Ultratravel Autumn 2013

Page 46


Heston Blumenthal at Como Shambhala Estate, Bali THE GOAL I hadn’t been on a two-week holiday for

regime” was seriously brave for me. However, I did

three years, and I needed to get away and relax. I’m

stop short of colonics; my stiff upper lip kicked in.

also about to have a hip operation, so I wanted to

Normally, I do about 10 hours of exercise a week and

strengthen my core and get as fit as possible.

I’ve been interested in nutrition since I was a teenager.

THE TREATMENT Como Shambhala specialises in

But I don’t always practise what I know is good for me.

“wellness programmes” lasting three, five or seven

I eat lots of fruit, for instance, and it’s full of sugar, and

nights. I chose the stress management option, with the

I drink coffee, which stimulates the brain to produce

aim of slowing down, detoxing (usually, I’ll have two or

cortisol: not good, because it stops you burning fat. Meditation, I knew, would really help me unwind,

intake (some days I’ll taste about 70 dishes, which

so I did it every day. When I tried it once before, I lasted

doesn’t help the waistline).

about five minutes. This time, Mark got me to

After a visit to the doctor and the nutritionist,

concentrate on my breathing (in through the nose, out

a three-day programme was created, with daily

through the mouth) and helped me to focus my mind:

sessions of meditation (to help clear my mind), yoga

to concentrate on one thing, like the sounds of the

(for stretching and strengthening muscles), the

forest, or an object such as a raisin, say, for five or 10

Chinese movement therapy qigong (incredibly

minutes. By the end of three days, he had to bring me

relaxing) and aerobic sessions at the gym (my choice).

out of my “mindful” state after an hour, I was so

Detoxing was aided by a daily massage and a diet of

absorbed. The juices were delicious – the “Liven Up

juices made from vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs.

Your Liver” one, for instance, was apple, spinach,

THE PLACE The scenery was like something from The

cauliflower, garlic, ginger, turmeric – and oddly, I never

Lord of the Rings, with steep, mossy, grass-covered

felt hungry, although I did miss my wine. The

hills, tropical rainforests buzzing with insect and bird

acupuncture was really effective; David put something

life, and really pretty waterfalls. The rooms, arranged

hot at the end of the needles, and I came out feeling

around swimming pools and made from dark wood,

very energised. The yoga, the qigong and massages

were airy and spacious, with high ceilings and four-

helped me to empty my mind, stretch and relax.

posters swathed in mosquito nets. The public areas

I learnt that, although we are called “human beings”,

were all open-sided, which I loved because I’m

we don’t spend enough time being, and far too much

a fresh-air freak and always get hot (I get through

time doing. So, what I’m trying to do is change that.

about four chef’s whites a night when I’m cooking).

That floating feeling The spa at Como Shambhala Estate (above), surrounded by pools. Left: Heston Blumenthal, learning to meditate. Below: one of the treatment rooms. All public areas on the estate are open-sided and surrounded by forest

The result is that I lost six pounds in three days,

THE THERAPISTS A great mix of real pros: David

learnt to live without wine and am aiming to have only

Melladew, an American doctor and acupuncturist, who

vegetable juice two days a week – not easy when

trained in martial arts and spent time in a monastery

you’re a chef, but that’s how good it made me feel.

learning about Buddhism; Mark Chaves, a former

THE DETAILS Healing Holidays (020 7843 3597,

IT specialist and athlete from California who gave it up

healingholidays.co.uk) is offering a seven-night

to teach meditation and yoga; Eve Persak, a triathlete

Oriental Wellness Programme at Como Shambhala

and nutritionist; and chefs Heidi Flanagan and Amanda

from £3,150 per person. The price includes a return

Gale, who worked for Neil Perry in Australia.

flight, transfers, full-board accommodation, one

HOW IT WENT I am a real British male when it comes

wellness evaluation, three 60-minute acupuncture

to spas. To me, male grooming means toothpaste,

treatments, two 60-minute massages, two

toothbrush and shower gel, and on the beach I still

private qigong sessions and access to daily

cover up with a towel. So signing up to a “wellness

scheduled activities, from walks to yoga classes.


three glasses of wine a night) and reducing my calorie





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