Written by Marike Cronjé
While travel cravings brewed steadily in the background for the past 3 months, we took the time to connect with celebrity fitness-duo, Naomi Teal and Bolko Aleksiev from Refuel Concept to explore the future of health and fitness travel in a post-COVID-19 world. With many travelers re-evaluating the way in which they travel and the effects of a balanced lifestyle on their health, Ker & Downey® Africa chats to One&Only Le Saint Géran’s wellness experts on how they are incorporating fitness, health and mindfulness on the luxury traveler’s Mauritius itinerary.
Naomi: My wellness journey started when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011. It was a catalyst for taking 100% responsibility for my own health and wellbeing which prompted further studies in Nutritional Science, gut health, allergies and intolerances. I am also an NLP Practitioner (as is Bolko) which helps me with my clients to identify deeper-lying subconscious habits and limitations that are holding them back from achieving optimum health and freedom. I understand that it’s more than what we eat, it’s how we talk to ourselves – highlighting the mind-body and environment connection. Everything has to be considered as everything is connected! How we became resident partners at Le Saint Géran was in fact Bolko, to begin with. He was connected by the resort as they were requiring a professional with his expertise. Upon Bolko’s first visit in April 2019 he soon realised that the resort would very much benefit from both of our services – providing a holistic approach by creating a synergy of wellness; from food and fitness to consultations and spa therapies in which encapsulates the essence of my programmes.
Naomi: Firstly, I would sit down with the guest for a consultation to understand their personal objectives and to get to know them a little better too – as I will be their wellness advisor for the duration of their stay. Once I’ve understood the guest’s requirements and offer some wellness advice, I then create a bespoke programme working alongside the resorts exquisite spa and practitioners to prescribe the most beneficial therapy. I then confer with Bolko to discuss the guest’s objectives, where he can then offer a personalised training or movement session. The programme also includes cold-pressed juices using local and seasonal produce, healthy snacks and a wellness lunch menu. I offer advice on what to eat for breakfast and dinner to help the guest achieve optimum results during their programme and stay. These 3 days of wellness will inspire new healthy habits that can be continued upon returning home. I work alongside resort staff to provide support in making sure that the guest’s dietary requirements are taken care of.
Naomi: Yes definitely! From food preferences to fitness, guests are not only wanting, but expecting to be able to continue with their daily healthy lifestyle habits. Holidays for most are much more wellness orientated – gone off the boozy and over indulging get-aways, guests are wanting more balanced breaks where they can still enjoy the luxury offerings but also leave feeling rejuvenated and energised.
Naomi: We are there 3 months out of the year, during Easter (mid-March – mid-April), Half Term (mid-October – mid-November) then over Christmas and New Years (mid-December – mid-January). Our exact dates will be available on the website or you can contact the resort directly.
Naomi: Mauritius embodies an environment perfect for a reset, whether you choose to stay on the tranquil resort or venture out to explore wonders such as the first active energy vortex, one of 14 found on the planet. The cosmic energy travels in spirals through the vortex regulating the energetic dis-balance within those who visit. This island feels very special with an abundance of fresh local nourishing produce. Le Saint Géran is an oasis, with lush green grounds, white sands and turquoise waters. With a luxury spa and top of the range fitness equipment and sporting activities such as yoga and tennis to paddle boarding and water skiing. The resort inspires guests wanting to keep active during their holiday and also offers a wonderful setting to relax and rejuvenate both body and mind.
Naomi: My Well&Good Consultation takes place in La Carre, a tranquil and elegant space that feels comfortable and relaxed, allowing myself to work through the guest’s daily habits, health issues and objectives calmly and in confidence. I am there for the guest in whichever capacity they require to optimise personal wellbeing during their stay. Whether that’s discussing a current disease in the body or mind, dietary requirements – coordinating with chefs and staff to ensure needs are met, encouragement and support to embark on new healthy habits. I provide advice, health hacks and an open heart and mind. As an NLP Practitioner, I’m able to break down paradigms, decoding the subconscious, breaking down behaviours and self-limiting beliefs. I have many clients from the resort that continue with my service remotely as their wellness allay.
Bolko: I graduated in New York with a BSc in Sports Science back in 1998 and started a very fortunate career as a trainer in LA in 1999. After spending 3 years in LA training celebrities for movie roles and maintaining their lifestyle goals, I moved to London where I continued my role as a celebrity trainer but my goal was to be more involved with professional athletes due to my sports science background. In 2005 I had the opportunity to help a very talented football player with his speed and agility which enabled me to prove my skill set. This was the start of my 6-year career as a performance coach for Premiership Football Players. Then in 2012, I was asked to be a private trainer to a prestigious family based in London which exposed me to several other high net-worth clientele. Naomi and I initially meet each other back in 2004 but started our relationship in 2014. Naomi was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011 and I soon came to understand that she had a strong desire to learn about her autoimmunity and how she could heal herself through food and healthy lifestyle habits. Naomi enrolled in a nutritional science course and from that point on we both felt we wanted to pay it forward by helping others and in 2015 ReFuel was born…
Bolko: The service I offer to guests at O&O are for ALL levels of fitness. I offer 1 ON 1, couples sessions to family training ranging from strength & conditioning, weight management, lifestyle maintenance, cross-training, plyometrics, and HIIT. I tailor my sessions to the client’s needs and abilities, that’s why I believe movement has no restrictions on age or ability, in fact, the older we become the more movement plays an important role in optimum wellbeing and longevity.
Bolko: Maintaining an all-round healthy lifestyle is about so many different factors, including how you’re eating and drinking to relaxing, moving and thinking when it comes to living your best healthiest life. These fundamental habits can be applied by everyone and aren’t meant to be complicated, with consistency and commitment we are all capable of achieving optimum health and wellness.