Does Your Personality Affect Your Eating Style?

For the past month, I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Better Than Before” on Audible (you get a free trial with your Amazon Prime membership!), and it’s sparked a lot of experimentation and reflection in my life. In the book, Gretchen focuses on the science behind habits, habit formation, how that relates to individual personalities, and culminates with a discussion of four main habit tendencies: Obligers, Questioners, Rebels, and Upholders. You can read more about the book and each tendency over on Gretchen’s website and while you’re there, you can take a short quiz to discover which tendency best describes you.


I knew almost immediately what tendency I fell into. Obliger, through and through. I’m motivated by external accountability and meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations I impose on myself. I don’t like letting people down, but I do have a tough time holding myself accountable.

Obligers are the folks who are the most likely to say they wish they were in a different category. They say things like, “I wish I weren’t a people-pleaser” or “I wish I could take time for myself.”

Instead of wallowing in the fact that I needed so much outer accountability to get sh*t done, I decided to look at my own life and see what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and how I’m motivated. I definitely consider myself an overachiever, but at the same time, I can get bogged down with details and never follow through if there aren’t clear guidelines set in place. That’s when I throw my hands up in despair and just don’t do anything. Ugh. In the book, Gretchen refers to this cycle of doing nothing as “obliger rebellion.” This made me think about my own journey to better health, a habit that took a few years to set in place. I knew I couldn’t go at it alone, even though at the time, I resented the fact that I needed to ask for help. I worked with a therapist, read a lot of books, wished I had met a dietitian, joined online forums, went to a gym and took group classes, met friends for lunch, talked with my family, jumped headfirst into work and other hobbies, and mostly just focused on creating a life that wasn’t obsessed with food and eating. Now, I feel like this can stir up the topic of “willpower.’ It’s not that obligers don’t have willpower, it’s just they need a bit of reinforcement to get going. Like a push on a swing or their own personal cheering section. Nothing wrong with a bit of encouragement!


Let me know in the comments below if you took the Four Tendencies quiz and what your results were! If you do take it, did you find it accurate? What were your thoughts? 


5 Nutrition Hacks You Can Start Today

I’m all for making small changes in your life that lead to great success. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so wasn’t a healthier body and state of mind! Here are my five nutrition hacks you can add to your day that will take you no time at all.

1. Drink 16-24 oz. of water as soon as you wake up

Drink water in the morning

Those who know me, know that I always have a water bottle on hand. If not, then I’m searching for the nearest fountain. I drink water, but it’s a habit that has helped with digestion, my complexion, and makes me feel just a bit more energetic. One of the best things you can do is to start the day with a glass of water. Add a squirt of lemon if you’re feeling feisty. This will set you up for digestive success and get you rearing to go. Would you believe me if I told you that I don’t drink coffee? I’m that annoying person at 6am who is all #geteverythingdone! Water is your friend, people.

2. Eat a high protein breakfast (20-30g)

High protein breakfast

You may not be a bodybuilder, but lean protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass, keeping bones healthy, and keeping you feeling full throughout the day. I like to tell people to aim for at least 20-30g at breakfast to help start the day off right and keep cravings at bay. What does 30g of protein look like?  Check out these High-Protein Breakfast ideas from Shape Magazine.

Egg Scramble (26g of protein)
Scramble one whole egg and two egg whites and cook. Place on slice of Ezeikel bread and top with 1 ounce light Swiss cheese and 2 tablespoons avocado.

Greek Yogurt Parfait (26g of protein)
Top 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt with 4 tablespoons of almonds and 1 cup of fresh blueberries.

Smoked Salmon Toast (25g of protein)
Top two slices of Ezeikel bread with 2 ounces of smoked salmon and 2 light spreadable cheese wedges.

My personal fave (23g of protein)
3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup blueberries and 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

3. Eat Your Lunch Away From Your Desk

Don't eat lunch at your desk

I am totally guilty of eating my lunch at my desk, and often that’s just reality. What you can do though is get up and move to another location, or take it al fresco. Not only will this help prevent eye strain by giving your eyes a break, but you also bring the focus to your meal and not your email.  Take the time, even if it’s only 5 minutes to chew, smell, and really taste your food. Chances are, you won’t feel like the day blurred together, and give yourself a little break.

4. Go for a walk instead of raiding the pantry

Go for a walk instead of snacking

How many times have you come home from work and gone straight to the pantry for a snack? Often we’re just seeking a distraction from our day and looking for something to soothe our nerves. Instead of grabbing a bowl of cereal, lace up those sneakers and head outside for a brisk walk. All you need is 20-30 minutes to get your heart rate up and clear your head. Use this time to sort through the day’s events. If you live in an area with limited walkways, try walking around in your house, or turn on some music and dance around.  Just get moving!

5. Close the kitchen after dinner

Close the kitchen at night

I believe it was on an old episode of Oprah where I first heard someone say you should never eat after 7pm. While there’s no true evidence that shows that eating after 7pm is bad for your health, it’s more in the ritual itself. Closing the kitchen after dinner, wiping the countertops, and turning off the light, will signal to your brain that the day is done, and can prevent mindless late-night snacking. You don’t need dessert everyday, but if you find yourself craving something at night, try a non-caffeinated tea. The warm liquid is soothing, and there are so many flavor varieties to choose from! I am a bit of tea freak, and my current favorites include:

The Republic of Tea Get Gorgeous Tea

Yogi Bedtime Tea, Caffeine Free, Soothing Caramel Tea

Bigelow Green Tea with Pomegranate

Do you have a favorite “health hack?”  What do you do when hit the afternoon slump?

xo Erinn

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Hello & Welcome

My name is Erinn, and I’m a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist living in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve toyed around with starting a blog for YEARS, I mean years. I actually started and stopped quite a few times, but my heart wasn’t quite in it.  Since then, I’ve realized that sharing my experiences with addiction and attempting to maintain a 70 pound weight loss can help others seeking guidance. Five years ago, I ventured down the long, and tiresome path of becoming a dietitian for two simple reasons. I wanted to become a credible professional understanding the science behind food, the human body, and the miraculous wonder that is metabolism, and I wanted to help people overcome the same difficulties I faced. I’ve read HUNDREDS of blogs over the years, and feel they all have the same storylines and filled with misinformation. Blah. I was sick of reading “the sames” as I’ll call them. Fast-forward 5 years, and I’m finally done with school, done with my supervised practice internship, and am embarking on a new journey of opening a private nutrition practice specializing in weight management and living your best life, outside food obsession.

So what does FOODBALANCE mean?

I’ve never been a fan of that age old saying “everything in moderation,” because I felt like it sets people up for failure. You may be fine including everything and anything in your diet, but this person over here struggles with late-night bingeing, and this person over here is dealing with IBS. How does one find moderation in a world of gluttony? The key is finding a balance of what makes you happy and what also keeps you healthy. I’ve found that when I have pared down not only the volume of food and food messaging in my life, I was able to rediscover my personal relationship with what I eat. We often get thrown so many messages about things to ADD in our diet, MARATHON workout sessions, and basically just too much information about needing to do MORE. When we subtract, our focus shifts to taste, texture, flavors, mood, likes, and dislikes. Newsflash: you may not actually LIKE the Oreos you downed on the way home from work or even that protein shake you make yourself drink for breakfast because someone with abs on Instagram told you so. My goal for FOODBALANCE is to help others find their personal balance with real food, like I did, and then move on with their life.  It all boils down to self-worth. No amount of protein bars or #paleo can take the place of loving who you are today.

P.S If you need to chat, I offer one-on-one counseling sessions both in person and over Skype. For more information, check out my Nutrition Counseling link at the top of the page.