By Rachel Grunwell: Wellness expert. Award-winning writer. Wellness columnist for Good magazine and Indulge magazine. Qualified yoga teacher and fitness consultant. Rachel is often interviewed on radio, giving health tips and also co-leads weekend-long health retreats at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. To find out more about the Mindful Moments retreats click HERE.
Article by Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning writer. Magazine wellness columnist. Wellness expert on radio. Yoga & meditation teacher. Qualified fitness consultant. Co-leader of health retreats at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. Director of InspiredHealth. Healthy recipe creator for Good magazine.
Pic of Rachel at Polynesian Spa by Benjamin Parkinson.
Switch off from your busy life and experience two days on our Mindful Moments Retreat to bring your mind, body and spirit into balance. Surrounded by the natural elements of Rotorua and Polynesian Spa’s therapeutic alkaline and acid waters, you will be guided through yoga, mindfulness, meditation and wellness workshops. We will also be taking time to indulge in world-renowned Polynesian Spa therapy treatments.
Mindful Moments is hosted by our highly experienced Spa and Retreat Manager Helena Keenan and inspirational Polynesian Spa Health and Wellness ambassador Rachel Grunwell.
This unique geothermal bathing and soul soothing retreat originated here at Polynesian Spa in 2016 and has established itself as a must do health and wellness experience for those wanting to unwind, relax and reset.
RETREAT DATES & COSTS
Saturday 11th August – Sunday 12th August
Saturday 8th September – Sunday 9th September
Saturday 10th November – Sunday 11th November
$479.00 per person
Relaxation & Mindfulness Techniques
Mindfulness & Meditation Session
Yoga Class hosted by Rachel Grunwell
Entry to the Deluxe Lake Spa
Transport to Walk Location
Premium Retreat Gift Bag
CHECK OUT THE THERAPIES YOU HAVE A CHOICE FROM:
*Please note the Pure Source Mud Polish will be used for the AIX Therapy*
We can offer exclusive rates for The Millennium Hotel Rotorua to those joining us on a Mindful Moments Retreat for accommodation rates please contact us upon booking. Bookings will need to be made directly with the hotels reservation team and Terms and Conditions will apply to the booking, these are at the discretion of The Millennium Hotel Rotorua.
There is also a wide selection of hotels, luxury lodges, lake-side bachs, charming motels available in Rotorua to check options click here.
POLYNESIAN SPA RETREAT LEADER: HELENA KEENAN
Helena’s personal experience with Meditation began in 1992 developing for her a deep interest in the Wellbeing benefits of Meditation. Further studies and reading into Mindfulness Meditation created a goal to pursue formal studies in this area. Eventually the opportunity to study Mindfulness Meditation Teacher training with Dr Ian Gawler arose and in 2009 Helena completed her first training course in this field. More recently Helena has completed further studies with Ian Gawler and Ruth Gawler in Australia in the practices of Guided Imagery and Contemplation. Now settled in Rotorua, Helena brings a diverse and extensive skill-set to Polynesian Spa.
Pic by Marathon Photos
By Rachel Grunwell
She did it!
The winner of the Rotorua Marathon event’s Real Runner competition conquered the new half-marathon on May 5 – & she loved it!
Sam Meade, from Nelson, won the $4500 prize-pack to get her race ready for the event including a race entry and t-shirt, Millennium Hotel accommodation, new Asics shoes, Jaybird wireless headphones, a ThermaTech prize pack, wellness advice from yours truly, Polynesian Spa passes & smoothies – plus coaching by experienced coach John Bowden (who trains lots of elite runners to weekend warriors).
Sam won the prize package after a heart-tugging entry bowled over judges. Sam had been through a tough year, losing loved ones, and she wanted to return to running to help her body & mind heal. The challenge was a great thing to focus on and helped to uplift her outlook.
Here’s how the race went in her words below. Sam, the whole Rotorua Marathon team is so proud of you!!!!
By Sam Meade
Wow, where do I start, what an amazing weekend!
The atmosphere was incredible, a super supportive vibe from the organizers and other competitors.
On the Friday night I was crazy nervous. We went to the Pig and Whistle, had a massive steak and salad (which was awesome!), and then settled in for a quiet, early night. Did not sleep much.
Saturday morning was good, as I didn’t have much time to get myself too worked up before the run. I met coach John for a quick chat before the race started. I settled in at the back of the pack, and felt quite relaxed as the cannon sounded. Everything went pretty much to plan, I started out extra slow, and it was very enjoyable, looking around, taking in the sights and smells of Rotorua. Then we hit the hills. And although I had to work hard, I managed to keep jogging, and the feeling of accomplishment that washed over me every time i reached the top of a rise gave my energy a wee boost. I loved the course. I love being off road, and was fortunate to have a few challenging hills at home to train on, so it wasn’t a complete shock to the system.
At about the 12km mark, the chaffing set in…… at that point I just had to put my head down and keep going.
Coming down out of the forest was great, I managed to pick up my pace a bit and cruise down to the main road. The last 3kms were a slog. I was getting sore and tired, but I knew I was almost there. I held on, and managed to finish strong in 2:47:55. Super stoked!
My weary legs were thankful to have a soak in the hot pools at the Polynesian Spa afterwards.
Saturday night we stayed in the Millennium Hotel with an awesome view looking out over the lake. The room was very comfortable, and the buffet breakfast Sunday morning was to die for! Amazing!
The whole experience in Rotorua, and the training/coaching package leading up to the event, was incredible. I am truly honoured to have won this prize, and I feel so much healthier and happier for it. I plan to continue running, and hopefully I will enter another event later in the year. Through this experience, i have found my passion for running again, and for that I am so grateful.
Thank you to all the people/brands that sponsored this prize package, and especially thank you to Jo and Rachel for being so great and organising everything that made my weekend in Rotorua one I will never forget. And a huge huge thank you to my coach John Bowden, who encouraged me and pushed me to achieve my goals. You guys are amazing!
Inspired Health is “run” by Rachel Grunwell: Fitness consultant, yoga teacher, Marathoner X19, writer for Run4YourLife magazine, plus the lifestyle magazine, Good.
3 Tips for Mouth-Watering + Healthy Smoothies
By Rachel Grunwell
Smoothies & juices are an incredible way to inject nutrients into your every day.
But there are a few tricks that people often make when making smoothies. I’ve created healthy recipes for Good magazine now for years (I’m also the mag’s wellness columnist). I drink home-made smoothies and juices regularly at home of course – often after a run or doing a yoga session.
I’m super excited that some of my nutrient-dense & delicious smoothies will soon be on offer too at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa (where I co-lead the weekend-long Mindful Moments health retreats by the way) which are so blissful…
Pic credit: Ben Parkinson, Pablo Creative
Here are 3 of the biggest smoothie-making mistakes:
- * A common mistake is making the same smoothie day after day after day…I dub this “smoothie fatigue”. When you thrash the same recipe day after day, then this drink gets boring – fast. It’s also not smart to be having the same old nutrients repeatedly. Change up your nutrients often to absorb different minerals. If you consume different nutrients then your taste buds will thank you for this too. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t excite me to drink the same thing day-in/day-out.
- * Another mistake is chucking in way too many ingredients, turning your smoothie into a brown muddy slush. This doesn’t look appetizing. It’s also a risk of making them calorie-loaded. You can literally end up swigging back your entire calorie intake in one sitting!And what a waste, when it doesn’t even taste good!
- * Adding too much fruit can also turn smoothies into a sugar-cocktail. You don’t actually need that much sugar to sweeten up your drink. A little fruit used in the right way is key.
Here’s Rachel’s recipe for a delicious beetroot juice. Click HERE
Rachel creates smoothies for Good magazine and you can buy her smoothies too from the cafe at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. When she’s not running or teaching yoga, she’s in her office writing for Good magazine & Run4YourLife magazine.
Find out about the Mindful Moments retreats Rachel co-leads at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa by clicking HERE. She will be at the pools in the Polynesian Spa relaxing and soaking her sore muscles after the Rotorua Marathon event (check out the pic below of her in one of the blissful pools below – can’t you just imagine yourself there!) To find out more about the Rotorua Marathon event click HERE
Nourish yourself with smoothies and blissful soaks at the Polynesian Spa…
Yum Healthy Recipe + 3 Tips to Lower Cholesterol
By Rachel Grunwell
Keep your cholesterol in check – for the sake of your heart health.
3 tips to lower your cholesterol:
- Move your body. This is one key to a healthy heart. Walking, swimming or cycling are great options.
- Manage stress by doing something like yin yoga, meditation or Tai Chi. Again, this is to prevent prolonged stress, which can potentially lead to a risk of a heart attack or stroke.
- Eat a healthy diet to stay “well” ie lots of veg, some fruit, grains (ie oats that are full of soluble fibre), healthy oils (like flaxseed oil which boasts Omega 3 fatty acid), nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken, eggs, etc
One healthy option is Harraways Oat-activ® Original Oats range (they come in Original and Original with Cranberry). The Harraways Oat-activ® oat singles are contain beta-glucan (naturally found in oats) and fortified with plant sterols, two sachets a day can reduce your cholesterol, as part of your 3g of beta-glucan or 2g of plant sterols daily intake. I often have two breakfast-style-eating-options daily; I have one first thing in the morning and another around 3pm when I feel like a snack – so these will be a great addition! I know if I have a snack like oats at 3pm, then it will help me to feel full and stop me from reaching for chocolate instead!
The Harraways Oat-activ® sachets are quick and easy to make. I use them as a base and usually add a few other ingredients to change up the taste! This means I take in different nutrients at each sitting.
Here’s how I made the ones pictured above.
1 sachet Harraways Oat-activ® Oats (Original flavour)
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
¾ cup filtered water
½ cup berries
1 tablespoon raw macadamia nuts (chopped roughly)
½ banana (sliced, skin removed)
Drizzle each of Manuka honey & flaxseed oil
Method: Place the oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds + water into a pan. Heat this and then let it simmer for 30-seconds. Or you can alternatively place the ingredients in a bowl and microwave them for 90-seconds.
Once cooked, put the oats into a bowl. Then place the toppings on top and enjoy!
Harraways Oat-activ® oats are available in selected Pak N Save & New World supermarkets. For more ways to use Harraways Oat-activ® check out some more recipes HERE
You can also go in the draw to win 1 x 2 months supply of the new Oat-activ® flavours (4 x Original Oat-activ and 4 x Original with Cranberry Oat-activ®. You can share this with a friend if you wish! Enter via our Facebook or Instagram
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Magazine wellness columnist, magazine healthy recipe creator, yoga teacher, & director of lifestyle website inspiredhealth.co.nz
This blog was sponsored courtesy of Harraways Oat-activ®
By Rachel Grunwell: Magazine wellness columnist, run magazine wellness journalist + passionate marathoner and yoga teacher.
Hands up who is a Fitbit fan?
Obviously TV & radio show host Mel Homer, Fitbit ambassador Art Green and your truly are – according to this pic at the launch of the new Fitbit Versa watch in Auckland.
Actually, these two peeps alongside me are awesomely fit and inspiring and it’s always great to be in their company at Fitbit events. We were all involved in the recent Fitbit challenge, doing as many steps as we could as well as raising awareness about Diabetes and how movement helps to combat Diabetes Type 2.
So what’s with the new Fitbit Versa watch? Well, as you can tell from Mel and I… there’s a super cute pink colour option!! You can change up the straps to some cool new colours. The watch has a four day battery life span, it’s super light and streamlined (so easy to sleep with), it’s more affordable than the iconic Fitbit ($349… or for the special edition it’s $399) and there are new features including accessing music that even offers “music flow” (ie a smart feature that works out the music you like). And the tracking features are just getting better and better. Soon women will even be able to track how they ovulate via new connected women’s wellness technology through the watch too. This would be super handy if you were trying for a baby.
A super cool announcement is the Fit Ace watch for kids. One in five kids is obese (says Fitbit stats), and so this health tool is an incredible way to help address this epidemic. This little Fitbit watch does not offer calorie counting or body fat insights for kids or connection to communities where adults are. So Fitbit has thought through the use of the technology well. It will be a tool to inspire kids to move more.
Meanwhile, I heard some inspiring wellness speakers at the Fitbit launch including some Fitbit representatives as well as Clair Turnbull and Rene Schliebs from Mission Nutrition. They spoke about how good health decisions, movement, quality sleep and using their Fitbit helps to power wellness.
A mum called Rachel also spoke about how she won her battle with diabetes including using her Fitbit watch to motivate her to increase her daily step count. She shared her journey on how she regained her health and went onto have her longed-for third child.
“It’s about consistency. There are days when you do not feel motivated. So when I lost motivation, I could look back at my Fitbit app and see where I had been and how far I had come,” she said.
Meanwhile, Clair Turnbull shared some tips on some lessons she has learned through her own wellness journey as well as helping lots of clients with nutrition needs. Here are some of her tips:
Sleep is gold.
Remember to breathe well.
Moving is Essential.
Start small with your wellness journey.
Ask for help.
By Rachel Grunwell
It’s less than a month to go now before the Rotorua Marathon event on May 5. So I turned to top coach John Bowden for some tips for final prep and training for all those taking part in this epic event.
John is an absolute run legend. He’s a former elite athlete himself and former teacher (Auckland Grammar by the way). He competed for New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games, and has been an Athletics New Zealand selector and coach. He now trains a lot of elite runners in NZ who win marathons, half-marathons and represent NZ at the Olympics. He trains Lisa Cross who won the Waterfront Half Marathon in Auckland on April 8. He also trains weekend warriors like me (bless him)! And if you didn’t think the bloke was a legend already, then you will after I tell you he is the head of Achilles NZ (a charity that helps Kiwis with disabilities to participate in run events). John will be at the Rotorua Marathon event cheering on some of his runners.
Here are some of his top tips leading up to the Rotorua Marathon event. Take note, these are gold! Better still, really listen to him. We are lucky to tap into his knowledge.
Marathon Tips by John Bowden from The Road Running Collective:
- Despite the weather now cooling and that we are into Autumn there is a tendency not to drink as much either during your day or on your training run… DON’T STOP hydrating. So, during the day the famous 8 glasses of water per day is still a good guide to go to (or two litres)-if anything by doing this you will not be as tired by the end of the day.
- On your training runs (usually the long ones) it pays to practice drinking what you will use on race day. You can also practice taking water at various spots on your long runs these next 4 weeks (by either having someone on the side of the road handing them out to you, or you can place them there the night before in a secret and safe place). Practice makes perfect when it comes to these four weeks of hydrating yourself…
- Recovery & Rest
- This last month it might pay to concentrate on the little things that might make a difference for your performance on race day-so get some extra sleep, earlier nights, stretch a bit more and treat your self to a weekly massage perhaps.
- Equipment check
- Make sure your training shoes are in good shape for the last month of training. Do not try and get through this critical time with a well worn pair of shoes. Or if you are concerned about them lasting… then change them now!
- If you are going to wear a different pair of shoes for the race (lighter ones usually) then practice using them on your last few long runs.
- Tapering and feeling good
- Usually you begin to do less training from 14-10 days out so be careful during this time as you will start to feel better and run faster. Be in control in this phase and listen to your body and hold yourself accountable that you will train with the same intensity and pace that you have previously been doing during the past few months.
- Your last long run
- This should be done about three weeks out with a moderate long run say 21km two weeks out before you begin your taper. It is better to be a little underdone than overcooked for a marathon race – so be smart.
- Head Smarts
- Be confident in your self as you have done all the hard work with a month to go. Talk yourself up, be positive, be inspired by reading or watching achievements of others in any areas of life.
- Work on your race strategy and have plans A, B and C for race day
To enter the Rotorua Marathon event click HERE
To find out more about John and his coaching click HERE
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon event ambassador, Award-winning writer, ‘Good’ magazine wellness columnist, wellness writer for Run4YourLife running magazine (in Australia and NZ), multi-marathoner (19 marathons at the last count), yoga teacher & Polynesian Spa ambassador (co-leading health retreats in Rotorua).
This blog was kindly sponsored by the peeps behind the Rotorua Marathon event #sponsoredcontent
Elite Runner at Rotorua Marathon will be running in her parents footsteps
By Rachel Grunwell
An elite female runner doing her first ever marathon at the Rotorua Marathon event is a potential front-runner who could take out the winning title.
When Olivia Burne, 26, runs in the May 5 event, she will also be following in her parent’s footsteps. And she’s gunning for a podium spot too like her dad…
Olivia, who is an ASICS brand ambassador and works in marketing and communications in Auckland, won the half-marathon distance at the Rotorua Marathon event last year with a time of just over 1hr 16mins.
She decided to run her first marathon at Rotorua this year for many reasons.
Her parents success at this event was, of course, an inspiration.
“My parents have both run the Rotorua Marathon in their early 20s. “My mum completed the full marathon distance in 1981, recording 3:19 – that was one week before she married Dad. My Dad ran the full marathon five years in a row, with his top finish being a 2nd in 1979. His time was 2:25.35 – I’m not looking to break that record any time soon!” she says.
Burne says her running parents have been really encouraging of her running career and great support.
Asked if her parents have high expectations of her potential finish time, Burne quips, “I think Mum would be quite happy for me to beat her time and I think Dad would just be impressed if I beat his!”
She says she also chose the Rotorua Marathon event too as her first marathon because of the wonderful history of the event and because it is known as one of the highlights of the racing calendar.
“It’s also a beautiful setting. The cultural significance of Rotorua… the beautiful lake, the Redwood Forest, and the (Polynesian Spa’s) thermal hot pools make the whole running and recovery experience really special,” she says.
She also adds: “The race has an enormous history in New Zealand. Most runners from the 60s onwards would know the Rotorua Marathon (or Fletchers Marathon, as it used to be known) as one of the highlights of the racing calendar. Thousands would show up for the event and it attracts some of the best runners in the country. “
Burne says she is training hard for the event by doing lots of hills and miles out in West Auckland.
“I work in Hillsborough, Auckland – a suburb that’s aptly named,” she jokes.
She is training around the hilly and challenging Waiatarua course as much as possible. She too is clocking some high mileage (150km plus per week under her coach, Barry Magee.
Burne says she is looking forward to the marathon challenge and taking on a challenging course.
Her dream in the future is to be able to go onto the Olympic Games in the marathon distance in the future.
She has completed three years to date of racing the half-marathon distance.
Join Olivia and many others! Enter the Rotorua Marathon event too – there’s a distance for everyone. CLICK HERE
Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Rotorua Marathon event ambassador, Award-winning writer, ‘Good’ magazine wellness columnist, multi-marathoner, yoga teacher & Polynesian Spa ambassador (co-leading health retreats).
This blog was kindly sponsored by the peeps behind the Rotorua Marathon event #sponsoredcontent
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