The Graham Cracker, Pornography, & Why Quick Fixes Don’t Work

The following is one of my more open and honest posts. This is a topic that I have struggled to write about but one that I felt desperately needed to be written. Interestingly enough, once I actually sat down and committed to writing this my thoughts freely flowed.  I think the lesson I learned from this experience is that when fear holds us back from doing something we give it more control than it deserves. I challenge you to evaluate your own life, step out in courage, and release yourself from the power of fear.  If we continue to let fear control us nothing will change.



I love graham crackers. I think they are a great snack. My kids love them too. They are easily portable, fit nicely in a ziplock, and can be broken into smaller crackers for littler hands to hold. I mean really, what is not to love. Oh, and who can forget the graham crackers claim to fame, the s’more.

Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that this little snack was invented for an entirely alternate purpose. Hold on to your pantry doors. If you are anything like me you will be in complete shock.

While the graham cracker has become known to my generation as a beloved childhood snack, it’s creation was inspired by a preacher, Sylvester Graham, who has part of the 19th century temperance movement. Graham believed that a vegetarian diet anchored by home-made whole grain bread, as part of a lifestyle that involved minimizing pleasure and stimulation of all kinds, was how God intended people to live and that following this natural law would keep people healthy.

Are you wondering how this relates to the graham cracker? Keep reading, I promise I am getting there.

Graham thought that if people could just eat a bland diet, in other words stay away from spicy foods, they would be less likely to engage in pornography and masturbation.

The idea at the time was that foods that contained more spices were causing people to be filled with lust. So, if you removed spicy foods from the diet, and replaced them with something that was more bland, the lust would be removed from your heart.

It sounds so easy, right? Eat your cracker a day to keep the lustful thoughts away.

These perforated crackers came into existence with the goal of controlling your sexual desires.

Obviously the graham cracker did not rid us of our carnal urges and general evils.

Because I can’t sit on this information, and feel the need to share it with you, did you know that cornflakes were also invented for the same purpose??? I know. I know. I just totally ruined snack time and breakfast for some of you. You won’t ever be able to look at graham crackers and cornflakes the same way again.


The idea of a quick fix is nothing new. As you can see with the graham cracker, we as a society, for centuries, have tried to control our lack of self control with a quick fix.

Quick fixes don’t work. But they are highly profitable and marketable.

People would rather pop a pill, drink a shake, or eat a graham cracker instead of dealing with the issue itself. It is easier and not as painful to deal with a problem on a surface level instead of digging deeper and eliminating the problem at the root.

Just to give you an example, my social media feeds are filled with people selling and promoting supplements and remedies for weight loss. Everyone wants to be healthier, but the majority of people would rather go about it the easy way by taking a pill that claims to lower blood pressure, covert fat into liquid that you will eliminate out of your body, and leave you with glowing skin and a six pack.

Recommended Reading: 3 Biblical Reasons to Take Care of Your Body

I think most of us know that a pill isn’t going to magically make us healthier. But we so desperately want to believe that it will. A pill is simple. It doesn’t make us change the habits that led us to an unhealthier life, and it requires little investment of time.


I wish that there was a quick fix to the pornography epidemic that is ruining our families and relationships.

I think it is easier for us to talk about sex trafficking and how horrific it is then it is to discuss pornography. It shouldn’t be, because one fuels the other, but I think it is harder because for some of us pornography hits closer to home.

Let me be real for a second. I hate pornography, it is vile, addictive, and not at all how God intended for us to view sex.

It amazes me that shows on television that are so popular contain scenes that are so pornographic. We have become desensitized to the problem. By allowing it into our homes as primetime entertainment, we have given the ok that this type of entertainment is acceptable.

We can do so much better.

As a parent to a four year old boy I know that he will be exposed to pornography. It isn’t if he will be exposed, it is a question of when he will be exposed. By all current statistics the average age of the first exposure to pornography is 11, but I have also read as young as 9.

Thanks to the internet, pornography that was once hidden has become readily accessible and is being consumed by the masses. I don’t want my kids to learn about sex by watching pornography and sadly that is what is happening to our youth.

The unrealistic expectations pornography creates about sex for both men and women is a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. It has embedded itself into our lives and sadly it has done so with our own blessing.

By not standing up and speaking out against it, we have allowed ourselves to become part of the problem. As parents we know we need to talk to our kids about sex, alcohol, and drugs but we also need to bravely and confidently speak truth into their lives about the dangers of pornography.

For Josh and I staying silent on this topic with our kids isn’t an option. We know we have to be intentional with our kids now in order for them to value what we say later.

There is no quick fix to this problem. There is no pill, cracker, or treatment center that can cure a person who is addicted to porn. People have to want to change, you can’t change for them.

The cost of pornography is high. Porn affects the brain like a drug. Numerous studies have shown that porn, like cocaine, tricks your brain into releasing pleasure chemicals. Overtime your brain begins to rewire itself and will need more and more of the stimulant to produce the same effect. This is why once a person starts watching porn they will need more and more to produce the same arousal level. Porn addiction often leads to less sex and sex that doesn’t satisfy. Eventually this can mean preferring porn to sex.

Our world is a dark place and pornography is not some fantasy world full of pleasure and fun. The making of pornography is filled with drugs, disease, slavery, trafficking, rape and abuse. The women that are being glamorized in porn are often victims and were once little girls just like my daughter. It kills me to think of anyone looking at her or using her as an object.

Below are some resources my family and I have found helpful. Hopefully these can encourage you to start an open dialogue with your spouse and older children or be helpful in creating a plan on how to approach this subject later with your little ones.

Fight the New Drug – This website has great resources, relevant news, personal stories, articles, and videos about the real harmful effects of pornography.

Covenant Eyes – Covenant Eyes is an internet accountability system that monitors the websites visited, the search terms used, and the YouTube videos watched, and lists them in an easy-to-read Report that is designed to start a conversation about healthy online habits. Family accounts are available to protect your family with accountability and filtering.

The Talks – Every parent fears having “the talk.” But what many fail to realize is that one conversation isn’t enough. The Talks will help you to focus on 15 conversations that every family must have about sex and dating and lay the right foundation on critical issues with your younger children.

Sex, Dating, and Relating DVD Set Teen Edition – Josh and I LOVE Mark Gungor’s Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage DVD and this is the teen edition. If we equip our kids with the right information we should see better results and spend less time trying to untangle the train wrecks that happen because people continue to make the wrong choices.

The cost of pornography is high and a graham cracker isn’t going to fix this problem.

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#MakeYourMove at Home with Kohl’s

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included fitness equipment as compensation.

A little over 8 months ago our family joined a gym after having not had a membership for 2 years. Josh and I loved being able exercise together again and it was great to have childcare for the kids when Josh was on shift so I could workout.

Fast forward to today and I am cleared to start exercising again after delivering our third baby in November. Adding a new member to our family has been amazing and exhausting.

Exercise is a great way to boost your energy, improve your outlook, and reduce stress, all things that are great for everyone and especially parents of a newborn.

The childcare at our gym starts for babies when they are 3 months old. The idea of taking three kids to the gym when Josh is on shift is a little overwhelming. There were some mornings when it was hard for me to manage Caden and Maisie on my own and getting them in and out of the car and into childcare was more of a workout than my actual workout.

I knew that going to the gym wasn’t going to be a reality for at least a few months. I also knew that for my sanity and health I would need to figure out a way to exercise, at a minimum, 3 days a week.

Thanks to Kohl’s, Josh and I have absolutely no excuse to not exercise. In addition to the awesome selection of products Kohl’s offers in store they also have a wide range of fitness products online. If you are looking to build your home gym Kohl’s has cardio equipment, strength training gear, fitness trackers, and much more.

Home gyms offer you the flexibility of being able to fit your workout in whenever it is convenient for you. If you enjoy group fitness classes there are so many options available now on DVD. Exercising at home allows you to roll out of bed and exercise in your pajamas if you so choose. Plus you no longer have to wait in line for certain machines or equipment and there is no 30 minute time limit.

Take a look at just a few of the great items Kohl’s has to build a home gym…


I wasn’t super excited about this bike when I saw the photo and read the description online. It arrived in a large box and took Josh an hour to put together.


Once it was built Josh and I both took a spin and we were pleasantly surprised. Having taking numerous spin classes and after being certified to teach indoor cycle classes I am super picky when it comes to indoor bikes. This bike could best be described as a hybrid between a recumbent bike and spin bike. It exceeded the expectations I had based on the photos and description.


Like the name states the bike has a desk that can be attached to the handle bars to allow you to stay active while you work (or in our house blog, read, or catch up on your favorite tv show).


There is a built in heart rate monitor that can be used by placing your hands on the handles.

The bike can be folded up to save space when not in use. The only thing we would add to improve the design is wheels on the front of the bike to be able to move more easily.



Just like the bike this elliptical arrived on our doorstep in an even larger box. It took Josh two hours to build and to our surprise runs on 4 D batteries.


The ProFrom Easy Strider is a smaller version of an elliptical you would find in the gym but still comes with many features found in more expensive ellipticals. There are wheels on the front of the machine making it easier to move, has a built in workout fan, IPOD compatible, and features an on-board 8 week weight loss program designed by Jillian Michaels.

When I used the 8 week program that is built in to the machine for the first time I had no idea that Jillian Michaels was actually going to be talking out of the elliptical. It was so fun and had me laughing out loud several times when she told me she wanted to kick my butt. The 30 minute programs go by super fast and I really love this added feature.


We put all our workout equipment in our bedroom because we wanted to be able to keep the kids from playing on the machines. Also, in case you were wondering, that is a super huge canvas print of me. This was the photo canvas that was displayed when I an ambassador for a fitness clothing brand. After the store was done using the photo it was gifted to me. Josh and I tried to give it to my parents as a gift but they politely declined. And now, the photo sits in the alcove in our bedroom.


The rower took just under two hours to unbox and put together. The main portion of the machine arrived together and the remaining parts like the seat, footplates, and console needed to be installed.


The rowing machine is made of aluminum making it durable and lightweight to move around and features 8 levels of resistance. The workout monitor tracks total strokes, strokes per minute, workout time, distance and calories burned.




For the price of this machine it really has great features. It is quiet, stores upright and can be easily moved to a corner in the room or into a closet when not in use, and tracks all your stats during your workout.



I think most of us deal with some sort of pain, knots, or tenderness in our back. It can be hard to reach those areas in your back on your own. The BackTrac Back Massager features 30 acupressure spheres that target the upper, mid, and lower back as well as two larger spheres for your neck.

I have been following the recommended guidelines and lay without moving on the massager for 5 minutes. The spheres can be adjusted for less intensity by moving them towards the center. After the 5 minutes are up I slowly roll a few inches up and down for several minutes.

I was surprised to find the next day I was sore in certain places in my back and shoulders that I generally have knots. Nursing and holding an infant can really take a toll on your spine and I find myself contorting my body into unnatural positions while I am carrying the baby at times.

The past few days I have been less sore and have played around with adjusting the spheres to hit certain spots, especially in my upper back. If you enjoy deep tissue massage, acupressure, or trigger point release this would be a great item for in home use.


It is so important to invest in yourself and have a few pieces of exercise equipment at home. I love having options with my workouts and I am super excited about having an elliptical, rowing machine, and bike.

When you are deciding what equipment to purchase for your home gym there are several things to keep in mind.

The first thing you need to consider is your space. Where will you be exercising? The equipment you purchase needs to fit your space.

Also keep in mind that building a home gym doesn’t have to be done at once. Start with a few essentials likes weights and resistance bands.

Next, set a budget, and stick to it. You don’t need to spend a ton of money to live a healthier lifestyle.

And lastly, you need to think about your goal. What is your fitness goal? Are you wanting to improve your cardiovascular health? Perfect, an elliptical would be a great choice for you. Have you just come off an injury and are looking for low impact options? An indoor stationary bike would work well for that. Or maybe you are looking to be able to have variety and would like to be able to perform CrossFit type workouts at home. Weights and a rowing machine for you.

In addition to the cardio equipment featured in this post Kohl’s also offers many other products that would be a great addition to a home gym.

Build Your Home Gym with Kohls

one | two | three | four | five

Resistance bands, a stability ball, and ankle weights are great additions to a home gym.

Footwear is just as important at home as it in the gym. These Asics are my favorite and they come in really fun colors.

If you have little ones at home I highly suggest a video monitor to keep tabs on them during your early morning or evening workouts.


With all this fun new equipment I was ready to get sweaty! Here is a workout I put together to use with the Elliptical, Bike, and Rowing Machine.


This was my first workout that I did after having my third baby and I was loving it and silently hating it at the same time. It felt great to sweat but also horrible. I was so out of breath when I finished and I was ready to be done after I got off the bike.

The workout will take a little over 30 minutes. Let me know if you try it out!

Kohl’s is your one spot shop for at home fitness needs. From workout clothes, shoes, fitness equipment, and a wide range of healthy living products you will find what you are looking for at Kohl’s.

You can follow Kohl’s on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. For added inspiration be sure to check out Kohl’s Make Your Move Pinterest Board.

These affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.

The Workout Mama may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies.

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On Becoming Babywise: 3 to 6 Weeks

Josh and I decided early on before our first baby was born that we would be following the schedule outlined in On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep.

I blogged about our Babywise experience with Caden and several weeks ago shared how our experience was going the third time using the Babywise with Jesse. While I am no expert on sleeping babies, we have used Babywise twice before and had great success. If you are curious about Babywise or are using Babywise in your own home I hope you find this post and those that follow equally as helpful.

Oh, and if there are typos or run on sentences in this post, please forgive me. It has taken me over a week to type this up. #momlife #momof3 #daddywentbacktowork



This is a rough outline of what our routine is during the day. Some feedings are adjusted by 30 minutes if the baby needs to be fed sooner because he is hungry.

Week 3-4
  • 7am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8am: Nap
  • 9:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 10:30am Nap
  • 12pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 1:00pm: Nap
  • 2:30pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 4pm: Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6pm: Nap
  • 8pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 11pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 2am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 4am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
Week 5-6
  • 7am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 8:30am: Nap
  • 9:30am: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 10:30am Nap
  • 12pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 1:00pm: Nap
  • 2:30pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 4pm: Nap
  • 5pm: Eat/Waketime, Diapering
  • 6:30pm: Nap
  • 7:30pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 11pm: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib
  • 3am: Eat, Diaper, Back to Crib

Jesse’s 2am and 4am feeding merged together to become a 3am feeding. Yay! More on this below.


Jesse is nursing every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day and is going 4 hour stretches at night. I am not sure why this time around I having so many issues with nursing but between mastitis and a plugged duct I am overly paranoid about anything that feels somewhat off in my boobs. Now that I got that off my chest…haha…did you catch what I did there? That pun was intended.

Anyway…because I was nursing and pumping and massaging while I had mastitis I created an oversupply of milk which I am still trying to correct. I feel like I might be finally on the verge of getting my supply somewhat adjusted but I know that Jesse will be dropping a feeding soon and I will begin the entire process over. Ice packs have helped as has not pumping or hand expressing to the point of emptying only to the point to relieve engorgement.

My letdown is also super fast and I have to take him off within a minute of latching on and catch the milk into a towel. If I don’t do this it causes Jesse to gag and get sick because it is too much milk coming at him. I am hoping that over the next few weeks this corrects itself as well.

Merge One

During weeks three and four Jesse was nursing 9 times in 24 hours and has since went to 8 feedings during weeks five and six. Babywise helps parents to adapt successfully from one growth stage to the next using the merge principal. In total there are seven merges that happen over the course of the first year. Jesse has successfully completed Merge One by combining his two nighttime feedings into one. YAY!

Most babies start out nursing twice during the night and sometime between weeks three and six they begin to stretch their nighttime sleep from 3 hours up to 4 hours. If you look back at Jesse’s schedule you can see that he was nursing at 2am and 4am and during week five he merged these two feedings together for a 3am feeding.

The most important thing I want to stress is to understand the difference between your infants capacity and ability. I can’t just decide that I am going to drop or change Jesse’s schedule unless he has the physical capacity and ability to make that adjustment. This is something that is stated over and over in the book.


Jesse’s waketime is his feeding time and he is starting to extend his waketime slightly after his feedings. I am trying to make sure that I notice his sleepy cues like yawning and becoming agitated. With two other kids to watch I sometimes miss these cues. The majority of the time he is back in his crib within an hour and fifteen minutes after his feeding.

During his waketime when he isn’t eating or getting a diaper change he is on his playmat smiling at the overhead toys or the ceiling fan, doing tummy time, or sitting in his bouncer.

Naps & Night Sleep

Jesse’s naps last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. If he wakes early he is usually fussy. Sometimes he will make noises for several minutes and fall back asleep. If he continues to cry of the cry escalates to a scream the nap is over and he comes out of his crib until his next feeding.

Night sleep is actually going really well. Since he has merged his two feedings to one I have my alarm set for 3am. If he is not awake when my alarm goes off I hit the snooze button once or twice if I am lucky before he is awake and ready to eat. Most of the time he is already awake and ready to eat at 3am. Once he is fed, changed, and burped he is swaddled and is able to be laid back down in his crib. He is back to sleep within 10 minutes of being laid down.

With his feedings dropping down to twice a night and then to once at 3am I have been able to handle the feedings, diapering, and re-swaddling on my own which has allowed Josh to get the much needed sleep he needs for his job. After being off work for over a month he went back on shift three weeks ago. Which leads me to my last topic for this post…

Family Life

It was amazing having Josh home for so much time. I truly felt like it was needed. This was the most time he had taken off work after any of our babies came home. He was home for two weeks after Caden and Maisie were born. With your first baby you are still able to have some time to yourself during the day when they are napping, with your second you might be lucky to sneak a nap in for yourself during the day if your two kids are sleeping at the same time, and with your third you find yourself at the end of day in the same clothes you woke up and can’t remember when the last time it was that you washed your hair. Basically, I live in pajamas, all day, everyday.

But in all seriousness bringing a new member into your family while amazing is a huge adjustment. For everyone. Parenting is so rewarding and requires an extraordinary amount of selflessness. Marriage and parenting take effort and giving yourself intentionally to each other. Jesse has given us another chance to love more sacrificially and enjoy the miracle of new life. I am not really sure where I am going with this paragraph just to say that I am so thankful that Jesse is part of our family. I can’t imagine him not with us.

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