It’s taken me a while to post this review because I really wanted to do it justice. There are just so many interesting and inspiring things going on, I literally needed to carve out a few hours so I could put my thoughts together. Et voila! A quiet Sunday morning and the perfect time to reflect on a fabulous experience at Rexall’s New Healthy Living Store.
Let me rewind. A couple of months ago, I received an e-mail pitch asking if I’d like to tour Rexall. For real? I deleted the e-mail without a second thought. I mean, who wants to spend time walking around a drugstore?
From an information standpoint, the above video really covers everything you need to know and I encourage that you take the time to view it. To summarize, enhanced in-store tests offered at Rexall Healthy Living Stores include:
– Food Smart Hemocode Test: detects food intolerances and sensitivities – approximately 30% of Canadians suffer from food intolerance and many are not aware that certain food and additives are the cause of their symptoms;
– BPro: measures blood pressure directly at the base of the aorta and is analyzed by a cardiologist – high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, affects one in five Canadians, is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease, as well as the leading cause of death among women in Canada;
– Lung Age: measures the strength of a patient’s breath against their age and can help to diagnose illnesses such as lung disease and emphysema – a recent study revealed that smokers who knew their lung age were twice as likely to quit smoking;
– Dermo Analyzer: assesses hydration and skin type, as well as the effects of the sun – diagnosis allows for a personalized skincare regimen to be developed and if more critical skin conditions are identified, the Derm Consultant works collaboratively with the Pharmacist to find the right solution or develop a plan of action.
So yes, those are some pretty impressive add-ons which help catapult Rexall over and above your average pharmacy. But what convinced me to take time out of my very busy evening to take a tour?
It was my girlfriend, and fellow Kindergarten Confidential blogger, Shauna MacKenzie. Her darling little boy Josh had been suffering from outbreaks of eczema and skin irritations, all thought to be caused by a food allergy that they had yet to narrow down. Knowing that Rexall Healthy Living Stores now offer a Food Smart Hemocode test specifically designed to identify immune-system based food intolerances and the severity of the intolerance, I thought it was an opportune time to take that tour and have Josh diagnosed.
Skip forward about a week, and we arrived at the Rexall store in Milton, ON just after 7pm on a weeknight. At first glance, the outside of the store looked like most Rexalls that I’ve encountered.
|REXALL IN MILTON, ON|
However, inside was another story. Boasting over 15,000 square feet of products and services, the Rexall Healthy Living Store is a retailer’s dream; cohesively designed, meticulously clean and organized, and premier brands as far as the eye can see.
|THE VAST SKIN CARE CENTRE|
|FEATURED PRODUCTS WITH HANDY INFO AND DISPLAY|
|HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SO MANY VITAMINS?|
|THE ULTRA MODERN PHARMACY|
|DONNA (RIGHT) WITH THE HEALTHY LIVING ADVISOR|
Before we took care of the main purpose of our visit – performing the Food Smart Hemocode test – you know I just had to stop by the Dermatologial Skin Care Centre. It is a veritable feast for the eyes: premier and private brands, hard-to-find lines, and imported products that I had read about but never dreamed I would come face-to-face with. I also love the ultra-zen water area where you can try products, rinse and repeat.
|“LIFT FOR PRICE”… DO I WANT TO KNOW?|
|EWW! MY SKIN MAGNIFIED TO TMI LEVELS|
Equipped with a handy Derm Analyzer, we tested my levels of hydration and sun damage using a wand on the back of my hand. While normal hydration levels *should* be around 40%, my skin scored a pitiful 16%. (I’m gulping water as I type this.)
Thankfully the Derm Consultant was equipped with the right products to boost the health of my skin from the outside in. Enter Vichy’s Aqualia Thermal Fortifying & Soothing Hydrating Concentrate; after just one quick application my hydration levels were boosted to 40.8% – perfectly in line with where they should be. You can believe that I purchased the product on the spot. Thanks Rexall!
|BACK TO NORMAL HYDRATION LEVELS IN A JIFFY|
Next – the Food Smart Hemocode test. You should know:- The Food Smart Hemocode System is a personalized nutritional program that includes a state-of-the-art blood analysis that identifies common foods that may be causing individually unique symptoms
– When the customized Hemocode System program is followed accordingly, individuals may experience relief from these symptoms and begin making lifestyle changes that positively impact overall health
– Developed by a team of nutritionists and medical practitioners, the system tests against 250 common foods and additives that have been known to cause reactions. The test is a simple, painless (uh huh) finger stick and the blood sample is sent for analysis, with results in seven to ten business days.
|NOT A PEEP FROM JOSH! WHAT A BRAVE LITTLE DUDE|
Rexall Healthy Living Stores are the first to offer this level of readily-available testing in Canada; and it does not come cheap. At $450 per test, one would expect a lot in return, and Rexall does not disaapoint, delivering:
– Customer-specific reports and recipe books that are accompanied by consultation with a Rexall Pharmacist and/or Naturopathic Doctor
– Colour-coded food chart that identifies immune-system based food intolerances and the severity of the intolerance
– Food elimination report, as well as vitamin and supplement recommendations
After the test we adjourned for the evening, anxious to see the results.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. I should mention at this time that not all doctors/pediatricians are supportive of testing children under the age of 5, due to the fact that allergies can resolve themselves (or intensify) in the first few years of life (and therefore any test would be deemed subjective). However, when you’re the mom of a young child who you can see is suffering, wouldn’t you want to at least have some direction? Or gain insight into what can potentially aggravate or worsen the condition?
And so we uncovered that little Josh has a gluten intolerance, along with a few other foods that should definitely be either avoided completely or given only moderately. After finally having a chance to connect with Shauna earlier this week (we’re two very busy mamas!) she had this to report:
The instruction and follow-up she received with the Rexall Pharmacist and Healthy Living Advisor was incredibly beneficial and answered many of her questions. Shauna received both a detailed report and easy-to-follow “cheat sheets” outlining recommended, moderate and severe intolerant foods.
Since receiving Josh’s results, Shauna has been steadfast in following the recommended diet and is happy to report that she has seen a marked improvement in Josh’s well-being.
All in all, I commend Rexall for enabling customers to go well beyond the prescription drop off/pick up routine; by empowering people to take an active role in their physical and emotional health – and providing the tools that make it easy to do so – the Healthy Living Stores truly exemplify what healthy living is all about.
There are currently six (6) Rexall Healthy Living Stores – Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Bradford and Milton, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; and Kelowna, British Columbia. If you have one in your area, I do recommend you pop by for a visit – you’ll be glad you did.