and then I have my way of utilizing the kitchen for the appetizers and then transitioning those into some of the dinner meals. For instance, I do a lot of dips and things like that, so if I have a veggie tray, then if we have a salad, if there’s some leftover vegetables that are good for the salad, then I’ll just do a couple cuts, put them in the salad, and call it good. So then you are utilizing that for the next course.

So let’s say that you think that you have a very small kitchen and that places are a little bit harder. I’m going to give you my mom’s tip for extending your kitchen space, which everybody loves. If you have a cutting board or if you have a hot plate that’s a square or a rectangle, what you do is you actually pull out one of your drawers in the kitchen, you set your hot plate or your cutting board on it, and you push it in. Now you have something that you can put hot or cold on, and it extends your kitchen space by that amount. So now you have one row, and then you could actually have another row.

Dr. Z: Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Relatively speaking, we have a really small kitchen, which is amazing when you think about all that we do in the kitchen and all the people we have in our kitchen. We’ll have 50 people here and everyone congregates in the kitchen because everyone always wants to be around the food.

Mama Z: Although last time, kudos to you, you got people to actually go in the dining room.

Dr. Z: Well, yeah. We got this-

Mama Z: We have a beautiful dining room.

Dr. Z: I know. It’s all this money and time spent on this dining room. No one ever goes there because people want to be five inches away from-

Mama Z: He makes a proclamation …

Dr. Z: A new announcement.

Mama Z: … that everybody congregates in the kitchen and in the breakfast nook, and that he wants people who don’t normally go out into the living room to join him because he is going to break the mold and congregate out there.

Dr. Z: I mean, marketing-wise, when you look at the conversion ratio, I had about a 10% conversion. So you could consider it a failure if this were a marketing endeavor, because 10% of the people of the 50 I ended up recruiting. But anyway, I-

Mama Z: You did have a good four or five out there, though.

Dr. Z: Well, that was 10%. To be a successful business, you probably need at least 50, 60, 70% conversion. So anyway, I’ll consider this a startup business to get people in my dining room.

Mama Z: Right. So when I start thinking about these things, I will think about each thing that I want to make, and as it comes to you, then you want to start writing them down. My father does fresh-pressed cider that he freezes and we always like to have that. Usually it’s gone within a half an hour. And-

Dr. Z: Well, how about… Hold on, wait, wait, wait, wait. You jumped right into it.

Mama Z: I’m jumping right into it.


[20:48 –26:31] Why Hospitality Is Important

Dr. Z: Yeah, yeah, but hold on. Why? You’ve got to set the stage here a little bit.

Mama Z: Okay.

Dr. Z: Why even talk about hospitality?

Mama Z: Because it’s one of my favorite things.

Dr. Z: No, why though?

Mama Z: Because I really feel that people who have a gift of hospitality-

Dr. Z: And that’s it. Okay, hold on.

Mama Z: Love-

Dr. Z: Not everyone has the gift of hospitality.

Mama Z: That’s true.

Dr. Z: So we’re speaking to many professional guests out there, right?

Mama Z: Absolutely. But as a professional guest, sometimes it’s good to see what that professional host likes to provide for their guests.

Dr. Z: So talk to us a little bit about what is this gift of hospitality first, and then you can give all your little cool tips.

Mama Z: One of the-

Dr. Z: Because this is a biblical thing, y’all.

Mama Z: It is.

Dr. Z: It’s actually in the … what? It’s in the book of Romans, right? Corinthians? I should know. I should have looked that up.

Mama Z: Well, and if you look at a lot of the stories-

Dr. Z: Chris, do you remember where the gift of hospitality is talked about? It’s in one of the lists of the gifts. There’s like 5, you know, there’s five … And Chris is busting out his phone. There’s five different lists of gifts. This isn’t the gift of tongues, prophecy list. This is the gift of administration, the gift of helps, the gift of hospitality, right? All that kind of stuff.

Mama Z: When I heard of that …

Dr. Z: But anyway…

Mama Z: … when-

Dr. Z: It spoke to you.

Mama Z: It did. When I was in church after being saved, I remember my pastor talking about it, and I hadn’t even … I knew I enjoyed baking and cooking and having people over, but once I realized that I had food sensitivities and that everything with church revolved around food, I knew that I had to change the culture. And I loved serving. I loved serving in any area that I could, and I still do. And one of the areas I really felt led to was to help serve in the areas of hospitality in the prayer room and during dinners and things of that nature. And when I… In my professional career, there was a season that I was an on-site meeting manager for different companies and I got to oversee a lot of the hospitality-type things and I just thrived in that area and it was something that I really, really enjoyed.

And then doing that, not just with the hockey team that I was a part of, but also with my mom’s business and with the chamber of commerce, I realized that there was a crossover in all these areas. And just the gift of love that you get with, especially for me, acts of service, and that gift of love being able to host people and pour out those blessings on other people … Because for some people, they can’t fathom putting all of those things together, and it really does bless them to have somebody else do that for them. And for me, I enjoy so much doing that for everybody else.

Dr. Z: So going back to just the significance of this … And you know what, Chris? I don’t even know. I’m looking at it. It might all actually depend on the version of the Bible. I actually don’t know if the gift of hospitality … We’re talking gift of administration, gift of service, gift of helps kind of thing.

Mama Z: Yeah, helps. Helps.

Dr. Z: But whether or not we call … I mean, if you look it up, open, there’s 67 Bible verses about the hospitality gift. Let me just encourage y’all about something. For those of you who have never hosted … Maybe we should have said this 20 minutes ago. If you’ve never hosted, I want to challenge you to consider hosting. Couple reasons why. Number one, it puts an accountability on you to get yourself in a position where you’re going to serve. It puts an accountability on you where maybe if your house is a little messy, well, this is the kick in the seat that you need to clean it up. Chris is laughing. You know what I’m talking about. Chris’s house is immaculate, by the way, if you’ve ever been to his home. There’s not even a dust speck anywhere in sight. It puts you in a position where you like to really pour out yourself on others. And let me dare say that it is biblical, and I would even think that it is almost a mandate that we do host at times. And you don’t have to host Christmas dinner, but maybe you host a special little get together or something.

But here’s a couple verses for y’all. 1 Peter 4:9, 1st Peter: “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. Do it without complaining.” Hebrews 13: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to even strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware.” Right, remember that story about Abraham? And you know even Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Peter goes back to say, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” And on and on and on. “Be hospitable, a lover of good self-control, upright, holy, and disciplined.”

At the end of the day, there’s something special about inviting someone in your home, whether you have a one-bedroom city apartment or a huge mansion. It doesn’t matter. Invite someone in your home and you give them of your abundance. You give them of what little maybe you have, and you share and you commune. It’s wonderful. It really is. And I’ve got to say, out of everything I’ve seen Sabrina do, next to the pageant, I’ve never seen Sabrina more in her element than when she hosts. I mean, that is really … And anyone who’s ever been to any event … and Chris is nodding … you know that she is in her element. She is just breathing the air that she was meant to breathe, drinking the water she was meant to drink.


[26:32 – 29:12] Advice For Those Who Are Uncomfortable Hosting

Dr. Z: And for those you, though, who don’t feel that, I would really challenge you, even if it’s hosting game night. And the nice thing about the holidays is you have from this moment listening to this for the next solid month … you have a month to invite people, to do whatever. And it’s like, “Let’s get together.” It’s a great excuse. You can invite people over to watch a Christmas movie. You can make organic popcorn and hot cocoa, and I can give you a cool recipe on how to make hot cocoa, which is yummy. There’s a bunch of stuff you could do.

Mama Z: That’s our Natural Living Family tip.

Dr. Z: Ooh, maybe hold on to the end for a hot cocoa recipe. I’ll give you that at the very end. But imagine you invite people over and listen to next episode, listen to episode 47 of the Natural Living Family Podcast, where we talk about giving the gift of health. Oh, we forgot to mention it. We actually recorded these backwards today. Here’s the thing you should do. Do a make and take party. Invite friends over to make DIY products you can give away as gifts. Oh, so many people have done that, and that’s fun. You guys get together.

You know what my aunt used to do, my aunt that’s been passed away? She used to host at her home, and we used to make pignolata, which is also known as struffoli. Pignolata is the Sicilian way of saying Italian honey balls. And we use to go to Aunt Vita’s house and two dozen of us … whatever, her daughter, her husband, or everyone …

Mama Z: Now you do it with the kids.

Dr. Z: … her grandkids, her nieces and nephews. We all got together and the kids would watch cartoons and eat hot cocoa and eat the honey balls and the adults would make them. But as a kid, I used to roll them up and I used to make my little snakes and cut them up. And basically, it’s fried dough with honey on top. By the way, go to our website,, and we have a healthy version of that. Just type up “Italian honey balls.

Mama Z: And the kids look forward to do that with you because we’ve changed our holiday dates.

Dr. Z: You could host a party doing that. So anyway, at the end of the day, we want you to enjoy the gift and the gift of being a host, but it’s really important that you try. And one thing before I let you loose on all the details is I can already hear it. “I can’t cook.” Well, two things. You could buy, and we’ve been to events where people-

Mama Z: I’m going to talk about that, yep.

Dr. Z: So talk about buying. But also, potlucks, all right? I think it’s important to talk about potluck organization, because have you ever been to a potluck hosted by someone who had no idea what they were doing and there are 55 chips and salsas but there was no main course? Yeah.

Mama Z: Yeah.

Dr. Z: You got to be organized, right? So you have to have essentially a spreadsheet or a list and then you assign people. So when we’ve done podcasts, you say, “Hey, do me a favor. Bring a salad or bring a …” How do you do hot potlucks?


[29:13 –35:19] What To Bring To A Potluck& What You Get Out of Hosting

Mama Z: Right, yeah. That’s one of the things that’s on my list. The un-host, the guest … And I love this. Always be this guest.

Dr. Z: “What can I bring?”

Mama Z: “What can I bring?” My friend Lauren, no matter what she’s doing and how her job is or how busy she is, she always says, “What can I bring?” And it could be just her and I getting together, it could be the group of everybody, but, “What can I bring?” And so many times, people get through the meal and they forget to do a salad or they forget to do a fruit salad, because if you have dips that include fruit, a lot of times all the fruit is gone. The nice thing about a fruit salad is it’s good for main course and it’s good for dessert based on whatever you’re serving. So those two things are some of the first things to do.

We have another friend that is an expert using essential oils in organic popped popcorn, and he will get creative and do all kinds of things and it tastes amazing. He brags about the popcorn that he uses and all of this stuff. So if you have a specialty and you ask, “What can I bring?” And if they say a salad or that, say, “You know what? I could totally bring that, but my specialty is this.” Sometimes the host is looking for some of these other alternative things. We do all of everything that we do … I always say, “It’s wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, dairy-free, casein-free, soy-free, but not free of flavor.”

You’re always going to have people that are going to come to your house that are going to have some sort of sensitivity, so if you’re going to a place that is a “normal people party,” as I call it …

Dr. Z: Normal people party.

Mama Z: We know we’re not 100% normal and that’s fine with us, so-

Dr. Z: There’s nothing normal about you, by the way.

Mama Z: Well, thanks. I take that as a compliment. So because of that, then be the different thing that’s there because most of the time, people will be curious. If it’s a dessert, people will be curious, if it’s a main dish or a side dish. Feel free to look at our website,, because there are so many different options to bring for different gatherings.

One of the things that I think is important that when you do bring something that is out of the ordinary, is to make a sign. You know, I’m famous for my label maker and I can label up one side and down the other, but even if you don’t, just by printing something off on card stock and folding it over and putting it in front of your dish, not only is it a good sales pitch for your dish, but if people aren’t used to having things that are free of all of those components, then they are interested in trying it. And for people who come to a gathering that have issues, they are just hoping for something that would be in what they can have. So-

Dr. Z: Yeah, ask. That’s the other thing. You really want to ask. When you invite someone, say, “Hey, do you have any special food sensitivities or allergies? I’ll make sure I have something for you.”

Mama Z: Absolutely.

Dr. Z: That’s a really, really good idea.

Mama Z: And we always do, and so if there’s something that we have that has something in it or somebody brought something that has something in it, then you can always put … if everything else is allergy-friendly … I try to do a tour of the food once everybody gets there and we pray. But if you don’t have time to do that, then having something say, “Includes dairy,” or something of that nature, then people know if it does have something in it that maybe not everybody can have. So I think that’s really important.

When I start planning, I gave you all the areas that I focus on, and then I start putting in the recipes that I’m going to use for whichever event it happens to be.

Dr. Z: You didn’t talk about it. What do you get out of being a host?

Mama Z: I just love being the hands and feet of Jesus and being able to serve, as I feel, the Lord would serve and has served and the example that we see in the Bible. But to me, it warms my heart to be able to provide joy and gathering and a place to be able to bring all of those things and those giftings together.

Dr. Z: A couple other verses. Romans 12:13, talking about, “Distributing to the necessity of the saints, be given to hospitality.” Talking about, “An elder must be someone who’s blameless. The husband and one wife. Vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality.” Titus, again, talking about elders. “Be a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate.” There’s something about it. There’s this common theme.

And the thing about it, when I’ve traveled overseas, I’ve recognized this. Hospitality is more of a gift to the giver than it is to the receiver. It’s part of their culture, especially Middle Eastern culture where we see, back to Abraham time, just the honor it is to host someone. We’ve somehow lost that, I think, in our culture, where there really is a special blessing that you get. And it is worth the work, because you got to clean before and then you got to clean afterwards.

Mama Z: I love always taking a post picture, and I do-

Dr. Z: Instagram it?

Mama Z: Yes, regularly afterwards of what it looked like and then everything once leftovers are divvied out and everything else is put back in the fridge. It’s always like … It’s just-

Dr. Z: (singing)

Mama Z: (singing).

Dr. Z: Well hey, more holiday hospitality tips. If You Leave Hungry, It’s Your Own Fault, this is episode 46 of the Natural Living Family Podcast after the break.


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[36:30 – 42:10] How To Get Things Ready For Your Event

Mama Z:All right, so you did mention cleaning, and I’m going to jump in here and talk about what I actually do when I get things ready. One thing to think about … and at Jo-Ann Fabric, they have, it’s a crushed stretch velvet. Depending on how big your table is, they have these bolts of fabric and it actually can fit a dining room table depending on how many yards it is. What I do is I actually measure so that it’ll hang off the side. I have a couple of different ones, different colors, but this fabric they have routinely, and the greatest thing about the fabric is once you cut it, you really don’t need to even turn over the edge or anything. That is your tablecloth. And what you do is when you’re done at the end of the night, you take that tablecloth off, throw it in the wash, it’s done. You don’t even have to clean the table and it’s perfect. It’s good to go. And soo you clean up all of the crumbs and all of the messes and all that right in there.

I make that part easy, so there’s a way to make it easier. If that’s something that stresses you out or, “People are going to scratch my table,” or whatever … which we don’t care about. But it just makes-

Dr. Z: I care about that. I do. I don’t like it. Yeah, see, I get bothered by … You don’t get bothered by the weirdest things. You don’t care about scratches in the tables but you care if your teacup is faced the wrong way. It’s interesting.

Mama Z: Well no. I mean, look. The Z on my cup is upside down and we didn’t even notice it for a year.

Dr. Z: But you mentioned mess, though. Hey, you know what? Just FYI, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “Hey everyone, do us a favor and just eat in the kitchen,” especially kids. How about this? If you have kids, be really sure to tell the kids, “Hey, only eat food in the kitchen.” Because what happens is, you’ll have food everywhere.

Mama Z: Right. And-

Dr. Z: We’ve learned the lesson the hard way, so we have no problem telling all the kids and telling the parents, “Hey, do me a favor. Make sure little Johnny and Suzy eat in the kitchen. We’re just keeping the mess in there.” Or whatever it might be, or in their little area.

Mama Z: And we usually will put a sign on the door to go downstairs or whatever-

Dr. Z: Have a kids’ table. That’s a golden thing. Have a kids’ table where you can contain the mess because ultimately, you want your job to be easy. You don’t want it to be a nightmare, because that’s one thing, too. Also, clean as you go.

Mama Z: Always clean as you go. You didn’t use to do that. You would do a big mound of dishes, and I-

Dr. Z: Oh, your dad. I learned this from your dad. Right after dinner, your dad is on the dishes.

Mama Z: This is so funny. My dad’s mother, Grandma Frawley we called her, she would pretty much almost have your dish put away by the time other people were done. It’s so funny because I am exactly the same way. I spent summers with them. I am trained. I will never forget, my dad says, “Where did my glass go?” And I had already cleaned it, dried it, put it back in the cupboard. And he, “Did you Grandma Frawleyit?”

Dr. Z: Yeah, see, that’s a little obsessive. You want to give people a chance to finish their stuff.

Mama Z: Well, and I do. When we have guests over, I don’t do that. But what I do do is I make sure that I have disposable hot cups, cold cups, and Sharpies to write your name on. I usually have a full cooler of bottled water with a Sharpie so that people can put their name on it, and have a variety of things available. So if I was a guest, I would want to go there because there’s lots of different options, even within each thing.

Dr. Z: What did, and don’t name them, but what did our friend who’s nameless say about never declining an invitation to come over to our home?

Mama Z: No, what-

Dr. Z: Remember what he said?

Mama Z: No.

Dr. Z: He goes, “Hey, whenever I go places, I don’t ever usually eat their food.”

Mama Z: Right. “Oh, but if I get an invite to your house, I’m always going to be there.”

Dr. Z: He goes, “Your food is fantastic.”

Mama Z: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Z: And so basically every invite …

Mama Z: It’s yes.

Dr. Z: … we can count on him and his family.

Mama Z: Yup.

Dr. Z: But that’s funny.

Mama Z: And they’re good guests, too, and they always ask, “What can we bring?”

Dr. Z: Yeah, the salad his wife made was stellar. It had pomegranates and walnuts.

Mama Z: It was amazing.

Dr. Z: Ooh, it was next level.

Mama Z: Yeah, next level for sure.

Dr. Z: That was impressive.

Mama Z: And during our cooking classes that we teach-

Dr. Z: Mm-hmm (affirmative),,

Mama Z: We teach you how to be a host in these kind of courses because I found so many people my age weren’t raised in the same way I was, and my mom really … With all the classes that she taught, I always helped with all of them, and that was a big takeaway for me was that this was a learning process that I learned over a long time. And so to be able to give the gift of being able to teach other people these things and also be able to talk to you about them, I feel that it’s a step to carry on that legacy.

I remember the first time that a girlfriend of mine was from the South, and she said, “Are you guys from the South?” And I said, “Well why do you say that?” She says, “You have Southern hospitality to the next level. We don’t really see that in the North.” And, you know, I was from Michigan, so I took that as a compliment. So every time I would hear Southern hospitality before I lived in the South, when they would say that about my mom or me, I took that as a compliment. Now that I live in the South, I think it’s a great compliment. So anyways, I love that.


[42:11 –48:50] Planning Your Recipes

Mama Z: One of the things that you want to plan for once you’ve planned out the food and you’ve planned out that, I would really encourage you to figure out the recipes that you’re going to use. Whether it’s something that just sounded good and you wrote it down or you saw a recipe, print it out. Have all of your recipes already ready to go so that you know what you’re going to do, you’re already starting to formulate what you need. And if you have to make modifications to those recipes, then you print it out on the printer and then you write on there.

Dr. Z: Right. This is not the time … and you’ve learned this, I’ve seen you. This is not the time to bake something for the first time ever and have it not come out right, and we’ve done that. I’ve seen you during your early-on stages, your gluten-free hockey puck breads that came out of the oven sometimes. I remember a couple recipes that didn’t turn out the way that we wanted them to, and you served them and no one touched them. So this is the time where you practice a new recipe now.

Mama Z: Right!

Dr. Z: Or … I’ll say one thing about you. You don’t always do everything the same, but you pretty much have the same things that you circulate. You always got your butternut squash souffle, you always got the same kinds of dips.

Mama Z: For the different seasons of the year, yes.

Dr. Z: Yeah. But you have … Basically, anyone can come at any time and there’s a core, and those cores are tried and true, it’s tested. You’ve nailed down a bunch of stuff, and so that’s the thing that you do. You do what you do that you know that you do well, and I think that’s really important. Instead of being like, “Hey, I just experimented with this and”…boom. It’s like, “We don’t want that.” Because someone’s going to have to go get a rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods if your project failed.

Mama Z: Yeah, that wouldn’t happen. So no-

Dr. Z: Pinterest fail, no.

Mama Z: This is funny, and I think I mentioned it before, but my mom redid a book from the 1800s called Your Housekeeper’s Manual, which was talking about how to be a wife. It said that even a seasoned housekeeper buries a loaf of bread in the backyard, and my mom clearly remembers my grandma burying loaves of bread in the ditch behind the house because you would rather bury it than let somebody know that you did a bad one. So I mean, I don’t mind sharing if bad things happen because they are going to. You’re going to make a lot of mess-ups in the process of coming up with recipes.

Dr. Z: Hey, watch Julie and Julia by the way. A couple of off-color comments, but it’s that story of Julia whatever her last name was.

Mama Z: Julia Child?

Dr. Z: Yeah, but who did the recipe a day from Julia Child, right?

Mama Z: Yeah.

Dr. Z: Watch that movie in preparation for this. She had some epic fails, but it was the revealing of the last one with her friends and they celebrated. That’s a really cute show as a whole. But how fun would it be, though, to challenge you over the next couple weeks, whether it’s a holiday, get-together, or something, that you practice a brand new recipe, you nail it. You can be like, “Hey, this is something brand new. I’m going to reveal it to you.” That’s kind of fun.

Mama Z: The other thing I recommend doing is have to-go containers. I say this because you might say, “Oh, that sounds expensive.” Oh no. Right now, even at Walmart, there are all these holiday decorative containers. I remember I had my very first fun pizza night and a guy that I went to school with in high school reached out and said, “Oh yeah, you can get 100 pizza boxes online,” because I was having a problem. I had to go to the kids’ school because they used to have pizza day and I asked if they could order an extra empty pizza box. Because one of the times you and I went and I had made a beautiful pizza, but I had nowhere to put this huge pizza and we were supposed to eat in the park. I went to one of the local pizza places that was a chain and they told me that I couldn’t have the pizza box.

Dr. Z: Yeah, they wouldn’t give you a box.

Mama Z: No, they wouldn’t give me a box. They said, “No, you have to have a pizza in the box.” I said, “Well, I don’t want a pizza in the box. I’ll pay you $3 for that box.” And they would not … Nope. They said that their inventory had to equal up and that they couldn’t-

Dr. Z: No boxes leave without pizza.

Mama Z: “No box for you.” So then we went to-

Dr. Z: That was Little Caesar’s. It was.

Mama Z: Yeah, it was, it was.

Dr. Z: Little Caesar’s on Highway 92 in Woodstock, Georgia in case you’re wondering.

Mama Z: Yes, so …

Dr. Z: I’ll never forget that.

Mama Z: We drove all the way-

Dr. Z: Oh man, we’re going to get sued. Take that out, Chris. No.

Mama Z: We drove all the way-

Dr. Z: Next time give us a box. We offered to pay for it, buddy.

Mama Z: Yeah. So we drove all the way to Whole Foods in Alpharetta at the time and they were like, “How many boxes do you want?”

Dr. Z: “Yeah, whatever.”

Mama Z: And so I told them the last time I asked for free boxes, I said, “If you offered gluten-free allergy-friendly pizza, then I would buy it from you, but because you don’t I make mine at home but I still need a box to put it in.” They’re like, “No problem. Here you go.” They don’t care. So thank you Whole Foods for providing boxes.

Dr. Z: But to-gos, though. You want to-gos why?

Mama Z: But the to-gos. So the very first time I thought I was buying full-size boxes and I ordered them and I got 50 of them, and they were little pan pizza size. I thought they were bigger. But I thought, “You know what? This is perfect for leftovers.” And people who come, a lot of times they’re like, “Oh, I wish I could have taken this or that.” Well, of course you can. So I always like to have that available because if it’s something that somebody really, really enjoyed, then if you have as many things as we have available, then you may or may not have room to have a second or third … and you probably shouldn’t have a second or third helping of it, but it would be nice to maybe have it again. So-

Dr. Z: Well, you might not be ready for this year, but if you start saving your used to-gos, next year you’ll have a bunch. And for those of you who are like us, if you like smoothie bowls and if you’re going to your natural health food store, smoothie shop for a smoothie bowl or an acai bowl or whatever it might be, you save those and most of them are pretty heavy duty plastic. You save them and then you have some to-gos.

Mama Z: Reuse them.

Dr. Z: That’s one thing I’ve noticed. We started saving them and we don’t accumulate … We end up giving a lot away.

Mama Z: No. So I use those, I use different containers that we wash everything out really thoroughly and sanitize it, and then we’ll use those for to-gos, and those little pizza boxes work really well.


[48:51–57:31] Making Time for Prayer&More On Potlucks

Dr. Z: You’re already at to-go, though. What about before we start? We got to talk about prayer. I think it’s important for people to remember … Come on, y’all. You’ve got to pray.

Mama Z: Right.

Dr. Z: And here’s the thing. This is actually kind of funny. What was it? It was some Christian comedian. Okay, when do you have to pray over your food? Do you pray over the handful of nuts? Do you pray over… You’ve got to pray over all main meals, right? You’ve got to pray over dinner, right?

Mama Z: Right.

Dr. Z: But do you pray over the carrot stick before dinner? Do you pray over appetizers? I mean, it kind of gets obsessive. But here’s a rule of thumb: You don’t pray over appetizers. Let people walk in the door. People are going to be late anyway. But before you have either a sit down or a buffet dinner, that’s the line in the sand. So by this time, people are already eating for an hour or whatever, but if you have little nibbles-

Mama Z: And believe me, I’ve already blessed that food, even the appetizer food, and I’ve already prayed over all that. I’m going to talk about that, too.

Dr. Z: But want to encourage you, though, to pray. I can’t tell you how many places – especially Christian get togethers that people don’t ever pray, and I’m always one like, “Hey, could we pray first?” One thing we’ve done, which has become kind of a tradition now, and we … By the way, we invite people of faith, people that don’t share our faith. We have all kinds of people that are part of our Natural Living Family that we invite over to our home. No one ever says no to this. We always have a big circle prayer. We had, again, just 50 people over celebrating an event not too long ago and we had 50 people somehow winding and roading through and we had everyone hold hands. And the kids love it, by the way. Bella, especially, every time she sees someone holding hands and the other kids-

Mama Z: Yeah, and we did. We wound those kids …

Dr. Z: The little kids, yeah.

Mama Z: … in through the kitchen, in-

Dr. Z: The dining room.

Mama Z: Yeah. We were all still holding hands.

Dr. Z: Living room. Yeah. So I would encourage you, really take a moment and it’s-

Mama Z: And honor God.

Dr. Z: Yeah. And for us, it could be whoever. The host, the hostess typically would lead in prayer, or for us, if Papa Enoch’s in attendance, we always want to honor the elder. Enoch’s 76 years old, so we always, always give him … I mean, he actually prayed over our wedding feast, right?

Mama Z: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dr. Z: So if you have someone of influence that you want to honor, whether a pastor or a minister or someone who’s older, give that person the honor to pray over the food.

Mama Z: Or at least have them start. If you have something on your heart to say, “Hey, will you lead us off in prayer?”

Dr. Z: Yeah, but I want to say about that. Here’s the thing about food prayers, though. Get it done. I mean, people want to eat. And Enoch taught me this. Now is not the time to be prophesying and speaking things that are not as though they are.

Mama Z: Sure, sure.

Dr. Z: Just, I mean, “Thank you Lord.” There seriously is an art to this because I’ve been at places the food prayer has been going on for 15 minutes and I’m like, “The food’s cold. We could pray afterwards, buddy.” But anyway, just to point out there. I want to encourage you, I want to bless you all with the blessing of unity, and that’s what happens. You stop everything, you press pause on the music, you turn off the TV for, heaven forbid, five seconds, you turn off the Superbowl – heaven forbid for 15 seconds – and you pray and you honor God. I’ve seen time and time again it really just brings a spirit of peace and unity and just invites the Lord’s presence. We don’t have meltdowns, we don’t have fights. We only have had wonderful get-togethers at our home. And of course you pray before, but I want to challenge everyone. Everyone here, just do that and just give that moment to God and watch what will happen.

Mama Z: Right. Well, and even the very first time when I hosted people, I’ll never forget. I was in a mud volleyball competition and they filled up banks of sand …

Dr. Z: Wow.

Mama Z: … filled up with water, so you could be in ankle-deep water or thigh-deep water, and this was my volleyball team with my church, and God really put it on my heart to host everybody afterwards. I prayed over my hands. I said, “Lord, I don’t even know if I’m making the right amount. God, show me exactly what to make. You know the people that are coming and the people that You have them on their heart to come.” And I’ll tell you what, I had two Crock-Pots full of homemade chili, one was vegetarian, one was regular. The things that I had, it worked out perfectly and we had just enough that I had one lunch bowl of it afterwards for the next day.

And God works it out, and so if you’ve gotten a couple maybes from some person, just pray over your hands and really commit it all to the Lord because He will guide your path and He’ll put it on your heart to do this or that. I really think that starting it all in prayer is really where it does begin. And while you’re prepping, have great music on, your worship music, inspirational music, all of those kind of things, because that is going to set the stage for what you provide as people walk through the door later.

Dr. Z: I think I’m going to change the title of this podcast. That fun little, If You Leave Hungry It’s Your Own Fault, that’s cute, but Holiday Hospitality: Tips from a Professional Host. You’re a professional host. You should be on TV shows. I mean, you’re a pro. That’s it, done.

Mama Z: I learned from the best, which was my mom.

Dr. Z: Yep. Tips From a Professional Host.

Mama Z: Well, that’s very sweet, honey.

Dr. Z: You’re getting tips, y’all, from a professional host.

Mama Z: All right. So what-

Dr. Z: What about setting the mood?

Mama Z: Right. I’ll get to that in just a minute.

Dr. Z: Winding down here, Mama Z. Winding down.

Mama Z: Oh yes. So-

Dr. Z: Are we going to have to do a two-parter in this one?

Mama Z: No we don’t. If you are going to be a guest, always feel free to do a hostess gift, especially if they’ve told you, “Oh, don’t bring anything, just bring yourself,” or whatever. I always like to make a body care product or something that I know that they’re needing. In talking to them, all of the friends that we know, we know a lot about them and who they are, what they do, what would inspire them, encourage them. Do something that would do just that. I’m not saying any of our friends listening that you have to bring me a gift because you don’t, because truly-

Dr. Z: I’ll take it, I’ll take that, though. You can get me a gift.

Mama Z: Truly, your presence is a present to me.

Dr. Z: Yeah, but I don’t want to rob people. The Bible says it’s better to give than receive, so you can give me all you want. I’ll take it.

Mama Z: Thanks…

Dr. Z: I actually will never forget. I went to this … he had to be rich, this guy with this Jaguar or something at the gas station. It was so funny, this old guy. I’m like, “Sir, are you a Christian?” He was like, “Yes I am.” I’m like, “Sir, the Bible says it’s better to give than receive, so if you want to give me your car, I’ll receive it.” It was a beautiful car. It was like-

Mama Z: Oh, if I would have been there, I would have been hiding under the dash.

Dr. Z: That was in my more assertive evangelism days.

Mama Z: You still are pretty assertive. I mean, I think you’re just more comfortable in your assertiveness.

Dr. Z: Anyway. Give me, give me, give me.

Mama Z: Sure. So, one of the other things we mentioned is potlucks. I alluded to some of the things that I mentioned with respect to something allergy-friendly, and really well marking your dish. But also remember that it’s easier, too, for a host, because a lot of times, they might have other people that are handling a potluck and there might be other serving utensils and all that. Be an all-inclusive deal.

So if you’re going to go to somebody’s house, make sure not only do you mark your stuff, but that you have your name underneath your casserole and you have it on your serving utensils, and bring your serving utensils because not everybody has all the tools. Now, we do. When in doubt, use a tool, of course, in our kitchen. But not everybody has all of those tools. And make sure that you put your last name on your tools so that you get your tools back because like us, we like to wash your things before you leave. So make sure that people know whose they go back to because there have been times that I have had people’s dishes left here and then I’ve had to call and find out, “By any chance, did you leave this or that here?” Then you don’t have to worry about that because it’s all said and done.


[57:32 – 1:03:04] Timing Your Meal & Setting the Mood

Mama Z: The timing. When you figure out your timing … so I’m not going to mention any names of our family members, but I’ve been to some of family member’s house, not my mom’s, that everything that’s supposed to be warm is not, it’s cold, or just the main dish is warm and the things that are cold have been sitting there for a while and it’s not timed out properly. So start small and add other things to each of the areas that I mentioned, from beverage to dessert, and look at the time that it takes to make each thing, whether you’re looking just at cooking time.

You can start there, and then you want to have a timeline for yourself of when the turkey goes in, when the main dishes go in. For us, because we have two ovens, then during holiday time, one eventually turns into a warmer, and we are blessed to be able to do that. Not everybody has that kind of time, so if that’s the case, then figure out your cook times and work backwards. Now, you can take it to the next level and figure out your prep times, too. And also, plan ahead on the things that you can do ahead of time because that makes a difference as well.

Now, as you’re setting the stage and you’re getting ready for your guests, make sure … And you can keep the music on, the worship music. Now, during the holiday time, I have a special holiday music go-to on Pandora that I like, and then we have some other jazz music that we do. We have other things of that nature. We even have like winter scenes that have Christmas music. So figure out how you’re going to set the stage and then for people when they come in, of course. We have people in our house take their shoes off, that way we’re not bringing things all around the house. We actually have this cute little sign in the garage that says, “Please remove your shoes and upon leaving don’t upgrade to better ones,” or something like that. It’s really cute. We got it in-

Dr. Z: Maholo, it says maholo.

Mama Z: Yeah, it says maholo, and we got it in Hawaii. So it can be really cute like that. But if you are a home that takes off your shoes, make sure that you do that because if you’ve spent the time cleaning, then you want to keep it clean. Then think of  – and I learned this the hard way because we were so used to our old house and it had a flow to it. And I found the very first time, I didn’t put the beverages where people start,the herbal-infused water, the different things that I offer, in the right spot. And so you want to think of when people come in, what the natural flow is that you want, whether it’s having the beverages in one spot, whether it’s having your utensils. And to make things easier, by all means, go ahead and go to plastic for that evening because you’re going to have enough dishes to do anyway. So keeping it as simple but effective as possible is the way to go.

Then in planning out how you’re going to have your flow of operations, you’ll find if you do it right or wrong, and every house has its own personality to it. You’ll figure it out, what’s best for you, for sure. Then once people arrive, if people ask, “What can I do?” then already have things in your head of ways that they can help because a lot of times, people that come early to a gathering really come early because they do want to see if they can help. And so think of things-

Dr. Z: Or they have nowhere else to go.

Mama Z: That’s never the case. I feel honored that people chose to even spend-

Dr. Z: Oh, no. There’s some people that got nothing else to do, and so those are the ones that are there an hour early.

Mama Z: You’re so funny.

Dr. Z: You know who they are. I’m not that person. Neither are you.

Mama Z: No, I can’t even get you to get here … Usually, even if it’s Esther’s birthday party, with Esther, on time. So-

Dr. Z: No, no.

Mama Z: Yes. Oh yes. You were 45 minutes late.

Dr. Z: When?

Mama Z: When we had Esther’s birthday party.

Dr. Z: Oh, but we were doing something. We had Daddy fun day.

Mama Z: Yes, but Daddy fun day ran into-

Dr. Z: Yeah, but her friend couldn’t make the party so he met us up at the Fun Zone. It’s not my fault.

Mama Z: I get that. However, I was-

Dr. Z: Listen, I crush Daddy fun days.

Mama Z: You might have, but I was entertaining 11 year olds …

Dr. Z: I was legitimately 45 minutes late.

Mama Z: … who had already asked me 20 times if they could do this or that.

Dr. Z: They should have been at the Fun Zone with her other friends.

Mama Z: But that’s not what she wanted.

Dr. Z: Listen-

Mama Z: She wanted all of her friends and family at the house. So anyway, there you go. So-

Dr. Z: All right, we’re wrapping it up here.

Mama Z: Yeah, we’re wrapping it up.

Dr. Z: Unless you’re coming to the Z’s house for an internship. You should do an internship. We actually do have someone coming over tomorrow, kind of like an intern, a friend. Sabrina’s friend’s daughter who’s young 20s, wonderful lady. She’s like, “I just want to live with you and know all that you do,” so she’s here for four days.

Mama Z: And our college intern, Natalie, she has-

Dr. Z: We love you Natalie.

Mama Z: Yeah, she will be with us for a little bit at the Christmas holiday.


[1:03:05 –1:05:29] Mama Z’s Final Holiday Hosting Tip

Dr. Z: All right last tip, last tip. We’re wrapping this up. What do you got for the Natural Living Family tip? What do you got?

Mama Z: Absolutely. Upon doing all that you’re doing and all the planning, just know that you are doing what you’re doing as unto the Lord.

Dr. Z: Hallelujah.

Mama Z: We try to do everything with excellence, and not every event is going to be perfect. Don’t put your pressure on yourself to have it be perfect because you’re going to … Even if you make a list, I’m classic for at least forgetting something in the refrigerator that I find the next week. “Oh, I forgot to serve this or that.” Just know that if you pray about it, the right people are going to be there. I always pray, “God, send us the people that You’ll have at this,” and over the food and all of that, that we serve it as unto You. So do not put the extra pressure and stress on yourself to be able to have it be absolutely air tight, because something is always going to happen. If you’re married, you remember back to your wedding week. There is always something that happens during the week of getting married. I mean, something that blows up, somebody’s dress that wasn’t ready. It’s always going to happen, and if you don’t put the pressure on yourself, then that grace of God is there.

And if you’re a spouse of the person that’s hosting, find out how you can best help your helpmate.

Dr. Z: Get them flowers.

Mama Z: Take the children out of the house and go do something fun with them, whether it’s going to Jump Zone or on a family walk. Whatever is going to be least stressful to the host, because sometimes it is having everybody there helping and other times it’s like getting in the zone and being able to focus on focusing, as we say, and get ‘er done. So find out what would be the most useful to your helpmate in that process if you have a spouse.

Dr. Z: Yup.

Mama Z: All right, well, I think that’s good and I’m excited for your hot cocoa tip because that is going to be absolutely amazing for people to add to the mix.


[1:05:30 -1:07:09] Natural Living Tip: Healthy Hot Cocoa Recipe

Dr. Z: If you want to wow your guests, especially during the wintertime, with a healthy hot cocoa recipe, look no further. I got the best one for you. You start off with 32 ounces of hot boiling water. You get one can of organic coconut cream, three tablespoons of organic butter, two tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil, and you get two tablespoons of raw cacao powder or two tablespoons of an organic chocolate superfood – I’ll cover that in just a second. One quarter teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract, one quarter teaspoon pink Himalayan salt, and about four to five droppers full of vanilla liquid stevia. If you have a Ninja or if you have a Vitamix, you put all of that in the blender, you buzz up, and yum. It froths up like a latte and it tastes super yummy. You can even add 16 ounces of coffee and 16 ounces of hot water if you want to put a little bit of octane in it, and you’ll love it.

Now, our favorite smoothie mix is Coco GoGo, C-O-C-O G-O-G-O, and right now there’s only one lonely Amazon seller and I think as we speak I just bought their last one. So hopefully they’ll have more in stock. There’s also organic super foods that have … Look at it. Just type up, “chocolate organic superfood mix,” or, “chocolate smoothie mix,” and typically you’ll get something with cacao, maca, mesquite, some coconut sugar, and some other yummy things. It is divine.

Mama Z: It is.


[1:07:08 – 1:07:37] Sponsor Spotlight: AirDoctor

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


[1:07:38 – end] Episode WrapUp

Dr. Z: Well folks, thank you for tuning in to episode 46 of the Natural Living Family Podcast, Holiday Hospitality: Tips From a Hospitality Pro. This is Dr. Z.

Mama Z: And Mama Z.

Dr. Z: And we want to remind you, you can find all of our Natural Living Family Podcast episodes, notes, and transcripts on And while on our website, don’t forget to sign up for our weekly podcast newsletter, which includes a personal invite to join our private Facebook group so you can connect with more than 5,000 other Natural Living lovers just like you. And don’t forget, please subscribe to our podcast and leave a review. We love hearing what you have to say about our show.

And as always, it is our hope and prayer that you and your family truly experience the abundant life. God bless y’all.

Natural Living Family Podcast Episode Forty-Six Highlights: Holiday Hospitality

  • Topic introduction, diffuser reveal, book news & an announcement! (2:28)
  • Your reviews (7:08)
  • A system for holiday hospitality (11:01)
  • Why holiday hospitality is important (20:48)
  • Advice for those who are uncomfortable hosting (26:32)
  • What to bring to a potluck & what you get out of hosting (29:13)
  • How to get things ready for your event (36:30)
  • Planning recipes & to-go items (42:11)
  • Making time for prayer and more on potlucks (48:51)
  • Timing your meal and setting the mood (57:32)
  • Mama Z’s final holiday hospitality tip (1:03:05)
  • Natural living tip and episode wrap (1:05:30)

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Favorite Quotes from Episode 46 – Holiday Hospitality

“When you plan for hosting, you need to think about things like an adult portion equals two children’s portions so that you don’t serve too much or too little.” – Mama Z

“If you’ve never hosted, I want to challenge you to consider hosting. It puts you in a position where you’re going to serve and pour out yourself on others – and it’s biblical. ” – Dr. Z

“I just love being the hands and feet of Jesus and being able to serve as I feel the Lord would serve. It warms my heart to be able to provide the joy of gathering.” – Mama Z

“Hospitality is more of a gift to the giver than it is to the receiver.” – Dr. Z

“It said that even a seasoned housekeeper buries a loaf of bread in the backyard. M mom remembers my grandma burying loaves of bread in the ditch behind the house because she’d rather bury it than let somebody know that she made a bad one.” – Mama Z

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