Have you ever said I would have given anything to have been able to; fill in the blank with whatever event, person, or aspect of your life which was affected because of hospitalization, injury, illness, lacking stamina or, not being in an emotional state to have participated? If you have then you realize that it is in the past and you can't give anything for it now. But you likely could have given something prior to that time which would have accommodated it. That something is your attention to your well-being. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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Parents facing or engaged in a child custody battle will be challenged by the potential for great disruption to their daily lives and long-term life plan. This turmoil will ultimately impact their health and it is their health which significantly affects the extent to which this turmoil will impact their daily lives and long-term life plan which includes the future parent-child relationship.
Thus, while the initial steps I take with new clients includes the legal aspects of their child custody case, my early focus centers around a health evaluation. After the receipt of an extensive questionnaire I conduct an interview in which I ask clients to detail their health plan to me.
With nearly complete uniformity between clients, viewing Facebook discussions, various health advice sources and general research into the subject of health plans I have found that the immediate focus is on a medical care indemnity plan; compensation for professionally addressing malfunction in the body's health system. This is not surprising to me though as we have been culturally scripted to focus on remediation of malfunction rather than prevention and optimization of performance. We can see this in the bombardment of advertising that we encounter which proclaims to cure, repair, eliminate, or otherwise supplant problems encountered with our possessions or ourselves. Just look at the safety devices in automobiles or other machinery and ask yourself which came first: the decapitations, various other traumas, and permanent maiming of people or the safety devices intended to prevent such harms. In short, we react to malady rather than prevent. Essentially it is a form of laziness; why go through the effort now if I am not sure I absolutely need to do so?
Largely I have found that the health care plan which most people have has been based on a decision to delegate their health care responsibility to medical professionals; healthcare. The National Institute of Health Care Reform and the National Institute for Health Care Management both address health through an indemnity approach. Even the National Institute on Aging focuses primary on diet and weight gain as health management.
Unlike using proper restraints in a motor vehicle, such as a five-point harness which may never be used to its fullest potential, a health plan is something that we use daily. It is the content of the current plan which determines the methodology to be applied in formulating a future plan and the costs of both.
One exception to the general population is the athlete who, while having a preventative attitude toward health malady, still jeopardize his or her health through rote compliance with societal norms. When I was an athlete at the Olympic Training Center [OTC] I was measured, tested, sampled, and generally poked and prodded all in an effort to evaluate whether my body had the physical attributes capable of optimal human performance in selected events. Additionally though, the coaching staff also counseled us in sports psychology as well as general mental health. The elite athlete is a finely tuned machine adapted to its particular purpose. I recall clearly the advice of a national team member, whom we affectionately called "Fat Mike", who despite his self-admitted high fat percentage [>10%] said that there is an event in which we can excel. The event for which we train must be that in which we can excel not necessarily that in which we wish to excel.
There is great truth in that statement. Just as it is in Olympic sport so too is it in life. In any endeavor we are likely to achieve success if we are doing what we are capable of doing rather than what we want to do. Before going to the OTC I spoke with another former attendee who said that I would either give up or push forward with greater resolve. I left with a greater resolve to achieve success and after competing another year as an amateur I turned pro. If you examine your current health plan I feel you will face a similar turning point. It is for you to decide if you want to choose the path of avoidance and treatment or investment and prevention.
In this rationation I intend to convey the idea that having a health care plan[fn1], in place now, which is based upon prevention of, rather than treatment of, malady is the wiser investment financially and also produces a more satisfying life outcome and relationship with your children and others than a healthcare plan[fn2] may.
Without detailing precise methods I will identify numerous platforms of health, based upon my practices, which one should consider in devising any health care plan. Before proceeding further exam your thoughts as to a correlation between financial spending and health.
Unlike the healthcare industry which promotes the concept that healthy living is difficult to achieve and expensive I provide a plan that is the opposite. The beauty of this health care plan is that every aspect of it is directed toward simplifying life and reducing costs.
I will jump right in with the big ones that we all know about and then move down to important matters that are often not considered part of a health care plan. Throughout I will only be speaking broadly and in no way intend for this itemization to be exhaustive but, rather, is intend to guide you into thinking about the plethora of health related aspects you encounter on a daily basis. Some are significant while others have only a minute impact on health but are illustrative of the vastness of daily life encounters that affect health.
Diet and exercise headline just about every wellness guide I encountered in a web search once I got past all the sites that were substantively about indemnity coverage. Diet is the most important aspect of health having the obvious impact on physiology but also significantly affects one's psyche and mental functioning.
I will mention food only briefly as there is vast amounts of valid diet information readily available. I do want to first mention that I do not appreciate or subscribe to the use of the adjective qualifiers of food. Terms such as "junk-food", "unhealthy food", "highly processed food", and others which seek to quantify the paucity of nutrients are self-contradictory. A "food" is what it takes to nourish the body, maintain life and facilitate growth. Thus, if a food has been adulterated to the point that it no longer sufficiently contributes to nourishing the body, maintaining life and promoting universal growth but provides little else than calories then it is no longer a food. When a food has been adulterated it is then a "food-like substance".
As I now begin relating to you my practices which affect my health I ask you to consider my personal aspects. I am 48 years of age. My height is 177cm, weight is 63kg. I serve as a healthy control subject for psychological and physiological clinical studies because I have no maladies in either domain. My blood pressure is generally 125/75. My resting heart rate is usually within 50-55bpm which I can lower to around 38 in meditation. I have not received healthcare treatment since a follow-up surgery in 1991 related to a motor vehicle collision. The only drugs I consume are caffeine [in some tea] and alcohol [in wine]. The last time I consumed other drugs were anesthetics during teeth extractions [2013 I think] and some ibuprofen to reduce swelling after having those 14 taken out in one sitting.
I start with the FOOD I consume on a typical day which is eight pounds or more. If I am trying to lose weight I will eat a bit more. About 50% of my calories come from fruits and vegetables. I take off the outer layer of onions and pineapples, and additionally trim remnants of stems but otherwise consume entire foods. Grains and legumes account for about 40%. The remaining 10% is fatty fish and olive oil. I have no set eating timetable but instead eat as needed which is often; about 7 - 10 times daily.
Preparation of food is a component of nutrition that is largely ignored by other advisors but is important. I do not wash foods. I also avoid using soaps or detergents on food preparation surfaces including utensils. The naturally occurring bacteria on foods are beneficial to the human body. As much of food as possible should be obtained from organic gardening as this is not only relaxing but exposes the body to local bacteria on a regular basis. Foods should be eaten when well-ripened and are beginning to show signs of degradation as this is when they are providing the greatest level of nutrients.
There is some difficulty in obtaining healthful food in America as there exists a deliberate effort to induce sickness through the food supply. Many of the food processors and distributors are part of larger conglomerates that also produce or sell remedies for ailments. Thus, it is in their financial interest to cause sickness. Be weary of grocery stores that also sell pharmaceuticals and such. You may find eggs [which are to be avoided] and produce being refrigerated which is not natural. The natural state for an egg is warmth under the hen. Foods should be stored and served close to room temperature. Coldness of ingested food, especially drink, should be avoided as this can trigger an immunological response which is a stressor. When cooking the use of stainless steel, copper or iron cook-wear should be used instead of non basic elemental products as the human body has no nutritional need for those as it does copper and iron.
What I don't consumer are the aforementioned food-like substances. This includes anything with sugar on the label, HFCS, artificial flavours or colours, hydrogenated oils, bleached grains, or juices. I do not drink calories other than an occasional glass of wine. Although it is a food I avoid corn in any form. Adulterated foods are limited by me as much as possible. This means I generally avoid restaurants. I may eat at a buffet about once a month but otherwise I prepare all my food.
One of the problems with adulterated foods is the flavour is disguised. The physiological reason for avoiding artificial flavours is that the human body has evolved to nourish itself through the proper selection of foods. The body has adapted to recognize certain flavours as satiating particular nutritional needs. Understand that hunger is the body's signal of nutrient deficiency. An artificial sweetener will trick the body's regulation of blood sugar resulting in low blood sugar, cravings for sugar and other deleterious effects. This is why people who use them are often fat. A final caution about food consumption is to never consume antacids. This is not only damaging to the digestive process and absorption of nutrients but also exposes the body to pathogens that are otherwise killed by stomach acid[fn3].
EXERCISE is as critically important as eating. In this section I will help you to understand exercise in a broader sense than what is commercially projected. I won't go into specific exercise routines which are readily available elsewhere or can be provided by me on an individual basis. My day begins with stretching that includes deliberate breathing and meditation. There is no typical day for me as it relates to exercise. It could be riding my bicycle to Indy and back which is around 100km. My day of exercise could be cleaning my house, gardening, repairing someone's house, and preparing food. On other days when I may not be traveling or performing various physical tasks I will use the machines.
Exercise does not need to be measured by time on a treadmill or the other machines. Exercise is the use of a system or organism. So, by avoiding the use of remote controls and instead moving continually you are exercising. Still, you should engage in some strenuous activity that raises the heart rate to around two to three times the resting rate for a period of no less than three hours a week. In short when given the opportunity to use an automated application or manual choose the manual. Open the overhead garage door by hand rather than by machine. It likely has a tightly wound coil spring that does most of the work. Blend food ingredients by hand rather than machine. Think to yourself; is this the way a caveman would have done it? Understand that our bodies have evolved through selective patterns over tens of thousands of years. It is only until comparatively recent times that much of the daily physical activity necessary to sustain life has been replaced by mechanical means. Physical activity has been a favourable reproductive trait because humans had to perform daily physical tasks to survive and those who didn't removed themselves from the gene pool through their demise. Thus, our wellness is dependent upon the regular daily physical activity which has long been a component of survival.
Your ENVIRONMENT, especially your home environment can be a safe refuge from the harmful elements that may be imposed by the industrialized community. Conversely, it could be a haven of environmental hazards which inhibit your well-being. Cigarette smoke in the home is an immense harm. It exists there even when the actual smoking is done outside because it comes in on clothing. This is due to molecular permeation. Molecules of a particular substance tend to diffuse rather than staying concentrated. Smoke carcinogens on clothing when exposed to clear air will diffuse through that interface. To illustrate this take a coloured liquid and let one drop fall into the water in a toilet bowl. You will notice that the coloured droplet quickly diffuses into that interface; the water. Whatever substance that can vaporize which come in from the outside spreads throughout the inside air.
I do not have smoke detectors in my home. Those may contain radioactive materials. Nor do I have air conditioning. That can cause stress reactions in the body especially if one is frequently moving between natural and climate controlled environments. Residing in an area where diesel fumes are prevalent exposes the body to harm because those emissions have a higher level of carcinogens than those which are gasoline based.
Another environmental hazard that has been largely ignored and is not frequently understood is the threat to wellness resulting from television broadcasts. I have not received them in my home since X-Files ceased production. The hazard from these broadcast are due to the absorption and processing of the information by the subconscious. Through ambient listening - playing the TV just for background noise - the brain interprets all input as true and reflective of the real world that you experience. This makes news broadcasts especially harmful as those are highly disproportionally filled by sensationalized negative situations. Even people who employ active listening may make false attributions that still allow the broadcasts to be a negative stimulus. People may view stories of wars, natural disasters, or man-made disasters - which may include earthquakes[fn4] and not apply a rational interpretation as to the probability of these occurring in the geographical location in which the home is located.
This subconscious interpretation of input as true is a reason I do not like true/false exams being used as a test of student knowledge. The subconscious interprets input from the world as actual. If a student taking a true/false exam reads "The Earth is the center of the universe" then that is implanted in the memory as real by the subconscious. That is unless the student knows it to be false and reads is to himself as "It is not true that the Earth is the center of the universe" or otherwise consciously directs his mind to reject the false statement. Likewise, if one does not actively watch a television broadcast and say to himself, "It is not true that people typically have this type of lifestyle and are always upbeat and satisfied with life" then the subconscious may develop a self-image of being inferior to fellow man and not capable of having a fulfilling life. Television broadcasts on the whole display the world as a hostile and dangerous place.
I taught my son quite the opposite. At age five years I let him take off on his own to ride around town - about a quarter square mile area - with a time limit of an hour or two. I did this to avoid harming him through the induction of anxiety about the world around him which is overwhelmingly a safe place. Around the same time we went to Chicago and even walked through the Lake Park area, occasionally stopping to chat with residents. This was helpful to counter the negative images he may encounter elsewhere which could induce adversity to his mental well-being.
PERSONAL CARE as it is practiced by humans - particularly those in industrialized societies and more so Americans - is nearly an oxymoron. Many hygiene habits are not based upon necessary healthful practice but are instead the manifestation of appeal to emotion and other manipulations by marketers of goods and services. The most common act of personal care is likely to be bathing. It is common daily practice to flush the epidermis with a solvent that is often heated to increase its efficacy and may be accompanied by a detergent to remove epidermal flora. The result is a semi-permeable membrane stripped of naturally occurring protective coatings and bacteria that prevent transient pathogenic organisms from colonizing the skin surface. This is why I bathe on a schedule of three times per year. I may additionally rinse my skin when it has been covered by contaminants such as those encountered while working in attics or crawlspaces while I was not wearing protective clothing.
Daily showering contributes to the hazard from dry cleaning especially when the dry cleaning chemicals in the clothing are exposed to the skin immediately following the skin being ruptured by the washing. I do not wear any dry cleaned clothing.
It is common for me to wear latex or similar gloves throughout the day. Usually I wear some type of fabric glove over them. This provides a layer of protection against biological and physical hazards. This does not mean that I don't cut through the gloves, my skin, and into the tendon and bone on a knuckle as I recently did with an angle grinder but the gloves certainly mitigated the damage. When prudent I also wear ear and eye protection. The costs in doing such is minimal compared to the remediation costs and the frustration from lose of use should that occur. I am already feeling the frustration from my eyes apparently naturally deteriorating. I have set a deadline of age 50 for obtaining corrective glasses.
Something I have avoided as an adult which goes against a bombardment of countervailing messages is the potential harm associated with vaccines. Rather than inject toxins into my body which have been proven to possibly lack any efficacy I opt to practice preventative methods as detailed throughout this rationation. This includes not allowing any antibacterial agent except natural antibacterials such as wasabi [the real stuff not American horseradish] or raisins to come into contact with my body. Most commercial antibacterial agents are broad spectrum. That is they attack all bacteria. The use of those is the equivalent of machine-gunning down every person at a stadium because a few gangsters tried to assault you. What you have left is an empty machine gun, dead police, dead employees, dead spectators and a few dead malignant gangsters. Then all is takes is one new malignant gangster to easily take you down.
Finally, not in a possibility sense but for this listing, is my edentulism; lack of teeth. This provides a wonderful example of myths, logic, and profit motivation. You have likely heard the myth that people with teeth are healthier than those without. While this may be accurate it may not be causally scientifically supported. This is because causation may be attributed to correlation. If unhealthy dietary and hygiene habits led to the loss of teeth then it is not the loss of teeth that resulted in an unhealthy state. For me the increase in wellness following the single day extraction of my 14 remaining teeth has been remarkable. Across an array of physiological and psychological domains I have seen an increase in wellness that can be directly related chronologically to the teeth extraction. What has been the financial and time outlay for tooth care since that day? A big zilch.
LIFESTYLE choices are just that; choices. While they may be habitual and a necessary element of desired outcomes they are still based on personal decisions. The single lifestyle decision that I made which promotes wellness to a greater extent than any other is to avoid tasks I do not enjoy. At first blush this may appear to be an unrealistic objective but when thoughtfully approached it is readily attainable. There are two ways to approach this objective which should be used concurrently. First is to change obligations or objectives so as to be able to eliminate tasks which are undesirable. Second is to change perception about the tasks; look for the positive.
Pulling weeds from my gardens could be on the list of tasks to avoid. True, there are other activities which I would rather have occupy my time. So, one thing I do is cultivate plants that will smother the weeds. I also turn the soil or spread soil pulled from the crawlspace that does not contain viable weed seeds. Hitting upon the other approach is to blast some tunes loud enough to suppress the sound of the dog across the road barking and then go out to pull weeds. Instead of perceiving it as the tasks of pulling weeds I see it as an opportunity to enjoy some sunshine, see my neighbors, let my mind drift, and simply relax.
I view time as a valuable asset. My life could end at any moment. Being that I only have this carnal life to live and once it ceases I am gone from existence I value every moment and treat people accordingly. Time dedicated to sleeping serves numerous purposes which lend themselves to wellness. Thus, I allow myself to have adequate sleep and do not use alarm clocks. Instead I awaken upon completion of necessary sleep. This may require some planning if I have chosen to obligate myself to an activity occurring earlier than my usual ambling. While I walk briskly at times I do not do so out of time constraint necessity but rather do so to increase heart rate and also give myself more time for other activities.
Similar to an ambling gate I also drive at or below the speed limit. Driving, for me, is a time to relax, enjoy the scenery, and observe the irrational actions of other drivers buzzing around making little or no progress greater than mine. I enjoy playing turtle to the hares.
The final lifestyle point I want to make is that I share. I do so with about everything; my time, knowledge, money, fruits of the gardens, material items, and services. I tend to over-buy and over-produce so I am often faced with living among a cluttered environment or giving stuff away. For my benefit I began giving much surplus or unwanted items away to people whom I thought may have a particular use or just set items along my front wall. Recently a teller at the bank mentioned that she anticipates getting more vases of cut flowers from me. I provide flowers to various offices at the court house, bank, post office, and other places I frequently pass or visit. I am a bargain hunter in all locals but none is more fun to me than at the grocery. Although my diet is vegan last week I bought 8 one pound containers of cottage cheese at 19 cents each. I couldn't pass up that bargain but I had to give them all away.
When I have taken a truckload of building materials to dump I ask friends or neighbors if they have anything to add. I also provide automotive or household repairs to friends and neighbors. It may be for a few minutes as I am passing by or scheduled projects for which I am then hired.
Many people give back to me upon request or unsolicited. When I came home from the last Thanksgiving gathering there were two meals left on my porch. They contained meat thus it couldn't be from folks who really know me. Turns out two of my neighbors had left them. I get hired to do projects for folks who didn't know I've done building trades throughout my life but only became aware when I provided some unsolicited help as walking by and seeing that my assistance would be beneficial to them. I borrow a truck from a friend as needed and readily help him out with anything and do all the maintenance on the truck. Just last week when riding with a neighbor I was complaining about the horrifically poor fuel efficiency of that truck and needing to go to Indy to pick up a small load hardly worthy of using a truck but excessive for the bicycle. The next morning her roommate brought her car keys to me and said use it anytime during the day as it was her day off and she was going out with a friend.
The more you give the more you receive is a long standing axiom that is founded in the Book of Luke, Wiccan practice, and culturally based practices in one form or another. Score keepers tend to always be on the losing end while those who give freely seem to always be ahead. For good health give freely.
USING YOUR BRAIN is found in the axiom work smarter not harder. This is necessary for maintaining or improving wellness. I don't intend to convey the idea that one should think of ways to avoid labour but, rather, to be aware. Think deeply about circumstances and practices instead of simply accepting perfunctory actions consistent with habit or typical practice. Following are a few particular domains in which the lens through which you see the world affects your health.
Avoidance of thoughts of envy is a long held admonition which is based upon sound reasoning. Envy has the effect of leaving the body feeling that it has an unmet need which is stressful. Concurrent with avoiding envy is to accept all. Be content with the lot in life for which you have provided to yourself. This is not to say to abandon any desire for improvement. Rather, it is a slight shift in perception that eases suffering while simultaneously stimulating motivation. Suffering is the result of wanting. Instead of being in want I hold desires. I am not in want of space to store all of my various accumulations as they are crammed in every nook. However, I do desire to have a more organized area which is a current endeavor. Thus, I am not in envy of people who have larger homes with more space to move about but I am motivated to organize my home so I will have more space to move about.
Exercise is not to be limited to physical activity. Mental stimulation is equally important. Playing games, especially those which tap strategy of logic skills [i.e. Chess], either alone or in groups will help to maintain or build mental acuity. Reading generally or studying any of the academic domains, particularly the sciences, can be relaxing and informative while working the brain.
The domain of judgment can be beneficial as well as harmful. From the standpoint of self-preservation it is important to be judgmental about the condition of a ladder before ascending its rungs. But when it comes to people and their actions I find it best to avoid being judgmental or assessing blame for actions and to instead simply be objective. People often make the judgment that a collision between vehicles was "an accident" which is also saying it was not negligence, recklessness, carelessness, or deliberate. It is easy to say it was a collision and thereby eliminating the potential of having to defend that position. Imagine posting on Facebook, "A child was killed in a car accident by my house this morning" and then reading this comment, "I don't think it was any accident that a drunk driver killed my child today. It was complete disregard for the life of my child and everyone else by that drunk driver." I would have two things to say; don't blame your house for the death and don't call something that is foreseeable and easily preventable an accident.
Here is another example of unnecessary judgmental language. I was recently served a stop-work order by the City of Lebanon the day after completing a ten-month repair project on my house. It read that I "failed to obtain a building permit". Casting aside that I am not going to seek permission to make a safety repair it is the word "failed" which caught my attention. The next day while obtaining the permit I made mention of use of that particular word. I suggested that they not be demeaning and judgmental in their use of language. Saying I "failed" is to say I was not successful. In short that I am an incompetent loser. As I had made no attempt to obtain a building permit then, technically, I could not have failed to obtain one. I suggested that, in the future, correspondence from the office should use objective language such as "did not obtain" or "did not comply" which are objectively accurate. To immediately label someone a failure is not a welcome invitation to voluntary compliance.
My admonitions aside people are still going to be judgmental. Sadly, judgments about people will be made based upon material possessions. I have repossessed cars from people who didn't pay but had lavish houses and expensive adornments. I have helped people through bankruptcies. I have counseled the sad, lonely, or depressed who had a cornucopia of material goods that marketing professionals portrayed as the accoutrements of happy people. Yet, none seemed to be emotionally uplifted by their static possessions. Conversely, I have sat on the streets in downtown Indy and chatted with actual homeless people who were happy. Their only possessions were what was in a bag which accompanied them. Yet, they found pleasure in such things as observing life around them, smiles or pleasant words by a few people passing, and the relaxation afforded by not being accountable to a boss. Instead of chasing satisfaction through materialism they found satisfaction in the intangible. It is the relationships that one develops with others and his or her environment which leads to true life satisfaction. For optimal well-being I suggest dumping the materialistic pursuits.
This may seem counter intuitive but I have seen anecdotal and researcher based results. People who do not have health insurance are healthier based upon that. While healthy people tend to not participate in the medical indemnity scheme, when accounting for health status there exist a relationship between indemnity coverage and sickness. This is because of the subconscious psychological pressure to "get what you pay for". A person who pays for a health club membership but never goes there to workout is going to feel gypped or that the money was wasted. Psychologically it is not sufficient that it is available should it be needed. Medical care indemnity coverage operates on the mind in the same manner. The person who feels that an insurance provider is getting something [premiums] for nothing [no medical care] is going to ensure that nothing doesn't endure. This is the beauty of the subconscious. It systematically aligns actions to thoughts. Thus, the thought that medical care indemnity coverage premiums are being paid for nothing will ensure that the subconscious will facilitate the use of that coverage.
My closing thought for a mindful practice to promote wellness is to not hold any beliefs. I mean don't even believe that the Sun will appear on the eastern horizon tomorrow morning. Do accept that the probability is extremely high based upon well established evidence. Holding a belief is likely to produce conflict then subsequently anxiety. This is because belief cannot be changed even though the scientific evidence may change. Think about the people who believe that children from parents of a particular class of people are limited intellectually to some arbitrary maximum. When the child excels, when the child surpasses the level of their children, when the child attains the top position in some academic domain they feel the sting of their belief. They try to rationalize it, to explain it away, to modify their belief but in the end beliefs cannot be changed. They then live with self-doubt about their reasoning ability. Self-doubt can be debilitating and when it comes to wellness it can actually inhibit the body's protective systems from fully functioning. Appreciate mystery, favour the unknown. Be open to all ideas and evidence.
Your health is ultimately the result of your thoughts, intentions and actions. Whether you direct those toward mindful actions that promote wellness or whether you you direct them toward purchasing indemnity coverage to get paid for being in ill health is your decision. Consider carefully the options of a health care plan which can keep you healthy or a healthcare plan which is costing money and quite possibly your life.
,font size=2> Footnotes
1] Health care is the maintenance and improvement of physical and mental health, especially through the provision of medical services. Preventative care.
2] Healthcare is the treatment by medical professionals; primarily of bodily or mental malfunction.
3] In one study the level of Cholera necessary to induce ailment was only 1/10,000 for people who took an antacid before exposure.
4] How dams trigger earthquakes. https://www.internationalrivers.org/earthquakes-triggered-by-dams
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