Cigna Wellington Round the Bays – enter the family!

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By Rachel Grunwell

Registrations are now open for a favourite annual Wellington event – Cigna Round the Bays.

But don’t just enter yourself for race day on February 19.

Step it up by entering with friends, work colleagues and family.

Together you can support each other’s training and get fitter and healthier.

Having a specific and achievable health goal on a set date like this event can help with keeping you all motivated on your health journey.

There’s a distance for every age and level: the Mitre 10 Mega buggy walk, the 6.5km fun run or walk, Bluebridge 10km, and the Cigna/Achilles half marathon (21km).

I’m stepping it up by getting my family involved, including husband Damien, and our kids Zach, 11, Lachie, 9, and Finn, 5.

Zach is especially excited about tackling his first 10km distance alongside me.

Actually, his speedy, young legs may leave me in his dust! The rest of my whanau will do the fun run.
Damien will likely be piggy-

backing little Finn near the end. The focus for our family,

training-wise, is to keep fitness fun and at the kids’ pace.

I’ll sneak in building a base fitness with my younger kids by doing things like scooter or bike rides, family walks, light jog at the weekend and walking to school sometimes.

Zach and I are doing run training, which we will build up slowly.

Meanwhile, tell your kids they are helping you to train for the event too.

Give your kids the title of chief coach. Remember to foster a can- do mind-set, with fitness and health in general around kids and be a positive role-model on this journey.

Inspiring your kids to be fit, healthy and happy is the ultimate gift, I reckon.
Lastly, visualise the red-faced, smiling, excited faces of your loved-ones at the finish-line and a shared feeling of success.

❚ Enter by registering HERE

❚ Column published in newspapers throughout Wellington.

Column by Rachel Grunwell, Cigna Health and Wellbeing Ambassador – a runner, qualified yoga teacher and director of the InspiredHealth website. Follow more of her personal journey to get her family ready for the event on Facebook and Instagram.

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Spooky Gluten-Free Gingerbread

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By Rachel Grunwell

 

Halloween is a fun time for my family. The kids love to dress up all scary or witchy and go trick-or-treating around our neighbourhood on October 31. We’re in the Auckland suburb of Mt Eden where families are used to little ghostly and ghastly costume-wearing kids turning up at the door!

Instead of lollies, these gluten-free gingerbread men are a yummy treat to give the kids – or to give other little trick-or-treaters. Or just to make up anytime for fun!

My youngest witchy – son Finn, aged 5 (pictured) – gives these the thumbs up. He loves helping in the kitchen – and of course, taste-testing the bats, pumpkins and legless gingerbread men.

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Your kids will love making these too and so give them a whirl! Or if you have a cool and creepy recipe then share it with me too!!

 

Spooky Gluten-Free Gingerbread

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons Chelsea Golden Syrup

½ cup Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar

1 teaspoon each of mixed spice and cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons ground ginger

1 tablespoon water

50g butter

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cups rice flour

½ cup potato flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

(add 2 teaspoons xanthum gum if you have it in the cupboard as this helps with binding the ingredients, but it’s not absolutely necessary)

 

Instructions

Place Chelsea Golden Syrup in a pan, along with Chelsea Organic Coconut Sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon, ground ginger and water.

Heat until the sugar dissolves and then switch off the heat place the butter in the pan to melt.

Let the mixture cool a little and then add the baking soda.

In another bowl, put the sifted gluten-free flour and baking powder. Then add the heated ingredients from the pan and mix until a workable dough. Add more rice flour if you need it (i.e. if the dough is too sticky). Then sprinkle a generous amount of rice flour on your bench and use a roller to roll out the dough. Press Halloween-style cookie-cutter shapes in this. Use a spatula to lift the shapes up from the bench and onto the trays (so they stay in one piece).

Bake these on a greased tray, 180-degrees for about 10 mins.

 

Note: Use a spatula to lift the shapes from the tray onto a cooling rack and then pop them into a container.

 

Icing:

150g dark chocolate

110g of coconut cream

 

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (keep stirring throughout). Add the cream and mix. Leave this to cool to room temperature. Then pop it into an icing bag and pipe onto the biscuits. I used edible glitter too for an extra cool effect.

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Find more delicious recipes for these school holidays at chelsea.co.nz

 

This post was made possible thanks to Chelsea.

 

#NZBlogger #chelseasugar

 

Rachel is a recipe creator and wellbeing columnist for two magazines. She’s a yoga teacher, marathoner and director of the InspiredHealthNZ website, which inspires Kiwis to live a life they love. Follow Rachel on Facebook and Instagram.

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Kids Yoga “Taking Off” at True Food & Yoga

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By Rachel Grunwell

The magical power of yoga can have transformative mind, body and soul benefits for us grown-ups. This ancient practice can also uplift our little “muggles” in equal measures.

Auckland’s True Food & Yoga wellness centre has just launched yoga classes for children and so I checked out a class with my son Lachie.

Firstly, this is one of the most beautiful studios in this city. That sea-side view from Tamaki Drive, overlooking the bobbing boats and sparkling waters of Okahu Bay – and that gorgeous glimpse of the Sky Tower in the distance – is soul-lifting in itself (even in overcast weather). Inside the former Hammerheads restaurant too is stunning. Those memorable arch-windows have that wow-factor and it’s a clean and fresh decor.

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But it’s the power of yoga on offer here for kids that’s out-of-this-world. Literally.

Yoga teacher Nisha Kumar-Joon invited her students to use their imagination and go on a “mystical adventure” and pretend to be in their very own spaceship in the room. So the kids gleefully zoomed about, fizzing and smiling. She inspired them to create their own stories with movement, while chilled music provided a backdrop. Other parts of the class too were equally creative. There were stretches, strength and then balance poses (imagine flying aeroplane poses here) and all of this required “focus”, which is good for brain development. While another part of the class saw the kids laying down, peaceful, eyes closed, meditative, and with a ball on their belly while they breathed (ie so the ball rose up and down on the belly so they could focus on how to correctly breathe with their diaphragm. This can powerfully calm down the nervous system).

 

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Mid-class the kids were colouring in and drawing anything space-like including stars, moons and other-worlds.

 

 

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Their parents were in another “world” too, some blissfully near the edges of the room reading lounging about on bean-bags. While others enjoyed welcome “me-time” out in the bistro on the other side of the centre.

 

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So how was the experience for my son Lachie? Well, he walked into the class, a bit apprehensive, and knowing no one. But he tried all the yoga poses, drew a star, became a “space-ship” and loved running around the room. He giggled most over the games and loved a partner exercise with a little girl Sovinna, where they passed a ball using their feet. They both giggled, and giggled…

The kids were asked to “find their way home again” in their “spaceship” i.e. come back to their yoga mat for the closing of class. They then placed their mats in a collective star-shape. To see all their tiny hands in prayer-position to end the class was joyful.

 

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Nisha, a hatha yoga teacher with an osteopathy background, says kids get so much out of yoga. There’s the cognitive development, physical benefits, and the emotional and spiritual sides of this practice too.

“It takes them away from their laptops and it gets them using their imaginations,” she raves.

It’s a wish for Nisha too that her little students learn “balance” in life and lots of wonderful de-stress tools as well as stretching their bodies – and imaginations.

Nic and Kelly Watt are creating a footprint in Auckland with their food and yoga offerings – and it’s wonderful to see kids are a part of their heart-filled focus.

Check out the timetable for Children’s Yoga classes at True Food & Yoga for either 3-5-year-olds and also 6-11-year-olds here:

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  • Rachel Grunwell is a mum, yoga teacher, marathoner, and magazine wellness columnist and writer. She regularly writes for many of NZ’s top media titles. She runs the InspiredHealth website (a lifestyle hub to inspire Kiwis to live well).
  • Follow InspiredHealth on Facebook &  Instagram

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