ON AUTHENTICITY (eat – and post – what makes you happy!)

A while ago I posted about authenticity and that, according to Gabby Bernstein (and many others, no doubt), our truth – right here and now – is all we need to offer other people; our “authentic self” is what attracts others to us, and allowing ourselves to be who we are is the only thing that brings us lasting contentment.

I have made a decision to live with this in mind.


The way I eat/exercise/live will not resonate with everyone, but I have always tried to post what I love (whether here on my blog, or elsewhere)…

Borrowing from my “about” page:

“As you will notice if you trawl the archives of this blog right back to its inception, all the recipes here are vegetarian. Many have a health-focused leaning, be it on organic/seasonal produce, or gluten-free, or sugar-free… or a combination. I am vegetarian (of the ovo-lacto variety), although when I started this blog I was not. I simply preferred to cook and eat vegetarian food.

My husband is vegan and, increasingly, I am eating plant-based, partly out of sheer convenience and partly because I enjoy it*. I have also embraced many aspects of the I Quit Sugar program, because the “real food” principles upon which it is based make perfect sense, and because it has been health affirming for me.

You’ll hopefully find some different recipes here. What you wont find is judgement about the way you personally choose to eat. I’m here to share what I have been cooking myself, and what I love… and in doing so, hopefully provide a little inspiration to others.”

So that is it, in a nutshell.

When I first became a vegetarian in my mid-teens, I found a cause that I was genuinely passionate about, but also one through which I found justification to vent my angst. On one occasion, I sneakily stuck “meat is murder” posters around the school tuck shop**. Yes, I was angry about factory farming (and I still am), but if I am honest, I was also angry in general… and I wanted an outlet. As far as I am aware I was the only vegetarian in my senior school (“vegan” wasn’t even “a thing” back then where I lived 😉 ) and so, to anyone who knew me, it would have been obvious who the “tuck shop vandal” was (I wasn’t exactly a criminal mastermind). In any case, I’ll tell you how many people I converted to vegetarianism as a result of that stunt:


I remained a vegetarian for seven years. It simply became habitual over time. During that period of my life, three guys I dated and many of my close friends became vegetarian. And they said that one of the reasons was because they’d seen how “easy” it was for me. Without even meaning to influence others, at least a dozen people in my life became vegetarian, not because I preached at them, but partly because I simply lived the way I did. Even when I gave up vegetarianism (due to extremely poor health***), they remained vegetarian. And now that I have found a way to eat a vegetarian diet again that works for me (health-wise), I am rejoining them! 😉

If I post a Paleo recipe, it certainly doesn’t mean I am “anti-vegan”, or vice versa (in fact every single Paleo recipe I have posted has also been vegan). Liking the I Quit Sugar program does not mean I don’t appreciate a beautifully presented cake (in fact I studied a pastry diploma course last year!). Some of my favourite accounts on Instagram are very fruit-centric, even though my diet is not. Liking running does not mean I don’t like yoga (in fact, I love both and think they compliment each other well). Practicing yoga does not make me Hindu (and if I was, I wouldn’t mean I’d automatically practice yoga). Posting a selfie from a race day once in a blue moon does not make me a narcissist. And, yes, I eat berries, bread and chocolate. 🙂

Things are not necessarily black or white. And maybe that makes my personal lifestyle impossible to define by one term, but that’s ok with me.

If you have found a path in life that brings you health and happiness – whatever it may be – , I applaud your courage to stick to it and wish you well on your unique journey. If you are generous, honest and share your inspiration with others, I think that is wonderful too. If you are dissatisfied and suspect that certain lifestyle changes will aid your wellbeing and give you peace of mind, then I can only encourage you to keep searching until you find what resonates with/works for you. I have, very organically, found a combination of lifestyle-related things that, when applied, seem to give me increased self-awareness, better health and greater balance than I have had before. But I don’t think my way is necessarily for everyone. And I don’t think I have “arrived”. I will keep exploring and, I hope, keep growing.

I started my Instagram account around 10 months ago and always intended it to be a reflection of what was happening in my life, just as this blog is. If someone’s lifestyle differs in some aspects from mine, but they are clearly on a journey to be happy and healthy, I try to be encouraging and supportive. I try not to judge. I try to treat others as I would like to be treated myself; with kindness and respect.

I feel blessed and incredibly grateful to have been the recipient of generous support and nothing but positivity here and on other social media platforms. And regardless of whether that continues, I’ll continue to post what makes me happy, as the best I can offer others is my truth and love.

At the end of the day, you may not be able to please all people all the time, but you can still be kind… and bring happiness to your own life by doing what you love!

❤ MM xx

*In fact, I love vegan food! My diet is 95% plant-based, if not more. And if a dish manages to be vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free and delicious, it ticks all my “ideal” boxes!
***My poor health was not linked to vegetarianism per se, but was rather due to not eating enough, an inability to cook and depression-induced apathy regarding nutrition/my general wellbeing.

27 thoughts on “ON AUTHENTICITY (eat – and post – what makes you happy!)

  1. Brilliant! I live, eat and blog in a way that is completely authentic to myself, it makes me happy mentally and physically, and I love it. Not everyone is comfortable with my choices and seem to somehow think that my healthy choices are a reflection on them, that if i choose green tea whislt they choose hot chocolate, i am somehow judging their choice, when in fact they are judging mine!!!
    I could go on, and on; living an authentic life brings peace and happiness and joy if you can discover what that is for you and be true to it 🙂 (sorry for going on!!!)

    • Totally Elaine!!! What others post can be of interest to me because it comes from a different angle to my own, but this does not mean it is a threat to me or my way of doing things. And I would only see it as such if I wasn’t *truly* at peace with my own choices. For the record, I LOVE what you make and the passion you put into all that you do. Your food is delicious. And never in the time that I have known you in the blogosphere have I seen you post anything other than words of kindness and encouragement for those you come in contact with. Much respect! ❤

  2. Marisa, as Sarah Ban Breathnach said, “The authentic self is the soul made visible.” I am so glad I stumbled across your blog and instagram. Your generosity of spirit is heartwarming and good for the soul – to be selfish here, good for my soul. Your photos are GORGEOUS (not to mention the recipes, delicious!) and I love when they show up on my feed. We are what we put out into the world, and you have shown yourself to be kind, generous, and truly giving. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Sue. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes… after a bit of a rough day and feeling generally emotional about various tragic happenings in the world this week, reading your message has really given me something wonderfully positive to hang onto. No matter what happens, we can all shine our little light. And we can be kind. As you are!!! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your generous words 🙂 Wishing you the best, lovely! Marisa xx

  3. Your openness, honesty, and commitment to your own well being is positively inspiring- And I mean that in the truest sense! I’m glad that you don’t let labels define you, because you’re so much more unique and wonderful than a single word could ever express. 🙂

    • Hi Hannah! Thank you so very much! What an incredibly generous thing to say… I am really moved! I love what you do and how you share what you do (you’re amazing) and I am truly grateful for your support and encouragement. My best wishes to you! xx

  4. I always enjoy one of your posts popping up on my screen – you always inspire me to make the best of my life and myself. Thank you so much for that! Big warm hug for the new year and looking forward to many many posts in 2015!

  5. Love this post! All of these things resonate with me. There’s so much of the vegan lifestyle that appeals to me, but I still appreciate a roast chicken dinner, and my dairy. We practice a heavily-veggie diet, mostly because we love so many vegetarian recipes! And yes, I do eat things with sugar, occasionally. [gasp!] I like to think of myself as a mutt when it comes to my interests and eating habits. Its just me 😊 I think it’s one of society’s biggest flaws in our time – that a person must adhere to a certain declared label and any deviation is grounds for shaming. There is comfort in knowing who you are, but it’s even more comforting to have confidence enough to change and grow. x x Thanks for such a great message!

    • Hello lovely! Thank you so much for the kind words and empathy! I think that we are bombarded by criticism already… from ourselves, advertising messages, etc. Encouraging and elevating others is the way forward… and that doesn’t mean to say we can’t “promote” a certain way of life that we believe in (be it healthy living, real food or what-have-you), but there are kind, supportive ways to do it. And labels can get a bit divisive… a bit “you’re either with us, or against us”… and things aren’t so black and white. My best to you and your family, lovely 🙂 xx

  6. I don’t ever feel that you are forcing your views on others or judging; you are, as you say, being true to you, which means oodles of kindness and respect for everyone you follow and everyone who reads your posts. And lots of yummy recipes are a bonus.

  7. Such a heart felt message MM. A good read and reminder to us newbie Vegetarians (3 years this March) that it takes time to find a groove. It’s nice that your hubby chooses Vegan. My guy will try a lot of things I make but he still requests meat too. Well, he’s dear to try. I wish no animals had to suffer to feed him, but he’s not there yet. We try to do as many things right as possible to make a tiny difference. Like only buying Organic Free Roaming Indoors and Outdoors Chicken Eggs. I don’t mind the higher cost if it contributed to a kinder life for an animal. Grocery shopping is like full on contact sport. Reading all the labels, comparing brands, trying to buy seasonal in the winter in Canada to save $. Produce has gotten totally out of control. I know why so many utilize food banks. Groceries is our biggest monthly expenditure as we drive very little living downtown. Sticking with any program I think is always easier with a plan. I try to know what I’m making for dinner at least 1 day ahead so we can eat healthier. It doesn’t always work out that way with so many other commitments. But it’s much easier to eat at home than try and figure out menu’s. Have a wonderful year! Cheers Boomdee.

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