Five Fall Fitness Ideas

Fall is a terrific time to switch up your fitness routine. The cooler weather and beautiful foliage makes outdoor exercise ideal in fall.  Take advantage of the season by switching up your workouts with these five fall fitness ideas:


Five Fall Fitness IdeasGet your legs in gear with a walking, jogging and running routine. If you’re a beginner, start with walking and slowly incorporate intervals of jogging. As you progress, your workouts can consist of mostly jogging and some running sprints to boost your heart rate for maximum metabolic benefits. Many races ranging from charitable 5Ks to marathons resume in the spring. Select a race to be your goal and start training now. In six months time you’ll be ready to show off your hard work on race day.


Cycling is a great way to take in the sights, scents and sounds of fall. If you don’t have a bike of your own, borrow one from a friend or rent one until you’re ready to buy. Take your bike to a lush area to enjoy the scenery or drive to the mountains for a more strenuous cycling experience.


Chances are your kids are enjoying the cooler weather now too so spend some family time playing for exercise. Ideas include a neighborhood game of soccer, rollerblading, raking leaves and jumping into the piles, setting up an obstacle course in your yard or simply playing chase or tag. When you hit park playgrounds this fall, use the equipment to do calisthenics, strength-building with your own body weight and stretching. Standing pushups, stair squats and lunges, planks, and crossing the monkey bars are all great ways to get in a quick workout while hanging around with the kiddos on the playground.

Boot Camp

Now that the kids are back in school, you can get back to your morning boot camp. This type of hard core workout is fantastic just before the holiday season to get your metabolism revved and keep your stress level in check. Boot camps are great because the social aspect and group trainer will keep you motivated to work hard. Plus you’ll be changing activities frequently so you won’t get bored with your workout.


Fall hiking is a great seasonal fitness choice. Spend time marking hiking areas on a map and make a goal to visit each of them at least once this season. Different hiking spots offer unique benefits because some will be hillier, some more colorful and some will have added features like waterfalls. Bring along friends and pack a picnic lunch to make your hiking experience a fun-filled day trip.

Enjoy the season and get in shape with our fall fitness ideas!

Diabetes Awareness Month – What You Should Know Part 2

We’re continuing our blog post on what you should know about diabetes as we support Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is rapidly becoming a crisis in the U.S. as it is estimated that one and three people will have type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. While there are no known methods of preventing type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is highly preventable. Today we’re looking at the risk factors associated with diabetes and lifestyle habits that can help prevent or manage diabetes symptoms.

Risk Factors for Diabetes

There is currently no known way to prevent type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile diabetes. Usually it begins in childhood, although it can present at any point in life, even in adults. Genetics, previous illness, environmental factors and diet may contribute to type 1 diabetes.

On the other hand, there are clearly pinpointed risk factors of type 2 diabetes. Knowing risk factors can help inform your health decisions and set a course of action to reduce your risk, detect the disease early and manage symptoms carefully.

  • Weight: The leading risk factor of diabetes is being overweight or obese. Fat cells are more likely to become insulin resistant. The more fat cells you have, the more at risk you are.
  • Genetics: Those with parents or siblings with diabetes are more likely to have it.
  • Physical Activity: Not only does this play into managing weight, but being active also helps cells use sugar for energy and maintain balance between blood glucose levels and insulin production.
  • Gestation: Many moms don’t know this but if you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gave birth to babies 9 lbs. or larger, you are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes in your lifetime.
  • Age: Risk of diabetes increases with age.
  • Race/Ethnicity: Some races and ethnic groups are predisposed to diabetes including African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans.
  • Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels: When your blood pressure and cholesterol are consistently and chronically high, you have a greater chance of becoming diabetic.

Lifestyle Habits to Prevent and Help Manage Diabetes

Diabetes Awareness MonthBecause weight and inactivity are the leading risk factors of type 2 diabetes, they are also the areas to focus on to prevent diabetes or help manage symptoms. These tips apply to everyone, but are especially crucial for prediabetics or those who suffer from diabetes and are working hard to manage symptoms.

Weight loss is extremely helpful because fat cells are more likely to become insulin resistant. With less fatty tissue, your risk is reduced. Steady weight loss and then weight maintenance is the best way to go. Losing weight quickly and gaining it back will not help reduce your risk of diabetes so be smart about how you approach weight loss to ensure it is sustainable.

Exercise is essential to healthy bodies. At least 30 minutes of exercise daily is recommended. As you know, working out can range from structured classes, workout DVDs, and utilizing cardio and strength-building gym equipment, to walking or jogging, playing sports or partaking in a physically active hobby like biking or skiing. Exercise only works if it works for you. Select an activity that you enjoy and switch it up if you start getting bored. Also, incorporate more activity in your day including standing periodically, stretching and walking more. Being active helps your body use sugar for energy and keeps cells more sensitive to insulin needs.

Your diet, of course, is the second important piece. As with any healthy diet, you should limit fats (such as too much fatty meat and fried foods) and excessive simple carbohydrates; however most people are mistaken that they should go on a low carb diet to prevent diabetes. This type of fad diet is probably not sustainable and the right carbohydrates can actually help prevent diabetes. Choose whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables that are full of fiber. These help improve blood sugar levels and will keep you satiated for longer, which can assist in weight loss. Also, limit alcohol and quit smoking to maintain a healthier, disease-free body.

Diabetes Awareness Month helps us examine our personal health picture and is a reminder to encourage loved ones to do the same. Reducing risk, early detection and managing symptoms of diabetes can save lives. That’s why we’re bringing awareness to this serious cause and we hope you will too.

Sources: American Diabetes Association, Center for Disease Control and Mayo Clinic

Diabetes Awareness Month – What You Should Know Part 1

November is Diabetes Awareness Month when we address a nasty disease that plagues over 29 million people in the U.S. Diabetes alone is life threatening but also leads to many other health complications. This month designated by the American Diabetes Association is a time to examine the statistics, risk factors and complications of diabetes along with the lifestyle habits that we can change to reduce our risk.

Diabetes Statistics

According to the CDC, approximately one out of every 11 Americans has diabetes but 25% of those with the disease don’t know they have it. Managing symptoms of diabetes is essential to living with the disease. Without proper treatment, diabetes becomes even more life threatening.  When looking at type 2 diabetes alone, at the rate at which diabetes occurs now, one out of three Americans will get diabetes in their lifetime.

Diabetes Awareness MonthAround 86 million Americans have pre-diabetes – the condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal increasing risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately nine out of 10 of these individuals are unaware of their status. When people make significant lifestyle changes, they can often prevent themselves from becoming diabetics.

Medical costs and lost productivity for people with diabetes is upwards of $245 billion dollars yearly. Diabetics on average spend twice as much on health care costs as those without diabetes.

Nearly 70,000 people die of diabetes every year although deaths of other causes based on complications due to diabetes bring the total to a much higher number.

Health Complications due to Diabetes

Diabetes causes blood glucose imbalance in the body as cells become insulin resistant and cannot keep sugar levels at a normal, stable level. Blood glucose is intertwined with nearly every function of the body. Therefore, diabetes leads to a host of medical complications. Among them are:

  • Heart Disease including heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, angina and coronary artery disease
  • Kidney damage which can lead to kidney failure or kidney disease
  • Nerve damage that can cause digestive issues, sensitivity, numbness, burning sensations and pain
  • Eye problems possibly leading to blindness
  • Hearing loss
  • Skin conditions including bacterial and fungal infections
  • Toe, Foot and Leg issues that may lead to amputation
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Later this week we’ll take a look at the risk factors associated with diabetes and lifestyle habits to prevent and manage diabetes in the second part of our salute to Diabetes Awareness Month.

Sources: American Diabetes Association, Center for Disease Control and Mayo Clinic

Reset Your Metabolism – Part 2

Earlier this week we talked about dietary ways to reset your metabolism. Today we’re taking a look at what you can do beyond eating and drinking wholesomely to get that metabolism revved to help you maintain a healthy weight. It may be impossible defy biology, but you can work to reset your metabolism in many small ways that make a big difference.

Reset Your Metabolism – Part 2Exercise and your Metabolism

Movement is key to keeping your metabolism charged up and working hard for you. Having a regular exercise regime is great, as long as it is sustainable for your lifestyle. You may want to stick to one type of workout until you reach a goal, such as building up to running a 10K or swimming a mile. If you get bored easily try switching up your workouts daily.

Believe it or not, muscle building boosts your metabolism better than strictly cardio. That doesn’t mean you have to get bulky. Rather, build lean muscle that will increase your resting metabolic rate so you’ll burn more fat and calories at rest – what could be better?

Beyond regular exercise, get moving more in your day. Taking stairs, parking further away from stores and restaurants, stretching and standing while doing chores like laundry and cooking are all small ways you can burn calories and give your metabolism a kick.

Sleep and your Metabolism

Your body recharges when you sleep so it is essential to get your zzz’s every night. Different people have varying needs for sleep but at least 7 hours is recommended. When your body isn’t rested, you’ll be sluggish and your metabolism will suffer. Try making it cooler in your bedroom too, which can help store up good fat and reduce bad fat storage.

Lighten the Mood for a Better Metabolism

Being happier and smiling more increases the amount of energy you use.  This also helps your emotional state and promotes wellness. Enjoying hobbies, spending time with friends, reading, relaxing and traveling are all great ways to increase the happy and encourage more smiles, all in the name of your metabolism.

Keep Track of your Health

Reaching a healthy weight is only helpful if you can maintain it. That’s why working to reset your metabolism is so important. Have a checks and balances system in place to ensure you don’t stray too far from your goals. It’s OK to take a day off exercise or indulge in your favorite not-so-healthy treats now and then, but long term abuse of your hard work can have negative effects on your body and your metabolism. Ways to keep yourself on track are maintaining a food and exercise journal, evaluating which bad habits you’ve let slip back into your life, and identifying a max weight that will trigger you to ramp up your healthy habits again.

Small steps over time make a big difference when you want to reset your metabolism. Implement several strategies to help create the healthiest you!

Sources: Women’s Health, Prevention, Eat This Not That and Body Building


Reset your Metabolism – Part 1

Reset your Metabolism - Part 1We’re all about being healthy for the simple sake of being healthy. More than a number on a scale or a size on a dress, being healthy makes you look and feel great. Your metabolism is a big part of your health. It’s a complicated mechanism, but in a nutshell it the complex process of breaking down food into energy and it is intertwined with every function of the human body. This week we’re exploring ways to reset your metabolism to help you be the healthiest you possible.

Is it Possible to Reset Your Metabolism?

Dropping some weight to remain healthy is a good thing, but weight loss doesn’t necessarily reset your metabolism. This is evidenced by the fact that keeping the weight off is often harder than losing it in the first place. Experts believe that you probably cannot truly reset your metabolism completely, but there are some strategies for keeping your metabolism revved to work with your weight loss and weight maintenance goals.

Women vs. Men

In general, women have it worse than men when it comes to weight loss and a high metabolism. We’re biologically hard-wired to have a lower resting metabolic rate – that’s how much food we burn for energy while at rest – than men. Plus, our bodies are designed to store more fat, while men use more food for energy immediately. Therefore, losing weight and keeping it off is usually harder for women than men. Still, it’s possible.

Diet and Your Metabolism

Of course your diet is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism. The goal is to eat a wholesome diet rich in lean proteins, fruits & veggies, low-fat dairy and whole grains while avoiding high fat foods, extra sugar, too many carbs and excessive alcohol. Keep these dietary tips in mind when you’re preparing meals to reset your metabolism:

  • Don’t skip meals and eat enough food. Food is how your metabolism gets amped up in the first place so if you don’t eat, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice. Your body will begin storing anything it can get as fat, rather than burning it for energy. Breakfast is especially important because you have fasted all night and need to supercharge that metabolism each morning so it’s ready to face the day.
  • Some easy-to-eat foods that boost your metabolism include nuts, spinach, avocado, cottage cheese, blueberries, salmon, legumes, lentils, chicken, oatmeal and quinoa, among many others.
  • Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber to counteract weight gain. It makes you feel full for longer because it takes more time to digest.
  • Include protein in every meal and snack because it keeps your metabolism charged for longer.
  • Iron, Vitamin D and Calcium are all essential to boosting your metabolism. Women have a harder time maintaining proper levels of these nutrients so be sure to get them in your diet. They also help you absorb other nutrients in your food, creating a healthier overall system.
  • Eat organic when possible because some food pesticides can introduce toxins that burden your body and slow the metabolism. Plus, chemicals can reduce your ability to absorb nutrients from your diet.
  • Use spices in your cooking. They may only increase your metabolic rate slightly but over time they can make a difference.
  • Drink cold water, which can burn up to 50 more calories daily than room temperature water.
  • Caffeinated beverages are stimulants that can ramp your metabolism quickly.
  • Drink superfood teas like Green Tea or Moringa Tea. They are bursting with nutrients that can elevate your metabolic rate and give you tons more energy.

Later this week we’ll examine non-dietary ways to reset your metabolism. Stay tuned for more healthy tips!

Sources: Women’s Health, Prevention, Eat This Not That and Body Building

Full Figure Fashion: 6 Sweater Trends to Try This Fall

When the cooler weather arrives, it’s time to bust out the sweaters. After surviving the summer heat and wearing out your short sleeves, a cozy sweater probably feels really good right about now. In today’s full figure fashion report, we’re here to help you look good in your sweaters too with sweater trends to try this fall.

Full Figure Fashion: 6 Sweater Trends to Try This FallSweater Trend #1: Texture

Most sweaters have texture by nature since they are made with heavier materials but we’re talking about adding even more texture with a fashionable cable knit design. Large or small, these patterns can take an ordinary sweater and make it spectacular.  It’s especially trendy this fall in cream. Alternatively, go for a fringed sweater that will lengthen your look and offer some dynamic movement when your strut your stuff.

Sweater Trend #2:  Off the Shoulder

The off the shoulder look is popular this season and you can extend it to full figure fashion sweaters too. There are several ways to take this trend: a double off the shoulder sweater; a cut out shoulder with shoulder straps and sleeves; or a large neck hole that naturally falls off one shoulder. Any way you slice it, an off the shoulder sweater is a swanky choice this fall.

Sweater Trend #3: Ski Sweaters

Even if you’re not hitting the slopes, a ski design is seasonally appropriate and festive. These oversized, chunky sweaters are particularly warm and can add a pop of design to your outfit.

Sweater Trend #4: Boyfriend Cardigans

Long v-neck cardigans are fabulous for many occasions. They can help you layer up to dress for cooler mornings and warmer afternoons, and they pair nicely with skirts, pants, jeans and dresses. When you pick a neutral color it can be your go-to sweater for the fall.

Sweater Trend #5: Color Blocking

Color blocking with fall hues makes a classy sweater with clean lines for casual or dressy events. Make sure your color blocked sweater’s lines hit you in flattering places to compliment your silhouette. Diagonal lines are interesting and help elongate your look if you’re on the shorter side. Pair color blocking with solid bottoms to keep the focus on your fabulous sweater.

Sweater Trend #6: Crop

Short sweaters are on trend for fall 2016. Look for lengths that hit right at your waistline to meet up with your pants or skirts. Also try a tucked-in camisole underneath when you want to ensure you’re not showing too much skin. This trend can be fun with a bold sleeve or a large turtle neck.

We hope you stay cozy and fashionable in these sweater trends to try this fall!

Sources: Fashion Gum and Fashionisers

Crafty in the Kitchen: Make Eating More Fun

Whether you’re tired of arguing with your kiddos at mealtimes about eating their food or you need to reinvigorate the lunches you bring to the office, getting crafty in the kitchen can make a big difference in the palatability of your food. Today we’re sharing ideas for making a splash with your meals just by the way in which they are served. Make eating more fun by trying these suggestions:

Crafty in the Kitchen: Make Eating More FunMiniaturize Everything

Casseroles, eggs, meatloaves and more can all become exciting again when you make miniature versions of them. Use a muffin tin to bake smaller portions of your meal. The food will take the shape of the cup and be adorably delicious when you pop it into your mouth.  It also makes your meal more portable so these miniature dishes are great for on-the-go snacks, picnics or dining in your cubicle.

Mason Jars

Salads, soups and parfaits have never been more appealing than when you toss them in a mason jar. This old-fashioned serving dish is now quite trendy and can make eating veggies and other healthy foods swankier.


Kabobs aren’t just for grilling meats and veggies. You can skewer everything from fruit salad to sandwiches. For a BLT, cut your bread, lettuce, tomato and bacon in small pieces and string them on the stick. Or try a caprese salad using basil, tomato and soft mozzarella cheese. For the kiddos, use toothpicks for smaller portions and easy-to-eat bites.

Add a Shell

When you can scoop food into a shell, whether it’s a pita chip scooper, filo dough, or a taco shell, everything tastes better. Pick the foods that are least desirable in your family and let everyone scoop them into a shell. The combo of the soft inside and the crunchy outside will make the experience more intriguing for sure.

Drink it Instead

We usually think of a meal as solid food but drinking in nutrients works the same for your body. Stop the mealtime drama by replacing a few meals a week with a smoothie. Be sure to get all of your food groups: fruits and veggies; protein from Greek yogurt, milk or nuts; and whole grains from flax, lentils, quinoa or chia seeds. Slurp up the goodness.

Change the Environment

Sometimes it’s less about the food and more about where you are eating it. At home, have a picnic on your porch, lawn or living room floor. At work, visit a co-worker’s office for lunch or sit outside. Changing the scenery may help make your food more appetizing.

We hope you and your family enjoy getting crafty in the kitchen with these ideas to make eating more fun.

Fall Decorating Ideas

Fall Decorating IdeasFall is such a fun time of year to decorate your home. With the changing of leaf colors opens new opportunities for festive fall decorating. We’re sharing fall decorating ideas so your home can welcome the season in style.

The colors of the autumn season are orange, yellow, burnt red, brown and tan. There are many ways to incorporate fall colors into your home using leaves, pumpkins, corn husks, twine, twigs, moss and a variety of other household items. Even small splashes of seasonal colors can make your home feel the warmth of fall.

Let’s start with the small things: Placing a few accent pieces around your home is easy and festive. Try a few seasonally colored throw pillows or a cozy plaid blanket in warm fall hues in your family room. Use autumn-themed ribbon and bows to “wrap” your kitchen cabinets. How about fall leaf garland to twirl around your staircase? A maple leaf wreath on your front door or festive doormat are simple and bright too. Small touches go a long way to bring in the seasonal spirit.

There are many fun fall decorating ideas with vases and baskets. A simple apple basket with a colorful bow filled with small pumpkins makes a great table topper indoors, or place it on a small bail of hay or a wooden crate outside your home for an autumnal greeting to visitors.

Inside select clear glass vases to fill with fall objects. A tall glass vase featuring corn husks is terrific for high centerpieces in broad spaces, or try smaller ones for pinecones, leaves, acorns, dried beans, and mini pumpkins for smaller areas. Baskets of autumn leaves – real or fake – make joyful accent pieces. Another leaf idea: tie one to an electric candle with twine. The glow will illuminate the leaves leaving a happy fall twinkle in your home. If you’re looking for an art project for the kids, have them paint acorns and place them in containers so they can enjoy their artwork all season.

For outside, mums are terrific seasonal flowers that come in fall hues. Plant a few in a scooped pumpkin for a clever outdoor flowerpot. You can also line your front porch, outdoor steps or front walkway with a mixture of fall decorating ideas to create an entire autumn scene.

Another cute idea for the doorstep or yard are pumpkin addresses markers. Paint your street address number on one or multiple pumpkins to identify your home this season. Alternatively you can paint seasonal or inspirational words – such as welcome, joy, celebrate, gratitude or boo – on pumpkins to bring cheer to friends and neighbors.

Get inspired by the season with fall decorating ideas. Just a few of these suggestions can make your home feel like an autumn wonderland in no time.

Sources: Woman’s Day and House Beautiful


Full Figure Fashion Fall 2016: Pink Fashion Trend

Full Figure Fashion Fall 2016: Pink Fashion TrendIn October we like to “think pink” in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, when you wear your pink you’re also staying right on trend for fall 2016. Feminine shades of pink are more powerful than ever. In today’s full figure fashion report we’re taking a look at the pink fashion trend of the season.

You may think of pink as a spring and summer color but designers from the top of the runway to the bottom will change your view. Blush, bubblegum, rose or hot, this color makes a statement in more ways than one this fall. As we prepare our wardrobes for a new season and support breast cancer awareness, pink is the trend to wear.

When you’re considering how to incorporate pink into your full figure fashion this fall, remember, it’s all about the fabric. Fall and winter friendly fabrics such as cashmere, wool, felt, velvet, mohair and faux fur are right on target. These elegant materials are especially ripe for winter coats, suits and draped sweaters. They’ll keep you warm and cozy as the weather cools too.

Add sheen to your pink and you’ll also look incredibly well-dressed this fall. Shimmery fabrics such as lame, jeweled tones, sparkles and sequins introduce pizzazz to your seasonal wardrobe. Consider mixing shiny materials with prints as well. This glossed look will certainly turn heads and keep you looking sharp for the breast cancer awareness cause.

You can also incorporate some other fall 2016 trends into your pink full figure fashion. Mid-calf dresses, ruffled sleeves, off-the-shoulder tops, sheer pieces, and pant suits are all spot on for the season. Add your own flair to the pink trend to make this color reflect your personal style.

Of course no pink outfit would be complete without a pink ribbon in October. That’s one accessory that goes with everything in your fall wardrobe.

Make your stylish full figure fashion look stand for something this fall by wearing pink!

Sources: Vogue, PopSugar and Stylecaster


Pumpkin Season

pumpkin seasonPumpkin season is finally here and we are ecstatic about it! Those adorable orange gourds are a delightful part of the fall season on so many levels. Today we’re sharing our favorite ways to indulge in the pumpkin season:

Baked Goods: Well of course our number one pick is sweet treats. From pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, to pumpkin cookies and pumpkin scones, there is no question that pumpkin is the flavor of fall. A pumpkin version of almost any dessert is possible so dig up your favorite recipes and add a little pumpkin to get in the festive fall mood.

Pumpkin Candles: Walking into a home filled with the scent of the season is delightful. Pumpkin candles are wildly popular and leave your house smelling delectable from top to bottom. If you’re having company over, this is a great way to add fragrance without actually having to bake anything.

Pumpkin Beauty Products: Beauty makers know how to capitalize on the seasonal appeal of pumpkins too. This time of year you can find a variety of beauty products laced with pumpkin including soaps, moisturizers, lip sticks, eye shadows, facial masks and fragrances. If you love pumpkin beauty products, stock up now because they won’t be available for long.

Pumpkin-Spiced Lattes and Teas: Coffee and tea selections soak up the flavor of fall with pumpkin varieties too. Pumpkin mixed with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon or vanilla are all smooth combos for your fall warm beverages.

Pumpkin Décor: Carving jack-o-lanterns out of pumpkins is only one way to decorate with this fabulous gourd. Try other faces such as alien-style designs or goofy googly-eyed pumpkins. Consider painting colorful designs or doing other fun art projects with pumpkins of all sizes. Write festive words on your pumpkins or stack them in a clear glass vase for more elegant appeal.

Pumpkin Dishes: Make a cool serving dish out of a scooped pumpkin. This can be used for delicious dips, candies, or as a cooler for cold beverages. Tip, don’t gut the pumpkin until the day you need to use it. After all, this is a plant and it will rot fairly quickly.

Pumpkin Seed Snack Mix: Pumpkin seeds are a delish and nutrish way to spice up your seasonal snack mix. Add other healthy ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, sunflower seeds and oat clusters for a yummy fall snack.

Pumpkin Outdoor Family Space: Collect several large pumpkins on the flatter side. Cut off the stems and create an outdoor family space with pumpkins as your seats. You can use this area to read, play games, tell stories or have a bonfire on a crisp autumn night.

Enjoy your pumpkin season!!


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Guide to Black Friday
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Protect Your Hair from Winter Weather
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What is Zapping your Concentration?
what to do for faster metabolism
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