I AM: The Queen of Gluten Free, With Nicole Cogan

For this week’s I AM video, we interviewed Nicole Cogan – the founder of NOBREAD, a gluten-free guide and lifestyle blog! She told us about her inspiration, wellness practices, and how she empowers herself every day.


Q: What is NOBREAD?

A: NOBREAD is a guide to all things gluten-free. I cook, travel, adventure, and recipe develop. I’ve turned NOBREAD into this movement of what the gluten-free lifestyle is, and I hope that I inspire people to live their best life even when they have restrictions.


Q: How did you go from leaving your job in finance to starting NOBREAD?

A: I was working in finance and started my blog as a creative outlet. I just completely fell in love with my blog and what it stood for, so I left my job. I figured NOBREAD was gonna turn into something. If I did really well at a job that I didn’t love, then I would kill it at something with which I was obsessed. For a year, I basically just networked and hustled; I didn’t make a dime in my first year! I met with as many people as I could to try and get this blog out there. A stream of hard work and luck got NOBREAD on the radar.

When I was at JP Morgan working with Priscilla, we would sit and brainstorm ways to get out of what we were doing and pursue our own careers. People in our industry now think that we’re best friends because we met in NOBREAD and cocokind land, but we met at JP Morgan sitting in her office, writing our business plans, planning our escape.


Q: What challenges have you faced as a woman in your business?

A: I came from a male-dominated industry where it was hard to get your point heard and make a name for yourself while being taken seriously. “Blogger” has such a connotation to it, especially food blogger. That’s a constant struggle – getting people to take me seriously. At the same time, I’m so empowered by the other powerful women in this industry. Learning from them has been a blessing.


Q: How do you practice empowerment as a woman?

A: Every day when I wake up, I look in the mirror and even if I look like I’ve just been hit by a bus, I say “Nicole, you look frikkin’ awesome today.” Even if I don’t believe it. I compliment myself, every day. It motivates me to start my day.

I’m also in a career where my work and social life have become one. I’ve learned to find ways to separate them, and that has empowered me as well. Doing things for me.


Q: Who first introduced you to skincare?

A: Priscilla. You guys just saw how simple my skincare routine is. Before Priscilla, it was nonexistent. I didn’t trust anything going on my face. The fact that there was a clean line that was good for my skin changed my routine. Cocokind was my first real introduction to skincare.


Q: How does your self-care routine benefit you every day?

A: Self-care is a practice. It’s something that once I started doing certain techniques, it not only made me better at my job, but it made me a better friend. When you’re kind to yourself, not only do you feel it, but other people feel it. All aspects of my life have gotten better.


Q: What is one product that you couldn’t live without?

A: Avocados.


Q: What’s your morning skincare routine?

A: I rinse my face with some warm water, then spray the Rosewater Facial Toner onto a cotton pad. I gently dab this all over my face and just feel all of the crap coming out. I dab the MYMATCHA Moisture Stick under my eyes for a little glow, the MACABEET Tinted Moisture Stick on my lips for a little color, and the Brow Balm.


Stay tuned for our next I AM episode!