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This local meal-plan service makes healthy eating easier than ever

These days, eating well is made out to be as easy as popping open a premade meal that’s perfectly portioned and happily healthy. And there are a number of local and national companies to help you do exactly that. Often though, the meals don’t taste that great, and for those who love to cook, it takes the fun out of creating in the kitchen.

Enter MealFit, a Birmingham-based company that not only offers prepared meals (that do, in fact, taste delicious), but also offers customized meal plans and shopping lists, so you can still have a normal and enjoyable cooking and eating regimen. Now widely popular throughout town, MealFit grew out of owner Thomas Cox’s sincere passion for healthy eating. In fact, launching a full-time meal-prep and catering service was never in Cox’s long-term plan. He just wanted to help a few friends who didn’t know what to put on the dinner table.

“It really started with me making a meal plan for a buddy,” says Cox, who previously coached collegiate football before settling down in Cookeville, Tennessee and later moving to Birmingham. Before launching MealFit, Cox was working as the events and facility director at his local church. When his boss nonchalantly asked if he could make a meal plan for him, Cox said “no problem.” Word soon spread of Cox’s knack for crafting simple, healthy meal plans that were both tasty and easy to execute.

“Honestly, we were just meeting a need for people who wanted to eat well,” Cox says. Most of the original recipes were inspired by what he regularly fed his family of four. Soon, busy mothers, young professionals, aspiring athletes—really, anyone in need of healthy recipes on the fly—began raving about Cox’s kitchen know-how. When his mailbox began overflowing with checks from folks seeking his culinary expertise, Cox figured it might be time to put on the apron professionally and launch a full-fledged company that allowed people to rethink what they put on their plate.

Moving his homegrown operation from his house to a 440-square-foot kitchen in Cookeville—which was “located in the middle of nowhere,” Cox says—seemed like the next logical step for the burgeoning chef. Soon after, Cox officially launched MealFit—a company founded on the simple premise of making eating healthy easy. “We just grew and grew and grew,” Cox says.

Eventually, MealFit paired up with Highlands College, a leadership-based institution spearheaded by Alabama’s Church of the Highlands, to provide meals for the school’s students. That relationship, Cox says, took MealFit to the next level and ultimately influenced his decision to take his company south to Birmingham, where it resides today.

“Our philosophy is to eat real food and get moving,” Cox says. “That’s our thought on how to live life, how to do life.”

An example of MealFit recipe dishes.

Although the business has grown to include catering and information in the form of videos and weekly tips, Cox says the core mission of MealFit remains the same. Because life is fast paced, finding time to prepare healthy meals can easily fall by the wayside. But, by taking the guesswork out of cooking, he hopes to save people time—and, hopefully, improve their overall health.

“The most valuable commodity on the planet is time, and if I can give someone more time and keep them healthy, then I’m doing my job well,” he says.

How It Works

All MealFit plans include an itemized grocery list, detailed cooking instructions, and weekly tips from Cox, delivered directly to user’s email inboxes. Each week, Cox provides five dinner recipes (including two crockpot meals), one breakfast recipe, and one snack option. Depending on your goals, Cox offers three types of meal plans—the “original,” the “strict zone,” and a Whole30 option. Recipes never repeat within a six-month period, allowing users to get a variety of flavor.

For those who aren’t as keen to get in the kitchen, MealFit’s prepared full meals and prepared bulk proteins and sides are a welcome reprieve to the timeless question: What’s for dinner? Options range from the Bama Beef Bowl (slow-smoked steak, green bell peppers, tomatoes, and grilled onions on a bed of Jasmine rice and topped with made-from-scratch Alabama Ivory Sauce) to the Mediterranean Power Bowl (garbanzos and fresh veggies over seasoned quinoa). Single items like house-seasoned red potatoes, broccoli salad, and smoked chicken breast are sold by the pound, so you can mix-and-match to create your own meals or pair them with other food from your own fridge.

The Bama Beef Bowl is a pre-prepared meal offered by MealFIt.
The Bama Beef Bowl is a pre-prepared meal offered by MealFIt.

“It allows you to adapt your amounts, so you get exactly what you need,” Cox says. “When you have something laid out for you like that, it makes it mindless. It makes it easier, and you’re just more likely to succeed.”

The pre-portioned meals (in convenient microwaveable containers) and bulk meal components are available for pick up at the Church of the Highlands cafeteria (3660 Grandview Parkway) every Monday from 4-6 p.m. Peggy Bourland Evans, who coaches at Birmingham-based Iron Tribe Fitness, says using MealFit’s prepared meals makes meeting her nutritional needs an easy task. Having a flavorful and healthy meal plan to match her athletic lifestyle, Evans says, allows her to have more time to focus on the important things in life—namely her family.

“My husband and I work full time and we have five kids who are very active in sports, so we are constantly going in different directions,” Evans says. “This makes it easier because the food is ready for pick up. We’ve never had any trouble with our orders.”

Aside from the time-saving benefits, Evans says she’s also seen significant improvements in her overall fitness by working MealFit into her diet.

“Having these meals allows me to keep up with what I’m eating and in turn, I have leaned out and feel so much better,” she says.

Outside of meal plans, MealFit offers fully prepared meals to clients.
Outside of meal plans, MealFit offers fully prepared meals to clients.

For Scott Register, host of Birmingham Mountain Radio’s Reg’s Coffehouse and co-host of The Morning Blend with Reg and Will, MealFit was the solution to getting the fuel he needed to supplement his workouts at Over The Mountain Crossfit in Hoover.

“I immediately loved what I found with MealFit,” says Register, noting that his whole family has also become a fan of the program. “It’s structured for someone who has a normal life who doesn’t have the time to be cooking and putting together a diet—but wants to stay healthy.”

Similar to Evans, Register says he saw immediate changes in his physique after cooking up Cox’s recipes—which run the gamut of crockpot casseroles to cauliflower pizza. Keeping recipes both tasty and simple, Cox says, is one of the hallmarks of the program.

“I don’t claim to have the magic wand,” Cox says. “My secret is that I just make really good food and it happens to be healthy.”

Looking back on his journey, Cox says he’s glad to be doing what he never knew he was meant to do—providing healthy eating options to those looking to get a little more out of life.

“It’s the way God intended us to eat,” he says. “It’s real, and it’s good.”

MealFit’s Offerings

• Meal Plans

• Recipes

• Prepared Meals

• Prepared Bulk Food Options

• Shopping Lists


For more information on meal plans and catering options, visit

This story appears in Birmingham magazine’s January 2019 issue. Subscribe today!

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