Share Your Routes: Healthy Desserts Rockstar Taline Gabriel Interview
Taline Gabrielian is basically the rock star of Instagram. Photos of her insane food, gorgeous trips, and J.Crew ad-worthy children inspire her 100K+ followers daily, and her healthy dessert (and now breakfast!) app, Hippie Lane, is the source for drool-worthy raw, vegan, refined sugar free treats (I’m talking Reese’s, Bounty Balls, Salty Caramel Popcorn, Acai and Green Tea tartlets, and much more…it’s a must-download). I was thrilled to interview her for Share Your Routes, and got her to dish her awesome food photography secrets, the cheap and easy beauty treatment you probably have in your kitchen right now, her go-to #lazylunch and more. She was also kind enough to share the recipe for one of her most popular treats (that I’m personally addicted to) – raw, vegan, refined sugar free Oreos that are basically a chocolatey, creamy delight. You’ll find the whole recipe at the end of the interview! For more from Taline, be sure to check out her Instagram and app, available for both Android and iOS. Onto the Taline Gabriel interview…
What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Taline Gabrielian: Chocolate Chia Pudding or an Acai Bowl with berries and Rawnola.
Are there any ingredients you think everyone should always have on hand?
TG: Chia seeds for a quick and fulfilling breakfast. Quinoa for a quick throw together salad at lunch and a variety of green and root vegetables to form the basis of your dinner meal.
You take some of the most beautiful food photos I’ve ever seen, and they all have a very particular, almost rock-n-roll vibe. How did you figure out your style? Do you have any styling/food photography tips you could share?
TG: Thank you! I developed my style after lots of experimentation. I think when you are photographing food daily, you get a feel for which pictures you liked more than others, and after some time, you tend to stick with the look that you prefer. Once you have found a style that you like, stick with it. Of course feel free to change it up seasonally and introduce a range of different backgrounds to avoid being repetitive but have a trademark look that is unique to you. Chopping and changing looks too frequently causes confusion for the viewer.
What type of food rules do you follow? Are you paleo, gluten free, organic, vegan, vegetarian? Why?
TG: I am very careful not to categorise myself as strictly on any particular diet.
I think we have an evolving relationship with food, and during different stages of life, we adopt different habits.
I am forever changing depending on how I am feeling. Currently, I am eating mainly vegetarian. I feel much lighter and at my best when I am eating mostly plants, mainly seeds, nuts, veg and fruit. I also include protein with the addition of quinoa, fish, egg, tofu and legumes to my daily meals. I have been gluten free for 5 years and I limit the amount of starch and sugar that I consume. That is probably the one constant in my diet. I feel so much better since cutting out gluten and reducing sugar.
What’s your favorite thing to cook? What’s your favorite thing to eat?
TG: I am very simple. A quinoa and rocket salad can keep me very happy! I like making breakfast and sweet treats more than I like cooking savoury dishes. The less complicated and time consuming, the better.
What’s your favourite beauty product?
TG: Coconut oil is the best eye treatment.
It works to remove eye make up and hydrates the eye better than any eye cream I’ve used. I also can’t live without a good shiny lip balm.
You have two beautiful children. Some say it takes a lot of time to maintain a healthy lifestyle. How do you manage being a mother, running your own business, and living a healthy life? Are there any tips you can offer to anyone else out there struggling to find balance?
TG: Finding a balance is truly challenging and I have to say I am still getting there. There are so many responsibilities that come with being a mother – it is a full time commitment.
I am usually rushed off my feet trying to make it all work but it’s the passion I have to nourish my children and to inspire a healthy lifestyle in others that keeps me going even when it feels like it’s too much.
What do you think is the best healthy travel destination? What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?
TG: Bali has amazing healthy options, as does LA and Santa Monica. My favourite travel destination has to be Europe. I can’t pick a favourite city as they are all jawdroppingly amazing for different reasons.
What’s your process when you’re creating a new recipe? Where do you get inspiration from?
TG: I love being in the kitchen. Developing treat recipes is where I feel my most creative. I get a huge buzz when I come up with new and exciting recipes. I am known for coming up with healthy versions of classics, such as the Mars and Twix candy bars. I guess you can say I get inspiration from tastes from my childhood. When you have time away from your kitchen, I think we all long to get back in and get making again. Returning from traveling is when I’m most creative.
The “no-sugar” movement is huge right now in the wellness world. Your app, Hippie Lane, is all about healthy desserts. What are your thoughts about sugar? Is all sugar equal? Is it possible to eat too much natural sugar (from dates, coconut sugar, etc)?
TG: Natural sugars is where it’s at in the healthy world. I think you have to be careful in the amount that you consume just like anything you eat. Portions are very important in keeping your weight and health in check. Having said that, it’s very unlikely that you would yearn for more than a small slice of any of my treats. They are rich and satisfying, and most of the time a few bites is all you need to get the healthy benefits as well as the sweet fix that you’re craving.
What’s the one thing you think most people could do to be a little bit healthier in their daily lives?
TG: Eat less processed food and get moving.
I’m a big believer in the #lazylunch, the kind of meal that comes together in 10 minutes with very few ingredients. Do you have a go-to #lazylunch?
TG: That quinoa salad we were just talking about! I always have pre-cooked quinoa in the fridge to throw in a salad, together with some fresh mixed leaves, herbs, chopped raw veg, fermented veg such as sauerkraut, hummus and and a zingy dressing. I will often throw some lentils or chickpeas in, and you’re done. My fave.
What’s the best thing you ever ate?
TG: Oh, how could I answer this…! I love felafel with an array of dips… that’s for sure. I also love home made baked chips.
What are your favorite accounts to follow on Instagram?
Taline is lovely enough to share one of my absolute favorite recipes from her Hippie Lane healthy desserts app – Rawreos, or Raw Oreos. I make these far more than I should – it’s that delicious cream filling, chocolate combo that gets me every time. Here’s what she has to say: “A hugely popular recipe and for good reason, my raweos are a raw version of the cream filled chocolate biscuit, the Oreo. Except mine are made without flour, sugar, butter and an oven. I adore this recipe. The flavour combination is comfortingly reliable and they taste too good to be the healthy version. If there was one recipe that I were to convince you to make, it would be this one. Heaven in a bite.”
Taline Gabriel’s Raweos (Raw, Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free)
3/4 cup (90g) pecans
1 cup (150g) medjool dates
Pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla powder
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 cup cashews (soaked for 2+ hours)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
Process biscuit ingredients in a food processor until it reaches a dough-like consistency. Roll mixture into a large ball and flatten on cutting board with a rolling pin. Cut in circle shapes with cookie cutter and refrigerate until firm. You can freeze to speed up the process. Drain cashews and blitz filling ingredients in the food processor. Mixture should be creamy and smooth. Spread filling onto chilled cookies and sandwich together. Store cookies in the fridge. Makes 4 servings.
All photos courtesy of Taline Gabrielian and @talinegabriel.