7 Hacks to Make Healthy Eating a Cinch

We’re suckers for a quick-fix.  Not the kind you may be thinking (no fad diets here!), rather if something saves us time, we can’t wait to give it a whirl.  And if it’s healthy and makes us more efficient, we’re all over it! J   As registered dietitians and girls who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we’ve done our share of experimenting so you don’t have to—and today we’re sharing our 7 healthy eating hacks –a.k.a., tricks to make healthy eating easier & faster!

1. Frozen Vegetables: Yup! You knew as authors of The Veggie Cure, a veggie hack had to take the #1 spot for us! 🙂

 

Frozen vegetables are just as healthy as fresh ones. In fact, in some instances, frozen are even healthier. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen immediately, nutrients intact. Fresh vegetables may lose nutrients during shipping and storage or when on store shelves as nutrients are lost when vegetables are exposed to light, heat and air. You’ll notice that several of our recipes call for frozen vegetables. This not only ensures nutrient retention, but it also helps to make meals quick and easy to prepare. You can keep frozen vegetables in your freezer for months (nearly up to a year!) so you never have to worry about not having vegetables if your fresh ones go bad. They’re already cleaned and cut, so you can even defrost them in the fridge during the day before using them at night, toss them in a tomato sauce, soup, casserole or whatever you’re cooking and it’s ready to go in minutes!

This hack is for you if you:
• Often find veggies spoiled in your fridge
• Don’t find the time to wash, chop or prepare veggies
• Find a lot of excuses for not eating veggies 😉
Spicy Fried Broccoli
Orange Banan-apple Smoothie

INSIDER SCOOP: If you’ve tried a frozen veggie in the past and didn’t like it, try a different brand. We’ve noticed a huge difference between brands when it comes to flavor and quality!

 

2. Spray bottle: We use these for everything!

 

 

As registered dietitians we’ve witnessed that one of the healthiest foods has also resulted in the accumulation of unwanted pounds. Olive oil. Just a tablespoon (of any oil) has 120 calories. That’s a little less than 1/10 of the total calories many women should get in an entire day if they’d like to drop a few pounds—and that’s before even eating! It’s easy to pour several tablespoons of oil onto your salad. That’s why we suggest putting your oil in a spray bottle. This will disperse the oil, so you can use a lot less. You still get the flavor and texture while sparing your waist, hips and thighs. Also use a spray bottle for any of your favorite dressings—save time by spritzing oils and dressings rather than trying to mix to disperse the flavor.

This hack is especially for you if you’d like to lose some body fat and:
• Enjoy dressings and condiments
• Cook with oil or butter
Try it with this recipe: Parmesan Eggs in a Bell Pepper Ring
And these Hummus Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers 

 

3. Lemons: Make your kitchen a lemon-palooza!  

A squirt of lemon replaces bloat-causing salt in recipes (we learned this from some well-known chefs), adds immune boosting vitamin C and helps cut down on clean-up. Spritz lemon over a meal rather than using salt for seasoning and place lemon slices under fish for cooking—it prevents fish from sticking to the pan (i.e. bye-bye long clean up time!) and it adds delicious flavor without calories- so you don’t need calorie loaded-sauces or salad dressings. Place wedges in water and you’ll drink more and stay hydrated—and eat less. Many people think they’re hungry and they’re actually thirsty!

This hack is your jam if:
• You add salt, dressings and sauces to your food and want to be less puffy or want to lower your blood pressure.
• Need a little encouragement to drink more water.
• Don’t cook fish enough because of the clean-up.
• Lemon-ginger detox drink
Colorful Detox Salad

 

4. Frozen fruit: As girls with a mega-sweet tooth and who are also no stranger to moldy berries in the fridge the same day we’ve brought them home, these have saved us from falling under sugar’s spoon (sword! ;)). Similarly to frozen veggies, frozen fruits are a delicious, easy way to get antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals without worrying about produce spoiling—plus, they’re an amazing alternative to added sugar.
Simply blend in smoothies, toss on yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or hot chocolate—and allow frozen sweet to add natural sweetness to foods rather than buying sweetened items.

This hack is for you if:
• You like fruit but tend not to eat it.
• Add sugar to (or buy pre-sweetened) cereal, yogurt, oatmeal and smoothies.
• Make smoothies (frozen fruit makes them like a milkshake and no washing or chopping is required).
Skinny DIY Strawberry Mint Ice Cream
Blueberry Banana Smoothie

 

5. Sheet pans: These rimmed baking sheets make healthy ‘meals in a jiffy’ a reality. A sheet pan is so simple, yet brilliant since it allows you the convenience having a meal in 30 minutes by just tossing healthy items on it and popping it in the oven. Clean-up? Just one sheet– that you can always line with foil or parchment paper—that makes cleaning the pan nearly non-existent. Try this on your sheet pan: Toss vVeggies or a veggie blend, fish and a spritz of olive oil, garlic and lemon. Keep your “meal-in-minutes” creative by simply mixing and matching different veggies, spices and proteins to keep your taste buds tantalized. You don’t need rich sauces or loads of oil and the short cooking time minimizes nutrient losses.

This hack is your hot pan if you:
• Want to make healthy meals but don’t want to slave over the stove
• Prefer meals with simple preparation
• Would eat more veggies if they were roasted
• Want a hands-off dinner (and fast!) and to create a meal all on one pan!
• Try this recipe: Sheet Pan Roasted Salmon with Kale & Golden Beets

 

6. Lyssie’s pick: A swivel grater. Lyssie: In under a minute, I can completely boost the flavor and health of what I’m eating. I grate a bit of ginger or turmeric over the top of a meal for awesome flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits without fat, salt or calories. And I’ll also grate beets, turnips or carrots over a salad for extra crunch and flavor. This takes moments with a good quality grater. I love the OXO one—and you can get it for under $10!

Try this: Ginger Mint Turmeric Green Tea Flat-Belly “Detox”

 

7. Tammy’s pick Tammy: An orange peeler. Tammy: This is my new fave find! One of my daughter’s, Summer, requests an orange in her lunch every day. I was peeling it by making incisions with a knife, until I found this inexpensive little life-changing number on amazon—the orange peeler! I can literally peel an orange in 15 seconds and there’s NO mess. And for just over $4 for 6 of them, you really can’t go wrong!

Why a Weight Loss Plateau is A Good Thing

As registered dietitians and personal trainers for over fifteen years, these twin sisters have seen our share of weight loss plateaus.  And while we’re well aware that a weight loss plateau is a good thing, we’ve seen how destructive and deflating it can be when someone hits one and doesn’t realize the benefits of a plateau.

 

So we’re busting at the seams to tell them (and you!) that a weight loss plateau is actually a good thing!  If you’ve ever experienced this we want you to pay close attention and follow this advice as this will help you to succeed when faced with it again! First, don’t let a plateau derail your efforts or discourage you.  Although a weight loss plateau can often last for several weeks, it’s not the time to give up, and in fact, just the opposite!

 

Here’s why:

A weight loss plateau is a normal and healthy part of the weight loss process and it simply means that your body is recognizing that it’s a new smaller person—and it’s settling in and adjusting to being slimmer.  Your body is taking an assessment and acknowledging it no longer needs as many calories to maintain itself and it’s just taking time to recalibrate.  This recalibration is important; if your body never recognizes it’s smaller and doesn’t take time to stabilize, your body doesn’t know who it is and can easily change; bouncing back to a higher weight will be easy as it wouldn’t have set a new place at a lower weight that feels comfortable.  Think about it—if you constantly are losing weight, your body has no clue what to expect and it doesn’t yet know where it feels stable.  A few missed workouts, a few not so healthy meals could easily throw your body off kilter. On the other hand, if you hit a plateau, it’s recognizing your newer, smaller body.  It’s a sign that your body is taking notice of your new trimmer self!  Once you push past this, maintaining your new weight will be easier!  Feel proud and know this is part of the amazing successful weight loss process and you’ll push past it!

 

 

More good news?

There are ways to push past a plateau—and if you stick it out, they pay off big-time!

 

Here are 4 of our top ways to bust through a weight loss plateau:

 

  1. Eat more veggies. Yup, read THIS to see how eating more actually works.  By now you know that we love veggies, always encourage our clients to eat them, and we too, eat them like nobody’s business (despite having been super picky eaters in the past)—but that’s because they’re little miracle workers, and in more ways than one. (Pssst… we didn’t write The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure for nothin’!  😉  )

 

  1. Sip on THIS Toxin-Neutralizing, Bloat-Busting Bevvie throughout the day. It will keep you hydrated, flush bloat and wastes out of the body, fill your stomach so you eat less, and flood the body with antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals and pull toxins out of the body.

 

 

  1. Incorporate HIIT training into your workouts.   These periods of more intense exercise followed by less intense exercise burn extra calories and rev your metabolism.  Find out how to do it!

 

 

  1. Leave three bites behind at each meal. If you typically eat all of your meal, leave three bites on your plate; if you don’t typically eat all of your meal, make a conscious effort to eat three fewer bites.  Over the course of the day this will equate to a couple hundred calories, which over the course of the month can equal nearly two pounds or more!

 

 

  1. For the next few weeks keep a food log (if you don’t already). You may discover places where excess snacks can be cut—or you may realize that while you were on a weight loss roll that you weren’t quite as diligent as you thought and tightening the reigns will help you to push past the plateau.

 

 

The Nutrition  Twins’ Do Your Body Good Challenge—and your 5th way to bust through a weight loss plateau.

 

Swap Dry foods for Wet Foods:
Eat Water-Rich Foods.

  • Why? Dry foods, like baked goods and cookies, chips, crackers, candy bars and trail mixes, are light and airy and don’t fill you up but are high in calories. Instead go for water and fiber-filled foods like vegetables, fruits, beans, sweet potatoes, and whole grains—these are generally full of water and fiber and not many calories. So your body feels the weight of these foods and it helps to satisfy you, as opposed to the dry, calorie-dense, light-weight foods.

 

How to do it:

 

 

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Bust Boredom or Past a Plateau with THIS!

If you’re stuck in a weight loss or boredom rut, we’ve got just the workout for you—and an added bonus is that this workout is ideal if you’re short on time (and seriously, who isn’t?)!

 

In New York City if the cold outside (or the heat) is unbearable for us and we need to get a quick indoor workout, we’ve got a foolproof routine– intervals! As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we recommend intervals to the majority of our clients. Intervals are great because you can be more productive in a shorter amount of time, which is especially helpful if you’re trapped inside and exercising indoors isn’t your thing.

 

We personally do our intervals on the treadmill and sometimes on the cross-trainer, but you can use any equipment that allows you to get a cardiovascular workout (and if it’s nice out—head out for some fresh air, baby!). Studies have shown that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at least once a week can boost cardiovascular fitness and increase the body’s potential to lose weight (woot, woot!).  Plus, constantly increasing and decreasing the speed keeps you occupied, so the time goes by so much more quickly!

 

Your body can become accustomed to doing the same exercise routine and then it no longer is a challenge and you stop seeing results.

 

This means it’s time to shake things up a bit. 

 

Here’s why we recommend HIIT to jumpstart your fitness:

  • HIIT training consists of short, high-intensity periods of exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods.
    • The higher intensity exercise challenges your body in new ways, which means you’ll burn more calories and fat.
    • The low-intensity recovery periods, also known as rest intervals, are important because they ensure that your high-intensity intervals are done at an optimal intensity. Without the rest intervals you’ll only be able to work at a medium intensity for the full duration of your exercise—which is no different than what you were doing before.

 

Here’s how to do HIIT:

 

During your normal cardiovascular routine, try increasing your speed to a fast sprint every 4 minutes. Stay at this high intensity for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your ability. You should be out of breath and really challenging yourself. The 4 minutes in between will help you recover. When those 4 minutes are up, pump it back to a sprint. You’ll be sure to feel great and will also burn a lot of calories!

 

  • If you’re a beginner, start with a 1:2 ratio of a challenging workout to rest. So go as hard as you can for 30, 45, 60 or 90 seconds and then rest for twice as long.  Then start on the challenging interval again.  As you practice this, aim for a making your rest period the same length as your interval.

 

Give it a try!  You got this! 🙂

 

 

 

Count Us In! We’re Taking the #NeverQuit Pledge

Most people who know us are aware that even when we’re not officially “out running” in New York City, were running somewhere.  It’s not that we always want a workout (although we often do! 🙂 ), it’s just that we have so much we want to do in a day and struggle to get everything done.  And as much as we love being on the go, we do cherish downtime too, but we have to work hard to get it in our day or it doesn’t happen.

 

We have to make a concerted effort each day to simply “chill out” (yes, we’re those girls who don’t naturally sit on the couch if we’re watching TV—we’re probably cooking or folding laundry, or multi-tasking at the same time!) and one thing’s for sure–we’ll always have to consciously make an effort to achieve balance in our lives.  So when we found out about the Refreshinq #NeverQuit pledge, we knew we had to take it!  Our pledge? To  to never quit working to achieve balance and to get down time.  Psst… the “inq” at the end of “Refreshinq” stands for “I Never Quit!”—we love it! (Check out the photos below– they sent us a sample of so many great goodies packaged in a fun and unique way that motivates us to work harder and never quit!)

 

 

(Yaaaasss!!!)

If there’s a time that we remember to focus on rest and on de-stressing, it’s after a massage or after yoga because that’s when we’re super relaxed and we feel so centered that we want to stay in that mode.  So as we’re taking the #NeverQuit pledge, we know that one way for us to be successful is to channel that “zen” post-yoga/ post-massage mode.  So, we’re working to take yoga an additional day each week (if you think we only run, catch us in chill-mode after class! 🙂 ).

 

While taking the #NeverQuit pledge, The Refreshinq Co. sent us their Refreshinq’s Workout + Recoverinq Pack which is a supplement blend of clean, pharmaceutical-grade, gluten free ingredients.  The Recoverinq Pack includes magnesium oxide, CoQ10, amino acid complex and omega-3s, to help you have a strong recovery. We originally thought that the Recoverinq Pack may be an additional way to help us to #NeverQuit trying to chill and achieve balance because it would help our muscles to be less sore– plus, knowing we’re doing something good for our bodies helps us to achieve a peaceful mind.  And we were right, it did give us peace of mind and make us feel more at ease —and simply feeling calmer helps us to remember to slow down and take some downtime—and to make the most of it!

 

But something even more happened…  Our Aha Moment when we realized that The Refreshinq Co.’s Recoverinq Pack was helping to relieve our muscle tension…

 

One thing we both oddly experienced for several weeks before we started using the Workout + Recoverinq Pack was muscle cramps (nothing will quickly add stress to your life like a muscle cramp!), which is unusual for us (aside from when Tammy was pregnant with her twins!)—since yes, we get plenty of water and potassium—not only from bananas (and from lots of fruits and veggies—but from our “detox” drinks like our Cool Citrus Cucumber Detox, Apple Cider Vinegar & Lime “Detox” Drink and our Lemon Ginger Detox Drink too! However, with the New York City apartments comes the winter heat (my (Lyssie’s) thermometer in my apartment reads a toasty 82 degrees on this blistery cold winter day! I’m not complaining, I’m a summer girl after all!), however, the bedroom can get even warmer—and when I sleep, although I have the air condition on, it doesn’t seem to cool the room so much—and thus, I think I’ve been dehydrated and waking up with muscle cramps/ charley horses, ah!

Since starting Refreshinq’s Workout + Recovering Pack, we haven’t had any muscle cramps! And the truth is, muscle cramps are often related to magnesium, not potassium, so thank you Refreshinq!  You see, the Post Workout Pack contains magnesium—and the magnesium is not only preventing our muscle cramps, but it’s helping us to sleep more restfully and feel more relaxed– in addition to calming the muscles and making them less tense, so that they can relax and recover—and so that we can too!  We can really focus when our muscles don’t feel so tight!

So while you may still see us running most places we go, what you won’t see is that we’ve been working on our downtime–are chilling more and loving it! 🙂 #NeverQuit pledge for us = more #zen!  Amen for that! 🙂

 

Oh–and one more thing!  There’s something else that we love about The Refreshinq Co. aside from their pharmacist-curated and totally customized to your body’s needs supplements– it’s their philosophy and positive message to inspire and encourage people in their pursuit of wellness.  They have a deep commitment to the community and it’s infused in everything they do–like their #NeverQuit initiative.

 

If you have a goal to never quit something, join us in taking the Refreshinq’s #NeverQuit pledge and share it on social media to inspire others!

 

The Nutrition Twins partnered with Refreshinq for this sponsored post.

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Performance No Matter How Busy You are

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Performance No Matter How Busy You Are

by OOF from Sattaur Fitness

 

When life gets busy it’s not uncommon to let go of all smart lifestyle habits we’ve created.

 

This year when things get hectic, instead of letting go of all that you’ve accomplished, keep it all with these 3 methods. You’ve worked too hard to give it all away. Time to Train ALL of You.

 

 

Focus on Efficient Total-Body Workouts 2 to 3 Times a Week

            Look to work your entire body as intensely as possible for 30 minutes. We do this to activate our metabolism, exhaust our energetic systems, and promote greater muscular recruitment.

30 minutes of high intensity, total-body fitness, is do-able for even the busiest of individuals and will energize your week by flooding your body with Serotonin and Adrenaline which create states of happiness and increased awareness.
Your body will also become a fat-burning furnace by depleting your glycogen stores and increasing your metabolism.

 

Here’s a Sample workout:

5 minutes of foam rolling

 

20 minute total-body workout:

(3 Sets of each exercise; 10-12 reps; slow and controlled movement)

Barbell or Bodyweight Squats

Rest 90 seconds

Lunges

Rest 90 seconds

Pull-Ups or Lat Pulldown

Rest 90 seconds

Push-Ups or Bench Press (Incline, Decline, or Neutral)

Rest 90 seconds

Rotational Ab Work (Russian Twists or Hanging Leg Raises)

 

5 minutes of static stretching

 

Use the framework of the workout for pacing and feel free to change up the exercises to increase the challenge on your body.

 

 

80% Healthy, 20% Wintry Goodness

You know what to eat… Whole, nutrient-dense foods.

You know when to eat it…. When your body says its hungry.

You know what quality nutrition looks and feels like.

So, do exactly that over the holidays, and do it 80% of the time each day. When you think of your holidays as 80% healthy choices and 20% joyful choices you take away the stress of looking at every calorie, all the time.

Your gut will thank you, your mind will thank you, your image will thank you and your grandma will thank you for not holding back on her delicious egg nog!

 

Find Your Mind Once a Day

A lot happens over the holidays.

But, time with yourself is priceless and necessary.

So, make a habit to spend ten minutes each day in quiet contemplation and observation. Whether that means ending your busy day with a few deep, controlled breaths and losing yourself to the inner workings of your mind, or waking up and sitting still for ten minutes, do it each day.

 

So…

 

  1. Total Body High Intensity Fitness 2-3 Times a Week
  2. 80% Healthy Choices
  3. One Mindful Moment a Day

 

And there you have it!

A high performance, sustainable, realistic holiday season plus a wonderful end to the year using The Train ALL of You Mindset.

 

OOF from Sattaur Fitness

Eat More to Weigh Less, Really!

If you’re like most of our clients, you’re looking for something you can eat when you’re hungry that won’t cause you to gain weight.  The answer, surprisingly, is something that you can and should eat all of the time.  It’s true; there actually is something that if you eat more of it, it can assist in your weight loss efforts!

 

Veggies!  You may realize that you need more veggies but tend to leave them out of your meals; you’re not alone!  This is one of the most common struggles of health-minded people!  You simply need a little help or encouragement to actually get them!  Once we show our clients how easily vegetables can be deliciously incorporated into their lives, they start to bump up their intake!

 

Check out our 3 Top Reasons you’ll wanna get your veggies:

 

Veggie Bonus #1: Fill up on veggies and you’ll have less room in your stomach for the heavy stuff and you’ll lose weight!

 

Veggie Bonus #2 (a.k.a. our constipation & flat-belly cure): The high water and fiber content of the veggies flushes bloat and waste and brings on a flat belly—oh yeah!

 

Veggie Bonus #3 (a.k.a. our bloat-be-gone cure!): The high water and potassium combination in veggies helps to flush out salt and the extra water and bloat that it holds with it for a flatter belly!

 

The key is to keep the non-starchy veggies (nearly all veggies with the exception of peas, potatoes and corn) low in calories (by avoiding adding sauces or oil) and then you can simply mix steamed veggies into your meal and eat less of the waist-puffing stuff!  This means your plate will be just as full, but there will be less room for the higher-calorie fare and you’ll fill up on lower calorie, veggies! And when you’re hungry, fill up on veggies.  You’ll get more nutrients that keep you healthy and prevent disease and constipation while helping you to eat less of the heavy stuff and lose weight!

 

Check out our top ways to do it below:

Easy Peasy Brussel Sprouts

seasoned brussels sprouts with logo

  • Before any meal or cocktail party, have a Veggie Pre-Meal™ with a cup of tea. The Veggie Pre-Meal™ is one-and-a-half to two cups of steamed veggies. (See below for ideas and keep foods such as these Easy Peasy Brussel Sprouts on hand). You’ll be in better control around high calorie foods and won’t be overly hungry. It will be easier to resist eating too many of the foods that pack on the pounds because you’ll already be satisfied.
  • At lunch and dinner order (or microwave from frozen at home, if short on time) a side of steamed veggies without added butter or oil. Simply mix them right into whatever dish you’re eating and you’ll add great texture, flavor and color to your meal and the veggies will pick up the flavor from the sauce in the meal.
  • Use our Red, Green and Orange rule to include one red, green or orange vegetable or fruit in every meal. When you concentrate on getting one of these colors at each meal, you won’t forget. Vegetables are an excellent source of disease-fighting nutrients and are high in fiber and low in calories, and great for helping maintain a healthy weight and fighting aging.

 

Colorful_detox_saladColorful Veggie Detox Salad

  • Make/ order omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps and burritos with veggies added
  • Chinese chicken and rice? Pasta and chicken? Mac ‘n cheese? You end up eating less of the heavy stuff and fill your stomach with the lower calorie, fiber-and nutrient packed veggies. Added bonus: If you’re a fan of large helpings you can bag a third of the meal for later and mix the veggies right in the portion you have; you’ll fill your stomach with nutrients and fiber but with fewer calories. This way you won’t feel cheated or deprived because your meal won’t appear smaller, only your waistline will!
  • Use nori or lettuce for traditional sandwiches or wraps rather than carb-rich bread.
  • Eat your rice and other grain-based meals/ snacks by putting them in cups made with veggies-like scooped out tomatoes and bell peppers, zucchini and cucumber boats—these are delicious shells for the dish and help to keep the carb portion in check.
  • Make dips, spreads and salsas with veggies—veggie based dips like these below can double as sauces for grains and meats and are perfect for dipping veggies in.

 

  • If you still feel hungry after eating –or like munching–eat non-starchy vegetables (all vegetables with the exception of peas, potatoes and corn).
    • Go for them raw or steamed with spices, lemon, or flavored vinegars. You can even try our ultra low-calorie recipes like our Easy Crunchy Braised Cabbage, Colorful Detox Salad, Caramelized Cauliflower with Olive Oil & Lemon Juice, Spicy “Fried” Broccoli, and more! As an alternative, try the Kale Recharge Smoothie.
    • Be sure to avoid options that are cooked in butter or any other calorie-loaded item (like many sauces are)—and even in oil (100 calories per little tablespoon!), as they may thwart your weight-loss efforts and defeat the purpose of low-calorie veggies.
    • For dressing options, consider trying this Raspberry Vinaigrette or this Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing (stick to the suggested serving sizes) or consider putting your salad dressing in a spray bottle to spritz your dressing on your veggies and disperse the flavor with minimal calories.
    • Try to eat some raw veggies, as current research has shown that a special protein, glutathione, is found in raw veggies and clings to toxins, helping drag them out of the body. For example, enjoy some fresh carrots and sliced bell pepper with hummus!
    • Try these Roasted Detoxifying Veggies!
    • Defrost frozen veggies in the fridge during the day. When you get home, make a quick cold salad by mixing the veggies with one of the dressing options mentioned above or toss them right into a hot meal, as they’ll already be “cooked” and you’ll simply warm them up!

Spicy_fried_broccoli_logo

Spicy “Fried” Broccoli

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