Kristin Cavallari doesn’t listen to critics who question her parenting style.
The 31-year-old reality star — whose new show, Very Cavallari, lands on E! this summer — opened up to PEOPLE Monday on the red carpet at the NBC Upfronts in New York City about dealing with the haters.
Last month, Cavallari put out her own cookbook True Roots: A Mindful Kitchen with More Than 100 Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar — leading many to question how she and husband Jay Cutler handle meals for their kids (daughter Saylor James, 2, and sons Jaxon Wyatt, 4, and Camden Jack, 5½).
“How I eat, I cook at home, and that’s what they eat. But we go out to breakfast every weekend,” she says. “They get donuts every weekend. It’s not like they’re on some stupid diet. They’re kids.”
“Getting backlash about anything I’m doing when it comes to parenting, I really don’t give a s— about because I’m so confident at what I’m doing as a mom that I don’t care,” Cavallari adds.
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It’s that no-nonsense attitude that made Cavallari a breakout star on MTV’s hit reality shows Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County and The Hills — the latter of which wrapped up its final season back in 2010.
So was Cavallari nervous about coming back to reality TV? Surprisingly, yes!
“It’s been almost eight years since I was in front of the camera like this,” she explains. “I was really nervous, especially the first few days filming. It was a little bit of an adjustment period there.”
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Luckily, Very Cavallari is much different from the star’s previous shows. Following Cavallari as she and her staff open the Nashville, Tennessee, headquarters and flagship store of Uncommon James, her lifestyle and fashion brand, the drama on the show falls just as much on her employees’ shoulders as it does on hers.
“I had the time of my life,” she says about the experience. “I have an executive producer this time around, so having that security blanket and working with a team of people who really value my opinion and my creative direction was the best. I just had so much fun.”
Cavallari’s return to reality TV also comes more than two years after her brother Michael was found dead. Though she tells PEOPLE she’s doing “as well as I can do,” Cavallari says she’s “come to accept it and I’ve found a lot of peace” since.
“I did the Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry and I found a lot of peace in that,” she explains of her January appearance on the hit E! show. “He told me things that there’s no way you could know unless you could communicate with the spirit world.”
And if there’s anything positive Cavallari can pull from the experience, it’s that it helped her realize what’s important. “It really made me question everything in life and really make me look inward. For that, I’m grateful,” she says. “But I really miss my brother every day. And my mom and my dad, too. It goes without saying.”
Very Cavallari premieres July 8 (10 p.m. ET) on E!
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