Do you know which vitamins are good for certain health benefits? Here is a list of facts about vitamins and where you can find each vitamin to add to your daily food intake.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

  • These vitamins are absorbed with the help of lipids, or fat, and can accumulate in the body.

Vitamin A is needed for vision, healthy skin, healthy immune system, tissue repair, bone growth, and acts as an antioxidant: Foods high in vitamin A are liver, fish, dairy products, egg yolks, carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, can help prevent osteoporosis, and strengthens immunity.  Foods high in vitamin D include saltwater fish, some eggs, fortified milk and cereal products.  Your body also produces vitamin D after sun exposure.

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, helps with blood flow, helps repair body tissues, and is good for skin.  Foods high in vitamin E are fish, milk, egg yolks, vegetable oils, nuts, fruits, peas, beans, broccoli, and spinach.

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone formation.  Foods high in vitamin K include cheese, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and tomatoes.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

  • These vitamins dissolve in water and are easily excreted from the body so consistent daily intake is important.

Vitamin B1 helps your body use carbohydrates for energy and is good for the nervous system.  Foods high in vitamin B1 are lean beef, pork, liver, legumes, nuts, enriched whole grains.

Vitamin B2 helps your body process proteins, carbs, and fats and maintains healthy skin.  Foods high in vitamin B2 are lean beef, pork, liver, legumes, eggs, cheese, milk, nuts, and enriched whole grains.

Vitamin B3 helps process protein and fat, maintain healthy nervous system, skin, and digestion.  Foods high in vitamin B3 are liver, turkey, tuna, salmon, peanuts, beans, enriched whole grain products.

Vitamin B6 helps use protein and fats, helps the nervous and immune systems, helps carry oxygen to tissues, and maintain normal blood sugar levels. Foods high in Vitamin B6 include pork, beef, poultry, fish, eggs, peanuts, bananas, carrots, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin B12 maintains healthy nerve and red blood cells, help make genetic material in cells, and prevent anemia.  Foods high in vitamin B12 are liver, poultry, clams, sardines, flounder, herring, eggs, milk, blue cheese, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin C forms connective tissues, is an antioxidant and is good for the immune system.  Foods high in vitamin C are broccoli, green peppers, spinach, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, and cabbage.

Vitamin H helps the body use nutrients and form red blood cells.  Foods high in vitamin H are liver, kidney, egg yolks, peas, beans, nuts, tomatoes, and yeast.

Folic Acid helps your body make and sustain new cells, prevents anemia and prevents neural tube birth defects.  Foods high in folic acid are dark leafy vegetables, dry beans and peas, oranges, and fortified cereals and grain products.

By putting together a few foods in your meals, you can gather some of the most important vitamins for your body and seek their benefits everyday.

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Minerals are good for a number of reasons and each mineral has its own health benefits and food source.  We all know that minerals supply us with a lot of nutrients, but we do not pay enough attention in getting a good amount of minerals for our bodies. Most people do not even know where to find minerals in food.

Here are 4 of the most common Minerals and their food sources.

Health Benefits of Calcium: Calcium plays an important role in bone formation and teeth.  It also helps with blood clotting and muscle and nerve function. Foods high in calcium include salmon, milk, any dairy product, tofu, Chinese cabbage, kale, broccoli.

Health Benefits of Iron: Iron is part of hemoglobin which helps your blood carry oxygen to tissues and muscles. Iron is good for energy, strengthening the immune system, and prevents anemia.  Foods high in iron are meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans, fortified breads and cereals.

Health Benefits of Magnesium: This mineral helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regular heartbeat, keeps bones strong, and produces energy. Foods high in magnesium are meats, seafood, dairy, green leafy vegetables, bran cereal, and nuts.

Health Benefits of Zinc: Zinc is good for the immune system, tissue repair, sense of taste and smell, digestion. It also helps with normal reproduction, growth and development.  Foods high in zinc are red meats, liver, oysters, milk products, eggs, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

Eating the right amount of the foods with the 4 most common minerals is essential for getting enough minerals and their health benefits.

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With all the Hollywood publicity, it is hard to miss some of the famous Hollywood scandals that have occurred recently and in the past.  Check out these famous Hollywood scandals that happened in Los Angeles!

The most recent Hollywood scandal involves domestic violence and the investigation is not complete yet.  On Sunday, February 8, 2009 singer Chris Brown was arrested before the 2009 Grammy’s for allegedly assaulting an unidentified woman.  Whoever the woman was, she was said to have visible injuries. It has been reported that Chris Brown attacked his girlfriend and Hollywood icon Rihanna during an argument.  Both Chris Brown and Rihanna were scheduled to perform at the Grammys and were up for nominations, but because the couple was missing at the event, it led to the rumor that Brown assaulted Rihanna and opened up a case for domestic violence.  Brown turned himself in to the police and posted a $50,000 bail for himself.

Lindsay Lohan allegedly chased the mother of her personal assistant in a car on July 21, 2007.  The mother called the police and Lohan was caught under the influence of alcohol and was driving with a suspended license.  She had just gotten out of rehab a few days before the incident and was found with some cocaine in her pocket.  Lindsay Lohan was charged for felony because she pleaded guilty for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs as well as reckless driving. This let Lohan serve one day in jail and atleast 3 years in an alcohol education program

Driving under the influence has been popular and Paris Hilton is included in this list.  On September 7, 2006 Paris was arrested for a possible DUI but was picked up from the police station with 36 months parole and a suspended license.

On July 28, 2006 Mel Gibson was stopped by police for speeding and was arrested for driving under the influence.  In the middle of all this, Mel Gibson threw out offensive comments and acted out of control.  This led him to admit his alcoholism and was relased on $5,000 bail.

Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting nearly $6,000 worth of Saks Fifth Avenue merchandise on December 12, 2001.  Although she was released for burglary, she was later convicted of grand theft and vandalism.

Even Hollywood stars are seen with prostitutes and this includes Hugh Grant.  In 1995, Grant was caught with a prostitute in a residential area and was arrested for lewd conduct.

Robert Downey Jr. was found passed out on his neighbors bed. Neighbor Lisa Curtis called the police who arrested Robert Downey for trespassing and being under the influence of drugs.  Earlier, he had again been arrested for speeding where cops found a revolver, heroin, cocaine and crack in his truck. Robert violated parole a number of times and was sentenced to 3 years in jail.

Similar to the Chris Brown and Rihanna rumors, Christian Slater was arrested for assault and battery in 1997.  At a party, Slater abused his girlfriend and bit the stomach of another man who tried to intervene and fought with the police who were trying to arrest Slater.

Jack Nicholson allegedly assaulted Robert Blank’s Mercedes-Benz with a golf club because Blank apparently cut of Nicholson while driving.  Jack Nicholson crushed the car’s windshield and dented the roof.  He was charged with misdemeanor and vandalism and Nicholson defended his case by reporting that a friend had just died and that Jack had been acting all night in a maniac movie.

Finally, no Hollywood scandal list can leave out Michael Jackson who was charged for child molestation in 1993 at his family home.  The case was dropped because of no evidence and Jackson settled the suit outside of court.

Scandals and violence are no surprise in Los Angeles, especially when it comes to Hollywood where all the news and reports of famous Hollywood sandals are available for everyone.

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Guys have a hard time with Valentine’s Day when it comes to gift giving because women have mixed signals.  Husbands and boyfriends may think they know their significant other, but there are always surprises. Men like it when women are straight forward so that they don’t have to beat around the bush to figure out what women really want.  Valentine’s Day is one chance for some men to shine their love and they can’t afford to mess it up.

Women can give some suggestions for gift ideas for birthdays and Christmas, but on Valentine’s Day women like to be surprised. It’s often recommended that guys should not ask their lady what she wants for Valentine’s Day because it will ruin the suspense. For guys who have a difficult time reading their girlfriend or wife, here are some tips to decode her messages and helpful Valentine’s Day ideas!

No Buying: When a woman uses the phrase “don’t buy me anything,” chances are she is serious about it because she may not want an expensive gift.  For most women, this phrase does not suggest that a boyfriend or husband should forget about Valentine’s Day completely.  He may not have to buy something for her, but an immaterial gesture or expression could be a thoughtful one.

  • Ideas: breakfast in bed, making dinner together, physical intimacy, a massage, a letter or email, hand-made love coupons, e-card,

Simple and Small: Some women may throw in the “just get me something small” or “I’m a simple girl” phrases.  These translate to resisting any dramatic display such as balloons and flowers at work combined with a necklace at dinner.  If your lady is simple, she will appreciate any small and simple gift.

  • Ideas: Low key dinner, an orchid, watching a romantic movie at home, a framed picture of each other.

Anti-Valentine’s Day: Wives and girlfriends who are Anti-Valentine’s Day generally don’t like the mushy gushy idea.  They don’t like any gift or date idea that everyone else is doing.  In fact, you don’t even have to celebrate it if you know she is truly against the holiday.

  • Ideas: stay home together, have a get together with other friends too, a sarcastic romantic gift so she knows that you understand her Anti-Valentine’s Day attitude.

Pro-Valentine’s Day: Most women adore Valentine’s Day and are very enthusiastic about all the romance that it brings.  These women enjoy the flowers and chocolate, the expensive jewelry, tickets to a cruise.  Ladies with Valentine’s Day fever generally have expectations so the men need to be conscious of this.  New relationships also fall in this category because it is safer to buy a gift for a new significant other.

  • Ideas: Flowers, chocolate, teddy bears, gifts delivered to her work, infinity jewelry, expensive or very romantic dinner, dinner at the beach, gift certificate to a spa.

Alternative Valentine’s Day: Some girls enjoy being with their boyfriends or husbands on Valentine’s Day and sometimes expect a gift that is unique and different.  These types of women may not want to celebrate each Valentine’s Day, but once is not a problem for them. A quirky or eclectic gift idea will show that a guy appreciates her uniqueness.

  • Ideas: Concert tickets, unique jewelry, a video game, movies, something she’s really wanted that isn’t romantic, buy her a star, wine tasting.

Sexy Valentine: Some women appreciate any night of romance and Valentines Day is just another excuse for intimacy.  Wives and girlfriends who see this day as a night of seduction and passion will want to explore their desires and will enjoy gifts that will fire up their passions.

  • Ideas: Lingerie, chocolate covered strawberries, bed of rose petals, bubble bath and oiled massage, candlelit dinner with wine at home, kama sutra related gift, naughty toys, resort getaway.

When it comes to finding the perfect present or idea for a special Valentine’s night together, men face somes of the biggest challenges.  Usually, it’s because they are not sure of what to surprise their ladies with.  For some couples, it’s just another day but for others, Valentine’s Day is a day to shower their significant other with gifts and other tokens of love.  Instead of asking her what to get her for February 14, look for clues and consider her over all personality.

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Not only is Valentine’s Day a for-profit holiday to get people into buying each other love through gifts and cruise tickets, it also delivers deceiving messages for couples and singles.  Because of this, many people get into Anti-Valentine’s Day mode.

Valentine’s Day comes with a set of guidelines and couples who do not meet those guidelines on that day have failed in their relationships.

Women falsely believe that their significant other loves them because of Valentine’s Day.  A male boyfriend or husband can be unromantic, careless, distrustful, and even violent on any average day throughout the year.  But if he showers his girlfriend or wife with everything she expects on Valentine’s Day, she will be fooled to think otherwise.  Women need to be aware of other signs for true love outside of February 14.

Valentine’s Day causes people to have high expectations and if a significant other does not satisfy those expectations, they are in trouble.  If women set out certain expectations for their male partners to follow throughout the year, there is no excuse for the men to not on Valentines Day.  If they do not give gifts to their women, they will fail again.

Another opportunity for bad communication comes up on Valentine’s Day.  Some people are very clear on what they want.  Women who are slightly more humble may suggest that their husband or boyfriend shouldn’t get a gift.  Some men do not over think this suggestion and will follow her words only to be caught in a fight. She will say that she didn’t expect anything big, but even a single rose would have given the right touch.  Valentine’s Day causes mixed signals in relationships.

Some people receive flowers and chocolate at the office as a way to display that someone is being loved on Valentine’s Day.  This can provoke jealousy around the office among those who do not receive any gifts, especially if they are in a relationship.

Men who couldn’t care less about spoiling their girlfriends or wives on any regular day often hear complaints throughout the year.  Valentine’s Day is a safety net for such men because they can splurge on their significant other to make her feel special.  Such men take advantage of Valentine’s Day to express “love” and then forget about it the rest of the year.

Valentine’s Day may be a day for flattering women, but men face pressures.  They often have to read in between the lines and have to make sure to get the perfect gift to suit a woman’s personality.  Men who have creative and simple ideas may feel pressured to hold back on such gifts because everyone else is splurging.

Because Valentine’s Day revolves around gift giving, it becomes a day of competition and showing off who has the best and most expensive gift.  Women want to show off their diamond jewelry while men want to spend more money than their best friend did. Men find themselves hearing about their wife’s best friend’s romantic and sweet Valentine’s Day gift.

Valentine’s Day causes single people to feel depressed and lonely.  Single people are not doing anything wrong by being single, but Valentine’s Day somehow makes them feel as if they are.  Singles tend to have the highest rate of being Anti-Valentines Day.

Some need to consider Valentine’s Day as a day of reflection on their relationship.  People can watch out for signs that reflect true love or fake love just on this day. If people realize what Valentine’s Day is really about, they will find themselves adopting an Anti-Valentine’s Day attitude.Valentine’s Day fools people into believing they are being loved and creates high expectations that may not be met.  There’s nothing wrong with intimacy and expressing love. But if it happens only once a year on Valentine’s Day, then it’s a sign for possible problems.

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How many times have you opened your fridge to only find old and rotten food? It happens to the best of us.  According to EnviroStats, in Britain alone it is estimated that all households waste a combined total of 8 billion pounds (that’s currency, not weight) of food.  Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables don’t come with expiration dates.  So how exactly does one go about preventing the waste of food?

Not all fruits, for example, should be refrigerated right away.  Oftentimes, bananas purchased in store are still green and ripe and should be kept out on a shelf for several days before being refrigerated, if at all.  Apples and bananas actually produce a gas that can cause other fruits to ripen more quickly and thus should be kept either out of the refrigerator or away from other fruits.  My grandma always tells me that apples are the one fruit you should stock up on because they are the healthiest and last the longest.  Plums and peaches can also be kept out for a few days until fully ripened.  Once they are fully ripened though, they should be placed in small perforated storage bags and placed at the top part of the refrigerator.  Most produce continue to “breathe” after they are harvested.  Using perforated bags allows there to be an exchange of gases.

Root vegetables, such as potatoes, yams and onions should be stored at room temperature in perforated storage bags that are placed away from the ground.  This is in order to protect them from insects and vermin.  Black spots or bruises on onions or roots growing out of the “eyes” of a potatoe can be signs that they are rotting.  Root vegetables should not be washed until needed because the moisture can speed up the rotting process.  Furthermore, refrigerating starch products can actually cause them to lose flavor.

A crisper drawer allows you to keep vegetables at a colder temperature but does not necessarily keep them crisp for much longer.  Celery, carrots, lettuce and cabbage can be kept in a crisper drawer but should be used quickly and kept dry.  Before placing produce in your drawer, lay a paper towel at the bottom or place them in perforated storage bags.  If one happens to get moist and is exposed to the others, it can cause them to rot as well.

Despite popular belief, refrigerating fruit isn’t always a good thing and can often damage the fruit.  For a detailed chart visit this link and when in doubt, just ask your grocer or look it up.  The Internet is filled with useful information and your grocer will be able to offer the same information on the spot!

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The 4 Types of Tea

by Ana on February 5, 2009

in Food and Drink

The first thing many people think of when they wake up is coffee rather than tea. However, tea has always been, and still is, a popular substitute for those who want a healthier and less caffeinated option. Essentially, tea is made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis. There are four ways of processing these leaves and each method produces one of the following types of teas:

· Black Tea: This is the most consumed out of all the teas because it has the highest amount of caffeine, but still contains some antioxidants. Black tea gets its deep color through the oxidization process. Unlike the rest of the teas, black tea is left to fully oxidize, which gives the leaves their black color.

· White Tea: On the opposite end we have the white tea, which is the least processed giving it a more fresh taste. It has the least amount of caffeine and thus, the highest amount of antioxidants. In order to prevent oxidization, white tea is immediately fired or steamed. The most popular white tea in the US, the Silver Needle, gets its name from the silver-like appearance it has due to the tiny white hairs on the leaves.

· Green Tea: This is similar to the white tea in that it is processed less and has higher antioxidants than black tea. However, like black tea, the green tea leaves are laid out for anywhere from 8 to 24 hours to allow the water to evaporate from them. The leaves are then steamed or pan friend to avoid oxidization, thus giving them a green color.

· Oolong Tea: This is the most difficult tea to process because it is only partially oxidized. To achieve this partial oxidization, the leaves are thrown into a basket after the water has evaporated from them, which gives the edges of the leaves bruises. As a result, only a portion of the enzymes are exposed to the air allowing the leaves to only be partially oxidized. The leaves are then steamed to prevent any further oxidization. Because this is such a fine process, oolong teas can vary from being closer to black teas or closer to green teas.

Do you have a favorite type of tea? Please share below what flavors/brands you love the most.

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Everyone is aware by now that America’s economic downturn is a drastic one.  Many are also aware that our environment needs help as well.  However, what many fail to realize is that they can help save the environment by spending less.  The following are ten ways you can reduce your carbon footprint while raising your savings:

1.    Use Less Water: This is a no-brainer.  By taking shorter showers and turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth or soaping the dishes you can severely cut down on water usage, thus saving money on your water bill.  Those who want to go the extra mile can fill the shower water that’s wasted while waiting for the water to heat into a bucket, then use it on the plants around their house.  If you use a dishwasher, only turn it on when it is full.  You can even invest in a low-flow shower head.

2.    Use Less Energy: One of the simplest things you can do is to ensure that you turn lights off of rooms you’re not actually in.  Another option is to switch to Compact Florescent Lightbulbs (CFLs).  These last longer and use less electricity.  Furthermore, you should make it a habit to unplug all electrical appliances/gadgets when not in use.  Just because they’re not on doesn’t mean they’re not using electricity.  You can go one further step and switch off any power strips you use around the home before going out or to bed. Lastly, try layering up with clothes or blankets during the wintertime instead of cranking up the heater.

3.    Walk, Bike Or Use Public Transportation: If you live in a city, it can often be difficult to avoid using your car.  One option is to try and carpool when going to work or going out with friends.  Another is to walk, bike or use public transportation when not travelling far.  Sure, it takes longer but you save money in the long run and can get some exercise in the meantime.

4.    Sign Up for a Local Community Garden: I realize not every city/town has community gardens around but if you happen to have one, or even just a backyard, you should use it to plant your own vegetables.  The transportation of produce can be harmful to the environment.  By planting your own you spend less and develop a hobby!

5.    Use Rechargeable Batteries: Batteries are not cheap.  Over time you’ll probably spend more than you want to know on batteries, not to mention how harmful to the environment they are when disposed of.  By using rechargeable batteries you waste less and save money in the long run.

6.    Go Paperless: Most companies that deal with billing their clients allow you to go paperless now.  This means you can pay your bills online and not deal with writing a check and paying for postage to send it to them.

7.    Consume Less: This can take many forms such as re-using certain items instead of tossing them and buying new ones or simply purchasing used items.

8.    Recycle: Not everyone has a recycle bin in the building or home.  Find out where your local recycle center is and head on over to convert those bottles and cans into money!

9.    Say No to Bottled Water: By purchasing a filter for your faucet you can cut down on spending and the use of plastic.  For a few dollars you can even purchase a reusable bottle, such as a Nalgene, that you can with you anywhere.

10.    Grow Native Plants: Native plants are ones that are found locally and thus adapt well to their respective environments.  If you live in a desert, for example, you can cut down on your water bill because plants that are native to the desert require less water.

This is by no means a comprehensive list.  There are a plethora of ways you can help yourself and be eco-conscious.  The point is that it’s fairly easy and doesn’t require too much effort—just be creative!  Feel free to share below some of the ways you’ve helped our planet and your wallet.

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Do you ever wish that the day had more than 24 hours? Are you unable to complete all the tasks on your to do list? We often can’t accomplish our short and long term goals because we lack time management skills.

This means that we perform the following: One, we waste time doing unnecessary things and procrastinate what’s important; two, we have unrealistic goals; three, we are disorganized.  If this sounds like you, you need to polish your time management skills and make time for being productive and even reducing stress.

One way to manage time is to cut back on spending hours in front of the television, surfing the web for unimportant things, and lounging around.  We tend to feel better knowing that we have been productive rather than lazy.

Many people procrastinate and one of the reasons for that is because people make to-do lists that reach 50 tasks because nothing gets accomplished.  Part of time management is to not procrastinate. People also list tasks that they do not like or want to handle and therefore, never get to it.  When you feel like you have 50 things to do, chances are you are not going to do them.

This also means that you are not setting realistic goals for yourself.  We can only manage time and make time for tasks that are realistic for us. If you have to go to the gym and you are really passionate about it, start off going twice a week rather than expecting to go 5 times and then feeling guilty for only going twice.  When we list 10 things to accomplish in one day, it has a negative effect on us because we don’t feel accomplished. Instead, we dwell on the fact that we have been unproductive.

To reach our daily, weekly and monthly goals, we have to be more organized in order to actually get to the tasks. Lists are helpful only when they are realistic. Staying organized is an essential part of time management because it allows us to allocate certain amounts of time for certain duties.  Set daily or weekly goals for yourself, make lists of a few things to do each day and check them off once you do them.

Dedicate certain days for certain tasks.  You can go to the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays, read on Mondays and Wednesdays, and so on. Most importantly, if you have bills to pay and other deadlines, attend to them sooner than later.  Put these on your calendar so that you don’t leave them last minute.

By taking a look at your goals and understanding what is realistic for you personally, time management will become easier.  Staying organized and not procrastinating or wasting time are essential qualities for someone who wants to shape up his or her time management skills. Follow these time management tips and you will see the difference!

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Millions of people suffer from stress and what makes stress one of the worst conditions is that it is the leading cause of many illnesses and disorders.  Dealing with stress is by no means the easiest task but stress relief is highly possible.

Whether it is a new job that you are striving for, a relationship you are trying to get out of, or a test you need to pass, stress is the constant factor in any of these situations.
Much of what causes our stress is unhappiness and a lack of control over our lives.  When we want to change certain aspects of our lives and can’t for whatever reason, we are left unhappy.  When we don’t believe that we can change, we feel a lack of control.  Instead, we try to change our surroundings.

These circumstances seem to require personal attitude changes in order to have stress relief.  If you can’t change your surroundings, look into your beliefs and perceptions of life and begin to make positive changes there. Once you are able to analyze your personal issues and how they are affecting your life, you can begin to make small changes.

One example of changing yourself rather than others is when you are constantly stressed because you are trying to beat the clock; you need to practice time management skills to have stress relief here.  This is something you can change and have control over.  That way, you won’t be cursing the car in front of you for driving the speed limit.

You know you are relieved from stress when you can begin to take control and each step of the way you accomplish something that  ultimately brings in bits of happiness.

Stress relief is important because the problems in our lives are variables. They change but the idea of a problem is always there.  You are also a variable because you are always changing and when you change your attitude for the good, you will deal with these problems with strength and confidence.  At any rate, you will achieve stress relief by fighting the root of what’s causing stress.

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