I first stumbled upon Taline Gabrielian's work as she has the most exquisite and inspiring Instagram feed, earning her over half a million followers. I love her ethos and her healthy approach to wellbeing. I bought her book Hippie Lane a while back and it's been well thumbed - I featured her lentil bolognese and fig salad last week, both of which were easy to make, super healthy and tasty.
I'm delighted that Taline has given DHB an interview:
Taline. It's great to meet you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family?
Of course, I’m 36, a mother of two beautiful children – Sebastien, 7 and Camille, 4. I’m married to my husband, Sam Gabrielian, who is my role model and inspiration. I was born and reside in Sydney, with Armenian roots.
Do you follow any diet? Tell us about your lifestyle.
I don’t promote any particular diets or deprivation/restriction. Hippie Lane is about an abundance of healthy natural wholefoods, where you choose to make 'healthy' a priority, which will then lead to a balanced well-rounded lifestyle. There is a strong focus on beauty, food presentation and sharing delicious nourishing meals with family and friends. My recipes are favourites in my home and with my extended family and friends, with many inspired by my heritage, current health trends and childhood favourites.
How would you describe your eating philosophy?
I like to eat a mainly plantbased diet, mostly organic and preferably local. I don’t promote any particular diets as I believe what may work for me may not necessarily be right for you. What I do like to emphasise with Hippie Lane is to eat more fresh food, less packaged and refined foods, and to go easy on yourself. In a society where looks, outer beauty and diets of deprivation have been the focus, I’d like to take a step back and instead, view food as nourishment - to eat in abundance and to enjoy food without any guilt or restrictions.
Tell us a bit about your business, how it started and evolved?
I was faced with my own path to healing approx. 7 years ago, where I learnt that I was sensitive to some common everyday ingredients – gluten, egg, dairy, refined sugar and soy. I got experimenting with alternative natural ingredients and fell in love with the creative process and the delicious results. I launched Hippie Lane initially as a wholesale business, supplying my treats to cafes around town. It was received very warmly and the business grew organically from there. I had grown a strong following in the health community and the demand for my recipes spurred on the development of the Hippie Lane recipe app in 2015. Two years on I’m now launching Hippie Lane, The Cookbook.
How do you create your recipes? What inspires you?
I love the creative process, making a mess in the kitchen and tasting the results. Inspiration comes through many different sources. When I first began with recipe development 6-7 years ago, I was inspired by tastes from my cultural background and childhood favourites. These days I’m heavenly inspired by nature. A trip away to a new place always ignites my creativity as does a walk along the beach or in nature and a meal at a cafe. Colours, sights and sounds all help in keeping me creative.
What ingredients would we always find in your kitchen?
Olive oil, peanut butter, coconut flakes, chia seeds and quinoa in the pantry. Fresh fruit and veg, coconut yoghurt, rice milk and olives in the fridge!
What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?
Banana, cacao, peanut butter, almond milk and chia seeds – best combo!
What do you usually cook for family and friends gatherings?
A variety of colourful nourishing meals, including food inspired by my cultural roots and lots of on trend and current health recipes. There’s usually falafel, stuffed vine leaves, fresh salads, bean dishes, roasted eggplant and capsicum, baked chips, mezze food and so much more.
What is your motto?
Skip the diet - just eat healthy.
What is your favourite way to exercise?
I’m usually off for a long walk once I’ve dropped off the kids to school on weekday mornings. If I’m short on time, I’ll do a quick run / walk HIIT session. Yoga and pilates are also favourites.
Can you talk us through the inspiration behind Hippie Lane.
Growing up obsessed with nutella and milo (seriously) when I reached adulthood, I thought it was about time I grew up and got healthy. I cleaned up my diet, ditched the processed packaged food and felt great. I took it to the next level when I learnt I had sensitivities to everyday foods i.e. gluten, dairy, eggs, soy and refined sugar. In order to give my digestion system a break and to allow my gut a chance to heal I needed to find alternatives to the problem foods. It was at this point that I became really serious about health food, nutrition and wellness. It felt limiting at the time, faced with a long list of no-no’s but once I got into experimenting with alternatives, I fell in love with the process. Creatively, coming up with unique recipes that tasted amazing, and helping others by offering recipe inspiration and motivation - it was an addictive combination. 7 years on and I’m still as passionate now as I was then!
What does your typical day on a plate look like?
I’m usually a smoothie bowl with lots of toppings for breakfast, followed by some flax cracker with dips as a snack before lunch. For lunch, I’m always up for a beautiful warm salad – a nourish bowl has to be my go to. I’m usually content and satisfied for the rest of the afternoon, and have a light dinner – a pesto zoodle dish or a roasted veg stack (my eggplant parmigiana is my weakness). I love a good chai tea, a match late and lots of water for drinks through the day.
What's your go-to meal for when you don't have the time or inclination to spend ages in the kitchen?
Pesto Goddess Bowl is my quick and easy option when I’m short on time. My pesto is a nutritious and super quick 5-minute blend up and is so versatile. I usually have pre-cooked quinoa and green veg in the fridge, so it’s really a simple and delicious throw together.
How did you get to where you are today?
With passion and dedication. It took me a long time to find my place in the workforce, always searching for the right fit. After working many jobs through my teens and twenties, I came to believe that finding one’s passion for work was elusive and something that perhaps only a lucky few find. When I was faced with my personal journey to health, I found opportunity in adversity, where I discovered a new found passion in all things health, and wellness which led me to where I am today. I was able to merge my creative passion with my background in counselling and education to inspire people to be their healthiest self, beginning with beautifully presented healthy recipes alongside motivational words and inspiration that is realistic and relatable.
Finally, what do you think it takes to be a successful female entrepreneur?
We women have so much pressure in today’s society, particularly mums who have to juggle work, their parenting responsibilities, withstand the pressure to look and feel amazing at all times, and to manage their relationships and health and do it all effortlessly. It’s unsustainable and unrealistic.
I think we need to prioritise what is important based on our own personal and individual needs and not on the ideals of society. Once we can connect with our inner voice and tap into our inner wisdom, we can find some peace and discover what it is we really want and need for ourselves.
Once that is clear and you know where you want to be professionally, it’s time to set goals and strategies and dedicate our working hours to achieving them. A strong commitment is required and a passion to succeed. I don’t believe there are shortcuts!
Thank you Taline x
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