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BLC Summer Break Plan

Saturday, July 14, 2012

So one more week of BLC and then a 2 month break. It may be a longer break for me as I may not join in September. Still debating but here's my plan to stay on track for the break:

1. Track food at least 5 days out of the week. Normally I do all 7 without a problem but lately I'm feeling ambivalent about it. Five out of 7 days will give me a small break but still enough to keep me in line :)

2. Zumba 3 x week with 1 class being Aqua new love in exercise.
2 days a week walk/run or some other form of aerobic exercise.

3. ST 2-3 x week via bootcamp.

4. Get 5 freggies a day. Very doable since we're getting freggies from a
co-op now and I feel the need to eat what we are given.

5. Try a new freggie recipe at least 1x week. The co-op provides recipes
every week based on what's provided so this should be fairly easy.

6. Respond to a minimum of 5 blogs/pages a week. This really has helped in
the past but I've gotten out of the habit.

One thing I am also debating is joining SparkPeople Live. They have a 1 week trial. Has anyone tried this? Any feedback would be appreciated.

I'm feeling the need for some extra support right now and not sure if it will be the Live version of SP, OA or something else but I need to do something different.

Exercise is fine but the food has been sloppy the past week and it can get out of hand quick if I don't figure out what's going on.

I know for some of this "ick" I feeling right now I'm just gonna have to grit my teeth and get through it. There are changes going on in my 50 year old body and no amount of exercise or healthy eating is going to stop it. It does help, thank goodness, but there is still stuff to deal with. Hoping this phase goes quickly 'cuz I'm getting tired of feeling like this emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYYB 7/30/2012 9:17PM

    Wow Brandyn - that's pretty impressive "interim" plan! I'm doing the SAC3 with some of the other Panthers, hoping to find my groove again. Best of luck to you, whatever you decide!


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LYNMEINDERS 7/16/2012 5:55AM

    Greta goals for over the break....I am deciding whether i am going to do the next challenge or not as well....will see nearer the time....
Praying that you feel better again really soon

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LJR4HEALTH 7/15/2012 9:40PM

    Brandyn no better way to stay on track then by keeping it simple with exercise, eating healthy, and posting on emoticonblog post

Oh I do hope you will return to BLC

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WATOGA17 7/15/2012 8:34AM

    Good luck with your summer plan, Brandyn. I hope you return to us, but know that we each have to blaze our own trail.


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RHONDALYN10 7/14/2012 7:45PM

    Great plan Brandyn!
I hope you make it back for BLC 20 but completely understand and support your decision! We are here for you!!

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AEHEGE 7/14/2012 7:10PM

    We will certainly miss you and your knowledgable posts if you decide not to return to BLC 20. Your evaluating all this during the break is a good plan and of course we respect whatever decision you make based on what's best for you. It's odd that each decade of our lives does bring with it its own set of challenges. Hoping that break time for you will clarify some of your decisions and take away the "ick" feeling you have right now. emoticon

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Another Veggie Recipe for BLC 19

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I wasn't going to blog a recipe today BUT doing so will get me a BINGO on this weekend's challenge sooooo here's what I made last night to get a white veggie into my diet. It tasted like bacon and cheese quiche and while it's not low cal it was very filling and with a good amount of protein plus low carb.

You could adapt to make it healthier with turkey bacon, less olive oil or use cooking spray for that part, and maybe just egg whites but not sure how much that would change the taste.

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake
From The Core Balance Diet
Number of Servings: 6


2 cups Cauliflower, cut in pieces
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 raw onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs

Set oven to 350 degrees. Brown onion and garlic in olive oil. Mix onion and garlic with all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Place mixture in a 9 x 13 glass dish* sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 30 -40 minutes until browned.

Serving Size: cut into 6 even servings

*Use a smaller glass dish as it didn't fill the 9x13. I just formed it in 2/3rds of the pan and it stayed put.

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 147.6

Total Fat: 10.0 g
Cholesterol: 78.8 mg
Sodium: 413.3 mg
Total Carbs: 3.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
Protein: 11.2 g

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTHOUSE23 6/9/2012 11:19PM

    Sounds yummy!! emoticon

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 5/20/2012 5:15PM

    I call this a BIG BINGO! I've been trying to get my dad to eat cauliflower and so far the only way is to mash it and hide it in mashed potatoes or grind it up tiny and add it to soups. Bacon, Cheese, and can this miss? I will use the turkey bacon for less sodium content but other than that I am making it just as you listed. Thanks!

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RHONDALYN10 5/20/2012 7:24AM

    Can you say BINGO!

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WATOGA17 5/20/2012 7:21AM

    Sounds like another good one, Brandyn!

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LYNMEINDERS 5/20/2012 6:51AM

    Sounds awesome....

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Best Veggie Recipe for BLC 19

Friday, May 18, 2012

Time to post a best veggie recipe for challenge points and this is one of my favorites :)

I found this on the San Antonio Sustainable Living Blog that DH contributes to. We make this often in the winter but not so much now. It takes a bit of chopping and prep work but it is worth it!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Adapted from The Great American Detox Diet, by Alex Jamieson (Rodale Press, 2005).

Immune-boosting garlic and onion, along with red pepper and lime, combine with black beans and nourishing sweet potatoes to make one very satisfying autumn one-pot meal.

You can serve it on rice, or with Pumpkin Biscuits, taco chips, or corn bread. Either way, it makes a whole-foods, healthful answer to the perennial question, “What’s for dinner?”

Here’s the recipe:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 28-can diced tomatoes
4 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 6 cups freshly cooked)
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves, washed and dried

1. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the onion, red pepper, garlic, and salt. Saute until soft, about 4 minutes.

2. Add the sweet potato and lime zest, and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, continuing to stir occasionally.

3. Add the tomatoes, black beans, jalapeno, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cocoa, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Serve over brown rice, if desired, with lime wedges and cilantro, or with corn bread, biscuits, or taco chips alongside.

Serves 6.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVESTRONG2010 5/19/2012 4:50PM

    Sounds good will have to give it a try.

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 5/19/2012 4:08PM

    Wow, Brandyn. I'm kinda drooling here. Black beans, sweet potato, tomatoes, garlic, red onions....some of my most favorite things in one dish! A keeper, thanks!

Have you submitted it on the spark recipe site? I really think this belongs there!

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RHONDALYN10 5/19/2012 3:53PM

    Mmmm, mmmmm......sounds great!

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WATOGA17 5/19/2012 11:41AM


That sounds so good! I will definitely be trying that come fall!

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LYNMEINDERS 5/19/2012 4:56AM

    Sounds amazing...thanks...look forward ot trying it

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MONTY68 5/18/2012 8:55PM

    Hi Brandyn
This really sounds delicious. I have copied it into my recipe file.
Thank you for sharing.
Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Rambling thoughts on turning 50 with Pics

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I turned 50 this past Saturday. Boy, you blink and the years fly by. Still working on losing those last 15 lbs. I think it's slow going due to several factors including it's that time of my life where hormonal changes are rampant plus I am an emotional eater. However, I am much stronger now than I ever was in my 20s, 30s or 40s thanks to exercise and ST. I used to do the aerobics portion of classes but leave when the ST started. Now I love it and I have SP and friends here to thank for the encouragement to stick to it.

The EE is much better than it used to be but it is an ongoing challenge. I've replaced some emotional eating with exercise but also other stuff I love to do like reading more, spending time with friends and sparking. Even work has become a source of joy for me instead of a drain. It took a while but working on the emotional garbage I was carrying around really helped a lot. Losing 45 lbs didn't hurt either.

The hormonal stuff will change with time so I'm just gonna be patient and know this isn't the time for the weight to drop off but the time will come. I keep reminding myself this is not the end, but the middle of my journey, or maybe I'm past the middle as I don't think I'll live to be 100, lol, but that's ok. As long as I keep moving and keep working on the food issues I am making progress.

It seems when you need a boost or a reminder of how effective changes you've made have been, God, the universe, your higher power or whatever you believe in sends something your way.

DH came home Thursday after a day of cleaning the thrift shop where we both volunteer. I've been a volunteer there since 2002. He found a picture that had fallen behind a bookcase. It was taken of me when we first started there. I do believe this was at my heaviest, about 220 or so; also prior to breast reduction surgery. As he handed me this photo he said, "look how far you've come." It was an OMG picture for me but in a good way. It was a good reminder of my progress so I'm putting it out there. I'm also posting a picture after surgery but before weight loss from 2005. There aren't many pictures of me at this weight because like so many people here I avoided the camera.

2005 on Vacation Post surgery pre-weight loss

On my BLC18 team, there was a suggestion to post things you are doing right. So often we post what we are doing wrong or what we wish we could change. Though I do think it's ok to put that stuff out there,too, to purge it and get feedback, here's my list of what I'm doing right:

1) ST 2-3 times a week. I actually enjoy it now.

2) Aerobics 2-3 times a week. Working on running and liking, if not loving it, yet.

3) Eating lower calories and more whole foods. Most days it's around 1500 calories but I'm focusing more on the types of foods vs calories. I could eat ice cream everyday and stay in my calorie range but it's not nutritionally good for me. Occaisionally yes, daily no.

4) Keeping in contact with like-minded friends and family, especially my BLC18 teammates and other supportive friends. It's so easy for me to just pull into myself and find comfort with food but the support I've found with others on this journey is much more nourishing and life enhancing than anything I could put in my mouth.

Here's a picture from 9 months ago...same weight as now but a few less inches. I'm still not real fond of the camera so I don't have a more recent photo but I think you can see the difference. Edit for Skirnir and Jeni: Forgot to add this emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEYONDLIMITS 6/11/2012 2:05PM

    What an inspiration you are! So good that you posted your photos because your transformation is quite impressive.

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LIGHTHOUSE23 5/11/2012 10:58PM

    Happy Belated Birthday!! You look fabulous at 50; at the rate you are going, you'll look and feel even better when you turn 57 like me. emoticon

You are doing great!!!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/11/2012 11:00:35 PM

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LJR4HEALTH 4/22/2012 8:33PM

    Happy belated birthday Welcome to the 50's ( this year I will be 52) The best to come yet! Brandyn you have come so far on your journey the before picture looks to be a totally different person You look amazing emoticon on the transformation See you on BLC19

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1TRULYBLESSED 4/22/2012 3:01PM

    Happy Belated Birthday, and welcome to 50!!! I turned 50 last May, and can't believe another year has already gone by... but, I'll be healthier on my 51st birthday than I was on my 50th, so a year well-lived! May your 50th year be a good one, too -- congratulations! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILLOWCAT1 4/17/2012 7:37PM

    You are REALLY kicking it!!! You look great! I hope you feel great too!!!! emoticon

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I come to your page to see if I could read what was wrong with you, but couldn't find anything. Hope it wasn't anything too serious. I did read this blog. Congratulations on turning 50. Those photos are amazing. I am always amazed at how being overweight makes a person look so much older. Good job on now just taking the weight off, but keeping the weight off. Enjoy the weekend. I took a break, I am working on our taxes.

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VADAVICTORIA 3/29/2012 8:20AM

    Belated happy birthday! :) you look fabulous!

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MYFEETHURT 3/23/2012 4:35PM

  Happy 50th, Brandyn...I loved hitting that milestone in my life. You look fantastic. Even better...looks like you feel fantastic! You have every right to feel proud. You've done a fantastic job. It's a lifestyle now...not just "trying to lose weigh" or even "trying to exercise more"'s really part of your daily life now. Good for you. Keep it up and you just might get your picture on the TODAY show on your 100th!!! emoticon mary

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FT4EVR 3/23/2012 4:00PM

    Happy Belated Birthday! Welcome to the 50s! I'll be 53 in June. By the looks of your pictures you are getting better with age! What a difference!

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SIMPLY-EVA 3/20/2012 10:43AM

  Happy Birthday Brandyn! You look amazing and yes for sure "Smokin' Hot"!

Reading your blog makes me fully aware that I need to get more active in my community. I often feel that something is missing and it really gets me down. Thanks for the motivator...

Hugs to you on your bday,


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    look wonderful and at 41 I look forward to trying to live until I am 100

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JLUVSHIKIN 3/20/2012 2:06AM

    WOW!!! I can't believe you are fifty.... thank you so much for the encouragement.
YOu are doing so awesome!

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JMCADE 3/15/2012 9:39PM

    WooHoo how great you look and so much happier in your most recent picture. You have made great strides. You are an inspiration to me. I love your what I am doing rights also. Stay strong.

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LJR4HEALTH 3/15/2012 7:37PM

    Brandyn what a transformation ! YOu did an awesome job

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FIT-AT-50 3/15/2012 7:24PM

    Brandyn, This may be one of my favorite SP blogs ever. I love the progression of photos. You have so much to be proud of! Way to go!!!

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ARRIVINGUFO 3/15/2012 6:23PM

    Reading your blog today is just what I needed. Thanks for the reminder to focus on the good things! You are certainly an inspiration! Keep up the great work!

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LIVESTRONG2010 3/15/2012 5:25PM

    Wow Brandyn you look amazing at 50 and I am hoping to look half that good in 6 months. I agree with MJ seeing this before picture really shows how far you have come. Last year when we did the Tower Climb I thought you were about 15 years younger than me but I turn 50 this year too! You are a true inspiration and motivation to me. You ROCK lady!

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GOLDENDOMER00 3/15/2012 2:15PM

    You look great...I had no idea you were 50! Congratulations!

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RHONDALYN10 3/15/2012 1:25PM

    HOLY MOLEY! You are SMOKIN' HOT woman! 50 has NOTHING on you!! Can't wait to see what shame you bring to 60!!


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PAULALALALA 3/15/2012 1:19PM

    emoticon emoticonWow! Very inspiring blog, and the pictures are amazing! You look GREAT!

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 3/15/2012 12:26PM

    This is the first time I've ever seen a really good picture of you BEFORE in order to truly appreciate the AFTER. You are, and have always been, so inspirational and motivating for me. I'm so happy to hear from you in this blog and to get another glimpse into the wonderfulness that is Brandyn.

Belated happy birthday wishes to an extraordinary and amazing woman! Love you!

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CLAIREESE 3/15/2012 11:53AM

    emoticonWOW Brandyn! You are doing emoticon

Pictures really do tell the story...keep it up girl!! You bring motivation to a lot of people through this blog. High Five!!

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AEHEGE 3/15/2012 11:10AM

    emoticon Blog, Brandyn -- so glad you shared your story with photos for us -- I agree with the others (and your DH); it is inspiring to see how far you've come. I also like the way you outlined what you are doing right; seems like you are doing the right things to live to be 100.

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WENDYDANCER 3/15/2012 10:49AM

    Way to go Brandyn!! Those pictures are very motivating. You look fantastic!!

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MGJARVI 3/15/2012 10:17AM

    Brandyn, I can't even begin to tell you how AWESOME you are!! I mean, REALLY, you just continue to be such an inspiration :-) I love me some Brandyn!!

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SPARKLE_SHINE66 3/15/2012 8:57AM


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POOKASLUAGH 3/15/2012 8:47AM

    You look wonderful Brandyn. I know you say you have another 15 lbs to lose, and I believe you, but it doesn't really look it from the photo. You look beautiful and thin and healthy. And if you think about it, even while you deal with hormones and EE and everything else, you haven't gained back weight, so you're doing wonderful! Not re-gaining is a huge achievement.

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WATOGA17 3/15/2012 8:46AM

    You SHOULD get fond of the camera, Brandyn, because you look great! Like many of us, myself included, you should have many photos taken of yourself and learn to enjoy it. You have NOTHING to hide and MUCH to be proud of!

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SBEAR5 3/15/2012 8:32AM

    OH MY GOSH Brandyn! You ARE amazing! Seriously, and I had no idea you had reduction! I'm going to want to chat with you about that! Happy Belated B-day, btw. I'm sorry I missed it! MAN! I can't believe the transformation! LOL I'm in awe.

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SMALLERSHEEP 3/15/2012 8:06AM

    Oh my gosh! I'm right there with THINK we can see the difference? UM YEAH! WOW. WOW. WOW. You have come so far...not just in looks though, B. In your healthy attitude. You I love me some strength training so it warms my heart to see you saying that that's something you're doing right. Love your list. Love your progress. Congratulations!!!!

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LYNMEINDERS 3/15/2012 3:56AM

What a different person....well done....

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SKIRNIR 3/15/2012 12:14AM

    Think we can see the difference? Are you trying to master understatement or what? And you have more guts than I. Of course, I keep saying I am going to dig out a picture of me before and after, but keep not doing it.

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5 Things For Which I Am Grateful

Friday, November 25, 2011

Gratitude list for BLC 17 Final Weekend Challenge

1. My DH and his health. He is feeling much better after a few weeks of scary stuff. Thankfully the worst seems to be behind us.

2.Work. I love my work and though last night I though it would be nice to have the day off, I really enjoyed myself today. It can be challenging at times but overall it's a good way to spend the day.

3. The BLC, round 17 team. I've learned a lot from my teammates, the Prism Panthers, and am looking forward to round 18 in January.

4. Bootcamp on a Friday night. BC is usually on Thursday nights but with the holiday my trainer offered a special session tonight. It seemed to be more challenging than usual. Might have been she wanted us to work off the stuffing and pies or it could be number 5 below.

5. My trainer has a new boyfriend. And yes, I am grateful that she does. He joined us in BC for the first time tonight and I think she pushed us all a little bit more because of it.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAMARA6905 11/27/2011 10:00AM

    That's a great list! I think it's fantastic that you went to BC the day after Thanksgiving! I', sure it made you feel awesome! Good for you, way to go!

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MONTY68 11/26/2011 11:01PM

    Hi Brandyn
Great blog and I love your list. I am glad that DH is feeling much better.
I can see where number 5 could be a possibility, if it made her push the workout and it was better than usual, It might be good if he comes every week.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELEXEY 11/26/2011 4:27PM

    Well, I guess new boyfriend in class could be some incentive, huh? LOL. This is a great list.

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POOKASLUAGH 11/26/2011 8:23AM

    haha, I love that last one!

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APIRLRAIN888 11/25/2011 11:48PM


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JACKIE4019 11/25/2011 11:25PM

    A wonderful list.

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