Beauty Review | Dove’s Revolutionary Dry Spray Antiperspirant

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Dove Dry Spray

I may be adventurous and willing to try new things, especially when it comes to fashion but there are a few things I am hesitant to play around with. One of those being my antiperspirant. My lifestyle is crazy busy and when my days consists of long hours of meetings, photo shoots, events and sometimes multiple workouts, I can’t leave that to chance. For as long as I can remember, I have used the same deodorant and while I didn’t have major issues when it came to protecting me against sweat, I did however find the collection of white residue under my arms and traces of deodorant on my clothes super annoying.

If you were to rummage through my bathroom cabinets, you will find a ton of personal care products from the Dove family. Everything from hair care, body washes and their beauty bars…all but their antiperspirant until now. For the last month I’ve been testing out the brand’s newest technology, a dry spray deodorant. I will admit, I was hesitant to try it at first based on my preconceived notions on non-stick deodorants, but figured if I love all of Dove’s other products, there’s a high probability I could love this too. Dove’s Dry Spray Antiperspirant is simply just that. A spray that goes on instantly dry – not to be confused with regular aerosol deodorants on the market that go on wet and can irritate delicate underarm skin. This revolutionary product is the first antiperspirant spray that contains 1/4 moisturizers. A welcomed feature for me as I’ve noticed that area can become dry from excessive shaving. Not only do each of the four variants smell heavenly, but somehow the Dove team figured out a way for this spray to provide 48 hour protection.

Using it is easy. First, shake the can well before each use and hold it approximately 15 cm’s from your underarm. Spray for 2 seconds – that’s it! So here’s the skinny…I literally put Dove’s dry spray through the ringer. It survived my crazy hectic workdays and long training runs. My underarms are frequently on display when I work out and during photo shoots so I was thrilled to not have any deodorant residue visible, especially showing up in photos – something that has happened a few times in the past. Dove was not kidding about the extended protection. I come home at the end of the day still feeling as fresh and dry as I did when I left in the morning.  Dove Dry Spray is available now in four scents; Beauty, Revive, Cool Essentials and Original (the jasmine, freesia and water lily notes in the Beauty scent is my fave!) and can be found at most major food and drug retailers nationwide for around $5.99. In case you missed it, check out my Rudsak experience with Dove at World Mastercard Fashion Week here. For more information on Dove and it’s products, head to Dove.ca.

Posted on by Sasha in BEAUTY Leave a comment

Adidas Stella Sport Spring 2015 Collection

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Adidas Stella Sport Spring Collection

When I heard the news that Stella McCartney was collaborating again with Adidas, but this time on a collection focused to younger women at an attainable price point, I was no doubt intrigued. Over the last decade McCartney has created such phenomenal high end/contemporary fitness collections that I have drooled over for seasons, but the price point is only affordable for a select few. In the last few years, fitness and exercise has become a lifestyle and not just something people do occasionally. With an influx of young women adapting to a healthy lifestyle, there has definitely been a need for apparel to match this hip and youthful demographic.

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

The first drop of the Adidas Stella Sport collection launched in February of this year, in case you missed it you can check out my post here. Just in time for spring, the second drop of the collection has hit stores and online. With bold colour blocking and the “Athlesiure” trend’s go-to fabric, neoprene, Stella Sport apparel combines performance wear with just the right amount of city street style.

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

 

I’ve been an athlete my entire life but for 15 years my focus was only in one sport – tennis! Over the last two years I’ve been exploring all different types of workouts in an effort to keep my body moving and to avoid boredom – running, boxing, dance, yoga, tai-chi, pilates. With so much of my time dedicated to fitness and working out, clothing that can hold up against my sweat, movement but still be super cute is the holy grail. My collection obsessions right now…the red neoprene varsity jacket is in heavy rotation and I can’t get enough of this season’s super flattering tights.

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

Adidas Stella SportPhotography by Nathalia Allen amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds)

Select pieces from the collection are available now at SportChek locations in Canada. To view the entire collection, head to Adidas.ca and be prepared to want literally everything!

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS Leave a comment

Cadillac Reveals Its Premium Luxury CT6 Sedan in NYC

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Cadillac CT6 Sedan

For the last year and a half I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with General Motors Canada and their diverse portfolio of brands. Very early on in our relationship, I was drawn to the offerings of the Cadillac brand. If you have been reading my blog for a while you are well aware of my passion for cars which I credit to my father’s influence. Like many other car enthusiasts, I had the common misconception that only Germans knew about performance and could make cars for “drivers” while North American companies focused on making vehicles for “passengers” with fancy bells and whistles. Well, boy was I ever wrong! Something special has been happening with Cadillac over the last year and the brand’s focus has been on finding ways to marry the worlds of performance, technology and luxury design within their fleet of vehicles. I had the privileged of getting behind the wheel of Cadillac’s SRX, ATS, CTS, CTS Sport, XTS (you can check out my road trip experience with it here) last year and it changed my view on North American cars forever.

Cadillac started 2015 off with bang. In January during the Oscars, the brand launched it’s new “Dare Greatly” campaign as part of their strategy to reposition Cadillac as a distinctive alternative to it’s German competitors. Throughout the Academy Awards broadcast, four commercials aired to promote their new CT6 luxury sedan featuring individuals with inspiring stories of how they have taken risks in their careers and included fashion designer Jason Wu and Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak. Aside from the attractive body of the vehicle that made a small cameo appearance towards the end of the first commercial, I personally was intrigued by the message because of the risks I have taken myself to get to where I am today.

I had the privilege of going to New York City at the beginning of April with a handful of Canadian media to witness the world premiere of the CT6 full size sedan and to attend the New York International Auto Show. Cadillac has long been known for it’s extravagant parties and this one was no exception. Guests walked from the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park to the pier, where we caught branded water taxis to Duggal Greenhouse at the Naval Yards in Brooklyn and got serenaded by Grammy winner Raphael Saadiq at the end of the night. Revealing the brand’s most luxurious vehicle to date in New York was fitting as Cadillac plans to relocate its headquarters to the Big Apple from Detroit, which is a move that can help them reach more luxury buyers.  What can you expect to see from the vehicle Cadillac hopes will be the catalyst into the super premium category?

Cadillac CT6 RevealCadillac President Johan de Nysschen unveiling the 2016 Cadillac CT6 full size sedan

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Although the frame is constructed of more than 10 different materials, it is somehow still the world’s lightest and most agile full size luxury performance sedan. Easy on the eyes, the body of the CT6 is super sleek and sophisticated but it’s inside the cabin where all the magic happens. Upon entering the car, it’s hard not to notice the quality materials used, the hand stitched and cut & sewn tailored interior – that closely mimics the tailoring in the fashion industry. I am sure driving this machine or sitting shot gun is where most want to be in the CT6, but I love that Cadillac is redefining the rear seat passenger experience. With best in-class rear leg room, two high-def TV screens, quad zone cooling & heating, not to mention reclining seats…I would be more than happy to be relegated to the backseat.

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Cadillac CT6 Reveal

Always on the forefront of technology advancements in their vehicles, Cadillac is stepping up their game ensuring that driving this car will not only be enjoyable but safe. The all new Bose Panaray system boasts 34 strategically placed speakers to ensure each passenger experiences concert hall sound quality. Surround view-video recording capabilities that can be used while driving, a 360-degree camera and a night vision cam that can detect animals and humans by heat signature and much more.

Cadillac CT6 RevealPhotos courtesy of Cadillac and General Motors

Click here for more information on what else you can find in the all new CT6 and head to Cadillac.ca for more information on the brand’s full portfolio. Production of this vehicle begins at the end of the year and scheduled to hit roads early in 2016.

Posted on by Sasha in AUTOMOTIVE, EVENTS Leave a comment

Living The “Fit Life” With Equinox

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The Fit Life with Equinox

With spring around the corner, everyone is obsessed with getting in shape and leading a healthy lifestyle, so my friends at Equinox have asked me to share my guide to living a “Fit Life“. To be honest, if living a fit life was easy, everyone would be doing it. Most don’t because staying fit takes dedication, hard work and often requires a complete change of lifestyle; however for those that make their best effort, the benefits of living this way are endless. Why? It helps you live a longer, happier and fulfilled life. Not mention, it also allows you to get a better quality of sleep, increased energy levels and minimizes the chances of getting sick.

1. Set Measurable and Attainable Goals: Growing up my coach always used to say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. For some reason when I retired from playing tennis, I briefly forgot the importance of goal setting when it comes to fitness and wellness.  With the help of  my dear friend, Equinox Group Class Instructor and Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath (pictured above), I have re-learned the importance of goal setting. Sure, ideas of things we want to achieve always come to our minds, but one of the most important things I have learned from Eva is that goals don’t mean anything unless you write them down. For some reason, putting your goals to paper automatically gives you a responsibility to make sure they get done. There are two types of goals – those that can be measured and those that cannot. “I want to run a half marathon” to most people is an example of a set goal.  A lot of people want to run a half marathon but the question is when and how fast? A better goal would be, “I want to run the NY Half Marathon in 3.5 hours”. That is a goal that you can work to achieve in a specific amount of time, at a specific place in time. Not only is it measurable, but it’s also attainable.

If working out and living a more fit life is new to you, you’re going to need some assistance helping this new lifestyle stick. According to Eva, “Commit to just 30 days to start off. This is the initial conditioning phase and a month is a great block of time to commit to a change. Research shows it takes anywhere from 21 to 30 days to form new behaviours.”

Eva Redpath’s 3 Tips for “Making Goals Stick”

  1. Create a daily goal. Forget choosing something that you can only do a couple times a week. That will only make your habit harder to stick. Picking something you can incorporate daily
  2. Don’t jump in with both feet and try to change your life in one day. Choose a goal that can be measured and start off small. If you want to “close down your kitchen” at 7pm so you can stop eating before bed…try it first at 9pm and work your way down to the goal time
  3. Form a trigger. A trigger is a ritual you use right before executing your habit. If you want to get more sleep, this could mean creating a way to go to bed the exact same time each night. If you want to quit smoking you could drink a glass of water every time you have the urge for a cigarette

The Fit Life With EquinoxEquinox Toronto Boxing Instructor Nate Bower (natebowerfitness.com)

2. Find Fit Friends: When you look at the things you like to do with your friends they usually include; traveling, eating and partying. These are all fun and great, but if you want to lead a “fit life” why not bring your friends along for the journey? You’re human, so not everyday will you wake up and want to workout, so it’s nice to have others around you that enjoy staying fit and active to keep you motivated. Joining a run crew, a cycling club or a fitness facility that promotes a healthy lifestyle can work wonders. My friends and I have been making regular sweat dates to hit up the group classes at Equinox. They are designed to not only be challenging but fun. The highly trained instructors, like Eva Redpath and Nate Bower, ensure that you walk away from a 50 minute class feeling good about the work you just put in. Learn more about Nate and his signature boxing class at Equinox Toronto here and details on Redpath’s cult fave “Signature Stacked Class” here. 

The Fit Life With Equinox

The Fit Life With Equinox

3.  Shop The Perimeter of Grocery Stores: Close your eyes and picture your grocery store. Chances are the organic, fresh produce section, the meat and seafood departments and the dairy case are all located around the perimeter of the store. Ironically, these are the foods that we should be eating on a daily basis, so this is where we all should concentrate most of our shopping time. Why? The center aisles is where you will find all the non-perishable, gluten laden, sugary and processed foods. Bypassing the middle aisles means you’ll rarely be faced with the temptations of potato chips and cake mixes.

The Fit Life With Equinox

4. Stay Hydrated: Our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated helps you avoid overeating and unnecessary snacking. More importantly, water enables your mind and body to function properly. There is tons of confusion still over how much water one should intake daily.  Everyone has heard the advice “drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day” but this only equates to 1.9 litres of water. The “8 by 8″ rule remains popular because it’s easy to remember but not supported by hard evidence. Recent studies have shown that the adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 litres) and the 9 cups (2.2) litres for women.

The Fit Life With EquinoxPhotography by Nathalia Allen @amillionminds and Dirk Teunissen @InciteVisuals

5. Get Moving At Least Once a Day: I don’t care if it’s for 15 minutes or for an hour, it is important to move your body daily. Getting a workout in will help release endorphins; which is a natural mood elevator, help decrease any pain related issues, reduces stress, alleviate anxiety, sharpen memory and can boost brain power. It’s very easy on our busy days to say we don’t have time to fit in a workout, but trust me when I say a 15 minute workout is better than no workout at all.

I would love to hear from you…if you have any questions or comments on living a “fit life” hit me up on Twitter or Instagram. For more information on Equinox, to find locations nearest you or to schedule a visit, head to Equinox.com

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS, LIFESTYLE Leave a comment

Staying Dry and Fresh With Dove at Fashion Week

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WMCFW Dove Dry Spray

I am often asked questions around which beauty products are the most important in my daily routine or items I can’t live without and people are often stunned when I mention my antiperspirant. Most women would normally call out a cult fave concealer, the season’s “it-colour” lippy or a super hydrating moisturizer – which in actuality are all great too, but with my crazy busy and active lifestyle, I can’t express the importance of having adequate protection from my deodorant.

WMCFW Dove Dry Spray

What I’m Wearing: Leather Jacket by Rudsak // Crop top & Skirt by Artizia // Shoes by NikeSportswear

Dove Dry Spray

WMCFW Dove Dry Spray

I have been given the opportunity to begin testing out Dove’s latest innovation within beauty over the last week  – a dry spray antiperspirant. With a hectic schedule last week with travel, photo shoots and World MasterCard Fashion Week, it couldn’t have been a more opportune time to try out this new way to stay dry. If you attended any of the shows in the tents at David Pecault Square, you probably saw that the brand had set up shop giving out samples to Toronto’s most fashionable to test out at home. Pretty brilliant idea on Dove’s part actually as complaints about deodorant residue are not uncommon in the fashion industry; especially from stylists, editors, models and designers. I flew in just in time to catch the Rudsak Fall/Winter 2015 show with my fashion friends. Known for their drool-worthy outerwear and leather pieces, Rudsak is truly one of my fave Canadian brands and a show I look forward to each season.

RUDSAK_FW15

Rudsak_FW15

RUDSAK_FW15Photos by Nathalia Allen – amillionminds.ca

Yes, eliminating visible residue is a great bonus for sure but personally I am more concerned with making sure the deodorant I use works with my body chemistry and can provide me with the protection I need to get me through a busy day of meetings, events, workouts at Equinox and runs with my crew. Truth be told, in the past I have stuck to stick deodorants in fear that a spray on antiperspirant would leave behind a sticky or wet feeling, but  Dove’s extensive R&D team have found a way to make this product go on instantly dry when it touches the skin. With a long day of travel and being under stress rushing to the tents for photos, interviews and the show, I was astonished that not only was I kept dry and smelling great the entire day, my black clothing did not reveal a trace of white residue.  For all you other women “on-the-go” like me, you will be happy to know that Dove Dry Spray has been formulated specially to provide us with 48 hour protection and 1/4 moisturizer technology, making sticks and gels a thing of the past.

I am going to continue testing out Dove’s Dry Spray for the next couple of weeks and will be reporting back on my thoughts, so stay tuned. Dove’s four Dry Spray variants; Beauty Finish, Cool Essentials, Revive and Original Scent can be found in most Drug, Food and Mass retailers now across Canada and retails for $5.99. Join in on the social conversation with @DoveCanada by following along on Twitter and Instagram or posting your Dove Dry Spray images by using the hashtag #TryDry.

Posted on by Sasha in BEAUTY, FASHION Leave a comment

Schwinn Bike Partnership + #SayItWithSchwinn Contest

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#SayItWithSchwinnPhoto by Lindsay Jocho

Whether it’s in my personal or professional life, I am constantly setting goals for myself to help keep me on track in the right direction of growth and development. The same also applies to me when it comes to fitness. Now that I have started accomplishing some of my running goals, I felt it was time to challenge myself again. I am beyond thrilled to announce that I will be partnering with international heritage bike brand Schwinn during the spring/summer 2015 bike season. Many of my fondest memories as a child are linked to the experiences I had on my bike and in recent years, I’ve enjoyed indoor spinning as a form of exercise. I cannot wait for this new challenge and to take you through my cycle journey with Schwinn over the next few months…but for now I couldn’t think of a better way to announce my partnership than with huge contest news.

You too can ride in style with Schwinn this summer by entering the #SayItWithSchwinn contest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. How do you enter? Get creative and show us how you would use the world “Schwinn” in your everyday lingo or as a catch phrase, for a chance to win one of the following:

  • Daily Canadian Tire Gift Cards
  • Weekly Schwinn Shwag or
  • The Holy Grail Grand Prize (1 of 4 Schwinn Firewire 4.0 Mountain Bikes)

 

To get your creative juices flowing, check out the video below for some classic examples of Schwinn-isms

Say It With Schwinn from Schwinn Canada on Vimeo.

Click here to enter to win. Contest runs from March 23rd to April 3rd, 2015 and open to Canadian residents only. Winners of the #SayItWithSchwinn contest with by chosen and communicated by Schwinn Canada on their social media channels. Stay tuned to find out which Schwinn I will be riding in this summer and the destinations this new adventure will take me to!

Posted on by Sasha in CONTESTS, FITNESS Leave a comment

Transitional Outerwear From Canada Goose

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Canada Goose Aberdeen Bomber

Who better to make outerwear for Canada’s four distinct seasons than Canadians? I am partnering up Canada Goose to showcase my fave pieces excellent for each season. After surviving more winters than I would like to admit here in Toronto, I’ve learned that the only way to make it through four months of sub arctic temperatures is to own a jacket from this company, who has been proudly manufacturing outerwear here in Canada since 1957.

Canada Goose Aberdeen Bomber

Canada Goose Aberdeen Bomber

Today is the first official day of spring, so that means I can confidently putt away my Trillium Parka and start wearing a jacket more appropriate for the change of weather. Although milder, it’s still not warm enough for a light shell so this army green bomber from the brand’s luxury Branta Collection, will be on repeat for a while.  With quilted detailing and 675 fill power, the streamlined silhouette still yields a stylish look while still keeping me warm.

Canada Goose Aberdeen Bomber

If you’ve ever owned a product from Canada Goose you are aware that the brand does not overlook any functional details. The pockets of this Aberdeen Bomber are lined with sueded tricot for extra warmth, the hood is equipped with a hidden drawcord making it adjustable (and can also be removed) and there is an extended sleeve with thumb holes to keep your hands warm on those colder days. My fave feature is the interior removable straps that allow the wearer to carry the jacket over their shoulder, similar to carrying a backpack, when they are not wearing the jacket.

Canada Goose Aberdeen Bomber

Canada Goose Aberdeen BomberPhotography by Alexander Liang of Kenton Magazine

What I’m Wearing: Aberdeen Bomber c/0 Canada Goose // White T-Shirt by Alexander Wang // Denim c/o Rag & Bone // Boots by Zara

For more details on the Aberdeen Bomber, where to buy information or to view the entire collection, head to Canada-Goose.com. For style tips and latest news, make sure to follow Canada Goose on Twitter and Instagram. Get involved on social and share your Canada Goose style by using the hashtag #AskAnyoneWhoKnows when posting on your social channels.

Posted on by Sasha in FASHION Leave a comment

#OnTheRunTO Series Spring 2015

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OnTheRunTO Series Spring 2015

In 2014 I had a remarkable year of both personal and professional developments and many of these changes I can credit to running. Last year I beat medical odds and smashed my Nike Women San Francisco race goal and along the way I met some amazing women. In case you missed out in December, I announced my #OnTheRunTO series (the winter series can be viewed here), which will be shared here each quarter. The goal of this project is to introduce you to some fabulous ladies to keep the cycle of inspiration going amongst our community. Here you will learn a bit about the women featured, how we got connected and the pieces from the current Nike collection we are running and training in.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

After a miserably cold winter where runners were challenged to run in the most extreme of conditions outdoors, we couldn’t be happier to welcome spring. In addition to the excitement of warmer weather on the horizon, the city’s running community has been buzzing since Nike’s announcement that Toronto will be on the list of cities to host a Nike Women Series race (you can learn more and  register here before March 29th 2015, if you haven’t already done so). We got a bit of a head start on prepping for the outdoor run season and began testing out Nike Women’s spring running and training items, which are designed to help you push yourself in comfort and style. last month at Toronto’s Forme Fitness facility.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Meet Vanessa Cesario: My initial encounter with Vanessa was actually not through running but within the fashion and blogging circles here in Toronto. Although we’ve known each other for almost two years, it wasn’t until last year that we discovered we shared a love of fitness and running. This young lady frequently surprises me, literally revealing a new talent every time I connect with her. Vanessa, a recent Humber Media Studies graduate and Freelance Creative Contributor, has also worked in the public relations field and is the stylish Creative Director of one of Canada’s leading fashion blogs, The Brunette Salad. If this isn’t enough, she has been developing her photography skills over the past year, has shot numerous social media campaigns for some national fashion brands and recently shot me for a designer fitness collaboration campaign.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Why Vanessa Loves Running: “Honestly, my whole life until about two years ago was a constant weight struggle for me. I went up, down, up, down…and always looked at exercise merely as a way to burn calories. And I have to admit – running was always my least favourite aspect of physical activity. After changing my whole outlook on my body, diet and health in general, I started to look to exercise as a means of well being – for not only my body, but my mind as well. I tend to get nervous very easily, and came to realize that running was hands down the best way to blow off steam and de-stress. Running time is ‘me time’, where I can clear my mind while doing good for my body.”

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Her Fave Items: Choosing my favourite items when it comes to Nike is hard. My personal style is very athletic inspired, so when actual workout clothes are  as stylish as this, my heart just sings.  If I had to narrow down my go-to pieces  from the spring collection, I’d say the Legendary Lava Tights; they are so comfy, super flattering, and the high waisted design ensures that you don’t reveal too much while performing certain moves while training or doing yoga – not to mention that insane print, in addition to the Nike Free TR 5 shoes for training. For running, I’ve been rolling in comfort in the  Nike Air Max 2015 and happy to have been one of the first to trial the shoes here in Canada. They provide the right amount of support and cushioning that I need for the distance I currently run. My Epic Lux Printed Running Capris are great because the Dri-Fit fabric makes sure I stay dry during running. They also have more spandex content than most running tights which makes them more supportive and helps keep them in place.

Vanessa is also wearing Nike’s Epic Lux Printed Capri Tights, Dri-Fit Knit Running Tank Top, and Dri-Fit Studio Tank

Meet Melanie Botswain-Watson: If you’re immersed in Toronto’s run community or attend any of the Nike NTC consumer classes, this is not a face you’re seeing for the first time. A Communications Officer at the Toronto Public Library by day who also moonlights as a model for Nike Canada seasonal campaigns, this lady probably burns more fuel points than anyone I know. If you’re looking for a new workout to try here in the city, Mel is the girl you need to talk to. She has tried just out about every single club, group fitness class and run group in the 6, often times doing two workouts a day!

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Why Melanie Loves Running: “Running is a really important part of the mix of things I do to keep fit, healthy, sunny and social.  For me, its all about balance and variety. I’m positive that my running has improved because of the training I also do at the gym, yoga studio, spin class, pool  and whatever other space is hosting the next crazy workout I’m eager to try. I find real strength in running with a group. I run with various run crews; Parkdale Road Runners for instance and I love to drop in on runs with other groups such as the Nike Run Club and Tribe Fitness. Having a bunch of supportive, inspiring people, many of whom became mentors that I look forward to seeing, is the best kind of motivation. I hope that my journey inspires other people to incorporate fitness and healthy choices in their daily lives”

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Her Fave Pieces: The Epic Lux Running Tights are perfect because they feel like second skin. They offer full leg coverage, great for temperamental spring weather, but have sheer panels behind the knees and down the legs for ventilation and added style. I also love that these tights have understated, but always important reflective detailing…plus not only one, but three pockets for necessities such as ID, phone and fuel. My Dri-Fit Knit Long Sleeve is also an essential piece because of it’s versatility. It can be layered with other pieces on cooler days or just worn on it’s own. The phrase “Run Fast Live Fearless” is cleverly hidden on the inside of the shirt’s hem and I expect this powerful reminder will help me through the difficult runs. The Woven Bliss Pants are also fun and functional.  A cool alternative to tights for training, which are now a vital piece in my workout wardrobe.

Melanie is also wearing Free Flyknit 4.0, Pro Fierce Bra, Free TR 5 Training Shoe, Dri-Fit Studio Tank

 OnTheRunTO Series Spring

When I first started running I was doing it to help battle my pain related issues with fibromyalgia and rare kidney disease. However, over the last 6 months I have noticed a bit of a shift. I realized that running has impacted more than just my life. Through this sport, I have been able to connect with other people from all over the world and has given me the unique opportunity to motivate and enhance the lives of those around me – most importantly those who also face challenges due to illness. I am shocked every day at the feedback I get from people on social media, who have the same ailments as me or suffering from something completely different. Knowing that I have shown them that they too can reclaim a bit of their life back from mental or physical illnesses through consistent exercise is huge! Ironically, although they say that I am empowering and motivating them, their comments push me to keep going, especially on the days I find it difficult to get out of bed due to pain in the morning.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

My Fave Items: Yes, all of Nike’s products are insanely amazing and no matter how many things I receive – to be honest I always want more.  My non-running workouts have increased as of late due to my partnership with Equinox, so it’s important to have training gear that not only provides support, but also comfortable enough to perform. The Pro 3″ Core Compression Training Tights  is ideally what I wear. I feel most free having my legs bare when I workout. Although they are short, I never have issues with them riding up exposing areas that shouldn’t be seen. In regards to footwear for training, it’s really important to have the right shoe that can accommodate the type of workout you’re doing. The Free TR 4 Training Shoe is ideal for my cardio, boxing and strength training. They are lightweight but still provide dynamic support, plus they look great. Based on my gait analysis, the Air Zoom Structure 18 Running Shoe is suited for the way I run and will be the shoe I race in this season most likely. The new firmer foam along the heel in this updated version helps to reduce my pronation and the responsive cushioning is perfect for distance running.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

I am a sucker for bold tights. In my personal opinion, If you look good…you run good. I’ve had my eye on the colourful Epic Luxe Printed Tights since the Nike Women Showcase in New York back in the Fall. The fit ensures that I am comfortable during long runs, I never have to worry about them sliding down or getting baggy in odd areas, taking away my concentration during training and storage in three separate places. The mesh panels will definitely come in handy during warm weather runs this season.

I am also wearing: Pro Indy Freeze Frame Bra, Tech Fleece Moto, Dri-Fit Knit Short Sleeve  , Rival Pro Bra, G87 Tank Top 

OnTheRunTo Series SpringPhotography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds

For more information on the above mentioned products or to view the full collection, head to Nike.com/Women. All featured products in this post are available for purchase online (excluding Canada), Nike retail locations, in addition to Sport Chek and Sporting Life in Canada. Special thank you to the generous team at Forme Fitness, the ladies involved in this edition of #OnTheRunTO, Photographer Nathalia Allen and of course Nike Canada. For additional info on Forme Fitness’ unique training facility and their small group training classes, head to FormeFitness.com.

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS, HEALTH & WELLNESS Leave a comment

GIVEAWAY + Injury Prevention Tips & Recovery with Gaiam

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Gaiam

As the running race season is quickly approaching, I have been receiving a ton of questions around how to prevent injuries during training. Last season I developed a painful IT (iliotibial) Band injury that lead to lateral runner’s knee, which almost prevented me in running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Fran. The IT Band, is the band that runs on the outside of the leg from the hip to just below the knee, is one of the parts of the body most susceptible to injury in runners. If I knew then what I know now, it could have definitely been avoided. In addition to acupuncture and chiropractic care, a few key items from Gaiam really helped speed up my recovery process.

Gaiam

Gaiam

If you’re new to running, foam rolling is something you need to quickly get acquainted with. Similar to traditional stretching, is a great tool for lengthening and elongating muscles but its benefits are especially helpful for runners who suffer from tight and fatigued muscles. It’s not meant to be a replacement for proper stretching, warm up or cool down, but it is a tool to limit soreness and tightness through increased blood flow and flexibility. My “Go-To” is Gaiam’s Restore 36″ Total Body Foam Roller. This high density roller is the perfect to self massage your entire body and can also be used for balance training. The bonus, it also includes a 25 minute instructional workout DVD featuring James D’Silva. You can find 5 useful foam rolling exercises in an easy to follow video here.

Gaiam

Studies have shown that in addition to releasing stress and easing pain, Yoga can also improve your running time. The strength and flexibility you develop on the mat – namely in the core, quads, hamstrings and hip flexors can help you run more efficiently and stay injury free. Also, I have come to realize lately that Yoga can help control emotions and breathing when you’re in discomfort while pounding the pavement. Enduring an  intense pose is very similar to enduring a long or tempo run. There are so many types of Yoga methods out there that will work with your specific needs. This race season I will be turning to the Jock Yoga method, created by Michael Decorte to help improve my cardio and strength and will also utilize the relaxing flows and detoxification benefits of hot yoga classes at Moksha Yoga. Decorte’s classes are quite challenging and I still have some work to do to get where I can want to be. For those moves which still prove to be too challenging in his class, I utilize Gaiam’s Cork Yoga Brick.  They are a great tool for those not flexible enough to complete more advanced yoga poses and they can also be used to extend the stretch of some poses for those of you who are advanced yogis. Made of all natural materials, they provide optimal grip and traction. For my hot yoga practice, I find it imperative to have the right mat. The brand’s Sol Dry Grip Yoga Mat (available March 17th) ensures you stay slip free and secure. The innovative top coating wicks away moisture and surprisingly provides better grip the hotter you get. Constructed from a “closed-cell” material, this mat seals out germs, doors and bacteria and is also ideal for those sensitive to latex. The bonus, it’s 5mm cushioning is also soft on your joints. After class, I religiously use the Super Yoga Mat Wash, also by Gaiam, to clean my mat. With it’s organic essential oils with proven antiseptic and moisturizing properties, not to mention it’s refreshing scent, its the perfect way to clean up after class.

Gaiam

GaiamPhotography by Nathalia Allen amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds

For more information on Gaiam and it’s products head to Gaiam.ca. I am teaming up with the brand to give away these amazing products to one lucky follower. Entering is simple.  You must follow Gaiam Canada and myself on Twitter to be eligible and tweet the following, “@SashaExeter I want to win the @GaiamCanada wellness prize pack #SSFitTips“. Contest begins 9am EST on Wednesday March 18th, 2015 and closes Friday March 20th at 9pm EST. The lucky winner will be announced on Monday March 23rd at 9am via Twitter. *Please note, contest is eligible to Canadian residents only!

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS, HEALTH & WELLNESS Leave a comment

Adams Natural Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

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Adams Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

In my household peanut butter reigns supreme. Consumed on spelt toast, alongside fruits & veggies and now even in my smoothies, I rarely go a day without it. In my effort to maintain a clean and well balanced diet, I choose to use natural products where possible and my peanut butter is no exception. My PB of choice lately has been Adams peanut butter. What’s the upside to using a natural peanut butter like Adams? Besides it’s rich and creamy delicious taste, the peanuts are not coated with pesticides and is also free of trans fats, preservatives, hydrogenated fats, stabilizers and sugar. Believe it or not, with Adams peanut butter, what you see is what you get – so basically just peanuts with a dash of salt, which makes it an ideal ingredient to use when you’re cooking/baking or eating it straight from the jar (if you’re a real PB aficionado).

Adams Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

I am completely obsessed with making smoothies. Besides being an easy way to jam pack nutrients from a variety of fruits and veggies, they just generally taste great. With my super busy lifestyle, it’s also a seamless way for me to consume on the go and eliminates the risk of me missing meals. Perfect before my early morning workouts and runs. A smoothie recipe that has been on repeat at home is this healthy and filling Peanut Butter and Banana recipe with Adams creamy peanut butter.

Adams Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

What You’ll Need

  • 2 frozen bananas sliced into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup of Adams natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of oats (I like to use “Simply Delicious Museli” by Dorset Cereals)
  • 2 cups of milk of any kind (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 2 handfuls of ice cubes
  • 4 tbsp of raw cacao powder (Optional if you are a chocolate lover)
  • 1 tsp of spirulina powder (Optional. Great for blood sugar control)

Blend all the ingredients in a blender of Vitamix until there are no more chunks of frozen banana pieces (or until desired consistency). Garnish with a few fresh organic banana slices if desired. I always recommend that you use all organic produce and ingredients whenever possible. Also, make sure the bananas are frozen and in small chunks so that your blender can handle it. If you are looking for an extra smooth texture to your smoothie, you can thoroughly ground up the oats or muesli in your blender until powdery before putting in the rest of your ingredients for further blending.

*So Sasha Tips: When using Adams peanut butter products, ensure to flip it and store it upside down so it’s less messy and easier to use. for more information on Adams, the brand’s available variants and more recipe suggestions, head to adamspeanutbutter.ca

Posted on by Sasha in FOOD, HEALTH & WELLNESS Leave a comment
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