My Love Affair with Five Way Foods Bone Broth {Plus Natural Ways to Cleanse The Body & Improve Digestion}

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Bone broth has become quite the hot topic in the natural food world of late. But despite all the hype, I had yet to try it myself.

“It’s just such a pain to make…I’ll have to buy a whole chicken…make a roast…save the bones…it’s just too hard!” (excuses, excuses!)

MEET FIVE WAY FOODS

Fortunately, Five Way Foods reached out to me, offering to send me a few bottles to try. I was sold. Five Way Foods is an MA-based startup, specializing in locally-sourced broth with delicious flavor. All of their products are gluten and dairy free with no added sugar or chemicals. You can use their broth “5  ways” — as a beverage, in a stir-fry, as part of a sauce, in a soup/stew, or to make risotto. Or you can come up with your own unique way! I especially love that they source from local farms & purveyors like Red’s Best Seafood, Walden Local Meat Co., and Russo’s Market. Knowing where my food is coming from is extremely important to me!

The crew at Five Way Foods ended up sending me a bottle of each of their flavors: Chicken Bone Broth, Fish Bone Broth and Veggie Broth. All of them were absolutely delicious & full of flavor, though the chicken was my personal favorite! The secret ingredients? They keep it simple with real ingredients (just how I like it!) with just water, chicken bones, celery, onion, carrot, parsnip, olive oil, fresh herbs, sea salt & whole peppercorn. So much flavor! Shop local and get a bottle of your own here.

BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH

Other than the fact that bone broth is absolutely delicious (especially during the chilly Boston winters), it also helps to boost the immune system, improve digestion, support a healthy gut & promote detoxification. Plus it’s packed with good-for-you minerals! You can read all about its many health benefits in this great article by Dr. Axe.

NATURAL WAYS TO IMPROVE DIGESTION + CLEANSE THE BODY

Ever since my hypothyroidism diagnosis, I’ve been working hard to nourish my body through real food, while simultaneously loving up my sluggish thyroid. A big part of that is incorporating nourishing foods & techniques that help cleanse and improve digestion naturally. Here are a few of my favorites so far:

1. Bone Broth: As I mentioned above, I’m a huge fan. Buy it locally through a trusted provider like Five Way Foods, or try making your own! Luckily my hubby is a connoisseur in the kitchen, and loves making bone broth from scratch. He made a batch for me this week after we cooked an organic chicken the night before, and I’ve been loving sipping on it each day. Note: beware of some of the store bought varieties that are packed with sodium & other additives!

2. Morning Lemon Elixir: I love starting my day with a mug of hot water, with the juice of 1/2 lemon, cinnamon, a TB of apple cider vinegar if you can handle the taste/affect on your body, and a dash of honey if you want some sweetness. It really energizes me in the morning & gets my digestion going! Since I’m currently taking a month off coffee as part of my thyroid healing journal, this is a great alternative.

3. Dry Brushing: This past month, I’ve made dry brushing a part of my morning routine! You simply purchase a long natural wooden brush, and brush toward the heart. I like to do it right before a shower, followed by blanketing my skin in a nourishing body butter like Stress Less by Organic Bath Company. It’s been said to help increase circulation, improve digestion, and invigorate the body just to name a few of the many benefits. Personally, I’ve become addicted!

4. Infrared Sauna: Fortunately, my husband & I have a pop-up infrared sauna in our bedroom. I enjoy using it every morning for about 10-15 minutes, as it’s a great way to sweat out those toxins & get the blood flowing in the morning! I know I’ve been feeling much more energized and vibrant since making this a part of my daily routine.

5. Fermented foods: Fermented foods are naturally packed with probiotics, which add good bacteria to your body while encouraging a healthy digestion & gut function. My current favorites are Kombucha and sauerkraut!

6. Chew Chew Chew: Chew your food! It’s super hard to digest a meal when we’re eating like we’re in a race. Slow down & enjoy, so your body can properly digest what your feeding it.

7. Slow Down: Speaking of slowing down, I don’t just mean during your meal. Slow down your life! Spend some time journaling, meditating or taking a cozy bath. By slowing down, you can reduce stress and tension and give your body the love it needs.

Note: I received product & compensation from Five Way Foods, however as always all opinions and writing are my own. It’s important to note that this is my personal experience, and I am not a medical doctor or nutritionist. Please seek medical advice from your Doctor before making any big changes to your diet or lifestyle.

New Year’s Resolutions, You Can STFU

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Ew.

I am seriously so sick & tired of all the magazine articles, advertisements & blogger body shots telling you what your New Year’s resolution should be (and that you need to lose weight). Seriously, you can shut the eff up. Sorry for the bluntness but this kind of stuff gets my blood boiling.

But then again, it’s sort of expected by now. Every year around this time the diet industry, media & leader’s in the health world think it’s a great idea to play on women’s holiday vulnerabilities & body insecurities to make us think that a.) you aren’t good enough b.) you need to lose weight and c.) this year you can really make a change.

THIS IS YOUR YEAR!

IT’S TIME TO FINALLY LOSE THE WEIGHT!

DROP TWO DRESS SIZES!

10 WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT & GET FIT IN 2017!

GET YOUR DREAM BODY!

SLIM DOWN IN 7 DAYS!

YOUR TICKET TO A SIX PACK!

Enough is enough.

Why do you assume that the only thing us women care about is how our bodies are perceived by others? Where are the articles boasting ways to love yourself more, re-energize or find a career that brings you joy & passion? And when did someone else’s resolution become your business anyway? It’s kind of a personal thing, if you ask me.

If someone truly wants to lose weight, let them decide that for themselves and make their own goals based on how they want to feel. But don’t assume. Never assume. It’s not a good look.

Personally for me, 2017 is going to be about getting my energy back & loving up my thyroid so I can feel AMAZING in my body & get my health restored to start a family. Nothing to do with dropping the pounds, and I could give two shits about my abs.

So as we close out 2016, I challenge you to reflect back on the year and think about your highs and lows, your accomplishments and the valuable lessons you learned. Then, based on your own experience, think about what you want to manifest for yourself in 2017 (not what some dumb article said you should manifest.)

Here’s to a rockin’ 2017!

xoxo,

Rachel

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Coffee-Loving, Big-Hearted Running Machine

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Happy Friday, ladies! I’m like a little kid on Christmas right now for 2 reasons a.) because it’s almost Christmas and b.) my Kickstarter campaign for my “Spark Your Bliss” affirmation cards is just $75 shy of my goal. Since Kickstarter is all or nothing, I have until 2pm EST to raise the funds! If you’d like to snag your own deck (while supporting me!) you can do so here.

Now onto this week’s feature for Healthy Chicks in the Community, a weekly series highlighting badass women doing their thang. I’m thrilled to introduce you to Meg. This gal’s got a huge heart, and I love her ability to take risks & go after what makes her feel good. In fact, she’s got such a big heart that she actually said to me earlier this week that one of her goals for 2017 is to do more good with her money. How rad is that?

Without further adieu, here’s Meg!

NAME/AGE: Meg McClafferty/32

TWITTER: @megariana84

CURRENT CITY: Boston

PHOTO TAKEN: Sitting on my couch before a long run!

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: Marketing and Client Service at a small boutique investment firm

NUMBER ONE PASSION: One of my top strengths is the ability to make people feel welcomed and included. I was bullied relentlessly in elementary and middle school, and I never want someone to feel that same way.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: When I eat well and exercise!

BUT I AM ALSO A REAL GIRL & SOMETIMES: You need a pint of J.P. Licks!

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Butter, eggs, coffee!

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Chicken Parm, with little to no sauce (and no, TB12 didn’t inspire me to!)

SONG THAT MOVES YOU: I run on music! “I have Confidence” from the Sound of Music has been my power song since I was 5. “Electric Feel” by MGMT is my most played iTunes song, “You can do it” by Ice Cube is my “Get through this last half mile!” song, and “Girls just wanna have fun” is just a great song all around!

THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU: I’m loyal (sometimes to a fault), kind (voted most friendly in high school), and determined!

FAVORITE BODY PART: Arms and Shoulders. I had an elementary school music teacher who made a comment on my skinny “chicken” arms. I still think about that 23 years later. I’ve worked hard to have shoulders I’m proud to show off!

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: Running (quite literally!)

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS:
“Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got” -Janis Joplin. That was my high school yearbook quote, which has turned into my life’s motto. If I’m not comfortable or happy where I am, I’m not afraid to take a breather. If something in your life isn’t working the way you thought, stop, let it go. You have to trust something: God, Allah, the old Willow in the Public Garden. You’ll be surprised at what happens when you trust the universe. I quit my big corporate job last year. I was becoming someone I didn’t like, angry, not sleeping, etc. So I quit, worked at a small shop on Charles St that paid just enough for my rent and student loans. Then a job opened up at a smaller firm, and I took it. And I’ve never been happier. I love the quote “Change is scary, but not changing is even scarier.”

Also, once in your life either cut your hair short or sit in your hair dressers seat and say “do whatever you want today”. Trust me when I say, it will change your life. It’s hair, it’ll grow back. Before every single major change in my life, my hair was the first to go. And it has made me stronger and more confident in more ways than there are words in the dictionary.

14-Day Winter Self-Care Challenge {Starts 1/9/17}

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed!

With that said, this time of year can also be particularly tough for some. Family, comfort food, frigid temps and holiday stress can be a trigger for many. Through all the mayhem, many of us subconsciously put our self-care on the back burner (when in reality, it may be the only thing keeping us sane).

That’s why my soul sister Kelley + I crafted up a winter self-care challenge for you to put yourself first again this coming year.

Our 14-day Self-Care Winter Wellness Challenge is all about YOU + will give you all the tools you need to rock 2017. Oh, and they’ll be no talk of dieting, calories or “losing weight” (pinky promise!) – we’re GAINING our health, confidence, and self-love back ladies!

The challenge will begin on Monday, January 9th + includes:

1. Daily dose of positivity sent straight to your email (even better than your morning mocha!) with clear action-steps to implement right away for the two weeks

2. Access to our private ‘Soul Sisters’ Facebook group to hold one another accountable – We’re a firm believer that the main reason we don’t follow through is because we have no one to keep us accountable. P.S. We’ll be taking part too!

3. Daily Zen Moment: We’ll surprise you with a yoga move, mini meditation or self-care tool each & every day for you to live in your “zen.”

4. Daily journaling exercises + positive mantras to dig deep and create a true shift in mindset

5. Welcome program guide packed with a slew of our favorite heart-warming winter recipes + an HC-approved winter grocery list (note: no foods are off limits during this program!)

BONUS: Sign up today 12/21 + we’ll send you a Healthy Chick’s Spark Your Bliss affirmation deck for FREE ($25 value)!

THE DEETS

START DATE: Monday, January 9th

YOUR INVESTMENT: $50 (Sign up with a friend by Friday 1/6 + save $10 each!)

SIGN ME UP:

1.) Get on our list by clicking here — you’ll receive next steps  shortly! 

2.) Complete your purchase below via Paypal.

Winter Self-Care Challenge

3.) Get ready for more details coming soon!

With love,

Rachel + Kelley (Your soul sisters)

Surviving the Holiday Season When You’re Feeling Not So Hot in Your Body

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year indeed! I have to admit, I’m a sucker for decked out houses with holiday lights, Christmas music & cozy holiday meals.

With that said, this time of year can also be particularly tough for some. Family, comfort food, and holiday stress can be a trigger for many, especially those dealing with body image issues or eating disorders. Personally, in college when I was struggling with body image & a borderline eating disorder, the holidays brought a lot of fear to the surface.

Will I gain weight?

Will my family notice my weirdness around food?

Do my thighs look fat in my new jeans?

Why can’t I just be normal??!

These were the types of thoughts that would rattle through my head. And more recently, similar types of fear have come up for me. Currently, I’m struggling with hypothyroidism, which in the past few months have caused me to gain weight (about 10 pounds!) and feel foggy & exhausted throughout the day. While I’m working to get to the root of the problem and take back my health, it hasn’t been super easy for me.

The other day after spending a beautiful weekend celebrating Christmas with my family, I broke down to my husband on the car ride home. “I’m just sick of feeling this way,” I confessed. I didn’t like that I had to take a nap in the afternoon, and that my pants fit differently. I felt blah.

Rather than dwelling in the negativity, I decided I was going to spin it and channel these feelings into positive, good vibes. After all, I have control over how I want to feel and how I choose to see things. I choose to see differently. I choose love. And you can do!

Here are a few simple tips you can practice if you’re not feeling your best self this season.

1. Amp Up Your Self Care

It all starts with self care. Do the things that make you feel super pampered, and don’t apologize for taking time for YOU. My favorite ways to practice self-care are through essential oils, cuddling up with a good book, journaling and at-home facials.

2. Honor Your Body

Look at your body in the mirror, and appreciate it’s beauty. Place your hands on your tummy with loving intentions. Want to really go deep? Consider writing your body a love letter. Go ahead, give it a go!

3. Eat the Foods that Nourish You + Make You Glow

Try with all your might to focus less on the calories, and more about the foods that will nourish you. Instead of categorizing food as good or bad, think about how it makes you feel. After all, food is meant to be celebrated — especially around the holidays!

4. Avoid the Scale

Seriously, get rid of it. The scale will do you no good if you’re already feeling insecure about your body. If you have an addictive habit of weighing yourself (hello, that was me!), consider covering up the number with a loving note like “My body is not a number” or “I choose to honor by body.”

5. Practice Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations can be a very powerful way of shifting your mindset! If you need some support getting started, my “Spark Your Bliss Deck” will be the perfect tool for you as you embark the new year. You can purchase your own deck (while supporting my Kickstarter campaign) here.

How can you practice self-love this holiday season?

Healthy Chicks in the Community: A Farming, Mashed-Potato Loving, Creator

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Happy Friday, ladies! I’m off to a great start to the weekend. I already got a bunch of Christmas shopping done this morning, went into Target for one thing and left with a million things (including this new hat!), and am now listening to Christmas music on Spotify.

Speaking of Christmas, be sure to check out my Holiday Gift Guide I put together if you haven’t already. It’s got some fabulous finds for anyone one your list, including a special holiday trio when you purchase one of my “Spark Your Bliss” decks.

Alright, it’s now time for this week’s feature on Healthy Chicks in the Community, a weekly series highlighting badass women in the community doing their thang. I’m excited to introduce you to Angelina, a lovely lady I met at a Holiday Fair last month. She had the coolest handmade gifts — from gorgeous rugs to adorable veggie magnets — and I just had to share it with you. Without further adieu, I’ll let Angelina take it from here!

NAME/AGE: Angelina Donnelly / 27

TWITTER: @DirtyCarrotsCo

CURRENT CITY: Easton, MA

PHOTO TAKEN: Last winter visiting my sister in Vail, CO

WHAT YOU DO FOR WORK: The past few years I have been working on a organic vegetable farm. And boy did i fall in love with farming from day one! I spent time in the farmstand, in the field, and at farmers markets. I would have to say my favorite thing about farming, is that I grew to love all weather. A crisp fall morning , a hot summer day, rain and snow. I grew toappreciate their pros more than their cons.

NUMBER ONE PASSION: I love creating objects. I studied ceramics in college and there I realized how much satisfaction I got out of turning a lump of clay into to something beautiful and functional. And I now with Dirty Carrots Co. I am able to continue that.

I FEEL MY HEALTHIEST SELF WHEN I AM: When I am around my friends and family!  Everyone has busy lives and spending time, making a wholesome meal with friends and family, is great way to stay motivated and positive!

TOP THREE KITCHEN STAPLES: Cast Iron Pan, veggies, especially ones that are great to snack on raw, and peanut butter!

FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Mashed Potatoes

SONG THAT MOVES YOU: Van Morrison - Days like this, always put me in a good mood

THREE FAB THINGS ABOUT YOU: My husband and I throw a killer dinner party!, I take pride in my work whether its my day job or my passion, and I think I’m a pretty go with the flow type of gal.

FAVORITE BODY PART: My hands, they have treated me well!

EXERCISE THAT MAKES YOU SHINE: I really enjoy hiking, for me its one of those things that can always turn a day around!

MESSAGE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OTHER HEALTHY CHICKS: Step out of your Comfort Zone.

Big shout out to Angelina for taking part in this week’s Healthy Chicks in the Community series! If you’d like to nominate a friend or yourself, just shoot me an email at rachelAThealthy-chicksDOTcom

xoxo,

Rachel

Healthy Chick’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But if you’re like the most of us, hunting for gifts can be quite the ordeal, and panicking while slugging your peppermint mocha latte is not going to get you any closer to crossing off your list. Here are some fun + fresh ideas for just about any gal on your list!

FOR THE SPIRITUAL GURU

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein! This book changed my life and is sure to help those seeking a more spiritual life.

14.99, Amazon.com

FOR THE SOUL SEEKER

My Healthy Chick’s “Spark Your Bliss” affirmation card deck is here, and I want every lady who needs this to have it! For a minimum of $25, you’ll get a deck mailed out your way (with 36 beautifully designed cards + mandala print tuck box). And I’ve added a holiday special for $35 that I think you’ll love including a deck, Organic Living Superfoods goodie + sweet surprise.

$25+, Kickstarter.com

FOR THE HEALTH NUT

Give the gift of health with Organic Living Superfood’s Happy & Healthy Gift Basket! You can customize your own gift box, choosing your favorite superfood snacks for your loved ones.

$49.99, OrganicLivingSuperfoods.com

FOR THE DO-GOODER

Does your friend already have everything, or maybe you simply want to give back this year? Gift them a card to make a donation to the charity of their choosing!

price varies, JustGive.org

FOR THE HOME DECORATOR

Kitchen + Kraft’s Limited Edition Blue Pea Dyed Pompom Pillow will add a little extra flair to any living space! It’s handmade in MA, and dyed a beautiful light blue thanks to Blue Pea flower from Thailand! She’s got lots of other goodies too, although most are out of stock right now — for good reason!

$45, KitchenandKraft.com

FOR THE FREE SPIRIT

Gift the free spirit in your life with a beautiful Mala necklace from Tiny Devotions. (I know I’m asking for one ;) ) The Higher Self Mala Necklace (made with White Jade) is absolutely stunning!

$64+, TinyDevotions.com

FOR THE GRATEFUL ONE

Keeping a gratitude journal has been one of the most impactful ways of staying in the present & manifesting positive change in my life. This one by Catherine Price is super cute and affordable!

$10.13, Amazon.com

FOR THE MINDFUL MAVEN

My girl Heather Waxman (spiritual teacher, author & musician) is offering a super sweet holiday special this month — all of her programs + meditations are just $7.77. Get on that now, either as a gift for yourself or a soul sister!

$7.77, HeatherWaxman.com

FOR THE ESSENTIAL OILS FIEND

Got a friend who geeks out on essential oils? (Ahem, that’s me!) Treat them to a special essential oils kit to get them started! I recommend the DoTerra travel kit or Eden’s Garden Everyday Essential Oil Set.

$44, MyDoTerra.com

$69.95, EdensGarden.com

FOR THE NATURAL BEAUTY JUNKIE

The holiday season is a great time to clean up your beauty supplies! I’m in love with the Stress Less Body Oil by Organic Bath Company, and actually need it to get a good night’s sleep. It’s oh so sultry!

$45, OrganicBath.co

FOR THE JET-SETTER

Gift your sweetie or gal pal with a getaway for the two of you. Think: cozy B & B in New England, 3-day weekend in Miami, ski adventure, you get the picture. Both Groupon & Living Social offer some pretty sweet getaway deals, so definitely keep your eyes peeled!

price varies, LivingSocial.com

price varies, Groupon.com

What’s on your wish list this holiday season?

xoxo,

Rachel

Spark Your Bliss Affirmation Card Deck

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Goood afternoon, loves. Hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving with lots of delicious food, cozy vibes and family.

About one year ago, I said out loud that I wanted to create my own positive affirmation deck. I strived to design something for the everyday chick, rather than exclusively for yogis or meditation gurus.

But then the fears creeped in…the ol’ “but it’s going to be so hard,” “but what if I can’t” “but it’s already been done before,” “but how can I stand out?”

Then this summer a little voice inside me said, “sweetie, but what if you CAN?”

And so I did, and Spark Your Bliss Deck was born. I worked hard + thoughtfully to create a deck that speaks my truth – 36 beautiful, positive mantras complete with journaling exercises + supporting action steps to boot.

My cards are going to be ready for the holidays, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! To celebrate, I decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money + send out some cool gifts to my supporters. Hint hint: they make for great gifts for the New Year ;)

You can contribute + get all the deets here.

Rewards for pledging include:

  • digital mantra downloads
  • “Spark Your Bliss” decks sent by mail
  • Decks sent with healing stones
  • Soul Sisters Special
  • FREE access to my next seasonal cleanse
  • Private coaching with me

Pledge + help fund the project here.

Special shout out to my beautiful illustrator Precious Little Illustration & designer Chantelle Davis-Gray for helping make this happen.

Here’s to following your dreams. Wishing you all a healthy + happy holiday season!

With love,

Rachel

My Body is Changing {And So Am I}

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I have a confession: my body is changing.

In fact, to be completely honest, it has been changing ever since I reached my upper 20s. I think for a while I resisted that because I didn’t want it to change. I didn’t want me to change. I was scared of the change.

While I thought all of the body insecurity stuff was far behind me, a part of me was super envious of the body I had at 18, 20, 23. Yes, my thighs were thick but at least I had my super flat & toned belly to fall back on. That was my “thing.” It makes me sad to look back to my 18-year-old radiant self to a girl who still thought she wasn’t “good enough.”

Now at 29, my tummy is getting much rounder, and I have little belly dimples. I can “squish” my love handles, and my weight fluctuates with the seasons (sometimes up to 10 pounds!) My thighs have — gasp! — cellulite.

I am now slowly but surely learning to be OK with this — embracing the change, but most importantly my body.

While some days are easier than others, I realize I have a choice: hop on the scale and beat myself up OR nourish and love the body I have — in all its many forms.

I choose the latter.

This post was difficult for me to share, but I’m hoping it shines the light for another woman who may need to hear it. You are not your body, and your body is beautiful in all its magical forms. Old me would never be caught dead sharing belly photos on camera or being vulnerable but here I am, taking a stand on body positivity, walking my talk and embracing all of my imperfections.

It’s what makes you beautiful, darling.

xoxo,

Rachel

Shop Local with Me Tonight at the Holiday Marketplace in Walpole

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It’s the holiday season.

The holidays are upon us, and it’s definitely in the air! Heck, Starbucks even released their infamous holiday cups (designed by artists around the world) — and this year customers aren’t complaining!

Anyway, if you’re looking to get into the holiday spirit (and you’re local to MA), tonight’s Holiday Marketplace event at She Breathes in Walpole is for you.

Members of the community will be showcasing their homemade goods — including jewelry, art, tote bags, personal care products and a wide array of artistic treasures that make the perfect gift. And I’ll be there selling handmade body scrubs!

Important Deets
Wednesday, November 16
6:00-9:00pm
85 West Street, 2nd Floor
Walpole MA 02081

Hope to see you there!

With love,

Rachel

 
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