Cashew, Cinnamon & Cardamom Milk

cashew milk

Cashew, Cinnamon & Cardamom Milk

This is so good that after I photographed it I polished off the lot! Yeah, that good. It went in one slurp! Actually, it’s even better after it has been in the fridge for a bit. Although, I obviously don’t have the will-power to leave it for that long without scoffing the lot!

Here’s what to do:

Place 1 cup of raw cashews in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Leave this to soak overnight. Next, rinse the soaked and softened cashews and put them in your NutriBullet with 3 fresh Cups of filtered water. Ps the NutriBullet is such a favourite toy of mine. I use it for making smoothies, bliss balls and a whole heap of other things. It’s powerful and so easy to use and clean. It usually gets used a couple of times daily.

Anyway, once you’ve blitzed the cashews in water then get a nut milk bag out and hold it open inside a bowl and pour the nut milk and pulp into the bag. Put the pulp to the side and use the smooth milk for this recipe. (You can use the pulp for other recipes and so pop it into the fridge).

Next scrape out 1 vanilla bean pod into the nut milk, place two dates (take out pips) in there too, 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and cardamom, a handful of ice and blend. You can keep it creamy and thick as it is or add more filtered water and blitz. Now slurp it up in one go! Or put it in the fridge and have it deliciously cool if you have will-power.

  • Rachel is a healthy food recipe creator and wellbeing columnist for two magazines. She is a mum, marathoner, yoga teacher the director of the Inspired Health website.
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Matcha Green Tea & Super Green Smoothie Bowl

green macha smoothie

Matcha Green Tea & Super Green Smoothie Bowl

By Rachel Grunwell

This is great for injecting some green goodness into your life. You can have it as a smoothie bowl snack, or even have it for breakfast. Make it the night before and you can drink it on the go!

Whatever way you have it, it will help you go, go, go. It’s an antioxidants hit and it will help revitalise the body and mind.

Here’s what’s in it:

Put the following into a NutriBullet: 1 Cup of Kale, 1 big leaf of Spinach, 2 Feijoas (skin removed), 1 Cup of canned Pears, 1 Cup of VitaCoco coconut Water, a Handful of Ice, ½ a Teaspoon of Blackmores Matcha Gree Tea powder, 1 Teaspoon of Blackmores of Vitality Super Greens powder and 2 sprigs of Parsley. Blend and pour in a smoothie bowl and enjoy. I topped mine with coconut chips, chia and edible flowers, but that’s just optional if you want to pretty it up 😉

  • Rachel is a healthy food recipe creator and wellbeing columnist for two magazines. She is a mum, marathoner, yoga teacher and also the director of the Inspired Health website.
  • Follow Inspired Health on:   Facebook    Instagram   Twitter

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Here is another smoothie creation by Rachel:

Best Banana & Chocolate Smoothie Sensation


Best Banana & Chocolate Smoothie Sensation

banana & choc smoothie

Best Banana & Chocolate Smoothie Sensation

Words & recipe: By Rachel Grunwell

Get a spoon at the ready. You’ll need it to dig this beauty out of the jar. This is a delicious smoothie treat. But really, it’s a heavenly decadent dessert too. You choose.

The sweetness comes from fruit. So there’s no added nasties. However, you might want to share it with someone. Otherwise, you’ll likely eat the whole thing on your own – like I did!

It’s full of great ingredients that are good to taste but are also good skin food too – like almond milk and avocado. So really you should make this to make your skin glow. As if you need another reason, through, right 😉

Here’s the recipe:

Put the following in a jar – about a cup of Pure Delish no-grain-ola. Then to prepare the banana and nut layer: Put the following in your NutriBullet: 2 frozen bananas, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of Pic’s cashew butter, ½ cup of almond milk, ½ teaspoon of almond oil. Blitz it all up within about 10 seconds. Then pour this into the jar. For the top layer put the following in your NutriBullet: 1 frozen banana, 3 ice-cubes, ½ avocado, 1 tablespoon of cacao and blitz this. Then pour the chocolate later on top. Enjoy it as it is. Or if you want you can top it with cacao nibs and a couple of lavender flowers to show off 😉

Rachel is a healthy food recipe creator for two magazines. She is a mum, marathoner, yoga teacher and wellbeing columnist for two NZ magazines too. She is the director of the Inspired Health website.

Follow Inspired Health on:   Facebook    Instagram   Twitter

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Raspberry Heaven Smoothie Bowl – packed full of antioxidants!

Raspberry Dream Smoothie Bowl

Raspberry Heaven Smoothie Bowl – Delicious!

By Rachel Grunwell

We tend to reach for oranges when we are after a Vitamin C boost. But if you want to change things up then reach for raspberries and beetroot powder for your smoothie!

Raspberries make for the prettiest smoothie colour, but they are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants which help us fight off ageing. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation – one of the many factors that can age us. While beetroot powder has antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals and helps detoxify and supports stamina and endurance performance (so great for my love of running!) 

This recipe has some great nutrients, but it’s also packed full of flavour. My smoothies have to taste good too. It’s a sweet-hit and it had my kids smiling and asking for more.

Here’s the recipe:

Raspberry Heaven Smoothie Bowl

Put 1 Cup each of Frozen Raspberries and VitaCocoNZ coconut water, 1 frozen banana, 1 Teaspoon of GoSuperFood Beetroot Powder, 1 Scoop of Lifestream Essential Protein Natural Chai powder into your trusty NutriBullet and blend. You can drink this in a cup or put it into a smoothie bowl and dig it out with a spoon. Or if you want to be all fancy-pants and show off then you can put some toppings on top. I topped mine with dried rose petals and Pure Delish Raspberry & Maple Nut No-Grain-Ola. Enjoy!

Rachel is a wellbeing columnist and healthy recipe creator for two magazines. She’s a mum, marathoner, yoga teacher and the director of the Inspired Health website.

Follow Inspired Health on:   Facebook      Instagram      Twitter

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Spring Detox with Wellness Retreats NZ



By Rachel Grunwell

All pictures courtesy of Sarah Alice Photography (except for the above yoga pic)


“You are whole. You are seen. You are more than enough. You are loved”.

These beautiful words are from yoga and mindfulness educator Nikki Ralston, whose voice is soothing my mind to a blissed out place.

I’m among 25 people at a Spring Detox Retreat with Wellness Retreats NZ (held at Ponsonby’s Sapphire Room). So 25 lycra-clad bodies are all laid down, glued to mats. All 50 eyes are closed. Everyone’s breathing is slowed down and our collective nervous systems, respiratory systems and heart rates are calmed.

We’ve just finished a yoga session led by Nikki, blending chakra balancing (with affirmations and essential oils). So we’ve done just a handful of yoga poses (holding each pose for minutes at a time – that’s us in the pic above). We’re letting our bodies unfurl, stretch out, soften and relax.

With each of the yoga poses, we had taken a drop of a different oil (with names like “whisper”) and applied these to different parts of the body throughout the class. The slowing down of this class resulted in my body being light and left my mind feeling lifted and clear. I love long-held yoga poses. It’s not just because I’m a yoga teacher too. It’s also so restorative for my runner’s body (I’m in training for the Auckland Marathon next)!

It’s not just the yoga that’s led me to this float-away space. It’s the culmination of the day-long retreat that’s nourished my mind and body to a fresh place.

The day kicked off with rejuvenating flow yoga led by the host Melissa Carroll (this is her class in action below with clients breathing into the yoga child’s pose).


wellness retreats yoga


Melissa is the brains and beauty behind this business. Her personal journey to overcome chronic/adrenal fatigue led her to create Wellness Retreats NZ. She aims to inspire, motivate, nurture and educate clients to boost their wellbeing.

She gathers different experts to lead hour-long sessions or talks throughout the day retreat. These experts arm retreat-goers with tools to make healthy changes in life. I love this inspired goal.

Each retreat has a different theme, a different mix of speakers – and retreats are held in beautiful locations like Matakana, Waiheke or Ponsonby. Morning tea and lunch are from The Raw Kitchen (so raw healthy foods) and Artemis medicinal teas are on offer throughout the day.

At the Spring Detox Retreat, speakers included Dr Kathleen Wills (a doctor of integrative medicine and an author), Erin O’Hara (a naturopath, medical herbalist and yogi from Golden Yogi), a speaker from Living Nature (a natural skincare and beauty range) and Jenny Hardyment (a Feng Shui enthusiast).

I’m a wellbeing columnist for Fairfax NZ as well as the investing magazine Juno – yet even I learned new tools on this retreat. Here’s a pic of me armed with my writing pen and soaking up all I can! I love being in geek mode…

wellness retreats:holding pen

Anyhow, the experts are rich in knowledge and passionate about their words.

Highlights included Golden Yogi studio owner Erin’s smoothie-making workshop where she explained “the journey through the digestive system”, to the properties of kale and to what happens when you mix blueberries with anything (the colour brown, of course). She’s pictured here with the beautiful long golden hair.

wellness retreats Nikki's class

Her tips were non-stop: “Add protein to smoothies to fill you up”…. “coconut water contains electrolytes”… “”chew food well so you get more nutrients”…. “with skin conditions, look to the digestive system”… “anything high in fat can cause reflux”… Her advice fired at the rate of gun fire. Fast, informative, information and knowledge-loaded. I loved it.

Speaker Kathleen meanwhile reminded us to be kind to others, less harsh, less judgmental (which is something I love about the yogi way, by the way). She also gave us the down-low on hormone health and imbalances and common symptoms.

wellness retreats Dr

Kathleen (the beauty pictured in the green top) talked about oestrogen, testosterone, how to address some health concerns, when to detox (at least once yearly) and, importantly, when not to detox. I loved how she reassured that a detox doesn’t have to be intense. It can mean just cutting down on meat 2-3 times weekly and integrating some healthier habits, for example.

While, The Living Nature expert (this talk is pictured below in the black-and-white pic) scared me off my lipstick and onto theirs…  My jaw dropped when the speaker explained that if you wear lipstick a lot then you will consume 1.2kg of lipstick in your lifetime. Gulp. Literally.

wellness retreats:audience

I seriously questioned what I put on my skin too post this talk. If you put garlic on your feet then 10-minutes later you can taste it in your mouth. So imagine what happens to your makeup. Yeah, you soak that right up too… ew!

So when I heard that Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (often in foaming facial cleansers or body wash) is a chemical also used in industrial cleaning guff this also sent me scrambling through my bathroom cabinet when I got home. It’s a message I need to hammer home to my friends…

So this brand’s argument to “move to a natural approach” was convincing. And the tips for great skin were brill. I soaked those up.  Just not Sodium Lauryl Sulphate any more!

Meanwhile, Jenny’s talk was all about lifting the energy of your home, and life, through the principals of Feng Shui. Her tips were about trying to attract more chi (positive energy) and to deflect “sha” or rather disruptive energy.

She told the audience to “open your eyes to what surrounds you”. She talked about how to soften harsh edges of your home, how decluttering can be good for the mind and energy of a room and she urged us all to go home and “throw away or give away 9 things you don’t need”.

“It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel,” she raved.

She talked about the five elements (fire, earth, metal, wood and water) and how to balance these for more harmony in your environment. I loved her explanation of why we should have plants in our homes:  “It’s living energy”.

Finally, each speaker was just long enough to keep me entertained and happy in my seat. It was a brilliant day and I left feeling inspired.

I’d recommend this retreat. – which is a beautiful day-long escape to rejuvenate.

ps you leave with a bumper goodie bag & then Melissa emails later with a catch-up letter packed too full of discounts from her retreat partners. It’s all part of her incredible caring approach to boost the power of wellness with a wide reach.

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Wellness Retreats NZ is holding their next retreat: Vitality Workshops – Retreat for Men & Women, October 4th – The Sapphire Room, Ponsonby Central. For more info check out their site by clicking here.

ps enter the draw to WIN chia seeds + entries to the Rotorua Marathon through Inspired Health’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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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