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No More Excuses! #MotivationalMonday

I Eat Cake

 

  • “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!”
  • “I hate the way I feel when I eat _____ (fill in the blank).”
  • “If only I could loose these last 5 pounds.”
  • “I just can’t say no!”

Can you relate to any of the above statements? If you do, I have good news! You are in control. You can stop being sick and tired. You can stop eating that food that makes you sick. You can lose those last five pounds. And yes, you can say NO!!!! You hold the power.

The most important thing is to stop making excuses for making poor choices. If you believe you can, you will. Sounds a little cheesy and a little too easy but it is true. Where your mind goes, your body will follow. We are just a culture of instant gratification so we don’t listen to our gut when it tells us that doughnut will go straight to our thighs, that bagel will cause great digestive distress, or the man we’re dating is nothing but bad news. When you start realizing you are in control, you stop being complacent to whatever it is that is causing you harm and put an end to it. Instead of feeling guilty for eating something “bad” for you, start feeling empowered by saying no or by putting the fork down after a little taste. Whether the culprit is; poor dietary choices, lack of exercise, a bad relationship, or a bad TV habit- you are hold the power to turn it around.

I am here to tell you that you are strong. Listen to your gut. Make a list of goals and start working towards them each and every day. Need a little motivation? Try putting up a photo of you when you think you looked your best in a place you will see it every day. Or, read a motivational quote every morning. Set an intention for the day and start inching your way towards happiness 😉

 

Put down the fork after one bite, you don’t need the whole piece.

 

#MotivationalMonday

Happy Lemonade Day!

Gogi Lemon Lemonade

 

Stay hydrated this summer with Goji Lemon Lemonade. It has less sugar than traditional lemonade and is loaded with nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, silica, and antioxidants. The secret ingredient is vTrue, a physician-developed blend of 25 botanical extracts, minerals and vitamins that promote beautiful skin from within. Cheers to healthy skin!

 

Goji Lemonade Recipe

Ingredients: GL Lemonade

  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup vTrue, Gogi Lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • Ice
  • 1 Tablespoon goji berries
  • Lemon wedge or slice for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Serve cold and enjoy!

 

 

The Best Banana Nut Muffin…EVER

Best Banana Nut Bread

This recipe is hands down one of the best banana nut bread recipes out there. Personally, I prefer making muffins to the traditional loafs. In my opinion muffins are prettier than slices of bread and trick me into thinking I am eating something more substantial. I highly recommend making extra and freezing some in individual baggies for snacks or breakfast on the go. Trust me, these won’t last long 🙂

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • ¼ c almond butter
  • 2 T coconut oil, softened
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ c coconut flour
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t salt
  • ½ c chopped walnuts

Extras:

  • ¼ c-½ c Enjoy Life chocolate mini chips (they are dairy, nut, gluten and soy free!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, or use muffin liners, set aside.
  2. In the medium-large bowl combine bananas, maple syrup, vanilla, almond butter and coconut oil and mix until well combined on medium speed with an electric mixer. When mixture is smooth and creamy add in eggs, one at a time, mix on medium speed until combined.
  3. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix again until just combined. Gently fold in walnuts and chocolate chips if using.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Fats:

Per muffin, makes 12 servings

Calories 126

Protein 3.7g

Fat 6.8g

Carbohydrate 14.5g

Fiber 3.5g

Sugar 6.9g

10 Hydrating Foods

Summer is in full force and boy is it hot out there! We all know the benefits of staying hydrated, better digestion, glowing skin, energy, healthy muscles and joints- to name a few. Aside from the 8 ounces (or more) of water you should be drinking each day, eat the following 10 foods to keep you hydrated and glowing this summer:

Watermelon

watermelon
92% water, salts, minerals and natural sugars

Cucumber

cucumber-background
96% water, vitamin C, caffeic acid- both reduce swelling

Celery

celery
96% water, electrolytes and amino acids

Yogurt

yogurt
helps replenish electrolytes

Strawberries

strawberry
92% water, folate

Romaine Lettuce

romaine lettuce
folate, vitamin C, and beta-carotene

Zucchini

zuchinni
95% water, folate, potassium, vitamins A and C

Raw Broccoli

Broccoli1
91% water, calcium, fiber, vitamin C

Grapefruit

grapefruit
91% water, helps keep insulin stable

Pineapple

pineapple
96% water, anti-inflammatory enzymes

4 Tips to Keep Looking as Young as You Feel

look as young as you feel

We all strive to fight the natural process of aging. Some visit their local plastic surgeons, while others chose to go the more natural route. Whatever your m.o., here are 3 lifestyle techniques that you can implement today to keep that youthful glow alive:

1. Say Sayonara Sugar

Consuming foods made with sugar and refined white flour is a huge no-no and should be avoided like the plague. Seriously, it might sound a little silly but these foods are highly processed, provide zero nutrition and create inflammation in the body. Inflammation plays a starring role in many health concerns including cancer, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Inflammation causes the stress hormone, cortisol to rise. High levels of this hormone wreaks havoc on your skin and leads to breakouts, loss of moisture and the breakdown of collagen and elastin, ultimately causing unwanted saggy skin and wrinkles.

Put down that cookie! The average American consumes 21 teaspoons of sugar a day. The American Heart Association recommends men limit added sugar to 36 grams, or 9 teaspoons, per day. While the recommended daily amount for women is 24 grams or 6 teaspoons. I suggest you limit your sugar to 10 grams, 2.5 teaspoons, or less. There is no reason to sacrifice your health or beautiful complexion for some added sweetness. Eat fresh fruit or 70% dark chocolate instead of processed treats.

2. Detox Daily

I’m not advocating you juice 24/7 or jump on the Master Cleanse bandwagon but rather do little things each day to help your body move out the toxins. Regular detoxification prevents toxic build up which can cause weight gain, dull skin, cellulite, fatigue and more.

Things you can do include: exercising for 45 min 3-5 times per week, starting your day with warm cayenne lemon water, dry brushing before you hop in the shower, taking hot/cold showers (alternate super hot, then very cold for 30 seconds each, repeat 5 times), enjoying an infrared sauna, and consuming at least 5 servings of fresh greens daily.

3. Eat Right for Your Body Type

Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, low carb, carb cycling…there are so many diet fads out there to chose from. Which one to follow is the tough part. My advice, keep it simple and stick to what works for you. We are overloaded with information nowadays. I can find several studies that demonstrate why you should stay away from gluten and on the contrary, why you need it. The only thing these studies do not take into account is your own body’s chemistry and how different foods actually affect you. The best thing you can do is listen to your body while still eating a primarily plant based diet.

Try something like 45 to 65 % carbohydrates, 10 to 35 % protein, and 20-35% healthy fats for your macronutrient intake and modify from there. For example, if you find it difficult to digest animal protein then combine plant proteins instead of eating animal protein. Or, if you find that your metabolism is slowing as you age, kick up the protein and healthy fats while cutting down carbohydrates. For more specific advice, email: lorin@lovetolivenutrition.

4. Stay Active

Exercise keeps us looking youthful from the inside, out. When we hit the pavement or pump iron, a surge of hormones known as endorphins are released to make us feel good and block pain so we can power through that killer spin class. In addition, serotonin levels, the hormone responsible for happiness, restful sleep and a healthy appetite, increases with regular sweat sessions. Another hormone that is regulated through exercise is growth hormone. Growth hormone is involved in lean muscle mass production, metabolism, as well strengthening bone and collagen tissues. The best way to boost your GH is to incorporate more than one muscle group at a time. For example, deadlift, bent over row, olympic snatch… 

Get your surge of these powerful hormones through regular exercise and incorporate strength training as well as HIIT (high intensity interval training) into your routine.

 

 

 

 

References:

Godfrey, R., Madgwick, Z., & Gregory, P.W. (2003). The Exercise-Induced Growth Hormone Release in Athletes. Sports Medicine: 33 (8).

#MotivationMonday

#MotivationalMonday1

 

10 Reasons Why You Need to Stay Fit

Gisele Yoga

In order to be healthy and vibrant we need to have a solid diet and exercise regimen. We can’t just eat whatever we want and workout to negate it. Rather, you need to eat well and exercise. There is a reason you think of fruits and vegetables as well as being active when the New Year comes around or when you need to “detox” after a vacation. It is because that is what our bodies crave in order to function optimally. I compiled 10 reasons why it is important to keep active. Hopefully they will come to mind the next time you are too lazy to get off the couch!

1. Happy Heart

Every day, the approximately 10 pints of blood in your body travel many times through about 60,000 miles of blood vessels that branch and cross, linking the cells of our organs and body parts. Our heart is the key muscle in this system, responsible for moving blood throughout the body. In order to keep our heart healthy, we must exercise it regularly. Try incorporating interval training the next time you go for a run or hit the treadmill. You should be doing both steady state cardio (i.e. running for 45 minutes), and interval training (i.e. sprinting for 45 seconds and recuperating for 30 seconds then repeating 5-10 times) during your cardio sessions.

2. Healthier Sense of Well Being

We all want to look and feel our best, don’t we? When we exercise we get a surge of endorphins, the feel good hormones and natural stress and pain fighters. Exercise is a natural prescription for anxiety and depression.

3. Better Body Image

Staying in your best shape also helps your body image. When you are able to look in the mirror and like who is looking back at you, you preform better in the workplace, have more self-confidence, and are more fun to be around.

4. Improved Body Composition

A healthy body composition doesn’t just make you look good in clothes, but it also has several benefits for your well-being. Exercise reduces visceral fat and increases lean muscle mass. Visceral fat is the “dangerous” fat that surrounds our organs, and is linked to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Not only will you be healthier, but you will look better too!

6. It’s Fun

Who doesn’t need a little fun in their life? There are countless ways to get moving, I’m sure you can find something that intrigues you. You can make it social by exercising with friends, family or by meeting new friends. Or, just enjoy that much needed solo time. The important thing is to get out there and do it, whatever it may be.

7. Increased Energy

Are you too tired to exercise? Believe it or not, exercising will increase your energy. Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily life.

cardio21

8. Better Sleep

Exercise can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. There’s not much more to it than that! Just don’t exercise too late in the evening, otherwise, it will have the opposite effect. 

9. Superior Sex Life

Sometimes sex is the last thing on our minds, especially when we’re feeling down on ourselves. One way to turn that frown upside down and turn up the heat in the bedroom is to increase your activity level. Women who exercise regularly can experience enhanced arousal. Whereas men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

10. Enhanced Immune System

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, well same goes for exercise. It promotes circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

References:
The benefits of physical activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html. Accessed July 2, 2013.
2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed July 2, 2013.
Armstrong S, et al. Social connectedness, self-esteem, and depression symptomatology among collegiate athletes versus nonathletes. Journal of American College Health. 2009;57:521.
Peterson DM. Overview of the benefits and risks of exercise. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 2, 2013.
Hannan JL, et al. Beneficial impact of exercise and obesity interventions on erectile function and its risk factors. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2009;6(suppl 3):254.
Hamilton LD, et al. The roles of testosterone and alpha-amylase in exercise-induced sexual arousal in women. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2008;5:845.
Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 2, 2013.

Rise and Shine: How to Optimize Your Mornings

Morning Routine

How do you start your mornings?

This may not seem like an important question. However, what you after you get out of bed sets the tone for the rest of your day. I am aware that we all have different circumstances surrounding our lives, some of us are parents, others commute to work, while some work from home. Whatever the case, I suggest you start fine tuning your AM time to see what makes you feel good and what works well with your lifestyle. Pick and choose from the suggestions below to find your most favorable routine.

How to Set the Tone

 

Meditate- Meditation has been around for thousands of years. It has been known to help with numerous ailments including stress, anxiety, lack of focus, poor memory, poor self-awareness, addiction and more. Headspace is an app you can download to your phone so you can practice anywhere, anytime. How easy is that? Neuroscientists have found that after just 11 HOURS of meditation, our brains actually experience structural changes in the part involved in monitoring our focus and self control. Have trouble focusing on that report or can’t bring yourself to part ways with your 3pm orange mocha frappuccino? Start meditating now!

Try it: Practice for 10 minutes every morning upon rising.

Stretch– While you are sleeping, your body is resting. Often times when we wake up we just go, we don’t ease our way into the day because we have too much to do and not enough time. From the second we wake up until we go to bed, as a culture, we are constantly on the go. This can be detrimental to your body, signaling stress signals within endocrine system. Is is important to wind down at night, and ease into your day to work with your body’s natural rhythm. I don’t know about you but when I wake up my body, my mind follows.

Try it:Take 9 minutes to stretch each morning. Get your routine here.

Exercise- Oh yes! Good ol’ exercise. Some of us are morning people, while others can not function until noon. If you are the former than get your exercise in first thing so you don’t have to worry about it later in the day. It may help clear your head for that important meeting or eliminate some of your daily stress.

Try it: Go for a walk, hit the gym or sign up for your favorite exercise class. Personally, I am a huge fan of taking classes in the morning, it eliminates unnecessary thinking when I am not quite awake. Kids still sleeping? Great! Pop in your favorite workout DVD or practice yoga.

Eat Up- I know you’ve heard it before, and you’re about to hear it again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because it sets your metabolism up for the day. In addition to fueling our bodies, we need to fuel our brains. Our brain requires an array of nutrients to be healthy such as omega-3s, folate, vitamin E, complex, choline and many more. Begin your day with a well balanced meal complete with complex carbohydrates, protein and a little healthy fat.

Try it: Start your day with eggs, oatmeal, or a protein rich smoothie.

Ready, Set, GO! 

Once you experiment and find what works for you, try to stick to your routine 7 days a week. If you wake up later on the weekends, it will be more difficult to stick to your routine come Monday morning. Keeping up your routine will also help you feel in control, organized and sane. I can’t tell you how much my life has improved once I found a method to my morning madness. When my life is chaotic, my work and personal life suffer. I don’t know about you but I am a much happier person when my work and relationships are happy.

vTrue

I want to introduce you to a relatively new product: vTrue.vTrue-Formula-P-v1

vTrue is truly a unique beverage. It is classified as a skin supplement due to its long list of functional ingredients. The company started by launching two unique flavors, Blackberry Tangerine and Goji Lemon. The physician developed beauty beverage contains a proprietary blend of 14 botanical extracts, along with 100% of the recommended daily allowance of eight different vitamins and minerals. Said vitamins include vitamins A and E, niacin (B3), B6, B12, biotin (B7), pantothenic acid (B5), and zinc.

Proprietary Blend:

  • Gotu Kola- Improves Skin Circulation, Free Radical UV Repair, Protects & Heals Skin, Produces Collagen, Skin Antioxidant 
  • Acai Fruit Extract- Protects & Heals Skin, Produces Collagen, Skin Antioxidant
  • Grape Seed Extract- Firms Elasticity, Protects & Heals Skin, Skin Antioxidant
  • Pine Bark- Improves Skin Circulation, Firms Elasticity, Produces Collagen, Increases Hydration
  • EGCG- Free Radical UV Repair, Protects & Heals Skin
  • Apple Polyphenols- Free Radical UV Repair, Protects & Heals Skin, Skin Antioxidant
  • Goji Berry Fruit Extract- Improves Skin Circulation, Free Radical UV Repair, Protects & Heals Skin, Produces Collagen, Skin Antioxidant
  • Golden Root Extract- Improves Skin Circulation, Free Radical UV Repair, Protects & Heals Skin, Skin Antioxidant
  • Sea Buckthorn Extract- Produces Collagen, Skin Antioxidant
  • White Tea Polyohenols- Increases Hydration
  • Pomegranate Fruit Extract- Produces Collagen
  • Aloe Vera Leaf Extract- Free Radical UV Repair, Protects & Heals Skin
  • Gingko Bibloba Leaf Extract- Improves Skin Circulation,  Firms Elasticity, Free Radical UV Repair, Protects & Heals Skin, Produces Collagen
  • Silica- Firms Elasticity, Protects & Heals Skin, Produces Collagen

 

In my opinion, what makes this brand so revolutionary is the way they are changing the notion that you treat your skin topically. Our skin needs certain ingredients to repair, rejuvenate and be healthy just like the rest of our body. In fact, what you are applying to your face doesn’t necessarily penetrate the several layers of skin like you think it is. Say buh-bye to your $300 face cream and swap it for a good ol’ fashion diet rich in nutrient dense vegetables and other skin salvaging whole-foods or beverages. Take it from me, you truly have feed your body the nutrients it needs in order for you to be beautiful on the exterior. Think of a rose bush, if it is not hydrated, exposed to the right amount of sunlight, or given a nutrient dense soil, it will not bloom as nature intended. Same is true for your skin, if your body is starved for nutrients, your hair, skin and nails will suffer immensely. For any nutrients it does take in, will go directly to the more “important” organs and systems like your brain, heart, hormone production etc…

Each bottle only has 45 calories and 9 grams of sugar. I normally do not recommend consuming sugar, however, since there are so many positive attributes, I suggest applying the principles of nutrient timing, meaning having vTrue when your body can absorb the sugar most efficiently. Personally I use vTrue as a base in my post workout shake. This way my body readily absorbs the sugar, along with protein, into the cells to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Or, you can have a bottle before a run or exercise class. Another option is to drink this beauty beverage with a little alcohol as a mixer so you’re getting your B vitamins and beautifying benefits all while getting a nice buzz. Hey, we all have our vices! To see results, it is recommended to have one bottle a day in order to reap all these wonderful benefits. Just think of it as a multi-vitamin for your skin.

All in all I am a fan. To learn more about vTrue visit www.vtrue.com.

 

Superfood Highlight: Acai Berry

Acai Berry Tree

The acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a berry found on the acai palm in South America. They are small, deep purple berries, that have a pack powerful nutritional profile given their tiny size. The acai berry is used in many products such as skincare, shampoos and conditioners, food coloring and packaged foods, and for good reason too. Research has shown that this antioxidant-rich berry may be able to support weight loss, digestion and disease prevention.

Here’s four reasons why you should incorporate the acai berry into your daily routine…

Promotes Skin Health

Our skin needs many vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to stay healthy. The best way to ensure you are feeding your skin properly is to consume a predominantly plant based diet, rich in whole-foods. One way to boost your nutrient content is to consume superfoods. A superfood is a food that contains a long list of nutrients so you only need to eat a little at a time in order for it to be beneficial, like the acai berry.

The following ingredients are found in the acai berry, (the ones in color are needed for skin health):

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • B Vitamins } niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin
  • Vitamin K
  • Fiber
  • Omega fatty acids } omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-9 (oleic acid)
  • Protein
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants } resveratrol, cyanidin-3-galactoside, ferulic acid, delphinidin, petunidin
  • Polyphenols
  • Flavonoids

Skincare authorities, such as Dr. Nicholas Perricone, and companies, such as Eminence Organics have popularized the berry’s many attributes. In Dr. Perricone’s book, The Perricone Promise, he names the acai berry as his number one superfood. It was chosen because of its beneficial combination of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber.

However, you don’t have to apply it topically to reap the benefits of acai. In fact, drinking acai may be best form of ingestion because your body readily absorbs the nutrients as it enters your blood stream quickly. Look for beverages containing acai berry or make a smoothie to get the anti-aging benefits. 

Improved Cellular Health

We all know that health and beauty start form within, as deep as each individual cell. If our cells are damaged, we will eventually incur some sort of ailment. Keeping our cells healthy with a foods like, acai, will keep us strong and radiant from the inside out.

A study published in 2011 reported that the acai berry suppresses biological activity that would degrade cellular integrity. We are only as strong as our weakest cell! Keep those cells healthy with the reparative properties of foods like acai, leafy green vegetables, and sea vegetables.

Acai was also found to boost immune cell function at extremely low doses. If you watch the following video, Clinical Studies on Acai Berries, you can see actual footage of a human white blood cell eating invading yeast cells. When a little acai berry powder is introduced, they gobble more. With no acai, white blood cells were able to engulf about 140 yeast, but in the presence of tiny amounts of acai they engulfed closer to 200. Quite interesting.

Clinical Studies on Acai Berries

Primary research studies suggest that ellagic acid found in acai has the ability to directly inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens in food.

Researchers reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that acai juice was able to protect cells from oxidative damage, and showed anti-inflammatory properties when consumed. It is critical for optimal health to reduce inflammation in the body as it leads to diseases, such as heart disease.

Anti-Aging Effects

Several studies have researched the many compounds the acai berry contains and found them to act as anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer functions by virtue of their anti-free radical fighting actions.

In addition, ellagic acid lessens skin wrinkles and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation. A study form 2010 demonstrated that ellagic acid prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory responses caused by UV-B damage. If you are worried about the effects of aging, which I am sure you are, I suggest stocking your fridge with beverages and foods rich in acai berries, wild strawberries walnuts and pecans.

Process of quality control during the choice of Açai, the brazilian fruit which is considered the fruit of the future.

Protects Your Immune System

This little berry’s list of attributes includes a high level of antioxidant activity. In fact, the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) values measuring the antioxidant power of the acai fruit powder has found it to be the highest among fruits and vegetables. 

Acai is a natural free radical scavenger. Free radicals attack your body’s cells by attacking them, through oxidation causing cells to weaken and more susceptible to disease. Antioxidants combat these free radicals and keep your immune system strong. When we have a diet rich in antioxidants our bodies can ward off diseases like cancer, heart disease, atherosclerosis, neurological damage and many more. 

Need another reason to consume the acai berry? I think not! Try your superfood in the refreshing Acai Super Smoothie. 

Resources:
The Perricone Promise, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, M.D., Warner Publishing, 308 pages, paperback.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21486000, Inhibitory effect of acai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) pulp on IgE-mediated mast cell activation, Sept. 2012
Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;19(8):e182-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2009.01044.x. Dietary compound ellagic acid alleviates skin wrinkle and inflammation induced by UV-B irradiation. 
Açai Berries Top the Antioxidant Rankings, Says Study, http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Acai-berries-top-the-antioxidant-rankingssays-study (Accessed November 20, 2008)
Acai Berry Health Benefits, http://www.articlesbase.com/women’s-health-articles/acaiberry-health-benefits-610522.html (accessed November 19, 2008)
http://foodfacts.mercola.com/acai.html
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