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) 








Gluten-Free Pikelets


By Rachel Grunwell

Gluten-free Pikelets

½ cup Rapadura sugar (this is unrefined whole cane sugar, but really you could use any sugar)

2 eggs

½ cup Potato Flour (sifted)

½ cup Rice Flour (sifted)

1 teaspoon Xanthum Gum

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

pinch ofSsalt

shake of Cinnamon 

1 cup milk (almond – or whatever you like)

50g Butter (melted)

(plus butter or coconut oil to cook the Pikelets)

I chuck everything (but the butter) in a blender and mix. Lastly, I add the melted butter. This makes quite a thick mixture and so just add more milk if you want the mixture to go a bit further. I cook the pickles on a hot heat in a pan with butter or coconut oil. The kids will gobble these up all on their own, but will sometimes add butter, jam, Manuka honey or maple syrup on top. Mmmmmmm. Keeps them quiet for a bit!

We’ar founder & designer Jyoti shares 10 health & happiness tips

jyoti (portrait)

By Rachel Grunwell

I caught up with the gorgeous We’ar brand founder and designer Jyoti Morningstar recently (this bronze beauty pictured throughout this blog). She’s lean, glowing, has a wide grin that’s full of pearly-whites, and her voice sounds like it could almost float on clouds. She’s such a picture of health and happiness. Oh yeah, she can design a killer sexy dress too, of course! She kindly shared 10 of her personal healthy and happiness tips with Inspired Health readers below!

IMG_06431. Eat seasonally and organise your meal around what’s in the garden. Choose organic and fresh foods too. In Jyoti’s garden currently artichokes are growing in abundance, she says. So she’s cooking them lots. She recommends cooking them for 10-15-minutes and then drizzling fresh and peppery olive oil on top and adding fresh rock salt and pepper. Add a leafy salad to the meal and perhaps some fresh buffalo mozzarella and a dash of lime juice and voila! “A 15-minute-meal and I’m in heaven”, she says.

 2. Eating mostly paleo is working for Jyoti. She’s eating minimal grains and wheat, no sugar “except for the odd hot chocolate”. This gives her an “even energy”, she says. She was sipping a hot chocolate on the day I saw her by the way – nice to see she’s partial too to the odd treat!

3. Do yoga and a simple meditation practice daily. Jyoti commits up to 90-minutes 5-6 days weekly for this. It’s not just about the exercise. She just loves feeling “blissed out”.

4. “Be in nature”, like the beach or bush “and do not have your phone with you”, she says. Have time to “absorb” your beautiful surroundings without constant facebook, instagram, texts, constant technology… “and this can have a powerful effect on the nervous system!”

5. Calm down and make a choice to feel happier.

jyoti 2 (relaxed image)

6. Be inspired. Do things you love like see great art, buy a beautiful magazine that you love, turn on music, whatever makes you happy and smile… “Just do it!”

7. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself. “Some people shine the light on the best part of you and reflect that back,” she says. It can be someone who laughs at your jokes or who simply understands you “at that heart level”… Avoid people who make you feel bad – “prune them out!” she adds. Seriously.

8. Make love, have cuddles, kiss and be physical. Snuggle up to animals, spend time with animals and kids too and have fun just playing with them, she says. “Put away your phone and do it! Make the choice to be present.”

Jyoti (with animal pic)

9. Have friends over for a simple meal – instead of eating out. Enjoy simple pleasures and just slow down.

10. Assume the best case scenario. “We tend to be too hard on ourselves. Be kind to yourself,” she adds.

Meanwhile, the We’ar eco-luxe brand (for yoga and off-duty pieces, i.e. on the mat and off the mat) has released its 2014 Summer range – ‘Halcyon Rock’. Inspired Health has some of these gorgeous pieces featured on our product page.

I’m told this collection is pitched at the free spirited traveller who is equally at home in the city and wandering bare-foot on beaches or by rivers. It is all about a casual, rock and roll vibe. There’s lace, organic cottons and fine linens & more…

jyoti (with statue) Halcyon Rock is for people who want to express personal style through their unique lifestyles, says Jyoti.
This season’s garments have been chosen for their softness in feel as well as their great eco-footprint. “We’ar wants you to experience how good it feels to live in natural fibres that support a healthy body and beautiful life”.

‘Halcyon Rock’ is made up of three principle colour pairings: Mexican pink with guava, rose gold with midnight blue, and tender green with hemlock (plus these can be matched with dry, sandy taupe or matt black pretty pieces too). There are sexy dresses, loosely fitted tanks, bamboo yoga bras, yoga leggings and pullovers, to name just some pieces in the cool collection.
The ‘Halcyon Rock’ range is available online at and in both Auckland stores (Ponsonby Road and Waiheke). Or if you are in Bali at all, then check out her store there too (I know I’d love to!)

Elite marathoner Stephen Lett’s top race tips + Rachel’s yoga poses for runners

stephen horizontal

By Rachel Grunwell

I chatted with elite runner, Stephen Lett, about some top marathon tips. 


Stephen, a physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, who works at Peak Pilates & Physiotherapy on Auckland’s North Shore, has sweetly given some cool training tips for those doing the Auckland & New York Marathon events.

Stephen’s Top Tips:

1. Don’t go out too fast at the start “is the Number 1 Golden Rule”. If you’ve “stuffed yourself” in the beginning half then you are “going to die” in the latter half. Control yourself!

2. Keep hydrated – “because obviously you’ve got to run a long way!” Auckland can be hot too at this time of year, he says (while, NY will be cold, so make sure you’re warm enough). Drink often and properly at water stations – stop to do this perhaps… “rather than dumping Powerade over yourself and getting all sticky!”

3. Use fuel you’ve tried out prior to race day.

4. Get to the race early and in time to use a loo. “Don’t get caught with your pants down so to speak!” Stephen jokes. It’s all about preparation and you want to have gone to the toilet and be ready and relaxed at the start. Follow the 6-Ps: Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance, he quips.

5. His last words of wisdom: “Breathe through your diaphragm and enjoy the race!”


Cycling Mission for Mental Health

Auckland Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Glossop and Alison Blyth (pictured) are among a group of cyclists who rode from Bluff to Cape Reinga to raise awareness over mental health issues in NZ.

Dave Glossop

Ride Out of the Blue was a 22-day cycle mission over 28-days – and 2330km.

The journey was to highlight that 1.5 Kiwis commit suicide every day. That’s 529 lives lost in the year to June this year, according to data from the Chief Coroner.
Dave says police deal with the fallout from depression and suicide every day. He has personally witnessed too much depression and suicide in his job and this spurred him to take part in this event.
“My career has given me a heightened awareness of depression and suicide. I have witnessed the devastation of friends and relations left behind. I am particularly conscious of the suicide rate involving young people. I have wished so often I could have spoken to some of these kids before they made the choice they have. ..
“I understand the pain and the feeling that they would do anything to escape from the pain, but I wish I could explain that the pain of today will pass…”

He likens cycling to an analogy for life.
“For every up-hill there will be a down-hill. When facing a headwind it will be at your back before long. It’s easier to maintain balance if your moving forward and above all, just keep turning the peddles, keep going in the right direction and you will get to your destination,” he says.

Dave says suicide affects all ages and walks of life. He wants to help take some responsibility to protect our young. This is why he helped raise money for the mental health foundation Mindfulness in Schools. This programme gives people some tools to handle emotions from an early age, he says.

He says when Alison Blyth, who organised the first Ride out of the Blue, contacted him about the ride, “I jumped at the opportunity”. He was lucky enough to get support from his wife Nicky who has been “left carrying the can back home” and he’s thankful for work support too – and giving him leave from work.

Now, he’s just hoping he’s done enough cycle training to keep up with his crew. The group is staying at quite a few marae as they make their way up the country. On Saturday they had finished the first leg and the group stayed at the Te Whanau o Hokonui Marae in Gore. “The support is awesome,” says Dave.


Nourish Your Mind, Body & Soul with this Book

By Rachel Grunwell

This book is from three holistic-living gals!


Sadie Frost (the mum of actor Jude Law’s children), her sister Holly Robinson and close friend Amber Rose (New Zealand-raised daughter of organic guru Kay Baxter) created this book: Nourish – mind, body & soul.

This is packed full of gorgeous smoothie & juice recipes, nutritious bliss balls and sweet treats made from great ingredients (sprinkled with rose petals even). There are yoga poses and the book is full of wisdom and tips from three female minds who want to help restore you. You’ll even read about some of Frost’s struggles and why she found meditation and how to do several meditations she uses in real life that she promises can still the mind. There’s even guidance on how to follow the breathe.

You’ll love Rose’s delicious food that nourishes, Robinson’s exercises to strengthen and lengthen your body and Frost’s beauty recipes to soothe the skin too or bring back shine to your locks.

If you feel stressed or want some inspiration then this beautiful book has more than a spoonful of fun, tips, ideas and things to, well, nourish…

This book is published by Kyle Books and distributed in NZ by New Holland. Cost: $49.99

Here are a couple of recipes from the book

Poached eggs with Cauliflower Toasts, Kale & Dukkah 

A delicious green smoothie 

Piha Walk

Piha Beach is only 40km from Auckland city and it’s one of the best escapes – for the stunning wild and wonderful surf and that beautiful black sand that sticks to your toes. But there’s a walk close by that’s absolutely magic too for a family stroll.
If you haven’t been before, you should check out Kitekite Falls walk in the Waitakere Ranges.

Piha story

The walk kicks off at the end of Glen Esk Rd and the walk is well signposted; you can’t get lost. A colossal kauri tree stump greets you around here and my kids love to hide in it and pretend it’s a play house.

You must use special spray bottle provided here to blast your shoes to stop a lethal pathogen that is attacking our beautiful kauri trees.

On the walk you encounter a stream, bridges, beautifully-made steps including some that even spiral, and the lush bush here is an absolute escape. Feel the stress from your shoulders evaporate… The air here is just so fresh and energising. But the star of this show is the falls. You’ll stop in your tracks and “wow” will escape from your lips. You glimpse this multi-drop waterfall, that’s 40m high, first through the bush. Then minutes later the falls are near your toes and you rock-hop past it. You can swim here if you’re brave and don’t mind an ice-cold dip.

The walk takes 60-minutes all up if you take it leisurely – or shorter if your strides are strong and you’re not waiting for little ones to catch up.

By the way a doctor named this place. He felt the area reminded him of Scotland. Glen means valley (Gaelic) & Esk means water (Celtic).

ps. A great website on Piha is which gives great ideas on things to do and info about the place.