dessert

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding by Dr. Murad

I do promote a bit of indulgence over the holiday season in order to live a balanced life, but many us of don’t even realize the number of calories hidden in some of the dishes. If you are looking for a lighter dessert that captures all that holiday flavors, I would recommend this Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding.

Below I have listed the health benefits of 3 of my favorite ingredients:

Chia seeds:

Often named a miracle seed, the vitamins, minerals and nutrients found in chia seeds are excellent for skin regeneration. With a little help from its omega-3 and omega-6 oils, this superfood works to build and repair tissue for more radiant skin. They are also considered a complete protein and wonderful for your digestive system

Pumpkin:

I always talk about Eating Your Water and pumpkin is no exception. Being composed of roughly 90% water, the seasonal favorite is a fantastic source of hydration for your body. Pumpkins are packed with vitamins and minerals (including vitamin C), helping to brighten the skin and boost collagen production.

Pomegranate:

With a high water concentration and an impressive combination of Vitamin C and powerful actives, pomegranates help to protect the body against free radical damage while boosting skin elasticity and hydrating at the cellular level. Pomegranate seeds are also an excellent digestive aid and full of anti-aging benefits for the skin.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding Recipe

Makes 4 small servings

Ingredients

  • 6 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of fresh pumpkin puree (simply peel, chop, roast and blend to make the freshest pumpkin  I always make lots and use the rest for soup or this baked oatmeal recipe)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds
  • Zest of one orange, freshly grated

Directions

Combine the pumpkin, milk, syrup, vanilla, 2 teaspoons of chia seeds (this helps to set the mixture) and pumpkin spice in a blender until evenly mixed.
Using 4 small glasses, place one tablespoon of pomegranate seeds and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds at the bottom of each glass. Top with the pumpkin mix.
Set in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Top with grated orange and the remainder of the pomegranate seeds,.

Top Tip: Try adding 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to the mix for a creamy consistency and a wonderful nutty flavor.

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Sleeping Tips for Sweet Dreams

Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep can be a challenge and this can have a negative impact on your quality of life, mental health, physical health and your skin. The most noticeable tell tale signs are bags under the eyes (dark circles) but, you will also see dryness, acne breakouts, fine lines and thinner skin. Lack of sleep affects the moisture levels in your skin, decreasing them which is why your skin looks less youthful.

Sleeping Tips:

  1. Regular pattern Go to sleep as much as possible around the same time and get up around the same time, even on weekends. This helps to develop a solid sleep-wake rhythm and improves the quality of sleep.
  2. Sleep Environment Sleep in a calm, quiet, dark room. Also put all light emitting devices (eg.TV) out. No phones, or radio. If you’re a light sleeper-use ear plugs to block out noises from the neighbours.
  3. Light & Dark Open the curtains immediately when rising. Close the curtains before bedtime for subdued light. This helps set our biological clock. Use a sleep mask to block out unwanted light.
  4. Temperature Fresh air in the bedroom (temperature 16-18 ° C.) helps you get a good sleep. Use lavender oil, gels on the wrists and pulse
    points to help you relax.
  5. Mattress Ensure you have a good quality mattress and a pillow that properly supports the cervical spine. Use bed sheets in natural substances. Avoid tight clothing which constricts circulation.
  6. Keep Work life away from the bedroom! Try to keep your sleeping room a place of escape. Set the alarm clock out of sight if the sound
    bothers you or if you have a tendency to constantly look at the clock.
  7. Sofa Sleeps Feel sleepy? Go to Bed! Avoid catnaps on the sofa.
  8. Daytime activities strongly influence your sleep quality. Daily exercise in the morning or early afternoon improves sleep. Strenuous activities just before bedtime has the opposite effect-and should be avoided.
  9. Wind Down Time Take 30 minutes before you go to bed to unwind. Avoid TV, computer games, surfing the Internet, tweeting etc. just
    before bedtime. Enjoy a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, take an evening stroll … Relaxation exercises just before you go to bed can promote sleep.
  10. Eating a light snack before bedtime can encourage sleep, whereas both hunger and a full stomach can stop you sleeping. Avoid drinking
    large quantities of water before sleeping to avoid bathroom visits that can disturb your sleep.

Sweet Dreams

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fall

Prevent Winter Skin Damage

‘Tis the season to bundle up with a hot cocoa by the fireplace! However, our lives don’t stop just because the weather has turned increasingly cold and frightful. While you’re out there battling the elements, your skin is going through a tough time, trying to keep up. Here are some ways to make sure your skin is protected and ready for battle this winter.

Dry Skin:

Does your skin dry up throughout the day, causing you to re-apply your moisturizer? Does your skin feel tight ten minutes after cleansing? If you said yes, then you have dry skin and we have a solution.

  • The Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture locks moisture in your skin for up to 24 hours. Dr. Murad uses Advanced Hyaluronic Acid technology to enhance the skins ability to attract and retain water deep within its surface for intense, long-lasting hydration. Use this once a day, or more if desired, but you can’t go wrong with this velvety, yet lightweight luxurious moisturizer.
    Pro-tip: Use the Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence before the moisturizer, to boost the moisture to extraordinary levels.

  • Firming Peptide Body Treatment: Your body needs protecting this winter too! Although most of us tend to wear slightly more clothing during this season, sometimes it’s simply not enough for those ashy elbows, knees and whatever else. This body treatment not only helps moisturize skin, it also uses proprietary peptide blends to visibly tone and firm skin! Get ready for bikini season early this year.

Sensitive Skin:

Many people suffer from sensitive skin, and it can be a nightmare to treat. It feels like every product you put on your face burns, and your skin gets red very quickly! The winter can be the worst for people with sensitive skin, as you combine the regular skin problems with harsh climate and the rapid decrease of humidity. Dr. Murad has, as both a dermatologist and pharmacist, treated hundreds of people over the years with sensitive skin, and his approach is: less is more. Rather than applying 5 different products this winter, we’ve narrowed it down to two fantastic products to make your skin feel great.

  • The Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum is the ultimate in skin sensitive products. As a serum, it helps treat the redness, while making sure your skin feels cool and stays hydrated throughout the day. Once again. Dr. Murad highlights the importance of Hyaluronic Acid in this formula, combined with Glycolipids to help ease into winter in comfort.
  • This time of year can turn anyone into a grinch, especially those of us who are consistently losing our gloves! Your hands, though very capable at holding and pointing, turn super sensitive and red when exposed to the elements. Even if you’re indoors all day, you’re not completely safe from the dry heat being pumped through the heating ducts. That’s why the Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream reigns supreme. The AHA stands for Glycolic Acid, which helps lightly exfoliate the dead cells on top of your skin, to reveal the soft, younger skin below. As an added bonus, the smell of this cream will transport you to a land far away, where no snow or rain dares to enter, thanks to the Lemongrass and Vetiver! Give your hands a hand this winter.

Oily Skin:

You would think, given the dry weather, that our sebaceous (oil) glands would go into hibernation for the season, but contrary to popular belief, dry weather makes the glands go into overdrive! When those oil glands get clogged with dead skin, debris and other unmentionables, you can sure bet a pimple is soon to follow. To prevent the cacophony of problems, start by preventing the oil build-up in the first place!

  • The Oil-Control Mattifer has been tried and tested and has come up victorious. Notorious for its Oil-Control Complex which effectively reduces shine and controls oil for up to 8 hours! Not only that, but the SPF of 15 is geared for all year wear, whether you’re hitting the slopes or looking for a beach getaway this winter.
    Pro Tip: For a night on the town, use this moisturizer just before your makeup process begins, and watch how it mattifies all the imperfections. You’ll be looking #FLAWLESS all night long!
  • Make way for the mistletoe! Your lips are getting ready to pucker up, but all you notice is the dry, flakiness and painful sensation of over-dried lips. Even lipstick can’t help cover up this major winter catastrophe. Never fear, Dr. Murad has, once again, come to the rescue. The Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips will step up to the plate for you, preparing your lips for all kinds of winter fun. The enhanced collagen technology instantly plumps and restores volume, while the Shea Butter and Apple Extract hydrate and smooth the lips. Just because your lips don’t have oil glands doesn’t mean they can’t shine bright all night!

Post by Beauty Advisor – Dania

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Halloween SkinSCARE Hacks

Get these BOO-tiful looks using our high-rated skincare products.

 

Glitter Lip

Learn how to add some sparkle to your smile with this playfully bold lip.

Use Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips to set a long-lasting, uber-smooth and plump-tastic shimmery pout.​
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Mermaid Scales

Make Atlantis’ best-dressed list with a colorful contour and shimmering scales.


Use Essential-C Toner to create multi-dimensional mermaid scales and give your skin a splash of hydration.

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Rocker Glam

Take center stage by rocking a dramatic cat eye and daring glitter shadow.

Use Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum to keep glitter in place on the eyelids and protect your ​skin from even the wildest mosh pit.

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Don’t scare your skin this Halloween!

Halloween makeup can cause irritation and breakouts. Here are some tips on what you can do to prevent these reaction.

Prepare Your Skin
Before applying all those layers of makeup and face paint, wash your face, moisturize and use a face primer to help preserve the makeup’s rich colors and provide a smooth skin surface for application.

Remove All Of It
Wash your face and don’t leave that heavy Halloween costume makeup on overnight! No matter how exhausted you are after your night out, you need to wash your face and remove all the makeup and before crawling into bed, be sure to moisturize your skin again so you wake up refreshed and replenished.

Happy Halloween.

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Stress, the Silent Killer

Historically, mammals have used stress to get out of potentially dangerous situations. When you face off with a predator in the middle of the jungle, that fight or flight instinct characterized by blood rushing to your muscles, hyper-awareness and an extreme adrenaline rush, was a method of ensuring the safety of our ancestors, which many animals in the wild still use for survival today. In our modern-day concrete jungle, however, it is not as necessary to utilize these momentary survival techniques. How is it, then, that we are so stressed out on a daily basis? Most of our lives revolve around the constant bombardment of stressors. This encompasses many situations we may experience daily: the rush hour traffic after a long day, or the incessant beeping of your cellphone. To understand how we can manage stress better, let’s differentiate the different types of stress.

In his book, “Conquering Cultural Stress: The Ultimate Guide to Anti-Aging and Happiness” Dr. Murad breaks down stress into three categories: acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress.

Acute Stress:
This stress is the short-term, most common type of stress. It is experienced by most people several times a year. It can come from narrowly escaping a car crash, or preparing for an important interview. This stress is a direct link to the stress of survival we have faced as a species, which can help us survive today. However, when this stress is applied to our bodies on a regular basis, it can wear down our potential response to danger, rendering it ineffectual.

Episodic Acute Stress:
This stress happens to people who live in a chaotic environment. Have you ever had so much to do that you jump from task to task, but have nothing to show for it at the end of the day? This stress accompanies that type of lifestyle and is entirely self-afflicted, as we do not take enough time to focus on one thing at a time, leading to an extreme decrease in production.

Chronic Stress:
This stress is characterized by long-term problems, such as a dead-end job, a slowly sinking relationship or even our relationship with the scale! Sometimes we feel this stress keenly, but on other days it is at the back of our minds; still there, persisting on putting a damper on our happiest days, so that we cannot see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. People who suffer from this stress are almost always irritable, grumpy and generally have a very pessimistic outlook on life.

3 toddler-inspired techniques to combat stress:

  1. Breathe
  2. : All situations are temporary. Don’t over-stress yourself by worrying about the little things. Take the time you need to fix what you can, but then let go when it is out of your hands. Take deep breaths before you speak to avoid saying something you’ll regret!

  3. Eat:
  4. Enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals on a regular basis. Try new, delicious recipes with friends and family, and don’t forget to treat yourself with dessert! Eat 3-5 meals during the day to keep up your energy, and stay away from sodium-rich, empty snacks.

  5. Sleep:
  6. Turn off all electronics, block out any noise with earplugs, and truly relax. Your body needs the time during the night to restore its levels back to full capacity. Take at least 30 minutes before bedtime to unwind with a warm, scented bath or cuddle up with your cat for some therapeutic purring.

Blog post by Beauty Advisor – Dania

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Easy to make Creamy Butternut Squash Soup.

Soup is a great choice for the colder winter months of the year. It’s easy to prepare and can be a perfectly hearty and warming dish on a chilly day. We want to share this easy recipe by Kim Ruzycki from Foodmatters.com

pumpkin-soup-contributor

This is a classic, cozy, plant-based soup made with warm, grounding ingredients. Soup is a food that is meant to be eaten slowly and savored. The white vegetables and spices contain cleansing antioxidants, and the butternut squash in this soup contains an abundance of vitamins A and C – amazing antioxidants for your skin and immune system. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger, or ginger powder
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable broth (1 box container)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (garnish)
Fresh ground sea salt and pepper

METHOD

  • In a large soup pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium-low heat for five minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger, spices, sea salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the squash and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the vegetable broth, bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes or until the squash is tender and can be pierced easily with a fork.
  • Turn the heat off the soup and purée with an immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender you can let the soup cool a bit and blend it in small batches in a blender, then return it to the stove to heat.
  • Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds.

Recipe by Kim Ruzycki from Foodmatters.com
Kim Ruzycki is a Integrative Health Coach creating healthy, plant based recipes and sharing her knowledge in an effort to help people eat mindfully and live vibrantly.

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cover

The Happiness Test

Which of the following would make you happier?

  • Making more Money
  • Finding a soulmate
  • Losing ten pounds
  • Moving into a new house
  • Success
  • Better genes

Hard to answer? New science proves that happiness is a process, not a goal. And it’s not necessarily about having “fun”, either. Happiness is about 50 percent genetic, 40 percent intentional and 10 percent circumstantial. That 40 percent category- the intentional one- is the most important.

Circumstances can change or you can become accustomed to them (a new car, a bigger house, or a promotion, for example) such that they no longer make you “happy”. On the other hand, when you are engaged in a life’s purpose that has meaning to you, which can be anything from rearing children to doctoring the elderly in undeserved areas, happiness finds you in the way you live and look at the world.

In other words, happiness is more a choice than an outcome or a destination.
It’s an action, not a result.


 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Salicylic Acid vs Benzoyl Peroxide

Salicylic Acid vs Benzoyl Peroxide

 

Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are active ingredients found in popular acne treatments. Benzoyl Peroxide works by reducing the amount of acne-causing bacteria and by causing the skin to dry and peel. Salicylic Acid is a welcome alternative for people with sensitive skin.


Benzoyl Peroxide Salicylic Acid
Can cause initial dryness and irritation to skin, such as redness and swelling In skin care products it’s used as a gentle exfoliant to clear dead cells and stimulate new skin cells
Can remove the skin’s top protective layer, increasing the risk of sunburn and premature aging (if sunblock is not used) In toothpaste it’s used as an antiseptic to rid bacteria
Can bleach hair, teeth and clothing In medication it’s used to aid stomach and fever relief
Can be flammable at high concentrations In plants it can make flowers blossom

 

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is a vital ingredient in many skin care products, lotions and creams, used to treat acne and psoriasis, as well as hair products to treat dandruff. This Beta Hydroxy Acid, compared to Alpha Hydroxy Acid, is a great exfoliant used to treat acne and acne-prone skin. It effectively penetrates oil-filled pores and exfoliates the dead skin cells that build up inside , thereby reducing irritation and inflammation. Salicylic Acid also helps break down blackheads and whiteheads. If used continuously, this acne medication can effectively unclog pores and prevent future breakouts.

Where does Salicylic Acid come from?

Derived from the bark of the willow tree, Salicylate has been used for centuries, though primarily for the treatment of fever relief. Salicylic Acid literally, comes from word “salix”, which is Latin for willow tree.

Who should use Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic Acid is tough enough to combat acne and gentle enough to soothe skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema and acne treatment. And it’s great for all skin types! It works well for oily and acne-prone skin as it deep cleans pores. It’s essential for dry/sensitive skin because it creates less irritation than AHAs and by removing the dead layer of skin it allows for moisturizer to be better absorbed. This exfoliating process is a must for aging skin, as it evens the appearance of tone and texture and allows for the growth of new skin.

How It Works

Acne occurs when excessive amounts of dead skin cells collect inside a pore and bind with excess oil to create a plug. That plug creates an airless environment that is an ideal condition for acne bacteria to thrive. Salicylic Acid, a BHA (beta hydroxy acid), fights the breakout within the pore by helping to normalize excessive shedding of cells and excess oil production—the primary contributors to blocked pores and breakouts. Salicylic Acid also gently exfoliates the upper layer of the skin to help keep pores clear and unblocked. Salicylic Acid is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that helps to calm red, swollen acne-stressed skin. The combination of benefits that Salicylic Acid provides makes is ideal for dealing with today’s breakouts and redness and for improving the health of the skin to inhibit the formation of future breakouts.

Why It’s Recommended

Salicylic Acid treats, heals and prevents acne without over-drying or irritating skin, which can cause more acne breakouts. Because acne can only be managed through regular and consistent treatment, Dr. Murad has specifically designed his formulas for daily use.

Murad’s Acne Products

Murad’s Acne Line is clinically proven to rapidly clear breakouts and restore smooth skin without dryness or irritation. One of our bestselling products, Acne Clearing Solution, contains .5% Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree oil, Queen of the Meadow extract and a vitamin blend. In a Murad-sponsored study, 96% of users saw clearer skin in 72 hours. Our newest acne product is Transforming Powder Dual-Action Cleanser & Exfoliator which contains Salicylic Acid and pumpkin seed extract. Exfoliating bio-enzymes digest surface oil, dirt and dead skin cells—while dissolving beads smooth and soften skin.

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5 Acne-Fighting Tricks For The Best Skin Ever!

Cleanse with a Konjac sponge.

A Konjac sponge is made of a porous root vegetable and is more gentle than a scrub so you can use it daily to exfoliate and to remove makeup. Excellent for use on all skin types and gentle enough for those with sensitive skin. Free of preservatives, artificial fragrances and bio-degradable.

Try a Honey Facial

Raw honey was prized for its healing properties in ancient civilizations and Manuka honey has a considerably higher level of enzymes than regular honey. These enzymes create a natural hydrogen peroxide that works as an antibacterial. Some strains of this New Zealand honey are particularly rich in hydrogen peroxide, methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone. These antibacterial properties and antioxidants are incredible for your skin and a powerful skin treatment.

Apply a thin layer of raw honey to your skin using circular motion, leave for a couple of minutes and gently rinse off with warm water.

Calm Redness with Ice

Like any inflammation, a few minutes of ice can help reduce the swelling and shrink any acne spots that you may have.
Wrap ice cubes in a washcloth and apply to your face. This DIY facial will restrict bloodvessels and calm redness. Follow with an all-over acne treatment like the Acne Clearing Solution.

Prep your skin

Prep your skin with a mattifying moisturizer like the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15. Pair your moisturizer with a BB cream with Tea tree oil or witch hazel to combat inflammation and provide coverage. Thanks to its astringent properties, witch hazel is a very effective natural acne treatment.

Clean you sponges.

Prevent future breakouts by cleaning makeup sponges after every use. Coming a tablespoon of mild shampoo with warm water, rinse the sponge or let them sit overnight.

Read more acne skincare tips:
Skin care tips for students
How to Create a matte makeup look that lasts
Acne Do’s and Dont’s
Time Release Acne Cleanser question.

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Healing power of cucumber

Studies indicate that cucumbers have numerous benefits internally, externally and even emotionally. Doctor Murad recently wrote a paper to share the findings on this incredible fruit (Cucumbers are not vegetables) and has given us a few takeaways for skin health and emotional care.

As a food, cucumbers offer superior hydration, as they are about 95% water. Cucumbers have long been associated with the spa world and topical skin treatments. When you think of cucumber slices placed gently over the eyes, they are doing far more than just having a cooling effect on the skin. Cucumber slices offer many benefits to both the eyes and surrounding tissues through their hydrating properties, which work to reduce dehydration by their high levels of vitamin K that help to reduce dark circles, and the lignans they contain reduce inflammation. Additionally, cucumbers have been uses to treat wrinkles, sunburns and have been used as a moisturizer and skin brightener. The benefits of cucumbers are not just relegated to topical treatment. In fact, abundant research has shown what can happen when the fruit is consumed.

Cucumbers are related to melons and are a relatively low-calorie food at just 15 calories per cup. They contain high levels of powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. With such a high level of water content and the added bonus of naturally occurring nutrients and trace minerals, cucumbers could be great supplements to drinking water or even serve as an alternative to consumer sports drinks. As I always say, the best way to replenish the body and quench thirst is to by consuming water through foods. Choosing foods with a high water content and offers the cells in our bodies, the much-needed hydration they require for basic everyday functioning as well as the vital nutrients to repair and strengthen the cell walls. Studies now suggest that cucumbers don’t solely hydrate, they provide added elements that your body needs to fortify and regenerate itself. Researchers also identified that cucumbers could act as free radical scavengers (which help against skin damage) and could also potentially act as a SPF (value of 0.2). Studies show that cucumber extract may decrease melanin and sebum, resulting in skin whitening and anti-acne effects. How exactly the cucumber does this, is not clearly understood, as yet but, the cucumber holds an exciting future in skincare.

Cucumbers also have benefits when it comes to emotional care. Stress is a threat that is commonly recognized to have devastating effects on our health and wellbeing. Chronic stress resulting from environmental sources or Cultural Stress (link to cultural stress articles) can lead to cell damage, one such example is inflammation. When you have damaged cells, you also have more dehydrated cells (which can result in significant aging and illness). Addressing water loss and inflammation with cucumber consumption could be an effective way to lower stress and fight against the aging process.

So next time you reach for that fridge snack or are writing your shopping list, make sure that cucumbers take top place.

It would also be impossible not to call out a few of Doctor Murad’s skincare products which contain cucumber:

Extracts were taken from “Evaluating the potential benefits of cucumbers for improved health and skin care” – H. Murad, M.A nyc

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