Living the good life, the healthy way

the importance

Publicerad 2014-04-10 10:59:57 i Living life, Wellness and health,

It really doesn't matter what it is you like to do. Hiking, weight-lifting, crossfit, yoga, zumba, aerobics, running, jogging, dancing, team-sports, martial arts, gymnastics, cycling, swimming. Just move. Find something you enjoy and move your body.
It is so important. The benefits of getting your blood pumping, your muscles active are so incredible that it should be in everyone's interest to stay active.
- helps to protect against heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
- helps protect against certain cancers such as colon cancer and breast cancer.
- prevents diabetes type 2 and metabolic syndrome.
- helps prevent osteoporisis (loss of bone mass)
- reduces risk of falling and breaking bones when older (stronger musclemass and stronger bones).
- imporives cognitive function when older.
- relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood.
- helps keeping body weight at a normal level.
- improves sleep.
- improves lung and heart fitness.
So consider this. You do not have time for exercise. You are tired and want to relax when you come home from work. You feel fine. You dont always sleep very well, and you are slightly over weight, or you're not over weight at all, so no need to get fire engines going, right? There is nothing wrong with wanting to relax, but by prioritizing away exercise you will eventually have to prioritize expensive medical care, hospital visits, treatments...
It is the ugly truth, and I just want to be upfront. It doesn't matter what exercise you do, but if you make your body work harder than normal for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week you will instantly start to reduce the risk of illness.
The greatest problem I see is that most people don't realise that their health problems are very often linked with their lifestyle. If you have no core strength, your back and shoulders will suffer. If you have no leg strength, or to much weight, or both, your knees will suffer. If your body never gets used, never gets to work, to move, it will suffer. It will deteriorate. But these symptoms creep up on us gradually. We don't notice our health issues until it's too late. It isn't until we are dignosed with diabetes, poor backs or hips, that we understand that we have been neglecting our health.
We don't see the need to maintain health, as long as we feel fine. Our bodies are amazing though, and will respond quickly when we treat them right. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to train like an athlete, you don't have to eat perfectly 100% of the time. Eat well during the week, treat yourself on saturday night. Exercise regurlaly, find something you enjoy. Walk and cycle instead of using the car. Walk the stairs. Simple and small changes can be the water drop that makes the difference! 
If you don't have time for exercise and healthy eating now, you will most likely have make time for illness and disease later in life.

Act of kindness

Publicerad 2014-04-08 11:50:06 i Living life,

I'm a thinker. I think alot, about alot of things. Mostly people and social behaviour. About wellness, health and happiness.
It is sometimes hard to write down my thoughts without it sounding like I'm preaching. I don't want to preach. I don't want anyone to be provoced by my words. I want to inspire. Maybe make a small difference in someone's day, life, view of the world.
We all exist here together, and we all have a choice between leaving a positive trace on this planet, or a negative. We always have a choice. We have a choice to love or to hate. We have a choice to move forward, backward or not move at all.
Most of the time our choices are more than one, it isn't always clear which one will be a positive one. Life isn't black and white. But in all situations we can always choose kindness. To live a life with a loving heart and soul. We all exist here together. We are all fighting our own battles, have our own struggles and worries. When meeting other people, talking to other people, talking about other people - choose kindness. You don't know what their journey is about.
Their clothes may not please you. Their hairstyle may not attract you or their lipstick might be too red for you. Their laughter might be too loud for your ears. That's ok. We all have different preferences. But don't say it out loud. Not to them or to others. Say something nice instead. Practice love. It takes practice. Let it take practice. But practice it.
When we practice love, when we are nice, we actually become happier.
Practice loce, and see where it might get you.

Things that really make me sad

Publicerad 2014-03-27 12:04:52 i Living life,

You know what really saddens me? When I read blogs that focus on exercise and healthy eating - where the author is clearly suffering from disordered eating behaviours. This blog used to be like that, and there are so so so many more out there. The scary thing is, that our society feeds this behaviour. It is considered to be dedicational, healthy, strong, disciplined. It is encouraged and people fail to see the disorder in these habits.
It makes me sad when I see young girls in the internet asking fitness people how to get their body. "you have my dream body, any tips on how I can train and eat to look like you?". This makes me sad. Why look like someone else, when you can look like you? Also, getting visible abs, toned leg and arm muscles, and low body fat percentage is very, very difficult unless you have this body type naturally. Striving for this look is not healthy for teenagers.
It makes me sad when teenagers ask how many calories they should be eating in order to lose weight, and the instagram owner/tumblr owner/ blog owner answers with "i would go for about 1200-1500 calories and exercise 4-6 times a week". This really makes me sad. First of all, the advisor is most likely not a trained professional within nutrition and training, second they know absolutely nothing about the person asking for advise (it may be a 13 year old at a healthy weight, or a 30 year old with overweight or a 50 year old who is underweight, they just don't know!). Giving advise without knowing anything about a person is a very very dangerous business. It causes confusion, obsessive behaviour, eating disorders and most likely failure. It does no good what so ever.
It makes me sad that teenagers feel the need to ask online amatouers about calories and exercise, instead of focusing on having fun, enjoying life with friends and simply eating healthy nutritional foods.
It saddens me that society puts so much value into what our bodies look like instead of other qualities such as humour, wit, creativity, intelligence, thoughts, etc etc. We are so much more than our bodies. We live in our bodies, and our bodies are here for one reason only - to be able to live and experience life. If we look after our bodies with love and care we will most likely live longer with less pain. If we neglect our bodies and it's needs we are moving towards a life of illness and an early death.
I don't know. It just makes me sad that society is so fixed on our looks, more than anything else. It does no good. It brings sadness and unhappiness where you could have put your energy onto things that are way more important - who you are. Not what your body is.

Everything is in your head

Publicerad 2014-03-12 14:55:35 i Living life,

Think of all the mental challenges that you manage to overcome, every day. Simply because you know you CAN and you know you have to. Things like:
  • getting out of your warm, cozy bed in the morning.
  • bringing yourself to have a shower.
  • bringing yourslef to go out the door and go to work/school/uni or whatever you have to do.
  • cooking yourself dinner.
  • going out in the cold.
  • going food shopping.
  • finding something to wear.
  • do the housework.
  • going to that meeting you're dreading.
  • giving that speech you feel so nervous about.
  • writing the test that you are unsure if you studied correctly for.
  • handing in a report you are unsure about.
You can do anything you want. You can do whatever you need to do. You overcome mental challenges everyday, no matter how small.  You are capable. You are good enough. You are perfectly good at overcoming obstacles. Sometimes we need help, sometimes we can do it on our own, but we can do it. We can make a change, make a difference. We can do whatever we want to do. We can overcome anything. Remember that.

My training at the moment

Publicerad 2014-03-04 11:20:07 i Living life, Workout,

I am really enjoying my workouts at the moment. I feel that I am getting stronger and my endurance and stamina is just increasing each week. It feels amazing. Cross fit is alot of fun too, very social and even though it is hard I never feel like I need to push myself more than I am able to.
Last weeks training looked like this:
Monday: Active rest (just riding my bike to and from work).
Tuesday: Body Balance (a mix of pilates and yoga) + Cross fit, and riding the bike to and from work.
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 3 km run, strength training for legs and abs + riding the bike.
Friday:  Rest
Saturday: Body Pump (full body strength training).
Sunday: Sh'Bam (an hour of dancing).
This week I am planning following:
Monday: Active rest (40 minutes of yoga).
Tuesday: Cross fit + riding the bike.
Wednesday: Running 5 km (?) and bike ride.
Thursday: Running 3 km + strength training.
Friday: Active rest, just bike ride.
Saturday: Running 6 km.
Sunday: Strength training.
The plan may change of course depending on what I/we decide to do during the week! But I enjoy doing something active everyday, it brings me so much energy!

Rant, I just start fuming sometimes

Publicerad 2014-02-28 11:19:06 i Living life,

I cannot get over how mentally disordered our whole society is. We get bombarded with messages about how to slim down, get toned, get fit, and at the same time how much we must love and accept ourselves for who we are and what bodies we have. Cause everyone is different and unique but we must all try and mold ourselves into the ideal body that society wants us to have. But don’t forget to love yourself.

This isn’t helped by the fact that we base our entire worth around our looks. If we do not get appreciation for our looks we are worth nothing. This applies to both men and women, but there is a big imbalance between the sexes here. Men and women comment on other women’s bodies to an absurd amount. It is as if we are all free to just judge all girls and women out there on whether or not they are “fuckable” enough, “sexy” enough or “pretty” enough. We just splurt out all these stupid ass comments, no care who is listening or not. Maybe it’s your daughter hearing you say these words. “Nah, I wouldn’t go near that” or “I’d definitely fuck that”. I mean, first of all. You are talking about a human being, not an object, so stop making her into one. Why is it so hard to use the pronoun “her”? Would you like anyone to refer to your daughter, sister, mother, wife as an object? Or would you like to be an object yourself? No? Stop doing it yourself then. You may not know her, but she is still a person and whether or not you find her non-attractive or “fuckable” doesn’t remove that fact. Second, what message do you think you send out when telling everyone if you would fuck “that” or not fuck “that”? Why is it important? Why can you not keep that to yourself? Is it a game you must play to seem “hard”? By comments like this, girls grow up to believe that the one thing that matters most is whether or not she is attractive. Intelligence? Humour? Interests? No, girls believe that men want sexy, pretty women that giggles quietly and loves shopping so they can take the piss out of their love for shopping, because the less the woman is like a man, the more a man becomes a man. Right?

But mind you, a woman cannot be too sexy, or try too hard to fit into the category of “fuckable” because then she’s a whore. She’s learned that without “sexiness” she’s worth nothing, so she tries to attain it, but if she tries too hard, she’s a whore. You see the problem? No matter what girls do they are either boring, ugly (not trying enough), whores, bitches (trying too hard), and a few “lucky” ones are sexy and fuckable. Yay! You made it. You have the appreciation of others and now you will be happy forever.

I’m not saying that you can never express that you find someone attractive. But it is HOW you express that. Saying “yeah, I’d fuck that” or “she’s really attractive, she looks happy/healthy/sweet/nice whatever” means too completely different things. Some people awakens sexual attraction and that’s natural, but going around making that person into an object is not ok. Walking around judging every person you see on whether you’d fuck them or not, is not okay. This applies to both men and women. I’m not saying men are not victims of this, because they are too, but let’s face it – women are the biggest sufferers of this body-shaming in society.

No wonder people are insecure. My god, we feel as if we get judged everywhere we go. And we do. From what I’ve experienced the last few years at least. We are not safe. We are told to love ourselves but how can we do that if our worth as HUMAN BEINGS is based on our looks?

It is so goddamn disordered. When did being happy, joyful, intelligent, witty, strong, independent, affirmative, kind, loving, generous, hard-working, ambitious, healthy, etc become less important than looks? Never, I’d say.

Yoga challenge

Publicerad 2014-02-03 21:59:26 i Living life,

I'm challenging myself with one mission. To do 20 minutes of yoga ech day for the rest of the year. 20 minutes of a day is less than 2% of each 24 hours. It is easy to accomplish. Just need to make it a daily routine.
So why? Well, tyoga is an "easy" way to add some flexibility, strength, breathing and relaxing into a daily routine. I have noticed how incredibly unflexible and stiff my body has become from sitting still in an office for 8 hours each day. I need this. For my yoga I'm following these youtube channels:
Tara Stiles
And thank god the snow disappeared too so that I can cycle to work again!

Common ground 3

Publicerad 2014-01-28 15:50:27 i Living life,

The last post concerning what make the three very popular diets succesful (in the short term perspective I guess).
The last common ground that I, myself, have seen in LCHF, vegan/rawfood and paleo, is mainly cutting junk food out of your diet. Once you start to "follow" a diet, you are making the choice to say no to fast food, sweets, crisps, and also make better choices in the supermarket. It isn't uncommon to aim for as "clean" and unprocessed food as possible, which naturally leads to weight loss and health improvement, as you will a) most likely be eating less calories than before (even if you don't count) and b) be eating foods that are wholesome and free from questionable additives.
Put all these three common grounds together and it becomes pretty clear that most people find themselves losing weight, gaining energy, reclaiming good health and feel better than ever before.
I can't tell you which foods to eat, or not to eat. Everyone have different needs and different bodies with different metabolism, sensitivities, tolerance, tastes and thoughts on ethical and moral choices. What is right for me, may not be right for you.
I am choosing to eat freely from anything I like. But I prefer to feed myself foods that I believe are beneficial for my health. I choose to not exclude meat, nor grains, nor dairy. But I try to figure out what makes me feel the best. It may take a while, but I will let it.
Simple as that.

Fitness goals of 2014

Publicerad 2014-01-07 22:46:47 i Living life, Wellness and health, Workout,

As a little continuation on the previous post, here are my fitness related goals of 2014:

- to get fit again (do at least 3 workouts a week, but prefeably 4-5)

- my main fitness focus will be to gain muscle mass and increase cardio.

- no stressing about results though, as I know it fucks up my mental state. Just focus on progress, no matter how slow or fast, big or small.

- hopefully run my first race (5-10kms) together with my friend - running here I come!

- to try and eat mainly clean food and less grains, sugar etc. I've already been through this. I have no restrictions on my diet though, since it's just silly and stupid and makes me miserable about life. 


Simple and easy goals - focusing on health, rather than fitness I guess :)

A little 2014 update

Publicerad 2014-01-07 22:09:00 i Living life,

Getting back in the gym for some serious business and I hurt my back. Typical. Can hardly move now, and I'm supposed to do Crossfit with Chris on Thursday. I really, really, really want to go. I hope my back pain goes away until then. I'll be careful I promise!
Planning on baking some more bread again, just need to buy some sour milk to prepare the flour with! Got to scribble it down on the shopping list straight away! I'm positive about getting back into shape. The last few months I've been exercising, but not regularly because I been wanting to focus on my mental health, and my happiness more than anything. I feel that I've gained that back, I've reclaimed my happiness. So now I want to reclaim my fitness as well! 
But yeah, got to listen to my body. I don't like having a weak lower back. And until it's healed I need to take it easy. So we'll see about the Crossfit...
And just as a friendly reminder:

Common ground 2

Publicerad 2013-12-29 17:15:00 i Living life,

Continuing on common grounds of the most popular diets at the moment (accordning to myself), I shall now go through number two.
No grains

Since the 70's and onwards we have been taught that it is the saturated fats, and fatty food that make us ill and obese, mainly based on the studies made by a man called Ancel Keyes. Therefore we have been advised to decrease the amount of fat we eat and increase the amount of carbs we eat. Especially bread, pasta and other grain based products. All the while the major population has continued to grow sicker and fatter, many times despite trying to follow the health recommendations of the governments.
How is that?
Well, looking at our evolutionary path it is kind of hard to imagine human beings ate vast amounts of bread, pasta, müsli, cereals, cakes, cinnamon buns, and the like. I would imagine they ate small portions of grains, when they found them, and prepared and ate them carefully. Cause here is the thing. Grains only became a big part of our diet when we started to settle and realised we can grow plants that provide grains. Yes, they were an important part of our development, because they were easy to store and keep even throughout winter when other food was scarce.
However, preparing and cooking them was also an important part and through that process humans could acquire the much needed nutrients (which in fairness was needed by the people at the time). Nowadays we have the luxury of being able to grow and purchase much more nutrinally beneficial products that easily can replace grain anytime. 
So what is the problem with grains?
There are a few different problem with grains, especially if they haven't been prepared properly.
  1. The insulin problem. It isn't just sugar that causes insulin to run amoc in your body. All carbs will be converted into glucose, and glucose is actually toxic to have in your blood-stream (that's why high blood-sugar is no good). So the body produces the hormone insulin to take care of the glucose, by "delivering" it to your cells (mainly muscle), so that they can be used by your muscles as energy. The issue is that most people today are far less active and eat far more carbohydrates today than we did before agriculture, and even up until more recent history. So the energy never gets burned, and thus it turns into fat (easier for the body to store for more harsher times). So yes, obesity and fatness are actually caused by over-consumtion of sugar and carbs, rather than fat.
  2. To top the insulin problem, the body actually suffers from the constant hormone fluxes and production, and is very likely to develop systemic inflammation (although there are also other dietary causes to this, but sugar and fast carbs are one major cause).
  3. Furtheron, grains (and also legumes and nuts) contain phytates that are believed to block the absorbtion of minerals such as calcium and iron. Grains also contain the anti-nutrient lectins, which is a mild form of poison (to prevent the seeds from being eaten). Lectins prevent the GI tract from repairing itself, leaving it vulnerable to bacterial growth ---> inflammation. Gluten is the third content in our most common grains (wheat, rye and barley), which is a protein that our digestive systems find extremely hard to handle. Some scientists believe that up to a third of the population are intolerant of gluten, more or less. Gluten intolerance causes an inflammatory response and can lead to skin problems, arthritis, acid reflux, auto-immune disorders and celiacs disease.
Several studies show that wheat is strongly connected to weight gain, and that weight loss if most efficiently achieved when cutting grains out of your diet.
I believe that the abscence of grains in the three very popular diets is a major contributor to their success. I would recommend to everyone to reconsider your grains. I do not say never to eat them, but rather to cut down, and exchange some (or most) of it for better sources of carbs, like vegetables, root veggies and fruit. 
Sources:, 1,2,3

Common ground 1

Publicerad 2013-12-20 14:44:00 i Living life, Wellness and health,

Talking about the popular diets at the moment I basically said that, if we were to follow all those rules of what is healthy and what is not, we would be eating leafy greens and nothing else. It doesn't sound so appealing to me, how about you?
What has made these diets so popular then?
People who follow these diets are all lyrical about their specific choice of foods, and would like for everyone to join their "salvation" and start eating the same way. What is it that makes them so special, and how can you get the same feeling of wellbeing from eating almost nothing but meat, as eating almost nothing but vegetables, nuts and fruit?
People on these diets often give anecdotes of how their stomach cramps have disappeared, their sore and tense muscles have loosened up, their head-aches have been relieved and most of all they experience a much longed for weight-loss, energy and general wellbeing - feeling sharp and alert and satisfied.
I believe that there is a few common grounds in these diets that contribute to these feelings, and enough talking, here is number 1:
No calorie counting
None of these eating habits require calorie counting. You are encouraged to eat as much as you like as long as you stick to "the rules". You are encouraged to start eating when you feel hungry (not because it is now 12 o'clock), and stop eating when you feel satisfied.
Why do I believe this is a good thing? Because I've been down the road of calorie counting. It gives a false sense of control. You feel good about yourself when you stay within your daily limit. The problem is that, to so many people, the sense of control quickly becomes an obsessing habit. It becomes scary to not know how many calories a meal contains. It feels like you've let yourself down when you have gone over the limit. It can quickly become something that spirales out of control, instead of giving control. If that makes sense. It also gives the brain a false logical train of thought, that the less you eat, the better, right?
Well, as we've seen, starvation harms the body and the brain. We become obsessed with food, depressed, anxious around food, anxious in general and cannot simply think straight. Our bodies and brains need fuel. If we count calories, we run the risk of cutting the amount of fuel needed by too much, until we cannot function normally anymore (whether that be physical or mental).
Furthermore, all calories are not the same. OK, let me rephrase that. Not all calories are handled by the body the same way. It is true that you will lose weight by eating a small amount of calories coming from junk food (for example all the diet shakes, juices, bars that are sold to us as a quick fix). The problem is that they contain little valuable nutrition and will leave you feeling hungry, deprived and unsatisfied. As soon as you start eating normally again, you are very likey to gain weight again.
There is also a difference in weight loss, and fat loss. Losing weight by cutting calories but still eating junk food, most likely mean that you lose both fat and muscle. Losing weight by eating until you're satisfied, and food that contain high quality nutrition will lead to greater fat loss, and a better chance of maintaining muscle mass.
Not counting calories while eating these diets are closely tied to the second common ground, that I will write about another time.
And once more, these are all my own thoughts, based on information I've read about health and nutrition. I do not tell anyone what to do, I'm simply putting my thoughts into words. I do not tell you this is right for you. Just that it is right for me :)
Sources:, dietdoctor.comnew england journal of medicine

How to know what is "right"?

Publicerad 2013-12-18 13:32:00 i Living life, Wellness and health,

So, I wanted to share some thoughts on food and health. I'll try to keep a red thread a not get carried away as I normally do.
The jungle of diets
There are many ways to eat healthy. There is no magic diet that works for everyone. If you want to improve your health you must not forsake your mental health. Find an eating habit that works for you, without leaving you feeling deprived of foods you love.
Some people thrive on LCHF (low carb, high fat) - eating almost no carbs whatsoever. That means elimiting anything starchy or carby. No flour, potatoes, grains, oats, fruit, root vegetables, beans or sweet treats. They eat mainly animal protein, green vegetables and dairy products (full-fat).
Some people feel great on a so called paleo diet - avoiding grains, beans, dairy and industrially processed foods. They eat mainly animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts and healthy fats from meat, fish, avocados, olive oil, and ghee (butter that has been boiled to remove the lactose).
Some people tell stories of how awesome they feel from a raw food, vegan diet - eating nothing that has been heated above 42 degrees, all to maintain optimum nutrition within the food. This will mean that you cannot eat food that require cooking, for example grains, most meats, eggs, beans. Some beans are eaten if they have been sprouted. These people most often also avoid dairy products and refined foods.
Then there are people who sort of mix and match, some eat GI (like myself), some eat just vegetarian or vegan. Some just eat. Food is primarily meant to feed our bodies and provide nutrition that will keep us healthy, alert and energized through life. But people, human beings, have a more complex relationship to food than just eating to survive and maintain optimal health. We gather around food. We socialize around food. We build bonds and show love with food. It is so important to our mental and social wellbeing that looking only on the physical aspect of food is, in my opinion, rather foolish (I've been there myself, it is not nice).
So if I want to change my lifestyle to the better, how do I know what is right?
It is hard, because we are being bombarded every day about which diet is the most efficient. All of the above diets are popular right now and if you were to believe all of them and their arguments you would be left with nothing but some leafy greens and water on your plate. That is just not sufficient, either for your physical health, nor for your mental. Actually, there are studies that suggests that starvation causes not only physical deterioration, but also mental stress, depression and anxietys (source).
So what are you supposed to eat to become the healthiest, best, optimal you? To be honest, no one can give you the answer that is right for you, except yourself. But there are a few things in common with the above popular diets that I believe contribute to their popularity (the feeling of being lighter, energized and filled with "glow"). I will go through each common ground in separate posts - but remember, these are things that I, myself, have observed and noted while reading up about health and nutrition. I do not say that my thoughts and beliefs are true to you or anyone else. They are merely my gathered ideas of how to live a healthy life, with good choices for both my soul and body.

Starting new

Publicerad 2013-12-18 10:36:00 i Living life, Wellness and health,

Ah, on my regurlar blog I try to stay clear of preaching about healthy choices and exercise, because I simply do not want anyone to feel judged by their choices, and that is never my intention. I used to be sort of blind to how my words came out and the feeling that I made better choices than others got the better of me many times. Looking back through the archives of this blog I realise how aggressively my interest for health and exercise came across.
The problem is when you have a passion for something and you want to spread and share the word it is hard sometimes to not get too passionate. And health is a sensitive issue. People do not want to feel guilty about themselves, for not exercising hard enough, or for not saying no to that extra slice of cake. Before, I used to feel guilty about these things. And I felt good about myself when I "behaved". So I wanted others to feel good about themselves too. Since then I have worked on my self-awareness, self-esteem and self-concept and I have become so much more gentle with myself and others. I have come to understand that feeling good about oneself is not reliant on "behaving" - it is reliant on how you speak to yourself. It is reliant on how well you listen to your body and not putting all your worth on being "good".
I am still incredibly interested in health, but it is no longer so tightly tied to my self-worth. I exercise because I enjoy it. I go to the classes I enjoy, I do the workout I am in the mood for. I have stopped the voice in my head telling me I need to do legs today, because I did arms the other day. I simply do whatever I feel like.  Exercise makes me feel happy, energized and confident - even more so since I removed the "perform" part of it.
Eating healthy makes me feel happy and energized too. And I miss writing about my thoughts on healthy food. Sometimes I read a few articles and I want to print down my thoughts on it. Or I want to share interesting information I've found.
I want to start blogging here again, but in a much humbler way. I want to be an example of how to live healthy without any feelings of guilt or pressures of performance. I want to be an inspiration to others (if they ever find this blog), a role model for others. I may not blog here as often as my other blog, because it will be mainly health related posts on here, with recipes and fitness as the main topic, but I will come here every now and then!
If any of my words ever come across as preaching, guilt tripping or anything alike, please let me know so I can try to rephrase my words.
This is a new start :)

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