Thursday, August 29, 2013

Get Rid Of Cellulite and Detox Your Body With This Healthy Diet

diet for cellulite Normally looking great involves losing fat and toning your muscles, however for some people there is a much harder task at hand- getting rid of the persistent and nasty fat and water deposits called cellulite.

The reason I say that getting rid of cellulite is much harder than building muscle and losing fat is because it involves doing both, plus adding the additional need of detoxification. Yes that’s right, many health experts and nutritionists nowadays believe that cellulite is caused by a buildup of toxins, most of which come from your diet. This means that carving the sexy cellulite-free legs, arms and butt will only happen by carving the proper diet. 


So here is the list of magnificent foods that will help you detox, lose fat and get rid of cellulite!

Whole grains

picture of whole grainsHow would foods such as brown rice and quinoa aid you in the war against cellulite?

Thanks to their lower glycemic index (relative to refined grains) these foods don’t cause a jump in your insulin levels, which is also known as an insulin spike. Insulin spikes contribute to your cellulite by making your body store more fats. Moreover, whole grains are a great option thanks to their low fat and high fiber contents. The fiber has two great effects- first it cleanses your body (exactly what you need) and it also fills you up faster and keeps you full for longer. 

Of course keep in mind that although whole foods are much less likely to cause an insulin spike compared to refined grains, they can still do it if consumed in great amounts.

Raw foods

picture of raw foodsDoing a raw food diet for a couple of days from time to time is a terrific way to detoxify.

The reason raw foods are preferred to just going vegan (or vegetarian) for a couple of days, is because cooking your food robs it from much of its nutritional value.

I also do a raw food diet for 3 days occasionally and it feels great! It was only hard the first time, now it’s just a walk in the park so don’t look so terrified! Just give it a go.

Water

picture of waterOne of the simplest ways to reduce body fat and detoxify is water. I just can’t stress enough how important water is.

First of all, water helps you eliminate the waste in your system. As we pointed out above, toxic buildup is one of the major reasons for cellulite.

Second, when you don’t get enough water, your liver has to jump in and help with the detoxification process, which distracts it from one of its main duties-the metabolism of fat cells. This means that drinking more water = more burned fats!

Another reason to drink more water is to prevent yourself from drinking the wrong type of beverages. Sodas, fruit juices with added sweeteners, alcohol and so on, contain loads of sugar (insulin spike!) and toxins so you need to avoid them at all costs! If you really want to get rid of cellulite that is…


image of citrus fruitsCitrus fruits

Oranges, limes and especially lemons are known to be great detoxifiers. In fact this is the very reason nutritionists around the world recommend beginning your day with a glass of water and freshly squeezed
lemon in it.

Natural diuretics

As I pointed out consuming more water is one of the keys to getting rid of cellulite; however, water is actually one of the main reasons for cellulite in the first place! As I mentioned in the beginning cellulite is caused by fat and water deposits. We’ve mentioned a few good ways to reduce the fats, but what about the water? The only way to flush out these water deposits is through minimizing water retention in your body. Instead of drinking less water you should go for foods that remove the water and restore your body’s fluid balance. These foods are known as diuretics. Some great diuretics include carrots, celery, leafy green veggies, peppers, beets, lemons, oats and apple cider vinegar. Also you may want to consume foods high in the mineral potassium. Such foods include bananas, potatoes and spinach.   

This was the last entry in our list of foods that will help you get rid of cellulite. Besides these you should also include foods rich in antioxidants such as berries, carrots, peaches, plums, grapes and others. They fight free radicals and get rid of toxins.

Tomatoes

tomatoesThey are a great source of bioflavonoids (just like citrus fruits). Bioflavonoids have the effect of strengthening your capillaries, which helps more blood reach every part of your body (including those that have cellulite) and bring valuable nutrients. Blood circulation is also known to be a great detoxifier (which is why cellulite massages do work to a small extent).

Tomatoes are also very rich in the skin healthy vitamin A and in antioxidants that directly fight toxins.

Herbal teas

herbal teasI know you’ve read that caffeine gets rid of cellulite, and it kind of does to a small extent (again). So telling you to substitute your daily latte for a herbal tea will sound crazy on too many levels, however, the only way caffeine can fight cellulite is by rubbing it into the affected areas (not by drinking it). On the other hand teas can really have a great detox effect. Green tea, lemon balm, chamomile and ginger teas are known to flush the toxins right out of your system (and some of them do contain some caffeine to get you going). Trust me, it’s worth it!

Nuts and seeds

nuts and seedsAlmonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds (my personal favorite) and pumpkin seeds are jam packed of vitamin E which is great for your skin. Better yet, vitamin E is known to be one of the strongest antioxidants. As such it is very efficient in fighting free radicals (toxins). Another way these nuts and seeds will help you is with their high fat content. Wait what?!

All fats are not made equal! Saturated fats will add to your cellulite, however, the fats in nuts, seeds, fish, avocado and olive oil, are known as healthy fats. They don’t contribute to your cellulite; in fact they may help you get rid of it thanks to their fat burning effect. Yes eating fats can help you burn more fats! Only if you don’t get carried away with them that is...

Follow this healthy diet and you will not only cleanse your body from the toxins, but also burn more fats. And of course, to top it all off, don’t forget to do the top 5 cellulite reducing exercises! Also, I invite you to read my The 3 Crucial Steps That Truly Get Rid of Cellulite post

Get rid of cellulite with kick-butt cellulite redux system

This is THE best cellulite reduction system you can find. The author, cellulite expert and nutritionist, Joey Atlas will give you a book that explains everything about how to get rid of cellulite in the privacy of your home. It doesn’t promote supplements, creams, gadgets or any other expensive therapies. It is a set of “laser targeted” exercises that are created with a single purpose – getting rid of your cellulite! You will also get video instructions on how to do these exercises and loads of great advice on nutrition.

Besides the guide for reducing cellulite, you will also receive as a bonus two more guides – one that covers toning your arms and one that covers getting a flat stomach.


The Kick butt cellulite redux system is very affordable (massage therapists charge more for a single massage!) and is currently on a discount (for a short period of time according to the website). 



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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Discover How To Get Rid Of Your Bloated Six Pack

bodybuilders with pregnant abs
I bet many of you have seen this, either on other people or on themselves. You see this person with a low fat percentage and great six pack abs, however, their belly is still sticking out. If you actually see this person with his shirt on, you would never assume that he is lean, in fact you will probably think that he is fat.

Why Does it Happen

This bulging in the stomach area may be a symptom of things like food intolerance, steroid abuse (that’s why some bodybuilders look like they are pregnant), improper posture, organ inflammation (even pancreatic cancer) and others. In this post we will have a look at one particular reason- weak abdominal muscles.

Now you are probably asking how the heck can I say that having a bloated 6 pack belly would mean that your abdominal muscles are weak, right? Well this one is simple. The fact is that when we talk about abdominal muscles most people only take into account their superficial ab muscles – the Rectus Abdominus. This is your six pack. However, besides this muscle, there are also inner abdominal muscles, that are unseen for the naked eye. These muscles are the Transversus Abdominus and the Lumbar Multifidus. They are responsible for back support, deep breathing and you guessed it… keeping your belly tucked in by pulling the deep abdominal wall.

Now that you know about these two muscles, you need to find out how to make the stronger.

How Train the Inner Abdominal Muscles

Unfortunately, the famous ab movements like sit ups, crunches, leg raises and so forth will not do the job. What will actually do it is a yoga exercise used by some of the thinnest waists in bodybuilding (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane)- the stomach vacuum.

What is the Stomach Vacuum 
frank zane vacuum pose

The stomach vacuum is an isometric exercise known as the forgotten ab exercise. Isometric means that during such an exercise you have to hold a position for as long as you can (as opposed to going through a range of motion). Its known as the forgotten ab exercise because back in the golden era of bodybuilding almost every successful bodybuilder used to do it, but now its popularity has faded away.

How to Do the Stomach Vacuum

The stomach vacuum is very simple to do and doesn’t require any equipment. It is also very convenient- you can do it while watching TV, driving, taking a shower or whenever and wherever you like.

In order to do a stomach vacuum you need to exhale all of the air in your lungs and pull in your stomach as much as you can. Remember to keep your back straight and expand your chest as much as you can. Hold this position for as long as possible and release. This counts as a rep. Do from 5-10 reps, depending on your conditioning.

You can perform the exercise standing, lying, seating or kneeling, as long as you keep your back straight.

I personally like to do it standing. Another thing I like is doing it on an empty stomach. This way you can avoid indigestion and you can have a more effective exercise.

Here is a video so you can get a better idea of what I am talking about



Benefits of Doing the Stomach Vacuum

The main benefit of this exercise is the shrinkage of your waist. People report losing up to 4 inches in as little as a month.

However, there is another very important benefit, especially for heavy lifters. The inner abdominal muscles that are tightened by the stomach vacuum form a biological belt around your core. This belt is nature’s weight lifting belt, and protects you when doing heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts, or whenever you are lifting something heavy in your everyday life.

Other benefits include internal organ massage, improved digestion and lower back support.

As you can see having a smaller waist and a flat stomach doesn’t necessarily include countless of crunches. What it includes is taking care of every layer of your muscles (not just the superficial ones) in order to have a fully developed and healthy physique. Try this out and see if it works for you.

Good luck

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

7 Crucial Nutrients for Improved Eyesight

girl with glassesCurrently I am reading a book known as “Vision without Glasses” which is based on Dr. Bates’ method of
correcting imperfect eyesight. It’s a really interesting book and I truly recommend it to everyone.
Anyway, while I was reading this book I started thinking about all the things people do to protect their health and to improve their appearance, but how little they do to protect and improve one of the most important functions of their body- their eyesight.

When most people consider their diet, they think of how the food they eat will affect their weight, energy, cardiovascular health, cholesterol and so forth. One thing, however, that most people don’t think about is supplying the proper nutrition for outstanding eye health. Yes vision loss is not inevitable and with the right measures it can be prevented (or at least postponed).

One of these measures is making sure that you get enough of the following 7 nutrients.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids that act as sunscreen for your eyes, thus preventing light-induced oxidative damage that leads to macular degeneration.

In addition they are also capable of preventing the formation of cataracts.

These two antioxidants can be found in many fruits and vegetables, and also in the human eye’s macula (I definitely advise you to focus on the first two sources!). The best food sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin are kale, spinach, paprika, corn, eggs, broccoli, papaya, oranges and others.

Vitamin A

nutrition that improves eyesightVitamin A is essential for good vision because it protects the surface of the eye.

Studies also show that eye drops containing vitamin A are very effective for dry eyes treatment.
In combination with other antioxidants, Vitamin A, also appears to play a role in decreasing the risk of macular degeneration.

In the landmark Age-Related Eye Disease Study (which the National Eye Institute sponsored), patients at high risk for the disease took a daily multi-vitamin that included vitamin A (as beta carotene), vitamin E, vitamin C, copper, and zinc had a 25%  reduced risk of advanced macular degeneration during a 6-year period.

Another study also showed that people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) may have a prolonged vision thanks to a combination of Lutein and Vitamin A.

Foods rich on vitamin A are liver, paprika, sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens and others.

Vitamin E

This vitamin helps guard the membranes of the cells throughout your entire body (including the eyes) against damage caused by the notorious free radicals.

Studies show that taking vitamin E may also act to reduce the development of macular degeneration with around 25%.

A combination of vitamin E and C is also a good way to treat uveitis (an inflammation of the uvea, which is the middle layer). A clinical study of a group of subjects having uveitis found that those who took the vitamins (E and C) had clearer vision than the subjects who took a placebo.

In addition, vitamin E is also thought to help decrease the risk of developing cataracts. Great sources of vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, paprika, dried apricots and others.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant and a water-soluble vitamin. It helps the body form and maintain connective tissue and collagen which is found in the cornea of the eye.

Studies show that long-term consumption of vitamin C reduces the risk of vision loss from macular degeneration and forming cataracts.

This vitamin is abundant in fruits and vegetables, the richest among which are red bell peppers, berries, papaya, citrus fruits and broccoli.

Zinc

eyesightHigh levels of this mineral are found in the macula. One of its main benefits for your eye’s health is that it
enables vitamin A to produce melanin- a pigment known to protect the eye. It also helps the absorption of vitamin E.

Zinc is also used by many of the enzymes that have important eye functions.

Finally, it offers protection from macular degeneration.

Foods with high content of Zinc include oysters, other see-food, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and my personal favorite chia seeds.

Selenium

Low levels of Selenium have been shown to lead to a decrease in vision and many other eye diseases like cataract, nyctalopia, retinopathy, and so on.

It is also another mineral that helps the absorption of vitamin E. Sources you can turn to are Brazil nuts, tuna fish, shellfish, beef, poultry and eggs.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

A number of studies show that omega 3 fatty acids can help protect adult eyes from the already mentioned macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.

Essential fatty acids also decrease the risk of glaucoma and high eye pressure by improving drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye.

A specific type of Omega 3 called DHA may have shown to prevent age-related vision loss in a recent study. A toxic molecule that accumulates in the retina of the eye with age did not do so in tests of lab mice that received DHA supplements. This toxin’s build up, that normally would cause vision loss, was seemed to be fully prevented by the DHA. This omega 3 fatty acid is found in fish such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon.

Other great sources of omega 3 include chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and sea food.

This concludes my list of the 7 nutrients that improve eyesight. Taking proper care of our eyes is one of the most important and most underestimated health issues. Really, being fit and energetic is great, but being able to see properly is absolutely vital! If you want to have a look at a great system, designed to improve your eyesight click here!

Good luck and SEE you later ;)

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Monday, August 12, 2013

A List Of The Top 10 Healthiest Fruits

a heart made out of healthy fruitsIts summer and its HOT! Right now, all I can eat is fruits… mm a juicy watermelon is exactly what I need
. And because it’s the season of the fruits, I’ve decided to give you a list of the top 10 healthiest fruits that everyone’s menu should include!

Apples

You know what they say- An apple a day keeps the doctor away! And that’s very very true. In fact Apples are one of the healthiest fruits out there. Here’s why.


  • Apples are high in fiber! This makes them a great choice for people trying to lose weight. They will keep you full at the cost of only 95 calories per medium apple.
  • They contain a great amount of vitamin C and have a terrific effect on your immune system.
  • They contain lots of anti-oxidants, thus are able to prevent cancer and aging. Not only that but these specific anti-oxidants are known to lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of coronary and heart diseases

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Pomegranate


    pomegranate
  • Another great source of fiber.
  • Pomegranate is known to promote dental health! Thanks to the antibacterial properties of the polyphenolic flavonoids (in which this fruit is particularly rich), pomegranate juice is very effective in removing plaque. A natural and tasty mouthwash!
  • It is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K. The first one is great for your immune system and the second is really important when it comes to your bones.

Strawberries


    strawberries
  • Strawberries promote eye health by preventing cataracts.
  • Thanks to their rich content of Vitamin K and the minerals- potassium and magnesium, strawberries keep our bones healthy and strong.
  • They are very rich in anti-oxidants, which as mentioned earlier have a cancer preventing and anti-aging effect.
  • They also contain loads of Vitamin C, B-complex and manganese.
  • Strawberries are recommended to people who suffer from high blood pressure, avitaminosis, type-2 diabetes, gout and constipation.

Bananas


    banana
  • It’s not a secret that bananas charge us with an instant boost of energy, but not many people know that they also provide an instant boost in… our mood. This is thanks to the high levels of tryptophan, which turns into serotonin and makes us happy!
  • Bananas are also great for your digestion. They provide relief for ulcers and acid reflux. They also have a probiotic effect- boosting the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestine.
  • Bananas are highly recommended before going in for a swim. They can actually save your life by preventing the dreaded muscle cramps
  • Of course bananas are also a nutritional powerhouse full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Blueberries


    blueberries
  • Maybe the most potent tool for anti-aging and cancer prevention! These little guys pack an amazing amount of anti-oxidants, one of which is lutein, known to promote eye health.
  • Some of the compounds in blueberries have shown to prevent urinary tract infections.
  • They also reduce brain damage, thus preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Improve cardiovascular health by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol

Watermelon

My favorite fruit for the hot summer days! It turns out that it is not only refreshing and delicious but also very healthy!


    watermelon
  • Watermelon is a certified heart healthy food (by the American Heart Association). This is due to the fact that out of all the fresh fruits, watermelon has the highest amount of lycopene and a very high amount of citrulline. Both of these compounds maintain the heart’s health and the arteries and blood vessels’ flexibility.
  • Citrulline is also known to expand the blood vessels, which is the effect of all aphrodisiacs. Therefore, watermelons are a great natural cure for impotence. This effect of citrulline also decreases blood pressure.
  • Watermelons are also very rich in anti-oxidants like the mentioned above lycopene, and also vitamin C and A. This makes it great for cancer prevention and anti-aging.
  • It’s a great detoxifier because it helps wash off the toxins stored in the kidneys. Another benefit for the kidneys is the fact that watermelons reduce the chances of forming kidney stones by lowering the concentration of uric acid in the blood. It also helps regular bowel movement
  • Besides anti-oxidants and vitamin A and C, watermelon is also rich in vitamin B, which is great for the nerves, energy levels, fat metabolism and others. It also has high amounts of potassium and magnesium.

Kiwi


    kiwi
  •  Kiwi is a great source of folic acid, which is very important during pregnancy because it prevents pregnancy defects and ensures proper development of the baby.
  • It is very rich in anti-oxidants and especially vitamin C. We have already discussed what anti-oxidants do for you, so I will just mention that gram for gram kiwi has more vitamin C than oranges!
  • Some of the phytonutrients in kiwi have the quality of repairing your DNA. DNA damage is a main reason for diseases such as cancers.
  • The tasty fruit is rich in fibers which as we mentioned above is very important for weight loss and proper bowel movement.
  • Contains high amounts of potassium and magnesium.
  • Kiwi contains enzymes that revers cell damage and improve digestion.
  • It’s also good for your eyes. This is thanks to the lutein and zeaxanthin. Two chemicals contained in both the human eye and in kiwi.

Grapes


    grapes
  • Grapes are very rich in an anti-oxidant known as resveratrol. This chemical is sometimes referred to as “the new fountain of youth” or “revers-it-all”. It has a wide variety of benefits but it is most potent in fighting inflammation, cancers and preventing cardiovascular diseases (this is the main reason why one glass of wine a day is considered heart healthy).
  • Another anti-oxidant, anthocyanins, is present in grapes. Besides anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, this anti-oxidant possesses the interesting ability to fight allergies.
  • Grapes support the recovery of cells and muscles, which is great for people who work out often.
  • Eating grapes can make you smarter! Studies show that it increases blood flow to the brain by up to 200%
  • Grapes also contain 3 very important minerals - copper, iron and manganese.
  • The vitamins found in grapes are vitamin-A, vitamin K, vitamin C, carotenoids and B-complex vitamins

Mangos


    mango
  • Mangos are yet another fruit that is helpful in preventing cancer. The anti-oxidants present in this fruit are known to specifically protect against leukemia, breast, colon and prostate cancers.
  • The high amounts of Vitamin C, pectin and fiber have the ability to lower the bad LDL cholesterol.
  • Another eye healthy fruit in this list! Thanks to the abundance of Vitamin A, mangos prevent dry eyes and night blindness.
  • Eating mangoes also has an alkalizing effect. This is caused by the malic, tantric and citric acids found in the fruit. Keeping your body in an alkaline state is thought as a key in preventing many diseases.
  • Mangos are also great for the skin. The above mentioned Vitamin A and also the mineral zinc (which mangos are rich in) are great for keeping your skin radiant and for preventing acne. You can also use the peel of the fruit and rub it into your skin. This will have a rejuvenating effect on it.
  • Thanks to the high amounts of Vitamin E, mangos are also capable of improving your sex drive!
  • The tropical fruit is great for your digestion. We mentioned that it is very rich in fiber, but that’s not all. It also contains loads of digestive enzymes and probiotics.
  • Other minerals and vitamins contained by mangos include iron, copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin B-6 and carotenoids.
  • Oh and I almost forgot. Thanks to vitamin B-6, who is essential for the production of an amino acid called GABA, mangos have a calming effect on the brain and the central nervous system.

Read about the benefits of African mangos here!

Cherries


    cherries
  • One very interesting benefit of cherries is that they improve your circadian rhythm which is a 24 hour cycle controlled by your biological clock. This is thanks to the Melatonin contained in the delicious red fruits. Melatonin is a compound that is of crucial importance for a good night sleep. Read more about the connection between the circadianrhythm and insomnia here!
  •  Thanks to two very powerful anti-oxidants (anthocyanins and bioflavonoids), cherries are a great way to relieve joint pain caused by arthritis or gouts. This happens because these anti-oxidant have the ability to slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2, thus preventing joint pain. They also have very strong anti-inflammatory properties
  • Cherries are great for people who suffer from diabetes, because they lower the blood sugar levels.
  •  A delicious way to keep your brain in shape! Cherries have been linked to improved memory and overall brain health.
  •  They also cure migraines. Thanks to compounds with very similar effects to the ones from taking ibuprofen and aspirin.
  •  Of course the anti-oxidants contained in cherries also have anti-aging and anti-cancer effects (especially good in preventing colon cancer thanks to a compound known as quercetin)
  •  Some of the nutrients contained in cherries are fiber, Vitamin A, B, C and E, and the minerals iron, potassium and magnesium.

This is my list of the top 10 fruits that everyone should eat.

Keep in mind that there is no ranking! I don’t believe there is “a best” and “a worst” fruit in this list, because they all have their unique benefits, and what’s best for one person might not be the same for another. That’s why you need to consume all of these fruits and others who didn’t find their place in this list (for one reason or another). You should absolutely make variety your best friend!

Other fruits you should make room for in your menu include pineapples, acai berry (in fact all berries are great and should be consumed), pears, figs, avocados, pumpkin, tomatoes (yes they are fruits), cantaloupe, grapefruits, oranges, lemons, papaya, prune and whatever else your heart desires!

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Related Posts:

A List of The Top 10 Superfoods

Chia Seed- The Newest Superfood

Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Little Known Fact- Ginger Can Help Treat Asthma Flare Ups!

gingerIncluding Ginger to asthma medications can increase their effectiveness. 

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs.  It causes your airways to swell and ultimately causing you to have a harder time breathing in and out. Asthma flare ups can vary in intensity and can be caused by a host of factors including allergies, stress, cigarette smoke, obesity and others.

Flare ups can occur from up to a few times a day to a few times a month. It is very important that the causes of these flare ups are identified and avoided as much as possible.

For more info on asthma, symptoms, what causes it and how to treat it click here!

Scientists have discovered that components in Ginger interact with the Beta Agonists, thus making it far easier for them to relax your respiratory muscles and restore normal breathing.

Beta Agonists work by relaxing the respiratory muscles and opening up the airways, thus allowing more air into the lungs and restoring normal breathing.

The unraveling of the way some of Ginger’s compounds work show that we may be able to find a much more effective and side-effect free asthma treatment medication.

In the research, scientists took samples of tissue from a person suffering from asthma. This sample was treated with the Beta Agonist isoproterenol and 3 different Ginger compounds- 6-Gingerol , 8-Gingerol and 6-Shogaol.

The results showed that out of the three, 6-Shogaol is the component of Ginger that magnified the Beta Agonist’s relaxing effect on the muscles around the airways the most.

All three components, however, possessed the property of suppressing an enzyme, known to cause asthma flare ups.

The data and the results of the research are presented in the annual American Thoracic Society conference in Philadelphia.

To find the best way to treat asthma read my Asthma Treatment Guidelines by clicking here!

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