Staying fit and healthy is never an easy task but spend a week with the gorgeous Aishwarya Ajit Gordon and you know exactly where to go and what to do to keep your body in shape. Masala! did exactly that and had the exclusive chance to get up close and personal with the host of the new TV series ‘Body and Mind’. The locally produced lifestyle and wellness show featured some of the region’s biggest health, lifestyle and fitness destinations and experts. From healthy cooking recipes, nutritional guidance and fitness classes to detoxifying spa treatments, the show had it all – right in the heart of the city. Together with the YouTube diva, we explored new joints around town and found out how she stays in shape!
DAY 1 – THE INTENSE WORKOUT
‘I personally love CrossFit workout regimes. It’s a great way of getting fit for all age groups, body types and varying fitness degrees,’ says Aishwarya. CrossFit is known be an intensive workout, focusing on ten recognised fitness domains: increased power, speed, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
Sitting on a machine for an hour doing repetitive moments will not help maintain any progress made over time. Whereas these group programs in CrossFit are built around the ideology of minimising machinery and maximising proper muscle-making workouts. ‘It’s a really intense, raw and a hard-core workout. It helps build strength and is very different from other workout regimes – this is definitely more heavy duty,’ summarises Aishwarya.
INFO: CrossFit Sands, Motor City Dubai, +971 4 420 7997.
DAY 2 – DETOX DAY
Aishwarya is a strong believer of healthy eating and detoxifying once in a while. ‘Detox is a very loosely used term by many and the internet is filled with different diet plans that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. I decided to clarify this once and for all,’ explains Aishwarya. According to nutritionist Mitun De Sarkar, detox is about steering clear of processed or packaged foods and instead indulging into fresh produce and organic foods in the diet. Because of our busy and fast moving lifestyles, it becomes important to detox our bodies and our colon once in three months to refresh our system.
Aishwarya’s Detox Diet
7:00am: Soak in the sun for some Vitamin D and drink hot water with lemon.
7.30 am: Sip on coconut water with chia seeds.
8:30am: Have a bowl of organic steel cut oats with almond milk and berries.
10:30am: Green juice with spinach, kale, rocket leaves, watercress and green apple for sweetness.
12:30pm: Have a bowl of quinoa salad with sweet potato, kale, spinach, beet, sprouts and sunflower seeds drizzled with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
2.30pm: Turmeric tea for detox.
5.30pm: Make a bowl of soup made from slow-cooked warm cabbage, celery and parsley. Have a salad made with baby spinach, boiled brown lentils, pistachios, grated fresh coconut, red and yellow bell peppers drizzled with organic apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Steamed salmon or seaweed instead of lentils can also be added.
DAY 3 – HEALTHY MEAL OUT
We all love to indulge in a restaurant meal sometimes, including Aishwarya! ‘When I am out and craving a healthy meal, I go to Market Kitchen. I love their unique concept of modern American cuisine with a local influence.’ The restaurant, housed in Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, focuses on using ingredients from the UAE by locally sourcing vegetables, fish and meat. ‘My favourite starter is the Tune Tartare, followed by the Grilled Salmon Salad for the main course. It’s super healthy and tastes incredible,’ quips Aishwarya. Nobody likes to skip on the dessert… ‘My favourite at Market Kitchen is the Pineapple Carpaccio, it’s like comfort food with a healthy twist! I even got Chef de Cuisine, Grant Balliner to give me the secret recipe,’ she shares.
INFO: Market Kitchen, Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Street, +971 2 674 2552.
DAY 4 – FIGHTING YOGA
MMA Yoga is the first of its kind in the UAE, mixing the practice of Mixed Martial Arts with yoga. ‘I personally love yoga and to be able to explore different types of yoga is absolutely fantastic. I know a lot of women feel intimidated by MMA but this is a great way of trying it out in a more subtle manner,’ says Aishwarya. Another one of her favourite classes at the venue is the Piloga class, combining Pilates with yoga. ‘In today’s fast world where we’re constantly running around, it becomes important to find the time to relax and breathe.’ One of the oldest forms of exercise, yoga offers a range of benefits including weight loss, stress relief, improved immunity, increased energy and better flexibility.
INFORMATION: Piloga, Bay Square, Business Bay, +971 4 456 4499.
DAY 5 – REWIND AND RELAX
It’s important to spoil and pamper yourself too sometimes, especially if you have busy schedules throughout your week. ‘Yhi Spa is one of the best spas I have been to in Dubai. This is the first time I’ve actually fallen asleep during a massage! It was so relaxing that I didn’t even realise how tired I was.’ Along with Aishwarya’s blissfully relaxing massage, she also opted for a reflexology session and a face massage. ‘With reflexology, I learned that the entire body is connected to the feet and by pressing different parts of your feet you can actually analyse different pains. The science behind this is truly fascinating,’ she says. For those who have knots and stresses due to long hours of work (let’s admit, that’s most of us), it’s about time you take a day off too and enjoy the services in this grand spa offering a range of different massages and facials.
INFO: Yhi Spa, Mélia Dubai, Al Mina Road, +971 4 386 8111.
DAY 6 – TIME TO HAVE SOME FUN
Pole fitness is finally recognised as a true sport, shedding its outdated and stereotypically seedy image, welcoming ladies of all shapes, sizes and ages wishing to enjoy an intense workout while also having some fun. It’s certainly the hottest workout on the circuit today (with even a celebrity fan following), combining cardio, flexibility and strength in the form of an extremely empowering dance. Aishwarya fondly recollects her experience of the class. ‘The classes includes spectacular spins, impressive tricks and graceful choreographies in an accessible way. It’s quite intense and doesn’t compare to anything I’ve ever done – it may be challenging but at the same time it’s a very sensual form of workout that boosts confidence.’ An important tip for beginners from Aishwarya? ‘Make sure you don’t moisturise your skin at least 10 hours before doing the class!’
INFO: PoleFit Dubai, Marina Promenade, +971 4 551 6911.
DAY 7 – DANCE YOUR HEART OUT
Dancing as a form of exercise is often underestimated or rather overlooked. However, studies have shown that regular dancers gain significantly from both physical as well as mental benefits. The mission of the studio is to touch, move and inspire people through the joys of dancing. ‘DANS is one of the best dance classes I have ever been to!’ Aishwarya excitedly reveals. ‘It feels like you’re at a wedding dancing to famous Bollywood tracks. Great cardio exercises are incorporated into the dance choreography like lunges, body twists, squats and so on. It really brings out the child in you without any inhibitions – the workout is amazing and fun when you actually enjoy what you’re doing.’ A tip from the studio is to ideally practice it regularly at the same time slot as this conditions the mind to expect the associated adrenaline rush and crave the exercise. What better way to lose weight than by dancing your heart out?
INFO: DANS, multiple outlets in Bur Dubai, Karama, Tecom and Business Bay, +971 4 358 3555.
INFORMATION: The 13-episode TV show, Body & Mind, airs every Saturday at 6pm on Colors TV Middle East. You can also find the full episodes on www.youtube.com/colorstvmena.
Tuna Tartare Recipe
Step 1: Smash one avocado, whisk it and add salt and pepper to form the base.
Step 2: Take fresh tuna and thinly dice it while adding salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3: Place a mould on your plate, spoon in the avocado which goes at the bottom, followed by the tuna on top. This can be garnished with radish for flavour.
Step 4: For the dressing, combine white vinegar, soy sauce and ginger in a bowl to pour alongside the dish. Voilà!