What a week it’s been! My Cupcake became an 18 month-old today. This combined with seeing her through her first week ever at nursery school and my little L having some medical (and other) issues, makes for one super-emotional Miss Marzipan. And the start of a new cycle has of course amplified every feeling tenfold 😛 .

But rather than turning to sugar or some other form of escapism, as the “old me” was wont to do during emotionally charged times, the new, improved, IQS-inspired version of me has moved through a rather intense week with something that resembles calmness. Actually, I feel like I have been carried through some fairly heavy emotional stuff on a wave of grace. It has been utterly surprising.

I have sat with myself, meditated, felt my feelings, nourished my body, listened to my intuition, been open with loved ones, and cuddled my children… lots.

Here’s my big news…

Something beyond wonderful came my way too and, interestingly, it all unfolded at the same time that this blog,, turned 3. I was approached by the team at I Quit Sugar HQ and they said they wanted to feature me in a blog post about their “favourite Instagrammer”.

Um. Blown. Away.

It turns out I’d won Sarah Wilson’s Picks for the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program and thus a signed copy of her amazing book, I Quit Sugar For Life (HUGE dream-come-true-kinda *squee* moment, right there!). Flattered, humbled and incredibly grateful, I happily answered the questions they asked me. And then came the thing I literally sweated over… “revealing” my identity.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know that I don’t post selfies, I don’t use my children’s real names and I haven’t featured my real name anywhere… or my face (although I have made one or two sneaky cameo appearances 😉 ). I have even gone so far as to keep my blog a secret from 99.9% of my friends and family members. I haven’t “promoted” myself via Facebook and I am quite new to Instagram. I have been offered money for advertising on my blog and not accepted it. I have been offered the opportunity to have my blog linked to some successful European sites and not accepted that either. The list goes on.

I know. That sounds a little cray cray (for lack of a slightly more mature expression) in this day and age of self-promotion and over-disclosure, right? The truth of the matter is that I have loved the anonymity and, for possibly the first time since childhood, I’ve had an ongoing project that has given me joy, but for which I haven’t felt pressured to sprint on a “performance treadmill” over.

To “out”, or not to out. That was the question.

My darling brother, whom I admire beyond perhaps any other living soul, essentially said “get over yourself”. So I did. And not only did I show myself to the 430, 000 + followers of I Quit Sugar, more challenging for me, I shared the blog post via Facebook with some friends, family and peers (many of whom are employed as professional creatives… just like me) who had no idea about Miss Marzipan. And no one threw proverbial rotten tomatoes. On the contrary, people were warm, kind and extremely generous with their support. I truly felt blessed. And relieved!

In a spookily timely fashion, at some point during the week I listened to a presentation Gabby Berstein gave in which she said, “All other people want is your truth”. However we are, whatever we are feeling, right here and now, is all others need or want to see from us. She said that it is our authenticity that shines and resonates with people, not a falsified, contrived outward projection of what we think we should be. The more authentic we allow ourselves to be (even in the most raw, imperfect and vulnerable of states), the more we will draw people to us… the right people, at the right time. This makes total sense to me, as I can see that exact principle at work in my life right now. I realise how fearful of judgement I have been in the past. I am done with holding myself back or trying to dim my own light. The more I grow and the more I share of my authentic self, the more I can encourage others to do the same. I am a work in progress. And the journey that I am on creatively, emotionally, spiritually, as a mother, as a human being, is just that; a journey. I haven’t “arrived”. I am learning as I go… and that’s just fine.


So, that all being said, hello!

My name is Marisa. Nice to finally introduce myself to you properly after 3 years of hanging out here. Thank you for sharing with me!


And how is the sugar-free bizzo going?

Essentially, I have been loving it, relishing both the food and the benefits.

This morning, half asleep, I told my husband to cancel my yoga class. But with less than an hour before it was due to begin, it was too late.

I thought “Crap. I can’t do it. It’s that time of the month and I always feel like rubbish…”

But when I actually checked in with myself, I didn’t feel like rubbish at all.

What the?!

NO burning, painful, cramps, NO back pain and NO bloating. And, what’s more, contrary to the doubts I had last week about my skin not healing before my next cycle began, it did!

Absence of sugar in my diet is the only thing I can attribute to this. I have tried almost everything else past to cope with hormonal imbalance and the resulting symptoms, including taking special painkillers that were available when I was a teenager.

This time around, quite unbelievably, I haven’t felt anything other than teary. And I have allowed myself be teary. I cried on Cupcake’s first day of nursery school, I cried when I told a friend about seeing L get bitten and pushed by two other boys, I cried watching the intro to MasterChef Australia The Professionals (ok, that cry was a bit random, but it was the hormones “talking”) and I bawled my eyes out during Deepak Chopra’s Global Meditation for Peace with Gabby Berstein and India Arie. At first I thought “You’re supposed to be  meditating, not crying, dammit! Fight it… and calm yourself”. Then I realised I needed to allow myself to just be… and feel… and I knew that serenity would follow if I cried, breathed deeply and let go. What a wonderful experience. What a huge realisation and gift.

And so, instead of posting recipes today (which was my initial intention), I want to end this post by thanking the game-changers out there who are positively impacting my life and the lives of others.

To the I Quit Sugar team, Sarah Wilson, Gabby Bernstein, bloggers, collaborators, Instagrammers, colleagues, encouragers (bless you, Poh**!) friends and family (love you, little bro) who have inspired and supported me, thank you.

I send you all so much love right now.

Marisa (AKA Miss Marzipan) x


*On August 11, the all-new Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience, Expanding Your Happiness will begin. It’s FREE to register and participate. Previous Chopra Meditation Experiences I have taken part in have profoundly impacted my wellbeing and emotional state (including helping me move through the trials of my high risk pregnancy with Cupcake). Would love you to take part in this new Meditation Experience with me!

**My parents recently returned to Stockholm with a copy of Poh Ling Yeow‘s gorgeous new recipe book, Same Same But Different, for me, signed and dedicated. In Poh’s note to me, she made the generous prediction that my “food dreams” would be reached sooner than I think. Time will tell, but for now I am so grateful for the ride!

54 thoughts on “MY BIG NEWS & THE CONTINUATION OF THE SUGAR-FREE JOURNEY (and the gratitude)

  1. Hello Marisa! Great to meet you (again!) and huge congratulations 🙂

    I’ve spent years working as ‘flavourphotos’ and when I saw my name published for the first time in a monthly magazine column it felt incredibly odd. I can feel some of your reluctance.
    The photos look gorgeous and you’ve got two sweet little treasures there. Best wishes, Chava

    • Hi lovely Chava! Thank you for the empathy and the kind words! Really appreciate the support and encouragement. So happy for your successes… they are well-deserved. The best to you! Marisa xx

  2. Hello Miss Marisa Marzipan. 🙂 You are a star. And, sadly, I don’t have an instagram account, or I would be following you. I completely understand your reluctance to reveal yourself (it’s a big ask) but there’s also the other side which is owning (stating your claim to)your internet/digital identity. In my own case, I am still sitting on the fence through sheer timidity. I can’t believe your little Cupcake is already 18 months old….wow.

    • Hello lovely! Thank you so much for the continued support. Yes, re: the online thing, I think it’s important to weigh up the consequences and also to strike a balance that feels comfortable. I know! 18 months. I am so happy/sad about it ;). My best to you and your family xx

  3. What a spectacular post. It must have been such a nice surprise for your family and friends! Only two people in the world know about mine. But I’m still a blogging newbie 🙂 Congratulations!

    • Thank you so much, Erin! For a long time only 2 people knew I was blogging either! I look forward to continuing to follow your journey and see where it leads you 🙂 Many thanks for the support and encouragement and my best to you and yours 🙂 xxx

  4. Hello Darling Miss Marzipan, Marisa! You and your children are gorgeous. How days go by so fast… and your baby girl is 18 months old. Congratulations all around… have a healthy, successful life and with you continuous joy for your family! ❤

  5. Well, hello there, lovely Marisa 🙂 and gorgeous babies!! It’s wonderful to read that so many great things are happening for you :))
    I completely understand the anonymity thing, I started this blog with no reference to my name, no photos, nothing relating to my family, but as I got to know this wonderful community, I allowed it all to come out. I’m glad you have done so in your own time and comfort. It’s great to properly meet you and well done for all of your fabulous achievements xx

    • Thanks so much, Reneé! :*
      I have tried to be as open as possible (even whilst maintaining my anonymity), but I realise I have been rather afraid of the judgement of people I know IRL because many interests I have explored via this forum have been a world away from the person I used to be/my professional life. And, when I first started this blog, I would present the end results of a project (if it was successful), but was a little hesitant to share the process with readers in case of “failure”.

      Now I am all about sharing the process/progress… “Perfection”? Pfft. What is that? 😉

      What’s happened recently is that I have seen that there’s no reason for my personal passions, my professional experience, my online and offline worlds to be kept completely separate… and that I can still maintain personal integrity without being “closed”… or afraid of judgement 🙂
      Thank you again! Best wishes to you! xxx

  6. how exciting! Congrats! And I understand about revealing yourself online: I don’t post selfies or use my kids photos or reveal their names. My food hero is Donna Hay so if I managed to win a comp that she was running I’d reveal all, too. Yay for you 🙂

    • Oh, I love Donna Hay! I hope you do win a comp that she runs… and that I’ll be the first to congratulate you! I totally understand wanting to protect the privacy of yourself and your family and the many motivations that might be behind that decision. I don’t think its silly to err on the side of caution when it comes to some things… or at least to weigh up the consequences 🙂 Best wishes to you and your family xx

  7. Wow! Congrats Marisa on being yourself and on being selected by “I Quit Sugar”. I can’t believe little cupcake is 18 months old already! I know ‘time flies’ is a cliche, but wow it really does – in a rocket! Be happy 🙂

    • Thanks so much, lovely Violet! Congrats on all your successes! Yours has been an amazing journey to follow. Really appreciate the kind wishes and support over the past 3 years. The best to you and yours xxx

  8. First of all, congrats (back to you)! You are so accomplished; remember that whenever you feel down! I would like to say that this post connected to me on so many levels. While I do reveal myself (name, personal stuff) on my blog, I have not shared it with my friends and family besides my mom and my brother, whom I also “admire beyond perhaps any other living soul”. Frankly, none of my friends or peers TRULY know me, and I have to admit, I’m nervous about their reactions when they find out. I’m probably going to end up doing what you did, since I’m actually comfortable where I am right now. It’s nice to know that someone else went through this situation before!

    • Thank you so much, Maria! You are really sweet! I am sure that you will receive a positive response if/when you do decide to let your friends and peers see other dimensions to your life and interests. When that day comes, and in the meantime, I wish you the very best! x

  9. Loved, loved this thoughtful, joy filled, authentic (your word) post Marisa! So glad for all that’s happened and how well it’s all going… Hope preschool goes swimmingly and praying for “Little L” to be healthy and happy too. You know I’ve loved your beautiful blog for a long time… xoxo

    • Thank you so much, dear Rhonda! You are a beautiful, kind soul. And likewise, I have thoroughly enjoyed following your culinary/creative/family journey… really inspiring, positive and uplifting. My love and best to you and yours xxx

    • Hi lovely! Do you have a smart phone/iPhone? Instagram is an app that can be downloaded and installed very quickly… and for free. I was really NOT interested in Instagram at all for a very long time as I just saw it as a pictorial version of Facebook. But it can be more than that. And certainly if you are a food blogger, it is a great compliment to what you are already doing online. By posting images of your latest recipes, for example, you can alert your followers on Instagram to a new blog post you’ve just written. Let me know if you create an account! xx

  10. Congratulations on your achievement!
    I’m sorry to hear about your little one’s issues. Life is not fair and sometimes it can be hard for kids. That’s where an intelligent parent comes is: despite of the natural instinct of protection, I truly believe it is our duty to help our kids to understand and face the adversities with all the support we can give them so they will be better human beings one day.
    I’m sure everything will be fine at the end. My best wishes to you and your little loved ones.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words and support, Francesca. Very kind and empathetic. Actually made me a little teary. I am sure that things will work out, and in the meantime, he is getting lots of love and cuddles, not just from me but the whole family. My best to you and yours. ❤ M

  11. Hi Marisa! I’m a long-time reader, but it’s so nice to “meet” you 🙂 Congratulations on all of your successes; so very much deserved! I love your blog, and look forward to seeing where this next chapter takes you!

    • Hi lovely Kavi! Thank you so much! And likewise… you’ve been on quite the journey yourself 🙂 I hope you have a joy filled week ahead!
      PS Your last post really resonated with me. x

  12. Congratulations!!! You are most deserving! I so admire your dedication to giving up sugar. I know I would feel a billion times better if I did. Sometimes, I almost feel addicted to it. Sounds dramatic – but true! Continued success and blessings!

    • You are so sweet! And I totally understand and relate. Sugar is so addictive. And even the most health-conscious of us can fall victim to hidden sugars. I could never understand why I could eat breakfast… then eat a second breakfast an hour later. And dessert after very meal (even lunch on-the-run). Since starting this blog I have done a number of health and lifestyle experiments, from a raw food detox, to Oprah’s Vegan challenge, gluten-free baking, etc. I enjoy a challenge, but I kind of knew instinctively that sugar would be the “biggie”. The process has been incredibly transformative but nothing, thankfully, like the trauma I predicted. Lol! I have actually enjoyed the process and the food (so important!). Best wishes to you and many, many thanks for your kind wishes and support ❤ x

  13. Congratulations Marisa! You are truly a rising star, and I’m thrilled that everyone else is finally starting to notice what I’ve known all along. 😉 This is wonderful news, and I’m also glad that you’re finding such relief and gratification by sticking with you sugar-free journey.

    Welcome back from your travels, by the way. I’m very excited to see what you come up with, but as always, please don’t feel pressured or rushed to get right to my crazy project!

    • Hi lovely! I am so excited to get stuck into the project… really think it will be a fun collaboration. And many thanks for your faith in me and your continued support and encouragement. If anyone is a star, it’s you. Seriously, your achievements blow me away. And you are so young! (I mean that in an awe-filled, respectful way… no condescension intended)
      Will be in touch hopefully in a week or so. Best wishes to you! x

  14. Oh hi Marisa! Congratulations on everything. Beautiful work, and I mean really. I also love the Oprah/Deepak meditations! I’m doing the happiness one now too. Best to you and continued success with your diet and your blog work!!

    • Hi Susan! Thank you so very much! Really sweet of you 🙂 . So great you are doing the new happiness meditation experience! I hope it does indeed expand your happiness and I wish you well on your journey too! The best to you and yours 🙂 xxxxx

    • Thank you, Dedy 🙂 . Sorry to hear about your father’s diagnosis. I wish you well on your sugar-free journey and think it’s great that you have been inspired to take positive action in your own life, even if it was inspired by misfortune in the family. Best wishes for your father’s improved health too.

  15. Hi Marisa ~ Congratulations on the grand unveiling, it was such a pleasure to meet you in person back in June and knew that once you did, your followers would appreciate you even more. Look out, world, here she comes!

    • Hi Alanna! You are so sweet! Thanks so much for the kindness and vote of confidence. As I wrote to you after we met, I was really touched and amazed by your “back story”. The work you do is just fabulous. I hope we will meet again some day. In the meantime, my very best to you. And major respect and kudos. Hugs and best wishes to you and yours x

  16. Yay!! There you are! I remember the worries you had and he doubts about revealing yourself when we met in Helsinki and I’m glad you decided to take the jump! I already follow you on Instagram and I seriously love, love, love your work. So glad we got to meet in real life and who knows we might meet again sometime in the future….

    • Hello lovely Simone! Thank you so very much for sharing your talent and knowledge with others and for being such a warm, encouraging and lovely person. I love your work too. And can’t believe how generous you have been with your support, actually. I am very humbled. Thank you so much. And I really, truly hope we’ll meet again. Please let me know if Stockholm is on the cards. If there’s anything I can do to make your time here extra awesome, just say! Very best wishes to you and many thanks again xx

  17. Congratulations Marisa! What a wonderful and positive post. Yes, I will be definitely be following you on instagram. I haven’t quite gone sugar-free but I have been trying to reduce the amount of sugar that my family eats. I agree with you 100% that leaving sugar out of the diet is very beneficial…and someday I may take that step as well.

    • Thank you so much! I have found you on Instagram and look forward to staying in touch via that channel too. Great that you are also on the cutting back on sugar path 🙂 xxx

  18. Hello, my sweet friend : Marisa, What a beautiful name it is! Xx
    Congrats on being well mentioned there! You so deserve it! I spread your blog love all over chez my friends & family! Xxx

    Your cool lovely pics are always cool & you have fun posts too! Congrats also on blogging 3 years & becoming a great Foodie friend of mine! Xxxx Hugs & cheers to you, your cool personality, your lovely blog & fun posts too! 😉 xxx

    • Hi Sophie, my friend! Yes, all this time I’ve known your name, but I realise you are only seeing mine for the first time! The blogosphere is funny like that, huh? But it has been so wonderful to be here and meet amazing people, such as your good and talented self! I hope we’ll meet irl someday and have a little foodie adventure over a nice veggie lunch somewhere 🙂 Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement- you really are too lovely. Hugs and very best wishes to you and yours! Hoping your journey continues on the amazing path you have found yourself on. I look forward to following ❤ xxx

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