She went from obsessing over Nutella toasts to becoming a healthy lifestyle influencer. She is teaching us healthy food could (and should) be incredibly delicious. Her name is Taline Gabrielian, a blogger, founder of the Hippie Lane project and mom of two. Today more and more people can boast of knowledge in detoxing and the benefits of using curcuma. Terms like chia and açai don’t seem to scare us anymore, as they become tightly incorporated in our daily lives and kitchens. Taline shares her personal story, how to deal with kids and junk food, and why this whole health trend is here to stay.
Have you always been into clean eating? If not, what made you change your habits?
Not even remotely clean. My parents were pretty flexible with my diet growing up. I was eating whatever I wanted, and that included lots of Nutella toasts and milk shakes. Seriously, and I loved it! It was around the time I left high school and moved on to university that I became more conscious of my diet. I was generally fit and active, but my diet was letting me down. I wanted to look and feel good, which was the main motivator to change my habits. I read a lot and became genuinely interested in health and health foods. I’ve been eating clean ever since.
What are the things most valuable and important for you in life? How does a healthy lifestyle add to this?
I value good health, it’s a huge priority for me. I think it’s probably because I have struggled with it. I have had a variety of minor health issues, ranging from food intolerances, digestion troubles, infertility, anxiety and back aches. All of them relate to adrenal issues, and burn out. I’m a go-getter – a restless, ambitious, do-too-much kind of girl. I find it hard to stop! Adopting a healthy organic lifestyle is my way of combating my natural tendency to push myself (often too hard). It’s the one way I can nourish myself and care for myself. I have two children and a loving husband who mean the world to me. Being healthy and regaining my energy is even more important because of them.
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Looking at your Instagram, I should say you know how to make things look incredibly beautiful. What’s the importance of aesthetics for you? How does it influence your photographic work?
Aesthetics is the key to my creative drive. Everything comes from it. My mum is very fashion forward and sees beauty in everything. My sister and brother both work as interior designers and have the same level of appreciation for aesthetics. It must run in the family! I genuinely love playing around with food settings, colours, backgrounds, bowls, and props. As eager as I am to create a new dish, I’m just as passionate about how I’m going to attempt to capture it. The way I see it is if I’m hoping to influence viewers towards healthy eats, it’s crucial to grab their attention through food styling and presentation. If it looks good, they’re more likely going to believe that healthy can be amazing.
You prove that healthy doesn't mean boring or tasteless. What does “treating yourself” truly mean to you?
It’s all about finding healthy alternatives to the delicious treats we all know and love. I’m big on remaking the old classics. The treats we grew up on, the ones we long for and the ones we don’t want to give up. I’m talking Mars Bars, Twix Bars, Snickers, Donuts and Cherry Ripe and so much more. My thinking is that we deserve the fine things in life, the things that make us sparkle and things we look forward to. Life is about enjoyment, not deprivation. Treat yourself with the yummies that don’t just taste good, but actually make you feel good.
"If I’m hoping to influence viewers towards healthy eats, it’s crucial to grab their attention through food styling and presentation."
Do you have favorite foods? And your kids?
I love my Green Goddess Bowls, which is a delicious warm bowl of panfried pesto, quinoa, broccoli and greens with dips and seeds. To die for! My children love it too. They also love my Açai bowl and my Buckwheat Pancakes.
Is it hard to keep them away from junk food? What are the basics of educating your children to make healthier choices?
Yes, definitely. There are a whole heap of outside influences that make it hard for them to resist the norm – which sadly is packet biscuits, lollies, and the like. I let them have it at parties and when they’re with their friends/grandparents simply because I don’t want them to feel like they are deprived of it.
But they know that the food I make for them is for their benefit. We talk openly about why we choose healthy food over processed food, and how it is important for them to grow up to be strong, fit and clever. They get that, and they genuinely enjoy the food I cook. The trick is to make healthy food that tastes good so that there is no battle at meal times. They have to enjoy what they are eating, just as we do. Otherwise it would be impossible to make it work.
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In the recent times, many food bloggers have appeared, people are drinking juices instead of soda, working out more and generally there is a shift towards a conscious lifestyle. What’s your opinion on this whole ongoing healthy trend?
I think it’s fab that health food and alternatives are becoming more mainstream. I’m convinced that it’s not just a trend, that in fact it’s a new way of life. With the rise of serious diseases and with the spotlight on the modern western diet, people are becoming increasingly aware of how their diet directly impacts their health. With knowledge comes change, and my strong opinion is that this healthy trend is here to stay.
What would your advices for people who want to change their eating habits, but still enjoy food, be?
Don’t get overwhelmed by it – take it slow and start with one step at a time. The most effective change you can make is to reduce your consumption of processed (packaged) food. Eat more fresh whole foods. Once you’ve grasped that, look to reducing your sugar. We eat way too much of it!
Healthy can be delicious. My tip is to get inspiration by following reputable healthy blogs or recipe books. You will learn to make a variety of food that taste amazing. Once you’ve made the transition and have some delicious healthy options to rely on, you’ll find your new healthy diet becomes a lifestyle.
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