Introducing the new me…


You know how Native American’s change their names as they change and accomplish things throughout their lives?  A name transforms as the individual becomes a different person. I’ve always loved that idea. Don’t you?

I was born Emily Elizabeth Montes, the eldest daughter of a Filipino doctor and a Pennsylvanian house wife.

When I was in graduate school, I worked as a massage therapist and got a job in a spa where no two employees could have the same name – lest the tips get confused.

My new boss called me up to inform me that ‘Emily’ was already taken by a girl whose real name was ‘Jennifer’. She asked me what I wanted my new name to be. My middle name (Elizabeth) was not available, and so I started running through options until I came to an available name.

The winner?  Penny.

For five years I answered to Penny, and many people knew me only by that name. Though I chose the name on a whim, ironically this job was how I earned my pennies, and having a secret identity was super fun too!


When I got married and chose to take my husband’s last name, I’ll admit, I was conflicted about how I felt going from a mountain (Montes) to a pear (Bartlett). I was attached to the strong stoicism that my maiden name invoked.

But after nearly eight years with my new identity, my loving husband, our two kids, and our full lives, I really appreciate the sweet and juicy symbolism of my new surname. (Though I still wish it was the husbands who traditionally changed their names – just out of principle!)


Which brings me to the point of this post…

I am super stoked to introduce you to the resulting namesake of my newest metamorphosis…

- Holistic Kid is now Holistic Squid!

A few years ago, I started writing Holistic Kid as the cyber identity for my clinical practice.

As a new mom and health practitioner, I wanted to share the myriad of alternative health options for children, and Holistic Kid grew and evolved as I explored Real food and natural health.

I’ve had so much fun so far, and I am so grateful you have been a part of it. But…


I realized that I am no longer the Kid that I used to be.

One day as I was driving along the ocean watching a pod of dolphins playing in the surf, my new name came to me and just like that, I couldn’t turn back.


I am Holistic Squid – A woman, mother, wife. A Chinese medicine clinician, writer, and lover of life.

Like the mysterious creature that shoots and swirls through the sea, I’ve got my tentacles exploring many things: fertility, health, delicious, nourishing food, and whatever else blooms from my neo-hippy existence here in Southern California.

Like any woman, Holistic Squid is complex, and my serious side is balanced with a silly name, quirky smile, and lots of love.

My eyes are observing everything, and I tell as I see it.  Like it or not.

A change of name can never change who someone really is at heart, and I look forward to continuing our adventures in my new Holistic Squid skin.

Are you ready to dive in?


This post can be seen at the following blog carnival: The Gallery of Favorites. Hop on over to check out some other posts you may enjoy!


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  1. elizabeth says

    Hey Emily. Shift is difficult I think for all of us. But if we don’t shift, our view becomes what is onlyimmediately in front of us. Shift allows us to see what is around us and I salute you as a mom wife and all of the other things you are for shifting again in order to take your life in and not to be taken in by life. I am going through a shift as well and things like your site help me take in the whole experience. Thanks for being part of my shift as you go through your own.

  2. says

    I am struck by the freshness and vitality of the new, evolving you. Love the connection between the squid and you with the surf board, fab! also the fact that your old name rhymes with your new name you clever woman!

  3. says

    Thanks everyone! I was a bit nervous to make the transition, but the unanimous positive response has been delightfully empowering. Thank you!!!

  4. says

    I loved reading about your take on names – I never thought about just how important or how meaningful they can be. I only ever once used a different name, in Spanish class in high school we had to choose a Spanish name, so I went by Juanita! I did change my name to my husband’s when I got married, something I didn’t mind as my maiden name was rather long and complicated and his was very easy. Congratulations on taking your new blog name – Holistic Squid sounds really memorable and fun!

  5. says

    I have been wrestling with changing the name of my blog for the last month, so I really appreciated reading about your name change! I have been known by quite a few names because my first name is long and lends itself to many nicknames. I use my middle name for work because it is easier and shorter. I gladly took my husband’s name, because it was shorter. But now that I am on Facebook I probably have the longest name (s) to cover every combination that people know me by. :)

  6. says

    This is really the 2nd post, of yours I read through.
    Nevertheless I really enjoy this one, “Holistic Squid is Now Holistic Squid!
    – Holistic Squid” the very best. Regards -Gonzalo

  7. says

    Awesome! I love the name, your exuberance and the fun surfer girl (I mean squid) pic, maybe that’s because I think there is a surfer soul down inside this midwestern old boy’s insides somewhere beneath all the snow – I’ve seen this mysterious squid around the web and always thought it was a Squidoo name. It’s fun to find out the story behind the name. :)

  8. says

    Holist Squid ~ This was such an enlightening article just like your blog. It is interesting to see that a name change can be so meaningful for years to come. Agree with Chris it is great to see the story behind the name… Love your blog. Keep up the great work.

  9. says

    Emily, I just adore your blog. Between yours and other holistic and whole-food centered writers out there, I have decided to pursue a career in that direction. I know that you are a Chinese Medicine clinician, but do you know much about nutritional therapy? I know it’s a relatively new field but I would love to start with that and add more education on to it such as herbalism and Chinese Medicine. Do you have any thoughts or opinions on the nutritional therapy career path?
    I look forward to more of your wonderful posts and thank you for all the information you have shared with all of us. Take care :)

  10. Rhiannon says

    The whole name-change thing reminds me of people in covens taking on Craft names – partially to disguise their identity and partially to connect with their true selves. I for one am going to change my surname soon from my family’s rather militaristic-sounding surname (of Knight) to the gentler-sounding ‘Lynn” of my grandmother. :)

    • Rhiannon says

      ANd also I feel that “Lynn” sounds a better surname for a Naturopath, Herbalist and Healer, don’tcha think?

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