Update on the TV Diet

in TV Diet

Are you here to read about Tonya, the 32 year old mother of two children? She was just diagnosed with inoperable brain tumor – but you can help. 


Hello, hello.  Today seems to be going quickly – I need to get some work done before the whole day slips away.


Breakfast was just a basic bowl of oats.  Don’t mess with perfection!


On the stovetop:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 banana
  • Topping: almonds


The Husband saw patients at the clinic all morning, so I did my secretary thang. 


Then, I drove home for a lunch and workout break.  Today was a double workout per my triathlon training plan.  First, I rode on my indoor trainer for 30 minutes, and then I hit up the pool.  In between sports, I gnawed on some toast with Italian herbs in a tube spread on top.


Today’s pool workout was an easy (i.e. not pushing too hard; the distance wasn’t easy!) 1,250 yard swim.  I was aiming for further but got tired and bored. Still, I’m proud of myself for swimming so far!


The pool was set up as 25-yard lengths, which I do NOT prefer to the 50-meter set up.  So much turning!


Post-workout lunch (please forgive me, we’re low on groceries) was a bowl of Amy’s soup, an orange, and crackers and hummus.  A throw-together meal, but it hit the spot.


This soup looks like mud but tastes delicious!


Update on the TV Diet


Last week, I declared my plan to go on a TV diet and drastically reduce the amount of time I spend watching (or half-watching) television.  My reasons for reduction were simple:  watching TV all the time results in more mental clutter, low productivity, less imagination, and less sleep – all culminating in more stress.

TV addict

I have to say : the TV Diet is going SWIMMINGLY (ha!).  I actually LOVE watching less TV.  In the last week, instead of watching TV, I’ve:


  • Read two books
  • Cleaned my living room and kitchen
  • Paid bills
  • Gardened
  • Gone on four extra long walks
  • Played badminton with the Husband
  • Painted my nails
  • Gotten extra work done


It’s been so nice!  I feel much, much more productive.


The TV Diet has corresponded with a new efforts to also be more organized around the house. Since we’re thinking about buying a home soon, I’m trying to get in better home maintenance habits.  I’m also trying to actually pick up or clean X, Y, Z when I think, “Ugh, my floor is so dirty” or “That sink is disgusting” instead of just ruminating on the dirtiness and not doing something.


Since I’ve been watching less TV, I’ve had more time to be more organized!  A clean home makes for a happy Caitlin. 


The only downside with the TV Diet is that the Husband is NOT on the TV Diet, which is totally cool with me.  He finds TV relaxing; I do not.  However, it’s a little hard to find balance between watching TV together to ‘bond’ and my new desire NOT to watch as much TV, but it’s working out, slowly but surely.  I think he’s enjoyed the walks and whatnot, too!  


If you joined me in the TV Diet last week, I would love to hear how it’s been going for you! 



  • jen @ taste life June 1, 2011, 1:53 pm

    I find that when I cut back on TV I’m often online quite a bit more, go figure. I think I need an “electronics diet” more than anything.

  • Jamie June 1, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I just cancelled cable and have made an effort to not have the TV on every night. So, it is going okay- but I did watch 16 and pregnant on my computer last night, oops! I just really wanted to see the one with the anorexic teen.

  • Keri R. June 1, 2011, 1:58 pm

    I agree with Jen! I need an electronics diet! Darn Pinterest!

    (This is my first comment.. but I have loved reading your blog!)

    • CaitlinHTP June 1, 2011, 9:45 pm

      Hi Keri! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul June 1, 2011, 2:06 pm

    I love how you’re so open to different ways of staying active Caitlin! and the messier soup looks, the yummier it is….fact haha.

  • Cindy Robinson June 1, 2011, 2:07 pm

    When my husband is watching basketball or something I don’t care to watch, I just snuggle up with him…and read my book or magazine, that way, we both win!

  • Chloe (South Beach Girl) June 1, 2011, 2:10 pm

    I definitely cut back on TV when I’m busy and if I turn up some music while I clean that really helps me stay focused. It will be even easier now that most shows are on summer break!

  • LizW June 1, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I started No-TV Tuesday on New Year’s and really like it. I still watch the morning news, but no vegging after work. I spend more time reading, running errands and getting stuff done. Plus, I also end up turning off my light sooner for sleepy time 🙂

  • Sarah for Real June 1, 2011, 2:14 pm

    Truthfully I was waiting to see how it goes for you first 😉

    I’m afraid I’d just end up with a full dvr and binging on tv on the weekend. Do you have a dvr? How are you dealing with your favorite shows?

    • Caitlin June 1, 2011, 2:27 pm

      Yea, I’m doing 1 hour of tv a day so I can still keep up with my shows 🙂

  • Christine June 1, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I’ve had the same problem with trying to cut out TV in the past – it seems that the less TV I watch, the more my husband wants to watch! Our apartment is small, so it’s hard to avoid it when he has it on. We did recently get rid of our home internet (temporarily) though, and I find myself to be much more productive!

  • Kelly @foodiefresh June 1, 2011, 2:19 pm

    Since we got rid of cable, I find that I don’t watch much TV at all – just the things that I really want to watch, which isn’t much. Although I still never found time to read our book club book. :/ I’ve been super busy.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg June 1, 2011, 2:25 pm

    I didn’t truly join your challenge, but I’ve been trying to watch less and less TV. I used to watch 2-3 hours per day! No lie. Now I spend more time reading (which I love doing!), taking walks, cleaning and keeping in touch with friends and family.

  • Kelly June 1, 2011, 2:25 pm

    My husband and I are the same way too, so I just try to be on my computer while he watches TV. That’s when I get a lot of my blog reading done haha

  • Samantha Angela June 1, 2011, 2:26 pm

    TV diet perk: there are no good shows in the summer anyway.

    I don’t get any TV channels so my TV viewing is limited to the few shows I really want to watch and can strem online.

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 1, 2011, 2:26 pm

    I’ve been on a TV diet on accident. I stay so busy that I don’t turn it on until about 8:30 and usually head to bed at 9:30 or 10.
    It’s kind of been like being so busy that people forget to eat… except that I would never forget to eat 🙂

  • Kristi June 1, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I’m trying to watch tv only a hour a day, and when I do watch it I’m on the treadmill.

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 1, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Great job on the TV diet! I haven’t had cable in a year and a half and I don’t miss it at all (except during football season 🙂 ).

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston June 1, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I suppose I’ve been on a TV diet for awhile — we just get the basic free channels and it definitely has decreased our time spent in front of the tv!

  • Cindy @ The Flipping Couple June 1, 2011, 2:40 pm

    Good for you! We’re not a TV-watching household, and I find it so freeing. We sometimes watch 1-2 hours per week, but that’s it. Turning the TV off means we can turn the music on – we love listening to music while we clean or work instead of having the TV blaring in the background.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 1, 2011, 2:43 pm

    we actually cancelled our cable in December and only do Netflix now. It has been incredibly freeing! I admittedly wasn’t a huge TV person before, but I still enjoy the new peace in the house (and my mind) without it!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy June 1, 2011, 2:44 pm

    I do not find TV relaxing either unless all else is done. I feel I sit there and think “I should be doing something else!” I feel so lazy watching TV. My husband finds it relaxing too. We watched less TV this week. We’ve been eating at the dinner table and we have been playing in the yard w/ the dogs or playing paddle ball, etc. It’s been nice and I feel more active!

  • Heather @ Dietitian on the Run June 1, 2011, 2:49 pm

    We all have “low grocery day” rando meals – I see no need for an apology! Black bean soup used to totally disgust me, its the ugly food that always surprises the taste buds 😉

    We currently have no cable = unintentional TV diet. It’s actually really nice – forcing me to unpack more, walk around and enjoy the new summer temps, etc.

  • Katherine June 1, 2011, 2:50 pm

    I am so glad it is going well for you!

    O, and BTW I am leaving for Guatemala in 13 hours, so I won’t be commenting on your blog for a good 10 days. Sorry to leave you, but I will have a massive post when I get back 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP June 2, 2011, 8:21 am

      I hope your Guatemala trip goes well!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 1, 2011, 2:50 pm

    Great job Caitlin! I’m not a big TV watcher in the first place, but I could do with a computer diet! I spend so much time on my laptop, which isn’t that great since I spend my day at work in front of a computer too. It’s just that there’s so many good blogs out there (including yours!)

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) June 1, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Was it here that I read the quote “if you don’t have enough time in the day, turn off the tv” ? I think that’s a really good quote. It’s just so hard not to get my Real Housewives and Glee kick! 😛
    Looks like you’re maximizing what was your TV time!

  • Corrie Anne June 1, 2011, 2:58 pm

    Ayyy… that’s a little tougher with your husband not being on the tv diet. My fiance and I were just reading in one of our self pre-marital counseling books about how men often like their wives to just “be” with them even when no talking is involved. I would definitely be nearby with my laptop stalking the blogzzz! 🙂

  • Chelsea June 1, 2011, 2:58 pm

    We have TV’s in our house, but no cable for like three years now. It’s actually been a blessing in disguise because I am so much more active around the house. My boy-friend still has TV so when I go there I’ll watch it, but when I’m at home I make sure I’m constantly busy 🙂
    Not as busy as you in the last week though! 2 books?! I wish!

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookie's Crumble June 1, 2011, 3:01 pm

    I’ve never been a big TV person. In fact, I might be the only person I know without cable. I’m the last to know what’s happening on this show or that or who this year’s top idol/dancer is. and frankly, I don’t care one little bit. 😉 but lately I have been sucked in to watch Mad Men on DVD. That show is so hard to turn off even when it’s way past bedtime.

    I agree with your having extra time for chores though! Yesterday I kept avoiding and kept avoiding the dishwasher and when I finally did do it, it took 2 minutes! I just thought about all the time I spent avoiding it and how little time it took to actually do it. The little things really do make a difference.

    • CaitlinHTP June 2, 2011, 8:21 am

      The dishwasher is truly a bane of my existence.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) June 1, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I would say that is pretty hard when one is cutting back and the other isn’t. We don’t watch much tv here, but the down side is that my husband is working all the time.

  • Allison June 1, 2011, 3:11 pm

    TV is a touchy subject in my house. My husband LOVES TV, and it drives me crazy! I end up watching way more TV than I prefer because I want to spend time with him in the evenings. Maybe my husband is like yours…he relaxes by watching TV. I need to ask him about that tonight.

    And maybe I just need to work harder to give him better options than the TV! Walks, badminton (great idea, BTW!), games/cards maybe?

    I will be watching how it all unfolds in your home in hopes of getting some ideas for us.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 1, 2011, 3:21 pm

    I agree with you 110%. Lately, I’ve been on TV far too long and sleep deprived because of it. I feel my productivity level has been low. It’s time to switch it off and get things done 🙂

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat June 1, 2011, 3:25 pm

    I love that Amy’s Black Bean soup, even though it DOES look like mud!

    I don’t watch that much TV to start with (if anything, I watch a netflix or two every week), but I love that you are trying to eliminate it as much as possible!

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) June 1, 2011, 3:25 pm

    I think I need to go on a tv diet! I’d like to limit the amount I watch.. but I might wait until all my shows are in re-runs 😉 …making it a bit easier.

  • Andrea June 1, 2011, 3:48 pm

    I don’t have cable but still find that I watch too much TV. The last two years for Lent I gave up TV from 7pm-9pm at night. If I was home early enough I could watch the news, but then it had to go off. It’s amazing how much I can accomplish in those two hours.

  • Elizabeth@The Sweet Life June 1, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Such a great diet to go on–I’m very impressed!

  • Tessa @ Amazing Asset June 1, 2011, 4:00 pm

    I usually turn on the TV when I am getting ready in the morning, but have been putting music on instead. I think I like the background noise more than anything and the music is a great substitution so far!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) June 1, 2011, 4:05 pm

    I don’t really watch that much TV- usually only when I’m straightening my hair because it takes so long! I do spend an ungodly amount of time on the computer, though…

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 1, 2011, 4:14 pm

    how cool! I don’t watch TV really, so I do get lots done, esp reading tons of books 🙂

  • cathy June 1, 2011, 4:19 pm

    great job on reducing the tv time, caitlin!
    i’ll be getting rid of the tv in a few months…i hardly watch any and i’ve found that i can get enough tv viewing online/on my computer. so many other fun things to do, as you’ve discovered – all about balance, right!

  • Beth (Well I'll Be) June 1, 2011, 4:22 pm

    How do you keep track of the laps while swimming? I’d have to repeat the number over and over in my head! A 25 yard pool seems quite tedious!

    • CaitlinHTP June 2, 2011, 8:22 am

      I get sooo confused. I just count every length, not laps, because that way there’s more counting and I’m less likely to mess up because of the odd/evens.

  • Michelle {Minding our Peas and Carrots} June 1, 2011, 4:44 pm

    Keep up the TV diet! I find that I am soooo much more clear-headed and productive when I don’t watch so much tv. I also love the flexibility that I have with tivo! I set the machine to record the few shows that I do keep up with, and then can watch them on my own time…if and when I get to it…and, if I don’t, well then I guess Real Housewives wasn’t so important after all!

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} June 1, 2011, 5:04 pm

    I feel your pain–my husband NEEDS to watch TV every night. Despite my efforts, I can’t break him of this habit. But if I don’t want to watch TV every night, I’m not spending time with him. I can’t win!!

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 1, 2011, 5:05 pm

    I don’t really watch too much TV, so I don’t think it’d be hard for me to completely disengage from the television. But I do miss watching the news and trashy programs once in a while!

  • The Teenage Taste June 1, 2011, 5:07 pm

    TV isn’t a huge problem for me considering I watch about 30 minutes a day of it (unless I’m watching a movie.) Computer is the main problem for me. Between blogging, Facebook, and schoolwork I am probably on the computer for 5+ hours a day. Crazy! I need a computer diet! 😀

  • Sarah Stephen June 1, 2011, 5:21 pm

    It is amazing how much better I feel the less TV I watch. Your mind just feels so much less cluttered! And you can get sooo much more done, like you said. Good job on putting that tv in its place!

  • Sarah Stephen June 1, 2011, 5:21 pm

    It is amazing how much better I feel the less TV I watch. Your mind just feels so much less cluttered! And you can get sooo much more done, like you said. Good job on putting that tv in its place!

  • Katie @ peacebeme June 1, 2011, 5:23 pm

    I am actually on a mission to allow myself to watch TV! I have trouble relaxing.

    I love seeing you swim. 🙂 Swimming is the only workout I can do and I have absolutely grown to love it!

  • Allie Q June 1, 2011, 5:29 pm

    I usually only watch an hour of TV a week (Game of Thrones.) Honestly, I get bored of watching TV so this suits me fine. I would love to read more books but I have this not-so-bad habit of falling asleep ridiculously easy, and I’m usually nodding off after two pages into a book. I guess it’s a fair trade-off? I do love my sleep.

  • Danielle @ InDeesKitchen June 1, 2011, 5:42 pm

    So awesome that you’re doing this. I HATE tv. it’s just such a waste of time and most things on tv are not worth watching. i mean, it is a good way to relax and totally shut off our brains, but like all things, there needs to be a limit and most of america does not limit themselves at all.

  • Kris June 1, 2011, 5:45 pm

    Husbands watching tv to relax seems to be pretty common. My DH disappears after dinner to his tv room. I’m a lot more productive if I turn the tv off; something I’m trying to do more of. I need to remember how much more I enjoy a good book or a clean house!

    • Kris June 1, 2011, 5:46 pm

      I should say guys, not husbands. It does really seem to be a guy thing.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 1, 2011, 5:51 pm

    Duuuuuuuuuuuude 1250 yards! 500 more to make it a mile! Rocking

    • CaitlinHTP June 2, 2011, 8:23 am

      really?!?! epic.

  • Christine June 1, 2011, 6:51 pm

    I think the only problem I have found with watching less TV is that I feel like sometimes I’m doing more on my own and not with my husband, since there was a few shows we used to watch together. That just means we have to be more creative!

    I’m the opposite of you- since we decided we want to move I feel like why bother, we’re moving anyway and will have to do a crazy deep clean. And then the clutter drives me crazy and I give in.

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations June 1, 2011, 7:08 pm

    I had considered going TOTALLY COLD TURKEY on tv but figured that was extreme. Instead, I cut out the morning stuff and limit it to 30 minutes per evening Mon – Thurs. Friday nights, I can watch if I like. I’ve been using the quiet time in the mornings to just sit in silence with my coffee. It’s perfect… time to get in touch with me before the influx of information starts for the day. I’m continuing less tv and may get rid of my DVR by the end of the summer.

  • Jen June 1, 2011, 8:17 pm

    I’ve actually been on a TV diet for a while now. Not intentionally, but my lifestyle changed somehow, and now I rarely watch TV. I still love movies, and I still like recording shows to watch while I eat breakfast, but I practically never sit down in front of the TV just to watch it. It makes me feel anxious. I feel a lot better now than I did in the days when I watched TV all the time. It’s definitely mental clutter! I don’t miss it at all.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit June 1, 2011, 8:41 pm

    Good to hear about the TV diet!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 1, 2011, 8:44 pm

    Nice job with your tv diet! I don’t really watch that much tv, but I think I should maybe go on a computer diet. Blogging/blog reading is sucking up a lot of my time lately! 😛

  • Abby June 1, 2011, 8:52 pm

    I need to do the TV diet but sometimes when I’m home alone I feel like I run out of things to do! lol

  • Caz June 1, 2011, 10:00 pm

    I really struggle with the tv/boyfriend thing too! He works on his feet all day and the only thing he wants to do in the evenings is sit and watch tv. Watching together is a bonding thing. However, I definitely find myself not all that interested in his shows and end up mindlessly surfing the net etc. at the same time. Then I don’t even know what’s happening on the show!

    I think I need to pick some shows we both like and will watch together. If he’s watching something else, I should force myself to not be in the room (cook, clean, read, run, ANYTHING else!)

  • Khushboo June 2, 2011, 1:20 am

    Until we stop watching tv, we don’t realize how much it eats into productive time! I’m glad I’m not much of a tv-a-holic as I know how it addictive it can be! Also even with a fully stocked kitchen, I would happily eat that lunch- simple yet delicious!

  • Victoria June 2, 2011, 7:00 am

    Caitlin, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind writing a post on managing stress? I know you are quite busy at the moment, but when you get the chance I would love to hear your take on it.

    • CaitlinHTP June 2, 2011, 8:24 am

      Sure Victoria! I was going to respond to another reader question that is similar to this one today at lunch so i’ll tie both in!

  • Molly @ RDexposed June 2, 2011, 7:32 am

    Sometimes I wonder why I even have a TV in my apt. When I’m here, I never turn it on! It’s actually unplugged right now. Love the idea of a TV diet though!

  • Pam @ Spoonful of Fitness June 2, 2011, 9:32 am

    I haven’t watched more than about an hour of TV per week in a year (I didn’t buy the cable hookup when I moved into my own place, and just got used to not watching)—and I think there IS a flip side to all the benefits…I tend to get mired in overthinking things and feeling restless. Maybe I’ve maxed out on the benefits…I actually wish I watched MORE. Turning your thoughts off sometimes is a good thing!
    Now if I could cut back on computer/Facebook time, that’s a whole new story…

  • Amber K June 2, 2011, 10:59 am

    My husband and I watch TV to relax together, so I can’t say I joined you on the TV diet. But I’m always glad to read about people doing things that make them feel better and hearing how they did with it. 🙂

  • Tiffany June 4, 2011, 7:29 am

    I barely ever watch TV, sense its been taken over by a child for 2 years. 2 weeks ago i thinking about how much money i put out for TV, phone and internet and got sick, i cut my TV and phone off cause i don’t use them anyways (my daughters on a Disney movie/ my little pony binge) and I’m now using a pay as you go phone, but I’ve been so productive its not funny, I’m upgrading my high-school marks with a community college and in a month I’ve gotten 2 courses done and I’m doing my finals on Friday! I feel so productive! 😀

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