Menethe lives her dream

Sports-specific food and overall wellbeing
MSN Wellness delivers meals, provides meal plans specifically tailored to individual goals, and can assist you with meal preparation.
Kristien Kruger
"It was a huge challenge to start my own business and it required a lot of bravery, but I have a vocation for my life and without this vocation, I would not live out my purpose. I had to walk a path with the Lord and do what He wants me to do."
This according to the owner of MSN Wellness, Menethe Nawes, who lives out her passion for healthy food, wellbeing and sport, using her expertise to guide Namibia's national u/20 rugby team to become well-rounded and healthy sportsmen.
Menethe was a personal trainer who quickly realised that this industry was oversaturated. In her search for a niche that speaks to the masses, in 2022 she decided to switch to healthy food and meal preparation.
“It started with just meal preparation. After that, I decided to start a meal prep guide as well. People can also come for one-on-one meal preparation lessons, or 'master classes' where I prepare meals with them weekly so that I can show them the ropes," says Menethe.
Her qualifications in advanced personal coaching, as well as basic nutrition and wellness coaching at Trifocus Fitness Academy, give Menethe the necessary expertise to assist people in food planning that suits everyone's lifestyle and goals. For advice and lessons on healthy food and help with meal preparation, clients can contact Menethe for a consultation, after which she helps them put together a meal plan.
MSN Wellness' meals can also be ordered from a menu and delivered to you. Recently, these meals have also started to be delivered to the coast.
"The meals are vacuum packed that you can keep frozen, take out and just put in the microwave. It is very new and somewhat of a challenge. I also get new recipes and ideas on how to approach these meals."
There is a wide variety of packages that vary between three meals, every day of the week, five days of the week or three days. The meals can also be reduced to only one or two meals a day and the prices are determined accordingly.
After Menethe established MSN Wellness, she discovered a new passion - sports-based food for teams.
“It's my favourite, I have to say, working with sports teams. It is now my passion."
"I discovered this passion after the former Namibian rugby player Darryl De La Harpe reached out to me and said that an u/20 rugby training camp was being organised. His brother is the head coach and they needed someone to provide food, but they needed specific meals. It was like a new challenge and I took it and ran with it, it's my main focus now."
According to Menethe, the work with the Namibian u/20 rugby team was a highlight for her. She provides the team with meals during training camps and has put together a meal plan for each player that caters to each one's requirements. According to Menethe, the majority of players' goal is to gain muscle mass and she puts together an eating plan to achieve that goal.
The focus with this team is not only healthy nutrition but also development and physical, mental and emotional well-being.
"The young players are open to learning because they are fresh out of school and the majority want to play professionally. So they want to know what they need to do to embark on this journey and become a professional athlete. It was the best experience for me so far."
Apart from her work with rugby players, Menethe has also worked with cross-fitters, tennis, hockey and soccer players in the past.
“It is interesting that, although one only works with athletes, different sports codes also require different nutritional requirements. For example, when we look at a tennis player or a hockey player, we focus more on making sure that the calories and the macros they are getting still allow for the agility that their sport requires. They still have to be light on their feet."
According to Menethe, the cross-fitters are very strict and dedicated when it comes to food and that was their eating. "However, they have many demands and do not eat very well at all. It's very different from the rugby players who only want to eat meat, rice and potatoes," Menethe scoffs. She is serious about her goal to work with more and bigger teams in the future.
MSN Wellness' meal provision and lessons are not only very sport specific but also specific to individuals.
"If you have certain calorie requirements, we also try to stick to those calories and the macros, especially because I want to focus on athletic performance and sports development. So there are specific macros that you have to follow, especially if you're a high-intensity athlete. We have to make sure that you get the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats, and that it's all well-balanced," she explains.
Menethe's expertise can also help her clients who don't know what their calorie requirements are or how much they should consume per day.
“I'm doing an imbalance scan with you where we look at an analysis of body composition and proportion. We look at your protein, minerals, total water percentage, body fat and muscle mass. It's like I'm walking a journey with you. It's very one-on-one and personal," she says.
Coffee, beer a no-go
Menethe's biggest tip for athletes who are serious about their sport is to do away with too much caffeine before a practice, match or competition.
“Caffeine affects your adrenal gland. It takes you to an extreme high and then it quickly drops again. Caffeine in a certain moderation is good, but if you exceed a certain limit, your entire endocrine system is affected. This causes a backlog because your body wants to clear all this caffeine so that your adrenal glands and endocrine system can function properly and your fight-or-flight response, adrenaline and decision-making can function optimally."
According to her, people often think their bodies have a caffeine deficiency, but it is probably a shortage of vitamins, minerals or proteins. According to her, however, one can simply get it from a good, nutritious meal.
According to Menethe, athletes should instead try to consume carbohydrates and proteins, but beer does not count!
"I think in Namibia we have a culture where we drink beer after a game or competition, but it's just empty calories that you have to work off again on a Monday. Why would you do that to your body only to be dehydrated on Monday and struggle to get back 'into it'?”
Body positivity
One thing that Menethe is very positive about and makes a point of sharing on her social media platforms is body positivity. It teaches people not only to love their bodies but also themselves as people.
“I struggled a lot with insecurities about my body, mainly because I was bigger than the other personal trainers in the industry. I would always look at myself differently, but then I realised that I can't preach something to my clients and my athletes if I don't practice it myself."
According to Menethe, she struggled to love her body after she decided to stop personal training and her career took a new course.
"I had to learn how to love my body, even if I wasn't happy with where it was at the time."
Many people struggle with body positivity and social media can be partly to blame for that, she says.
"People look at someone and think they have it all together, but you don't know what that person might be struggling with. That's why I'm so open on my profile about the things I struggle with."
Menethe also links body positivity to a person's mental health and explains that negativity about your body can spill over into other aspects of your life such as your relationships. – [email protected]