New ambassador role for Pureology!

pureology 5

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Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning writer. Good magazine’s wellness columnist. Qualified yoga teacher & fitness consultant. Multi-marathoner & run guide for disabled athletes. Co-leader of health retreats at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. Director of InspiredHealthNZ.

I’m soooooo excited to announce that this yogi is an ambassador for @pureology – a haircare brand that’s natural, vegan & environmentally-friendly.

I love that this brand gives a stuff about the planet. But I also love the products because they are beautiful to use.

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De-Coding ‘Mindfulness’

Article by Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning writer. Good magazine’s wellness columnist. Qualified fitness consultant and yoga teacher. Wellness expert often interviewed on radio. Co-leader of health retreats at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. Director of the InspiredHealth website.

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness is a science-backed way to train your brain to live life more in the “calm zone”.

We live in a stressed and hurried-style society. So it can benefit a lot of people to tap into this skill.

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How to stay fit, well & motivated this winter – Rach on Radio

I’m on radio a little bit these days as a health expert – talking often about fitness, health, wellness and general lifestyle trends to tips.

Here’s a recent radio interview with Wendyl Nissen on The Long Lunch on RadioLive. I chat to Wendyl about how to stay fit, well & motivated over Winter, the health retreats I’m running at Polynesian Spa and more….


rach headshot by Pablo Creative


Follow Rachel via InspiredHealth’s Facebook and Instagram

Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning writer. Good magazine’s wellness columnist. Qualified fitness consultant & yoga teacher. Multi-marathoner & run guide for disabled athletes. Co-leader of health retreats at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa. Director of the InspiredHealth website.


Turia Pitt – from Tragedy to Triumph. Read Turia’s 5 tips to thrive


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.

Drop excuses.
Conquer fears.
Be your best.
So says humanitarian, speaker, motivator & mum Turia Pitt.
I met Turia in Auckland recently at a Courage and Connection event.

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Executives ‘Failing to Plan’ With Self-Health are ‘Planning to Fail’…

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.

Executives ‘Failing to Plan’ With Self-Health are ‘Planning to Fail’…
CEOs and business leaders know company health and wellness initiatives are important. After all, research shows that happy and “well” employees can influence a company’s bottom line.
But many high-level businessmen and women are failing when it comes to their own health goals. It’s something I see often, and I’ve got a top university researcher weighing in on this topic too in this blog.
Failing to plan for your personal wellbeing is planning to fail to stay “well”. It’s crucial to fit in smart fitness, health, and nutrition solutions into your lifestyle – for anyone of any age. Degeneration with age is actually minimal; While, degeneration with inactivity is immense.
How you move and fuel your body influences how you think, feel and perform. Also, sleep and stress levels play major roles. These things affect the chemistry of your body in more ways than you can imagine.
Lots of executives and leaders blame long work-hours, having to eat-on-the-run, stress and being out-of-town often.
I’d recommend they prioritise their health too. Health is your true wealth (so the saying goes). If they don’t prioritise healthy living solutions,  it can lead to alarming consequences.
A lack of exercise, too much food and chronic stress can snowball. These issues can spiral out-of-control fast into issues like hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, cancer, and even death.
Let me put hypertension – a silent killer often with no warning signs – under the microscope for an example. Uncontrolled hypertension adds to the workload of the heart, resulting in it weakening. Leave this unchecked and things can get serious. Some issues include a risk of reduced eyesight, a heart attack, stroke, or even death.
Now, let’s look at obesity, which is an epidemic.
We focus often on the aesthetics and forget about the unseen damage like:
Excessive joint stress (which can lead to painful arthritis).
Ramped up blood pressure (which can harm your heart).
Sleep apnea (which affects clarity for work and everyday life).
Low respiratory function (which affects how you live every moment of every day).
Self-confidence can plunge (which can spiral into serious mental health issues like depression which is another epidemic).
Lastly, obesity can lead to health issues like cardiovascular issues, diabetes, arthritis, cancers and many more health problems…
I teach a yin/de-stress style of yoga, meditation and mindfulness.. I’ve worked with executives, lawyers, partners in firms to entrepreneurs, teachers, chiropractors to mums. I teach them how to use quick techniques to calm their nervous system (these tools are science-proven). I also educate them with wellness wisdom every session!
Through my work as a magazine wellness columnist, I’ve interviewed lots of top experts globally. I’ve interviewed researchers, professors, wellness gurus, nutritionists, neuroscientists, psychologists, to happiness researchers. I’ve also interviewed and met lots of wellness gurus too in NZ. I know too the strategies that they use themselves (because these strategies are science-backed).
So, I know what the best minds in “the wellness world” globally are saying about workplace wellness. And I can see where the trends are happening and what some forward-thinking businesses in New Zealand are doing already.
I’m not just a writer, yogi and wellness speaker. I’ve trained as a fitness consultant too and can work with clients to give them fitness plans designed for individuals to help them move more, eat well, feel less stress and to live more healthy and well. My favourite part is finding out an individual’s barriers( to help them overcome them) and then their goals (so I can tailor plans to help them achieve these).
Meanwhile, one of my favourite professors who works in workplace wellness is Jarrod Haar. He’s a professor of human resource management at the Auckland University of Technology.
He says in general that workplace wellness programs still have “a poor to average pick up here in NZ”.
It’s generally more likely that the bigger companies do it better, he says.
“I would say Perpetual Guardian with their 4-day work week (with 5 days’ pay) is the clearest winner at present!” he raves.
He agrees that CEOs can fall into the trap of getting so focused on “being a good leader” that they forget “to be a role model”.
He encourages leaders to rethink their own wellness. It’s important to make time for their own health as well as looking after staff.
He says if they do take time to uplift their wellness then the outcomes are worthwhile.
“It will enhance their own health, that of their staff and build the culture of their firm for sure,” he says.
 To book Rachel for wellness speaking contact [email protected]
 rach small size grey pic
To help you kick off your health journey, you can also join Rachel on a Mindful Moments Retreat in Rotorua.
There are four weekend-long retreats here in 2018.  You can hear her speak about wellness wisdom & experience yoga, mindfulness, meditation and wellness workshops. You will also get time to indulge in world-renowned Polynesian Spa therapy treatments. This is bliss!
Here you can switch off from your busy life, relax & re-set your health journey. 

To find out dates and more information click HERE.

rachel in pool (small size pic)

Pic of Rachel at Polynesian Spa by Benjamin Parkinson.



Follow Rachel via InspiredHealthNZ’s Facebook & Instagram 


Mindful Moments Retreat – book now!

PolySpa 3

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.




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

Therapy Treatment

Yoga Class hosted by Rachel Grunwell

Wellbeing Workshop

Entry to the Deluxe Lake Spa

Morning Tea


Transport to Walk Location

Premium Retreat Gift Bag




Natures Gift Mud Massage

Polynesian Spa Signature Mud Wrap

Polynesian Spa Signature Aix Mud Therapy

*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.



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. 


Facebook: PolynesianSpa

Instagram: polynesianspa


Rachel is an award-winning writer, speaker, wellness columnist & healthy recipe creator (Good magazine), qualified yoga teacher, blogger & influencer.


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Instagram: inspiredhealthandfitness




Real Runner Comp Winner conquers new Rotorua Marathon course

sam pic 2

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!!!!

rotorua marathon comp logo

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. 


Rachel's Blog Award-winning writer & recipe creator, magazine columnist, wellness ambassador, yoga teacher & multi-marathoner.


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3 Tips for Mouth-Watering + Healthy Smoothies

green smothie bowl with pear

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…

rach with green smoothie

Pic credit: Ben Parkinson, Pablo Creative

Here are 3 of the biggest smoothie-making mistakes:

  1. * 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.
  2. * 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!
  3. * 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

rach in polynesian pool - medium size pool shotgreen waters medium size

Nourish yourself with smoothies and blissful soaks at the Polynesian Spa…


For more wellness insp follow Rachel via InspiredHealth’s  Facebook & Instagram


Yum Healthy Recipe + 3 Tips to Lower Cholesterol


oat active

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

This blog was sponsored courtesy of Harraways Oat-activ®

InspiredHealth is run by Rachel Grunwell: Award-winning journalist, magazine wellness columnist & healthy recipe creator, wellness ambassador, yoga teacher & marathoner

Fitbit launches first watch for kids & new arm bling for adults

fitbit kit

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.


fitbit trio

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.


 fitbit panel 

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.

For health & wellness inspo, healthy recipes, & news of new fitness things on the market… follow InspiredHealth on Facebook & Instagram