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Category: Healthy Living, Food and Fitness

  1. Natural Essential Oils Sleep Aid Review - Relaxing Oil Blend Capsules by Super Smart

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    I was recently contacted by a company called Super Smart who sells a range of supplements including some natural based items suitable for vegans.  Perfect!  I do take some supplements already such as spirulina, vitamin B12, vitamin D3 and sometimes some for focus such as ashwagandha and rhodiola.  I love the amazing health benefits of these supplements and I always choose vegan wholefood supplements.  I don’t like artificial products and as much as possible I believe we should get our nutrition and medicine from food sources.  In this article I’m going to review the Super Smart Relaxing Oil Blend which is a pack of essential oil soft gel capsules to promote calm, destress, relax the mind and soothe sleep.

    The experiment

    I started taking the tablets around nine days ago and I’ve had some evenings taking them before bed and others without taking them.  I also tried taking two tablets on one of the evenings and four on the others.  I wanted to see if I noticed a difference.  I’m always keen for natural remedies to work so I have more of a natural bias towards them, so hopefully my little experiment helps to prove my results.

    It was a tricky time for me to review a sleep aid as I recently twisted my sacroiliac joint and my sleeping has been severely affected!  Obviously these are an aid to promote better sleep quality and destress, but they are not going to help with my current pain situation, so I can only imagine they will work even better when I’m back to normal.  Nevertheless, I’m certain I have seen a drastic improvement in my relaxation the evenings I have taken the tablets.

    Natural Essential Oils Sleep Aid Review - Relaxing Oil Blend Capsules by Su

    What do the tablets contain?

    Each soft gel contains at least 75 different active molecules and five essential oils:

    • Essential oil of sweet marjoram – anxiety relieving properties, antiviral properties
    • Essential oil of lavender – eases mental tension, calms nerves and heart palpitations, treats depressions, cures insomnia, sedative
    • Essential oil of mandarin – treats stress, agitation and anxiety
    • Essential oil of lemongrass  - calming, sedative
    • Essential oil of lemon verbena – relieves temporary depression, sedative, anti-inflammatory

    What can the tablets help with?

    The blend is a natural alternative to pharmaceutical sleeping tablets and the website says they can be used to act on the following symptoms:

    • palpitations
    • feelings of oppression
    • irritability
    • nervous tension
    • agitation or over-stimulation
    • sleep problems
    • intrusive thoughts
    • stress
    • nervous anticipation

    The review

    The tablets arrived very quickly and I was sent two packs.  It’s recommended to take 1-4 capsules around half hour before going to bed.  I decided to go full steam ahead on my first try and take four capsules!  They are soft gel style so easy to swallow.  I’ve never struggled to take even large tablets, but even if you do these are so silky smooth they should slip down easily.  As they contain actual essential oils I was a bit worried they’d burst in my mouth so swallowed as quickly as possible.  Make sure you have water to hand!

    I am certain I was more relaxed and content the evenings I took four tablets.  I’ve done this for around three or four evenings over the past week with last night being the most successful.  I find it difficult to switch off, especially as I work from home.  I see emails pinging through to my phone and if I have work to do, which is most days, then I struggle to forget about it and relax.  As I’m at home I know I could always be working!  I also like to stay on top of things so I can’t rest until I am.  I really need to learn to be strict with my working hours and separate my home and work life, but anyone who runs their own business will know how difficult that can be!

    Last night I managed to totally switch my thoughts off and happily relax on the sofa for one hour before bed.  I went to bed around 40 minutes earlier than usual and I slept right through past my normal waking time, even though my back is as sore as ever.  I’m sure the capsules helped with this.

    The night’s I have taken four capsules I have noticed it easier to relax and switch off my thoughts.  I regularly get a bit anxious in the evenings wondering what the next day will bring and I worry my website will suddenly delete itself or work will dry up.  It’s a thought that’s often on my mind and it usually strikes me whilst in bed trying to sleep.  Not the most appropriate time!  I’ve found myself having these worrying thoughts less whilst taking these tablets and actually focussing on the present moment instead and going to sleep!

    The night I took two capsules I did not notice much of a change.  For me I do need to take four so they have the desired effect.  If you’re worried about taking so many then I suggest starting with one and building up.

    Thoughts

    It’s only been a short while since I’ve been trying this blend, but I am convinced it has aided a more relaxing evening, switched off my negative thought processes before sleeping and therefore encouraged a better quality of rest.  Even with my current twisted pelvis I was still able to notice a difference comparing the evenings I took them and the evenings I did not.  I will continue to take these as and when I need them to switch off and get a better night’s kip.

    I much prefer to explore natural solutions to any mental problems or sleep disorders before resorting to drugs.  I’d only ever choose drugs if I absolutely needed them and all other natural avenues had been explored.  For anxiety, sleep issues and stress I’d recommend trying this Relaxing Oil Blend to see if it helps.

    I’ve never heard of anyone ingesting essential oils before and I didn’t even know it was possible.  I was certain I had sweet citrus flavours coming up to my mouth one evening!  Now, do not go and start mixing your own essential oils and drinking them.  This can be very dangerous and toxic!  Essential oils are not risk free, especially when ingesting them.  The dosage in the Relaxing Oil Blend is maximised to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the capsules which has been chosen by leading health professionals.

    Here’s a link to the Relaxing Oil Blend featured in this review: http://www.supersmart.com/en--Phytonutrients--Relaxing-Oil-Blend-75-mg--0433

     

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    Natural Essential Oils Sleep Aid Review - Relaxing Oil Blend Capsules by Su

    I was sent the products for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are my own.

  2. How to recover easier when you have an injury

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    For the second time this year I have a muscular injury.  Gah!  In February I had a foot injury which I think was caused by a mixture of too much running too many days consecutively and wearing quite old running trainers.  It meant I couldn’t go about my normal exercise routine for a good two weeks.  Not too bad, though annoying.  This time, however, I feel my new injury might take a little longer to heal.  I’ve done some muscular damage to the lower part of my back.  Every time I look down the muscles to the left feel like someone is ripping them or stabbing me, even as I sit typing this looking at the laptop they are spasming all over the place causing me to flinch.  Getting in and out of my car is agony as I have to bend my head to get in.  I’ve not slept well for five nights as I’m quite a wriggly sleeper and every move wakes me up in pain.  It’s been five days now and it’s no better, but research tells me this sort of injury may take a few weeks to heal.  In this blog post I’m going to share some tips to make healing and recovery after an injury easier for you.

    How to recover easier when you have an injury

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    I’m not 100% sure how I caused this injury, but we were on holiday last week in Fuerteventura and there were several steps down a cliff side to the beach which I walked up and down a couple of times daily carrying a heavy bag of all our water bottles and sun creams along with carrying a quite heavy three year old!  I did also give my husband a piggy back on the beach and spent more time sitting down than usual, so it could be a combination of the lot.  Something has put my back out and it’s pretty painful!

    It’s got me thinking about people who regularly have chronic pain and also the elderly who start to get aches and pains on a regular basis.  I’m so grateful I don’t usually have any pains like this as it’s so debilitating.  I’m struggling to drive, I can’t pick things up easily, I can’t sleep and I can’t go to the gym and run or use the weight machines as I usually would.  As someone with a regular exercise routine it’s very frustrating to say the least.  I tried to swim yesterday and even that was difficult.  I can’t imagine having to live with an injury like this for the rest of my life, it would be awful and I sympathise with those who have to.

    To make things easier when suffering with an injury, here are my top tips:

    Stay mobile

    If you’re usually up and about, it can negatively affect your mood and become frustrating if you’re suddenly unable to go about things as you normally would.  If the injury is going to be long lasting or is quite severe you may want to consider a mobility aid to get around.  Having the freedom to nip to the local shops on your own, without being in excruciating pain the whole time, will get you out of the house and lift your mood whilst bringing back your independence.  Mobility aids such as tri-walkers, wheelchairs and scooters can all be found online at the click of a button by dedicated website Pro Rider Mobility.

    Remain active (to an extent)

    It’s best to keep up and stay gently active to help with the recovery process, within reason.  Don’t expect to complete your usual exercise routine, but try not to stay sedentary as this can prolong the recovery process.  Obviously if you have sought professional advice or your injury is severe then bedrest may be the best course of action for you, but if like me it’s a short term muscular injury gentle mobility is best.  Don’t overdo it.  Refrain from causing strain or stress to the injury and painful areas.

    Seek professional advice

    If you’re worried about your injury or it’s not getting better over time as you thought it might, see professional advice.  Your GP may be able to sign post you to the correct department if they can’t help directly, or you may already have access to a physiotherapist, sports therapist or an orthopediatrician if you know the type of professional your injury requires.  They can advise the best course of recovery and hopefully put your mind to rest if you’re concerned it’s anything more serious.

    Eat healthily

    The body is a healing mechanism, but it needs the right fuel.  Make sure you are eating a diet rich in a variety of plant based foods and staying hydrated with water.  Your cells need the correct nutrients to function properly and to help you recover.  Gorge on as many fruits and veggies as you can.

    Rest and recover

    Don’t forget to rest!  It may be frustrating to be less active and able than you are used to, but don’t try to carry on as normal if your injury is too painful.  Take things easier and get plenty of rest.  Make sure you’re getting enough sleep as this is the body’s ultimate recovery time.  Listen to your body, know your limitations and rest when it’s telling you to.

    Hopefully you’ll be back to your normal self in no time at all and these tips will help you along the way.

    Related blog posts:
    Back On Your Feet: Getting Active Again After An Injury
    What You Should Know About Living Healthily After an Accident
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    Common Childhood Illnesses: Colds, Chicken Pox and Conjunctivitis
    What You Need to Know About Health Companies

    How to recover easier when you have an injury

    Sources:
    https://www.cure-back-pain.org/lower-back-pain-when-looking-down.html

    Collaborative post

     

  3. Having That Sudden Urge To Change? The Areas That You Could Work On

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    There comes certain points in the year, I feel, where you get this sudden surge of motivation to change things in your life. New year is one of the most common times, halfway through the year, and also when the season changes. Even the start of a new month can give you that chance to wipe the slate clean and implement new ideas into your life. But what areas could really have the most impact on your life? Is it really possible to make positive changes? I thought I would share with you some of the areas you could work on. I hope it inspires you to make some positive changes yourself.

    Having That Sudden Urge To Change The Areas That You Could Work On

    Your health and fitness levels

    Sometimes the change needs to start from within, and your health and fitness levels can be a fantastic way to gain the right level of impact you are hoping for. Health could be in terms of your diet, and it doesn’t mean you need to try something crazy, it could be as simple as eating more fruit and vegetables, trying a new eating style like plant based to see if you notice  a difference. Fitness could be easily rectified by just choosing to be more active each day. Walking somewhere instead of driving, for example. Often making changes in this area can have a huge effect on other aspects of your life such as your mental health, the amount of good quality sleep you get, your mood and even things like your skin tone and condition.

    Your career options

    Maybe you feel like you are quite healthy and exercise regularly, so an area you may want to focus on could be your career. A lot of people feel trapped in their jobs because they feel like they have no choice but to bring in that consistent wage. But if you start planning to make the changes, you can prepare ahead of time to make the change you want. It could be studying something new like a online bba in accounting, it might be a different change of career entirely like going from a sales job to midwifery or nursing. It could even be having the courage to set up yourself and start your own business. I became a lifestyle blogger and totally changed the dynamic of my life. It is possible to make those changes if you plan and prepare for it and know what you want to do.

    Your general home and work life balance

    Maybe it is more subtle changes you are wanting to make, such as your home and work life balance could be out of whack. Perhaps working less and spending more time with the family could be the answer. Or it might mean being more proactive with the time you do have, so you get some quality time working and quality time with your family instead of feeling like you are not doing either particularly well.

    Your parenting style

    Finally, you may want to look at other changes you can make to your daily life. For example, your parenting style. We can all feel the mum guilt every now and again. School holidays, for example, can really bring out your demons. However, if you want to change your style, be less shouty or less likely to use an iPad or the TV for help, then look at your style and plan. Planning will help you be prepared for different activities with the children while still being able to maintain the other things you need to do.

    I hope that these areas give you the incentive and inspiration you need to make some positive changes in your life.

    More fab blog posts:
    An inspirational guide to eating healthier
    The best resolutions to make for 2018

     Having That Sudden Urge To Change_ The Areas That You Could Work On

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  4. How To Crush Your Home-Workout When You Live In A Small Apartment

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    There are a ton of reasons why people who want to get fit don’t go to the gym, from not having the time to go to not having enough spare cash to afford the sometimes crazy prices. But it’s not just about the negatives. There are also plenty of reasons why working out at home is preferred and sometimes even better. Yup, I'm talking about getting your sweat on while watching yet another mind-blowing Netflix show.

    But, sometimes there's one big problem for those who want to workout at home: space.

    Not everyone can afford to live in a big home where they can turn their second guest room into a private gym with wall-to-ceiling mirrors and state of the art equipment. In fact, those who want the excitement of living in a city have to live in a small apartment by default. It’s the trade-off we make.

    The reason this is a problem is simple: unless you’re okay sleeping on a bench-press-bench, it’s a struggle fitting gym equipment into a small apartment.

    But just because you don’t have a lot of space doesn’t mean you can’t workout at home. Nope. You just need to get a little creative. That’s all. You need to think outside the box a little, see your space from a new angle and spend time looking for the solutions that are already out there. Sure, you won’t have the gym-based benefit of having some handsome trainer helping you dig deeper, but you will be in the comfort of your own home and you'll be saving money!

    Here are a heaped handful of hacks to make your home-gym hopes a reality - no matter how small your apartment may be:

    How To Crush Your Home-Workout When You Live In A Small Apartment

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    It Starts With Storage

    1. Vertical Storage

    This is one of the biggest reasons why heads hit walls. It’s not having the space to put anything. Well, one of the best answers to this riddle is vertical storage, such as open shelves that will let you utilise wall space instead of floor space (which is good news because most of your workout will be done on the ground unless you are a blood descendant of Spiderman). I'm  not saying this is the most comprehensive solution, especially given your weights and kettlebells won’t be able to go on a shelf. But your yoga mats and towels and protein shakes and television and sound system and all of that stuff will, and that’s half of the battle. Basically, you want to get as much clutter off the floor as possible.

    2. Separate Storage

    When your space isn’t blessed with, well, space, you need to absolutely nail your organisation and that is where storage bins and those cabinets with lots of nooks come in handy. You know, like those ones you find all over Ikea. The sort of storage options that keep everything neat and yet in plain sight too. You could have a cubby hole for your different workout DVDs, a place for your skipping ropes and resistance bands separate so they don’t do that earphone ting of getting all tangled and somewhere to put all your other little bits and pieces - towels, shoes, weights, water bottles, and so on.

    Get The Equipment Right

    1. Raise The Bar

    One of the most awesome pieces of gym-equipment you can get is a pull-up bar. Not only does it use up less space,  butit allows you to be so versatile with your working out. Hang it on a door frame and you can do overhand pull-ups, underhand pull-ups, ab exercises, core strengthening regimes and hit just about every muscle in your upper body and midsection. Pop your bar on the floor and you can use it for push-ups and crunches and all that stuff too. But that isn’t all. By hanging it perpetually on a door frame, you’ll a) get reminded to do some exercise and b) subtly tell people “yup, I workout”. It’s a winner.

    2. Push It Real Good

    When you live in a small apartment, you don’t need to get the measuring tape out to know you can’t fit a bench press anywhere. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a solid chest workout done. For that, all you need is some push-up grip-slash-handle thingys, especially the ones that can swivel. Not only can they fit in the smallest nooks, you can workout more parts of your shoulder, pecs and triceps burning by swivelling when you lower your body down. It’s a great piece of equipment to have.

    3. On Yer Bike

    It doesn’t matter how hard you get your abs, it’s going to be pretty disheartening if you can’t see them after all your work. The problem is cardio and, more specifically, the fact you haven’t got any space to perform any. My advice: get yourself a mini-exercise bike. You could be getting fit while doing your tax return, getting fit while watching Game of Thrones, or getting fit while sat in your favourite armchair while reading that book you never got around to starting last summer. These little beauties are totally convenient to use and even more convenient to put away. It’s everything you need and more. Of course, if you would prefer to use a mini-elliptical than a standard bike, then go ahead and get one of these instead. The world is your oyster.

    4. Put The Kettle On

    Kettlebells are a staple part of any and all gyms, big or small, professional or hobbyist. You can just squeeze so much out of them. Shoulders, core, arms, legs, back and so much more. What’s more, kettlebells don’t take up much space whatsoever, especially if you are creative about it. You see, while it’s simple to line a selection up against the wall to minimize their invasion on your floor space, you could just as easily use them as door stops. That way you’ll give these pieces of equipment a secondary purpose, once again telling your guests that “yup, I workout” if you like to shout about it. With that covered, you can get straight into your swings, squats and pulls without cluttering up your home more than you need to. Plus they're always there on hand to use, there's no excuses!

    5. It’s A Roll Over

    When you think of working out, you think lifting weights, putting in some miles and just generally getting your sweat on. But that’s only a chunk of what exercising is. Yes, it’s a big chunk, but it’s still just a chunk. The other thing you need to devote time to is stretching and recovering. This is an issue because, well, no one likes this part of the process. We know that it helps in the long run (especially the next day), but it’s just an extra thing, isn’t it? That’s why you need to grab yourself a foam roller. Not only is it lightweight and simple to store, it will help you get your stretching and all that done and dusted in no time at all.

    6. Be A Baller

    Instability may not be the best ingredient in life, but it can be one of the best things for your workout. That’s why you need to get a big, inflatable exercise ball. Sit on it while lifting your kettlebells, do your situps on it, put your feet up when doing push-ups - the options are more or less endless. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “but these balls are so big and bulky and space-eating.” And you’re right. But they can also be deflated and stored pretty simply because they’re super light. Yes, this is a hassle, but you could add the pumping it up part to your routine or, if that sounds rubbish, you could leave it inflated and add this as a seating option to help you with your posture whenever you’re not exercising but maybe should be exercising. It’s the gift that just keeps giving.

    7. Big Wheels Keep on Turning

    Ahhh, ab wheel. Big, glorious ab wheel. You really are a wonder - a solution for all small apartment worker-outers. Not only can these little pieces of equipment be stored under your bed or in the back-right corner of your wardrobe, an ab wheel is also amazing at giving you great, you guessed it, abs. Of course, you may be thinking, “but sit-ups are great for abs too, as are pull-ups with your legs out in front,” and you’d be spot on. But what the ab wheel does is break up that tedium. It makes ab workouts fun while working out every part of your abs and your arms too. It’s a winner.

    Like I said at the start, home workouts are a little harder when you live in a small city apartment, but that doesn’t mean they are impossible. Nope. So, pop on your favourite Netflix series - or all of them - and then get your sweat on using the little tips above.

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    How To Crush Your Home-Workout When You Live In A Small Apartment

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  5. Taking Care Of Your Health The Right Way

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    It’s amazing that so many people around the world take their health for granted, and then when they begin to feel sick they wished they had taken care of themselves a bit better. The problem is, it’s all too easy to overindulge in things that could be harmful to our health in the long run. Some people aren’t even aware that what they are doing could be having an adverse affect on their health. So, if you want to live the rest of your life as healthily as possible, take note on these tips and tricks that will help you take care of your health the right way.

    Taking Care Of Your Health The Right Way

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    Exercise

    First and foremost, you should begin looking into an exercise regime for you to take on and stick to. Exercise is important because it helps burn off any extra calories that you have consumed each day, all while making sure that your muscles and joints are as strong as they should be. People who don’t exercise are more likely to become obese and contract diseases such as heart disease because they haven’t worked their bodies hard enough to fight off infections.

    If you’re not the exercise type and wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to setting up a fitness regime, then you must first think about whether you have any weaknesses fitness wise. For example, if you suffer with joint pain then it might be hard to go running, but something water related like swimming or aqua aerobics would be perfect because the water can support your joints while you work out. Once you have improved the strength of your muscles and joints you can begin thinking about new and slightly more difficult challenges.

    It’s also very important to enjoy the activity you’re doing when you’re exercising. Not everyone will find pleasure or motivation to run endlessly on a treadmill, but may instead enjoy a good workout DVD or dance class. Trial different exercise regimes until you find something that you will stick to. To keep it even more exciting, you might think about changing up the activities that you’re doing while exercising.  Check out YouTube for free videos to try something before committing to a class, or simply exercise in the comfort of your own home!

    A good thing to do as you can feel yourself becoming fitter is to set yourself new fitness goals. For example, rather than running for 20 minutes, try 30 minutes and increase the amount of time as you get fitter and reach your goals. You will soon notice how much fitter you feel in yourself.

    Conception

    If you don’t look after yourself you may find it hard to conceive a child. Factors like obesity, smoking, alcohol and drug use with greatly affect your ability to reproduce. If you and your partner are ready to raise a family, it’s a good idea to make sure that neither of you are doing anything to decrease the chance of conception. There are also multivitamins available over the counter which claim to help with conception, but it's better to eat the healthiest diet possible full of plant based wholefoods.

    Sometimes, no matter how hard you try and look after yourself you can find yourself still feeling like no matter what you do, you cannot conceive a child with your partner. This might be at no fault of your own, so it might be time to book yourself into a personal GP like https://london-andrology.co.uk/ where they can run tests and find out why you can’t conceive. It might simply be the stress that you’re putting upon yourself, but it’s important to find out from a professional and take any action you need to.

    Food

    What you put into your body will greatly affect your overall health. When you’re younger it’s likely that you will have a higher metabolism, so no matter what you eat you never seem to gain any weight.  Even so, this is a bad way to live - you are what you eat, so even if you don't put on weight you should still eat the healthiest diet possible.  It's possible to be thin on the outside, but fat on the inside which is dangerous for health.  However, as you get older and your metabolism slows down you will notice that the pounds will creep on over time. Obesity is an epidemic all over the world and can have many life endangering effects.

    Taking care of what you’re putting into your body will decrease your chances of becoming obese. If you’re already in need of losing weight, then it’s time to properly look at how you should be eating. While cutting out ‘naughty’ foods will certainly help you lose a few pounds, over time your body will crave it and there’s a high chance you could succumb to the temptation. Rather than cutting out everything you love, try some of these tips:

    • Only eating when you’re truly hungry. If you think you’re hungry have a glass of water and wait ten minutes. Often the body mistakes thirst for hunger and we end up consuming too much food.

    • Only eat until you feel satisfied. The ‘full’ feeling that we get after eating a big meal isn’t something that we should be experiencing. The body finds it hard to work through large amounts of food, which could lead to your body storing it as fat. You will notice that your portion sizes will reduce dramatically, but this is fine. You will also notice that you’re eating more often which is also normal, as your body is able to work through the smaller portions much more easily.

    • Up your water intake. You will be surprised at how often you’re actually thirsty rather than hungry. Plus, water has so many health benefits that you’d be mad not to drink at least your daily amount.

    • Fill half your plate (or more) with veg and salad.  Only snack on fresh fruit.  Leave no room for the naughty stuff!

    Follow these simple yet effective steps and you will prevent your body from becoming unfit, unwell, and also at risk of catching diseases and viruses. Changes don’t take long to make a difference, so start now for a healthier and happier you!

    More health related blog posts you may enjoy:
    Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    5 Easy and Nutritious Vegan Breakfasts to get 3 of your 5-a-day

    Taking Care Of Your Health The Right Way

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