Your Back-To School Body: Healthy Tips for You and Your Family!

If it hasn’t already started, it will soon. Our kids will be back to school and whether you public, private, or homeschool, all of our routines will be changing! Part of those routines will be how we re-work the way we keep our families (and ourselves!) healthy during the school year. I’ve found it advantageous to take a couple hours when the house is quiet (which in my case, means a coffee shop!) and outline/list a few things that will help me before the crazy schedules start. Here are some of my top tips to help you hit the ground running and prepared for this year!

Your back-to-school body: Healthy Tips For You and Your Family | The Better Mom

Healthy Eating:

1) Get reacquainted with your pinterest boards!

Re-organize it if you need, but make sure you have some boards that are easy for you to access such as “crockpot,” “after-school snacks,” “healthy family meals,” and more. When I am having a crazy week, it is so nice to click one of my boards and locate a recipe I’ve already pinned!

2) Figure out when your meal prep and planning night will be. (Not necessarily the same day)

Every family will look a little different here as you may not need or want to meal prep as much as another family, but to some extent, having fresh cut veggies and portioned out nuts really helps when you are ready to run out the door. Meal planning is also a huge key to my ease during the school year. If you can’t nail down a specific night that you will have certain meals, at least keep the ingredients and recipes for 3-4 meals handy so you can quickly grab them when you need to.

3) Include your family

Sometimes I forget that as each year passes, my kids’ age also increases which means they can help me out more! I involve them in some of the food prepping and have even begun to have them help me choose what we should eat for different meals! This might be the year for you to have some extra hands in the kitchen!


4) Outline when and where you will do your workouts

Be very realistic here. If you can only do 3 days a week, then do those 3 days with confidence! Make the phone calls to the gym or local churches to find out when and how much their classes are. Call a FRIEND to meet up with you. I’m telling you–you will never just “fall” into a workout. I love working out and I still don’t have that happen! A little effort on the front end will help you as you are going through it.

5) Put those pinterest boards to use (again!)

I’m sure you have a board with tons of pins waiting to be used, right? Well, now is the time to print some of those things off and implement them! Get a cute little notebook, or screenshot the pics from your smartphone so that you have a little database of things to reference. Come October, you’ll be looking for something to revive your routine! (Of course, you can always keep in contact with my site to keep you inspired!)

6) Get fit with the family!

As I mentioned before, with a new season of life, our family dynamics change, so this may mean that you can do some fun activities with your family! Keeping them fit and active is very important too! Are your kids old enough to train and run a 5K with you? Find one you can all sign up together! Is there a free night you all have together? Huddle in the basement and have the kids put you through a 20 minute workout! If your kids are training for their own sports–PERFECT! Join them! What better time to connect with them, than during a run outside, some sprints, or an ab routine. Show ‘em that mom can keep up!

Spiritual Health

7) Consider reading or leading a Christian book/study on spiritual health

Try Candace Cameron Bure’s, “Reshaping It All”, or Lysa Terkeurst’s, “Made to Crave”. If your church isn’t able to lead these up, then pray about starting this with a couple of your friends. Keep yourselves accountable spiritually and physically! (Be on the lookout for my 5-week “Living and Active” challenge which will do just this, towards the end of September!)

8) Commit to praying or reciting scripture during your workout

I run through a lot of scriptures–and say lots of breathless prayers during my workouts! Maybe it’s time for you to consider your workouts more than just a time to beat your physical body. Maybe it’s time to amp it up and enrich your soul!

9) Be intentional about letting your kids see the reason why you are taking care of your health

Maybe we need to back up a bit. Maybe you need to put some thought into why you have decided that you and your family’s health is important! Once you’ve figured that out, be open about the real reasons you choose to wake up and workout, or prefer them to eat veggies over chips. They are going to learn a viewpoint about health and their soul from someone–why not have them learn it from you?

If you have any other back-to-school tips that you could share, please do so below! I am always learning and am ready for some new ideas, myself, so don’t be shy!

Press on!


When obedience to God includes running shoes and weights

It was the last session of the fall Bible study. God and I had been wrestling with a few things for the past couple months and while I kept saying, “I’ll be obedient to where God guides”, I really had made my mind up. However, that week’s homework had me in Nehemiah. Both Ezra and Nehemiah made lasting impacts on the lives of God’s people. It stirred something in my heart, but not enough to make any big changes. This quote in the last chapter of the Bible study stood out to me though:

“You cannot experience personal revival in your relationship with Jesus Christ and do nothing! If you truly have awaked, opened your eyes, tended your heart, bent your knees, and said yes, then it naturally follow that you must move your feet!” I Saw the Lord, p. 155

When Obedience to God Includes Running Shoes and Weights : The Better Mom

Anne Graham Lotz was tying up the chapter we had read for the week, “Move Your Feet!” from the book, “I saw the Lord” during our last DVD session. You know the typical courtroom scene when the closing arguments are being displayed…well, that’s what I feel like God was doing with this DVD. He was giving me His closing arguments–and man–was He good!

» “PAY ATTENTION: What need has grabbed your heart?”

Burden is the first step to vision. Step through the open door.

“Well, God, I know you’ve given me a passion and desire to help women with their health, but there’s no way you mean this for RIGHT NOW! Those women that open their hearts about eating disorders, food addictions, and exhaustion -I’m sure they would tell that to anyone. And those open doors you’ve been swinging open in front of me over the last 2 months–I’m sure it’s just coincidence.”

» “PUT on the clothes for the call. How has God equipped you to serve Him?”

When it gets hard, doesn’t mean I’m not in God’s will. Don’t look at what you had before He calls you to do it. Obey with the smallest thing.

“The 7 years of teaching aerobics and pilates were certainly convenient, along with the many years before that of unofficial training of many friends. But now–a blog? I have no idea how to do a blog! I mean, I love Facebook and all–but seriously–a blog? Did you forget that I have an 18 month old and a 4 year old?”

» “Putting your faith into practice”

What does God want to accomplish through you? Obedience unlocks heaven. HE equips you.

*tears* Uncontrollable. OK, God. I get it. I will walk forward in obedience and faith, but let it be known–I’M SCARED TO DEATH!


A copy of my notes from that session.


This was my experience in the fall of 2010 as God was preparing my heart to open up my blog, Peak313. Never did I think that walking in obedience and leaving an impact on those in my generation  would have included running shoes and weights! God took a passion, burden, and talent of mine and has used it to bring glory to His name and good to His people. I’ve found that many women–and especially young mamas–struggle with their health and not just in context of losing weight, getting rid of muffin-top, and making time for exercise, but also how to work that into every day life while keeping an eternal perspective. It is an honor each day to help women live in GRACE and not GUILT in regards to their health—something I can only do via the Spirit of the Lord!

My blog has been such a ride in my faith and I’m convinced that He gave it to me not only to use my gifts for those who may need encouraged, but also to take me deeper into my walk with Him! So when God was ending that Bible study saying, “Move your feet!”, little did I know that it was the beginning of a long race ahead! To Him be the glory!



This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

More T-Shirt Designs!! (for you and your hubby!)

A couple of months ago I was soooo excited to show you our brand new t-shirts for our community here at The Better Mom!! Now we have three more designs and I LOVE them! Check them out below. To view the entire collection click here—> The Better Mom Tees

Note: When your tee/tees come in the mail take a picture of yourself wearing your tee and tag The Better Mom on Facebook (@thebettermom) , Instagram (@ruthschwenk), or Twitter (@thebettermom) and hashtag #momtees!


 Buy Now —-> My Husband Has My Heart


Buy Now —> My Wife Has My Heart


Buy Now —> I’m Raising a World-Changer

Woohoo! Don’t you just love these?? We can’t wait to see you or your hubby in one of these tees so be sure to tag us!


Ruth Schwenk

How Image Has Changed Me

Love Beautiful

I’ve thought a lot about my image this week. I’ve thought how people who are overweight aren’t good enough. People who are thin aren’t good enough. If your house is clean, not good. Messy, not good. It doesn’t matter how you spin it, people will cut you down to make themselves feel better.

Comparison is a wicked thing. It will attack your heart and infect the people around you. It will destroy beauty.

Image has become a precious part of my life since I became a mom. When Vitali was born I said goodbye to regular showering and a decent night’s sleep. Something as easy as eating became complicated. It involved interruptions and bouncing a baby on my hip while I managed to shovel a few bites of nourishment into my body.

When Elias was born I looked my son in the eyes and I fell in love with an image that I was terrified of. I feared how my son would be treated by this world because of his image.

When my daughter was born, I cried at the thought of the expectations she would feel by this world. The perfect image she is supposed to have.

I stand naked and imperfect in front of my husband. Three babies have filled my insides and stretched my skin. Parts of me are torn and broken down. I am not a perfect image. My heart has been rubbed raw as I figure out what image is. My mind filled with a new understanding of what is important.

There is more to life than outward appearance. You’ve heard that before, but do you live it?

The words that roll off of your tongue, are they gracious? What you write about, are you infecting people around you and polluting their thoughts? I know I have, but I don’t want to.

I want to love what is beautiful. I want to live beyond appearance.

“If your life looks like a mess—to them—they whip out a measuring stick and feel confident of their own worthiness. If your life looks like a monument—to them—they whip out a measuring stick—and start cutting you down for their own empowerment.”—Ann Voskamp


Natalie Falls

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