Meet Stephanie Blackiston

This upbeat and active mom of seven has refreshing views on raising a healthy family in today’s world. With children from 10 months to 13 years old, motherhood is a non-stop job. Juggling busy schedules, managing monstrous meal plans, and finding time to cultivate emotional peace, Stephanie uses creative methods to make time for herself and keep her whole family living a healthy, positive life.

Truly, I'm so blessed with this big family, and it has made me grateful for all of the small things. Anytime I can read scripture in peace, or go on a date with my husband, I'm excited!"

HS: What is your approach to nutrition with such a large family?

SB: Well, with six of our seven children being boys, we eat a lot of protein. I’m always looking for ways to keep them full and satisfied without stuffing them full of cereal or junk food. Once or twice a week we meal prep. Our mantra is that “we eat to live, not live to eat.”

HS: Do you find it helpful to prepare meals in advance?

SB: Absolutely! We have to do meal prep each week, and everyone helps out. If one child doesn’t like cooking, they can set the table or watch the younger siblings, but everyone plays a part.

HS: With such a busy schedule, how do you make time for fitness?

SB: Honestly, chasing and picking up toddlers all day is a good back and bicep workout! Now, I’m not just trying to get in shape for swimsuit season; I work out to be strong for the task of motherhood. And I try to always start my day early in the morning, before anyone else is up, by going for a long walk. It’s so peaceful and just starts my day the right way.

HS: How do you encourage mental and emotional health at home?

SB: One thing my husband and I are both very serious about is family mealtime. I think eating together fosters friendship and promotes tranquility. Plus, it’s a chance for all of the kids to be heard and a chance for us, as parents, to encourage their individuality.

HS: Is there anything else you do for emotional balance in your full house?

SB: I believe that a joyful heart is good medicine, and our home is always filled with music. My husband plays several instruments and teaches some of the kids, so there is always guitar or piano music playing. I joke that I play the radio.

HS: Do you have favorite ways to stay active?

SB: We have a lot of impromptu dance parties in the kitchen! Plus everyone has a sport or two they participate in. We like to be outside all the time too.

HS: What are your favorite places in Chattanooga to be active?

SB: The kids love to go downtown. They like to walk the Walnut Street Bridge and rock climb downtown. I personally love all of the beautiful mountains around Chattanooga.

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