Women We Love: an interview with Yasemin Koc Gabrielsen

Happy Wednesday! As a reward for making it through the first half of your week, here’s the first post in a new interview series that I am super excited to share with you guys. As you can see in the resources page of this website, there are so many women in the health/wellness/food community that I look up to and that I find myself inspired by on a daily basis. In the Women We Love interview series, I hope to introduce you to some amazing women doing great things to promote living healthier, fuller lives.

When I started brainstorming what I wanted to accomplish with these interviews, I found myself thinking about my friends who inspire me just as much (if not more) than the bloggers and Instagrammers I follow and knew that I needed to start the series with one of my close friends, Yasemin Koc Gabrielsen. Yasemin and I met when we started working together at a juice and smoothie bar in Boston, and it was clear from day one that we shared a passion for vegan, plant-based food! We would spend our shifts daydreaming about recipes we wanted to make, restaurants we wanted to visit, and new blogs we had found. When we weren’t talking about food we were making our own smoothie and juice concoctions, experimenting with different flavors and combinations to come up with unique drinks to offer to customers.

Yasemin has a PhD in political science but over the years she has felt pulled towards her passion for health and wellness, choosing jobs that keep her active and engaged with people who want to make healthier changes in their lives. Check out her website Run it Off for tons of running tips, SO MUCH plant-based nutrition knowledge, and more information about her services as a health & wellness coach.

  1. What’s your name? Yasemin Koc Gabrielsenimg_7225
  2. How old are you? 32 (almost 33)
  3. Where do you live? Cambridge, MA
  4. Where did you grow up? Samsun, Turkey
  5. What was your favorite thing to eat growing up? My grandma’s deep fried meatballs with fries (the only meat dish I enjoyed as a kid)
  6. What’s an activity you do that makes you feel most like yourself? Running
  7. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go? Southern Italy. I would eat a lot of food, hike, read on the beach, and drink lemony things!
  8. What’s your favorite TV show and/or movie to watch when you’re feeling down? Seinfeld or a horror movie
  9. What accomplishment are you most proud of? I guess I should mention the most recent – I completed the Chicago Marathon this past October. As someone who didn’t exercise until three years ago and who was a heavy smoker, I’m proud of myself for crossing a marathon finish line for the first time!
  10. How do you show your love for others? I give them little gifts, show my support, and let them know I’m always there for them. img_7226
  11. If you could have a private concert from a musician or band, who would it
    be? 

    That’s a tough one! I’m not really sure I’ve ever been an avid fan of anyone. I like some musicians and bands more than others but was never really committed enough to be a fan. Believe me, I tried! So maybe Justin Timberlake because he’s fun!
  12. What’s your favorite vegetable and your favorite way to prepare it? Eggplant! My favorite way to prepare it is either deep frying or roasting the eggplant
  13. What motivates you? The feeling of accomplishment
  14. What’s your most comforting smell? Any baked dessert with cinnamon. Or just cinnamon! I love cinnamon.
  15. What are your top three favorite books? Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder , Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  16. How do you define love? Compassion, loyalty, and friendship
  17. What’s something that you cook or bake better than anyone else? Red lentil soup
  18. What’s a happy memory that gets you through dark times? Anything about my childhood from when I was five and six years old. It was the best time ever!
  19. Who are three women who inspire you? Hannah Arendt, Shalane Flanagan, and Margaret Atwood
  20. What’s your favorite time of day? Late morning img_7227
  21. What’s a personality trait or a way of thinking that you’re trying to work on? Being very hard on myself
  22. What makes you feel strong? Running!
  23. What’s your favorite song to rock out to? Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Marilyn Manson
  24. What’s something that always makes you smile? Puppies
  25. What’s your favorite restaurant and why? Right now it’s Whole Heart Provisions. Among the 5-6 vegan places we have in the sad city of Boston it has the healthiest but also most flavorful and different dishes. I’m always craving the Seoul bowl with kimchi!
  26. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed or anxious? Go for a long run
  27. What do you love about yourself? Everything! Except for the fact that I love myself maybe more than I should…
  28. What’s your idea of a perfect day? A cool spring day outdoors with good food and good company (of people or a book)
  29. What are you most grateful for? Being healthy, determined, hardworking, and having people around me who understand, support, and love me
  30. If you were making a feast for your favorite people, what would you serve? Sweet and savory pizzas made by my guests (I’ll make them work for their food!)

Go check out Yasemin’s website and Instagram if you want to learn more about her and let me know if you guys have any suggestions for future Women We Love interviews! I think now more than ever it’s important to share inspiring female voices.

Love, Brenna

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