Tag Archives: parents

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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Strong Like Samson


With anything, it is important to teach our kids tools of life and ways to live. As our kids grow up, we teach them to say their prayers at night and, many times, we will teach the classic, “Now I lay me down to sleep…”

No matter your religious affiliation, many people believe in a God. In the Christian world, prayer is important to us because this is direct communication with God. As our kids grew up, we taught them first and foremost to be thankful and to thank God for all he has blessed us with. Among the many other things we pray for, we ask God to help them to become 3 things, which I feel embody what they should strive for from a biblical perspective:

1. Strong like Samson
“Help me to be Strong like Samson.”
There is a line in a movie that says life will chew you up and spit you out if you let it. In life we have to be strong, and we have to own that strength in 3 ways:

Physically – I think we need to teach our kids to be physically strong. They have to be able to do physical things in life, like “lift this” or “move that.” For example, be able to pick up their bike when they have a wreck or to pick up their sister if mommy and daddy can’t make it there. Physical strength in life is paramount on so many levels that I could write a small book about the topic (but I will leave that for another time).

Mentally – Mental toughness is one of the top keys to being successful in life. We have to be able to handle all that life is going to throw at us. How do we respond to failure? How do we respond to success? How do we respond when things are not going as planned and we want to quit? When the going gets tough, we have to have it between the ears before we have it in our muscles.

Spiritually – Being strong in our faith and having something to rely on that is bigger than us is HUGE. There are going to be times in life when you’re not sure you can make it. If you solely trust in others, they may let you down. We have to be strong spiritually to know that God has everything in control.

Why Samson?
Samson has the reputation of being the strongest person in the Bible. The Bible says that when the child was born, “he grew and the Lord blessed him” (Judges 13:24). The Bible then goes on to tell the story of how Samson was walking through the vineyards and came upon a lion. “The spirit of the Lord came upon him and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands” (Judges 14:6). The angel of the Lord told his mother that this power would grow as the boy got older and as his hair got longer. There are numerous stories in Judges 13-16 of how Samson showed his strength, from killing 30 men to collapsing two pillars that held up an entire building.

Do I want my kids to be exactly like Samson? No, he made mistakes just like all of us do. But I do want them to embody the physical, mental, and spiritual strengths the Lord blessed him with.

2. Tough like Benaiah
There is not a ton about Benaiah in the Bible. I first learned about him from the Mark Batterson book, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day.  Benaiah exuded toughness.

Toughness. It will get you through almost anything.

When many people think of being tough, they think of the physical aspect. But what most do not realize is the mental toughness it takes to launch headlong into whatever venture you are facing that may be physically taxing.

But why Benaiah? What makes him so tough?

He is faced with an Egyptian giant… and kills him
This is cool, but we have heard this story before (David and Goliath). This time, though, it’s HOW Benaiah did it that makes him stand out. The Egyptian had an enormous spear (weaver’s beam–sized) and Benaiah has nothing but a little club. But no big deal, Benaiah just snatches the spear from the Egyptian and kills him with that instead. That’s hardcore.

Killed a lion
Killing a lion itself is super crazy, but the Bible tells us (2 Samuel 23:20) that he went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. This is not a deal where he was in a pasture and a lion came up to him; no, out of his own free will did Benaiah go down into the pit and kill a lion. Talk about mental toughness. Lets go one more: it was snowing. I don’t even want to go get the mail when its snowing, much less go fight a lion. I want to teach my kids that toughness will get us through many things in life and how we have to be tough physically and mentally to be great.

3. Wise like Solomon
Soloman was said the be the wisest man in the world. He wrote, he sang, and he taught. But what makes him so wise? And why do I want my children to be like him? In 1 Kings Chapter 3, God comes to Soloman and asks him, “Solomon, ask for anything you
want, and I will give it to you.”


And Soloman’s response was, “Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don’t, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.”

Say what!!! That’s strong!

This is why I want my kids to be wise like Soloman. Because he had enough in him to know that if he obtained wisdom, all the other stuff would follow. He gave up the instant gratification for the delayed riches and honor. It gives me chills to think that my kids and I are praying this into their lives every day.

Prayer is communication with God. When we pour out our hearts he listens. Child-like faith is what causes God to listen. Speak life into your child on a daily basis. In all of these prayers, we explain to our kids why these people are the way they are and why they should want to mimic these traits. It is not just a rote prayer they speak daily; we discuss why they want to be like these 3 giants of faith.

I’d love to hear what you pray with and over your kids every day. Leave it in the comments below.

2 Habits that will change a parents and kids life

My wife is an amazing woman. She was a 2 sport college athlete (Volleyball and Basketball) First person in here family to graduate from college. She competed in the CrossFit Games after birthing two amazing kids. She is the head volleyball coach at the third largest high school in the state of Tennessee where she is also a physics teacher. Whew!

At cf completion

One of the things she is passionate about is the raising of our 2 kids Johnna(6) and Teagen(3). My wife is not a reader, but when she does read it is usually about 1 of 2 things.

  • Her relationship with Jesus
  • How to better raise our kids.

She is constantly evaluating how we are doing things as parents and how we can better raise them to be better citizens and world changers.  Needless to say she has been the catalyst for most of the methods we use to raise our kids.

Teagen ninja turtle

Here are 2 things that have mad a major difference in how we do things with out kids.

  • Couch time


Couch time is an uninterrupted time with you and your spouse (10-15 minutes) at the end of your day (or whenever really) to sit down and just talk. No TV, phone, etc.   Just sit and talk to your spouse.


If you have kids the rule is that the kids must be present in the room to witness the couch time taking place but they are not allowed to interrupt. They should be playing but no media at this time. It’s important for kids to see that the relationship between Mom and Dad is important and that you take time for each other.


When you first start couch time explain it to your kid(s). Tell them that each day you will be spending special time with Daddy or Mommy and that during that time they are not interrupt you. In the beginning you may have to start out with 5 minutes until your child begins to understand. It may also help to give your child something to do in the room that you know he/she will like so it keeps them from interrupting.


You will be amazed at how this one activity can help your child feel secure and stable and help them stay in the bed at night. It will also help with behavior issues as well. Not enough is said nowadays about the importance of letting your kids see that Mommy and Daddy come first and that the parents relationship is fundamentally sound.


  • Time together


This is individual time that each parent spends with each of his or her children. So in our household Daddy goes with sister while Mommy goes with brother and then we switch. Let your child choose what activity to do as long as it’s not media. Some of the choices we have are “hide the ninja turtles”, “tackle game”, “grumpy ole troll”, reading books, superheroes, art time, etc. Our kids love this so much that every night they say, “It’s time together”. Each child needs individual time with Mom and Dad.


Implementing both of these may not be easy but I promise if you and your spouse get into a routine and make this a priority, you will see a positive difference in your child’s behavior.


QUESTION: What is one tactic that you use at your home that helps with keeping the peace at your home?



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My High School Athlete Needs to Gain Weight!

As the son of a successful high school football coach and being a former high school and college football player myself, I have heard this a thousand times.

My son needs to gain some weight! What does he need to do?”

To be honest with you, my answer over the years has changed. But the more I have surrounded myself with wiser, more experienced people and the more I have experimented with myself and those around me, the more I have learned.
I have put together a handful of things that I have seen over the years that work for high school kids to gain strength and mass.

1. Make sure the kid wants to do it and it’s not just the parents’ idea.
The absolute worst thing a parent can do is to live vicariously through their kids. The scenario goes 1 of 3 ways:
• Mom and Dad were average athletes that never really were what they considered a “success.”
• They were good athletes that screwed it up somewhere along the way.
• They were very successful athletes and they want their kid to be like them.
In all 3 of the above situations the parents push and push their kids to practice, workout, and play, causing the kids to resent the sport and the parents. This is getting more and more prominent in today’s society. All of the major sports are year-round these days. Baseball has fall ball, spring ball and travel ball. Basketball has school ball then AAU where they travel all over creation playing in gyms for hours on end. Football has the season, pre-season, combined season and camp season. Kids have to want to play and have to LOVE the game because when the LOVE is gone, it’s not fun anymore. When it’s not fun, it becomes a job. When it becomes a job, it becomes a problem. Kids have all their life to work. It’s a game. Let them play.

2. GET STRONG…don’t worry about “gaining weight.”
People equate weight with more strength and that is the furthest from the truth. Kids (14 and up) need to focus on getting stronger. Don’t look at the number on the scale. Look at the number on the bar. This may be the most important statement I make in this whole article. PARENTS: if your kids want to get “bigger,” do some research and find them a coach that is a stickler for technique. Don’t just ask your best friend. Ask people who know about fitness and know how to squat, press & deadlift properly. The last thing you want is for your kid to be taught improper technique and get hurt. Teach them technique and don’t let them go up until their movement is as close to perfect as it can get. Strength should be the focus, not weight gain.

3. Make sure they are eating WHOLE FOODS.
Eat real foods that come from an animal or from the earth. Stay away from processed food and fast food. As a parent, if you are really concerned with your child’s well being, you will spend a little extra time making sure you are giving them the best food possible. You have to wake up earlier or go to bed later so you can make sure you are spending the time to get good fuel in their body. Feed your kids sweet potatoes after workouts. Make sure the protein they are getting is from an animal, such as beef, chicken, pork or fish. Eat things that are green. You may be thinking this right now: “My kids will not eat vegetables.” First of all, that is probably your fault because at a young age you made it ok for them to sit at the table and not try everything on their plate. You tell yourself “they just don’t like veggies” but they don’t like them because you did not expose them to it. It takes effort to give your kids good food. There is still hope. When you cook green stuff, cook it in bacon. Bacon makes everything better. (Sorry for the soapbox).
Think of it this way. Regular kids that don’t play sports are like a Nissan Sentra. It’s a good car that just needs you stop at the gas station and get some gas. That is the fuel they need to hang out with friends and go to the movies, go to the mall and hang out in the Wal-Mart parking lot. As athletes, their bodies are like a NASCAR. You have to put a higher quality product in the engine. When was the last time you saw Dale Jr. at the local gas station gassing up the car he is going to race on Sunday? Athletes need higher quality fuel because they are burning so much throughout games, practices and workouts. If you are not sure, ask someone. Email me at thomas@mealfit.co. I can help. Feed’em good food, folks.

A friend of mine has 2 kids in high school and they have a rule at their house: after a certain time at night, the phones go off and go in the parents’ room. I have 2 kids myself and when mine have a cell phone, this rule will be implemented in our home. Why? Kids need to sleep. This generation has so much to keep them occupied from smart phones to IPads to desktop computers to television. There is an unlimited supply of information out there and kids will consume it or play games on all the electronic devices they have. The body releases the most testosterone and growth hormones when a person is sleeping; the better quality sleep a kid has, the more likely he is to be better at the next day’s game, practice, or workout. They need good quality sleep.

If your kids are doing the above things they will get stronger, and with strength comes size. There has to be proper technique when they are lifting. Strength in compensated positions will lead to the wrong kind of development, especially if the kids are starting young. Patience and persistence are the keys that lead to a successful outcome. If you are a parent of an athletic kid, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you are one of the above parents. If you are real brave, ask someone that will be honest with you if you are one of the above parents. Seek advice from people who get paid to help people get fit and strong. Feed your kids great quality food and make your kids go to sleep at night.

Parents: “You can’t push a rope.” Kids have to want to be great. The best advice I can give is for you to be the example of hard work and persistence. Kids are sponges. They soak up whatever is around them. The question is what are you giving them to soak up?