On one of the coolest shoots we've ever done, two food experts (and BFF's) with combined Insta fans of over 600,000, got together to eat some food while looking like absolute rock stars. Just your average Tuesday. Here, Stef (left) and Taline (right) share their beauty, health and business secrets.
Is a food photographer and with an eye for all things style. She has a healthy food app called Food Fix Up but now does photography and video for brands. “I got lonely in the kitchen and wanted to get out more, creating recipes for the app is very time consuming. I still love to do it but I also really enjoy the other work I do thats a bit more social. I’ve worked with brands like Bucket List, Dinner en Blanc and Criniti's creating images and occasionally directing video content for them.”
We met on a random night out years ago, and now our children go to the same school. That kind of happens a bit too often in Bondi, ha!
I try to have a balance and not be too dogmatic about my diet. I’ve done that in the past, but I realised that part of being healthy, for me, is really enjoying the foods that I eat. I think if you eat something thats made with love or that’s eaten in a beautiful setting with family and friends, the enjoyment and memory made in that moment is ‘healthy’ even if it's a burger. Saying no to a particular food just because you deem it the devil… well that kind of philosophy doesn’t sit well with me. That being said I prefer to eat a well rounded diet the majority of the time and include lots of fresh produce within my meals.
I mix it up and have pulled back a bit. Six months ago I was doing circuit training, but I’m quite adrenaline-y as it is and I was burning myself out so I stopped. So now it’s yoga a couple of times a week, or I’ll get up early and go for a swim at sunrise. Walking whenever I can, stretching at home, I have a kettle bell and I’ll do deadlifts once or twice a week. The aim is to generally move my body somehow once a day, whether it’s with a weight or swimming or a walk to the shops - whatever! That’s what works for me.
Lunch is usually eat leftovers from last nights dinner, I add bits and pieces from my fridge, for example fresh leaves or other veggies. Dinner is usually meat or fish with either regular or sweet potatoes and more veg. I tend not to eat most grains - even the ‘superfoody’ ones like quinoa as I find they don’t agree with me.
Dessert: I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth anymore, I used to but once I decided (for valid health reasons) to cut sugar out I discovered that I no longer craved it. Occasionally I may go on a rampage, there’s generally a few days in the month that I do that haha, but then I revert back to less without a problem.
Generally the food I cook doesn’t come from a packet, we just enjoy simple fresh produce cooked well and efficiently. I think about flavours and what foods compliment others. I like to have the balance of sweet/salty and tangy just right, so I’ll play with dressing and sauces until I’ve got them how I’d like. I love using pickles, nuts and things like yogurt to add extra elements of flavour and texture in our food.
Preferably we like to shop at the farmers markets, the food tastes better and I like the idea of supporting the local farmers.
Best smoothie recipe: frozen banana, almond milk, a tablespoon of tahini, pinch of sea salt, honey or coconut syrup or dates, Lee Holmes powdered probiotic, ginger, bee pollen. It’s like a salted caramel smoothie, it’s so good! I used to juice every morning but having that cold start in my stomach didn’t agree with me, I’ve discovered I need warm foods. I’m just more relaxed about everything. I think you can jump on the bandwagon with food trends but you have to figure out if they work for your insides before getting excited about them and doing it every day.
Oh this is something that I’ve really started to delve in to of late, I’ve been reading lots, one particular book that comes to mind was actually recommend to me by Taline - it’s called 'Letting go’ by David Hawkins. It’s really taken me on a journey within and is allowing me to work through different emotional states and pattens of behaviour. I think so often we are just going through the motions and not really tapping into how we are really feeling because we’re so distracted with life! Especially in this era with all the devices and apps that we use. I’m trying to take some time everyday, even if its just a few minutes to simply be and not do anything other than that. Thoughts come in as rapidly as a machine gun firing but thats ok.. it’s an ongoing process and one I’m very much looking forward to discovering more about.
I use organic face products generally, either Organic Spa or Vanessa Megan face products. I use your Recreation natural perfume - I used to Chanel Allure but I gave it up because I found the chemicals in there too overpowering. I also love Recreation body oil, so moisturising. I use Vanessa Megan face oil, rosewater toner and basically cleanse my face then put an oil on. I make a body scrub myself with really fine sea salt mixed with macadamia or avocado oil and some drops of vanilla essence, essential oil and a spoonful of honey, I love using that to scrub myself in the shower. The oil makes my skin feel amazing, however I’ve not been doing that as often because I’m so in love with your oil!
I used to be a hairdresser so I colour my hair myself, I’m pretty good at doing it now. My look isn’t super polished so I can get away with it. I use Aveda shampoo and conditioner, no other hair products.
Looking after the environment is important to me especially because I have a child, I’m not able to vote in Australia, if I could though I’d be voting for those that have climate change as one of their highest priorities. My husband and his business partner are the founders of a eco-certified cleaning product that we use at home [Nedahl's note: it's Koh and it's the BEST]. The feedback that they get via their customers is so positive and a reflection on what people are looking for these days.
What’s your superpower?
I don’t know if I have a superpower but I like to think that in my day to day life I connect with people, I try my best to give my time and energy to those that I meet. Quite often I’m blown away by peoples stories and I’m honoured that they have shared them with me. Being aware of who and what is around me is something that I’m striving to do on a daily basis with really positive results.
Taline Gabriel entered the scene as the creator of Hippie Lane, a healthy food and mind website with a book and a recipe app. With 542,000 Instagram followers, you could say her stuff resonates. We got together for a chat after this INCREDIBLE photo shoot with her and BFF, Stefanie Neal. Get ready for some serious inspiration, cause this is one chick who walks her talk.
Hippie Lane is ...
When I first entered the market 10 years ago, I was offering healthy wholefood recipes, that were plant based, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar free. As time went on, the brand evolved to encompass healthy living and a healthy mindset.
How did it start?
When I first entered the market 10 years ago it was just recipes - plant based, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar free recipes but as time went on I more understood that it’s a combination of things, not just food, but wellness in general and the brand has evolved in the last two or three years. I have a psychology degree and I find this is a nice cohesion of all my skills and abilities.
How did you grow your Insta?
I came in at a really nice time, it was 2013, Hippie Lane was wholesale only. I’d just had my second child and was looking for flexibility so I made the decision to halt wholesale production. I started @talinegabriel, my Insta account, and posted pics of wholefood recipes I made, and it grew rapidly from there. Within a year, I had 100,000 followers, and with their encouragement I launched the Hippie Lane recipe app in 2015. It was a natural and organic growth, there was competition online but I was unique in my offering and styling, which really worked in my favour. I caught the eye of the mainstream market. In Byron, Bali and particular pockets of Australia there has always been a gluten-free, natural unrefined health food market but not in the mainstream, and I guess I was able to capture that market online. It was beautiful timing and good fortune.
What’s your health philosophy?
In your twenties, you experiment. And I did a lot of that. I tried a lot diets, beauty rituals and workouts. When you hit your thirties, and often after children, it all starts to make sense. With experience, stability and a little know-how, you become clear about what works for you. It's really about tuning in to your potential and valuing yourself enough to choose healthy without deprivation and self punishment. My health philosophy is not about reaching a desired result but more about self care and nourishment. I'm gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free, and I eat an organic wholefood diet.
I go with my intuition more now than ever before. With our lifestyle, personal health and bodies changing and evolving, I think it’s really important to listen to your own body cues. There is no one size fits all. I shop organic, and eat unprocessed as much as I can. I eat majority plant-based with the addition of ethical sourced animal protein occasionally. My diet includes lots of colourful vegetables, nuts and seeds, superfoods, wild fish and organic grass fed meat in moderation. I have fries every now and again, and indulge in dark chocolate and things I love because life is meant to be enjoyed. Find your balance!
What’s your weekly workout routine?
Most mornings, I'll take a long walk, and if I can, I'll sneak in an ocean swim (4-5 times a week). When I get get home, I'll do some basic resistance exercises, about 15 minutes of abs, squats, some teething and yoga postures. Every now and then I’ll do stints of reformer pilates at a studio. I've gotten better at listening to my body and going with what feels good.
What do you eat on a typical day?
I always start with warm lemon water in the morning, it’s good for the digestive system and great for alkalising. I don’t do coffee.
Breakfast: It’s more savoury than sweet these days and I try and eat after my exercise so I push breakfast out to 10am. I’ll usually do a kale and spinach dahl with a turmeric base. Kale gets a bad wrap but it depends how you make it, in the dahl it takes on all the flavours. Most of the time it’s vegetarian and I’ll have avocado on the side and activated pecans. It’s just a really nice, green, healing and anti-inflammatory breakfast with the nuts and avocado to keep me full.
I’ll make a almond matcha latte at home as well.
3pm snack: I make a lot of treats and different foods for Hippie Lane so I’ll have a power bar - I have a lot of protein based bars that I make and I’ll do a tea, like lemon and ginger or a chai.
6pm dinner: Usually grilled fish with roasted veggies or fresh salad. If it’s not fish, I might do a chickpea curry or something like that. Something easy and light with a salad.
I don’t do a lot of grains, it’s usually protein and veg. I used to have a smoothie in the morning with muesli but I find I do better on a low starch, low sugar diet. I think clearer, I have less bloating and generally feel fuller when I choose savoury, protein rich meals. If I feel like something carby, I have buckwheat / or paleo bread with some almond butter on top.
What do you do for mindfulness?
Do you take any supplements?
Take us through your beauty routine
How do you take care of your hair?
What do you do for the environment?
We are as toxic free as possible at home. This shift started over ten years ago when I was trying to fall pregnant. It wasn’t an easy process for me, and it instigated many changes in my lifestyle, and one was organic, toxic free which led me to start the business [Nedahl’s note: at this point we bond because our stories are so similar!], that’s when I started seeing a functional medicine doctor and got serious about organic and chemical free. I use natural cleaning products - vinegar based products and essential oils. I use glass and stainless steel containers for food storage. We eat mainly at home, are conscious of waste and recycling. We shop at bulk foods and say no to plastic.
What’s your superpower?
Authenticity and self love are everything and I think if you have this, you have the courage to face all of life's challenges with ease and also live with purpose. This is the key. Stay in your own lane. Do your own thing. Choose to work in a career that makes a difference. This is the ideal scenario.
Photos: Chris Mohen
Hair & Makeup: Melanie Burnicle
Stef & Taline wear clothes from Tuchuzy in all pics
Shot at Ravesi's, Bondi Beach