Fitness coach and lifestyle blogger Rachel Grunwell is on a mission to get Kiwis living 'well'. Editor Trudi Brewer meets the multi-marathon runner to find out how she stays strong inside and out.


If you’re in need of some health and fitness motivation this new year, a few of these great tips from this mother of three, multi-marathon runner, blogger, and life coach may help you with your goals. Editor Trudi Brewer chats with Rachel Grunwell at her inner-city Auckland home.


You have a lot on your plate as a columnist, blogger and running your coaching business, Inspired Health. What’s a typical working day for you? 
Sitting at my desk writing with my British blue cat Hermione purring on the couch beside me. I interview experts throughout New Zealand and globally in my speciality area of wellness. I also get to go to a lot of events and love meeting people, it's a great excuse to put on a nice dress and some lippy!

What do you love most about your work?
Helping people look and feel amazing is the most uplifting part of my work. I feel really emotional when clients lose weight and can fit their old clothes again, or get fitter and feel increased energy levels and more vibrancy in their life. I love looking at an individual’s lifestyle and tweaking it to help them reach their goals.

What has been your career high to date? 
I always dreamed of becoming an award-winning journalist, so being named Social Issues Journalist of the Year was a big achievement for me. I love my work as a wellness columnist and I often get stopped in cafes by people who tell me I’ve inspired them to try a fitness or health idea. I feel so grateful to hear this feedback.


What does beauty mean to you? 
Being beautiful on the inside and outside matters to me. I love the exterior stuff –great products, heels, lipstick, a stunning dress – but if you aren’t beautiful on the inside then the outside stuff doesn’t flow. Beauty means knowing who you are, being genuinely happy and being kind. 

What's always in your beauty bag when you travel? 
I don't go anywhere without Pureology haircare and my foundation, mascara, lippy, and lipgloss. I'm definitely a girly girl. I use a mix of different brands, I love Clinique, MAC, Estee Lauder, Ultraceuticals, Weleda , Pure Fiji and Linden Leaves. 

Beauty means knowing who you are, being genuinely happy and being kind. 
— Rachel Grunwell
Marc Jacobs Daisy Love and Linden Leaves Thank You candle.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Love and Linden Leaves Thank You candle.

What's your beauty weakness? 
Chocolate without a doubt! I eat it every day and that’s one of the reasons I run!

Favourite fragrance? 
Currently Marc Jacobs Daisy Love.

Grunwell’s beauty collection on her dressing table.


What is your wellness philosophy? 
You deserve to be healthier and happier. It’s a prescription for wellness and being the best 'you'. I teach clients how to do this and thrive.

You've run an amazing 22 marathons, were you always a good runner? 
No! I started running five years ago and was terrible at it. I looked the colour of a fire engine! I hated it but I kept at it and got better. Now I love running, it's like moving meditation to me. I find flow when I run. 

What are your best marathon memories? 
I’ve guided several disabled athletes through marathons over the years. To run my own race is incredible but to help someone else achieve their dream lifts my heart.

Grunwell in the flourishing greens garden of her inner-city Auckland home.

Grunwell in the flourishing greens garden of her inner-city Auckland home.

What do you do on those days when you need motivation to get moving? 
I lay out my clothes the night before so all I have to do is roll out of bed, get dressed and get out of the door. I do it because working out makes me feel amazing.

Do you follow a special diet? 
I believe in balance. I eat 80-90 per cent healthy, nutrient-rich foods, but I also eat chocolate, cake and have a glass of red sometimes. I coach my clients to live a life in balance too. I hate deprivation – life is for living!

Do you take any supplements? 
Yes, quite a few. Ben Warren's BePure supplements are amazing. I love his CoQ10 and Vitamin C powder to name just two. I also take Go Healthy magnesium at night. 

A keen gardener Grunwell grows salad greens and fruit for her daily smoothie, and flowers from her inner-city home.


What is your favourite room? 
The kitchen. I love the artwork, books and flowers picked fresh from my garden. From this room you can also see my antique clawfoot bath in the bathroom – one of my favourite places to bliss out at night.

What do you always have on your bedside table? 
A Linden Leaves scented candle (my nightly ritual), perfumes, a china swan my Nana gave me, Aromatherapy Associates oils, and a pile of lifestyle and wellness books! 

Grunwell in her garden wearing Juliette Hogan.

What are your most treasured possessions? 
My three boys are my everything and my greatest wish is for their happiness. As for material possessions; it's my alto saxophone, jewellery and girly dresses. I’m also sponsored by NewBalance and lucky to own running shoes in every imaginable colour.

Grunwell at home in the kitchen with her collection of wellness books, kids photos, and her British blue cat Hermione.

Photography Keryn Sweeney

Makeup Sarah Zlatarevic.