Nike Women’s Run Series Announces 15K in Toronto

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Nike Toronto

Yesterday Nike released the information that every single female runner on the planet has been patiently waiting for…the 2015 Nike Women Run Series race dates and cities.  For several months there has been tons of speculation and rumours swirling around and now the cat is officially out of the bag – finally! I am so excited that my hometown of Toronto will be amongst one of the amazing city’s around the world hosting a race this year. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just beginning your run journey, this is a race you will not want to miss out on. I had the privileged of running in the Nike Women San Francisco Half Marathon in 2014, you can check out my race report here, and it literally changed my life. It’s not a race, it’s an experience!

Nike Women 15K Toronto

What to expect: Race date is set for June 14, 2015 with registration opening on to the general public on March 9th, 2015. Nike likes to keep event deets under wraps for as long as possible as the brand loves the element of surprise and they love to blow participants away but what I can tell you is to expect a weekend full of celebrations tailored specifically for the beautiful city of Toronto.

Now that the official countdown is on to raceway, I wasted no time setting the groundwork for what I need to work on before the real hardcore training commences thanks to the Nike Canada team. Yesterday afternoon I got to chat with Sheila Reid, member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic team and learned that she will be the elite face of the race this summer. Her focus in competition is actually on shorter distances and specializes in 1,500 – 5,000 meter track races) and has never ran a road race before. Proof that each and every one of us will be putting ourselves to the test looking to either run farther or faster than we ever have before. I also got a chance to have a gait analysis done at the Nike Running Loft by Kristen Kuzemko, part of the Nike North American Pacer team. It was the first time I had one done.  Not only will t will help me remain injury free but it will also assist me in improving my technique, so I can conserve energy and cause less damage to my joints. I will be sharing a little more about the outcome of my run analysis in a future post. My results were all packaged up in this cool little video which you can view here.

Nike Toronto Queen West Run ClubPhotography by Nathalia Allen (Nike Canada)

I am eagerly waiting to begin formal training and I look forward to hopefully encourage you all to take part in what is the largest women’s run series in the world. Throughout the coming months I will continue to share information on how to train, tips on proper hydration, nutrition, injury prevention and more. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and get a complimentary gait analysis at the Nike Store at the Toronto Eaton Center in order to begin your training on the right foot, pun intended. Click here for more information on the International Nike Women’s Race Series and be sure to get social and follow Run Nike Women on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted on by Sasha in EVENTS, FITNESS Leave a comment

Detoxing & Metabolism Boosting with Cedar Juice

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Cedar Juice

There are many opinions on the topic of juice cleanses but as an avid juicer I find it odd how people can ignore the direct benefits associated with juicing and cold pressed juice. Sure, you can’t guarantee the amount of weight loss to expect, which really shouldn’t be a primary reason to do one, or event the rate of detoxification each time, but the truth of the matter is there are several other proven benefits and I am living proof of the results.

Just to give you a little history as to how juicing got introduced into my life. After being diagnosed with a rare kidney ailment and subsequently fibromyalgia, I suffered for years in pain and my body became increasingly toxic from all the pain, sleep, and depression meds I was putting into my system. My Naturopathic Doctor started to make changes to my diet and soon after suggested that I try a 3 day cleanse. The results…astounding.  I had felt fatigued for as long as I could remember and by the morning of the last day my energy was through the roof. I was getting the best sleep I had gotten in months, skin irritations caused from stress started to clear up (and colour had started to return to my face), my bowel movements were more regular, not to mention a very considerable decrease in body and joint pain. Turns out, this thing called juicing also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory based on some of the concoctions included in the most programs. And just like that, I was a believer and have been religiously doing them quarterly ever since.

Cedar Juice

As you can imagine, I’ve tried just about every juice cleanse in Toronto and definitely have my opinions on each. Some I will do again happily, others I wouldn’t suggest to even my worst enemy. I decided to kick off 2015 by trying out Cedar Juice. I had tried some of their yummy juices at Equinox post workout so I was keen on giving it a go for 3 days. The entire process was a breeze from beginning to end. The website is super informative, which will be a relief to first time cleansers and clearly gives all the deets you need regarding delivery, cleanse benefits and even how to cleanse during the program. Immediately after placing my order I received an email from Cedar outlining helpful tops to help me get ready, the pre-cleanse regimen and what to do during the cleanse to get the most optimal cleansing. When my shipment arrived via FedEx to my doorstep, it was accompanied by  a little booked that provided extra advice such as; using a body brush on my skin prior to showering and having a sauna/steam room session to help with the detoxification process.

The cleanse includes 6 juices for each day and it’s recommended to drink as much water and non-caffeinated tea in between each.  Although they are all quite tasty, here are my favourites – Pineapple Head, Skip To The Beat and Cracked It:

Cedar Juice Menu

To be completely honest, the juicing experience is different for each person. Some may find it extremely easy while others will find it unbearable. It can be difficult, as your body is used to chewing food. I have found that chewing my juice helps. I know it sounds weird but it actually tricks the body into thinking that you are eating plus it helps eliminate indigestion and bloating after drinking juice all day. Getting your body ready for the cleanse is almost more important than what you do during the cleanse. It is vital that you eliminate processed foods and sugars as much as possible and stick to a clean diet a few days to a week before to avoid the unwanted “die-off” effects; fatigue, migraine, flu like symptoms, which could potentially happen on days one and two if your body is highly toxic. Although unpleasant, this actually means that that the cleanse is working. If all is done right, this 1,100 calorie a day juice program will give you the kick start you need. Our bodies are very similar to cars. We can’t just keep putting gas inside, aka food, we must reset or change our oil every season if you will, every few months to keep our bodies performing.

My friends at Cedar Juice are giving my amazing readers who want to try out this program a discount code to help you get started.  When ordering use “SoSashaJuiceCleanse” to receive 15% off your entire order.  Head to CedarJuice.com for more information, offers, and to order your cleanse. If you have any specific questions regarding my juicing experience feel free to email me – info@sosasha.com or tweet me @sashaexeter

Posted on by Sasha in HEALTH & WELLNESS Leave a comment

Lululemon & The Remix Project Presents: Beats and Balance

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Lululemon Beats and Balance event

It is very rare that I post events on my site but every once in a while something so unique pops up that I get really excited about and feel compelled to share.  This weekend Lululemon is hosting the ultimate fitness event here in Toronto that is not to be missed. Fitness is usually at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the beginning of the new year with new goals and resolutions set and trust me, this is the perfect way to get that extra motivation to stay on track. With a mashup of music, athletics, art and an community workout, it will definitely be a day unlike anything you have experienced before hosted by Tyronne Edwards from E! Entertainment and Sarah Taylor.

WHAT: Lululemon will be bringing together some of Toronto’s top fitness instructors to conduct several classes throughout the day with special live music performances. After the final class of the day, guests will be able to drink and nosh on refreshments while listening to tunes spun by DJ Brendan Fallis (otherwise known as Hannah Bronfman’s handsome boyfriend).

Lululemon Beats and Balance

WHEN: Saturday January 24th, 2015 at Arcadian Court in Toronto. Four classes will take place at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.

*Saturday’s event marks the kick off of Lululemon’s involvement with The Remix Project, an non-profit organization created in Toronto whose programs help disadvantaged youth from marginalized communities who are trying to enter into creative industries.

I definitely look forward to attending this Saturday and supporting this amazing project. If you’re interesting in coming out as well, you can register to secure your spot here  – tickets are only $10 each and 100% of the ticket sales will be donated to The Remix Project Toronto.

Posted on by Sasha in CHARITY, EVENTS, FITNESS Leave a comment

My Winter Weekend With Mogo

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Art Gallery of Ontario Suzy Lake Exhibit

It’s January so essentially this means two things; 1) we are in the midst of a deep freeze here in Toronto and 2) it’s the start of a new year and time to set new goals for 2015. I don’t necessarily believe in New Year’s resolutions, which simply means I never wait for January 1st to put my plans into action. This year I want to be more fiscally responsible and make better decisions because debt is really not cute. With the winter elements in full effect, I spent the day with Mogo.ca hitting up some of the spots I like to frequent on the weekends. My Mogo Prepaid Visa® Card made it easy to treat myself and my crew. With no monthly fees and over 40 unique card designs to choose from, Mogo’s Prepaid Visa® Card helps you control your spending (I mean, we can all do with a little help in that department, right?) and avoid the aftershock of credit card debt.

Brunch at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen – 85 Hanna Avenue (Shops at King Liberty) Toronto 416-588-5695 Neighbourhood: Liberty Village

Mildred's

Mildred's Temple Kitchen PancakesMrs. Biederhof’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

We Torontonians take brunching very seriously and Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village is one of my go-to spots to indulge on a weekend in the city. MTK is the offshoot of cult fave Mildred Pierce where local foodies happily noshed brunch fare for 17 years on Sudbury Street. The sleek and airy interior is perfect for a third date or family brekkie with food items that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of palettes. Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday from 10-3pm. I hit up Mildred’s with my parents around 10:30 to arrive before the hungover crowd stumbled in for brunch and “hair of the dog”. What you should order… The fresh baked scones & biscuits are to die for, the Manhandler is a great option for meat lovers, their delish rosemary bacon which is cured in-house is always a treat. Everyone and I mean everyone, heads to this spot for Mrs. Biederhof’s legendary light & fluffy blueberry buttermilk pancakes. Click here to check out the full menu.

The Art Gallery of Ontario – 317 Dundas Street West Toronto 416-979-6648 Neighbourhood: Chinatown

Art Gallery of Ontario

424 Fifth Fur Vest

424 Fifth

Art Gallery of Ontario Suzy Lake ExhibitPhotography by Nathalia Allen AMillionMinds.ca (@amillionminds)

If you’ve visited Toronto or even worse, live in Toronto and have not been to the Art Gallery of Ontario, in my opinion you should be punished. If I could, I would come here daily to take in the phenomenal exhibits, dine at Frank (the gallery’s famed resto) and just people watch. There is so much goodness currently happening in side. Plus, the common spaces designed by world renown and Toronto born architect Frank Gehry makes phenomenal backdrops for photos. Type in the hashtag #ArtGalleryOfOntario on Instagram and you are bound to find tons of inspiring and artistic photos and selfies. The Michelangelo: Quest for Genius exhibit just ended on January 11th but for those interested in conceptual photography, “Introducing Suzy Lake is a photo retrospective by the artist that is not to be missed. If you happen to be a die-hard Jean-Michel Basiquat fan like myself then buckle up.  From February 7 – May 10 2015, the AGO will be the home to an exclusive showcase which will be the first thematic examination of the artist’s work; guest curated by Austrian historian and Curator Dieter Buchhart. The opening night party, which is the hottest ticket in town right now, is already sold out. Tickets for general exhibition are currently on sale for AGO members and public tickets go on sale January 23, 2015. Click here for more info on AGO current exhibitions, membership/tickets prices, location and hours.

Her Majesty’s Pleasure – 556 King Street West (inside Fashion House) Toronto 416-546-4991 Neighbourhood: King West

Her Majesty's Pleasure

I honestly couldn’t have thought up a  more brilliant idea myself. Her Majesty’s Pleasure on King St West will forever change the way you get your mani/pedi. When I heard rumours of a spot in the city late last year where one could get their nails, hair and a facial done, but also acts as a cocktail bar, cafe and retail boutique all rolled up in one, I had to see it for myself. I popped in for a few hours early in the evening after my trip to the AGO with my friend/photographer/unicorn Nathalia for manis, eats and cocktails (fresh pressed juices for me). My instagram followers are fully aware of my obsession with pretty floor tiling and the tile design at HMP didn’t disappoint. With ultra high ceilings, white walls, carrara marble topped tables/bars and eccentric furnishings, every single square foot of space in there is instagrammable. Naturally, we found ourselves lingering long after our food was finished and nails were dry. Ladies, this is the PERFECT spot for a girls night out or bridal party. Make sure to call ahead to book an appointment to avoid disappointment.

Her Majestys Pleasure

Her Majesty's Pleasure

Her Majesty's Pleasure

Her Majestys PleasureImages of Her Majesty’s Pleasure via +TongTong and Instagram (@sashaexeter)

What I’m Wearing: Fur Vest c/o 424 Fifth // Hat (vintage) // Dress  c/o Forever 21 // Shirt (vintage) // Leather Moto Jacket c/0 Aritzia // Shoes by Zara

Accepted anywhere Visa cards are accepted, I was able to use my Mogo Prepaid Visa® Card at all of these spots in Toronto. Card holders benefit from unlimited free transactions, no monthly fees, and can receive free text balance updates to a mobile device. For more information head to Mogo.ca

Posted on by Sasha in ART & DESIGN, BEAUTY, LIFESTYLE Leave a comment

Inspiring Interiors: i29’s Invisible Minimalist Kitchen

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Invisible Kitchen i29_1

During my spare time, which these days has been few and far between, I enjoy reading Architectural Digest or trolling interior design sites online. As I’ve gotten older my interior design preferences have grown more towards a minimalist and modern vibe, which can sometimes be difficult to execute in a kitchen due to appliances. This week I stumbled on a kitchen designed by i29 that brilliantly conceals appliances and necessities resulting in a system that helps blend the living space with the kitchen.

Invisible Kitchen i29_2

Striping down and removing any superfluous elements, the design team expertly incorporated the cooling, water and electrical connections within the ultra thin island, which is only a couple centimetres thick.

Invisible Kitchen i29_3

Invisible Kitchen i29_4

Using decorative wainscotting elements of the Parisian apartment’s original walls as inspiration, the design team created sliding panels that hide all components of the kitchen and also acts as storage. When the panels are shut, the space appears clean and organized.

Invisible Kitchen i29_5

Invisible Kitchen i29_6Images via i29 Design

To see more of my “Inspiring Interiors” I suggest you check out these posts…

The House of Patrick Gilles and Dorothee Boissier

Oscar PR Girl, Erika Bearman’s Dreamy Southampton Home

Posted on by Sasha in INSPIRING INTERIORS Leave a comment

Step Up Your Training With Boxing at Equinox

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Equinox Boxing

There is no better time to take on something new than at the beginning of a new year. To most, January usually translates as a fresh start, where we get excited to set new goals for ourselves and optimistic as to where the next 12 months will take us. In order to achieve my running goals in 2015 I’ve decided to take on new fitness challenges with the help of my home gym Equinox (you can check out my introductory post on the space here). Known internationally for their state-of-the-art fitness facilities, they are also recognized for their intense and boundary pushing classes – which are lead by some of the best in the industry. If you’ve been following me on Instagram it should come as no surprise that I have taken up boxing to prepare myself for race season.

Equinox Toronto

Equinox Toronto

Equinox’s high intensity boxing classes lead by Nathan Bower, packs a serious punch. It is here where Bower, a former competitive fighter and 4-time provincial champion, helps his clients hone their blocking, punching and jabbing skills while increasing endurance with some crazy conditioning. Why boxing? In addition to endurance, the sport also increases stamina and cardio, while engaging muscles from all over your body. This was soon discovered as every part of my body was sore for the next few days after my first class, but as they say; if it’s not hurting, you’re not working! According to my new ‘tough as nails’ coach, “Boxing is without a question the most under-utilized sports in the world for cross training/fitness due to it’s full body conditioning and multiple plane movement patterns. It is one of the few sports that utilize aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.

What To Expect In Equinox’s 50 Minute Boxing Class

12-14 minutes “Warm-Up” This warm isn’t for the weak of hearts and consists of light plyometrics, technique and core work. Bower explains it is designed to put “boxers” in the top end of their HR zone in preparation for the more intense work that follows.

Equinox Toronto

Equinox Toronto

10-15 minutes “Boxing Technique & Footwork” Sounds simple enough right? It’s far more challenging than it sounds. Here is where Bower focuses on technique with his clients, with a large emphasis on how to move and punch. As if this isn’t enough, he also ensures to mix in some leg conditioning during this circuit.

10-15 minutes ” Bag Work” Probably the most rewarding part of the class to be honest as you can let all your frustrations from life out on the bag while utilizing the technique learned in the previous circuit. We are taught that unless we take what we learn and put it to practice, the technique and footwork can be easily forgotten. Therefore, we are encouraged to use the bag as an opponent to understand properly how to move and punch.

Equinox Toronto

5-10 minutes “Intervals” Training” Transitioning from the bag, clients are then partnered up to do some freestyle work. This portion is designed to maximize and push you to your upmost cardio limits. Depending on the size of the class, intervals can range anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute. This is where you can expect to burn a ton of extra calories.

2-5 minutes “Core Work” Boxers are known for their strong core, just as much as their upper bodies, but according to Bower, they are not developed from crunches but rather from constantly rotating while punching and consistent full body conditioning.

Equinox TorontoPhotography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds)

Nate Bower’s 4 reasons as to why YOU should try boxing:

    1. Stress Relief: Come in feeling stressed; leave feeling refreshed
    2. Extreme Conditioning: Build lean body mass and increase Vo2 Max ( a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use
    3. Athletic Performance: Boxing is one of the most one of the most athletic sports and when you understand the sport’s fundamentals, it can easily transitions into other sports
    4. It’s fun…you can’t beat that: There should be an element of fun in any workout you do!

Video courtesy of NateBowerFitness.com 

Boxing is just one of the many amazing group classes you will find at Equinox designed to help you pick up your pace and get you moving. For more information on what the club has to offer head to Equinox.com. The site not only contains information on all the locations, class schedules, and amenities but it also contains their popular blog which I turn to frequently for recipes, workout playlists, travel, beauty, rejuvenation tips and much more.

What I’m Wearing: Nike Pro Fierce Bra – features medium support with a contoured silhouette with fabric designed to keep you dry during training // Nike Hyperwarm Tights – made in lightweight material for breathability with a brushed interior that’s brushed for a cozy feel and keeps sweat at  bay // Nike Zoom Agility Training Shoes – with ultra responsive cushioning for flexible impact protection, this shoe is designed specifically for all types of gym and cross training workouts | courtesy of Nike Canada.

Get social and make sure to follow Equinox on Twitter and Instagram for more tips and inspiration!

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS, UNCATEGORIZED Leave a comment

#OnTheRunTO Series Winter 2014

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#OnTheRunTO Series

Running has introduced me to some phenomenal women who I now call friends, that I would have never crossed paths with if it wasn’t for our shared love of the sport. My connection with these women are so strong that I recently decided to create a series where I will introduce you amazing ladies each season in hopes to keep the cycle of inspiration going amongst our community.  Here you will learn a bit about each of them, how we got connected and the running pieces they can’t live without during the season.

#OnTheRunTO SeriesFeatured Pieces Nike Shield Max Jacket in Dusty Cactus/Space Blue and Black (on Anna) // Nike Flash Running Tights  

This winter we chose not to hibernate and shy away from the elements here in “The 6″. We can’t choose the weather here in Toronto but we can certainly choose our winter. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy running and training outdoors during December – but it turns out, I’m starting to like it more than running in the summer months.  Over the last month, we’ve put Nike’s winter running/training collection to the test in the night, during the day, in snow, wind and rain. The brand’s winterized running items provides the warmth and breathability we need to remain comfortable, reflectivity for safety while running in the dark and water resistance to stay dry.

#OnTheRunTO Series

#OnTheRunTO SeriesOn Jenna:  Aeroleft Hybrid Running Jacket // Element Shield Running Tights // Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash Running Shoes. On Anna: HyperWarm Infinity Training Top // Aeroloft 800 Vest, Pro HyperWarm Nordic Tights  // Air Zoom Structure 18 Flash Running Shoes. On Sasha: Pro HyperWarm Engineered Print Pant and Tights // Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash Running Shoes

Meet Jenna Wasserman. My first encounter with Jenna was early Spring 2014 at the Nike Queen West Run Club group. I was immediately drawn to her infectious energy and on the days I really didn’t feel like running, she was right there by my side at the beginning of the run setting my pace, while somehow still motivating the rest of the runners as a Nike Run Club Leader. In the daytime, this remarkable little firecracker, originally hailing from Montreal, works in Sales for Prospect Media Group and commutes between Toronto and La Belle Province juggling her accounts and run leader responsibilities.

#OnTheRunTO SeriesOn JennaNike Aeroloft Hybrid Running Jacket // Nike Storm-FIT 2.0 Running Gloves // Nike Knit Toque (old) similar here

Why Jenna Loves Running: “I think this quote from Steve Prefontaine sums up my love for running perfectly, ‘You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it all started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.‘”

Her Fave Items: “The Nike Shield Max Jacket has a cozy brushed jersey interior that can keep anyone warm and the comfort level of this piece can easily be mistaken for my favourite hoodie. Toss in a removable face mask which is conveniently stored in the hood and some built in mitts (both in Volt) and you’re basically set for any condition. A serious must have in any winter running wardrobe. The Element Shield Running Tights are my go-to winter pants. Having short legs, my leggings are constantly bunching at my ankles. Since dreaming doesn’t create height, the element shield running tights are the perfect solution. The lower leg zippers not only offer an added touch aesthetically, but they also create a striking line over the shoes (bunch free, too!). In typical Nike fashion, they’re also reflective for enhanced visibility during those dark winter runs.”

#OnTheRunTO Series

#OnTheRunTO Series

Meet Anna Bediones. Sure, running with Lebron James and #RunWithTheWinners Founder Steph Floss this summer was super dope but during that run I got a chance to meet Anna. It was a meeting long in the making seeing as though I had developed a girl crush on her when I discovered her Instagram account a month prior. A University of Toronto graduate who works in Marketing and Communications as a Creative Consultant, also provides freelance services as a writer and graphic designer. What she’s most known for though is her blog series for US sportswear retailer Finish Line called “Not Just For The Gym” – which is seriously brilliant. Here she styles looks that marry the sportswear aesthetic with everyday street style pieces.

#OnTheRunTO Series

On Anna: Nike Pro Hyperwarm Infinity Training Long Sleeve // Nike Run CW Reversible Running Headband

Why Anna Loves Running: “Despite being naturally active, I have never been much of a runner. I played sports but would always find other cardio alternatives to keep fit. The way I look at running now is as a means of constant self-improvement. I don’t look at it as calories burned, time spent or weight lost. I look at it as new challenges and objectives; whether the goal is to run faster, farther or more frequently.  It’s easy to hit plateaus in fitness, love and work. I find that running motivates me to maintain a more active and positive attitude in all aspects of my life, than falling into complacency. More importantly, it’s also my way of temporarily escaping the real world and where I can just be myself. I find running to be liberating!”

Her Fave Items: “The entire winter collection is so well executed. Rather than naming every single piece as my fave (every piece is THAT good – if I could, I would). I have narrowed it down to the Aeroloft 800 Vest and the 3M Flash Tights. The vest makes a great laying piece that I also like to integrate into my casual street style. The tights are insane. My affinity to 3M reflective pieces instantly drew me to these. But seriously though, I really do love all of it.”

#OnTheRunTO Series

#OnTheRunTO Series

If you have been following me for the last 6 months you are well aware of my run journey, why I started and my amazing experience at this year’s Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco – if not you can catch up here. Unsure of what races I will be committing to in 2015, I couldn’t afford to not continue running outdoors during the winter. Running indoors until spring would put me far behind those in warmer climates who have been training outside from November until March.

#OnTheRunTO Series

My Fave Items: Being a former athlete and obsessed with fashion I require that my training apparel not only functions well but looks great too. Similar to the ladies, the Flash Tights and Shield Max Jacket have been necessities this season for me, but what I have also found that HyperWarm technology and my Flash Pack running shoes have been critical for taking on the elements. The colour and pattern of my HyperWarm Engineered Print tights and training top set me apart from the other runners on the road and the ultra soft Dri-FIT fabric keeps me warm and dry by wicking sweat away from my skin. The inside of these pieces are lined with a brush fabric that is ultra cozy against the skin. Like most of Nike’s products, they are versatile and can be worn alone or can also act as a base layer under other clothing in extreme cold temperatures. There is absolutely nothing worse than a long run in the snow or rain without proper footwear. My Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash running shoes delivers water resistance, comfort and 360-degree reflectivity.

#OnTheRunTO Series

#OnTheRunTO SeriesPhotography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds)

For more information on any of the above products or to view the full collection head to Nike.com/Women. All featured items are available online and in Nike Retail locations in addition to Finish Line (U.S.), Sport Chek and Sporting Life (in Canada). Special thank you to these ladies for giving me their time and energy on this project, Nathalia Allen, thank you for sharing my vision and capturing amazing images as always, the team at Finish Line and Nike Canada.

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

7 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain This Holiday Season

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weight-management-scale

The holiday season is here and with it comes copious amounts of calorie laden drinks, home baked goods and carb filled sides. You don’t have to stay away from these items completely, but you will need to at least be conscious of your “holiday habits if you want to come out on the other side the same size.  Here’s 7 tips to help you keep off the extra weight during the holidays!

1. Never go to a party hungry. Eating a small snack or even a piece of fruit before heading to a holiday party can certainly take the edge off hunger and help you from overeating on carbs. Drinking 1-2 large glasses of water can also be beneficial.

Holiday Spread

2. Scope out the buffet table. Check out the healthiest choices before filling up your plate. Then, aim for filling half your plate with veggies and the rest with lean protein like skinless roasted turkey or seafood.

3. Escape the couch and get outdoors. Get out of the living room and get active with your friends and family. Choose fulfilled activities that encourage you to venture outdoors such as skating, sledding or venture for a walk to take in the neighbourhood lights.

Equinox TorontoPhoto by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds)

4. Get moving inside. If staying indoors is the only option, there are plenty of ways to stay active.  Hit up a class at your gym that you’ve never tried before. Having an instructor and fellow classmates will help keep you motivated. No access to a gym? Try one of the “Get Focused” 15 minute workouts on the Nike NTC+ app. Hosting a holiday party? Get in a good workout prepping for guests arrival…did you know heavy duty cleaning can burn up to 300 calories an hour?

5. Try the one-a-day program. Limit yourself to one indulgence per day. Don’t deprive yourself of all sugar for the entire holiday break, that will just lead to a binge disaster between now and January 31st. Be moderate in your thought process – one cookie, one eggnog, one slice of cake, just not all at once.

Eggnog Getty Image

6. Be mindful of the liquid calories. Festive drinks may be fun to sip, especially the bubbly kind but make sure to drink in moderation as they can be full of empty calories and tons of sugar (it pains me to admit that one cup of eggnog contains 340 calories).

7. Sleep. This is so underrated. Studies show that a lack of sleep can actually slow the metabolism and increase cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that prompts your body to store fat and gain weight. Sleep isn’t just for your mental health, but also for your physical health so be sure to get 8 hours of rest a night.

Posted on by Sasha in FITNESS, FOOD, HOLIDAYS Leave a comment

Guilt-Free Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

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Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

Beans…turns out they are not just for burritos and salads like I once believed! I am always on the hunt for guilt free treats to satisfy my infamous sweet tooth and my friend Chef Adrian Forte thankfully introduced me to his Guilt-Free Chocolate Chickpea Brownie recipe, which I highly suggest you try making at home over the holidays.  Never in my wildest dreams would I think garbanzo beans would yield some of the most fudgy, rich and healthy brownies I’ve ever had – and highly addicting may I add. And if you’re wondering if these brownies taste like beans, they most certainly do not.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 large organic, free range eggs
  • 5 cups of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of unsweetened chocolate – melted
  • 1 cup of shredded almonds (optional)

 

Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

Pre-heat your oven and set it to 350 degrees. Start by placing the almond flour and brown sugar into a large bowl and whisk together.  In your blender or Vitaminx, blend the chickpeas and coconut oil and puree until smooth. Combine the pureed chickpea to flour and brown sugar mixture, then add the eggs and whisk aggressively to mix. Once smooth, add in the melted raw chocolate and blend until the mixture is lump free. In a parchment lined baking pan or individual mini baking cups and bake for 15 mins. Remove brownies from the oven, drizzle 1/2 cup of melted unsweetened chocolate and top with shredded almonds.

Chocolate Chickpea BrowniesPhotos by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.com (@amillionminds)

Looking for other inspiring dishes to serve during the holidays? In case you missed it, check out this Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Red Beet Hummus recipe also from Chef Adrian Forte.  For more information on Chef Forte’s personal chef services, culinary consulting and catering, head to AdrianForte.com.

Posted on by Sasha in FOOD Leave a comment

Love it & Lyst It on Fashion’s Social Shopping Site Lyst.com

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Lyst.com

I have developed a bit of a substance abuse problem and it’s called Lyst. Every morning between 6:30 and 7:30am for the past week I have been on my computer in bed – not working, but rather “Lysting”. I will admit, although I spend tons of time on my laptop, I haven’t really been an avid online shopper but that looks like it’s about to change.  Looking to quickly learn the ins and outs of the site, I spent a few hours last week dissecting it and quickly discovered I was in a dangerous place where this could potentially trump my Netflix obsession.

Lyst

What is Lyst exactly? It’s basically a virtual pin board you can actually shop from (think of it as a mashup between Pinterest and Shop Style in the format of Twitter).  You can follow the designers and brands you like, the bloggers you love (ahem…hopefully me!) and if you stumble on items you like on their lists, you can 1) add those picks to your own personal lists and 2) purchase them by clicking “Buy on Store”, which leads you to the brand’s site to buy.  Not looking for anything in particular and just need some inspiration? Lyst has you covered there too. The homepage has an inspiring selection of lists curated by the site’s editors, their fave brands and fashion influencers where you can discover new trends. Case in point, the Left Bank scarf trend made popular by everyone’s fave gal Leandra Medine (the Man Repeller).

Lyst

For those of you that are a bit impatient like I am, rather than aimlessly cruising the site, you can browse for a specific type of item querying by designer, colour, price or even “Holiday Offers”. If you stumble on something that’s a bit too pricey (#StoryOfMyLife), simply flag it and Lyst will notify you if the same item is going on sale or even better available cheaper at another store. With all the buzz about the 2015 Pantone colour of the year, Marsala, I’ve created a list featuring some extremely lust-worthy pieces. You can preview my entire list here.

Lyst Sasha Exeter

Have I convinced you to try it out? It’s totally free and addicting may I add, but it definitely makes online shopping more fun. I will be using the site as another source of inspiration and a way to share my fashion and fitness must-haves with my Lyst and social media followers. Head to Lyst.com to get started and check them out on Instagram and Twitter. Once you’re up and running and, be sure to follow my lists here.

Posted on by Sasha in FASHION Leave a comment
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