Meal Planning Motivation

By Casey Schlichting

My name is Casey Schlichting and I farm soybeans and corn alongside my dad and uncle on our 1,100- acre family farm. I live in Clear Lake with my wife Teresa and 11-year-old twins, Jack and Josie.

Throughout the year, I stay active with powerlifting, family bike rides and workouts at the local YMCA. I have competed in two sprint triathlons and hope to compete in the Strongman competition at the 2020 Iowa Games.

I always make time to work out, but sometimes keeping my diet on point is hard – especially when farm and family activities speed up. In the wintertime, I’m often attending farmer meetings, hauling corn and chauffeuring the twins to basketball tournaments, school and church night.

I was in Des Moines for the Iowa Soybean Association board and policy meetings last week. I always try to make time for my workout routine even if it means cardio in a hotel gym – some activity is better than nothing! And if the weather is nice, I like to take a short walk in the afternoon to get my blood moving after sitting in a meeting room.

When I got home from Des Moines, I hit the gym and did a heavy upper-body day. I like to do overload training using a Mark Bell “Sling Shot” and I’m the strongest I’ve been in a long time.

Often, farmer meetings – and really any group event – have a spread of donuts, desserts or other bad choices and not a lot of vegetables and proteins. If there is a lunch buffet, I try to hit the salad hard, scrape gravy off proteins and skip dessert. I also pack a protein bar to help take care of my sweet tooth during the afternoon.

I’ve found that meal planning at home makes life a lot easier. I try to prepare protein-dense meals that can fit into our schedule and limit other food temptations. One of my favorite protein-dense recipes that’s great for preparing ahead of time is Stan Efferding’s Monster Mash. My version makes four good-sized meals and can be adjusted based on your wellness goals. Please note, by clicking the links you will be leaving a partially funded checkoff site. 

    Monster Mash

    • 2 lbs lean ground beef (80/20)
    • 2 cups jasmine rice, cooked
    • 1 large bag of spinach
    • 1 box of chicken bone broth

    Directions: Brown ground beef. Add spinach to the pan, let it wilt, then add rice. If it looks dry, add chicken bone broth.

    If you’re in a bulking phase, use higher fat ground beef, more rice and less veggies. If you’re looking for power and endurance, use more rice and a slightly higher fat ground beef. To lean out, use lean ground beef, a smaller ratio of rice and more veggies.