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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.

Automotive Review: The 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

2014 Cadillac ATS

Summer driving is always made more pleasant with a set of sweet wheels. Thanks to General Motors, I recently enjoyed a very extended test drive experience with the 2014 Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD. The luxury automotive brand’s full sized CTS sedan, built to go head-to-head with imported competition, has increased in size this year and is now comparable to the BMW 5-series. This left room in Cadillac’s portfolio lineup for a compact luxury vehicle to compete in the entry level luxe class with the BMW 3-series and Mercedes 3 Class. A few weeks ago I picked up my ATS in Opulent Blue Metallic, which was equipped with all-wheel drive,a 2.0L turbo engine (boasting 321 hp) and the luxury collection. I literally drove it all over the GTA and as far as Montreal for a weekend jaunt in hopes to test out every single feature. As a legit car enthusiast and lucky enough to sit behind the wheel of some of the most beautiful cars manufactured, I was shocked at how much attention this little vehicle garnered at stoplights, gas stations and valets.

Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

Cadillac ATS 2.0T AWD

Exterior innovations help to make the vehicle more fuel efficient and uber quiet. Sculpted side mirrors which are firmly positioned to reduce wind noise in addition to an acoustically laminated windshield and side door glass, expertly deflects noise making this one of the quietest cabins I’ve ever driven in. The 18″ wheels, dual exhaust, illuminating door handles, and vertical LED signature lights help to make this sporty body look extra chic. In regards to the interior, I am confident that those who have never driven in a Cadillac before would be blown away by both the features and design. The vehicle was equipped with some of the most advanced safety innovations including the brand’s Driver Awareness Package. Utilizing sensors and strategically placed cameras allows for the driver’s seat to alert of the driver of potential danger via seat vibrations, in addition lane departure alerts, rear cross traffic alert, side blind zone alert, front and rear automatic braking and adaptive cruise control, which was really beneficial on the 5 hour drive to Montreal.  I could understand if some found these constant vibrations to be an annoyance while driving, but I found it to be extremely helpful. For those that would much prefer to have their rears vibrate while driving, the functional option can always be easily turned off on the auxiliary panel.

2014-Cadillac-CTS-Dashboard-Done-Small

I was also treated to an upgraded steering (that has a heated option obviously not beneficial for right now but still an amazing feature forWinter) and the much talked about CUE (Cadillac User Experience) interface aka the heart of the interior; controlling navigation, media, climate control and more. The latter combined with BOSE surround sound made listening to my favourite Sirus XM Satellite channels a really enjoyable experience.

Cadillac ATS 2.0 AWD

Outside the St. Germain Hotel in Montreal, Quebec

So here’s the skinny, the manufacturer rates the ATS 2.0T AWD’s fuel efficiency as 6.9L/100km for highway driving and 10.4L/100km with city driving, while my approximate fuel mileage came in around 6.9L/100km and 10.9L/100km respectively. For a premium vehicle, it was nice to discover that premium gasoline wasn’t mandatory but rather only “recommended”. This is a huge deal as majority of other vehicles in the luxury category require premium gasoline usually making fill-ups pretty pricey. The ATS starts at $35,695 but the ticket price for this model with the luxury collection and all other aforementioned packages/upgrades brings the price point at $49,290, which is just a smudge under the $50K sticker price for the BMW 329i xDrive with similar bells and whistles. Surprisingly, overall I preferred the ATS. Although both vehicles are almost identical in size (minus one inch), the Cadillac’s interior feels a bit roomier and it also ticks all the boxes when it comes to speed, luxurious design and functionality.

For more information on the brand’s vehicle lineup head over to Cadillac.ca and for details specs click here. To follow along all my past and present adventures with Cadillac, use the hashtag #RideInStylexCadillac on Twitter and Instagram!

World Masterard Fashion Week Runway Round-Up

WMCFW

Last week David Pecault Square on King Street played host to World Mastercard Fashion Week where the city’s top designers showed their Spring/Summer 2014 collections; otherwise known as five days of “Organized Chaos”. Fashion week ended five days ago but I am just now coming out of my fashion coma after attending several shows on behalf of Toronto Fashion Academy. After a week of brunches, lunches, runway shows, interviews, dinners, parties, after-parties, and after-after-parties, it’s sometimes easy to get forget some of the collections after the week is over. BUT then there are some collections that standout so much that even after all the madness, the clothes are still etched in your mind. On that note, here’s a round-up of the collections that left a mark on me last week (in no particular order):

PINK TARTAN |  BY KIMBERLY NEWPORT-MIMRAN

Always a must see for me…particularly because I have a mild obsession with designer Kimberly Newport-Mimran, but truly because I am a fan of the brand’s clean aesthetics and classic tailoring. Plus, they really made the midi-length skirt supremely sexy again. Although there were a lot of pastels and whites – I know…I know…not so groundbreaking she still managed to somehow keep things super fresh in this vignette with jacquard fabrics, bell-shaped skirts and 3/4 sleeve cocktail dresses . Newport-Miran teamed up with Fashion Magazine Editor-at-Large and Stylist Zeina Esmail this time to the perverbial “rodeo”, which helped bring some more edge to the runway looks.  Exhibit A) leather…leather…leather (albeit vegan leather) but still looked amazing nonetheless. I squealed in my seat when I saw the cropped trouser and perforated button up shirt walk by me and the best part of these “leather” looks; they are completely machine washable, part of a long time project the designer has been working on with Tide.

Pink TartanPink TartanPink Tartan

The beauty inspiration for the show was evident by the model’s very full eyebrows. Kim, along with the rest of us in the industry have literally become transfixed over model Cara Delevigne’s bushy set. Pop-art was also an inspiration and the brand even used the quote, “I had a lot of dates, but decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows” by Andy Warhol, when discussing the collection with the press. You could definitely see the mod references throughout the collection with a vignette dedicated to a series of graphic, black and white prints.

CAITLIN POWER | BY CAITLIN POWER

THIS GIRL CAN DESIGN. SERIOUSLY!  I first fell in love with the Calagarian turned Torontonian emerging designer in March during the Fall/Winter collections and last week this beautiful talent showed her 25-look collection in the runway room for the very first time and even under all that new pressure, she did not disappoint the droves of cranky fashionphiles who were in attendance at the tents late Thursday night.

Caitlin Power SS/14

Caitlin Power SS14

Power stayed true to her phenomenal tailoring and used the best of the best in regards to fabrics – silk organza and printed leather for her Spring/Summer ’14 collection which was inspired by a recent vacay to the French Caribbean. The collection which Power explains is meant to “make women feel like the ultimate power figure” (pun intended I’m sure) while “exuding confidence, sophistication and poise.” It’s no secret that I love leather, the first Caitlin Power piece I feel in love with was an army green leather dress, so I was blown away by the tribal-techno, bright prints and form fitted leather dresses…like the ones that closed the show. INSANITY!

MACKAGE | BY ERAN ELFASSY & ELISA DAHAN

When you see a gold runway being laid down pre-show, it pretty much means some realness is about to go down, which is just what everyone expects from co-founders and designers Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan of Montreal based cult leather and outerwear brand Mackage. I got a chance to speak with the dynamic duo backstage before the show to get the goods on what their favourite items were from both the men and women’s collection; Elisa’s pick was the shrunken leather and army moto jacket, which was paired with an ethereal, white, ultra sheer mini…perfection! Eran’s pick – the quilted joggers, naturally, which he now regrets not making for women. However, he clarified that I could totally wear the men’s version and it would work. Needless to say, I will be waiting with breath that is baited for them to be available for purchase.

Mackage SS14Mackage SS14Mackage SS14

Last season was the brand’s first time expanding the label and introducing handbags. This season the bags are back and even better than the Fall/Winter collection, if you can believe. The runway show also debuted the limited edition NOMAD bag, which is the covetable collaboration between Mackage and the Purse Blog founder, Meghan Mahoney Dusil. I loved the uber short hemlines and ultra sheerness for the summer, not to mention the bright pop of orange leather on some of the female models. White leather motos were also in full effect, which is always a good look for spring and summer and super versatile!

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MAISON MATTHEW GALLAGHER | MATTHEW GALLAGHER

This was Matthew Gallagher’s second time showing at WMCFW and clearly he did not suffer from the “Sophmore Slump”…I think it’s safe to say that he wowed the pants off of everyone last week who was in attendance and those who unfortunately missed the show are still talking about the photos. For the duration of the presentation, I felt as though I was not in Toronto but rather London or Paris Fashion Week by the jaw-dropping designs and craftmanship. Hands down, this is the most feminine, delicate, and beautiful collection I’ve seen live on a runway in…well, in forever and every single piece actually looks wearable.

Matthew Gallagher SS14Matthew Gallagher SS14MMG used summers in the Italian Riviera and south of Italy as his source of inspiration for the collection, which is ironic because two of the gowns looked like something a young Sophia Loren would have worn during her prime. There was no absolutely no complaints or snarky comments amongst the attendees about boring neutrals and pastels…the macaroon hues were sublime and worked so well with the fabrics and embellishments Gallagher used. I’m not really sure how he did it but he managed to make each look sexy and sophisticated simultaneously with understated elegance. I’ve become completely obsessed with the floor length skirt with the “up to there” slit paired with the crewneck tee. Not to be outdone by the seafoam green dress that will turn any woman into a goddess!

Another fashion week has come and gone…and it will be another 6 months until the Fall/Winter collections are shown in March. But I am thinking these collections will keep me motivated for spring and get me through the cold Toronto winter weather! Thanks Toronto Fashion Academy for the opportunity to be your eyes and ears at the tents.
*Toronto Fashion Academy is a full encompassing school which provides training to students in various areas of the arts and allows them to hone their skills in Photography, Styling, Make-Up, Modeling, and Acting all under one roof. Students receive training from industry experts and celebrities who have vast experience first hand experience in their area of specialization – both in classroom and off-site. For more information on the academy or to enroll in classes, go to www.torontofashionacademy.ca
Photography by George Pimentel

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.

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