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Tech Talk: What You Need to Know About Apple TV 4G

I did a TV detox for almost a year. Not intentionally, but with Netflix, Shomi, Crave and other online streaming options allowing us to watch our fave programs on our laptops, what was once one of the most used things in my household ended up sitting on a console collecting considerable amount of dust. Well, a lot has changed around here since getting Apple TV. Since it’s launch in 2010, it’s design had really not evolved and it was still using an interface dating back to the iPod days, quite possibly the reason why the device has consistently been eclipsed by it’s prodigy siblings, the iPad and iPhone. If you’re one of those people who prefer to wait for a later generation of a product so a brand has time to get all the kinks out, then now would be the time to try out the best version to date of Apple TV.

The latest version has powerful hardware, a significantly redesigned remote and an operating system worthy of an Apple product in 2016. Plus, there’s a legit app store now, which turns the device into a killer platform for entertainment, workouts and gaming right in the comfort of your own living room.

Apple TV Fitness Apps

The ultra sleek new Siri remote not only looks attractive when placed on your coffee table or TV console, but it’s also super functional. Say goodbye to endless button pushing kids. With the smooth touch surface, selecting and navigating is made so much easier with swipe capabilities. In addition to the menu and play/pause buttons, which the remote had before, there is now a home button and volume controls. Plus, since it’s wireless you don’t even have to point it directly at the Apple TV console. Worried about having to add yet another remote to your collection? We’ve trained the intelligent Siri remote to adapt to work as our television remote control.

Apple TV Fitness AppsHere’s what you will receive with you Apple TV purchase. *Note HDMI cable is sold separately

Once you’ve set up your Apple TV, which can be done simply on the corresponding app on your iPhone, the well laid out home screen makes it easy to search iTunes for movies, shows and music, and search/download from the app store etc. There aren’t any third-party apps installed by default, which is kind of a good thing in my personal opinion. This means, only the apps you love and use frequently are displayed on the home screen. The only downfall so far to be honest, is not having access to some of the new and amazing third-party apps that have been developed for 2016 that are not available in Canada *welp*. I frothed at the mouth thinking of all the potential binge watching I could do on HBO, Showtime and HULU and the workouts on Beach Body On Demand but nope – no dice for us Canadian residents. However, there are still a handful of apps making Apple TV a worthwhile purchase even if you reside south of the border…and let’s start with some that will get/keep you in shape:

Apple TV fitness apps

Fitness Focused Apps

Think you have no time to get to the gym after work? Can’t get out of bed extra early to make it to that yoga class? Or better yet, need some inspiration for some active mobility stretches before you run? I’ve combed the app store and online to find fitness apps that ticked all the boxes; high quality videos of varying lengths and forms of exercise, affordable prices, an app perhaps with an iOS version that sends me push notifications to nudge me when I haven’t worked out. Even a corresponding Apple Watch app component that will tap into the watch’s sensors to track my heart rate and cals burned. This may be too much of an ask, but I remained hopeful. After spending some considerable time trolling and testing, I’ve realized there is a HUGE potential for health and fitness apps on this platform and has even got me thinking of someday creating my own third-party app. With the updated version of Apple TV, tvOS has made it much easier for third-party apps to be created, so I suspect we will see a lot more comprehensive fitness apps popping up in the near future. Although there are some great options out there, I still think the fitness focused apps haven’t reached their full potential yet. Here’s a few of the contenders that were able to meet some of my tough criteria…

Zova:

Apple TV Fitness AppsPhotography by JessBaumung.com

One of the first tvOS fitness apps created, Zova also comes highly recommended by the peeps at Apple. It offers a ton of free video content, which is awesome, and is even equipped with Apple Watch integration so you’re able to see your heart rate on the TV screen while you workout. However, you have to pay $10+ a month to unlock the premium version. Still cheap in comparison to most others though, but I would have liked to see at least one option in the app store that was available free to users. Furthermore, majority of the videos are much shorter than I would have liked to see – 15 mins or less and no instruction. There’s just a model demonstrating each move sans voiceover. On the plus side, Zova is great for those who want to be led through a quick ab workout, short flow sequence to start the day or pre run stretch routine.

Daily Burn:

Apple TV Fitness Apps

Daily Burn has been featured in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Shape, Good Morning America and the Today Show because of the success of it’s subscribers and now I know why. With over 500 workouts in 20+ amazing programs from strength training, HIIT, weight training, yoga, dance and more – there is something for everyone. Plus, there is a new 30 minute Daily Burn 365 workout every single day at 9am EST that replays on demand for 24 hours, specifically designed for beginners. When you download the app on Apple TV, your eligible for a 30 day free trial – something that most apps should allow you to do so you can ensure you are getting what you’re promised prior to purchasing. Once your free month is up, the premium membership will run you $36.99/mth. Workouts average anywhere between 30-40 minutes making them great on their own but also works well when you add in a run or other cardio workout but the app does not sync with the Apple Watch to monitor calories burned and heart rate.

Grokker:

Apple TV fitness apps

This yoga focused app also provides users with nutritional plans and cooking videos for those who are looking for some food inspo. Grokker’s program ranges from one week to six weeks in length and the series are designed to save you time with over 70 goal oriented series to choose from. My suggestions, “Get Tight in 28“, “x5 Intensity“, “Daily Muscle Relief” and the “21 Day Relax Mindfulness Meditation“. Love that you can schedule workouts in the in-app calendar as a reminder of which series you should be doing next. Users can also easily track progress such as total minutes of exercise and calories burned to stay motivated. If you have an Apple Watch, you will be able to track your heart rate and active energy during both fitness and yoga workouts while also contributing to your Activity Rings. Free to download and use, but just like the rest of the more sophisticated fitness apps out there, you have to pay for the good stuff. A premium subscription enables you to download an unlimited number of premium videos per month and will cost you $14.99 or $119.99 monthly or annually respectively.

Cody:

Apple TV Fitness Apps

Cody is the priciest out of the bunch because you actually pay per plan, not by month – so if you’re looking for an affordable fitness app, this isn’t it! The cost depends mainly on which plan you pick but on average will cost you somewhere between $40-50 and there is no free trial option. Some may argue that it is in fact good value for money because the videos are super high quality plus Cody offers offline downloads so you can do your workouts on your iOS device while traveling. If you’re the type that likes a variety and prefers to switch things up each day, you may not love that the app forces you to stick within a program, however on the plus side, this is the best way to achieve results.

Honourable Mentions

I would be straight up lying if I told you this was my only use of my Apple TV at home. Let’s be honest here, there are a plethora of entertainment, news, music, food and television streaming apps to make you forget all about cable television. On heavy rotation at our place right now – Netflix, TED Talks, Shomi, CityTV, People Entertainment Weekly Network, The Scene, Kitchen Stories, Made to Measure (for all my fave fashion documentaries and movies), and RedBull TV.

Apple TV is available at Apple stores, Best Buy locations and online at Apple.com starting at $199.

Fight Tough to Beat Odours with Tide + Downy Odor Defence Collection

I don’t think there is anyone more happier than I am about athletic wear becoming a larger part of people’s everyday wardrobes. I thoroughly enjoy the idea of being able to hit up a workout, make one edit to my look and then continue on with the rest of my day still on trend and comfy may I add. After spending a good portion of the last 25 years in workout clothes, I’ve come to realize one thing. The technical fabrics used in today’s activewear are no doubt functional, making them ultra comfortable, flattering and moisture wicking, however they often become odour magnets making your workout clothes the home of trapped in dirt and sweat. Have you ever hit the gym in an outfit you’ve just washed and noticed the garments start to smell before you’ve even begun the workout? It’s actually happened to me a several times and had me thinking I had lost my damn mind and put on dirty clothes or that our top load washer was no longer doing the trick. After switching to a new front load washer, the problem still existed. Turns out, I’m not a lunatic – go figure! This occasionally smelly situation has a term and it’s known as “Rebloom“. If not in your gym clothes, some of you may have encountered this with towels shortly after laundry day. You know for a fact you washed them, but you smell a hint of mildew releasing while drying off post shower.

Tide + Downy Odor Defense

Tide + Downy Odor Defense

The only way to combat the rebloom effect is to break down dirt and body soils at a different fibre level so smells don’t come back. With all our daily workouts and activities, I am literally drowning in dirty laundry desperate for some TLC by the time the end of the week rolls around. Now was a better time than any to try out the new Tide + Downy Odor Defense Collection, which I am referring to as the “Trifecta”. I am a bit of a skeptic when a new product is said to be “ground-breaking”, “life-changing” or a “game changer” and after years of experiencing the same odour issues with my workout gear, I didn’t set my expectations high. Tights and a sports bra are my go to when I’m working out in the gym, so I used items with Dry-Fit, Nike’s moisture wicking fabric, to put Tide + Downy Collection through the ultimate test. I am not quite sure how well each product works independently but combined together, all of my garments smelled unbelievably fresh, even heavily sweat soiled sports bras and running shorts with absolutely no hint of the rebloom effect making it’s way back into the clothes – thank God!

Tide + Downy Odor Defense

Tide + Downy Odor Defense

Tide + Downy Odor Defense

If you are using regular liquid detergent or god forbid powder, stop what you are doing right now and proceed directly to your nearest grocery store and pick up Tide Pods Plus Febreeze Odor Defense. Never again do I want to worry if I am putting too much or too little detergent for each load or whether or not a detergent has to the power to eliminate deeply rooted odours. The 4-in-1 pod is power packed to remove residue and surface stains. But just like any good sports team, the other teammates need to be equally as strong. Enter Tide Odor Rescue with Febreeze Odor Defense and Downy Fresh Protect with Febreeze Odor Defense. The former is a mega in-wash booster that penetrates deep down to remove odors and dirt trapped in the fibres while the latter contains motion activated beads that also banishes doors but more importantly seals in the odor protection technology so clothes stay fresh long after their washed, making it a critical component to the collection. Basically, deodorant for your clothes!

Tide + Downy Odor DefensePhotography by JessBaumung.com

Looking to avoid the embarrassing and smelly result of rebloom in your activewear clothing? This incredible trio of products can now be found in most mass retail and grocery stores nationwide. Check out Tide.ca for more information on their products and special offers.

I created this post as an ambassador for Tide. All opinions and advice are of my own and I only work with companies I either genuinely love or have used prior to being contracted.

UPDATED: Get Inspired to Move This Summer With Me and Degree Women

*This post has been updated on July 1st, 2016. Scroll down for details on my #BeTheMovement challenge

One of the most valuable things my parents taught me is that it always “takes a village” to get anywhere worth going in life. A solid support system is critical in my life and the secret to my success to date has been to surround myself around people that inspire me and push me to be the best possible version of myself in both my personal and professional life.

#BeTheMotion Degree

#BeTheMotion Degree

A large part of my recovery to health has to do with exercise. Do I love waking up at 5:30am for a gruelling workout? No, not really. Would I much rather be nestled in the arms of my man in bed with our pup laying at our feet. Absolutely. Do I get sore for days after a hard session? Of course. Is it fun to run outside in -25 degrees during our Canadian winter? Nope, not really. My illness means I am in moderate to severe pain pretty much daily…some days are better than others but sometimes it’s challenging just to get out of bed in the morning to be honest. But here’s the thing folks, although it can be a bit difficult to get moving, what keeps me on track are all the physical and mental benefits of working out and leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Actually, my life depends on moving every single day and as hard as it can be to get that workout done, there is no better feeling than the endorphin high I get afterwards.

Every now and again I receive sweet emails from followers saying how much my personal story motivates you. Some of you have even shared your personal goals and achievements with me. Reading messages like these pushes me to keep going and forces me to continue to challenge myself every single day. I’m also extremely lucky to have an amazing supporting cast around me. Some special peeps that also help to inspire, motivate and keep me accountable.

#BeTheMotion Degree

#BeTheMotion Degree

My other half, R√©jean Chiasson (Creative Director and Head Coach of Adidas Runners), on most days runs 20-30kms and seeing his drive and determination naturally rubs off on me. This is not a household for the weak and unmotivated. As a former Canadian marathon champion, clearly I am no where near his level, but he always has my back when I need a training partner. Working out with him is not only fun, but I have a tendency to push myself a little harder when he’s around just because I want him to be proud of me. Speaking of which, he has just asked me to join him in a pull-up and push-up challenge which makes me think that he too needs an accountability partner ūüėČ And if he’s not enough, I have the best friend a girl can ask for, Eva Redpath – Canada’s Nike Master Trainer. We often refer to her as the “Ultimate Accountability Partner“. This woman is unreal. Not a day goes by without her checking in to make sure I have knocked off all the items on my to-do list, pushes me during our weekly workouts together at Toronto’s Goldring High Performance Centre and has dug me out of more emotional holes than I would like to admit. My antiperspirant is just as important as my support team. Degree Women ActiveShield Dry Spray Antiperspirant has Motionsense technology that detects when I move from underarm friction causing it to release immediate odour protection and keeps me feeling fresh all day long.

#BeTheMotion DegreePhotos by JessBaumung.com

Knowing how important it is to have that one person to help you stay on track, I want to be your accountability partner this summer. For the month of July, I’m going to challenge you to #BeTheMotion for a minimum of 30 minutes everyday. To some a half hour seems like it’s either too short of a time to do any good and conversely there may be some that think 30 minutes daily of exercise or movement is not attainable. It most definitely is and you would be surprised at what can get accomplished during this time. So if you’re down for a realistic challenge, I will act as your personal support team via social media with tips, tricks and feedback. It’s funny how it works but when you know someone is going to check in with you to make sure you’ve done what you said you were going to do – it significantly increases the chances of you getting shit done. To add yourself to my “Be The Motion Challenge” list, just tag me (@sashaexeter) on Instagram or Twitter and I will touch base with you daily to ensure your daily 30 minutes is in the bag and to encourage you throughout the next 31 days. Have a question or need some suggestions – just shoot me a DM, we’re in this together. Let’s do this!

Ombrelle Sport Endurance: Major Keys to Sun Protection

Summer is in full swing and after what seemed like a never ending winter, everyone is outside enjoying the sun. For me, one of the best parts of warmer weather means I get to switch things up and take my workouts outside. Any exposure to sun calls for protection and during this time of the year I become extra obsessive around skin protection and sunscreen. To some, this comes as bit of a surprise as most make the assumption that darker skin isn’t affected by sun damage. WRONG!!!!!! That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Both black and white skin can become damaged by exposure to the sun. Even though black skin has a natural SPF of 13.4 while white skin 3.3, both skin colours are equally susceptible to damage.

Ombrelle Sport Endurance

Ombrelle Sport Endurance

Ombrelle Endurance Sport

Ombrelle Sport Endurance

Ombrelle Endurance Sport

When I’m outdoors, especially working out or playing sports, I need a sunscreen that is SPF 50, high performing and can stand up to my active lifestyle. Ombrelle Sport Endurance is non-greasy, oil-free formula that provides wearers with 80 minutes of water and sweat resistance. It goes on clear, so I am never left with that unsightly white residue that makes my skin appear grey and even on wet or sweaty skin (think reapply-ing while playing beach volleyball) it still provides an even coverage. My sunscreens of the past were greasy and left my hands annoyingly sticky, not to mention dripped into my eyes on runs or when playing tennis and burned like crazy when I would sweat. Not ideal at all! Not all sunscreens are created equal.¬†Ombrelle Sport Endurance¬†doesn’t drip into my eyes, my hands aren’t left sticky and also gives me protection against both UVB and UVA rays. Are both UVB and UVA protection important? Absolutely. You want to stay protected from UVB as they these are the rays that cause skin surface damage such as sunburns but you should also want to stay protected from UVA as well. Those are the rays that cause long term damage and contribute to premature aging and skin cancer.

Ombrelle Sport EndurancePhotos by JessBaumung.com

If you’re wondering what SPF actually stands for, trust me you’re not alone. Funny enough, this week is #SunAwarenessWeek and the inquisitive person that I am, I have been chatting with people about the topic of sun protection and how well their understanding is of how sun screen works to keep skin safe. Interestingly, 60% of those I spoke to had no clue what the acronym SPF stands for and almost 90% didn’t know what SPF’s corresponding number means. For years I had swore the SPF number (i.e. SPF 15) simply represented the sunscreen’s strength but in actuality, that number is the length of time that sunscreen protected skin can be exposed to the sun before burning. ¬†Is your mind blown yet? This means, if you normally start to get a sunburn on unprotected skin in twenty minutes in the sun, then SPF 15 would provide you with 15 x 20 minutes (or 300 minutes) of protection.

If some of this information is news to you and you would like to learn more on sun protection and #SunAwarenessWeek head to OmbrelleSunFacts.ca.

Nike 2016 Innovation For Everyone Event in NYC

Nike Innovation For Everyone

The fitness apparel game has changed with more players seeking marketshare than ever before. Brands whose core business had only been about high street fashion are now jumping onto the fitness craze bandwagon. With some, actually making quite beautiful contemporary activewear with luxe technical fabrics. This change in the landscape has no doubt left big players like Nike to continue to push the envelope on their apparel and footwear technology innovations. About a week ago I made the longest possible trek from Toronto to NYC (approximately 28 hours and 6 missed flights due to bad weather conditions) to Nike’s highly anticipated “Innovation for Everyone” event. ¬†Tired and extremely frustrated, I had seriously contemplated cancelling my trip altogether knowing that I missed so much of the festivities. However having been to more Nike media events than I can count, I knew that if I sat this one out I would most likely regret it. Similar to previous innovations summits I’ve attended, the event featured TV, print, and digital media from all over the world who checked their egos at the door and anxiously waited for the special reveals of Nike’s most technologically advanced products to date.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation for Everyone

On day one, Nike’s President & CEO gave attendees a peek in the breadth of innovations we were all going to see during the event including Nike Air VaporMax; the future of a global icon, Nike Anti-Clog Traction technology that has a mud-beating polymer and will take a player’s game on the pitch to another level, Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 – the world’s first sport informed adaptive lacing shoe and of course the new and improved Nike+ app. Celeb Nike Brand Ambassador and notorious funny man Kevin Hart took to the stage to help kick off the festivities. What came as a surprise to most, the comedian and actor bypassed opportunities to make the crowd erupt in laughter and instead spoke passionately about training and what he’s been able to achieve through social media and the Nike+ Community. To build off the latest updates to the app, Hart hosted a private NRC/NTC combined session for the first time alongside elite athletes Sonya Richards Ross, Victor Cruz, Shalene Flanagahan and Global Nike Running Head Coach Chris Bennett.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovations For Everyone

Nike Innovations For Everyone

This June Nike+ will get a refresh and the brand promises the new app will inspire athletes to pursue their potential. ¬†And what can be more motivating than hearing Kevin Hart’s voice cheering you on at every milestone? The actor’s voice has also been integrated into the app similar to elite athlete cheers you get when completing a run in the existing platform. What else can you expect to see from it this summer? The “plus” now equates to “personal”. Members will be able to stay connected to the Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Training Club and the SNKRS apps. And if that’s not enough, a personal store based on the info members provide the app that houses performance product recommendations personalized to members’ sport and lifestyle preferences. Also, a unique QR code that can be scanned upon arrival in a Nike retail outlet allowing store employees to immediately pull products for you based on your profile and reserved invitations to their favourite sneakers. These combined offerings taking care of each step of a member’s athletic life. “We live in a world where technology and data are all around us. Technology is at it’s most powerful when it serves people. And today athletes want more than a dashboard – they want a relationship” says Nike President and CEO Mark Parker. The biggest impact I think will be within the Nike Training Club component which until now was reserved for the ladies. Internally the Nike team discovered that tons of men were actually also using the app and with the workouts designed specifically women, it only made sense to add male-centric workouts into the app to appease everyone. This means that in the future we can also expect to see men incorporated into NTC Live events and workouts both regionally and across the globe.

Nike Innovations for Everyone
Nikki Neuberger, Vice President of Global Brand Member Services

Nike Innovations For Everyone

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Adaptive lacing? What the hell is that, right? My thoughts exactly as I impatiently sat in the airport thirstily refreshing my twitter timeline looking for updates from the event I was beyond fashionably late for at this point. Well, the¬†HyperAdapt 1.0¬†is Nike’s latest platform breakthrough deep utilizing deep rooted research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement. The self lacing shoe challenges the traditional understanding of fit as we know it and is said to be the solution of individual preferences and idiosyncrasies in both lacing and tension preferences. ¬†“Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it,” says Tinker Hatfield the sneaker icon behind the Air Max 1, Air Jordans 3 through 15 and more. “We are able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.” This I can attest is true specifically for running and training, the brand has thought of every single convenience function imaginable. From a technology standpoint, Nike seems to have pushed past it’s competition in athletic footwear apparel with this innovation however, I am not completely sold on the design aesthetic. Although relatively light, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the flashing blue light in the midsole, I think shoes with flashing lights are reserved for children under the age of 10, but this design hiccup is certainly trumped over the fact the shoe that ties it’s own laces. Below, soccer star Cristian Ronaldo, is the first athlete to try on the¬†Nike HyperAdapt 1.0.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation for EveryoneTinker Hatfield watches as attendee locks himself into the HyperAdapt 1.0

Nike Innovation For Everyone Tiffany BeersNike Senior Innovator Tiffany Beers played an integral role in the development of this shoe and is also known for her work on the self lacing Nike Mag, Air Yeezy, Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard collabo, the ParaNormans and more.

When I finally got to the event grounds, I immediately beelined for the shoe to see if first hand. When you step into the shoe, your heel hits a sensor and the system automatically tightens. Then there’s two buttons on the outer side of each shoe’s upper to tighten and loosen if necessary so you can adjust until the fit is perfect providing a tailored-to-the-moment custom fit. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available ONLY to members of the Nike+ community beginning holiday 2016 in three colour ways. Click here if you would like to receive a notification when the shoe becomes available.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Air VaporMax

Nike continued to tackle technology in footwear by redefining and re-developing the widely adored Air Max shoe. Debuting in 1987, the Air Max was the first shoe to have a visible air cushioning unit. If you’re old enough to remember it’s inaugural release like me, you have literally seen the legendary shoe transform in the 90s when the entire sole because an air unit. The next leap in technology is Nike Air VaporMax’s standalone outsole.

Nike Air Vapor Max

The VaporMax doesn’t require the air unit to be insulated anymore by a secondary rubber layer for added durability and protection and has more air than ever directly under the feet. They did have a size 8 on display and of course I squeezed my size 9 foot into the shoe to take it for a quick test drive. Having a Flyknit upper combined with eliminating the bulk of a foam layer, the shoe significantly reduces waste and weight while increases flexibility. I tried to get the dish on available colour ways but seeing as though this shoe won’t release until spring 2017 (yes you read that correctly) this decision has yet to be made.

Nike Innovation for Everyone

Having missed an entire day of announcements and excitement, I had to get a crash course in the remaining vignettes throughout the innovation grounds. I crept up to the KD9 booth where Kevin Durant sat perched on a chair for what seemed like hours surrounded in masses of media, microphones and cameras all there to learn about the shoe’s design elements, inspired by Kevin’s new found love of photography and combines flyknit uppers with Zoom bags, first hand from the ball player and Nike Basketball Senior Design Director Leo Chang.

Nike Innovation For EveryoneNike Basketball Senior Design Director Leo Chang

Nike Innovation for Everyone

And what seemed to fascinate most, even if they were there for running, training and basketball categories was the new Anti-Clog Traction technology for football (soccer). This redefining technology literally repeals dirt off the footbed of the cleat avoiding mud buildup that creates added weight to the shoe throughout a game in inclement weather conditions:

If you can believe it, all of that went down within the five hours I was in the city before having to rush to head back to the airport butI did manage to squeeze in the reveal of the Olympic kits for the upcoming games in Rio and chatted about training, go-to beauty products and boyfriends with Canadian 800m Olympic hopeful Melissa Bishop.
Nike Innovation of Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovations for Everyone
Nike VP of Footwear Innovation Tony Bigell speaks to the System of Performance for Allyson Felix’s Track Spike
For more details on Nike’s “Era of Personalized Performance” and complete list of 2016 innovations that you can expect to see in the near future click here.

NBA All-Star Weekend Toronto NTC Court Fit Experience

NTC Court Fit

NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto may be over but I am still feeling the effects of our special basketball inspired NTC workout lead by Nike Master Trainers Eva Redpath and Emily Hutchins. At 6:30am on Sunday morning we arrived at Mattamy Athletic Centre, which was converted into a Jordan Brand court for the weekend. To help take the sting off having to wake up at 5:30am after a long week of events, Nike treated the ladies to a braid bar experience pre workout. Just before our sweat sesh commenced, we were introduced to Canadian Olympian basketball player (and former Notre Dame Fighting Irish) Natalie Achonwa. The 6’3″ Forward, who currently plays for the Indiana Fever, graciously helped us through the ball handling skills after a dynamic warm-up and killer workout created by Em and Eva, based fundamental Nike Training Club exercises from workouts in the NTC+ app. And it wouldn’t be a ball workout if suicide sprints weren’t in the mix too.

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Live

NTC Court Live

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

All the pieces we wore for the early morning workout were super lightweight, breathable, and the tights had just the right amount of both stretch and coverage. A workout with both cross training and agility/speed drills needs the right pair of shoes. The Lunar Sculpt Training shoe has a form fitting upper that offers lightweight support and plus the lunarlon midsole provided the responsive cushioning we needed for the plyometric jumps during in the workout.

Don’t have access to Nike Master Trainers in your city? No problem…download the NTC+ Nike Training Club App on your favourite wireless device for free to access over 100 workouts. No matter what you’re fitness level is, the app serves as your own personal trainer and where you can stay motivated from the millions of other female users within the Nike Women community.

What we’re wearing:¬†Nike Legendary Fabric Twist Veneer Tights¬†//¬†Nike Pro Calssic Padded Tidal Multi Bra¬†//¬†Nike Elastika Elevate Tank¬†//¬†Lunar Sculpt Training Shoes¬†//¬†All clothing courtesy of Nike Canada. Shop¬†Nike Women gear now at¬†Nike.com

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court Fit

NTC Court FitPhotography by Jackie Beale and Nathalia Allen for Nike Canada

Quick and Clean Post Workout Fuel

HBNewYou
It’s shocking how many people overlook the importance of nutrition when it comes to overall wellness and weight loss. Truth be told, what we put in our mouths is more crucial than the time we put in the gym. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “what should I eat post workout that won’t cancel out the calories I just burned?”. Actually, this may be the best news you will hear this month but you you can’t cancel out calories you just burned off during a workout. When you work out, your body burns fat to be used as energy. If you eat right after your workout, those calories won’t be used to replace the burned body fat. Truth be told, your body only stores food as body fat when it doesn’t have anything else to do with the extra calories you eat. Post workout, your body needs to start restoring and repairing itself from your training, so in other words, it needs the calories.

HBNewYou

Your body uses the protein you intake to repair and build the muscles that were broken down during your tough workouts. Eating immediately post workout has a few other benefits. The calories you ingest will be used by your body automatically instead of being stored as fat. Eating after a workout can also increase your body’s insulin sensitivity or its ability to use carbohydrates, which is super important for weight loss.

What I eat after I workout depends on how vigorous the exercise was and at what time of the day. Sometimes, if it’s very early in the morning I may not have a huge appetite, where a protein packed shake and a cold pressed juice will do the trick or if it’s later into the day or evening, my body craves something a bit heavier. Here’s some easy options you may want to incorporate into your post workout routine.

The Go-To Salad: Belmonte Raw’s Moroccan Kale Salad

HBNewYouThe above shot at Belmonte Raw for Hudson’s Bay by David A. Pike. Wearing Lole Women

When my time is limited post workout, I have several options close to Equinox located in “The Path” (or what I refer to as Toronto’s underground city). It’s kind of the best. Retail shops, liquor stores, restaurants, everything you could ever need and want without ever having to go outside into the freezing cold. My friends at Belmonte Raw recently opened a location there that services the Financial District and within 5 minutes I can scoop up one of my fave salads to go without skipping a beat. But when I have a little more time, I like to prepare something at home where I can also have the option of adding some sort of protein to the salad; tuna, salmon, chicken or steak; like this colourful Rainbow Chopped Salad (shown here without protein).

Rainbow Chopped Salad

Ingredients: 

1 large head romaine lettuce, cored and chopped

1 head red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 handful of parsley, stemmed and finely chopped

1 apple, chopped into cubes

1 asian pear, chopped into cubes

1/4 cup wakame soaked for 15 minutes, rinsed and drained

1 sheet nori, cut into thin strips

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

1 avocado, peeled and sliced into cubes

1/2 cup of dried apricots diced finely

1.2 cup of sunflower seeds (optional)

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper and your choice of protein (fish, chicken or steak) to taste

*Yields 4-6 servings 

Directions: Don’t feel you have to use this exact recipe. Feel free to remove or add ingredients as you see fit. You can think of this as the ultimate bowl of nutrient dense goodness. Add the simple vinaigrette or your choice of dressing, toss everything together and let marinate for at least 15 minutes before eating. SSFitTip: Make before your workout so you can devour right after your sweat sesh.

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I don’t think I’ve met a smoothie I didn’t like. I mean, what’s not to love right? Quick to make, you can pack in tons of nutrients, usually on the sweeter tasting side, making it enjoyable to drink. It’s almost impossible to get the recommended amount of folic acid from greens, so blending and juicing dark leafy green veggies like kale and spinach makes things a bit easier. Even those who don’t like the taste of green based smoothies, will love this Stevia-Sweetened Green Tropical Smoothie.

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Ingredients:

1/2 frozen banana

1 medium tangerine, peeled

1.5-2 cups of coconut water, preferably from young coconuts but bottled is fine

2 cups of kale, chopped

1.2 cup of frozen pineapple

8-10 drops of Sweet Leaf tangerine stevia

*Makes 1-2 large drinks

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients in a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, until smooth.

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If it wasn’t considered to be ridiculous, I could easily eat breakfast food for every single meal. There’s always been a special place in my heart for pancakes, crepes and french toast, but for the most part when you eat them at restaurants they aren’t the healthiest. I have come determined to find or create healthy versions of my favourite meals this year and these Red Quinoa Pancakes are pretty delish.

Ingredients:

2 organic, free ranged eggs

2 cups of coconut or almond milk

1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

1.5 cups of flour (I prefer to use unbleached wheat or spelt flour as a healthier alternative)

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 cups of red quinoa, cooked

*Makes 20-24 pancakes

Directions: Place milk in a small bowl and pour in the lemon juice. Stir once and let sit for 5 minutes. Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix together. Place eggs in a mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk. Add the coconut oil, dry ingredients and milk to the eggs and mix until combined. Add the quinoa to the batter and mix until combined (make sure to not over mix). Head griddle to medium-medium/high and grease with coconut oil. Pour batter onto the hot griddle (roughly 1/4 cup per pancake) and allow to cook for a minute or so, or until the top of the pancake has bubbled and the sides are cooked. Flip pancake over and finish cooking on the other side for another 30 seconds. Add desired fruit or other toppings and your fave syrup.

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When I workout later into the day, specifically in the evening, I finish feeling absolutely famished. If I don’t find something healthy and filling right away, it can lead to danger. I like to eat my dinner early so I need something that’s healthy and that will keep me satisfied until the next morning.Whether your a vegan or not, you must try this Green, Clean Lasagna with Kale Marinara Sauce.

Ingredients: 

olive oil cooking spray (for the baking dish)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

4 cups of sliced cremini mushrooms

2 cups of shredded lacinato kale leaves

2 cups part skim-ricotta cheese

3 cups of homemade kale marinara (recipe below)

6 no boil lasagna sheet noodles

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 ŐäF. Lightly spray a 9√ó13-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray and set aside. In a large saut√© pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shredded kale, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Put the ricotta cheese in a large bowl, and, using a spatula, gently fold in the cooled mushroom-kale mixture until completely incorporated. Assemble the lasagna

Using the prepared baking dish, assemble the lasagna in six layers as follows: 1 cup Homemade Kale Marinara, spread evenly; 3 lasagna noodle sheets (arranged in a single layer); 3‚ĀĄ4 cup of the kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, spread evenly. Repeat the layering a second time, then top with the remaining kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, and finish with the grated Pecorino or Romano on top. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven, on the middle rack, for about 25 minutes.

After 20 minutes have passed, remove the foil from the baking dish and move the baking dish to the top rack. To finish, bake, uncovered, for another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how you love your lasagna finished. Remove the lasagna from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Ingredients for Kale Marinara Sauce:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped finely

5 garlic cloves, finely minced

Two 28-ounce cans of unsalted organic crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup of fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 cup of finely julienned lacinato kale

Directions:

In a large stockpot, warm the extra-virgin olive oil over low heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes on low heat. Add the crushed tomatoes and fresh oregano leaves and give the sauce a good stir. Cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When the sauce has reduced and thickened, finish with the sea salt, balsamic vinegar, and julienned kale. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes and serve or use in recipes as needed.

HBNewYouELXR Juice Photography by Danielle Reynolds

Cold pressed juices post workout can help your training through assisting you to stay hydrated and also offers essential nutrients to support muscle development, strength, and provides nutrients which can help reduce oxidation and inflammation due to strenuous exercise. Juicing is also ideal to alkalize your body after a heavy workout. The most significant thing to remember after a workout is that you have to get the vital nutrients back into your body in the easiest and fastest way possible. Then afterwards, have a meal which has fiber. I always turn to ELXR Juice Lab to nourish me with their cold pressed juices.

Post workout, my go-to’s are usually the Pina Vida). This refreshing blend assists with muscle recovery, it’s also an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing while providing an energy boost. Other faves is the brand’s Second Base; packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, Beta Rush because of it’s energizing properties that give me the extra push to get through the rest of my day and Support Group for it’s ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.

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There’s no better time like now to cleanse and detox. Want to start your new year with a 1, 3, or 5 day juice cleanse? Use my promo code “So Sasha” when you order your cleanse package from ELXRJuiceLab.com to receive 15% off your order.

For more lifestyle tips and style inspiration, make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram and Twitter or use the hashtag #HBNewYou for more of our wellness collaboration.

Hudson’s Bay Lifestyle Collaboration: Street Friendly Activewear

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Although I’m frequently doing checks and balances throughout the calendar year in regards to setting goals and making sure I stay on track to attain them, there’s something about the beginning of a new year that’s always extra special. It’s filled with so much hope and excitement of both the unknown and what’s to come. A few years ago I got in the habit of writing down my goals for the upcoming year on December 31st. Funny enough, when I started SoSasha.com I created a dream list of brands I wanted to work with and I’ve been extremely fortunate to collaborate with almost all of them. Until 2015, there were only a few that I had not yet knocked off my list and Hudson’s Bay, Canada’s iconic heritage department store, was on this short list. So naturally I was thrilled when they asked me to share some personal tips and tricks that I have up my sleeve to keep me inspired and motivated to achieve my overall wellness goals in 2016. For the rest of the month of January, you will discover what keeps me going from recipes, helpful fitness related apps and devices, beauty secrets, my go-to pieces for outdoor winter running plus my favourite workout and athleisure looks that get me to and from the gym in style. The timing couldn’t be better as Hudson’s Bay has just recently launched their active wear shop online.

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HBNewYouLole Look: Kavita Cross Back Top // Printed Running Tight // Java Jacket // Deena Duffle Bag

During the winter months, I have a tendency to dress in more muted or dark colours. Most likely a reflection of my mood due to the dropping temperatures. I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and jump on this “New Year, New Me” bandwagon, so I am trying to take a brighter approach to my workout wear this winter (pun intended), which you may have noticed as of late on Instagram. I may have actually gone from one extreme to the next, but I have added a few new killer tights to my collection; think bold and colourful patterns that can put energy in anyone’s step, no matter how gloomy and cold it is outside. My styling tip…when getting a bit crazy with prints on the lower half of your body, remember to keep it super simple up top. I usually opt for solid coloured bras and tops in white, grey or black in order to not compete with the pants.

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HBNewYouPhotography by David A. Pike for Hudson’s Bay

Adidas Look: Originals Mosc Printed Leggings // ClimaHeat Marled Zipped Hoodie // Aeroknot Burnout Tank // Arianna III Running Shoes 

¬†Need more tights-piration? Here’s a few more of my faves that can be found at Hudson’s Bay : Nike Dri-FIT Legendary Engineered Lattice Tights // Reebok Graffiti Yoga Tights // Stella McCartney Activewear Tights // YAS Graphic Cut and Sew Leggings

Head to TheBay.com for more legging and tights options and to preview the rest of Hudson’s Bay active wear collection. Make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram for more active wear trends and get more of my tips by using the hashtag¬†#HBNewYou

Nike Toronto #GetOutHere Winter Series

#GetOutHere

Yes, we are approaching winter. And yes, it is cold here in Toronto. However, this doesn’t mean that we need to settle for indoor gym workouts or worse, no workouts at all. For the second year in a row, Nike Toronto is offering outdoor winter training and run programming to help athletes stay motivated and to take on the seasonal elements. If you have been following my snapchat stories on Tuesday nights you have seen sneak peeks of my four week #GetOutHere training journey with my media group; where we have been getting to trial new NTC and H.I.T and Run workouts lead by Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath and Nike+ Run Coach Inge. Each Tuesday we have pushed our limits and had a little fun along the way, while testing out some of the brand’s latest cold weather apparel and technologies.

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Now it’s your turn to join in on all the fun. To help celebrate the arrival of Nike.com (commerce) here in Canada and the beginning of winter, Nike is currently hosting Nike.com “Live” from November 19-21 . A pop-up where you can expect special NRC runs and workouts, plus you can schedule 1:1 meetings with run coaches, trainers and even customize your own pair of Nike iD’s. We kicked off the Live sessions on Thursday morning at 6AM at 229 Richmond Street West, where the brand has converted a parking lot to an enormous outdoor fitness space which also houses the Nike.com crate, featuring all the new products from the running and training categories. Rumour has it, there’s a few vacant spots still left for some of today’s sessions. Click here to view availability and to sign up!

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So what is the recipe for surviving outdoor workouts this winter? Make sure its fun, have the right training partner and of course stay warm. During our sessions, the ladies and I have been staying cozy and warm in the Nike Pro¬†Hyperwarm Limitless Hoodie,¬†Hyperwarm Limitless Tights¬†,¬†Therma-Sphere Max Vest,¬†Therma-Sphere Max Jacket¬†and¬†Air Zoom Agility 2¬†training shoes – all are available for purchase now on Nike.com. Here’s a peek of some of the other new product that can be found in the container:

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#GetOutHerePhotos courtesy of Streets of Toronto (Alen Palander, Tyler Hayward and Nathalia Allen)

Nike.com “Live” may be coming to an end in Toronto today, but the party is far from over. This Monday night marks the beginning of the #GetOutHere four week winter series with Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer @EvaRedpath on the rooftop of the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Attendees will taken through a 60 minute H.I.T workout and will get the opportunity to test out the latest training apparel and footwear. Spaces are extremely limited so you will have to act quick if you want to take part. Head over to Nike.com/Toronto to view all available programming and to register for #GetOutHere.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon / BTGYYZ Weekend

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There is a well known saying within the global running community which is, “If you’re not running…you’re cheering”. I have never missed out on a race due to injury until now and have grown accustomed to pounding the pavement amongst thousands of other runners who rely on weeks of training and cheers from the crowd to get to the finish line. As an injured runner there are several phases of recovery that you go through and denial is part of that process. Once I passed the denial phase and realized that running in this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon was no longer a reality, I decided to see what it was like on the other side. ¬†Turning my focus to community, I channeled my energy for this year‚Äôs race into fundraising and cheering. Participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and raising money for the Children‚Äôs Wish Foundation opened my eyes to a whole other side of running. Plus, cheering with Parkdale Road Runners and NRC, I was part of the most epic cheer squad EVER at the 19km mark.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront MarathonWinner of the 2015 Toronto Waterfront Marathon 19 year old Shure Demise from Ethopia

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

To my surprise, witnessing 26,000 runners take on the course was much more powerful than any personal running experiences have been. Sure, running would have been rewarding, especially if I had PB’d or better yet BQ’d (Boston Qualified), but I became obsessed watching each runner pass me wondering what their story was, how they got to the start line, and who they were they running for. Were they running for themselves? Were they running to pace or support someone else’s goal? Or, to raise money or awareness for a charity? STWM is remarkable because you see participants at all levels from Elites to beginners, running or walking everything from a 5k to a full marathon. Known for being flat and fast, this course is perfect for those looking to Boston Qualify or simply PB. Most importantly, runners are encouraged to challenge themselves beyond the physical element of the race and run for a charity through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

BTGYYZ SashaWith Jessie Zapo of @GirlsRunNYC

BTGYYZ NaivashaNaivasha Thomas Co-Founder of Undo Ordinary Photos by Jess Baumung

My personal highlight of this year‚Äôs race was partnering with the Children’s Wish Foundation as part of the #ScotiaChallenge, to help raise money and awareness for my favourite charitable organization. In case you missed my first Children’s Wish Ontario Chapter experience you can read it here. ¬†Another special element of this year‚Äôs race was Bridge the Gap (BTG). BTG is where run crews converge in a selected city each year and are hosted by that city’s members ‚Äď this year‚Äôs STWM saw over 30 run clubs from around the world. The ethos of BTG is to “Train Hard. Run Harder. Play Hardest.” From Friday to Monday, the international BTG community took over “The 6” and visited the AGO, sang shameless karaoke at the Gladstone Hotel, did a special shakeout run with Parkdale Road Runners and of course the highly anticipated post race party where there was a DJ battle with a music set by each city in attendance.

Being on the sidelines, I had more time meet some of the amazing runners I’ve connected with via social media over the past few years. Watching my friends pass me at Crew Love Corner gave me goosebumps. Locking eyes with each of them as they approached, and watching the energy being transferred from the cheer squad to each runner was intense. Their reactions to recognizing familiar faces all screaming, playing music and throwing copious amounts of confetti was priceless. It is something you have to experience yourself to understand.

Leigh Gerson Black Roses NYC

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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

BTGYYZPhotos by Tobias Wang and Sydney Allen Nash

It was only then when the FOMO of not running the race disappeared. My spirit animal Leigh Gerson of Black Roses NYC, who has been my social media pen pal for almost a year, cruised to the finish line of the half in 1:24:28 minutes, coming in 3rd place in her age group (that’s with no training ladies and gentleman). She is a beast and inspires me and other female weekend warriors every single day! Witnessing my #OnTheRunTO girls run their first half-marathon was extremely emotional. As I watched them run by me, the last three months flashed before my eyes. I recalled every rain run, injury, the 6 a.m. training sessions and the altering they made to their social lives to accommodate Saturday morning long runs. I was so overwhelmed when I saw Anna Bediones, I literally jumped into the race and ran with her for 20 feet.¬†Each of the 25,000 runners deserved to have every single one us at “Crew Love Corner” standing in the freezing cold cheering our butts off for them.

It has been almost a week since race day and if you’re following the hashtags #STWM, #ScotiaChallenge and #BTGYYZ on any social media channel, you will see that people are still posting photos keeping the vibe alive. That’s how powerful the weekend was. Due to the race’s popularity, registration for the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon opens in just a few weeks on November 17th 2015. Need a bit of motivation or want to make your run in next year’s race more meaningful? Take part in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and raise funds for a cause close to your heart. To learn more about this epic race weekend and to find out how to register for 2016, head to TorontoWaterfrontMarathon.com.¬†

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