Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipe. Show all posts

May 4, 2017

Eat More Greens: What I Ate in a Day {with BrightFarms}

Disclosure: I received promotional consideration from BrightFarms. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Sometimes I get in ruts where I've been so busy that I notice I haven't really been eating any greens. Oops

I find myself grabbing some protein bars, oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and whatever for dinner (including pizza sometimes because it's my favorite and SO easy). So I drink some green juice, eat some salads, and re-balance my diet. A couple weeks ago was one of those times that I decided that I really needed to start adding more greens and vegetables into my diet again. I wanted to start this diet shift off by including vegetables in every meal of the day. It encouraged me to get creative in the kitchen and actually make a meal plan. Planning actually makes things a lot easier when you take the time to do the planning, in case you forgot (like I had). 

This all happened at the perfect time because BrightFarms was lucky enough to send me some of their produce to try out, which made my one-day challenge more fun. I was going to use 1 shell of the BrightFarms local spring mix, 1 of their local baby greens, and 1 of their kale in a different meal of the day. 

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BrightFarms is a produce company that uses sustainable greenhouse farming to supply grocery stores with fresh greens, tomatoes, and herbs year-round. In the DMV area they solely deliver their produce to Giant grocery stores, farm to shelf within 24 hours. I was excited because unfresh produce and buying lettuce from the grocery store and finding a couple smelly, slimy pieces that have gone bad within a day is super annoying. If you need to grab some greens and can't make it out to a farmer's market or local farm, BrightFarms from your grocery store is the next best thing! 

Meal 1- Breakfast: Queen Green Smoothie

I decided to keep it nice and simple for breakfast with a green smoothie. This was also portable to take in the car with me on the way to class which is a bonus. I created this smoothie on the fly, using whatever I had available in my refrigerator and pantry. I like trying out new smoothie recipes, but usually end up making ones with my favorite ingredients like frozen pineapple anyways. This is the Queen Green because it's one of my go-to smoothie variations and is queen to me!

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Into my Ninja blender for my Queen Green Smoothie I added: 
  • a  handful of BrightFarms kale
  • a handful of frozen pineapple and peaches mix
  • 1 1/2 cups of vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey
  • Optional: 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder or supplement-I used a scoop of Vital Proteins collagen in this smoothie. 
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Blended everything up, and it was ready to go. Despite the color, you can barely taste the greens in this smoothie. Everything went into the blender and within minutes I had breakfast on-the-go, packed with lots of yummy goodness. 

Meal 2-Lunch: a Mediterranean-style Salad

Today was one of those days where I was able to stop home in between class and heading to work. I actually dislike packing salads (probably why I was eating more sandwiches lately) so I love when I can grab lunch at home. I can't take all of the credit for this one because my lovely boyfriend actually whipped this salad up for me. 

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This Mediterranean inspired salad includes adding all of the following to a bowl, mixing, and enjoying: 
  • BrightFarms baby kale
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped cucumbers
  • feta cheese
  • kalamata olives
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

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This salad was so delicious. I have been loving olives in everything lately so the mixture of the salty olives with the sweet carrots and creamy feta cheese just hit the spot. I also loved the texture of the baby kale which made for a great salad base. 

Meal 3-Dinner: Cheesy Taco Skillet 

Making some sort of Mexican-inspired meal is always a go-to for me whether it's tacos, enchiladas, taco salad, or a taco skillet, like what I made this day for dinner. 

I used this recipe from Sweet C's as a guide for my cheesy taco skillet  and used BrightFarms local spring mix as the greens in it. The best part is I cooked everything in this one big pan so clean-up was easy. 

My cheesy taco skillet (adapted from Sweet C's) included: 
  • 1 lb of ground beef ( I used grass fed ground beef) 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1, 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp of taco seasoning
  • 2 cups (I just did two big handfuls) of local spring mix (or any greens you prefer)
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese


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First brown the ground beef in the pan, and then drain the excess fat. Next add onions and peppers, cook until browned. Then add the canned tomatoes, taco seasoning and zucchini into the pan. Then add the spring mix or greens and let fully wilt, mixing everything together. Finally add the shredded cheese on top and cover to let the cheese melt. This took just a few minutes. You can eat it right out of a bowl like I did or could even eat over rice or in a burrito. 

Of course, I made sure to include plenty of cheesy goodness on top! Sadly it was so good, there was only a tiny bit of leftovers. The greens in this wilt so you are getting lots of nutrients that you can't even really taste-perfect for those picky eater kids or significant others. 

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I'm a totally snack queen so in between I had multiple snacks during the day  including a yogurt, trail mix, and good old protein bar. Adding in greens to all of my big meals of the day was a lot easier than I thought. I was happy to be balancing my diet as well as preparing some delicious meals in the kitchen instead of grabbing sandwiches, pre-packaged meals and snacks. I was thinking of making it a fun Monday challenge for myself to help me start planning my meals and beginning the week on a high note after enjoying some weekend treats. 

Shout-out to BrightFarms for supplying some yummy greens for my challenge-Marylanders can find their products in local Giant grocery stores. 

 What's your favorite way to sneak greens into your everyday meals?

October 21, 2016

Super Berry ProYo Smoothie Bowl

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ProYo. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Right before Expo East this year, I was introduced to the one of exhibitor products, ProYo, a protein-packed frozen yogurt pop.  I really find myself needing to up my protein and not just eat sugar-packed protein bars on-the-go, plus I love ice cream & frozen yogurt. It seemed like a win-win and spoiler alert: they taste delicious! Each 4 oz ProYo tube is made with creamy probiotic yogurt packed with 20g of protein, 2g of fat, 3g of fiber, and only 140 calories plus is rated as low-glycemic. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.  

I love that I get an extra helping of probiotics to help my tummy out as well as 25% of my RDA for calcium. The pops come in various flavors including Vanilla Bean, Dutch Chocolate, Banana Vanilla, and Blueberry Pomegranate. Truthfully, I can tell the pops have that slight whey/protein taste,but despite this I still had to tell my boyfriend to keep his hands off of them! 

Despite being delicious right out the package, I've found that the recommendation on the ProYo boxes to blend with water like a smoothie has been one of my favorite ways to eat them. It's great make 'banana ice cream' with frozen bananas and pop one of these in there for a different flavor plus extra protein.  

When I'm feeling a little more ambitious to whip up a pretty food-blogger inspired smoothie bowl, I've been making a variation of the one I'm sharing on the blog today.  I really prefer eating thick smoothies out of bowls and love being able to top them with all sorts of goodies (chocolate chips is a favorite topping!). This is a berry ProYo smoothie bowl topped with superfoodie toppings like chia seeds. 

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Super Berry ProYo Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients: 

      1 Tube Blueberry Pomegranate ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt
      1/2 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
      1 Tbsp honey
      ½  Tbsp of chia seeds
      ½  Banana
      4 oz milk (based on preference)
      1 handful of ice cubes
Toppings (optional)
-       ½  banana
-       1 Tbsp peanut butter
-       ½ Tbsp chia seeds
-       1 Tbsp hemp seeds

Instructions: 

– Squeeze ProYo Blueberry Pomegranate Tube into blender.

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– Add ½ banana, honey, and ½ tbsp. of chia seeds
– Add 4 oz of milk and handful of ice cubes.
– Blend all ingredients together and pour into a bowl.    It maybe a little thick so use a spoon to help.
– Slice ½ banana and place on top of bowl. Top bowl with peanut butter, chia, seeds, hemp seeds, and anything else you’d like!
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– Eat immediately and enjoy!


If you don't have any ProYo on hand this recipe could work by substituting 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt or various other substitutions. Obviously I totally recommend the ProYo (plus it's simpler), which you can find in the freezer aisle at Giant stores locally in the Maryland area or check out their store locator for more options. Check out more recipes on the ProYo website including mine :) 


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Do you enjoy drinking smoothies or eating them out of bowls? What is your favorite snack topping?

July 31, 2016

Matcha Green Tea Protein Smoothie {with Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Boosters}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill as part of a campaign through my partnership with SweatPink and Fit Approach. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own!

I have talked about how the new Bob’s Red Mill Protein and Nutritional Boosters packed with 20g of protein have helped me stay #summerstrong. Well I've always been a huge coffee and tea drinker, but this summer's newest drink obsession is iced matcha green tea almondmilk or soymilk lattes. I've been getting them from a local coffee shop (shout-out to 3 Bean Coffee!) in the mornings, and it's always so creamy and delicious. 

They are super refreshing after a hot run or workout plus I'm getting all that antioxidant goodness from the matcha, which is powdered green tea leaves. Unfortunately, right now I can't afford getting a $5 latte whenever I want one, aka everyday. 


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Post #NP_BAL workout iced matcha latte
I decided to come up with a protein smoothie version which is just as satisfying after a run and saves me some money plus gives me an extra nutritional boost! I had this package of Kiss Me Organics brand Green Tea Matcha powder that I used. I'm loving this vanilla gluten-free Bob's Red Mill protein powder so I used that-just a heads up that it has chia seeds mixed in so it's not little ants or anything, haha.  The end result of the smoothie came out a little more brown than green thanks to the banana and protein powder, but it's delicious nonetheless! 

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print recipe

Matcha Green Tea Protein Smoothie

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Ingredients
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup almondmilk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 1/8 cup Bob's Red Mill vanilla protein nutritional booster (or any vanilla protein powder!)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 handful ice cubes
Instructions
Combine all ingredients together in blender. Blend until fully mixed and serve immediately.
Details
Total time: Yield: 1 smoothie




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Just a reminder that if your local store carries Bob’s Red Mill products, you can get a discount on Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Boosters with this coupon!

This post was linked up with Weekend Snapshots

Do you like matcha or green tea flavors? What is your favorite summer drink right now?

July 11, 2016

Relay Foods News and Marinated Mushroom Salad

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Relay Foods. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Happy Monday-hope you had a great weekend like I did! Like I mentioned a few months ago, I started using Relay Foods when things get really busy (when aren't they for me?) to help making cooking and my attempts at meal-prepping easier.  

You can read more about it here, but if you haven't heard about it, Relay Foods is an online grocery store-they are allowing you to shop at your convenience from their stock of over 200 local farmers and vendors.  Most of their foods are organic, local, or all-natural and allow you to just fill up a virtual shopping cart online and either pick-up your groceries for free at their set pick-up spots or have them delivered right to your door for a small fee.  

Relay Foods also has some new things going on including a new Doorstep program where you get unlimited deliveries for the month for only $19/month with no contract and the ability to cancel at any time.  

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Their website includes a fun meal-planning section which includes great recipes for all occasions. The best part is you can order all of the ingredients for each recipe through the website with the click of your mouse.  

I ordered these portabella mushroom caps for $4 immediately once I found this delicious-looking Marinated Mushroom Salad recipe. 

You simply marinade the portabella mushrooms in a mix of balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, soy sauce, and dried Italian herbs and then cook. It was a great side dish to some delicious chicken thighs for dinner. I loved the strong balsamic flavor of the salad. It gets a thumbs up from me! 

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One of my FAVORITE meal prep options I purchased in my last Relay Foods order was the "Five Day Dinner Pack for Two".  For $35 I get all 5 days of protein options for my boyfriend and I so all I need to worry about besides cooking these is making some sides.   The pack included frozen 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 lb. of boneless skinless chicken thighs, 1.6 lb Wolf Creek grassfed london broil as well as fresh 2 boneless pork chops and San Miniato sausage.  All of the meats were really high quality and tasty!

I paired the pork chops from the dinner pack with a big organic Muraski white sweet potato from my order for a simple dinner one night. 

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Something I planning on grabbing in my next order is their new Local Bounty Share which is a collection of local produce (aka from Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina). It's like a CSA except requires no commitment AND you get to preview what you are getting in your share ahead of time.  It comes in half or full sizes so you can pick what works for you! 

I'm still a big fan of Relay Foods obviously and love that it makes getting local produce easily, especially during the summer when travelling causes me to miss my favorite weekend farmers markets.   If you are curious, remember  
you can get $20 off your first order with my Relay Foods link!

What's your favorite side dish suggestion right now? 





April 1, 2016

CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary sample pack of Naked Nutrition protein for review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This weekend I'll be running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC, and I'm pretty excited! The last time I ran the race was in 2013 (read my race recap here) so it'll be great to be back.  

Goal wise, I really just want to have fun (Goal A) and run sub-1:20 (Goal B).

 I ran it in 1:13 and change in 2013, but don't know how I'll be feeling this weekend. The cherry blossoms have already hit peak bloom so I have a chance of seeing some flowers. Also it's supposed to be cold & windy with sub-40 degrees at the start which is not my favorite. School plus work plus other obligations has really messed with my schedule so there have been a lot of missed runs and workouts in the past month. I'm ready to get back on track in April, especially with all these races, but don't think I'm in any sort of PR shape! 

I'm also really excited to be running as a social media ambassador for the race and hopefully getting to see Joan Benoit Samuelson and Meb Keflezighi. Yes, I will be run-nerding it out hardcore.  I read Meb is running a cool 6:00/mile pace if you want to try to keep up! Check out this list of Five Things To Know Before Heading to the CUCB for some pre-race weekend tips. 


 I know there's lots of people running so definitely say hi if you see me! 

A couple months ago, Naked Nutrition reached out to me and offered me some samples of their protein powders to try out.  


CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake-naked nutrition protein

While "clean-eating" is a trendy term being thrown around all over the place in the food industry, I was excited to try their protein powders because they offered so many different types including whey, casein, brown rice, pea, and goat whey protein powders
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They have vegan options and all of their protein powders are soy & gluten-free, GMO and hormone-free, and free of any artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors. My favorite part of all is that all of their protein powders include one ingredient-protein! In a sea of protein powders that contain ingredients I can't pronounce, this is awesome.  


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Here's the nutritional information from the Whey protein sample packet
I used a bit of all the different types of protein in shakes and couldn't tell much of a texture or taste difference, so I think it just depends on what type of protein you prefer 

Naked Nutrition had a bunch of delicious looking protein recipes on their website so I decided to try one out to see how their protein tastes in other  things besides shakes. I adapted this basic vanilla no-bake cake in a bowl from Naked Nutrition and decided to make it in a mug and use sprinkles to make it a confetti cake.  You can always adapt it to what you have on hand or what kind of cake you're craving! 

I also used the Naked brown rice protein powder in this recipe. I love that this version is vegan (gluten, dairy, and soy-free too) as well as packs 25 g of protein and 4.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) per serving, making it great for a post-workout snack. It also tasted really well in the microwaved mug cake with no weird flavors. 

CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake

February 5, 2016

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}


I love muffins and banana bread so whenever I have some overripe bananas lying around that is always my go-to way to use them up. I buy bananas every week because they are my favorite pre-run fuel and afternoon snack of choice which means I often have overripe bananas! This week I made these honey banana muffins which have a nice flavor from the cinnamon and sweetness from the Nektar Naturals honey crystals without an overpowering banana flavor. I know I'm not a food blogger, but I do like sharing some yummy recipes!

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}

The muffins are are also healthy and can be tailored to your dietary restrictions. I used almond meal and almond milk to make them dairy-free and wheat-free, but you can use whatever flour and milk you prefer.  

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}
It was my first time trying Nektar Naturals which are just all-natural granulated honey crystals. It comes in packets or an easy to pour bottle so I could use honey in baking or in things like my tea, without the sticky mess. It found it really helpful for baking these muffins since I didn't have to measure out a bunch of sticky honey.  You can order Nektar Naturals online or pick up some at your local Walmart. 

Just in time for Valentine's Day Nektar Naturals is selling these delicious-looking chocolate-covered pretzels dusted with Nektar honey on Amazon which would make the perfect gift for a friend. You can also go to their website and send a  free honeygram or little love note & sample to someone in the mail on/before Valentine's Day. My friends should look out because I already sent a lot of free lovenotes to people!





Speaking of Valentine's Day these muffins would be a great addition to breakfast in bed or a way to share some love with your friends. I also have a fairly low-key Valentine's Day which usually includes going out to dinner with my boyfriend and exchanging small gifts. I love to bake something from scratch and have made cake, cupcakes, and other sweets in the past so I might just be making these again next weekend! 

Healthy Honey Banana Muffins {with Nektar Naturals}

November 19, 2015

Gingerbread Protein Bites and Sunwarrior Review

When I was contacted by Sunwarrior to try their products I immediately said yes. There are so many protein powders and natural products out there and while I've reviewed a few, there are always new things I see in store. I love trying samplers or starter packs because I can see if I like the product's benefits and flavor before dropping my money on a full-size product. I am familiar with Sunwarrior and have actually bought a sample pack from Whole Foods of a few of their protein powders because I like that they are raw, plant-based proteins which are great for post-run smoothies.

Besides being vegan, Sunwarrior proteins are gluten-free, non-GMO, no added sugar and free of anything artificial you can think of (according to the website: solvents, radiation, soy, yeast, wheat and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives)

I was sent the Sunwarrior Starter Pack with included a lovely blue Blender Bottle (you can never have too many!) along with some of their proteins and superfood formulas including the Warrior Blend Protein (in Chocolate and Vanilla), Classic Protein (in Chocolate and Vanilla), Supergreens (in Natural and Peppermint), Liquid Light, and Immune Shield.

All of the supplements are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. You can read more on the website The Liquid Light is a product for hydration, nutrient transportation and more. Supergreens is packed with probiotics and cholorphyll. The Immune Shield is perfect as we enter flu season!

The Sunwarrior supplements obviously tasted more earthly, especially the Supergreens which did taste a bit like grass which is expected. I liked the Immune Shield as a super boost for my body when I was feeling a little run down last week.


You can grab your own Sunwarrior Starter Pack for only $19.99 on the 
Sunwarrior website.


UPDATE: I just heard from Sunwarrior that they are selling a special All Protein Starter Pack as part of a Black Friday special. It will have sample packets of Classic, Classic Plus, and Warrior Blend proteins in both chocolate and vanilla (6 packets total) for only $9.99. It's the perfect opportunity to sample Sunwarrior protein powders!

Overall thoughts:
I love that Sunwarrior offers a variety of high quality products. Taste-wise I could tell the protein powder wasn't a regular whey powder, but the flavors tasted good-I liked the chocolate better than the vanilla. When I mixed both protein powders with almondmilk on 2 separate occasions in the blender bottle, it mixed in well and left me with a smooth shake.


I think the Sunwarrior products are definitely something you should check out if you are looking for a specific all-natural supplement.

Between school and work I really need to keep easy snacks around that I can grab on the go. I've been making batches of protein bites to have in my fridge because they are portable and delicious. Since we are getting close to the holidays (even though I can't believe it!) I decided to use my Sunwarrior protein powder to make a festive batch of Gingerbread Protein Bites. I really love the gingerbread flavor and the fact that they are not super supersweet. I'm not a huge peppermint mocha person around the holidays and much prefer flavors like gingerbread or sugar cookie. Check out the recipe below!


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Gingerbread Protein Bites

Ingredients
1/2 cup nut butter of choice (I used peanut butter) 
1 packet/serving of Sunwarrior (vanilla flavor works best) 
1/3 cup ground oats
3 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp honey (can substitute agave nectar or brown rice syrup)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

November 8, 2015

Pumpkin Hemp Soup {recipe} with Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts Giveaway

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with Mantioba Harvest through my association with Fit Approach. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was happy to recently receive a sample of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts to try out through my partnership with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink ambassador. I've had a few sample packs from various places before. Hemp is a plant and the plants grown in Western Canada are mostly used for hemp foods. Also I recently was reintroduced to making macrame hemp bracelets that girls made when I was younger (yet I had never mastered!)-that string comes from the hemp plant.  

The hard hemp seed is at the top of the plant and this is used to make Hemp Hearts, hemp protein powder, and hemp oil. It's a plant that has been around for centuries. No it will not get you feeling weird-read more about its misconceptions here.

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These raw shelled hemp seeds have a nutty texture and taste like sunflower seeds to me. Although they are small, they are packed with protein and omegas (10g of each per serving!) and are easy to sprinkle on anything from savory dishes, cereal and oatmeal, yogurt or salads. 

I mostly have used them at breakfast time in my oatmeal, cereal, and yogurt but decided to switch things up and try a recipe from Manitoba Harvest's website. I made this seasonal Pumpkin Hemp Soup which was delicious! I happened to have some fresh pumpkin puree around from a roaster pumpkin which gave it lots of extra flavor. I had to substitute onions for shallots and used what milk I had on hand, but the recipe still turned out great. 



The soup is very creamy and flavorful. I loved adding extra hemp hearts on top for a little crunchiness.


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Pumpkin Hemp Soup (adapted original recipe from Manitoba Harvest
 
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