‘What the Fat?.. Fat’s in, sugar’s out’…


* (Check our Facebook page to win stuff and for lifestyle inspo here)


By Rachel Grunwell

I was at the launch of this cool book at Loop Restaurant in Kingsland. Check out some of the Instagram pictures I took by checking out the Inspired Health Instagram account by clicking here. There were politicians, university and media folk, researchers, chefs, dieticians and more there to celebrate the launch including the three book authors.

Firstly, this book is a collaboration of great minds and talents (heavy weights in the industry, if you like): a professor, dietitian and a chef. It’s also heavy in weight – there are a lot of recipes and background information on how you go about eating certain foods and why. I’d call it a “good eating bible”. There are endless tips and tricks and I buried my head in this for hours and still have a lot to learn and recipes to try out!!!

There are recipes including soups to meals with side dishes and also snacks and drinks, but the authors talk about lifestyle, research on the latest science on food and there are even success weight-loss stories in this 300-page book (and they’re not just average Jos either, but rather knowledgeable folk…).

The great minds behind this venture are Professor Grant Schofield (nicknamed “The Fat Professor” as he talks about good and bad “fats” and the research side of the equation), Dr Caryn Zinn (nicknamed The Wholefood Dietician obviously for her preference for whole and real foods and expertise in this field) and Craig Rodger (The Michelin-trained Chef).

They’re on a mission to get Kiwis to change the way they eat and “flip the food pyramid” and consider the science of the low-carb, healthy-fat (LCHF) lifestyle. It’s essentially about eating whole and unprocessed foods like veggies, fruit, full-fat dairy products, legumes, good protein and good fats from sources like avocados, olive oil, nuts and coconut oil (some of these can be a controversial with experts from different backgrounds however). I wrote one of my weekly “wellbeing columns” on stuff.co.nz interviewing Caryn about “food for Fit Folk’ and you can read it by clicking here

I’ve whipped up a few recipes from the book including the ‘low-carb bread’ to the ‘butter chicken, cauliflower pilau, raita and coconut naan’ recipes and they are AMAZING – nutritious but unbelievably delicious. In fact these recipes were so good they’ve been made a couple of times each within a week! I’ve even made the pilau with other dishes (this cauliflower side dish is replacing things like rice and potatoes in our house for some dinners). I’m super excited about trying more of the recipes. I’ve got to say the edge on this recipe book (over a lot of other cook books) could be there’s a Michelin-star chef involved. These recipes are not just good for you, but they also taste great! I think this book is a game changer in the recipe world; there’s nothing else that comes close to it. It give you the what, why and how-to on good eating. The book retails for $39.95.wtf meal

ps: Here’s my attempt at the ‘butter chicken, cauliflower pilau, raita and coconut naan’ recipe. It doesn’t look as pretty as the one in the book, but it tastes darn good. 








Gluten-Free Protein Pikelets

chickpea pikelets


By Rachel Grunwell

Sometimes I’m just after a sweet-as treat – especially if I’ve done a big, long training run. These are gluten-free and yuuuuuumy! Here’s the recipe:

1/2 Cup Chickpea Flour

1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour

1 Teaspoon Xanthum Gum

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

2 Eggs

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 scoop of Natural Clean Lean Protein Powder

1/4 Cup Chelsea’s Demerara Sugar

Throw all the ingredients into a blender. The mixture is thick and so you can thin it down with more milk to make bigger pikelets. I use a tablespoon of mixture to make each pikelet (cooked in coconut oil). I topped mine with raspberries, sliced banana, maple syrup (and there are some mint leaves for show!) If I had yoghurt in the house then I would put a dollop of that on too!

Good luck keeping all the peeps away from these delicious morsels! Unless you want to share…



Sweet Kumara Ice-Cream – by Sarah Dueweke

Primal Kitchen bookSweet kumara

By Rachel Grunwell

(Rachel is on Instagram – just click here)

This recipe has kindly been supplied by Sarah Dueweke from her “Primal Kitchen – Real Food Recipes’ book. The book, by the way, has 176-pages of paleo-diet inspired food inspiration including soups, cookies, to pesto and hearty dinner ideas. Here she has kindly shared her Sweet Kumara Ice-Cream recipe – plus lots of tips on making this. It’s a very cool and quirky recipe which I made myself and I reckon it would be yummy accompanied with apple pie mmmmm… (ps remember to check out Inspired Health’s FaceBook page for our weekly Freebie Friday competitions plus other health, recipe & fitness inspiration – click here)!

Now here’s Sarah’s recipe, who by the way is a bit of a kumara fan: 

She says: “I think I could write a whole book on orange kumara recipes . . . maybe I will. This creamy, delicious primal dessert is fun to make and to share with friends. The spices give it a gingerbreadlike flavour, combined with the goodness of orange kumara! If you’ve never tried making your own ice cream, I highly recommend it.”

Sweet Kumara Ice Cream:

Serves 4–6

5 egg yolks

1 cup Orange Kumara Purée (* instructions on how to make this down further below)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract (* instructions on how to make this down further below)

2 cups cream (or coconut cream for dairy-free)

½ cup liquid honey (can substitute with Date Paste (page 164) or pure maple syrup)

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

Lightly whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside.

Whisk kumara purée, vanilla, cream, honey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together in a small saucepan and place over a medium-high heat. Warm the mixture until just barely simmering, then temper in the egg yolks. To do this, ladle one spoonful at a time of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, while stirring, to slowly bring the temperature of the yolks up without scrambling them. Once the yolk mixture is warm, pour it back into the saucepan with the rest of the cream mixture and continue heating, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Do not let it boil.

Remove from the heat once thickened. Chill the mixture for several hours, or overnight. To cool it faster, place the mixture in a metal bowl, set this over a larger bowl filled with ice, and stir slowly to cool it.

Once the custard is well chilled, you may churn it through an ice-cream maker according to its directions. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, you can slow-churn it using a hand mixer. To do this, place the custard in the freezer for a few hours, without freezing it completely. Remove it from the freezer and whip it with a hand mixer for a few minutes to ‘churn’ some air into it.

Return it to the freezer for another 2 hours or so, then whip it once more with the hand mixer and place it back in the freezer to finish freezing. It’s a bit more time-consuming, but whipping the air into it gradually will ensure a light, creamy ice cream!

When I lived in the US, canned pumpkin purée was a staple in my pantry. I was gutted when I moved to New Zealand and couldn’t find it anywhere! But sweet orange kumara is a perfect alternative.


* Orange Kumara Purée

Makes 3–4 cups, depending on the size of the kumara

2–3 large orange kumara Peel and chop the kumara, and place in a large pot of water.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until soft. Drain, then allow to cool slightly.

Purée the kumara in a food processor or with a stick blender until very smooth.

Use straight away in your favourite primal dishes, or freeze in cup-sized amounts for a later date.

To me, it’s gotta be real vanilla extract, not that chemical stuff. Good thing you can make it yourself! Disclaimer – vodka isn’t exactly primal, but used in an extract you would eat such a negligible quantity that it shouldn’t affect your healthy lifestyle goals.


* Vanilla Extract

Makes 500 ml

4–5 vanilla pods

500 ml bottle vodka

Split vanilla pods in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Put the pods and seeds into the vodka bottle, twist the lid on tightly, and give it a shake.

That’s it! Store the extract in a cool, dry place. The longer it has to sit, the better and stronger the flavour will be. Just give it a shake once in a while.


Cook’s Note

You can use the same process to make other natural flavours.

To make almond extract, substitute the vanilla pods for ¼ cup blanched almonds. For lemon or other citrus extracts, mix vodka with fresh citrus peels. Peppermint extract? Combine vodka with fresh peppermint leaves. Try this with any of your favourite flavours!

Reproduced with permission from Primal Kitchen by Sarah Dueweke. Published by Penguin Random House NZ. RRP $40.00. Text © Sarah Dueweke, 2015. Photography © Elizabeth Clarkson, 2015.


Guiding amazing blind runner Hannah…

Rotorua Marathon 2015


By Rachel Grunwell

TV1 presenter Greg Boyed and I co-guided blind Invercargill runner Hannah Pascoe through the Rotorua Marathon. 

It was a tough, but amazing race. I loved it because I shared the journey with two friends. I also got a kick out of the beautiful day and looking out onto Lake Rotorua as we lapped it – Mokoia Island looks magical in the middle of that glistening water. I love thinking of the famous Maori love story that island is famous for too every time I lay eyes on it. Rotorua is a special place.

Anyhow, marathon day turned out to be a mint day, full of sunshine, smiles, and sore legs of course! But we conquered that race together and so we’ve got awesome bragging rights! As does anyone else who finished that 42.195km distance. She’s tough.

It was an accidental marathon for Greg. He planned to help me guide Hannah for half the race (as he had only trained for a half-marathon distance). I was so grateful to have him along for the journey to help with guiding Hannah. It meant there were two of us to make sure Hannah was safe during the race (ie that she didn’t fall over a curb or another person etc!)

But Greg ended up going the whole distance of the marathon with Hannah and I (us girls gave him a bit of a nudge – or you could argue we ganged up on him!) But seriously, he was more than strong enough to do the marathon and we decided to finish this race together as a team and help each other through it – however long it took. Greg ended up doing a lot of the guiding and holding the tether rope attached to Hannah. While I did a lot of the verbal cues for Hannah and acted as a tourist guide ie I love to talk and so I was constantly describing hurdles to avoid and the stunning scenery etc. I think I use my mouth more than my legs when I run!

Greg was as ecstatic as Hannah to finish that race. We did it a nudge under 5-hours. There’s something about conquering a marathon that gives you confidence. I think if you’re brave enough to take on a big goal like this then you realise that you can smash other life goals too. It’s tremendous.

It was a beautiful day: The best day. I was blessed to share it with two friends. I think we’re still on that runners’ high from that race. Greg and I have vowed to take on the lake again next year! And we’ll be twisting some more Achilles members to join us. So see you there if you can make it too!

After the race, Hannah gave me an unexpected gift. A blessed greenstone necklace. Of course it left me in floods of tears – it was too wonderful a gift and it means so much to me. I’m so grateful for the wonderful friends I have in Achilles members – that is the greatest gift.

rotorua marathon thank you necklace

Meanwhile, here’s a newspaper story I wrote on what it’s like to be a guide & about Hannah – you can read by clicking here

I also included Hannah’s amazing Rotorua Marathon mission in my weekly fitness/health & wellbeing column on www.stuff.co.nz – to read it click here

* Greg and I are both ambassadors for the Achilles NZ charity, which helps disabled Kiwis nationwide to take part in mainstream events. Anyone is welcome to join. If you want to know more info, check out the Achilles NZ  website www.achillesnewzealand.org  

ps make sure you follow the Inspired Health’s Facebook page. There are great healthy recipes, weekly giveaways and competitions and lots of fitness & health inspiration. You can find it by clicking here


Banana Goji Berry Smoothie Goodness



By Rachel Grunwell

Ooooooh I’m loving this smoothie making bizzo – lots of fun and a great way to get some goodness into the kids. For this easy recipe you only need:


2 Bananas

2 Handfuls of ice

3 Cups of almond milk

A few drops of vanilla essence

1 tsp Manuka honey

2 tsp ground linseed


Whiz it all in a blender and then top with shaved coconut, chopped dark chocolate and almonds and goji berries. Dress it up with some mint leaves if you please! Eat with a spoon and enjoy the silence for a few moments while the kids lap it up!

smoothie toppings



The Bachelor’s 5-Step Health Plan



By Rachel Grunwell – The Bachelor, Arthur Green, shares some health tips:

 Art’s 5-Step Health Plan

1. Prepare – Have a plan with your exercise and food. . .and stick to it.

2. Cook – Cook your own food. You will know what your putting into your body.  Cooking is therapeutic.

3. Lift – There is more than just cardio. . High Intensity Training (H.I.T) workouts are a great way to tone, strengthen and hit your cardio in a short amount of time.

4. Balance – Life is about balance. . Earn rewards through working hard.

5. Work Hard – No excuses.



Blackcurrant & Blueberry Chia Crumble

By Rachel Grunwell

This crumble is super easy thanks to a bottle of the Blackcurrant and Apple Chia. I just poured a couple of cups of frozen blueberries into a heart pan and then poured on this bottle of Chia which has omega 3, fibre, electrolytes, magnesium, calcium and iron. By the way, chia seeds are a fabulous superfood.

chia and blueberries

I then made the crumble by combining (with my hands): 80g rice flour, 40g potato flour, 60g diced butter, ½ teaspoon cinnamon & 60g demerara sugar. I then put this on top.

blackcurrant chia crumble

I baked this (180-degrees) for 15 minutes until golden and then served up with some of the Collective Yoghurt. It served five happy people!

blackcurrant chia crumble


NZ’s first Wanderlust (yoga, music & healthy eating festival)

By Rachel Grunwell
So what was NZ’s first ever full four-day Wanderlust yoga, music and health food festival at Taupo like? Here are some of my highlights from the event – there were many! These are in no particular order. I just rate all these things…(ps follow me on instagram @thewriterunner for more event & pic inspiration!)

SUP Taupo

1. Yoga on Liquid: I’m pictured here on Lake Taupo doing a cobra pose (bhujangasana) which was bliss. I also loved being on my back on the SUP board, with eyes closed, hearing the gentle lap of water underneath me and the ducks quacking, while the warm air wafted over my body. Those clouds look dark in the picture, but it was muggy!  I loved this moment; it was liquid magic. A moment away from my cellphone and surrendering myself to being still, present and savouring the tranquility while floating… it was heart-lifting. I just digged this. I also buzzed out on the yoga lesson on the board and trying out some tricks during the lesson. I tackled a headstand on the board, but only got to the scissor-leg position as I chickened out pointing my legs all the way up to the sky in case I ended up in the drink! However, next time I’ll be more brave. Jenn Perell took the session and her meditation on the beach that followed was icing on the cake. This water baby just can’t wait to be water-bound on a SUP board again.


Duncan Peak & Rach2. The thing about being at Wanderlust is that you get to mingle with some of the best teachers domestically and internationally. You can chat to them after the class, or while they’re chilling out and walking around the ground – they’re here having fun too and genuinely enjoy mixing with fellow yogis – after all, we’re passionate about the same thing. Every yoga teacher I chatted to while out and about was so generous with their time. And it’s not because I’m a writer – they were like this with everyone. It’s just incredible to be able to soak up some of their expert teachings and then they’re not too cool-for-school that they can mix and mingle with anyone who loves getting down on a mat. Duncan Peak made a comment in a class I was at that this had been the best Wanderlust festival he’d been fortunate to be at. I stopped him after class to ask why and he told me it was due to all the great folk who had brought the festival together – and this had made it really special. He said it meant a lot to see Jonnie and Jacque Halstead’s dream come to fruition with the festival hitting NZ shores. PS Which one of us is the biggest kid pictured here in this double dancer yoga pic, seriously!

3. Speaking of Duncan Peak, his yoga yin session with a touch of ashtanga vinyasa was powerful and strong, but also had some elegant flow and divine and soulful twists that sang to my soul. The Australian’s hip-work poses were hellish at first, but breathing through the postures helped my body surrender. I smiled so much through this class – well, at least on the inside! Duncan really connected with the audience too when he demonstrated how bodies can be different and therefore how poses will appear unique on every body. This is the beauty of yoga… that every body is beautifully different. If we were all the same, life would be boring! I dig that Duncan is also cat-like and has had “other lives” too: He once was in the military as a paratrooper and then played pro rugby union. But since the age of 16, he has been doing meditation and yoga. His business Power Living is popular. I’d love to experience more from this bloke. His classes are packed for good reason.


4. A ‘heal your shoulders’ session with Tiffany Cruikshank blew me away. This gal’s expertise on the mechanics of the body and workings under the skin is advanced ++. Her brand is ‘yoga medicine’ and she lives up to having the knowledge behind the name. She has a pre-med Bachelor’s degree in Medicinal Plant Biology and Nutrition plus a Masters degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and a specialty in Sports Medicine and Orthopedics… She’s a star.

broccoli salad

5. The vibe at Wanderlust gives makes you glow. Folk here are happy and into living a healthy and a heart-filled life. I soaked up the health-food focus. There could have been a few more food stalls, but the ones present deserved to be on site with their health-inspired kai. A broccoli-inspired salad from WorkerBee, and a watermelon smoothie were memorable…

Erin6. Seeing Takapuna teacher Erin O’Hara leading a yoga session in a circle with kids by the woods – moving, smiling, laughing. Cuteness beyond words.

7. Pete Longworth’s session on social media. He told our group to look at the mundane and you’ll discover beauty – “did you know that strawberries are hairy?” he asked. I laughed out loud. But then he showed a picture of a strawberry he’d photographed and yeah it was hairy as! I guess his point too, was to look closer at the now and present and everything in your life – we’re blessed really, but never really fully appreciate this enough. He reminded our group to look through our eyes at our every day life more closely. He’s right, we tend to only stop and smile at our surroundings while we’re on some fancy-pants holiday. “The way we see the world is valuable” was one of his recommendations. So too was: “feed your soul with visual poetry”…

cameron shayne

8. “You could eat the carpet”, yelled US teacher Cameron Shayne, right after he instructed our class to try flinging our legs up into a handstand. Talk about turning our worlds upside down! “Be Brave!” “Do it!” “Have Courage!” These were just some of his words to encourage us to get upside down and to overcome our fear of falling. So the room soon had legs flying above heads (controlled obviously and everyone was spotted by a partner!) Sometimes you just need your butt kicked and Cameon will happily do this!! Here’s a pic of him in another class he taught called ‘bring’n sexy back’ – with a sexy alto-saxophone player and a guitarist, no less!

D'Om9. The dome-shaped D’Om tent – a place full of Lululemon clothes that I wished were in MY wardrobe instead. Ha ha. But seriously, it was a creative hub full of smoothies, hair-braiding, terrarium-making, shirt screen-printing and a place where I relaxed in a hammock under giant dream-catchers. I caught up here a lot with friends and on Saturday night musician Xavier Rudd rocked a large audience in the big tent next door – he was another big drawcard of the event – what a dude. Here’s a pic of me below just by the D’Om tent playing around with yoga with a mate Michaela Sangl, a talented yoga teacher in Auckland who takes Yogi Kids. She helped out at the event with Rainbow Kids. This is the cool thing about this event – it’s just so kid-friendly too. There’s a great family-friendly vibe.

michaela Sangl 

10. Entrepreneur Alexie O’Brien’s talk on building a dynamic business was insightful. I wish I had more time with this smart and successful gal who has helped shaped some businesses into global successes. I can’t believe her talk wasn’t jam-packed. So many yogis missed out on valuable insight on how to truly make a buck in the business-world – and it involves more than just having a grand plan…

ps my schedule was jam-packed but there were so many other things and talented people I missed. That’s why I’d love to come “back” to another Wanderlust. Here’s a pic of my back that need to get back to another Wanderlust ha ha ha.  Hope to see you there too…(Feb 4-6, 2016) x x


pps Wanderlust will be back in 2016 at the same beautiful location of Taupo too…Taupo

Fresh Almond Milk & Chocolate Almond Milk

almond milk

By Rachel Grunwell 

Fresh home-made almond milk is so easy to make. It’s creamy, dreamy, nutty, milky, quite thick and kind of buttery-like to taste. I love it just as it is, or on my porridge in the morning with a drizzle of maple of syrup. Even better is cashew milk – it’s sweeter. You can make cashew the same way you make almond milk. You decide on the nuts and just follow the below recipe.

What to do? Put 1 Cup of fresh raw almonds (or cashews) in some water to soak for roughly four hours. They plump up in the water and soften (and you can better absorb the nutrients). I then drain the water off and then put the nuts in a blender with 3 Cups of cooled filtered water and whiz it all up. If you want it smooth you can put it through a muslin cloth (or I don’t mind it thicker and just don’t bother with this). There you have it: Fresh home-made almond milk. You can leave it just like that or sweeten it up (like I do) with a teaspoon of maple syrup or vanilla.  I use this as a base for my smoothies too. Keep it in a jar in the fridge.

If you want to make chocolate almond milk… Then just add a dash more maple syrup and a teaspoon of LifeFoods Cacao  Powder and blend it further. Then, just for show, sprinkle some LifeFoods Raw Organic Cacao Nibs on top. It looks like this oooooh la la!

Follow Rachel on instagram too @thewriterunner 






Thick Banana Protein Smoothie

thick banana smoothie


By Rachel Grunwell

I saw a nutritionist a while ago and realised I wasn’t getting enough fuel into my body in the morning – given I was running a lot to start my day. So she recommended I add in a protein-powered smoothie to give me more fuel and energy! This stopped me eating so much chocolate at night (although I still eat some dark chocolate as I love it!) So ever since then I’ve adopted smoothies and juices as a great extra meal when I exercise. I’m always trying out new recipes, but at the moment I’m loving using Clean Lean Protein. I love the idea it comes from peas – yes, that’s right, European Golden Peas to be precise! I also like that it has no gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts, additives or preservatives, lactose or artificial colours…. etc I’ve seen it stocked everywhere of late – in gyms, yoga studios and even the Ecostore. 

Here’s a recipe below I made today using Clean Lean Protein.  I just bang in all of the below ingredients into a blender and then top with honey toasted coconut chips. You can add 1 tablespoon of yoghurt if you don’t mind dairy and this makes it extra thick and creamy and then you can even eat it with a spoon…. it’s  delicious! x


Thick Banana Protein Smoothie:

1 cup of Vanilla Almond Milk

1.5 scoops of Clean Lean Protein (Vanilla flavour)

1 teaspoon of Manuka honey

a shake of cinnamon

a handful of ice

1 tablespoon of linseed

1 tablespoon of almond meal

1 teaspoon of Ceres Organics ABC (almonds, brazils, cashews)