Tag Archives: food

Mama’s Breakfast Casserole Recipe


This is a busy mom’s best friend. Make 2 – 3 of these and freeze them, or make one on the weekend for the week and it makes breakfast a breeze in the morning!

Serves: 4 – 6


  • 6 Sausage Patties
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Olive Oil for drizzle
  • 2 pinches of mealfit Anything Goes Seasoning
  • 6 Eggs
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream or Milk
  • 1 ½ cup Cheddar Cheese (divided)
  • Cooking Spray


  • Set your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray your sheet pan with cooking spray and place the sausage patties on one side of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.


  • While the sausage is is in the oven, take a mandoline and slice your sweet potatoes very thin.
  • Put the sweet potato slices in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Then season with one pinch of Mealfit Anything Goes Seasoning and toss to coat the slices.



  • Beat the eggs, cream, and seasoning well.
  • Add the 1 cup of cheddar cheese and whisk again.


  • When the timer goes off, add the sweet potato slices to the other half of the sheet pan and put it back in the over for 5 minutes.
  • While it’s cooking, spray a 9″ x 11″ baking dish or disposable half pan with cooking spray.
  • Take out the sausage, place in the dish or pan, and mash with a fork.
  • Place half of the sweet potatoes on top of the sausage, pour in your egg mixture, and shake the pan a little to settle it.


  • Place the other sweet potatoes on top, then layer the other ½ cup of cheddar cheese on top.
  • Cover in foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • When the timer goes off, take it out, remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes.
  • Let cool and enjoy!!


You can also get this breakfast casserole at Mealfit in Cookeville, TN – so come by and pick one up!

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How To Smoke Chickens

This step-by-step recipe is for 8 half chickens or 4 whole chickens.
To see the process in action and follow alongside Thomas, check out our video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5u2hRYeNEw&t=263s

  • Brine
    • Put 2 hand fulls of sea salt in a half gallon bottle. Then fill the bottle up with hot water and stir to dissolve the salt.
    • Put 2 drops of Lemon Essential Oil in the bottle of salt water.
    • Place your raw chicken halves in a cooler or bucket. Use the bucket if you are putting it in the fridge to brine. Use a cooler if you do not have a fridge big enough to fit them in.
    • After you placed your chickens in the cooler or bucket, cover the chickens half way and then pour the salt water mixture over the top, along with 2 cups of white vinegar.
    • Then, cover the rest of the chicken with cold water.
    • If you are using a cooler you need to put in a bag of ice and close.
    • Let the chicken sit in the brine overnight. This helps tenderize the meat and will make it juicer when it’s time to cook it.

  • Rub
    • The next day, pull out your chicken and pat dry.
    • Season the underside of the chicken with Magic Dust. This is one of our rubs that we have created in-house. It’s seriously amazing! It does not have any spice to it, so if you want a little kick, you need to add some cayenne to it. Flip the chickens and season the meat side. No need to rub it in – just let it sit.


  • Plastic Wrap

    • Place the chicken on a sheet pan and wrap the pan with plastic wrap.
    • Place in the cooler for 2-3 hours.
    • OPINION: Some people think chicken should be cooked at room temperature. This means the chicken should be at or close to room temperature before putting on the heat. My thoughts are to experiment. Cooking is all one big experiment anyway! Try it once cold, then try some at room temperature.
    • Let me know what you think.

  • Pecan Wood
    • I use 2 sticks of Pecan or Cherry wood in my smoker. I do not like the intense smoke and flavor of Hickory because it gives chicken a dark color and deep taste. I think it’s fine for beef, but I don’t prefer it for chicken.
    • We take our wood and cut it to 9 inches. We also split it so it is not as thick.
    • We only use 2 pieces because we want the initial smoke on the meat but do not want to smoke the whole 2-3 hours .

  • Cold Cooker
    • After you pull the chicken out of the fridge (or if it’s room temperature), we are ready to load the smoker. I use a Southern Pride Spk 500 Smoker. It’s digital, uses propane to lite the fire, and burns wood for the smoke.
    • I put the meat in a cold smoker because I want as much smoke as possible on the chicken to start. In a cold smoker, the fire will burn and the wood will smoke for the entire time the cooker is getting up to the set temperature.
    • When the temperature reaches 250 degrees, the cooker will shut off until the temperature drops to about 245 degrees, then fire back up.
    • If you are using a charcoal smoker, you may want to get your temperature to 250 degrees and then put the meat on – this will help avoid the extreme high temps you may encounter when trying to get it up to temperature.
    • The smoke will continue to roll on those smokers.
  • 250 Degrees
    • Place the chicken in the smoker bone side down and set your temperature to 250 degrees.
    • Do not open the smoker for 2 ½ hours. Let it roll!
    • If you are using a manual smoker where you have to control it, keep an eye on it. Keep it no higher than 260 degrees.
    • When In doubt, keep it lower than higher.

  • 2 ½ – 3 Hours
    • Go for 2 ½ hours and then check the internal temperature using an internal meat thermometer. Check the temperature in the breast – it should be at least 155 degrees. It will continue to rise even when removed from the heat.
  • Cooler Half Sauce – Half Dry Rub
    • Once you have taken the chicken off the smoker, place them in some butcher paper and drench them in your favorite BBQ sauce. Wrap them in the paper and place in a good cooler – do not open it until you are ready to eat (up to 4-5 hours).
    • This helps the sauce penetrate the meat and make it more tender.
    • If you are making this for a crowd, sauce half of the pieces and leave the other half just the dry rub – everyone has different likes and dislikes.
    • Take it out right when you are ready to serve it. Enjoy!


To see exactly how we did it and to follow alongside Thomas, check out our video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5u2hRYeNEw&t=263s


How To Make Zucchini Noodles.

Today we are going to make Zucchini Noodles.

Our family loves these and all of the people that do MealFit READY love it as well. These days the hot thing seems to be “Low Carb” in the Fitness Community. There have been countless articles talking about the weight loss benefits of Low Carb over a Low Fat Diet.

From a health standpoint the Zucchini noodles are better because a traditional serving of Noodles ranks on the glycemic scale of 58/100.
Where Zucchini Noodles on the other hand have a ranking of 15/100.

This is a case where the lower the score is better.

To make this dish you are going to need a few tools
Benriner Turning Slicer (this is a must for all kitchens)
Good Knife
Large Frying Pan

Slice the ends off he zucchini and cut in half




Place in the Benriner with the medium blade inserted and make your noodles.

Do the same for the onions.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and tender.

Add Tomatoes and olives and get hot, 2 min.

Stir in zucchini and garlic salt and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with your favorite Main Course.

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• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 yellow onions, spiraled
• 4 small zucchini, spiraled
• 1 can of Diced Tomatoes
• 1 small Can of Olives
• 1 tsp Garlic Salt

Zucchini Noodles
• Slice the ends off he zucchini and cut in half
• Place in the Benriner with the medium blade inserted and make your noodles.
• Do the same for the onions.
• Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
• Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and tender.
• Add Tomatoes and olives and get hot, 2 min.
• Stir in zucchini and garlic salt and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes.
• Remove from heat and serve with your favorite Main Course.


QUESTION: What type of noodle alternative do you like?
(Tell me your answer in the comments below)

7 One Dish Paleo Meals

If you’re like me, you hate having so many dirty dishes after cooking a meal. How convenient does it sound to just throw everything into one dish and cook it all together? AMAZING. I’ve put together a list of 7 delicious one pot meals you’ve got to try.

Click each meal for the recipe.

1. Slow Cooker Butter Chicken by Primal Plate butter chicken

2. Skirt Steak Fajitas by Prevention  

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Stew by The Earthy Mama slow cooker chicken stew

4. Mexican Chicken Stir Fry by Sweet C’s Designs stir

5. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats by Skinny Taste Chicken-Enchilada-Stuffed-Zucchini Would you like to try a FREE Week of MealFit?

6. Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps by The Comfort of Cooking

7. One Pan Crispy Chicken Legs & Brussel Sprouts by So Let’s Hang Out

Try some of these out! Comment below and tell us your favorite, or share your best one pot dish. Enjoy!

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5 Paleo Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes

We’re all busy and we all get hungry. Sometimes we get hungry and can’t wait very long to get our dinner.

It wouldn’t be a smart idea to go get fast food through a drive through because then we’ll binge on highly refined carbs, lots of sodium, and bad fat.

Below is a list of paleo meals that can be made in 30 minutes or less. Try them out next time you’re in a pinch!

1. Paleo Taco Salad (minus the taco)
Hollywood Homestead

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2. Paleo Chicken Tenders
paleo chicken tenders
Rubies and Radishes

3. Grilled Mustard Sliders on Top of Fritter Cups

4. Stuffed Squash
Paleo Grubs

5. Paleo Sweet and Sour Meatballs
The Big Mans World

Comment below your favorite quick meal and like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest and Twitter!

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If it won’t ROT, it’s not real food

Most of my friends here in Cookeville have a garden. We share veggies from one another throughout the growing season. I will borrow squash or peppers, and give tomatoes and so forth in return.

Farming tractor spraying a field


For the first time, I have really noticed the differences in the food bought in the store and the food pulled from my garden.


In this video, I give some examples of what I am talking about.


Throughout my business ventures I have listened to Tai Lopez, an entrepreneur from California. He is a huge proponent of reading, and one of his mentors is Joel Salatin. Salatin is a gregarious farmer from Virginia who owns polyface farms, and he’s a purist when it comes to the food we eat.


He has some amazing insight in his book “Holy Cows and Hog Heaven” that I want to share with you about our food, what we are eating and how it is made.


One of the Statements he makes is:


“If it won’t ROT, it’s not real FOOD.”


how old is that food?

Just as we discussed in the video, food that is from the garden rots a lot quicker than food that is bought from the store. How can you tell if it is real food? Sit it on the counter for a couple of days. If it grows mold and begins to decompose, it’s real food. If it does not, it’s pumped full of chemicals and additives to make it last longer.


There is also something else to look at. What about food that does not rot at all?

Let’s look at some foods that you may have had around your home:

  • Hershey Kisses: You get them at Christmastime but find a little red Kiss with snowflakes on it in August. What do you do? Think you hit the lottery and pop that little dude in your mouth. The crazy thing is that it tastes the same.
  • Granola bars: I know, I know, it’s “healthy.” Has this ever happened to you:

You’re cleaning out your backpack or suitcase and find a Nature’s Valley Granola Bar. The package looks terrible, but it’s not open—so it’s safe, right? Never mind the last time you cleaned this thing out was six months ago. But it tastes just the same.

  • Breakfast cereal: About a month ago I was digging in the pantry for coffee filters and found a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I figured it had been about 4-5 months since we bought it. (Jackie gets on these kicks where she wants cereal. She at 2 bowls and did not pick it back up.) I pulled it out, Jackie got excited and had a bowl, and it tasted amazing. How do I know? Because I had a couple or 10 bites. The stuff is indestructible. Cereal makers put what they call a “varnish” on top to keep it from getting soggy too quickly in the milk. They also put “varnish” on tables to make them last forever. See my point?


Most unprocessed food needs to be refrigerated or frozen. The exception to this rule is nuts, which will even go bad if they are out of their shell for long enough.


Food should be living; something happens when industrial food processors get their hands on things. Compare the rotting speed of real potatoes to potato chips. There’s no comparison—the chips can be left on shelves for months.


I say all this to bring things to light that we need to know and understand. We need to get back to the way things were when out grandparents grew up. Buy our food from local people and local vendors so that we can quit consuming all the processed chemicals that are put on and into our food.

I also write this article to hold myself accountable. I am as guilty as the next guy about running to Wal-Mart and getting food. Now, I’m not telling you to boycott Wal-Mart. I love that place, but if you can get your food from a local vendor, do it, even if it is a touch more expensive. The problem with buying local and fresh is that it is less convenient and a little more expensive. But here’s the thing: if you are reading this, you probably have a Wi-Fi connection and are either on a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can afford to pay a little extra for local food that not only supports your local community but also is better for your health and the health of your family, mainly your kids.



Set a small dollar amount this week ($20) and buy that amount from the local farmers’ market instead of Kroger or Wal- Mart. As the weeks go on, increase that amount.

Why Does Organic Matter?

I have not been shy about the fact that for a long time, the thought of Organic and non organic foods has never really concerned me. Here are some of the reasons why.

The Negatives of buying organic foods.

  1. Expense- It is usually at least double the cost of non-organic food.
  2. Size- The product you buy is usually smaller. So, not only are you paying more, but you are getting less.
  3. Goes bad quicker- Most of the time the items that I have bought that have been Organic  (Mostly referring to produce) go bad quicker than traditional foods.
  4. Hard to find- The organic age is fairly new and finding the products you want is not always the easiest thing to do.


When you add all of these things together it is hard to spend the extra money that you may or may not have an get organic food.

I am not going to be negative Nancy and rip on the organic bandwagon. Some of my closest friends are totally organic.

After watching the video below and doing some studying I have come up with some positives for buying organic.

The Positives of buying organic foods.

  1. Your health.

That’s it. Is there really any other reason. Health is the business I am in. There have not been enough studies done over time to tell us if the pesticides and chemicals they are using are causing us problems or not.


The thing is I would rather get down the road in 20 years and have them tell me it was ok to have those things than have the proof come out and say the foods we were eating we causing us a slow death.


There is also the issue of kids. What do we want our kids to eat? Is it ok to feed out children food that has been sprayed with chemicles that will kill every know living bug? If it’s killing bugs it can’t be good for us.


Think about this for a minute. If you have ants or you see a roach at your house. When you get ready to spray the bug what do you tell your kids?


Get away!


Why? You don’t want them breathing in those toxic chemicals that are killing those bugs.

In essence, isn’t this what we are doing when we eat food that is not organic?  We are feeding our kids food that has been sprayed and treated with chemicals that kill bugs.


dirty hands farming

Sounds like the same thing.


If we knew everything that went into the pesticides and chemicals was not going to hurt us long term then I would say let’s go ahead and eat non-organic food, but we really don’t know what effect it will have on us.

QUESTION: Where have you found the best prices for organic food?

Let me know in the comments. If it is a website, share it will all of us.



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Diet or Exercise…What’s more important?

I Read this article on Business Insider written by Erin Bordwin where the questions was asked whether diet or exercise is more important for weight loss. Interesting answers

So you want to lose a few pounds.

You’ve heard the mantra: You need to start eating right and exercising.

But at the back of your mind, you wonder. When it comes down to it, which is more important: getting a salad instead of fries or hitting the gym four days a week?

Several studies have
suggested that diet — cutting calories from food — is the key player here, since working out burns far fewer
calories (and takes far more time) than most people think.


But other studies have shown that if you want to keep those pounds off, you need to eat right and work out regularly.

We recently talked to Philip Stanforth, a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas and the executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas, about this. He told us that in the short-term, diet is far more important for shedding pounds. But over the long- term, regular workouts are critical to keeping that weight off and staying fit.

Luren Fisher

Here’s what Stanforth says:

Studies tend to show that in terms of weight loss, diet plays a much bigger role than exercise. But when you look at people who’ve lost weight and are also managing to keep it off, exercise is important.

There was a recent study on this in a large group of people who’d lost weight. And when you looked at the people who were able to keep it off, something like over 90% of those people exercised regularly.

There have been other studies where they’ve matched calorie deficit with exercise expenditure — [meaning you have one group of people cutting 500 calories from their daily diet, for example, and another group of people burning 500 calories at the gym every day] — you see pretty much the same type of changes.

abs-made-in-kitchen- apple

But thinking practically, keep in mind you’d have to walk 35 miles to burn 3,500 calories. That’s a lot of walking. But if you look at eating, a Snickers bar might have, say, 500 calories. It’s going to be a lot easier to cut the Snickers bar than to do 5 miles of walking every day.


All of that comes with an important caveat, though, Stanforth says. Lots of people have lost weight. Fewer people have kept it off.

Again we’ve seen that 90% of people who keep it off — at least in that study I mentioned — exercise regularly. So it looks like it plays a bigger role there.

What all this research is showing, we think, is that there’s something about exercising that helps with weight loss and keeping it off.

Research has shown that in addition to helping with sustained weight loss, exercise can have several other positive effects on our lives, from helping to boost our mood and protect our bodies from the detrimental effects of aging to helping us manage the symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.

Plus, building and maintaining muscle can often mean your body will actually burn more calories throughout the day.

To read the article on Business Insider Click HERE

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QUESTION: What type of exercise do you think is best for losing weight?

(let me know your thoughts in the comments below)

PART 2 – 6 Habits of an Olympic Champion

In the first part of this three-part article, we introduced you to Erin Cafaro and Sara Hendershot, two Olympic rowers who are looking to make it back to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. To read the first part of the article, CLICK HERE In part two, we will look at what these two athletes do off the field to make themselves some of the best in the world.


  1. Good Food


The elite in any sport train once or twice a day, and usually take one day totally off each week. One thing I have learned by working with elite athletes is that while training is important, it may not be as important as the actual fuel for training.

The older an athlete gets, the more they realize the importance of fuel and nutrition.

Sara Celbration In boat


Look at NASCAR: the cost of one of those fine-tuned machines with all the high-tech gear and expensive tires is about $150,000. The engine alone costs about $80,000. A lot of time and energy goes into making one of these machines. You wouldn’t go to the local shell station and fill ‘er up—these cars are hand-crafted and made to exact specifications. The fuel that Sonoco has formulated to put in these machines cost about $6.25 a gallon at the time of writing this article. That’s some good stuff!


Now, let’s pull this back to athletes and fuel. Olympic athletes are the NASCAR of the human race. They have put forth time, energy and effort to create and craft their bodies to the specifications that win gold medals in their sport. In this case, the sport we’ll be looking at is rowing.


I met with Sara and Erin over the course of three days, and found that they were very particular as to what they were putting in their bodies. They ate whole foods, things that were either grown from the ground or were at one time walking the earth or swimming in water. There was little to no processed foods in their diet.

erin gold medal knees


These ladies stick to a “high-fat, medium protein, low-carb” thought process when it comes to nutrition. Both stick to low-carb consumption throughout the day. Their goal is to take in whole foods at every meal, and to limit their starchy carbs consumption. They also pay close attention to the timing of their nutrition, basing their carbohydrate intake off of the workouts they have completed and are about to do. For example, if they have just finished with an intense CrossFit type workout, or an interval workout on the water, their carb intake will be higher that evening.


If they have a high-intensity workout the next morning, their carb intake will be higher in the evening before. Most of these carb sources are from whole foods. For example, Erin will eat sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and a recipe of coconut rice every now and then. This dish is just like regular white rice, but cooked in a can coconut milk instead of water. She loves it!


Another tip that might surprise people is that both of these athletes have a very high fat intake. Of the three macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates), fat takes up most of the calories in both of these athletes’ diets.


This keeps both the athletes with a feeling of satiety (a feeling of being full) for longer. The higher fat intake also keeps these athletes from “bonking” in the middle of a workout. Fat is a more readily available energy source, and a longer-lasting energy source than carbs.


There is one other off-field aspect of training that these ladies take very seriously: recovery.


  1. Recovery


People always believe that the training you do in the weight room, on the track or on the water is where you are made. That is a true statement. When you get into the “sock drawer” of the elite, one thing you realize the cameras and magazine articles don’t tell you is the amount of sleep and rest these elite athletes get. Erin is very strict about her sleep time; she makes sure to go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00pm every night, waking at 5:30 the next morning. This ensures she gets at least 8-8 ½ hours of sleep every night.


When athletes of this caliber go out to train, they are pushing the limits to what the human body can do. They fail, try again, fail again and keep trying until they reach their goal.


There are stories about Rich Froning, the four-time Fittest Man in the World, doing five to six workouts in a day. This is true; there have been numerous camera crews following Froning all day every day. The time when those guys leave and go back to the hotel is what Froning calls one of the most important aspects of his training: sleep!


Froning sleeps about 10 hours each night. He does not get up at 5:00am like Cafaro and Hendershot. Instead, he sleeps till 8am—and sometimes later. This gives Froning’s body time to recover from all the damage he does to it all day long.


If you are constantly tearing your body down with not enough rest or recovery, you will not reap the benefits of the intense training. You will also get to a point of total exhaustion and adrenal fatigue, where your body can no longer progress and strengthen the way it should. The body is a complex machine that can adapt to just about anything; you must treat it like the precious gift that it is, and let it rest and repair.


Elite athletes spend a lot of time training, but the time training is not the bulk of their time spent throughout the day. The time spent eating and resting may be just as important (or even more important) to the success of these future gold medalists.


Next week: In the final part of this series, we will look at two aspects of training that often get overlooked in the world of elite athletes.




QUESTION? Of the 2 areas above (Food and Recovery) which one do you struggle with the most and WHY?


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Kids are a SPONGE….Whats Inside yours?

So part of the fun of what I do with MealFit is exposing my kids to a healthier way of life. Teaching them HOW to eat right, teaching them what is good and bad for us and why. Lastly, teaching them HOW to do things in the kitchen. Cooking and preparing your own food is a skill that will benefit kids the rest of their lives.

Think about it, when you go to someones house what is the event centered around……?

What are we going to eat?

I want to teach my kids how to read a recipe, what foods are fats, carbs, and proteins. If they know what foods are what then it is easier to teach them what is good and not good.

johnna teagen carter

For Example: Johnna (who you may have seen on some videos) is 5 years old. Currently I am teaching her the differences in Fats, Carbs and Protein. No, We don’t sit down at the table after dinner and drill her with Macro-nutrient Flash cards. (although, that may not be a bad idea for a school teacher)
We do however spend 3-4 min at a time when we see a new food at the grocery store and talk about what it is. Fat? Protein? Carb? If it is a carb then what kind of carb..? Good carb? Bad Carb?
They say a kids learns HALF of everything they will know by the time they are 5. That tells me I need to be filling them with stuff that will make them a healthy citizen for many years to come.

thomas and johnn in car

We also play games where we are driving in the car and I will say “What kind of food is a Avocado?” and she responds with “Fat” I praise her with a fist bump or “Great Job” and then I say

“What about a Steak?” “Protein”

Every now and then I throw in “What about a Doughnut?” She will say “Carbs” and I will respond with “What Kind of Carb” and if she takes her time she will say “Bad CARBS” I will then tell her how awesome she is and we will start a game of “I SPY”

Thomas and Teagen bed room

Folks, here is the deal….Fitness Starts in the kitchen, and the fact is, if kids are learning HOW to eat and WHAT to eat they are more likely to make wise decisions about an active lifestyle. They both go hand in hand
Education is as much of our problem in this country as anything. If we can educate our kids on all of the above we can hopefully shape a generation that is in better shape than the one we have now.

Family at easter