Iowa Farmer Encourages Everyone to Get Moving!

Thanksgiving Day 2015 at 330 pounds and November 2017 at 270 pounds

2015 (left) vs. 2017 (right)

Middle school is a time riddled with self-doubt and self-consciousness for nearly everyone. For Casey Schlichting of Clear Lake, Iowa, that time in his life was downright humiliating. One defining moment prompted him to make a lifestyle change.

“I was in eighth grade. At an Eagle Grove wrestling tournament, there wasn’t a heavyweight in my age bracket. They brought a Junior down to wrestle me, and you can about imagine how that went!” says Casey. “I was big, but I wasn’t strong. I couldn’t even do one chin-up. I decided I needed to do something about it, so I started going to the weight room.”

“When I was a freshman, my sister was a senior. All her friends looked out for me in the weight room,” adds Casey. “The senior class was supportive and encouraging. I was there every morning at 6:15 and completed an hour-long workout.”

Because the school didn’t serve breakfast at that time, Casey got the protein he needed by opening old school cans of tuna and packing boiled eggs. He says eating a well-balanced diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Rather than downing sugary drinks and empty calories, he continues to look for foods that are low in both sodium and added sugars.

“There are literally 100 different types of diets, but the ‘right one’ is the one that you can follow,” says Casey, who has learned that Keto isn’t right for him. He needs complex carbohydrates to provide energy to train for powerlifting and triathlons. He believes in eating all food groups in moderation.

Sprint Triathlon

Casey participating in a Sprint Triathlon.

Casey finds inspiration, as well as gains knowledge about health and nutrition, by following body builders and triathletes online. The White Rhino, who holds the all-time raw world record of 2,226.6 pounds in powerlifting, is one professional whom Casey particularly enjoys following.

With two triathlons under his belt, Casey is once again focusing on weightlifting. He competed in bench press competition while he was in high school. For many years, he was focused on power lifting. Now he’s has a goal of competing in the Strongman competition at the 2020 Iowa Games.

Summer also means Casey will log many miles again on his bicycle. He and Teresa enjoy going on bike rides with their twins. Their home is close to the trail, so they often bicycle to Big Blue or Clear Lake where they enjoy swimming before riding back home. Their daughter, Josie, also enjoys playing basketball and volleyball. Their son, Jack, isn’t sure if he wants to continue playing baseball this summer. He enjoys helping his dad and grandpa on the farm.

Family Photo

Schlichting Family

“I enjoy raising my family in the house where my grandparents lived,” says Casey. “At night, we can sit around the fire in our Adirondack chairs and watch the crops grow.”

While the Schlichting family eagerly awaits the change of season, they’re staying active inside. The family enjoys their Y membership where they can swim, as well as play basketball and racquetball. Teresa also enjoys yoga.

For more ideas on how your family can stay active this winter, follow Casey and the other members of Iowa Food & Family Project’s Farm Team during their 10 Week Wellness Challenge. Better yet, join along! Although it’s too late to register for this particular challenge, it’s never too late to begin your own health and wellness journey! To help you get started, today Casey is sharing one of his favorite post-workout breakfast recipes, Stan Efferding’s Monster Mash.

Casey’s Monster Mash


  • Two pounds 80/20 ground beef or pork, browned
  • Four cups of jasmine rice, cooked according to package directions
  • Beef bone broth, just enough to moisten the mash
  • One big bag of spinach
  • Beef bone


  1. Brown ground beef or pork; add spinach until it wilts.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions.
  3. This is four servings, so I meal prep in individual containers.
  4. Mix rice and browned meat together in the bottom of a bowl.
  5. Add beef broth to moisten the mash.
  6. Top with two eggs over easy (or to your liking)
  7. Mash it all up and enjoy!

COOK’S TIP: If I need to add some carbs for a big workout, I will throw this on top of a baked sweet potato. If I need more greens, I will add steamed broccoli.