4 Tips to make Homemade Smoothies & Juices

By Rachel Grunwell

Food fuels how you think, feel and perform. I’m always inspiring wellness coaching clients to fuel their body like it’s a Ferrari.

I create healthy recipes for brands, businesses and magazine pages. I’ve created recipes for New World, Lewis Road Creamery, 1838 Honey, and more. My book Balance boasts 30 nourishing recipes I had published in Good magazine too – some of which are pictured below. You can buy Balance via the link HERE

I always start my day with a juice or smoothie that’s full of real, wholefood ingredients. Here are some tips to making your own juices or smoothies:

  1. Simple is best. Don’t load up your drink with too many ingredients otherwise it can taste like swamp water.
  2. Think of the hero ingredient and build your smoothie or juice around that. ie what goes with pineapple? Obviously not milk as it would curdle. yuck. However, soda water, or coconut water can be a great base to a refreshing pineapple drink.
  3. If a recipe requires milk then choose the one you like to add. My smoothies are made with a variety of milks including real full-fat cows milk to oak milk or even cashew milk or almond milks. Use a variety of milk for different nutrients and flavours.
  4. Put a bit of avocado in your green smoothie. It tastes delicious! It’s great for your skin and thickens up your smoothie too. Yum! If you use avo in smoothies then you can store the avo in the freezer in chunks and use when you want.

20 Top Run Tips – from 4 passionate runners & experts!

AD/ Here are 20 top run tips in the lead up to the Rotorua Marathon event on September 17 – from an elite runner and three experienced marathoners including a top nutrition expert. If you haven’t already entered this amazing event then there is still time to enter. Join in on the fun by clicking HERE

5 Tips from elite athlete and Rotorua Marathon champion, Ingrid Cree:

Be Prepared! 

Train hard, taper to freshen up, study & visualise the course, check the weather forecast & adjust your race plan to suit. 


Say hi to someone at the start, share your journey & encourage each other. Having supporters along the way and your name on your bib can be great for motivation too. 

Rehydrate & Refuel!

You need to frequently replace some of the fluid & energy you lose while you are running. A sports drink you are familiar with or gels & water work great. 

Pace Yourself!

Don’t get carried away at the start, the race really begins in the last 10km of a marathon. Relax up & down the hills so you still have strength in your legs for the final stages. 


Enjoy the day & the stunning course. This is going to be an amazing achievement, so be proud of yourself! Studies have shown smiling can actually lower your perception of effort. 

5 Tips from Marton Salisbury, a member of the Rotorua Survivors Club, who has run 120 marathons including 30 Rotorua Marathons. He has done 30 marathons with his brother Ants, who sadly can’t do it this year due to injury. Marton’s son Matthew has also been doing this marathon for 10 years now too!

Train to Race , don’t race to Train

Never give up, keep moving forward, the end will come.

Plan, Plan, Plan – training walks/runs (Record and celebrate all improvements , no matter how small).

Set small distance goals and increase slowly each week.

Tapering towards the event.

Have fun, and train with a friend. (Helps keep you committed and is so much more enjoyable).

5 Tips from PhD qualified, registered nutritionist, 14 x marathoner & sub 3-hour marathoner, Mikki Williden

Start your day with a decent hit of protein. This helps recovery from the early morning training session, stabilise blood sugar and promote better energy levels. A lot of runners feel tired through the day that they attribute to training, but it is also diet driven. Eggs (at least 3), protein smoothie, a breakfast bake like this (https://mikkiwilliden.com/recipes/chocolate-apple-zoats-bar) or dinner for breakfast can all be great ways to achieve the 30g protein you need.

Hydrate well throughout the day. Another energy sapper, being dehydrated does make the heart work harder to pump the blood around the body, making you feel more fatigued and the perceived effort in your next workout a lot harder. Rehydrating and replacing 1.5x the amount of fluid lost in your workouts within 2-3 hours can offset dehydration. Weigh yourself before and after training to figure out what this equates too.

Don’t avoid the salt shaker. We need sodium to pull water into our cells, to help with ATP production (i.e. energy) and we need more than we think. Adding ½ tsp salt to your 1L of water will provide a decent hit of the sodium (salt) you need, as will salting your food. As an athlete, it is difficult to overdo this.

While you burn more calories than the average person, you also use way more nutrients – so food quality is important. Don’t use your training as an excuse to eat a less than stellar diet. This isn’t saying you can never enjoy convenience or fast foods if you like them, but focusing on good sources of animal protein, eggs, quality sources of carbohydrate (such as potato, kumara, fruit), nuts, seeds and non starchy vegetables, using butter, olive oil and coconut oil to cook in, will help you meet your nutrient requirements. 

That said, magnesium, fish oils and vitamin D / K are three supplements I most recommend runners take for their beneficial roles in reducing inflammation, promoting immune health and replenishing the stress pathways. With creatine to support recovery (and brain!) and a Blackcurrant supplement as other recommendations for those who are able to spend more in this area. 

5 tips from Rachel Grunwell, wellness expert, run coach, 25x  marathoner  including four full Rotorua Marathons, run guide for the Achilles charity (guiding disabled athletes through marathons). Author of the book Balance: Food, health + Happiness (which includes 30 global experts on how to live healthier and happier).

It’s common not to sleep well the night before race day  because you feel nervous/anxious/excited– and that’s ok. You are not alone; It’s common. And don’t worry about it impacting on your performance. You’ll have the energy and adrenalin to get you through to the end of race day if you have trained for this race, no problem. Try to aim for a good night’s sleep two days out from race day to bank some zzzzz in case you don’t sleep well the night before.

Get loved ones or a friend to cheer you on when you are ¾ of the way through the race. This is when it starts to get hard and the support will lift you up and make you smile. Even better, run this event with a loved one! I’ll be running the 10km event with my dad, Nick, and son Lachlan, aged 15 (and possibly my sister Bex! So this marathon event will make for some amazing memories!!!

Fuel yourself well after a race – ideally with a good protein hit! Here’s a yum nut butter smoothie recipe to try

A marathon event is the test of your mind ultimately. Believe you can and you will do it.

Stretch after a long run to bring length back to tight muscles (and to avoid you walking like a lego man!) Here are some stretches to try from one of my blogs.

ps the last time, and only other time, my dad and I have done a race together was a Rotorua Marathon. I finished this event before he did, and then went back out on the course for him … we crossed that finish line together, holding hands and it will forever be one of our most special memories. Ever! I actually framed that picture and it’s in dad’s lounge. When I look at it… I always smile! Heck, so much sweat shared chuckle!

Rach’s Remedy

AD/ If the thought of drinking apple cider vinegar neat makes your lips pucker, then try this elixir which helps to stimulate digestion, packs a nutritional punch, and is delicious! Warning: You’ll feel seriously virtuous after knocking this baby back…


1 tablespoon CoralTree Organics Apple Cider Vinegar 1 large orange (skin removed)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (skin removed and grated) 1/2 cup fresh turmeric

(or use 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder instead) 3 grinds of black pepper
1 cup coconut water (or use plain water instead) 1 teaspoon manuka honey


Place all ingredients into a blender and blitz into a juice. Pour into a glass and savour!

To make a grown-up version, add a shot of gin and rename it a “Coral Reefy”! 

Rachel Grunwell is a wellness expert and author of the book Balance: Food, Health and Happiness, as well as a healthy recipe creator for Good magazine. She has been taking apple cider vinegar daily for years as one of her wellbeing rituals and as part of her philosophy to live life more in balance.

Beef Curry – made in an Instant Pot Duo Crisp pressure cooker

(AD) The Instant Pot’s pressure cooker function is epic – it’s such a time-saver. This curry only takes 35-minutes to cook using the pressure cooker function – and the meat is mouth-watering tender and delicious. When I cook this recipe on the stove it takes an hour – so almost twice as long to get the meat tender – and I have to keep an eye on it, and stir it occasionally. The other great thing about using this pressure cooker is that I can switch on the timer and walk away. It switches itself off when it’s done and then the curry stays hot in the pressure cook and it’s ready to eat for later. Enjoy this recipe!

Beef Curry


750g rump steak (remove the fat and slice thinly)

2 tbsp oil

2 onions (skin removed, diced)

5 garlic cloves (outer layer removed, diced)

1 tsp each of turmeric, coriander, cumin and cayenne powder

½ tsp cinnamon

1 large red chilli (cut and de-seed and chop the green top off and slice up)

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (use a knife to remove the outer layer of the ginger and then dice this up)

5 bay leaves

2 cups coconut milk

Beef stock (make it by mixing 250mls water with 3 teaspoons beef stock powder)

2 tbsp lemongrass paste

2 tbsp soy sauce1 tbsp brown sugar

Zest from 1 lime

½ tsp black pepper

Juice squeezed from 1 lime

fresh coriander to garnish

1 cup long white rice (the Duo Crisp also replaces a rice cooker. Cook the rice in two cups of water)

Method: Place the oil, onions and garlic in the inner pot. Press the sauté function and cook for three minutes. Keep stirring. Add the spices, chilli, and ginger and stir for a minute more. Now place this in a blender (I use a Vitamix) and add 1 cup of coconut milk) and blitz it so it combines to make the curry paste.

Add this now to the pressure cooker inner pot, and then add the rest of the coconut milk, the beef stock, lemongrass paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, and black pepper.

Meanwhile, on a clean chopping board, trim the fat off the meat and cut this into small strips and add to the curry liquid in the pot. Lock the pressure cooker lid next on top (ensure quick release button is set to seal position). Push the pressure cooker button on high for 35-minutes and then press start. Leave it to cook and walk away and come back when you like later. Open the lid and add the lime juice and stir. Serve onto plates, garnish with coriander, serve with white rice and a glass of water (or wine). Now savour!

This recipe was #sponsored by Instant Pot. If you are interested in buying one then check out this link HERE

Recipe by Rachel Grunwell: Wellness expert, wellness speaker, and author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

Peanut Butter & Honey Choc Slice

My kids give this recipe the big thumbs up. It’s not always easy to please my three boys when it comes to baking – especially the teenager. But all my boys dig this. The secret ingredient is the new 100% natural 1839 Mānuka honey, which is a premium Mānuka honey from New Zealand. This is uniquely triple churned so it is silky smooth and mouth-wateringly delicious. Mānuka honey is well known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and good health benefits.

Pair this delicious honey with a crunchy peanut butter and, of course, the all-important chocolate top and bottom nutty layers, and it’s quite simply heavenly. This slice is nutrient-dense, great for satiety (it fills you up) and of course, yummy. Give it a whirl too and let me know what you think! Good luck with stopping at one piece. I ate three in the first sitting. And people wonder why I run and lift weights… This gal LOVES to eat amazing kai!

Ingredients & Method


1 cup hazelnuts

¼ cup cacao powder

½ cup raw cashew nuts

2 tablespoons 1839 Mānuka honey

Pinch of cinnamon

3 tablespoons coconut oil

pinch Himalayan salt

Middle Layer

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup coconut cream

pinch Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons of 1839 Mānuka honey

Top Layer 

300g cacao butter

¼ cup cacao powder

pinch Himalayan salt

3 tablespoons 1839 Mānuka honey

First layer. Place the nuts in a blender and blitz them until they are fine crumbs. Then add the cinnamon and salt. Next, spoon the coconut oil into a pan on the stove and gently melt it. Once melted, turn off the stove and add the honey and mix with a spoon. Next, put the honey and coconut oil into the nut mix. Use a spoon or your hands to mix well into a wet crumb. Place baking paper into a cake tin. Pour this mixture into the tin and then press it down with your hands. Place the tin into the freezer while you make the 2nd layer.

Second layer. Place the peanut butter and coconut cream into a pan and heat gently while using a spoon to combine these ingredients into a smooth blend. Once blended, turn off the stove and add the salt and honey and stir well. Next, spoon this onto the base layer and then put the this back into the freezer while you make the top layer.

Top layer. Place the cacao butter into a pan and melt slowly on a low heat. Then remove from the stove and add the honey by stirring it in. Next add the cacao powder and salt and stir until silky smooth. Take the slice out of the freezer and then pour this chocolate layer on top. Then place the completed slice back into the freezer for 30-minutes. Remove from the freezer and cut it into slices roughly. Then place all the slice in a container in the freezer. Dip into it whenever you want a piece!

PS I can’t promise that your kids will not sneak into the freezer when you are not looking and scoff the lot. Or does that just happen at my place???

This recipe was kindly sponsored by 1839 Mānuka honey. To check out this silky smooth honey click HERE 

Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Wellness expert, coach, yoga + mindfulness teacher, and wellness columnist for Good mag, Indulge mag, and the Herald online. Rachel is the author Balance: Food, Health + Happiness which boasts 30 global experts sharing science-based wisdom on how to live healthier and happier + 30 nourishing recipes. Find out more HERE.

1839 Manuka honey is triple churned so it is silky smooth and almost fluffy. There are no gritty bits! It just melts in your mouth. The stuff in the pouch is divine. It’s easy-peasy to squeeze it out.


Why the Keto Diet Works…

How to Lose Weight & Look Good on the Keto Diet
Rachel Grunwell is a weekly wellness columnist for Indulge. This column appeared in Indulge magazine and on the Herald online too.
Is it me, or is instagram full of people thanking the Keto diet for helping them to lose weight and look good.
OK, I’m a wellness geek who follows lots of people who dig wellness. So it’s going to happen!
But seriously, the Keto diet is trending.

Read More

Renowned Artist gets fitter, stronger & reaches goal weight

Simon side view

By Rachel Grunwell

Artist Simon Richardson proves if you have the right mindset, you can achieve incredible weight-loss and fitness results.

He didn’t even use a gym and still drank beers!

Full disclaimer: Simon, 44, is one of my super-star clients I coach. He’s a multi-award-winning painter.

Read More

Hands at the ready Banana Chia Smoothie


Connect with Rachel for giveaways, recipe and wellness inspo  via Inspired Health’s Facebook & Instagram pages.

I love this smoothie as an afternoon snack sometimes – or after a long run. My son Finn likes it anytime! Those are his hands at the ready… He’s my chief-taste-tester (a hard job, but someone has to do it, right)?

The hero ingredient in this recipe is chia, which is a great source of protein, fibre and omega 3, just to name some benefits. Here’s the recipe…

Banana Chia Smoothie


2 cups of milk (I use almond milk but you can use any kind)

1 tablespoon of peanut butter

1 teaspoon of honey

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 banana

1 teaspoon of ground linseed (if you have it in the cupboard, I sometimes leave this out)

½ teaspoon of vanilla bean powder

1 scoop protein powder (I use this for an extra protein boost sometimes, but you can leave it out if you wish).

¼ cup chia seeds (black or white)


Place all the ingredients (except the chia) into a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the chia next and then leave the mixture in the fridge for roughly 20-minutes while the chia plumps up. Then get a spoon and scoop it out to enjoy! I sometimes put coconut and shaved dark chocolate on top too to garnish. Or it’s extra yummy with some yoghurt too!

Recipe by Rachel Grunwell – author of Balance: Food, health + Happiness. Follow Rachel via Facebook & Instagram.

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2 New Cool Kiwi Cookbooks – both health-inspired, but not saintly

two cook books smaller size

By Rachel Grunwell

Two new Kiwi recipe books are based around a growing trend that we should quit the guilt around food (particularly around depravation and strict rules) and instead enjoy delicious flavour-filled food and just simply aim for balanced living. You know, make lots of healthy choices, but enjoy treats too now and again. I call this “balanced living”.

Wholehearted – Inspiring Real Food for Every Day is by Kelly Gibney – a food writer, stylist and photographer. There are 12 recipes in here involving the on-trend ingredient Turmeric. There’s lots of “simple, delicious, home-cooked meals”. And it’s “a flavour-first approach to wholefoods” (these are some words she penned in the book to explain her approach, which I love). I love too how she writes that we should just  slow down, chew every mouthful and appreciate and notice how you and “your intuition serve you”.

Recipes include sauerkraut, nut milks, and I’ve already made the Chocolate Rosemary tart which is quite simply “heavenly”.

You can buy the book via this link by clicking HERE.

The second book is called My Underground Kitchen by Jess Daniell. There are 100 of her favourite recipes packed into this cooking bible. Her approach to food? She writes that her food is seasonal and fresh cuisine “that doesn’t scrimp on flavour”. She dubs it “healthy but not saintly”. Don’t you just love that description!

A lot of people will know Jess for her ready-made meal and catering business with delis in Herne Bay and Remuera.

Recipes in here include Middle Eastern cuisine, to turmeric  fish tacos, plus lots of family favourites. I whipped up the gluten-free Orange and Almond Drizzle Cake which I can promise you  is moist, citrus-packed and incredible. I couldn’t stop wanting more after every mouthful…

Want to buy the book? Email Susan Holmes [email protected] 

  • Blog put together by Rachel Grunwell: Good magazine’s wellness columnist and a recipe creator, and blogger for inspiredhealth.co.nz








Chocolate Dream Smoothie + Fuelling Kids Healthy


smoothie top image

See health & lifestyle inspiration & regular giveaways on InspiredHealth’s Facebook HERE & Instagram  HERE.

By Rachel Grunwell

Try this delicious and nutrient-dense smoothie to fuel your family when it comes to snack-time. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free. The hero ingredient is raw maca powder, an amazing superfood which is made of real plant-based ingredients and is nourishing, healing, full of vitamins and gives an awesome energy boost. It’s derived from the maca roots (pervian gingseng by the way).


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Chocolate Dream Smoothie:

2 tablespoons of coconut yoghurt (we love Raglan Coconut Yoghurt’s new Banana & Chai flavour!) 

1 cup water

1/3 cup raw cashews

1 frozen banana (Commonsense Organics stocks ethical and organic All Good bananas)

1 tablespoon Raw Maca Powder (we love the Ceres Organics brand)

2 tablespoons cacao powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon 

½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder

Method: Use a spoon to put the yoghurt on the bottom and randomly on the inside of a small clean glass jar or cup (to give a marbled effect). Now leave this to the side.

Next, use a blender to blitz the water and cashews until smooth – then add in the banana, maca powder, cacao, cinnamon, vanilla bean powder to combine. Pour this mixture into the jar you’ve prepared, then add a straw (or dig it out with a spoon) and enjoy! Better still, double the recipe to share.

Tips on Snack ideas & the low-down on the ingredients: 

A great tip for a snack idea for the kids after school is to whip up nutrient-rich smoothies. My kids often come home from school and usually request this  – rather than biscuits or chips. It’s just become a healthy habit we’ve adopted in our house. The trick is to make them taste yum and make them with real and good ingredients that boost energy and health levels.

My kids are my “chief taste-testers” for my recipes I create for Good magazine by the way. So, they love tasting beetroot juices, kale smoothies to decadent yet nutritionally-smart chocolate creations.  If smoothies are made well, they go down well (and you can hear the straws slurping up the dregs!)

I used ingredients from Commonsense Organics – an organic retailer selling organic, allergy-aware and environmentally-friendly products. This company does “good stuff”. I love that financial profit is not their sole driver; They stock fresh products that consider the wider community and environment. They care about the whole process from garden-to-table and how workers, suppliers and customers are treated (the owners believe this is “ common sense”). So, when it comes to values, Commonsense Organics comes up trumps. I love to shop at their store in Mt Eden, Auckland. They’re also got five stores in Wellington.

Shop for the ingredients for this smoothie by clicking HERE.

commonsense organics 3

Rachel is a wellness writer, columnist and recipe creator for Good magazine and also runs the lifestyle website inspiredhealth.co.nz. She’s the wellbeing ambassador for Cigna too. Follow her on InspiredHealth’s Facebook & Instagram.

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