How to quiet that inner mean girl (self critic)

We all have an inner self critic or what I like to refer to as the mean girl. Sometimes she’s by herself and sometimes she comes with her squad. These inner critics can find themselves wiggling into our lives at different moments and when we least expect them -- starting a new job or venture, moments in a relationship or while dating, and even in stages of parenting or motherhood. When that inner mean girl comes along she typically brings with her statements of fear, anxiousness, and feelings of unworthiness or lack of and it can really feel like a bitch. As painfully exhausting having conversations with our inner mean girl(s) can be, they can also offer us some really important insight.

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Here are 5 ways to have a better relationship with your inner mean girl squad.

  1. Acknowledge the inner mean girl. Often times we shut her out or shove her out of you way so that we can move towards something more productive like our goals. BUT, shutting that mean girl in that moment often brings her back at a later point in life. Try saying hi to her and asking her “What message are you trying to tell me today?” This can allow you to reframe her role in your life. Often times our inner mean girl is trying to tell us something more meaningful than her annoying and hateful messages. If you take a moment to simply ask her what she wants to say then you can slowly work towards the root cause or insecurity she’s trying to show you.

  2. Get productive with that inner mean girl. Although it’s tough to listen to that nagging voice, they can often bring up some deep rooted issues that need to be addressed. Befriending that mean girl and letting her take the lead is never useful, but you can use her messages to work on some small tangible action items that will help you get closer to your goals. Gradually working on these issues through small baby steps will help quiet that inner critic with positive thoughts and can get you closer to your goals.

  3. Ask yourself this important question: “Would you say this to your 8 year old self?”  Would you yell your 8 year old self you’re not good enough, that you’re overweight or not good enough? OF COURSE NOT! You would want your 8 year old version to feel like she could accomplish anything she put her mind to or be anything her heart desires. Your current self deserves that same encouragement and nourishing love. Self-acceptance is a practice we develop at every age and we have every permission to work on that today!

  4. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and amazing! We often tell our friends how incredible and deserving of love they are. Why do we expect less for ourselves? Sometimes saying daily affirmations can feel in-genuine especially if it’s a new practice so instead of saying things like “I am awesome!” Or “I am beautiful” try making a list of your most recent accomplishments, especially the small ones! Take an inventory of the last two weeks and list down the small wins and celebrate them! You are so deserving of a mini celebration that includes a solo dance party or shower of emojis that acknowledge your hard work! So put on your favorite song, do a little shimmy, and dance like no ones watching!

  5. Sometimes we need a little reminder of how awesome we really are. So if no one has shared that with you this week, I want to be the first. You’re fucking awesome! You’re doing your best and that’s imperfectly perfect. Tell your inner mean girl “Not today!” and dance your little heart out! 

6 Tips on Improving your Emotional Intelligence and Emotional Awareness

Yesterday I was in something I like to refer to as an emotional wreckage. I was all in my feels for absolutely no reason, no cause, and no real triggers. I’m blaming it on the solar eclipse, new moon, and my hormones. When these moments happen it’s a great opportunity for  to practice improving your emotional literacy and recognizing patterns, two skills needed to improve your emotional intelligence. 


Two Skills Needed to Improve Emotional Intelligence

Improving Emotional Literacy includes increasing awareness  and understanding of feelings, including the ability to accurately label emotions.

Recognizing Patterns is extremely important because it helps identify recurring reactions of thought, feeling, and action.

Working on both of these skills has not only helped me improve my relationships with those around me, but also helped me develop a stronger sense of self and create the loving relationship I want with myself.

Here are 6 tips improve your emotional intelligence and awareness.

  1. Get fluent in the language of emotions! Most of the time we feel a multitude of different emotions all at once. Especially if you’re in a state of emotional wreckage. Understanding the profile of each emotional helps define it and understand the message its trying to tell you. It also helps when communicating how your feeling to the those around you, especially your loved ones.

  2. Name the your emotional gremlin. A gremlin is a negative voice that we have inside that gives negative feedback. It often can say things like “I’m stuck. I feel powerless. I’m not good enough. What’s wrong with me?” Neuroscience research has revealed this as a simple practice that can help calm the stormy waters.

  3. Observe without trying to fix. Let yourself be frustrated, or angry, or sad. We have been socialized to think of some emotions as bad, and because of that, we have a tendency to try to push them away as soon as we feel them. Give yourself and body time to absorb whatever emotional chemical reactions are coming up for you.

  4. Feel your emotions in your body. We often feel our emotions in our physical body. Emotional feelings are often manifested in the body, become aware of where you feel them. Decreased limb sensations with sadness, increased sensations in the upper limbs with anger, sensations around the throat and the digestive system with disgust, sensations in the chest with surprise and fear, and enhanced sensations all over the body with happiness.

  5. Rewrite the myth of bad emotions. We often get stuck antagonizing the relationship we have with our emotions thinking them as bad or worse seeing ourselves as bad for having these emotions.They are neurohormones that we release as a response to our perceptions about the world. They focus our attention and motivate us toward a specific course of action. So there aren’t good and bad emotions. They all have a unique purpose and message.

  6. Recognize recurring patterns that happen when you’re in this state. This is probably the most transformative part of radical self-acceptance. Our brains will naturally follow the same neural pathways that currently exist. Whether you’re in a relationship with someone else or trying to build a better relationship with yourself, we all tend to form and follow patterns. Not all patterns serve us well and we have the ability to change the partners that aren’t. The first step to changing an existing pattern is recognizing the pattern in yourself.

Emotions are simply data. They offer us incredible insight on how we perceive ourselves and the world. Self-acceptance is about opening up yourself to the data, the next step is to choose where you want to go once you’ve gain better clarity and understanding.

Feelings are complicated and historically we’re only really taught a handful of core emotions. The Feelings Wheel developed by Dr Gloria Willcox is very useful in identifying the specific feelings and emotions you are experiencing at any given point in time so that they can be addressed and resolved. You can download this the Feelings Wheel by clicking the button below which includes two steps on how to use this wheel.

Celebrating Global Wellness with Four Seasons Aviara

Earlier this month we celebrated Global Wellness Day at the Four Seasons Aviara in Carlsbad, a small little coastal town just north of San Diego. It was our first trip as a family this summer and we decided to hop on a plane the day after the girls ended their school year. Probably not the best idea, but hey leave it to us to try something at least once. We missed our original 6AM flight. It was stressful a bit chaotic, but it all worked out.

We arrived to San Diego and checked into the Four Seasons a day before Global Wellness Day. For those of you who don’t know, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as the “first” day dedicated to living well. It’s celebrated on the second Saturday of June every year. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the question, even if for just one day, “How can I live a healthier and better life?”, to direct the thoughts of both individuals and society towards “living well” and to raise awareness.


The moment we checked into Four Seasons Aviara we were immediately greeted with the most amazing service and healthy snacks provided by Chef James from the on site restaurant Seasons. The perfect snack that we needed before we headed off to the pool to unwind before our family paddle board adventure.

One of the things I appreciated about the pool menu from the Four Seasons Aviara was the healthy options they offered such as the raw veggie wrap that I ate that was filled with garbanzo beans, sprouts, hummus, and a whole lot of greens. I like to think that my family eats “healthy-ish” and having a variety of options that fills everyone’s needs is always a must for us when choosing a place to eat or stay on vacation.


After our pool time we did one of the most fun things we could’ve ever experienced as a family, stand up paddle boarding. It was our first time experiencing this. If you’ve never tried stand up paddle board, I highly suggest it. It’s actually a lot easier than it looks and there’s something so peaceful about gliding over the water. Stand up paddle board lessons were a part of the Global Wellness Day offerings, but something that Four Seasons Aviara could set up for their guests at any time. The lessons happen at a lagoon not too far from the hotel and they arrange transportation to and from the lagoon.

After our stand up paddle board lesson, we headed back to the Four Seasons to freshen up for dinner at the Seasons.

The Seasons is located at the Four Seasons Aviara and features a farm to table menu that emphasizes on what’s local, seasonal and organic. We had an incredible dinner experience filled with delicious food and exceptional service.

Four Seasons Aviara hosted a range of different activities for Global Wellness Day from yoga to mala bracelet making. They also offered a different brunch menu for the day that offered healthier options to celebrate Global Wellness Day and to show their hotel guests how easy it is to integrate healthy and tasty options. We participated in the Family Yoga session they had, Olivia wanted to make mala bracelets, and we got to do a cooking class as a family which was my personal favorite activity.

The Plant Now, Thrive Tomorrow cooking class with Chef De Cuisine James Waters was our favorite activity. It was a hands on interactive demonstration that the girls and I got to enjoy with a small intimate group. Joanna Traiilov taught us the importance of incorporating seeds into our diet and how beneficial it is in helping balance out women’s hormones during their menstrual cycles. The girls loved every moment of this cooking class. I think for any parent who’s struggling to integrate healthier options for their older children or teenagers, cooking classes are one way to teach them how to be healthy.

As we ate the grain salads that we made, Chef James prepared an Ahi Poke dish for us that was perfect snack for our afternoon pool session.

We only spent two nights at the Four Seasons Aviara, but I could’ve stayed for an entire week! The service was amazing, the food at the Seasons was absolutely perfect, and they had everything on site that I needed from a gym, yoga deck, and two pools to enjoy. Not to mention Seasons which also offers an incredible dining experience in the kitchen and the kitchen counter which allows you for a more intimate dining experience with the ones creating your meal.


The main goals for Global Wellness Day are

  • To recognize the value of our lives

  • To pause and think, even if for just one day of the year

  • To be free from the stress of everyday city life and bad habits

  • To make peace with ourselves

  • To raise awareness about living well and increase motivation, not just for today, but for the remaining 364 days of the year

I would have to say that the Four Seasons Aviara definitely hit all those points for me and gave me a moment to sink in and drop into myself. I left feeling inspired to evaluate some of our family’s wellness lifestyle. I feel like a broken record saying this, but 2019 hit us hard as a family. Life has been incredibly busy in a seasons of growth and change as individuals. Our first year as high school parents, I went back to school, Jonathan has been working on changing up and rebranding his photography business, and Olivia still remains the joyful little girl that she is.


We couldn’t have been more grateful to take a day to slow down, break free from a little bit of the stress, and pause to take a moment to reevaluate the things we value in life, our wellbeing. I’m thankful for the generosity of Four Seasons Aviara for inviting us to celebrate Global Wellness Day with them.

We were able to get away from our day to day lives to focus on our wellness as a family, but you can do also do this together anywhere. Wellness isn’t just about trips or getaways, although for me its a huge part of my own self care practice, wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. Look at the different areas in your life that you want to improve and start with small little steps to do that. It could be as simple as getting into a better sleep routine.

Charcuterie board is perfect for the keto diet

I’m not a believer in a specific diet. As a matter of fact I’m a firm believer of bio-individuality. Bio-Individuality means “There's no one-size-fits-all diet – each person is a unique individual with highly individualized nutritional requirements. Personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, body composition and cell structure all influence your overall health and the foods that make you feel your best. Men eat differently than women, children eat differently than adults, and we all have very different preferences. Our personal tastes and inclinations, natural shapes and sizes, blood types, metabolic rates and genetic backgrounds influence what foods will and won’t nourish us.” 


What I love about being a little bit more flexible with my dietary needs is that I get the chance to define my health by my terms through exploring what works for me and my needs, something I encourage my clients to do when they work with me as their health coach. This allows for more lifestyle freedom working towards an overall wellness goal of balance and harmony in all the things that one loves and enjoys, like charcuterie which happens to be keto diet friendly!

What is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. (source)  The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it allows the body to produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”. Ketones are chemicals made in your liver and is produced when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to turn sugar into energy. 

In our house, a charcuterie board is the perfect lunch, snack, or dinner. It’s our go-to for entertaining and always makes an incredible centerpiece for intimate gatherings. Charcuterie boards are keto friendly because you’re basically cutting out the carbs and intaking a high amount of fat. Hello cheese and meats!

To make a keto friendly charcuterie board you’ll need:

  1. Meat, one that I love is from Columbus Craft Meats

  2. Cheese - a combination of soft and hard cheeses (I love a 6 month sheep’s milk manchego and a goat cheese soft brie)

  3. Fruits that are low in sugar, such as berries

  4. Veggies - if you want to add them for more variety

  5. Nuts - my favorite are marcona almonds that are lightly dressed with olive oil and sea salt. 

Bending the rules for entertaining

Since no one in our house follows a specific diet I like to make sure that my charcuterie boards have options for everyone to enjoy. I love adding things like Nabisco’s Triscuit. Triscuit is 100% Whole Wheat, simple, and made with wholesome ingredients. It’s non GMO verified which is typically the main thing I look for when it comes to healthy eating. I also include Wheatberry clusters on the charcuterie board. A wheat berry is a whole, unprocessed kernel of wheat that contains all three parts of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. (source) One thing that I’ve come to love about Triscuit Wheatberry is that its a great alternative for a granola snack and pairs perfectly with meat and cheese.


Safeway is a grocery store that’s dedicated to sourcing amazing products like Columbus Craft Meats, which is one of our favorite charcuterie brands. They are crafted in San Francisco and have been around for over 100 years. In 2018 they substantially transitioned to anti-biotic free meat due to their stubborn pursuit of high quality meat, a journey of the company since day one. As a part of their journey they also began a process they call “clean label” where they will also be eliminating artificial colors, flavors and phosphates. They make a great selection of meats and for charcuterie boards I really enjoy having a mix of salami — dry italian, genoa, and sopressata. Our girls love prosciutto so we’ll add that too when we’re feeling in the mood for it.


We LOVE wine! When I first started my fitness journey I was told by my fitness coach that I couldn’t have any wine during my 12 week transformation. It was definitely heart breaking to hear because I love a good glass of Pinot Noir with dinner. As time passed I learned that you can live a healthy lifestyle while indulging in little pleasures like wine. We have several wine memberships throughout Napa Valley and one of them happens to be with J Vineyard. We’re fans of J Vineyard’s selection of bubbles and their Pinot Noir. Their 2016 Pinot Noir opens with aromatic notes of black cherry and baking spice and pairs perfectly with cured meats and cheese.


I like to keep my charcuterie boards really simple, but let your imagination run wild with it. What do you put on your charcuterie boards? Comment below and let me know.

This post was sponsored by Safeway and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own.

OUr Dog Zoey's CBD Journey

OUr Dog Zoey's CBD Journey

The CBD industry is still more or less unregulated and there are a number of shady products on the market that aren't safe for pets because they could contain THC, which is toxic to cats and dogs. The only way pet owners can be sure about giving their pets CBD is to buy from a company that carefully formulates their CBD for pets and then have all their products third-party tested to verify the contents and purity—all of which Bido, by Curaleaf Hemp does!

Curaleaf Hemp as a brand is targeted towards an audience who prioritizes health and wellness which I love about them. They have a really unique product line which includes infusions of essential oils and CBD for added benefits and extra relief.