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Authors Posts by Nahid Ameen

Nahid Ameen


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Khichari or Khichadi is a one pot wonder that is made by mixing rice and lentil together. This meal, originated in Bangladesh, is eaten as a comfort food in Southeast Asian countries. Growing up in Bangladesh, khichari was a monsoon favourite for luncheon. My mother used to make Khichari on a rainy day and served it with fried eggplant or fish (particularly Hilsha Fish}.

Khichari also can be prepared like a porridge with cooked vegetables for the sick. That is exactly how my grandfather liked it! This particular meal has been used not only to nourish babies, elderly and the sick but also we cook it for family dinners and picnics. The spice combinations, choice of lentil and the texture of khichari varied in recipes depending on each occasion or situation.

This combination [see recipe] of flavour in Khichari is warming to the body, easy to digest, cleansing, strengthening and immune building. In this blog I will explain how to pick your ingredients for Khichari and share a flavourful recipe with you. Remember we are focusing on the detoxifying effect of khichari.  In Ayurveda, khichari is used to help cleanse, detoxify and restore balance.


The Rice:IMG_1749

I use organic long grain white rice as oppose to organic brown rice because when the husk is removed from the rice it makes it easier to digest the grain. During the cleansing period our metabolism is slower therefore it is better to choose the white rice. The long grain white rice also has a lower glycemic index that short grain rice. Therefore the khichari becomes suitable for Kapha body type. I purchase organic, non GMO basmati rice for my khichari from a health food store or specialty grocery store. If you are in USA or Canada try the “365 Organic White Basmati Rice” from Wholefoods Market. Or go to a bulk section of a specialty grocery store to find the rice that is unbleached and/or unpolished.

The Lentil:

The reason khichari recipes in Ayurveda prefer split mung beans [moong dahl] because unlike other legumes and lentils, mung beans do not produce much intestinal gas. Therefore the recipes become suitable for Vata body type. Mung beans are known to help cleanse the liver, remove built up toxins and assist in weight loss. Mung Beans are a good source for dietary fiber, protein, Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium.


If you are using Ghee, you must look for organic ghee for your khichari. Please do not buy ghee from any store and consume it without knowing how it was prepared. You will find pure organic homemade ghee on my website.

In Ayurveda Ghee is known to be a digestive tonic that helps improve absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Ghee improves memory, lubricates connective tissue, improves the quality and quantity of the semen and makes the body flexible. Ghee is suitable for all three doshas, specifically Pitta and Vata. People who have gallbladder disturbances, high cholesterol, weight gain and toxic overload should be cautious with ghee.

Spices and Herbs:

5 basic spices and 1 herb you must add to your Khichari

Cardamom Seeds: Seeds stimulate appetite, aid digestion and eliminate flatulence. This spice is also used for detoxification.

Cloves: Improves digestion, anti-microbial and used as oral anti-septic.

Cumin Seeds: Great source of iron and stimulates the pancreatic enzymes.

Ginger: This pungent flavor spice is Tri-doshic. However, pitta individuals should use it in moderation. It improves digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. Ginger improves circulation and helps with congestion.

Turmeric: Bitter and Astringent in taste it is used as anti-inflammatory and decongestant

Cilantro Leaves: Is a sweet, astringent and cooling herb. It balances all doshas.  It is good for kindling gastric fire, for nausea, fever, cough and quenching thirst. This is a herb that is great for kidney support and heavy metal detox.

For Cleanse:

If you are a true foodie and you get intimidated by fasting or detoxification than doing mono diet on khichari for 3-5 days maybe ideal for you. Add a little ghee and chopped cilantro or parsley leaves with your khichari will further assist in detoxification. Please drink plenty of water during “khichari fast”.

People who are trying to do a fast with fresh vegetable juices or green smoothies can also try eating khichari for proper blood sugar balance while detoxifying.


The Tri-doshic Khichari Recipe:

Recipe Guidelines: Overnight soaking of the grain and lentil will help to digest the nutrients the most effective way.



  • 2 cups of mung beans
  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 2 tsp. of grated ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp. of cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. of black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. of turmeric powder
  • 2 whole green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ tsp. of coriander powder
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ a bunch of cilantro leaves, freshly chopped


  1. Wash split yellow mung beans (dal) and rice together until water runs clear.
  2. Soak overnight in a bowl and cover the bowl.
  3. Rinse water from the rice and lentil and prepare it for cooking.
  4. Heat a large pot on medium heat and then add ghee and all the spices (except for cilantro leaves, bay leaf and salt) and roast for a minute or two. This roasting will release the essential oils from the spices into the ghee.
  5. Add mung beans and rice and stir again.
  6. Add water and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
  7. Boil for 10 minutes.
  8. Turn heat to low, cover pot and continue to cook until dal and rice become soft (about 15-20 minutes).
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Add the chopped cilantro leaves before serving.

Note: All the powdered spices and organic ghee is available at Conscious Health under “shop.” These are freshly ground spices powders without any added colours, additives or preservatives. Whole spices such as the black mustard seeds, cloves, cumin seeds, cardamoms and bay leaf are available in any Indian grocery store.



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I love my top superfoods and I talk about them on my website openly. Today is the day I talk about the “BEST Superfood” in the world. This is the one that I take for my vision and my brain health. I was reminded about this superfood at a class I was taking. The intructor pM Provided us with a challenge about survival. In this survival game one of the foods available was the Marine Phytoplankton. I instantly smiled because I knew how to solve  the “food” problem and survive!

I came home and opened my super foods cabinet and took the tiny dark bottle. I used the dropper and squirted 5 drops of it in warm water and drank it happily, knowing that it is one of the most powerful and essential foods on earth, Marine Phytoplankton.

According to NASA research, it is responsible for producing up to 90% of the Earth’s oxygen… (Compare this to a mature tree which only creates enough oxygen for two human beings). Its main “job” is to turn inorganic raw material (like seawater, minerals, sunlight and CO2) into over 100’s of living edible, organic nutrients…(This includes vitamins, bio available minerals, all amino acids, essential fatty acids, carotenoids and more!).1

Marine phytoplankton is an algae micro-organism from the ocean. It produces and stores large quantities of chlorophyll via photosynthesis.2

This well rounded and high concentrated food is rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and protein. Eating or ingesting it provides the body with a jolt of energy and nourishment. It is one of nature’s first food, therefore it is easy for the body to absorb the nutrients from it.

  • Marine Phytoplankton is a great source of vegetarian EPA and DHA. Which means it contains long chain Omega-3 essential fatty acids, vitamin A, beta carotene and astaxanthin to make your eyes and brain work at their best. Study shows that astaxanthin is  550 times more potent than Vitamin E, and 40 times more potent than beta-carotene in quenching singlet oxygen free radicals.3 
  • It also has 19 amino acids, magnesium, and ionic minerals.
  • It has the exact nutrients for your body to produce glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glutathione is essential for cell protection, anti aging, boosting immune system and reducing  the chances of cancer in the body. It also helps your body to produce the energy it needs for efficient DNA repair, stem cell and growth hormone production.
  • Marine Phytoplankton also contains chlorophyll to help detox your body of heavy metals and toxins.
  • It has immune-boosting glycogen that helps regulate white blood cells and reduces inflammation.

This product is created and developed for daily usage [Oceans’s Alive brand]. Imagine one product that can enhance brain function, give you more clarity, supply you with abundance of energy. increase your antioxidant supply – thereby decrease frequency of illnesses, provide detoxification support, improve circulation, provide vision upport and improve heart function! …..WOW!

Find the best quality of Marine Phytoplankton before you consume it. Only a few companies and scientists know exactly how to stabilize fresh harvested marine phytoplankton, maintaining the precious life energy in each cell. I highly recommend Ocean’s Alive Marine Phytoplankton. It has also been approved by Mike Adams at Natural

I believe and always tell my clients for any nutritional supplement do not expect an overnight miracle. Your health did not deteriorate overnight therefore it will not heal overnight. Give this at least about 6-8 weeks to see a difference.

If you are in the USA or Canada you can purchase this item from my Amazon website.



Its holiday time in Canada and Thanksgiving is one of the most fun holidays that Canadian’s celebrate. The Thanksgiving dinner table will reunite friends, family and neighbours! A big dinner with Turkey, pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauces are laid on the table!

I thought I will entertain the health enthusiasts so that they don’t feel left out. I have been teaching Ayurvedic Cooking [which is the traditional Indian style cooking] that focuses on health and longevity. Ayurvedic cooking focuses on individual body type and balancing health using spices, herbs and foods that are perfect for each body type [Vata, Pitta & Kapha]. You can learn more about Body Type when you read my article in Naturally Savvy.

You want to indulge in delicious tasting foods with your family and friends but you don’t want to come out of the dinner feeling sluggish, heavy and sleepy. If you love being healthy you would want to go on a diet after a few days! Instead why not focus on a few dishes that are nutritious, delicious and aids digestion?

There are many Indian/Ayurvedic spices available that speeds up metabolism, eliminate gas, reduce bloating and assists the digestive process. The key is to use them in your cooking. You can also be “Extra Smart” and get your body ready for a heavy meal by kindling the digestive fire or the HCl in your stomach.

In order to satisfy your taste buds and your body/mind you must incorporate 6 tastes or rasa in your meal. They are sweet, sour, salty, pungent [hot], bitter and astringent. When you have all these tastes present in a meal it will balance the Vata, Pitta and Kapha body type. Sweet can be the dessert in the menu, salty can be any dish made with salt, sour tasting foods are cranberry or tamarind, greens can be the bitters and wine/cider/raw greens are your astringent tasting foods.

Before you begin with your Thanksgiving meal, stimulate the digestive fire or HCl by eating a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger with a few drops of lemon juice and a few pinches of salt on it. This starts to activate the salivary glands, producing the necessary enzymes so that the nutrients in the food are easily absorbed by the body. Drink a glass of warm water before you start your dinner. This will reduce the possibility of overeating.

Recipe 1: Oven Roasted Spicy Sweet Potato


4 cups of sweet potato, cubed or squared

2 tbsp. ghee

a pinch of ground cayenne pepper

½ tsp. of ground turmeric

1 tsp. of freshly ground cumin seeds

1 tsp. of garam masala

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

4-6 fresh curry leaves

¼ of a bunch of fresh cilantro leaves


a. In a bowl place the sweet potatoes and add ghee, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, curry leaves, sea salt and black pepper.

b. Mix the sweet potatoes in such a way so the spices and ghee are coated evenly.

c. Lay them on a baking sheet.

d. Place in a pre-heated oven and cook for 20 minutes.

e. After 20 minutes check the potatoes and turn them the other side.

f. Roast for another 10 minutes until potatoes are soft.

g. Chop the cilantro leaves and garish the potatoes with these leaves.

Sweet Potato: Great source of beta carotene and vitamin A. It has antioxidant that reduces the impact of heavy metal and is anti-inflammatory.

Turmeric: One of the best Ayurvedic kitchen healer. Turmeric assists with digestion, maintains the intestinal flora, reduces gas, reduces inflammation and is used like a natural antibiotic.

Cumin: Great for all body types. You can use it for any digestive issues. Cumin also improves the mineral absorption in the intestine.

Ghee: Stimulates digestion and boosts the immune system. Use in moderation if your body type is Kapha.

Recipe 2: Cranberry Apple Sauce [Sour]:

Basic tips for making this recipe:

a. Soak the raisin for an hour before the preparation

b. Peel the orange skin and thinly slice them.

c. Dry roast the clove, cardamom and nutmeg. Grind the spices using a coffee grinder. Put the spice mixture is a small bottle or container the night before


2 ½ cups of organic cranberry

4 cups of grated Apple

¼ tsp. of raisins [soaked for an hour]

¼ tsp. of Goji Berries [soaked for an hour]

1 ½ tbsp. of balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp. of grated orange peel [optional]

½ tsp. of grated ginger

1 ½ cups of coconut sugar/sucanut

2 sticks of Ceylon cinnamon [or regular cinnamon]

1tsp. of cumin seeds

4 whole cloves

3-4 green cardamom

1 tbsp. Butter Oil [Ghee] or Sunflower oil [cold processed]

Water as needed


• Wash the cranberries and apples. Grate apple and keep these two ingredients ready.

• In a pan heat the ghee or oil. Add ginger, cinnamon and cumin seeds fry them for 2-3 minutes. Then add the cranberries and apple.

• Add rest of the grounded spices to the sauce – cardamom, and clove.

• Stir the cranberries and grated apples until they are coated with the oils and spices thoroughly.

• Add the thinly sliced orange peel and then the balsamic vinegar in the pan.

• Add water as needed. Bring to boil and simmer the ingredients, stirring frequently. Once it is simmering, add the coconut sugar, goji berries and raisins.

• When sauce is almost cooked, reduce the heat and keep in cover in low heat for 5 minutes. Let the sauce cool down and then serve.

Cranberry: Rich is Vitamin C and fiber. Cranberry contains a beneficial sugar/carbohydrate called D-Mannose that supports urinary tract health. The phytonutrients in the cranberries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power.

Ginger: It improves digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. Ginger improves circulation and helps with congestion.

Cinnamon: Balances blood sugar, improves circulation and helps to reduce congestion.

Recipe 3: Digestive Lassi


There are many recipes for Lassi. The following one is good for warding off gas and bloating:

1 cup room temperature water

3 cups of buttermilk

1 pinch ground ginger

1 pinch ground cumin

1 pinch ground coriander

1 pinch of hing or asafortida

1 pinch salt


Blend for one minute. Drink after

Buttermilk: Aids digestive problems. It is high in vitamin B 12, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.


The most remarkable, magical and exotic treasures from around the world are sitting in your kitchen pantry or growing in your garden right now!

In addition to their delicious taste, spices and herbs can greatly increase the health benefits of your meals. They also help with digestion and assimilation. Some spices and herbs are anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal and some contain powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There are also those that help stabilize blood sugar, reduce pain, regulate women’s cycle, burns fat and works like an aphrodisiac – just to begin with.

To bring the most out of them, cook them with your food or sauté them in ghee or cold processed oils and add them to your meals. For best assimilation of the benefits of therapeutic spices, eat them cooked, instead of sprinkling raw spices over foods. Ayurvedic spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, saffron, cinnamon and cardamom offer rich and varied aroma and flavor besides helping to balance different body constitution and enhancing the metabolism. They can transform simple dishes into feasts for all your senses, providing fulfillment and contentment from meals.

In the past kitchen spices were used in every household and many knew how to heal themselves using common spices and herbs in teas or infusions. Everyday ailments and minor injuries did not wait for medical attention. Think about it maybe there was someone if you family who made you the ginger, honey and lemon tea, or a chicken soup or soft Khichadi [rice and lentil mish mash]. Let’s revive the disappearing kitchen tradition and bring out the best herbs and spices for healing. Some of these herbs and spices have already made it to a Health Food Stores! Cinnamon. Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric , Cayenne, Basil, Sage and Thyme is often seen at the health food stores. Indeed the kitchen is where you are likely to find your first aid kit elements.

“No matter what ailment we suffer from, we can always do something ourselves to enhance our well-being.” – Hedley and Shaw.

Before I tell you the values of these spices and herbs note that the kitchen healers are by definition safe, otherwise we wouldn’t purchase them in the first place! However it is the amount/quantity that you can take in will make it either medicine or poison. Always remember they are not intended to be taken in large dosages. Please use them intelligently or ask someone who knows more about them. Be specifically careful when giving it to children and elderly because they need it is lesser amount.

Another tip I have for you is know your Dosha or specific body constitution. Once you figure out your Dosha you will know which spices and herbs are best for you. This way you can derive maximum benefit from the spices and herbs. Google a Dosha Test or Quiz and find out your body type! I will mention in this blog which kitchen healers are most beneficial for specific dosha [Vata, Pitta and Kapha] and which are suitable for all Doshas.

Let us start with the humble spices sitting in our kitchen pantry.

Turmeric: Fresh turmeric is a root looks like a ginger. The inside of the turmeric is bright yellow-orange. This pigment is called “curcumin” which is the active ingredient of this super spice. I actually own a book that is solely on turmeric and lists many benefits of this spice. Good news is this spice is suitable for all three doshas! Turmeric is pungent and bitter therefore is pacifies Kapha and Vata. It is also astringent and therefore it is also good for Pitta dosha. Benefits are listed below

Anti-inflammatory: therefore helps in reducing pain and inflammation.

Anti-septic: I use it for minor cuts, burns and bruises. I directly apply the turmeric on the wound.

Memory: Most effective is slowing down Alzheimer’s disease because is decreases inflammation and oxidation of the brain.

Highly effective against diseases like irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, and arthritis.

It helps with digestion, maintains the intestinal flora and reduces gas.

Turmeric also improves liver function, lowers homocysteine and prevents heart disease.

It is also known and researched for its anti-cancer properties.

Used in Asian countries to make skin look beautiful. It has also been used for boils, rashes, acne and other skin disorders.

Supports bile production to break down fats for optimal cholesterol level.

It also helps to reduces stress and anxiety.

Turmeric has high anti-oxidant properties and works as well as Vitamin C and E.

For maximum benefit heat 1 cup of milk [you can use nut mylk too if allergic to dairy] and add 1 tsp. of organic or homemade ground turmeric. I am being specific about the source because it will have zero filler mixed into it. Also try to add it in your soups, salad dressings, tea, curry and even eggs. Turmeric absorbs well in our when it is combined with black pepper.

Cinnamon: In Ayurveda it is mentioned that cinnamon is sweet, pungent, bitter and heating. It decreases Vata and Kapha but aggravates Pitta if taken in excess. This spice said to have highest anti-oxidant properties. Benefits of this spice are listed below:

Cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar making it effective for those who suffer from diabetes.

It also helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels.

It can help reduce belly fat. Therefore it has incredible benefit for people with excess weight.

Cinnamon also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and helps relieve pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, including arthritis.

Cinnamon has a positive effect on brain function, and smelling cinnamon, or chewing cinnamon flavored gum, can possibly help improve memory and attention.

It also reduces inflammation in blood vessels that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, as well as having antifungal and antibacterial properties

Cinnamon can also be used for common cold, congestion and cough.

For maximum benefit drink cinnamon tea. Boil water and add 6-7 cinnamon sticks. Let it cool and drink it. Add it to your oatmeal or healthy baking recipes. Or you can add cinnamon in smoothies, yogurt or in your coffee.

Cloves: It is a pungent and heating spice therefore it increases Pitta but pacifies Kapha and Vata. Clove is anti-microbial and it used in many “Parasite Cleanse” kits. Clove is also known for its highest levels of antioxidant.

The oil in cloves kills bacteria and is very effective when applied to scrapes, cuts, fungal infections, itchy rashes, bites, burns, or bruises. Cloves also help digestive problems like gas, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. A drop of clove essential is effective cleaning even ink stains.

Clove is best known for its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain.

Holy Basil or Tulsi: Holy basil is known as “The Incomparable One”, “The Mother Medicine of Nature”, and “The Queen of Herbs”. I have personally used holy basil for stress reduction and lowering blood sugar. It is a great source of Vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, potassium, beta carotene and Vitamin C. It is a powerful antioxidant that prevents from free radical damage. Below are the health benefits of Tulsi

Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb and used to reduce stress and anxiety

Tulsi will boost immunity and increase vitality

Supports us through the cold and winter month.

Promotes healthy metabolism

Enhances stamina

Known for promoting longevity

Protects us from radiation

Tulsi is especially effective in supporting the heart, blood vessels, liver and lungs and also regulates blood pressure and blood sugar.” Dr. Ralph Miller, former Director of Research for the Canadian Dept. of Health and Welfare.

Tulsi/Holy Basil is also an effective anti-inflammatory herb with extraordinary healing benefits that work for arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel conditions, to name a just a few. In addition, basil helps kill harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning including: Listeria, Staph, and E. coli.


The way of Ayurvedic Herbs – Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa and Micheal Tierra

Ayurvedic Cooking – Dr. Vasant Lad and Usha Lad

Kitchen Medicine – Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal

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Holistic approach to healing is becoming more and more popular these days. With growing technology we have internet access in our PCs and iPhones which can lead us to any information we want to seek. Today people are learning about natural and holistic approach that is easy to access, has no side effects and contains healing benefits for our health. Alternative healing is a term given to a range of practices that aim to promote well being by considering body, mind and spirit. Holistic nutrition, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, Chinese medicine, Flower healing, Herbal medicine, Aromatherapy, Therapeutic touch and Energy medicine are all safe and comprehensive guide to using nature’s remedies for healing mind, body and spirit.

How are these approaches unique and functional? The natural healing approaches rarely treat symptoms of a disease but focuses on the root cause. They target all three areas of our being – body, mind and spirit ot just the physical body.

Herbal Medicine: Flowers and herbs have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient time. Today, it is estimated that about three quarter of all medicines are plant derived. Herbs, essential oils, flowers are used in Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and in Western herbalism. The practitioners of alternative healing believe that they have to find the underlying cause of an illness rather than just relieving the individual of the current symptoms. They also believe using herbal medicine can help the body to heal itself by restoring harmony and balance. This can be achieved by activating the body’s “life force.”

Nutrition & Food: The nutrients in whole, organic or natural foods are powerful healers and protectors. They are the ones that help our body system to flow properly. Vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants which are known to guard out body from chronic and fatal diseases. The essential fatty acids found in nuts, seeds, fish and avocado supply us with various benefits ranging from healthy brain functions and great looking skin, nails and hair. Eating the right kind of foods will offer faster healing, awesome energy and superb memory. There are many types of diets in the world now. The best kind is that one that fits your lifestyle. When eating think local, fresh, seasonal and about 80% vegetarian sources. Wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains will provide complete protein, carbohydrate, fats, vitamins and minerals. Make this your main meal and then add fish, meat, poultry and dairy.

Mind over matter: Alternative health practitioners know that many ailments begin with prolonged and negative stress on the mind, which, if left unnoticed will weaken the body and create a whole host of ailments. It is extremely important to take care of your emotional well being as well as the physical body. Yoga and meditation will have a way to unite the body and mind. Yoga bring the mind and body together by using postures and breathing techniques to promote balance and flexibility, Meditation reveals how the power of mind can be channelled by using visualization, mantra, memory. In today’s world visualization, positive thinking and emotional healing through various modalities gives us clarity, focus and relaxed mind.

Self care and body treatments: Self care in often neglected or limited due to the busy schedule everyone has. Taking the time to do body massage, dry skin brushing, swishing with oil, tongue scraping, and using products that has zero chemicals are essential for self care. Physical and oral hygiene should be our top priorities. If proper oral hygiene is not maintained it may lead to high blood pressure or other heart diseases. I have used diluted essential oils with my home made toothpaste. Swishing with unprocessed sesame seed oil also has benefits.

Holistic approach is simply using things that are easily available to you and being mindful. When you take that extra care to eat healthy, do physical exercise and connect with our spiritual state of mind you will absolutely have the best days ever and a longer healthier life to look forward to. It is simple, easy, economical, sustainable and above all brings you peace. So why not give it a try?


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