Rebel Tendency

The last tendency of Gretchen Rubin’s personality framework, the Four Tendencies, is the toughest nut to crack; Rebels. Unlike the tendencies we’ve covered; Upholder, Obliger, and Questioner, Rebels have a tough time making any commitments to anyone.

If you want to find out which tendency you are before we get into Rebels, take the Four Tendencies quiz here.

What is a Rebel?

As the name may imply, Rebels do not respond well to rules, deadlines, agendas, etc. They like to do what they want to do, how they want to do it, and when they want do to it. If someone imposes a task or rule on them, they’re more likely to do – or want to do – the opposite.

What holds Rebels back?

Pretty much any strategy that works well for the other tendencies – accountability, goal setting, scheduling, etc. – fail when it comes to Rebels because they resist any form of constraint or regiment.

Because all of the other tendencies (and therefore people) respond to what turns Rebels off, there are a lot of practices in place in the world – especially the corporate world – that go against what they need. They often like to go against the norm which can be seen as disruptive and not being a team player whether in the work space or home.

What strategies help Rebels reach their goals?

Habits are built upon routine and scheduling, two things that Rebels typically resist, so getting creative with how they view their goals and actions is a must.

Here are some ideas:

Be ready when the moment strikes – Rebels like to do their tasks/habits when the mood strikes, so be prepared. Having a gym bag or shoes in their car or office helps them keep a gym habit by allowing them to go when they feel like it. If they see a class starts at 6pm and they feel like going, they can go straight from work whereas signing up the day before will likely result in them dreading it or skipping.

Identify – Rebels are determined to be true to themselves. By recognizing and connecting with who they see themselves as, they will be more likely to carry out tasks that align with that. For example, they see themselves as someone who is highly environmentally conscious, so they will take the time to set aside recycling and get it out to be picked up on time.

Look for freedom and choice – Rebels hate obligation and anything forced upon them. By keeping the end goal in mind and keeping their methods open and varied, they are more likely to stay on track.

For example, if they want to write more; instead of making a rule that they will write XX pages of a book a day, they can focus on doing any form of writing for however long they feel like it that day. One day they may write a postcard to a friend, another they may create an epic blog post they share with everyone they know. Instead of feeling trapped and restrained, they are able to go with how they are feeling that day, still working towards that goal of writing more.

I hope these tips and insights on the Four Tendencies help at least one aspect of how you set and reach your goals!

If you took the quiz, what are you?

Did you uncover any hidden barriers to achieving your goals? Come up with any new strategies that are working?

Please share!

Twice Baked BBQ Chicken Sweet Potatoes

Up the nutrition of your twice baked potatoes by opting for sweet potatoes and get a flavor boost as well! This recipe works with grilled or rotisserie chicken, but if you don’t have any fresh on hand, used canned. Pro-tip: If you don’t have much time to get dinner together, bake and scoop out the sweet potato earlier in the day or week when you do have time. All you’ll have to do is mix the stuffing, fill the skins, and pop it back in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes.

For even easier weeknight meals, check out Simply Healthy Weeknight Dinners, a collection of 5 ingredient dinners for a month of weeknight meals!

Questioner Tendency

In this four part series I’m sharing what Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendency framework has brought to my life and my coaching practice. My first post discussed Upholders, while last week touched on Obligers, which brings us to the Questioner tendency.

If you want to find out which tendency you are before we get into it, take the Four Tendencies quiz here.

What is a Questioner?

Questioners may be a bit easy to spot by the sheer number of questions they ask about any situation, but it goes deeper than that. Questioners need an internalized reason to carry out a task or set a goal. They do not operate well – if at all – with arbitrary rules or goals they do not fully believe in.

What holds Questioners back?

Not fully believing in or seeing a purpose in a task or goal will stop a Questioner in their tracks. It’s crucial that Questioners are internally motivated to work towards a goal, or they will brush it off after deeming it pointless. This isn’t to say Questioners won’t do something another person asks them to, they just need a justified reason.

A goal a Questioner picks based on what others are doing – all their friends are training for a 10K, or their spouse has a New Year’s weight loss goal – they aren’t likely to stick with it long since it’s not important to them.

What strategies help Questioners reach their goals?

Questioners need a meaningful reason to stick to a goal or task. They have to know the Why. Before a Questioner sets a goal, they should take a little more time diving into why it’s important to them, and focus on that deep reason when they start to lose motivation.

For example:
A Questioner decides her goal is to lose 10 pounds. She’s wanted to lose some weight, and picks 10 pounds, starts going to the gym and gives up sweets. A week in, she doesn’t want to get up for her 7am kickboxing class and a coworker’s birthday means doughnuts in the kitchen.

It’s really easy for her to see this 10 pounds as arbitrary and brush off losing weight if she hasn’t really thought about why she wants to lose weight. It’s easy to press snooze and have “just one” doughnut.

If this Questioner were to sit down and dig a little deeper, to connect with why losing this 10 pounds is important,she’ll have a logical reason to get up for that class and to skip the doughnut. This goal won’t seem arbitrary or unimportant, it will be rooted in her life plan.

Dealing with the Questioners in your life follows the same principals. Instead of telling your Questioner spouse to take out the trash, let them know there are leftovers in there that will smell up the house and since you’re catching a ride you won’t be able to take it that morning.

The takeaway here is Questioners need a reason. They need to know that the task they are asked to do, or the goal they are setting, is based in logic and serves a purpose.

Are you a Questioner? What tricks have you found that hold you accountable? Let us know so other Questioner’s can learn from you. Next week we’ll look at the last of the Four Tendencies; Rebels!

Obliger Tendency

In Gretchen Rubin’s latest book, she dives into more detail about each tendency of her personality framework, The Four Tendencies, which inspired me to do a series with what the Four Tendencies have brought to my life and my coaching practice. The following 4 part series is my interpretation of each Tendency.

If you want to find out which tendency you are before we get into it, take the Four Tendencies quiz here.

Last week we looked at Upholders – those who hold commitments to themselves and to others – while today we’ll see what it means to be an Obliger, what’s holding them back and what they can do to keep themselves accountable to their goals.

What is an Obliger?

Obligers rely on outside accountability. If they are only accountable to themselves – a New Years resolution that they tell no one about, planning to themselves to go for a solo run – their goals likely will not happen. When another person or checkpoint is involved, they step up to the plate and accomplish the task.

What holds Obligers back?

Personal and private goals or tasks are what keep Obligers from doing what they plan to do. They are quick to let themselves off the hook, whereas if they loop another person or authority in, they know the will just do the darn thing.

Holding themselves accountable to others can be a useful trait, but Obligers can get stuck when they put others before themselves and their own to-do list and goals fall behind what others need from them.

What strategies help Obligers reach their goals?

Obligers should use their dependence on outside accountability to their advantage. If there is something they want or need to do, but know when the time comes they’ll be likely to brush it off, they should bring in a person or process to ensure it happens.

Here are a few examples:
They want to see their friends more frequently and are invited to a movie night, but know they will not want to leave the house after dinner. They can offer to drive someone else so they have people counting on them to go.

They enjoy running but put everything else before it and never end up getting the miles in they wish they could. They can join a paid run group so they don’t see it as something they can brush off since it’s an investment and they are now part of a group.

They hate scheduling appointments and keep pushing off things like the doctor, dentist, haircuts, etc. The next time they go, if they set the next appointment while they’re there, they won’t have to think about it again and certainly won’t put off an appointment set on the doctor’s calendar.

In general, obligers can use these tricks in a variety of situations:

  • Joining a paid group/putting money on the line.
  • Telling one other person their goal and having them check in on them on a certain date.
  • Linking their goal action to someone else (If mom gets in 3 workouts that week, the whole family has a movie day).
  • Publicly announcing their goal on social media or in a networking or friend group.

If you are an Obliger, what tricks have you found that hold you accountable? Next week we’ll look at Questioners!

Upholder Tendency

I’m an avid listener to Happier, a podcast by Gretchen Rubin, where she often discusses her famous 4 personality types knows as The Four Tendencies which is a framework for uncovering what drives everything you do.

She dives into more detail in her newest book, The Four Tendencies, so I thought it was about time I did a series with what the Four Tendencies have brought to my life and my coaching practice. The following 4 part series is my interpretation of each Tendency.

If you want to find out which tendency you are before we get into it, take the Four Tendencies quiz here.

Today we’re starting with Upholders which is me, at least the majority of the time! It’s important to know that most people aren’t 100% one tendency or another, but often have one they tend to operate as with a few instances where another tendency takes over.

What is an Upholder?

An Upholder not only is held accountable by others – friends, bosses, instructors – but by themselves. If they agree to help someone with a project, they will keep their word no matter what comes up. If they give themselves a deadline and tell no one, they will meet that deadline.

What holds Upholders back?

Often, perfectionism. They don’t like making mistakes or straying from rules and guidelines. While these can be good qualities, it can stop them from moving forward if things aren’t exactly as they’d like.

While they tend to give tasks their all, they can get so focused they miss other ways to do things, as they like to be in charge and stick to set systems. They can come off as rigid, inflexible.

Their dedication to saying “yes” to others can leave little time for themselves, brushing self-care to the side. They don’t like asking for help and can take on too much quickly, which can lead to burnout and/or resentment.

What strategies help Upholders reach their goals?

As a majority Upholder, I find keeping my biggest priorities top of mind. When a business associate asks something of me, my instinct is to say, “yes!” – whether it’s to meet for coffee and share ideas or collaborate on an event – I now take a moment to look at my schedule and determine if I have time for what they are asking of me, and if it will help me in any way personally or professionally.

Since Upholders do basically everything they commit to, it’s important they make it a goal to not overload themselves.

For tasks they struggle with, it helps to come at it both ways; write their goal down for themselves, and share it with others to be held accountable from the outside.

Practicing getting things started and getting things checked off even when they aren’t absolutely perfect will help them get through their lists instead of spinning their wheels on some detail that doesn’t make much difference in the end.

For example, when I first started my coaching business, I felt I needed every form, every page of my website, every package I would offer, created and ready to go.

In reality, what I needed was clients! It would have been fine to get up the basics of what I do with how to reach me, and focus on attaining clients. From there, I could naturally discover what I needed to create as I went.

Did you take the quiz? Are you an Upholder? Next week we’ll look at Obligers.

Countdown Cardio

This quick workout is no joke! Get your heart rate up and strengthen your core and quads while you “rest” between bursts. You don’t need much room so this is great for traveling or days you can’t get to a gym or outside!

Want more cardio workouts that take less than 30 minutes?
Check out my Strongher in :30 e-book and get fit at home!

What’s Your Tendency?

I’ve written before about Gretchen Rubin and her book, Better Than Before, when I went into a 10 part series on Loopholes (definitely check that series out if you haven’t!) Her newest book, The Four Tendencies, focuses on four personality types that drive everything we do.

As a coach, I find this framework incredibly useful for helping my clients reach their goals, and for myself it’s been helpful and comforting to understand how I operate! For those unfamiliar with Gretchen’s work, I want to introduce you to the Four Tendencies and dive into each one in my own way.

These Four Tendencies discerns how you respond to expectations; both outer (deadline from your boss), and inner (your own Newy Years resolution). Here is a brief description of each tendency that I’ll be exploring over the next 4 posts:

You respond easily to both outer and inner expectations. If you set a goal for yourself and tell no one, you’ll stick to it, and if your friend asks you to commit to something you are all in. (This is me!)

You will meet outer expectation, but struggle meeting your own. If you’re meeting a friend for a workout class, you will be there, but if you plan to go by yourself you likely won’t.

You question all expectations. You’ll happily meet outer and inner if they make sense to you, but if you deem them arbitrary you’ll let them slide.

You resist both outer and inner expectations imposed on you.

Knowing your tendency can help you better understand yourself so you can set up strategies that make reaching your goals easier for you.

Before we get into each tendency, take the quiz to find out which category you fit!

My Fitness Drastically Decreased

I created this blog to compliment my coaching. Just like with my clients, I aim to break down and simplify the huge world of health into small actionable steps women can incorporate into their everyday life, to be a little healthier than they were yesterday. I like to layout my blog posts with specific healthy mindset and living tips, recipes, and workouts, but this post is  little different.

As much as I like a solid outline, I have had some big mindset shifts around my own physical fitness and want to share with you in hopes it resonates with you, if not now, at some point in your life. Here goes!

I’ve written a few times about lifestyle changes I’ve started making when I went off the pill and my period didn’t return, like changes in exercise and adding acupuncture to my weekly routine.

For months I cut back on exercise, and while I was happy with all the things that taught me – like it’s OK not to push yourself harder each time, and taking an unplanned day off isn’t the end of the world – I still had this plan in the back of my head that I would get my fitness and leaner body back after this whole baby thing worked itself out.

Then, that changed.

We did a round of IVF that didn’t pan out. I was crushed, but ready for another round. I worked out probably 4X/week those next two weeks and then, I stopped. I didn’t pull back, I stopped cold turkey.

I had been reading about hypothalamic amenorrhea and how high impact exercise had disrupted my hormones, and decided I needed to stop getting in my own way. Now, this doesn’t mean I became a couch potato! I walk the dog multiple times a day and ride my bike to get just about everywhere (it’s easy when you don’t have a car in Chicago!). I go above and beyond my step goal of 12,000 many days, and hit at least 10,000 on others. I’m active, but I’m not “working out”.

I never could imagine living like this and staying sane. But, I am. I am finally happy with the changes I’m seeing in my body, and not cringing when I see my old race photos thinking “I’ll never be that fast again!”. I. Don’t. Care.

I clearly needed to add body fat, and while I wasn’t freaking out about it, I still had the idea floating around that I could go back if I wanted once I had a baby. One day looking in the mirror, that feeling changed. I wasn’t “OK” with my new softer features, I liked them. I didn’t want to go back.

This doesn’t mean I’ll never exercise again – I’m already signed up for a yoga class this week – but it does mean I’m focusing on low impact for the majority, and I plan to take at least 3 full rest days once my body is ready to add in more exercise.

This new attitude means a week at the lake with my family or a 3 day music festival weekend won’t be a puzzle of when I can get a workout in or if I’m doing enough. Both of these events happened in the last month and I can’t explain the freeing feeling of not worrying about my activity level. No wonder my body was stressed!

Now, I wasn’t a miserable wreck of a person before, but I did realize that if I didn’t get a planned workout in, or got 6 intervals in instead of my ideal 8, it would seriously upset me. I would be figuring out how to make up for it. Now, pfffffffft!

Like I said, this post is different. I don’t have 3 tips or 5 ways or 10 hacks to get this feeling. That’s because this mindset shift took time and many different circumstances and past experiences to just hit me the way it did.

This mindset shift took time and many different circumstances and past experiences Click To Tweet

What I do want you to leave with is the idea that you will change and that’s OK. Maybe you go to yoga 5 times a week now. It’s enjoyable and you’re working on some challenging poses. Then, you tweak something and start doing long walks while letting things heal and find you really enjoy going for an hour walk with music or a podcast. Don’t feel like you have to get back to yoga 5 days a week and keep working on the same poses you were.

If what you used to love is no longer serving you, it’s healthy to let it go.

If what you used to love is no longer serving you, it's healthy to let it go. Click To Tweet

It can be tricky sometimes to tell if something is no longer serving you. What does that even mean? It means, if you feel you should get back to the activity that defined you, the weight you were, the style you wore, the hobbies you spent your time doing, the friends you spent your time with, but not because you want to, reexamine things.

Do these things, these people, this look, make sense with your life right now? Maybe it did 15 years ago and it was perfect for you then, but you’re in a different place now. Maybe some of it still makes sense, but don’t keep doing what you’re doing just because you used to love it.

If in another 10 years you miss whatever it is you stopped, pick it up again! My point is, it’s up to you. No one cares that you don’t go to spin anymore, that now you hate staying out late, that you’d rather cook instead of go out to eat, except you. Test things out, see how they feel, and determine what’s right for you right now. Don’t be tied to yesteryou.

Six Summer Ingredients for Fresh Dinners!

Summer is here and so are the farmer’s markets! There are so many wonderful fruits and veggies at their freshest in the summer months, it was hard to narrow them down for this post, but so easy to find a ton of great recipes to use them in. Here’s what I picked: Peaches, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, strawberries, and bell peppers. I’ve searched for healthy and relatively simple recipes and landed on 3 for each ingredient. Enjoy!


Peaches help maintain skin and eye health, contain zero saturated fat, and are a good source of fiber. They are also rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Pepper Jack, Chicken, and Peach QuesadillasRecipe from

BBQ Chicken with Peach and Feta Slaw

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Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Peach-Ginger Chutney

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These red beauties contain all 4 carotenoids which have individual benefits but combined provide even more. They are good for digestive health, help improve vision, lower hypertension, and support a healthy heart.

Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes and Mozzarella

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Tomato Tuna Melts

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Orecchiette with Slow Roasted Tomatoes & Artichokes

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This squash is high in antioxidants and vitamin C, but low in calories with no fat. The anti-inflammatory properties have been linked to lowering cholesterol and improving heart health. They can also help control diabetes and improve digestion.

Sausage and Sweet Potato Zucchini Lasagna

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Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Zoodles

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Packed with antioxidant phytonutrients, corn provides a host of antioxidant benefits including fighting free radicals that can prevent a number of cancers, lowering blood pressure, and fighting tumors to name a few. Corn is rich in fiber, plus many vitamins and minerals.

Tacos with Corn, Zucchini-Radish Slaw and Avocado

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Slow Cooker Corn & Red Pepper Chowder

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Fresh Corn with Avocado, Scallions, and Spiced Scallops

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These bright and sweet little pods of flavor are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and provide more vitamin C than an orange! They help protect your heart, increase HDL (the good kind) cholesterol, and are sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low calorie.

Chicken Strawberry Salad Lettuce Wraps

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Five-Ingredient Strawberry Red Wine Glazed Salmon

Strawberry Balsamic Chicken

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Bell Peppers

Low in calories, these colorful veggies are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Red peppers pack the most nutrition simply because they are kept on the vine the longest.

Sweet Potato, Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Corn Hash with Avocado Cream

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

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Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

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These should get you through the summer 😉
What is your favorite summertime ingredient to cook with?