Balance Food, Health and Happiness


New Zealand wellness expert Rachel Grunwell interviews more than 30 experts globally to create a comprehensive book that will help you live a healthier and happier life.

Beatnik Publishing RRP $40


Rachel Grunwell’s book Balance+ Food, Health + Happiness is like a Choc Honey Frappe for the Soul.


Rachel’s premise is that one’s lifestyle and values needs to be congruent with the activities of daily living.  Food plays a big part in this book,  having advice that leans heavily towards identifying less processed and more on home-made foods the readers are encouraged to create eating habits that are satisfying, sustainable and suitable to them and those they love.

The ability to plan what goals you would like to achieve and set about finding the right people to help you is shown by Rachel’s interviews with the field’s leaders in sports training, nutrition and business.  Altruism is a theme of Rachel’s journey so far.  Her work with the Achilles International to help people who manage a disability run marathons shows just how much fun life can be when you help others achieve great things. 

Proper Rest

Rachel belives in balance. To her, it is equally important to rest and recover. Having the right bed, a comfortable pillow and conditions that optimise for sleep go a long way towards personal wellbeing.


It is the blend of appropriate rest, good fuel, and enjoyable life activities that helps you acheive an uplifted mood and balance.  This book has inspirational conversations and seasonal treates to ensure your tast buds have fun on the way too.


Rachel’s journey into wellbeing writing started when she was on maternity leave from court reporting.  She had an offer of part time writing a column on wellbeing.  Now she is a Spiced-Up Turmeric Latte sipping multi marathoner.  She frankly muses that if she had been given the assignment for a wine column that her life would be very different from it is now.




‘Life ultimately is about experiences and authentic connections with people you care about and love, not stuff.’



This book gives you some pretty good tips to get you in the zone to be able life a life full of enjoyable experiences and connections. 

And now something for your soul...


Choc Honey Frappe


On a summery day, there’s nothing like

an ice-cold slushy-style chocolate drink.

And did I mention chocolate? This is

sooooo good. To make it extra chocolatey

I sometimes add half a cup of high quality

cacao powder (instead of the

quarter cup recommended). Just use the

amount of cacao to suit your taste buds.

If you don’t have flax-seed oil at hand,

then this is still delicious without it. I love

adding this ingredient, though, because

it has omega-3 fatty acids. There are no

preservatives in this cup. Just good stuff.

1 tsp mānuka honey

1 frozen large banana, skin removed

pinch vanilla bean powder

½ cup almond milk

¼ cup dark cacao powder

1½ cups ice

1 tsp flax-seed oil

pinch salt


Put all the ingredients into a blender

and blitz until smooth. Then pour the

thick mixture into a glass. I topped this

one with bee pollen because I had it in

my cupboard. But it’s absolutely fine

without any topping (and cheaper, of

course!). Or try adding strawberries on

top if they are in season. You can use

a straw to slurp up the drink or eat it

using a spoon.


Spiced-Up Turmeric Latte


If you haven’t tried a turmeric latte yet,

you are in for a truly lovely experience.

A good turmeric latte tastes creamy, spicy

and earthy and leaves you feeling full.

My first turmeric latte left me disappointed,

but I know now that it had been made

with water and so wasn’t creamy-tasting

enough. Thankfully I tried another one

at Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne, and

that’s when the love affair began. The

knowledge that this brew is soothing

and has incredible anti-inflammatory

properties makes it even more appealing.

Fellow foodie Kelly Gibney has a beautiful

version of the turmeric latte in her book

Wholehearted: Inspiring Real Food for

Every Day. Or if you are in Auckland,

treat yourself to Megan May’s turmeric

offerings at one of her Little Bird Unbakery

cafés. Here is one version I make at home

which I love; it’s goodness in a cup.


¼ cup raw cashews

1 cup filtered water

½ cup coconut cream

1 tsp fresh turmeric (scrape off the skin

with a teaspoon then grate. Alternatively,

use 1 tsp powdered form)

2cm piece of fresh ginger (or use ½ tsp

powdered form)

1 tsp mānuka honey

½ tsp each of ground cinnamon and


1 tsp coconut oil

1 grind of black pepper


Soak the cashews in the water for three

hours first. Then put them in a sieve and

wash them clean with more water. Place

them and everything else in a blender

(except the coconut oil and pepper)

and blitz, then heat in a saucepan on

the stove. Add the coconut oil while it’s

heating. When warm, pour into a cup,

top with a grind of pepper and savour.




Award-winning journalist Rachel Grunwell is a respected wellness expert, magazine wellness columnist and recipe creator, qualified coach and yoga teacher. On top of that, the mum-of-three is the blogger behind the Inspired Health website which inspires people to move more and live well. She’s one of NZ’s top wellness influencers and has worked with lots of globally- renowned brands. Rachel has gone from being an unfit mum to a multi-marathoner, and is passionate that being ‘busy’ should not be some crazy badge of honour. Rachel has interviewed more than 30 global experts about science-backed health and happiness tips, and believes her book Balance will help you to de-stress, have more emotional intelligence and be happier. She has used many of the tools in her book to positively uplift her own life – and she shares how you can achieve balance in your life too.

In Balance Rachel interviews 30 experts globally to get the best of tips on how to uplift your mind, body and soul so that you can live your best life. Along the way, Rachel also shares her story on how she went from being an unfit, stressed out investigative journalist and mother, to someone who is now a multi-marathoner and wellness expert who coaches others with fitness and lifestyle plans.

As well as interviews with experts, Balance has 30 recipes for nutrient-dense, delicious snacks and smoothies, including some sweet treats, because the book is all about ‘balance.’

Balance is a science-based book with the best tips from a variety of experts that will inspire you to move well, eat well, think well, feel well and live well.

Liam Butler

Liam has been reviewing books, movies and music for a bit of light relief since his student days.

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