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My Journey to Being Pain-Free with Genuine Health’s Fast Pain Relief+

When I created my site a few years back I made it a point to promise myself. It was to only align myself with brands that had products or services I would use if SoSasha.com didn’t exist. In other words, these things would have to be so good that I would use my hard earned money to purchase them. That was a barometer I felt I needed to have for myself to avoid getting caught up in promoting something just for a paycheque or free product etc which happens far too often in this industry. I was introduced to Genuine Health a while back and got immediately hooked on their Greens+ Extra Energy formula. A month or two later, the company rolled out a new line of vegan fermented protein products in the form of protein powders and bars. I was skeptical – I believed the brand was on to something with their Greens+ product line, but was certain that their fermented products wouldn’t measure up. Well, boy was I wrong. Turns out the brand’s Greek yogurt fermented powder is one of our favourite protein supplements and we have yet to find another protein bar that tastes as good as theirs. After my experience with Genuine Health products over the course of the last 7 months, I became intrigued and wanted to try other things.

I have shared my stories on my health condition more than a handful of times so most of you are well aware of my kidney diagnosis and other interrelated issues associated with chronic pain and gut health issues. The muscular and joint pain I have experienced since 2009 at times has been debilitating. I am not proud of the amount of pharmaceutical drugs I have pumped into my body but for years I thought it was the only way to survive. I found relief with medicinal marijuana but extended use just was not a viable option. It would cause me to eat the entire contents of my fridge and it was simply not practical for work and driving purposes. So, I have been suffering in silence trying to regulate the pain with diet and exercise and both may I had has given me dramatic results. However, there is still a few times a month where I am sidelined to crippling pain.

Genuine Health Fast Pain Relief+

Genuine Health

With my current track record with Genuine Health products when I discovered that they had branched out into pain relief, I couldn’t get my hands on the products fast enough. I did my research first and the first thing that stood out was the claim it worked in 5 days. “Impossible. There is no way that is accurate information!” was the first thing out of my mouth, followed by an eye roll. The second thing that caught my eye was the name Biovaflex, the key ingredient to Genuine Health’s FAST Pain Relief+ and FAST Joint Care+ products. This name was brand new to me but after doing some reading, I soon discovered the ingredient that dervices from natural eggshell membrane, has key bioactives that reduces pain and inflammation, while feeding the body all the essential nutrients we need for proper joint health and flexibility in addition to collagen, elastin and nourishing proteins.

Genuine Health

Ok, so back to this “results in 5 days” theory. I admit, I was a pessimist at first but when you suffer from pain as bad as I do, you would be a fool to not try an all-natural product that promises to keep pain at bay in a safe way. When the my package arrived, I immediately ripped open the box, read the instructions for the FAST Pain Relief+ and FAST Joint Care, while my boyfriend poured me a glass of water. I wanted to waste no time getting started. The former is a clinical strength supplement to help relieve acute pain caused by headaches, muscle aches, back pain and chronic flare-ups – and three out of four of these are the bane of my existence. In addition to this life altering ingredient we now know as Biovaflex, this miracle pill also includes Devil’s Claw (a natural inflammatory ingredient) and White Willow Bark, nature’s Asprin, making it the fastest, most natural and effective way to manage pain. And to be honest, the word fast is in the product names for a reason. I started to notice visible difference in just 4 days which exceeded mine expectations. I also started taking the Joint Care product as well at the same time. It increases mobility and range of motion with a noticeable reduction in inflammation markers like C Reactive protein and helps to rebuild joint cartilage. It’s been approximately 3 weeks and I have noticed a huge difference in my joints and neck, which have lead to a dramatic decrease in headaches and migraines. I have only had to take an over-the-counter pain medication once in 3 weeks which used to be a four time a week occurrence. Would I consider this a success – absolutely! Not to mention, I have just decided to personally challenge and push my body into a 2-a-day program where each day consists of a run and workout in which I am sure the only way this is going to be possible is with Genuine Health’s pain relief products.

Genuine Health Fast Pain Relief+

While I have seen some incredible results, I am not 100% pain free. I am not quite sure if I will ever be to be honest, but I am thrilled at the improvements I have seen from using these products. I think if I re-introduced an anti-inflammatory diet, I could essentially be pain free, but only time will tell.

Genuine HealthPhotography by JessBaumung.com

To make complete this pain relief category and to make it a true trifecta, Genuine Health also has FAST Arthritis Pain Relief+ for those suffering from osteoarthritis or severe joint pain. Interested in giving any of the products a try? Click here to find a coupon to receive $5 off your purchase online or at a Genuine Health retailer. For more information on the brand’s diverse product offering head to GenuineHealth.com.

Give O.B. Tampons One Period. Period!

O.B.

As a lifestyle writer and blogger I cover a wide variety of topics but my bread and butter these days seem to be within the area of health and fitness. Covering so many topics that are inter-related to these two categories, I was shocked when one of my followers asked me why I’ve never talked about the topic of menstruation on my site. It doesn’t happen very often but in this instance I actually did not have a response for this young lady. For the next week or so, I asked myself and a few friends if the topic was a bit weird to cover here and especially on social media. Silly I know, because periods are not exactly “taboo” or are they? I mean, making sure I have adequate protection during that time of the month is crucial for me and other women who are running, working out, doing yoga and a slew of other physical activity.

IMG_9992

Our first experience with menstruation usually happens between the ages of 10-15 and for majority of our teenage and adult life we experience bleeding and potentially some other unpleasant side effects such as bloating, cramps, acne, fatigue, and moodiness. And as far as I’m concerned, most women, like myself, have probably spent several years trying to find the right protection for their flow and lifestyle, but still nobody has the gull to inquire and ask women what they use during their periods like they may ask another woman what facial cleanser or mascara they use. It never really occurs to us what other women are using until our little friend decides to pay us a visit two days early and we are stuck without a tampon requiring us to ask ask a friend (or a stranger in the bathroom) if they have one. Raise your hand if you have rolled your eyes when someone has given  you a generic tampon [insert raised hand emoji here]. I’ve vowed to never let that happen to me again so regardless whether I’m on my period or not, there are at least two tampons in my bag – which my girlfriends have become thankful for!

Give Us One Period. Period

So I am doing my part in break that cycle. I asked a few gal pals recently if they were satisfied with the products they use during their menstruation and 6/10 times I got a puzzled look followed by, “Not really”.  Funny enough, 40% of the women said they were satisfied with the tampon brand they use and take one guess what they were using. O.B.! I feel into the category of the 60% that weren’t overly content but I think we all could agree that we continued to use the brand(s) we used just because it was something we had got accustomed to.

This also sparked up some conversations of tampons vs maxi pads and I was stunned that some women still are afraid to use tampons these days. Not that there is anything wrong with maxi pads but with my active and busy lifestyle, tampons are just a better fit for me. For years I have been trying different brands that have promised to give me adequate protection, move with my body, perfect for when I am playing sports, blah blah blah. A few years ago I stopped searching for the “perfect tampon” and settled on one brand. However last month I stumbled across some advertising for O.B. Tampons as part of an interesting new campaign asking women to “Give Us One Period. Period.”  O.B. differs from other brands in that they don’t have an applicator so naturally for someone that has a moderate to heavy flow, I was somewhat hesitant to try it out. A few questions immediately entered into my mind. “How do I use it if it doesn’t have an applicator?”, “Is it going to be messy?”, and “OMG this thing is tiny, is it going to give me the protection I need?”

Give Us One Period. Period

I went away on vacation a few weeks ago and got my period the day before departing so I figured this may be the best time to give O.B. a shot. When I’m traveling, space in my purse/carry-on is limited and I also need the confidence that I will be protected while in transit. Not to mention while working out and on the beach wearing my favourite white bikini. Armed with optimism and two boxes of the brand’s tampons (one regular and one super), I headed to the Caribbean. Smaller than the size of my pinky finger, these tampons actually surprised me. Because of it’s size, they were super easy to use and were ultra comfortable. To be honest, so much so, I had almost forgotten I was wearing one a couple times. The design expands to fit each woman’s unique body. On the first I day realized early that I needed to use the Pro Comfort Super for the first two days of my period. With O.B.’s fluid-lock technology has grooves that pull fluid into the core for locked-in leak protection you can wear up to 8 hours – I highly suggest not waiting that long though. For the remainder of my cycle, I switched over to the Pro Comfort Regular, which is great for first time non-applicator tampon users or for women with a light to moderate flow. While on the beach and working out I didn’t want to take any risks and just stuck to the supers, just to be on the safe side.  Not having an applicator allows O.B. tampons to be ridiculously small making them extremely discreet. I was able to fit one into the pocket of my skinniest jeans and the tiny pocket inside my Nike running shorts. Even when my clear/see-thru makeup bag was pulled out of my carry-on at the airport security checkpoint, the couple tampons that were tossed in there went completed undetected by those around me – phew!

Are you willing to give O.B. Tampons a try? I’m giving away boxes to 50 lucky followers who tweet, “@SashaExeter, I want to give @ob_canada one period #GiveUsOnePeriod“. Contest begins today and ends Friday September 18th at 6pm. Winners will be announced and contacted on Monday September 21st – Good luck!

Head to GiveUsOnePeriod.ca to learn more about the campaign and click here for more information on O.B. Tampons.

All personal information will be used for product category and brand research purposes by Edgewell Personal Care.  Additionally, those consumers who enter may be contacted by Edgewell Personal Care with information, news and promotions regarding o.b. Tampons.  Information will not be used, released or sold to any third party companies for any reason.

Schwarzkopf Professional OSIS+ BLOW & GO Duo

Schwarzkopf OSIS Blow & Go

On the days I decide to wear my hair straight, which is more often than not, I prefer the bone straight look and yes it can be a pain to achieve and maintain I won’t lie. The blow drying and flat ironing process can be excruciating and prolonged exposure of heat to your tresses can also be harmful to your hair’s health. Alas, the OSIS+ team strikes again with two products that promise to dramatically reduce blow drying time and leave your hair voluminously thick or sleek and  smooth.

BLOW & GO “Thick” Blow Dry Spray

Schwarzkopf Osis Blow And Go Thick  200ml RED LABEL

This leave-in blow dry spray is perfect for fine, limp hair that’s in dire need of some assistance achieving extra volume. It also adds light styling control to your look which is great however I did find that it left a tiny bit of residue to my hair but it was almost worth it with the body and shine it added. My hair is already pretty thick so I don’t actually require to much volume but it is fun to have the option when I want rejuvenating voluminous Victoria Secret hair.

How To Use It: Divide hair into sections and spray evenly into hair. Create added volume by blow drying roots upwards. Blow dry and style your hair with either a round brush or paddle, depending on hair type. FYI…for my type of hair I CANNOT use a round brush and must defer to the paddle.

*Secret Tip: I have experimented with this spray on my hair when it’s curly and when applied on wet hair in conjunction with Schwarzkopf Professional OSIS’s Curl Me Soft cream, it gives me extra voluminous curls.

BLOW & GO “Smooth” Blow Dry Spray

Schwarzkopf Professional Osis Blow and Go Smooth-200

This is the wonder spray for anyone that has mild to ultra frizzy hair or wears extensions and wants to achieve hair that’s super smooth and sleek. It’s actually amazing at combating frizz so I would be really surprised if this isn’t one of OSIS’s top sellers. This product would be brilliant during the summer months when warmer, humid weather causes my hair to become a bit unruly.

How To Use It:  Divide hair into sections and spray evenly into hair. Blow dry the hair in a downwards motion with a flat, paddle brush which I find works well on all hair hypes.

*Secret Tip: I’ve been using this spray with the brand’s Flat Liner spray that I apply to my hair after blow drying and right before flat ironing for an effortless, ultra sleek look.

The verdict…each spray reduced my blow drying time down by about 8-10 minutes, leaving me to only suffer through this tedious process for about 20-25 minutes prior to flat ironing. In my opinion, I preferred the Blow & Go “Smooth” product and loved how it worked so well with the other OSIS products for straight hair. Click here for more information on the Blow & Go Duo sprays. Both can be found at a Schwarzkopf Professional Salon near you!

Discovering Soy’s Beauty Benefits & Soya Boutique

Soya Boutique

Due to my slight obsession with organic and natural beauty products I had some basic knowledge on the benefits of soy when it comes to skincare – it can be a skin brightening agent and is biologically an anti-inflammatory, making it anti-aging by nature, but I hadn’t tried any soy based products on my skin until  I got a chance to meet Melani Chong, the stunning former Ford Model who founded Soya Boutique. I was so transfixed by her beauty and flawless skin, I was more than willing to try out anything she suggested I use in hope my skin would look even half as good as hers…but let’s be honest, a percentage of this has to be due to her amazing genetics.

I will be the first to admit, I use a myriad of products from different brands on my skin and usually interchange products as needed based on seasonal and weather changes so I am always happy to try out new things to see if it will compliment the rest of the products in my beauty arsenal. I have been religiously using Soya Boutique products over the last 4-6 weeks, which is the usual time frame I give my skin to get fully adjusted to new products and loved some of them so much they will have a permanent spot in my beauty/skincare regime. Here is the run-down on my 3 faves:

CAYMAN SUGAR SCRUB

 

Cayman Sugar Scrub

Exfoliating is something I’ve always been fond of…I mean’s what could be better than sloughing away dead skin cells to reveal polished and glowing skin?! The scent of the Cayman Sugar Scrub is sublime, do not be surprised is the smell tempts you to eat it. Enriched with organic ingredients, you probably could, but I am not suggesting you ingest this at home. Love that it’s strong enough to brighten dull, lackluster skin but safe enough to use on both the body and the face.

ANTI-AGING MOISTURIZER

My skin changes dramatically from season to season and during the summer heat I loved using this Anti-Aging Moisturizer  (and yes, I am starting to accept the fact that I am at the age where I need to use anti-aging products). It penetrated into my skin quickly and left my face moisturized all day without making my skin oily during the heatwaves.  Another great smelling product in the Soya Beauty range which helped to improve the texture of my skin in just one month. Only downfall to this product, I don’t think it is heavy enough to protect my skin, which becomes extra dry in cold temps, during the winter months.

TEAR-FREE FOAMING CLEANSER

Tear Free Foaming Cleanser

It’s labeled tear-free and gentle, so one may think it doesn’t have enough girth to effectively remove make-up but surprisingly the Tear-Free Foaming Cleanser does and with Mandarin and Green Tea ingredients, it’s even gentle enough to use on a baby. My face always feels super clean and hydrated after using it.

*Disclaimer: As all the products are soy based, do not use if you are allergic to soy. For more information on Soya Beauty or to order their products, head to www.soyaboutique.com.

Perfectly Defined Curls With Schwarzkopf OSIS+ Curl Me Soft Velvet Curl Cream

Schwarzkopf Curl Me Soft

Photo by Ryan Hollinrake www.bydesignphoto.ca

If you have naturally curly hair or chemically textured hair you have probably been on a lifetime quest for the perfect product(s) to optimize and define your curl. Sometimes it can be a unique combination of products that help you achieve this hair goal or sometimes if you’re lucky, you can discover just one product that does the trick so you don’t have to act like a chemist in your bathroom concocting your magic curl potion.

I’ve just discovered Schwarzkopf OSIS+ Curl Me Soft Velvet Curl Cream and feel may be my new go-to product for when I’m not wearing my hair straight . So bummed I was introduced to this towards the end of the summer seeing as though I wear my hair curly the most during this season, but better late than never right?! It literally is the best product if you don’t want a lot of hold and just need some definition. The OSIS+ line is actually made up of 31 products and each contain a label identifying the control level of the product 1) Light 2) Medium 3) Strong Control and 4) Ultra-Strong Control. The “Curl Me Soft” cream is a medium hold. Truth be told, the product felt a bit sticky in my hands, which had me a bit nervous to apply it but thankfully, my hair did not feel the slightest bit sticky at alll!

Schwarzkopf Curm Me SoftA little goes a long way, so for my length of hair I really only needed about a dime size amount, which I applied to my hair while it was wet…2-3 inches from the root, all the way down to the ends. And the result, soft, bouncy and healthy feeling curls with the most heavenly scent.  Head to www.schwarzkopf-professional.ca for more information on Schwarzkopf Professional products and salons. You can purchase the OSIS+ Curl Me Soft Velvet Curl Cream at Yorkville’s Industry Hair Salon or online on Amazon.

If you have used Schwarzkopf’s Curl Me Soft  or any other products, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

XOX,
S

Perfect Look Skin Miracle by ThisWorks Modern Natural Beauty

Perfect-Look-Skin-Miracle

With my skin tone I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking for the perfect tinted moisturizer that I can use on days where I need less coverage, or on when I want my face to breathe on super humid days during the Summer. I literally gave up last year after a trip to Kiehl’s and was told they didn’t have one dark enough in their range for the colour of my skin complexion. This I found weird, because I don’t think of my skin tone of being that dark, but anyways…fast forward to a few weeks ago when I discovered the “Perfect Look Skin Miracle” by This Works, a UK based company founded by Kathy Phillips, former Health & Beauty Director of Vogue and International Journalist. I’m always cautious with the products I use on my skin and make great attempts to steer clear of those that contain petroleum, parabens, animal by-products, mineral oils and synthetic colour and fragrance. This Works products are made using oils and natural ingredients including essential oils and plant extracts, which clearly ticked all my beauty boxes. This wonder moisturizer is the perfect one-step solution to hydrate, boot radiance and protect skin from harmful environmental stresses.

This Works

Why “This Works”? It’s vitamin packed and has the protective power of a serum that’s super rich in antioxidants…and has a high concentration in Vitamin C, UK Sourced Blackcurrant Seed Oils, Walnut, Evening Primrose Oil and Shea Butter, which penetrates deep into the skin to promote an effective skin barrier that increases flexibility and suppleness on the face while prohibiting loss of moisture. For women in their 30s and 40s, you know that this is crucial! A hint of natural caramel is used to create the colour, which I have to say blends so easily into any skin tone and if you are wondering about the scent…it smells pretty damn good. As an added bonus, it acts like a skin “pick-me-up” by revitalizing dull looking skin, corrects uneven skin tones and helps to diminish fine lines.

PerfectLookSkinMiracle

The natural beauty products line of This Works is pretty extensive and has a diverse offering of other skincare, bath, body, sleep and innovative in-transit products that are perfect for the savvy traveler.  Items such as the Camera Close-Up (which acts as a facial mask, moisturizer and/or primer in one), In-Transit Muscle Therapy (basically a massage therapist in a rollerball, to ease the pain of achy muscles during travel), and the beauty and anti-aging award winning Perfect Cleavage Firming Lotion, literally had me asking the beauty consultant at Black Caviar, “Does this work?!” before realizing that was actually the name of the company. Brilliant!

You can purchase the “Perfect Look Skin Miracle” and other This Works products in Toronto at Black Caviar, both online and in-store for $52.00 CDN or directly on the company’s website here.

XOX,

S

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