Crap Free Week in Review

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Pancakes, glorious pancakes! And coffee, yummy coffee!  And SYRUP, lovely syrup


I thought about Hodgson’s Mills InstaBake pancakes all week and these babies did not disappoint.


Plus, a side of delicious blackberries. 


Three cheers for regular, balanced, and healthy eating instead of Crap Free Week!


Crap Free Week in Review


In a nutshell, Crap Free Week was a very interesting challenge.  First, I want to review what Crap Free Week entailed:


  • Enjoy! Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Dairy Oatmeal, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Canned Beans, PB, Quinoa, Rice, Lentils, EVOO, dried fruit, and similar
  • Avoid! Protein powder, bread, artificial sweeteners, deli meat, bars, cereals, maple syrup, ALCOHOL, butter, packaged pancake batter, granola, extra salt, canned soups, anything else processed, salted, or caffeinated.
  • Exceptions… I couldn’t cut out caffeine right away. I switched to tea for the first 3 days and then went cold turkey.  Also, I had my dad’s birthday and Meghann’s birthday on Sunday and I ate both meals out (and had dessert and drank a little champagne). 


There were three big challenges to Crap Free Week:


  • Caffeine:  I wanted to break my coffee addiction… I used to drink 1 – 2 cups a day.  I never planned to stop drinking coffee forever.  But, I want to be able to choose when I drink it until feeling totally dependent on it.  I quit on Thursday and had terrible withdrawals until Monday morning.  Then, it got a little easier!  Yesterday, I felt fine without coffee even though I only got 6 hours of sleep… AMAZING!
  • Carbohydrates:  I’m sure I got enough carbohydrates from rice, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, veggies, and milk… but somehow it didn’t feel the same.  Around 3 PM, I would get really cranky and my snacks didn’t seem to satisfy my hunger like… granola and yogurt would!  :)  Not all calories are created equal — some are just more filling!
  • The RestrictionCrap Free Week was veryyyy restricting, and it was NOT pleasant.  It didn’t make me feel *better* or *healthier* to avoid overly processed foods — I think because most of the food I eat is healthy, even if it is a little processed.   Plus, I felt like I had very few food choices, and all of them involved preparation and cooking.  This would be a hard eating lifestyle to maintain in the long term!  And I really wouldn’t recommend trying this ‘experiment’ if you are recovering from an ED , as it is very restrictive.


But, there were a LOT of benefits to Crap Free Week as well:


  • I’m really pleased I managed to break my caffeine addiction.  I just hope I can learn how to incorporate coffee back into my life (it’s one of the world’s best pleasures!) without getting re-addicted.
  • I became more creative in my meals and snacks and incorporated protein in new ways.
  • I learned I DON’T have to put table salt on most things I*think* I do. 
  • This was NOT a point of Crap Free Week, but I do think Crap Free Week helped me shed the last two pounds of my honeymoon weight gain.  I’m back at maintenance weight! Woo hoo!


I reviewed all of my Crap Free Week posts and here are some of the best Crap Free Meals:



And here are some of the best Crap Free Snacks:


  • Celery with Organic PB
  • Purple Hummus
  • Blackberries, an Orange, and Handful of Pecans


My post Crap Free Week plans:


  • As mentioned, I’m going to try to have a "healthier" relationship with coffee — maybe once a day Monday through Thursday.
  • I’m not going back into my Granola and Yogurt rut and will to eat a bigger variety of snacks (but Granola and Yogurt are still the best!).
  • When purchasing bread, I’m going to try to buy organic whenever possible because CFW made me realize how MUCH bread I actually eat! 🙂
  • I’m going to eat lots of chocolate and wine on Valentine’s Day! YAYYYYYY!


HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!!!  I’m off to enjoy a Friday mid-morning run.  I love having every Friday off.



  • VeggieGirl February 13, 2009, 6:12 am

    Great breakfast!!!!!!!!!! Wowza. And wonderful review of your Crap-Free Week – you did fabulously with the challenge, and it sounds like it was a positive experience overall.

    Happy Friday the 13th!! 😀

  • Mica February 13, 2009, 6:31 am

    Congratulations on passing Crap-Free week with flying colors! It sounds like quite an experience.

    Enjoy your Friday off. They’re the best!

  • dailygoods February 13, 2009, 6:31 am

    looks like you learned so much from this week! glad it helped but also glad you are able to eat all your fav foods again! you did so good girl, makes me want to try! maybe i’ll do it starting next week?? 🙂 i wonder how well i would be able to do.. ah

  • RunToFinish February 13, 2009, 6:35 am

    can I just say I’m glad you said that it didn’t make you feel better mostly because I don’t want to give up my cereal!! That being said thanks for the recipes, they look good and healthy

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point February 13, 2009, 6:37 am


  • chandra February 13, 2009, 6:52 am

    Nice review! I pretty much agree with you on it. When I did it I knew I’d been eating fairly healthy and not so much processed stuff, but too many sweets and too much caffeine were sneaking in DAILY. It was restrictive, but it also made me realize how much bread and cereal I eat!!

    And I 100% agree about the getting plent of carbs, but it not being the same. When I tried to do my long run after crap free week I had ZERO energy, and I’m wondering if it was from the lack of more “complex” carbs all week long.

    And yay for breaking caffeine addiction! 🙂

  • Hillary February 13, 2009, 6:55 am

    congrats on getting through the week! I tried your mini santa fe casseroles last night and was blown away- so yummy! thanks for all your healthful ideas.

  • Justine February 13, 2009, 6:56 am

    Yay for Crap-Free week being over! Great job sticking with it even though it wasn’t the most fun 😉

    And I’m super jealous that you get every Friday off! Enjoy it!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point February 13, 2009, 7:00 am

    hillary – oh i am glad you liked them! i really enjoyed them, too!

  • jenngirl February 13, 2009, 7:32 am

    As always, you presented this in such a clear, and understandable way! Thanks for all of your thoughts on CFW, I’d have to say that I know what you mean about not all calories being the same–brown rice does NOT fill me up as much as other starches for some reason!

    Glad you made it through, and enjoy your chocolate and wine tomorrow! 😉

  • Lindsay February 13, 2009, 7:40 am

    Caitlin, Did you think about maybe baking your own bread instead of buying it? Then it can be as crap free as possible. I bake all the time, and really, this recipe is so easy, you could do it! I add about a third of a cup more water.

    Just fridge or freeze it, and you’ve got good stuff for the week!

  • Graze with Me February 13, 2009, 7:41 am

    Thank you for going over the do’s and don’ts of CFW. I was thinking of giving it a shot because I’ve got those last couple pounds of college weight to shed before my big day. I bet the no-bread thing would be my downfall though….

  • Meg February 13, 2009, 7:45 am

    Great thoughts on CFW! You did an awesome job!

  • Leanne February 13, 2009, 7:48 am

    Hey Caitlin!

    I love your review on CFW… I was thinking about doing something similar the week after I get back from Spring Break because I will most definitely need a detox ha ha… We’ll see though. I’ll let you know if I do!

  • Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) February 13, 2009, 7:57 am

    Glad you survived crap free week. The caffeine component would definitely be the most challenging for me. I’ve missed your yogurt/Grape nut bowls in the afternoon. Glad they’ll be back. 🙂

    Have a good weekend Caitlin!

  • tryingforatri February 13, 2009, 8:03 am

    Your Crap Free Week reminds me a lot of the month I spent as a strict vegan (also cutting out all processed foods). I’m definitely a better eater because of that experience, but I don’t think I’ll do it again. Like you, I love my yogurt and granola too much! 😛

    Have a great run! 🙂

  • Jen February 13, 2009, 8:11 am

    That was a great post and experiment, thanks. I’m glad you pointed out that it is not a good idea for someone recovering from ED to try this sort of thing and that you can appreciate all that you get to eat now. Have a great Valentine’s Day!!

  • greendogwine February 13, 2009, 8:18 am

    I have the same “table salt” problem you do!

    Great job with CFW – I really want to do it, but I’m even worse than you with caffeine, so I think it could be disastrous!

  • Missy February 13, 2009, 8:23 am

    Great review on CFW! Glad you got some benefits out of it even though some of it sounded rough! Yay for chocolate and wine tomorrow!!

  • Laughing Lindsay February 13, 2009, 8:33 am

    I’ve been DYING to see what your thoughts were with CFW. Very insightful.
    The thing I learned from you this morning is you’re still going to allow your favorite stuff (coffee, yogurt/granola) but also splice in some other variety as well. GOOD CALL.
    I’m so black and white; I think I’ll add a little gray into my routine from now on. I gotta start being more creative (whats that?).

    Thanks taking us on CFW journey with you. You rule.

  • Sally February 13, 2009, 8:35 am

    Thanks for posting your thoughts on CFW. It seems like it was an eye-opening experience for you. You say that it seems like it would be a hard diet to maintain in the long-term, but I think it just takes some getting used to. About a year ago I stopped eating grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables and focus on eating mostly veggies, fruits, meats, eggs, and some dairy. I eat very few processed or packaged foods and few added or artificial sugars. It took some time to get used to eating this way (and yes, I do spend a lot of time cooking!) but I have never felt better. If you’re interested, Mark’s Daily Apple ( is a really good website about a more primal/paleo way of eating.

  • Victoria February 13, 2009, 8:40 am

    Sounds really difficult! I’m glad you can go back to a few of your favorites now!

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point February 13, 2009, 8:42 am

    sally – thanks for posting that link! i should’ve clarified my statement a little better. i definitely think some people could maintain it in the long run, but i never could! 1 week was hard enough. im impressed with your willpower!

  • Kailey (SnackFace) February 13, 2009, 8:43 am

    Oh that looks like such a HAPPY breakfast! Congrats on being finished with crap free week and breaking your addiction! Doing crap-free week would definitely be too restrictive for my liking. You’re awesome for doing that!

    Enjoy your Friday!! 🙂

  • Danielle February 13, 2009, 8:47 am

    I think in a couple weeks I’m going to have to try a crap free week.
    Congrats on making it through it, it sounds super hard.

    And those pancakes look awesome.

  • talieworld February 13, 2009, 9:05 am

    Those pancakes seem like a great way to celebrate the end of CFW!


  • HangryPants February 13, 2009, 9:09 am

    You should try to make your own bread! It’s really easy and cheap.

    Good job on CFW.

  • sara February 13, 2009, 9:09 am

    congrats on finishing up, i’m glad you survived 🙂

    my crap free week is falling apart, day by day … but i’m going to try to continue some of the crap-free lifestyle on my own. like you, my caffeine intake was dramatically decreased. i only usually drink it at work but i’m really prone to withdrawal headaches so i think that’s a really good thing.

    have a great weekend!

  • Sharon February 13, 2009, 9:17 am

    Yay for coffee & pancakes and the end of crap free week! You did really good, Caitlin!

    Enjoy your Friday off and have an awesome run!

    Happy Valentine's Day to you & Husband <3

  • HangryPants February 13, 2009, 9:27 am

    P.S. I think I had similar feelings of frustration and restriction when I did HFCS free month. It kind of got annoying and I was sick of reading labels. I don’t normally eat HFCS anyway. I am pretty healthy and I am just not designed to be that restrictive. Takes a lot of the pleasure out of eating in my opinion.

  • fitforfree February 13, 2009, 9:32 am

    Thanks for the recap! This sounds like it was an interesting experience. And for some reason I’m so glad you didn’t launch into a flowery description of how wonderful you felt subsisting on only whole foods . . . I think it’s possible to feel great and still enjoy wine/chocolate/etc. 🙂

  • Bec February 13, 2009, 9:37 am

    It was so interesting following you through your crap free week, its definitely made me think about some of the stuff I eat.

  • tfh February 13, 2009, 9:39 am

    Mmm. Those pancakes look like the perfect reward for finishing CFW! Enjoy your Friday off– talk about rewards you’ve EARNED!

  • Sally February 13, 2009, 10:10 am

    I think something that really helps me stick to my way of eating is that I eat a pretty high-fat diet. Fat is very satisfying! After a week or so of eating like this my carb and sugar cravings really diminished. I used to have a serious sweet tooth and now, while I still enjoy a fabulous dessert on special occasions (or a piece of dark chocolate most nights), everyday treats like donuts at a meeting don’t really tempt me anymore. I noticed that you CFW was fairly low-fat, so you might find that upping your fat intake would help with the feelings of deprivation.

  • aron February 13, 2009, 10:23 am

    great job caitlin!! that wasn’t an easy week and that was a great review. i dont think i could give up cereal ever 🙂

  • Bridget February 13, 2009, 10:47 am

    Interesting review of the week! I would also like to break my caffeine addiction but still be able to enjoy coffee when I want it. I LOVE coffee- the smell, the taste, everything, but it sort of loses the excitement when I feel addicted. I was thinking about doing a crap free week, but then i got the stomach flu, so I broke my addiction and think my stomach has been through enough 🙂 Enjoy your day off!

  • One Healthy Apple February 13, 2009, 10:58 am

    I think it’s great that you stuck with it and were able to see what works for you and what doesn’t. I am also considering doing it, but the ‘crap’ is kinda what keeps me going some days. That sounds wrong, but I’m saying that it’s good to let go and eat something just because.

    Great job on your review and the two lost pounds are a bonus, right?

  • BOBBI McCORMICK February 13, 2009, 11:12 am

    I love that you did this, I think its better then a full detox and it had a great purpose. Now what do you think about a SUGER FREE WEEK! lol

  • Amelia (AC/DC: Highways to Health) February 13, 2009, 11:35 am

    Very cool experiment. Thanks for sharing your results. I think this would be a great way to detox and start over on the right foot. Way to stick with it!

  • Erica February 13, 2009, 11:40 am

    Interesting! Thanks for reporting your take on the CF week! Hope you have a wonderful weekend

  • ksgoodeats February 13, 2009, 11:41 am

    What a great reflection on CFW! You did a great job 🙂

  • Leah February 13, 2009, 12:35 pm

    Hi Caitlin! Since your caffeine intake has been very minimal this week did you find yourself to be jittery at all after your coffee this morning??

    Thanks for such a great review of CFW! I appreciate it! It sounds like you are happy it’s over.

    Is it just me or did your CFW seem to last forever? lol, did it feel this way for you? 🙂

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point February 13, 2009, 12:37 pm

    leah – not really jittery, but i definitely “felt” the coffee in a way i haven’t in a lonnnng time. it was quite nice!

    and CFW was the longest week, ever!! LOL

  • Leah February 13, 2009, 12:45 pm

    OH one other thing I’ve been meaning to ask you!!

    What colour shoes did your girls wear in your wedding with the yellow dresses?

    My dresses are dark red (think dark red wine). I’m really struggling to think about what colour shoes to have them wear. I’m thinking possibly silver.. like a very thin strapped silver shoe.

  • ashley (sweetandnatural) February 13, 2009, 3:18 pm

    Congrats on the Crap Free Week completion!

  • elise February 13, 2009, 4:19 pm

    congrats on surviving crap free week…honestly, i could never go without coffee. my boyfriend and patients would be miserable, so its as much of a gift to them as it is for me.

  • Lauren February 13, 2009, 6:31 pm

    Congrats on getting through Crap-Free week! What a great accomplisment.
    I have to agree that Cereal is probably one of the best creations on this planet. I can not imagine my life without it! 🙂
    Happy Valentines Day!!

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy) February 13, 2009, 11:47 pm

    Great recap, I don’t know how I missed this! In any event, you’ve convinced me of one thing.

    There’s nothing like a good CRAP.

  • ChickPea February 13, 2009, 11:51 pm

    You’re an inspiration. I should do a crap-free week soon…

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