Meet Asad Naqvi, the London DJ (a regular at the Box in Soho), who joined forces with City heavyweights Rahil and Nosheen Malik to create SHOT. A simple, healthy, organic and tasty cafe for time starved workers looking to pack nutrition into their day.
We ask the nocturnal animal how he chills out after a long night at the decks, what it’s like DJ’ing with Idris Elba and why balance is the key to happiness…
Would you describe yourself as a healthy hedonist?
I am someone who believes in balance. I feel there are too many extremes when it comes to the modern day world of health and fitness. Some people eat nothing but raw vegetables and do yoga 6 times a day or only eat chicken breast and do bicep curls until they pass out. I consume all foods in moderation and train regularly, which is the key to a healthy body and most importantly, a healthy mind!
What is it like DJ’ing with Idris Elba? Does he come to SHOT?
Idris is extremely humble. I often forget that I am DJ’ing alongside one of the world’s most recognised actors. He hasn’t been to SHOT yet, but given his hectic schedule, I will forgive him!
Tell us a bit more about why you set up SHOT…
At the height of my career as a DJ, I was working a minimum of 4 nights a week, as well as travelling more or less every weekend. All of the late nights, falling asleep on planes and consumption of dodgy airport food really took it’s toll on my health. I realised the only way I was going to stay healthy was to learn more about nutrition and fitness and incorporate it heavily into my life. What I learnt helped me to make so many meaningful changes to my life that I wanted to share. Luckily, my business partner Rahil Malik was on a similar journey at the time. We joined forces and SHOT was born shortly after!
There’s still a lot of confusion and contradictions around healthy eating. What would you say to someone who spends their life counting calories? Funny you ask this particular question! We have just posted on the SHOT blog about this very topic. Check it out here.
Is fat our friend and sugar the enemy?
If only there was a simple answer to this question! In short, fats found in oily fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil and avocado are classed as “good fats” and support the functioning of every cell in the body. Fats found in meat, poultry skin, high-fat dairy, and eggs are not so good and should be consumed sparingly as they can raise cholesterol, clog arteries and lead to heart disease. Refined sugars are definitely the enemy, but naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and vegetables are ok. However, it is important to try and not consume even the naturally occurring sugars in excess. At SHOT, we operate a zero refined sugar policy.
Tell us more about the team behind SHOT and the science behind the menu…
My business partners Rahil & Nosheen Malik are truly amazing people. They have both had hugely successful careers in the corporate world and are now setting out to conquer the business world. We all have very different skills that compliment one another and I feel fortunate to be able to work alongside them everyday. We developed the menu alongside Alice Mackintosh, a highly regarded nutritionist who has worked for The Food Doctor for many years. She has also just launched a supplement brand Equi London, which seems to be doing extremely well! Our SHOT promises underpin the concept and explain the science behind the menu.
Why do you think people in the City need to eat more nutritiously than people who aren’t?
Everyone needs to eat more nutritiously regardless of what they do or where they work. SHOT’s location was based on the fact there is high demand for healthy food amongst those who work long hours in high pressured jobs in the City.
Favourite choice of tipple at the bar?
I am not a big drinker, but I do enjoy a good glass of red wine at dinner.
Favourite place to eat (apart from SHOT)?
Pachamama – the crispy lamb belly with miso & jalapeño is off the charts!
How do you chill out after a long night behind the decks?
SLEEP! After spending 5 hours behind a pair of decks until 4am the only thing on my mind is my bed.
Do you take any nutritional supplements to support your health?
Yes, too many to list in fact! Some of the more regular ones I take are maca, lucuma, spirulina and wheatgrass. I also take one of our magical immunity shots on most days which contains organic cold-pressed ginger, lemon, manuka honey and a healthy dose of organic echinacea which has been shown to modulate immunity, protect and fight against colds and flu.
Do you exercise, if so what’s your workout of choice and why?
Yoga for mobility, pilates for core strengthening, weightlifting for building and boxing for stress relief!!!
What are the key contributors to your happiness?
The good health and happiness of all of my loved ones. Can’t ask for much more than that! Oh, and good food of course!
Balance is key!