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Activia Women #InSync Series and Commercial

This year has been very emotional for me. The word “emotional” usually has a negative connotation to it, but in this particular instance, its all positive. A few months ago I was approached by Danone to be apart of an amazing campaign with Activia Yogurt. The very first thing that stood out about this potential partnership was that it did not appear to be a blatant product push. In fact, when I read the campaign overview I was surprised to see that the project was not product focused at all, but rather a chance for 9 Canadian women to be able to tell the country their story on how they live a balanced life.

Could this really be possible? Can a company actually want to focus on my personal story and journey, rather than promoting their existing products or a recent product launch? Well…turns out, yes they most certainly did and the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect. After the struggles I’ve had to endure, there has been many times where I wanted to give up and didn’t understand why I kept getting faced with so much adversity. However, 2016 has been my best year yet and I have finally started to reap the rewards of all the hard work I put into getting healthy and building a personal brand.

Activia Women InSync Series

I’ve fought my illness for a very long time, only becoming more successful with managing it’s ugly symptoms in recent years by learning to live in sync. Meaning, putting a system in place and developing a new lifestyle for myself that contained the right amount of exercise, activity, diet and meditation. Furthermore, also learning to create boundaries between my work and personal life. So goodbye to working until midnight and never having a day off.  Creating a more harmonious balance in my life not only helped facilitate my recovery, but it also allowed me to spend more time with my family, friends and to nurture the first serious relationship I had been involved in for what seemed like ages. Don’t get me wrong, this was no easy feat. This turn of events began almost five years ago and at this time, my full time job was to just get healthy. My weekdays were filled with medical appointments, meetings with my dietician, naturopath, acupuncturist, reiki specialist, chiropractor and RMT, oh and let me not forget my psychologist and the numerous Cognitive Behavioural Therapy classes I had to attend to help me deal mentally with everything going on. My illness isolated me and caused me to become anti-social, ultimately was the end of my engagement (which truth be told was a relationship that was flawed and toxic from the start) not to mention the tangible losses such as; my loss of income from not being able to work, my vehicle, and having to move back in with my parents as an adult. Trust me, it was a lot of loss all at once and looking back now, it’s not at all surprising why I was also suffering from depression and anxiety.

People always ask me how I found the strength to turn things around. To be honest, a lot from that time was a blur and I cannot really remember every single detail. I am athlete and competitive by nature so I think I just wasn’t going to go out without a fight. I knew truly deep down that up until that point, I had not done everything I could to rehabilitate myself, besides drowning my body in pharmaceutical meds prescribed by specialists and laying in bed watching my life pass me by – which was clearly not working. I mean, I didn’t think things could possibly get any worse, so I decided to attempt the alternative route with eastern medicine. This change of direction, in addition to my ridiculously supportive family, eliminating stress, changing my diet and consistent exercise was critical in getting me to where I am today.

As part of this multi-faceted campaign with Activia, I shot an individual commercial going a bit deeper into my personal story, which was shot earlier this summer in Montreal. When you live something day to day, it’s difficult to see how far you’ve come but being a part of this project has allowed me to reflect on everything that has happened and see my exponential growth. I cried uncontrollably the first three times I watched this video.  Almost not recognizing the person in it because just five years ago I was a young women on bed rest suffering from a debilitating illness not knowing what the future holds. My life has changed dramatically and through balance I’ve created, I feel strong, I am happy, I am creative, I feel limitless and I am finally in sync.

activia-chatelaine_100eos5d_2167

There’s so much more to come in this campaign and I can barely contain my excitement, so stay tuned. In the meantime, click here to learn more about the other 8 women and their stories, search the hashtag #InSync on social media or follow Activia Canada on Instagram and Youtube.

Manulife Vitality: Life Insurance That Rewards Your Healthy Lifestyle

What do you live for?” is a question I was recently asked at work while discussing an upcoming project and a million thoughts and answers rushed into my head at once. Family, love, unity, peace, and health were just a few of the words that immediately came to mind. Sure, I do a pretty good job at taking good care of myself by eating well, working out and staying active, but I have not been thinking about my future in regards to my family/loved ones after I pass. I have always found it difficult to think about death and what happens following but now that I have started thinking about starting a family at some point, the topic can no longer be avoided.

As we grow older, get married, build families and even start businesses, you come to realize that life insurance is a fundamental part of a sound financial plan. For some reason our generation doesn’t normally think about life insurance for ourselves until we are forced to and truth be told, up until a few weeks ago, I did not have a life insurance policy of my own. Turns out, life insurance is more affordable than you may think, so there’s no excuse why more can’t entertain obtaining coverage before any these milestones.

Trust me, I know the idea of life insurance can be daunting or better yet, confusing and it’s hard to know what you really need or want. So here are four reasons why you should be considering it:

  1. To add financial security. Trust me, once you decide to have children, you will want to know your kids (and partner) will be taken care of when your gone.
  2. To protect your family and loved ones if they depend on your financial support for their livelihood. In this instance, it will replace your income when you pass.
  3. To leave an inheritance.  Even if you don’t have any other assets you can create an inheritance for your loved ones by purchasing a life instance policy and name beneficiaries.
  4. To bring peace of mind. No amount of money could ever replace a person. Period. There aren’t many things in life that are guaranteed, but having life insurance can help provide protection for the uncertainties

Photo by Darren Goldstein/DSG Photo.

That being said, I recently discovered Manulife Vitality – a life insurance program that actually rewards people for leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle. For those of you who make a conscious effort to stay active, workout and eat clean, these dividends plus the affordable program options just may encourage some of you to begin thinking about life insurance as well, sooner rather than later. This past Tuesday, I got a chance to help kick off the launch of the Vitality program in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, alongside dear family friend, Mike “Pinball” Clemons, Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts. The theme/question of the day was, “What do you live for?” and visitors at the event got to share their answers with the Former Argo QB and two time coach. The Manulife branded pop-up had fun, fitness focused activations and visitors were able to get free bike tune-ups, discover TRX exercises with the help of Goodlife Fitness staff, jump into the boxing ring with Pinball to test out Canada’s first ever “Workout Computer”, receive prizes/giveaways and learn more about why Manulife Vitality may be a suitable option for life insurance.

So how does it work exactly? After purchasing a product with Manulife Vitality, you are then required to fill out the Vitality Health quiz online to see how your health measures up against your age. Through this process, you’ll be given your Vitality Age, which could actually be higher or lower than your real age and serves as an indication for your overall health. Part of what makes the program unique is customization – and seriously who doesn’t love products or services created just for them? One of the best parts about Vitality is that once the system has gathered all your lifestyle and health data; a customized, goal oriented program is created to encourage and inspire people to make healthier choices by using convenient and easy-to-use tools. Manulife has have even partnered up with Garmin to include a free wearable tracking device to make tracking healthy activities a breeze. And not to worry all you Apple Watch and Fitbit lovers out there – you can connect these devices to the Vitality system as well!

Manulife Vitality

As you may assumed by now, Vitality program status is simply based on the number of Vitality points you earn each year which results in a tiered system; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. This status is used to determine a member’s eligibility for rewards and to calculate their annual cost of insurance. By being active, getting regular health screenings and even reading online health related materials, earns more Vitality Points when you track them using the easy online tools provided to members or the Manulife Vitality mobile app. Intrigued yet? If you’re interested in learning more information on the Vitality program or would like to sign-up for your own customized life insurance, head to manulifevitality.ca

This post is sponsored by Manulife, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Nordstrom Presents: Camp Nordstrom in Toronto September 10th

It’s been a long time coming for fashion lovers south of the border but Nordstrom is finally opening it’s doors here in Canada this fall. The luxury retailer has pulled out all the stops making sure the highly anticipated openings of their CF Toronto Eaton Centre and Yorkdale locations September 16th and October 21st at 10am respectively, are on top of everyone’s minds. To help celebrate the launch of the much welcomed luxury department store, Nordstrom is hosting a slew of events over the next several weeks but the one I am most excited for is Camp Nordstrom fitness event taking place on Saturday September 10th.

Camp Nordstrom Toronto

Mackenzie White - Nordstrom Camp TorontoMackenzie White, Model and Yoga Instructor

As a leading fashion speciality retailer offering carefully curated clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty collections, Nordstrom has also entered the fitness apparel game by launching their exclusive modern activewear collection, Zella, in 2007 which features flattering workout separates for women designed to let you to move with ease, a men’s and children’s collection, in addition to swimwear . Camp Nordstrom is a one day only fitness event, hosted by yours truly, where guests will be able to check out the Zella line and participate in one of two complimentary fitness classes led by Model and Yoga Instructor Mackenzie White.

Camp Nordstrom

Camp Nordstrom Toronto

Camp Nordstrom TorontoPhotos by JessBaumung.com

What I’m Wearing: “Live In” Leggings and “Pure Energy” Seemless Bralette c/0 Zella by Nordstrom

What can you expect: Taking place outdoors at Toronto’s Sherbourne Common Park on Lower Sherbourne at Queen’s Quay, the Camp Nordstrom event will feature both a morning and afternoon high energy boot camp style class with a yoga cool down, a Greenhouse Juice Pop-UP bar, an interactive photo booth, giveaways and much more.

WHEN:      Saturday September 10th, 2016

                  Registration at 9am & noon

                  Classes commence at 10am & 1pm

WHERE:  Sherbourne Common Park. 61 Dockside Drive. Toronto, ON. M5A 1B6

I will be hosting both sessions and hope to see you there!

4 Simple Tricks to Stay Motivated When You Work Out Alone #TasteVectory

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you’ve just begun to work out or have been working out for years, there is one thing I’m sure everyone can agree on…it can be insanely challenging to work out alone. I am certain that more than half of the people that spend big bucks on trainers and pricey group classes do so because they need the motivation and accountability, not because they don’t know what they are doing.  Over the years I’ve learned some slightly tactical ways that not only help me avoid skipping solo workouts but also push me a bit more while doing them.

1. Find a Community Challenge:

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotography by JessBaumung.com

Challenges are good. Finding a community is also good. Combining both is great motivation. I’ve seen both the Adidas and Nike Women community execute this so well over the years. One of my favourite aspects of social media is that other people’s posts can easily inspire you. You can discover new workouts, learn new recipes and even share your own progress if you want. In case you missed it,  I recently posted details regarding this summer’s Vector® Challenge which is perfect for those trying to stay on track with their solo workouts. The Vector® 21-day Challenge acts as a form of accountability in a way, as you must post an image of yourself on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook that shows how you push yourself physically or mentally using the hashtag #TasteVectory for 21 Days. Participating in the contest allows you to be eligible to receive Vector products delivered to your home for 21 days and also gives you an entry for the grand prize, a $1,000 fitness prize pack.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

*You can find full contest details at the end of this post.

2. Listen to Audiobooks or a Podcast:

It is much more easier to get bored on a relaxed, easy run than it is when you have an intense interval or speed workout. Even for those who don’t love running to music, you may be surprised at how many more kms you’re able to run when you are entertained by an entertaining podcast or an audiobook.

3. Make Whatever You Do To Exercise Your Favourite Thing:

If you find an activity you love that counts as exercise, you are almost guaranteed to not miss a workout. And sorry loves, just because you love shopping – it unfortunately doesn’t count as cardio. I always giggle to myself when people say they hate running but have started doing it and find they struggle to stay motivated. Isn’t it a no-brainer that you will find every excuse in the book to get out of doing something you hate? Working out is a bit like a job. Find something you love and you will want to do it everyday. Just because everyone seems to be running or doing crossfit, don’t feel pressured to follow others. You may resonate more with rock climbing, kayaking, aerial/acro yoga or cycling.

4. Create Goals:

It’s not rocket science and definitely nothing new. When you work out day in and day out on your own with no coach or trainer to push you, it’s super easy to fall into a slump. Goals are something we should be setting for ourselves in all aspects of our lives and fitness should be of no exception. They can be big or small but in the best-case scenario, you are setting both. You may have a goal to do 10 pull-ups in a row without assistance or stopping or a goal of running a distance race (half-marathon or marathon). Whatever sounds fun and challenging to you and will make you proud of your accomplishment, set that as your target goal.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

To be eligible for the Vector® Challenge and make sure your entry is counted, please make sure that you tag the appropriate brand handles (Instagram/Facebook @Vector and Twitter @Vector_Ca) and ensure your profile is “public” on the platform you are posting on. Winners for the grand and secondary prizes will be chosen at random from those properly using the hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec and ends September 5th. Click Try Vector®, Taste Vectory® for more detailed rules and regulations. Good luck!

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Get Inspired to #BeTheMotion with Apple Watch & the 2016 Olympic Games

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are in full swing and it’s almost impossible not to be inspired by the talented athletes on the quest for gold for their respective countries. Although we may not be training for our own appearance at the 2020 Olympics, we can most definitely  train to be our own best athlete.

Degree Be The MotionThe Limited Edition Canadian Olympic Apple Watch Band

If you’ve been watching the games closely you may have noticed some of Canada’s favourite Olympic hopefuls like; Melissa Bishop, Andre De Grasse, Brianne Eaton, Emilie Fournel, and Nathalie Achonwa wearing Apple’s new Limited Edition “International Collection” watch. Not only is the new “International Collection” watch band a great way to show your support for your country during the games, the Apple Watch is a phenomenal tool to help you get fit or stay fit, no matter what your focus is.

Degree Be The MotionPhotos by Jess Baumung Photography

The reason why my Apple Watch is such a big part of my life is because it has all the elements of a superior SportsWatch while also possessing the capabilities of an all-day activity tracker. I use it to track my sleep, my meals, my runs, cross training workouts and much more. There’s no shortage of amazing apps available on this watch, but I have rounded up 4 that will help motivate you in hopes to make you become a better athlete:

Spring Running Music:

Running with music may not be for everyone. Some, like me, prefer to hear their own breathe and footsteps, but if the BPM of Beyonce’s latest album Lemonade is the motivation you need to pound the pavement, then download Spring from the App Store immediately. This amazing app let’s you to leave your phone behind and still access your music. Apple Watch doesn’t allow you to plug in headphones but you can still use it with a wireless headset like my go-to Rose Gold Beats By Dre Solo2 to help you log your miles. Download Spring right now here.

Hudl Technique:

Looking to perfect that golf swing? Want to improve your running technique to get faster in the 5k or on the track? Learning a new sport for the first time? Hudl Technique is a unique app I’ve discovered for iPhone and Apple Watch that allows you to record your technique and review in slow motion playback so you can get a closer look at your form so you can learn how to improve it. Need additional feedback? You can share your technique vids with Hudl users worldwide to get form suggestions and feedback. Download the Hudl Technique App here.

Map My Run:

There are several running apps available on the Apple Watch including it’s native running (and fitness) tracker, but Map My Run has a dedicated and significant community to encourage a running lifestyle. This app lets you log more than 600 different types of workouts, record GPS activities, sync and share activity on Apple Health and MyFitnessPal plus socially share workouts with friends. Download MapMyRun here.

Human:

Not everyday do we feel motivated to wake up and crush workouts right away. Human not only tracks your activities throughout the day but it also pushes you to move at least 30 minutes a day by sending you reminders straight to your wrist. The app also automatically picks up your bike rides, walks, runs and other activities that go on for a minute or more and logs them to the app. Download the Human Activity Tracker here.

Fourteen countries are represented in the highly covetable watch bands (below are some of my personal faves) and they are available for purchase right now for $49 USD. If you’re an Apple fan and in Brazil this summer, you better get your hands on one as they are only sold at one Apple store in the world and it’s in Barra da Tijuca in Rio. Here’s a glimpse of a few bands within the collection.

Apple Watch International Collection

Search for more inspiring fitness tips from myself and other my other #DegreePartners by using the hashtag #BeTheMotion on Instagram and Twitter!

 

Join me in Vector’s 21 Day #TasteVectory Challenge

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Vector®. All opinions are 100% mine.

In case you missed it, I recently announced my involvement in the Vector® Challenge. If you did, you can catch the first post here. For those who have been following me for a while now, you already know that I just can’t say no to a challenge and in an effort to not do it alone, I am inviting you guys to do it with me.

Most of us are aware of the importance of goal setting, but in the real world with demanding careers, personal commitments, health issues, family, etc, it’s sometimes difficult to see them through. I am always open and honest about the issues I encounter trying to stay on track, as I too find it challenging at times, which is why I happily accept challenges like these when they present themselves.

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Last week I talked about how speed work and weight training somewhat intimidates me, but as they say, great things never come from comfort zones. As of August 1st, not only am I tackling both during the Vector® 21-day Challenge, I’m also incorporating them in a 2-a-day workout program consisting of both a workout and run. 

Vector 21 Day Challenge

Haven’t tried any Vector products before? Perhaps this challenge is the perfect way to get you acquainted with their ridiculously delicious Vector® Meal Replacement, energy bars and granola. The cereal, aka the “meal replacement in a bowl” is not only a great option for breakfast, but because it contains proteins, carbs plus 22 vitamins and minerals, it becomes the perfect snack option when you’re too busy when there is not enough time to make something to eat.

Vector 21 Day ChallengePhotos by JessBaumung.com

Participating is easier than you think. Simply post an image of yourself on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook every day with the hashtag #TasteVECTORY for 21 days. To ensure your entry is counted, please make sure that you tag the appropriate brand handles (Instagram/Facebook @Vector and Twitter @Vector_CA) and ensure your profile is “public” on the platform you are posting on. These pictures should show how you push yourself physically or mentally. Everyone participating in the challenge will automatically be entered for a chance to win the grand or secondary fitness prize packs valued at $1000 and $500 respectively. Winners will be chosen at random from those properly using the hashtag for the 21 days. *Contest is open to Canadian residents only excluding Quebec. Click Try Vector®, Taste Vectory® for more detailed rules and regulations. Good luck guys!

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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.

2016 Lolë White Tour Toronto Giveaway

Yoga has come in and out of my life over the last several years and played an integral role in keeping me injury free as a tennis player, helped me on my road to recovery after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and has allowed me to find a connection with my mind, body and breath. Although my practice hasn’t been as consistent as I would like, there is one thing that remains the same  – every time I get back into it my first thought is always, “I should have never stopped” because I just feel so amazing afterwards.

Lolë White Tour

Through yoga you’re body becomes stronger, leaner and more flexible. Most see changes in terms of their body fat, are able to cope with stress better, learn to slow down and be more mindful, and let go of things that no longer serve them. And interestingly enough, the more more you become in tune with your mind and body, you actually begin to listen to your intuition and inner voice more often.

Lolë White Tour

I’ve tried many yoga studios in Toronto and definitely have my favourites that I hit up; Moksha Yoga, Misfit Studios, 889 Yoga, Chi Junky and believe it or not, the yoga classes at Equinox are pretty damn great…but there’s nothing like doing a flow outside, especially close to water.

Lolë White TourPhotography by Tristan O’Brien (@tristancobrien)

On Thursday July 28th, Lolë brings back their cult fave “Lolë White Tour” yoga event to Toronto at Exhibition Place. This is one of the most unique yoga events you will ever experience, where guests dress in all white and are guided through an incredible session at sunset dedicated to inner peace by some of the Toronto’s leading Yoga instructors. Tickets are not easy to come by but thanks to the Lolë team, I am able to give away a pair of tickets to one lucky reader. Entering the giveaway is easy…you must follow @LoleWomen on Instgram and leave a comment on my most recent Lolë post on my Insta account (@SashaExeter) letting me know why the practice of Yoga is important to you. The winner will be announced and contacted directly on Wednesday July 27th at 8pm. *Please note, contest is open to Toronto residents only. Good luck!

#LoleWhite #LoleWhiteTour 

SSFit: Spotify Summer Sixteen Training Playlist

You’ve heard me say time and time again that the right outfit can motivate you to workout, but a dope playlist is never to be underestimated. If you’re in the gym solo, it can be difficult AF to stay focused, give 100% and push yourself until the end of your planned workout. I hear so many times from people that they head to the gym with plans of doing an hour long workout and end up bailing 30 minutes later. No judgements here…I get it. It’s probably how I feel when I go to the nail or hair salon. I immediately start thinking of all the things I “could” be doing instead of being there for much longer than I really want to be.

SSFit Summer Sixteen Training Playlist

If it’s not possible to have a workout buddy or accountability partner in the gym, I would say you better get some good tunes to keep your butt committed to your planned workouts. There’s a few tracks I have had on heavy rotation lately and based on all your requests on Twitter, I have compiled them into a 45 minute Spotify playlist titled, “SSFit: Summer Sixteen Training Playlist” (there’s a sneak peek above) for you that will seamlessly take you through your warm-up, workout, cool-down and even a slow tempo’d track for you to stretch to.

And your playlist is only as good as the headphones you use to listen to it, amirite? I’ve gone back to wireless headphones and currently addicted to my new Beats by Dre Solo 2 Wireless On-Ear Headphones in rose gold. The intelligent design buffers outside noise with earcup padding and has a wide range of sound to allow listeners to enjoy music the way artists intend us to. They pair easily with my iPhone6 and I can move freely up to 9 meters away from my connected device. I really hate interrupting workouts with calls, but if I need to jump on one quickly with my agent, I can do so with the hands free mic. If you’re familiar with wireless headphones you’re probably wondering about the battery life right? The Solo 2 headphones were made for people on the go and can stay unplugged all day thanks to the 12 hour rechargeable battery. Available for sale now on Apple.ca for $329.95.

Photo by Jess Baumung.com for LouLou Magazine

Want details on my training look? Head to louloumagazine.com/sashaexeter for the details and the rest of my #366DaysOfLooks.

5 Important Tips For Better Sleep When You Travel

Getting adequate sleep at night in your own bed is a challenge in itself. Since January I have been doing research on the topic of sleep in search of effective ways to increase quality shut eye. You may have seen this chronicled right here not too long ago, where I shared some of the things my boyfriend and I have incorporated into our nightly routine at home. But sleep can be even more tricky when your traveling. If you don’t get enough sleep, especially when switching time zones, there is a good chance your trip, whether it be for work or play, may not pan out the way you intended. There’s nothing worse than traveling a long way for a fun filled trip and spending the first few days in the destination living in a jet lag fog. Of course, only to be outdone by being in a sleep deprived, induced coma when on a business trip. If you’re traveling anytime soon, you may want to take notes on the below so you can arrive at your destination looking refreshed and ready to take over the city.

ZzzQuil

ZzzQuil

1. Modify Your Sleep. This may be a very ambitious rule, but if you can figure out a way to do this, I can almost guarantee you will be unfazed by a time zone change and long travel days. Shifting your bedtime a couple days before you depart to be in line with what your destination’s time is a veteran trick. It’s natural to find it difficult to get on a different time zone – generally we become sleepy during the day and restless at night. Not ideal! Many well heeled travellers have a few tricks up their sleeves to combat this and one of mine is ZzzQuil. Although ZzzQuil is made by the makers of Vicks NyQuil, it’s not for colds. It’s not for pain. It’s just for sleep. It contains diphenhydramine – a big word for a small compound that can be used to relieve occasional sleeplessness. When used as directed and when you can donate a full night to sleeping, it reduces the time it takes for you to fall asleep. I make sure to have it packed inside my emergency travel kit that I store inside my carry-on bag, just as a precautionary measure in the event my luggage gets lost or misplaced. It helps  me fall asleep easily so I can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Sleep Better

2. Stay Hydrated. In high altitudes, it’s not uncommon for your body and skin to get dehydrated. Also, with prices at the airport being so expensive, it literally deters people from purchasing a couple bottles of Fiji water before take-off. Really, you should be increasing your H20 intake 1-2 days prior to your departure. To make sure you get adequate hydration while in transit, skip buying the pricey water at the airport and bring your own large refillable water bottle to fill up during the flight instead of relying on the miniature cups of water cabin crew hand out. Proper hydration will prevent you from feeling groggy when you wake up from sleeping on the plane.

3. Avoid Red-Eye Flights. Red eye flights are awful and I really only recommend them if necessary when flying overseas internationally. Many assume they are doing themselves a favour by flying overnight so they can make the most of their time in a new city. Not so much! In actuality, the transit time in the air is short in comparison to the time it takes to get to and from the airport, baggage claim, going through customs and getting situation at your hotel, basically throwing you off your sleep for most of your trip.

ZzzQuil

4. Dress For Comfort. Ok, it is very important to understand that I am not sagging that one shows up to the airport looking like a schlep, especially if you a re traveling for business. My father always told me to look presentable when traveling because you never know who you will cross paths with. However, you don’t want to be so uncomfortable that you can’t get rest on the plane. For flights over two and a half hours, I usually bring a pair of compression socks to avoid symptoms like heavy legs, leg pain, swollen feet and ankles. These symptoms can occur during long haul flights where movement is constrained and blood circulation in the legs is restricted. I also typically wear a long sleeve top, an additional thin layer plus a light weight cashmere scarf that can easily double as a blanket when the cabin temperature drops during the flight.

ZzzQuilLimbo Multiwheel Créme White Luggage c/o Rimowa Toronto

5. Reduce Stimuli. Whether you’re attempting to sleep on the plane or in your hotel room on the first night of your stay, reducing the amount of stimuli is crucial to getting good rest. I always find it funny when people say, “I don’t know why, but I can’t sleep on planes!” and then later find out they spend the entire time in flight working on their laptop, watching a movie marathon or blasting music in some pricey noise cancelling headphones. It’s no wonder they can’t get some decent rest. Restricting screen time of any kind; TV or computers and staying off your phone an hour before bedtime works wonders even when you’re not traveling. Light music is fine I suppose but I prefer a sound machine app, I mean who doesn’t feel calm hearing the sound of waves or falling rain, right!

ZzzQuil

In case you missed it, you can check out more of my sleep tips to help you get your best rest yet. This post is sponsored by ZzzQuil Canada but all opinions are my own. Before you take medications, it’s important to know what is actually in them. I always recommend you read the label and if you have further questions about the product, please consult your physician, pharmacist or call the 1-800 number on the product packaging. Head to ZzzQuil.ca for more information.

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