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About Dana Zia

Paul and I in Maui

Paul and I in Maui


I would have to define myself as an empty nester seeking creativity as the vehicle to self discovery. So I’m doing a lot of experimenting right now. Writing, yoga, cooking, healing, gardening, painting, and sleeping in are just a few fun ways of figuring out what to do after the kids are gone. I am writing a food column for our local newspaper and quite frankly, loving it. I dearly love to cook and serve people food that nourishes the soul and body. I also have a healing practice as a massage therapist in our area. I love that too. Serving people and helping them to move forward in their life or spiral out, is an honor.

I am lucky. I love my life. I appreciate that I am happily married to a wonderful man, healthy, love my job, have three incredible children, and living in an idyllic place. May my joy spill over into your life and bring some good food and love to your table.  Thanks for stopping by.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. January 19, 2008 8:02 pm

    Would love to hear more about your massage therapy practice and how it all fits in. Feel free to link to any of the stuff on my painting website about your invaluable help on my process. Not to mention any of the work we’ve done together in group on food issues!

  2. March 5, 2008 12:33 am


  3. the faminator permalink
    April 27, 2008 12:02 am

    What a friend we have in cheeses!

  4. May 21, 2008 3:59 pm

    So happy to find you in your joy and beauty…great photo of you and Paul. I feel your peacefulness and happiness. Love your writing on food…what a surprise! Sending warm California breezes filled with my love.

  5. June 3, 2008 1:57 am

    This is delightful and warming, Dana.

    It is SO hysterical to me, when I think of you sometimes I rememer a birthday cake that was at your house when I came in to clean……..something about a kitty litter box cake complete with tootsie roll you-know-whats…..

    I have never been able to get that out of my mind!
    This great site will help immeasurably.

    Kudos and Great Peace, Continued Happy Adventures to you, Paul and tu familia!

    Very Special Love to Mom and Grandmom, I see you all so clearly in my mind’s eye……..

    Rebecca (O’Day)

  6. two cuties permalink
    June 18, 2008 2:16 am

    hello there mother,

    So I am sitting with Crys making some yummy dinner and I thought about you and your blog (that I have never seen). Long story short here I am checking out your food rants. Your blog looks amazing.

    I love you

  7. Cathy Silver permalink
    June 26, 2008 8:09 pm

    Dana, what a delightful website! I love it. What a great way to learn about a wonderful, loving, community member of mine. You are right, we do live in paradise and souls such as you make it so!

    Love, Cathy

  8. bro permalink
    August 30, 2008 1:12 am

    You forgot BEEF!

  9. two cuties minus the cuter one permalink
    September 6, 2008 12:45 am

    So Chels told me about a new creation that sounds amazing! Summer house bread? You guys are adorable. I hope you both are having an amazing time together… I can picture you both in the kitchen having a blast. Wish I was there!! Can’t wait to hear more about this yummy squash treat! I’m sending lots of love your way.. Take care.

  10. bro permalink
    September 13, 2008 9:15 pm

    Nothing like a BIG JUICEY STEAK or MEATLOAF!

  11. Linda Missouri permalink
    March 6, 2009 5:23 pm

    Dana Zia, you are a worldwide wonder. I found you during your motherhood years through your massages and now can see luscious photos of fruit and kale and you. You’re filling your “empty nest” with your multi-faceted creative gifts. I also opened Lane’s site with her art and writings about aging parents. Dana, you know interesting people! I’ll continue to open your blog. Love from Linda, usually in Southern CA but anticipating my next Oregon Coast visit.

  12. Ken (Thee Neighbor) permalink
    March 21, 2009 5:33 am


    It is a joy knowing you, even though we haven’t been elbow to elbow that many times. BTW, your healthy salads are to die for!!! I look forward to many many more…he he heeeeeee…You could make money on your salads alone. Let THEM eat cake, or, for that matter, Pie!!! (Inside “neighborly” joke…)

    This is my first time seeing your BLOG and have found it quite enlightening. I’ll check in from time to time to see “What’s Up!”

    Maybe I should look into your “Mindful Eating” group…I know it doesn’t show but I could totally change my eating habits IMMEDIATELY! I know……Paul keeps reminding me!!!



  13. April 18, 2009 12:50 pm

    You look so young for an empty nester! Cool blog you have here!

  14. November 4, 2009 10:45 pm

    Hi Dana!

    We think your photos are absolutely mouthwatering…and we’d love to showcase them on Foodie Views of the Day!!! Foodie Views of the Day is a delicious feature on our website, FoodieView ( The idea is to provide fabulous foodies like yourself with an alternative space to share your food photo talents–and to give your readers and our users an opportunity to vote on their favorite pics. You can check it out here:

    You can upload your visual displays of yumminess directly to the site by following this link: All photos posted on Foodie Views of the Day are coupled with the appropriate photo credit and a link to the corresponding post on your blog. You can also add one of our fancy blog buttons to your site–which makes it easy for your fans to vote on your pics.

    If you have any questions about FoodieViews of the Day or would like more information about other opportunities to get your blog involved in FoodieView, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am also always grateful for any suggestions or comments you may have. Our goal is to make FoodieView the best food resource on the web……so your wish is our command ;)!


    Michele Robichaux

  15. johnene deasy permalink
    April 8, 2010 5:34 pm

    ALoha amiga, You are such a beautiful ray of sunshine in this world (and informative). Loving thoughts to you and Paul.

  16. May 17, 2010 9:22 pm

    Great site, Dana!

    By the way, tortilla soup is one of my all-time favorites.
    Truly a pleasure to meet both of you. Aloha and

    a hui hou (until me meet again)

  17. May 17, 2010 9:23 pm

    p.s. you ought to try my pineapple/ginger ice cream sometime.

  18. March 18, 2011 1:21 am

    Lovely blog–looking forward to browsing around Thanks for stopping by mine:)

  19. Mom permalink
    April 1, 2011 7:17 pm

    Wow! I am so proud of your accomplishments. May you live long and continue to excel at what you love.

  20. April 23, 2011 12:59 am

    Wanted to let you know that I think your blog is a great and enjoy reading your articles.
    I also wanted to invite you to ping and tweet your blog for free with my website

    Craig Thompson

  21. Mary D permalink
    April 23, 2011 3:14 pm

    Looks like we might be neighbors! I spotted the mention of “Nehalem” in your post on carrots for Easter, and perked right up. 🙂 I’m just down the road in the mountains of the Coast Range near Tillamook, where hubby and I share organic gardening duties, including compost pile turning, mulching and weeding.

    Have to agree about the tomatoes, although we do pretty well here with early season plants.

    Mary D.

    • ziabaki permalink*
      April 24, 2011 12:26 am

      Hi Neighbor! Thanks for coming by and talking at the fence. Sounds like you guys have a first rate organic garden down there. Are you inland a bit so you get more sun? I hope? We, not so much. Keep in touch.
      Dana ♥

  22. Alex permalink
    October 19, 2011 2:10 pm

    Hi Dana,

    Help! I saw your recipe in one of the last North Coast Citizen’s for a chicken dish that you cooked all day – I remember there was smoked paprika in it and everyone was drooling by the time it was ready because the smell was awesome. Was it from Portugal? I think so.

    Now I clip lots of your articles but I’m a vegetarian so after wondering if tofu would work in place of the chicken and sadly deciding it wouldn’t, I recycled the paper.

    Last night my sister and I were talking about fall and stews and slow-cooking dishes that smell up the whole house and how wonderfully cozy that is, and I remembered your chicken recipe. I’d love to send her a copy but I can’t find it at the North Coast site or your blog. Any chance you could email me a copy? I’d truly appreciate it. Right now it’s warm and sunny but we know it won’t last…

    Many, many thanks in advance.


    • ziabaki permalink*
      October 22, 2011 8:29 pm

      Hi Alex
      Sorry I didn’t post it here did I? I posted the dish over at my other blog, (I know, I’m crazy indeed) at the Cavewoman Cafe. The link is . I actually make it with pork. Let’s see, to make it vegetarian I would make it with lots of root veggies like carrots, potatoes, winter squash, mushrooms and put tempe in the last half hour or so. To make it with chicken I would use thighs and only cook it half the time. Thanks for reading and coming to my blog! Happy fall cooking. Dana Zia

  23. August 21, 2012 12:34 am

    I nominated you for the Inspiring Blog Award….Congrats!!!

  24. Jim Johnson permalink
    November 8, 2012 2:54 am

    Tried the Mexican spiced chicken for dinner tonight. Delicious! Paul said it was good, and he was right.

    Jim Johnson

    • ziabaki permalink*
      November 8, 2012 5:55 am

      It is good isn’t it! Glad you tried it. Say hi to Bonnie for me!

  25. Kendra Thornton permalink
    January 22, 2013 4:43 pm

    Hi there Dana,

    I have a quick question about “Go Lightly Gourmet!” Please email me when you get a chance.

  26. April 5, 2013 12:59 pm

    Hellooo, I have ‘nom’inated you for the “Super Sweet Blog Award”. Love your blog you can see the post here – 🙂 No pressure to take part! Just passing on the love x

  27. April 5, 2013 7:13 pm

    Great to find you here Dana, love your ethos on all things living and eating,looking forward to a good look at your blog world. Peace and light, lee

    • ziabaki permalink*
      April 5, 2013 8:34 pm

      Glad to be here! Thanks for coming by.

  28. July 22, 2013 7:57 am

    Hi there! I’m thrilled to have discovered your blog! You have a wonderful take on life, food and meaningful living. Looking forward to reading upcoming posts and recipes!

    • ziabaki permalink*
      July 28, 2013 3:46 am

      Thanks for coming by! I love feedback from happy readers!

  29. September 5, 2013 1:38 pm

    Hi there! I wanted to stop by to tell you I have really loved reading your blog and I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award!
    Thanks for sharing such great content!

  30. Laura permalink
    July 16, 2014 5:36 pm

    I found your smoked salmon recipe and it is AWESOME——have used a similar recipe that my bro-in-law uses (he lives in Juneau), but he never suggested letting the salmon REST between smoking sessions. THAT is the key! I had to know if you had more recipes to share, and found your blog, signed up, all to find we are almost two peas in a pod. Would love to follow along with you on your wonderful life path. I studied massage too (never did anything with it tho), I want to get into painting, and of course, love cooking. THANK YOU for the salmon recipe and I hope some of your sparkle in life pours into mine!

    • Dana Zia permalink*
      July 16, 2014 7:53 pm

      Thank you so much! It is always good to find kindred souls and fellow foodies! 😉

  31. January 18, 2015 6:31 pm

    I truly love your cool blog!
    You also have many tasty recipes!
    Greetings from a Foodie from Belgium!

    • Dana Zia permalink*
      January 23, 2015 6:32 am

      Hey Sophie! Good to see you over here. This is my “other” blog that has paleo and convetional recipes on it. The paleo blog is Cavewoman Cafe. Thanks for coming on over! Good to hear from you. 😀

  32. March 10, 2016 1:20 am

    Hi Dana, I would like to use your recipe on my blog and hoping to have your permission. Check out and http://www.thebotanical We are based on Waiheke Island off the north island of New Zealand. Kia ora.

  33. March 10, 2016 1:23 am

    Hi Dana, my apologies. The Glam Easter Egg recipe.


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