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Ellen Ripley Reporting from the spaceship Sulaco – a ‘teeny-keto-VLCD regime’

Discussion in 'Low Calorie Diets' started by AloeSvea, Oct 27, 2018.

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  1. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Aloe's 'at the end' quote on a vlcd:

    "Not eating enough for two months is really awful."

    Yeah. That just about sums it up, for me. :D
     
  2. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I did some last days reshuffling of eating and non-eating, and low-eating to take into account a highly social family-filled weekend - my scheduled last two days, which co-incided with a family get together which I was hosting and cooking for. (And cleaning up and shopping for prior, and during, and after. :). Matriarch stuff, Ellen Ripley not shown doing on any of the Alien films ;):).) The date of which was determined not by me, but which I was happy to comply with, for motherly reasons. (Hey! Ellen Ripley had a daughter!)

    I had a big discussion with Herr Svea about whether or not I should mention this in this thread, as it seems hugely complicating, and he said he thought it was important for anyone else doing or thinking of doing such a treatment to know that I did do some reshuffling to take into account up close and personal socialising, involving meals they way such do. Especially as I was the chief cook and bottlewasher. During the two months on the spaceship Sulaco - I did this twice. For the same reason. Hungry or hangry, weak people are not good company, and don't have enough energy to perform well, and sociably, is my thinking. And don't want to prepare food! And I include longer period no-food fasting under this umbrella also (ie over 24 hours). At least - this is true for me.

    I have seen others reporting on VLCDs do such when going away on work conferences. I cannot see how you
    can't basically! (Opt out briefly, and do some kind of extension compensation.) The compensation for me this second month was to add two days of no-food fasting this week, which I am doing day 2 of now, before my big post experiment blood lipid and HBA1c blood taking tomorrow.

    Difference between low-food intake and no-food intake for me: Basically the same rhythm for ketosis, as indicated in excess ketones in urine, just with no food more intense/higher levels of ketones. Weakness more intense. Irritability more intense! Excess ketones either very low or non existent in morning, and getting more as the day goes on, peaking late at night.

    No doubt in my mind, for me, that low-food is way easier than no-food. People are very different obviously, with regards to this, but I know myself rather well in this regard, after a few years of doing these things. This is day 2 of no-fooding, which is always my lowest point. Day 3 with more ketones is a big difference, and I have physical energy, but, and it's a big but - I am not good with up close and personal with people even with ketonic bursts of physical energy. I have no patience and high irritability, but I can walk reasonably far and lift heavy things. Great out on a farm herding sheep? But not good around a conference table, if I may so.

    Low-food I can't walk distances really. Heavy lifting remains constant in both regimes.
     
  3. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Refeeding is never a big deal for me. For after either a no-food, or a low-food regime. I just do what feels natural and eat whatever and how much I want to eat, immediately. (All keto or lchf of course - depending on how many berries I want to eat. It is summer where I am in the world, so the berries are out.)

    I took a couple of days before the weekend to start eating normally, so I was not eating even close to my full complement for a couple of days, as it didn't feel natural to. (A bowl of peanuts looks mind-boggling after low-caling! Not to mention a proper piece of cheese.) Maybe 1000 cals on the Thursday, and 1200 the next day? Roughly. In the weekend I was eating a bit less than completely normally - around 1600 to 1800 cals? I'm not sure as I don't cal count normally but I eat around 2000 normally, even up to 2,200 if very physically active, I believe, when having nuts, meat and animal fat and unrestricted dairy. But I am not sure. I can't stand calorie counting, so if not VLCDing, I don't do it. At all.

    No digestive problems or associated concerns after resuming normal eating. I never do.

    Weight went up what looked like heaps, but went down again heaps to what it was the day before, um, after clearing the food out of my intestines, I think one can say? Herr Svea and I figured.

    I felt a bit unfit on the first walk - one which I used to take in my stride, before basically taking a month off walking in the second VLCD month. The next day - completely back to normal, in the striding department. Whew.

    Big feeling post Sulaco/VLCD: I have an enormous respect for the energy that food gives.
     
  4. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Now I need to discuss the issue of BG testing, and the issues I have, and have had recently, with BG meters.

    During the VLCD, I tested my morning FBGs in a loo with a concrete floor. (This becomes relevant shortly!). I had pre-bought a whole bunch of Accu Chek BG test strips, all gone now, and was very happy to be using my much trusted Accu Chek meter (as part of the Swedish socialised medicine scenario). I love my Accu Chek Aviva meter - it matched up with what I expected, and with my HBA1cs.

    (note the sad past tense! I weep!)

    CareSens is the meter funded and part of the Kiwi socialised medicine scenario. I do not love my CareSensN meter, although I use it, a lot, it is the one that is funded here in Kiwiland, and I use my Accu Chek Aviva to determine what kind of overreading differential it has. When it doesn't I call out to Herr Svea in shock - "Oh my! The CareSens is reading the same as my AccuChek!". That is an extremely rare event. As in maybe twice a year. CareSens is pretty well 1.0 over, the whole time I have been checking them against each other (4 years). If I need to use the CareSensN I adjust the readings, especially the FBGs, otherwise I will be very freaked out and believe I am well on my way to being in the type two BG zone. (this did actually happen, due to an experiment going the wrong way. My CareSensN readings were in the double digits. AccuChekAviva matched up with the HBA1c. As usual.)

    I am exceedingly sad, along with many Kiwi T1s, as well as T2s who BG measure like me, that my country stopped providing and funding the much more reliable Roche products, and changed over to a much more unreliable CareSens (i-SENS company). You know why right? the CareSens meters are much cheaper. Trade relations with S. Korea and all that, I believe. There was a lot of protest when this decision was made. There was nothing anyone could do. Money, and all that.

    I followed a discussion in the forum, with some info about hematocrit factors in giving more accurate BG readings with great interest. I clicked out of it to be in here - sorry I can't name the thread. This was the ncbi article referenced in it:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3692232/

    Anyway. I kept dropping my meter on the concrete floor, accidentally of course. Also - the pricker mechanism. One fine morning, right at the end of my VLCD, as in RIGHT at the end, it started giving me very odd readings, not consistent with what I was eating and not eating, and my readings immediately prior. Now it reads higher than my CareSens. I have come to the conclusion it is pakaru, as we say here - or kaput as they say in Germany? So now I have two malfunctioning BG meters. Either that or I am going to get a very strange HBA1c next week (as in higher than when I started 'my mission'. I don't think that is going to happen.) So my FBGs have been reliably measured, I feel, until now, post the VLCD. So I am not recording them, until I get a new one, more is the big pity, as therein lies my proof of improved health with my particular kind of diabetes. (As measured by my FBG, as a SIRD with significant impaired fasting BG.)

    I got my FBG measured at my HBA1c and lipids test blood taking yesterday, so hopefully, it, as in the one reading, makes sense...

    So I need to get a new meter, so am reading about them in here, and in my country's website info
    https://www.pharmacodiabetes.co.nz/company/about-us/

    And I came across the info that NZ has been funding dual meters that also test ketones. I couldn't believe it. Since August.

    I sat in my (newish) doctor's office over two months ago, told him about my VLCD experiment, using a ketogenic diet, where ketones were going to be measured, as being in ketosis from nourishing food was a significant part of my being healthy over the two months semi-starving. (That not getting malnourished part in traditional NDs is covered by the Optifast shakes. Ahem.) Anyway - it is all about getting the blood lipids and the insulin via C-peptides done on the state, as it were. (I do not expect to be properly medically supervised in NZ for doing any kind of experiment, let alone a VLCD.) (They allow me, and support me, which is all good, but knowledgeably supervise? No. When I discussed with newish doc he told me he had lots of diabetes patients with HBA1cs in the 100s. 'Lots' - his word. ie I am small fry because I have an HBA1c in the 40s, prediabetes level. Even though it is moderate then low carbing that got me there. NZ is a diabetes hot spot country.)

    I am soooooo disappointed my new doc didn't alert me to the CareSensDual! Instead I spent way too much on the much inferior ketostix - 100 of them. Grrrrrrr! (nearly all gone.) Ketostix were relatively cheap here, now they are not.

    I am quite sure the doc just didn't know. After all - I just stumbled upon the info by accident trying to find out about the hematocrit interference info on CareSensN meters... But, hopefully with merely the cost of a new prescription, rather than going back into his expensive for me office, I can get him to prescribe the CareSensDual for me. And an end to pee-stix! And enter more correct ketones measurements. Especially as I am imagining a spaceship Patna experiment one day in the future. (A four month voyage. Some years hence!)

    And I will have to bury my poor old beloved AccuChek Aviva, tears fall, and come up with a good replacement for more accurate FBG readings. (I will be waiting till the payday after Xmas!) As we all know - it is not the initial cost of the meter which is the biggie - it's the cost of the test strips. Ah, sigh.

    I include this info, just in case a Kiwi is in here wondering about BG meters, state funded. I found the clause for "selected individual"s to get state funding BG meters and test strips. I had an awful pharmacist who made me explain this every time I went it with my prescription for the test strips. (Usually, you have to be on medications. Interesting, huh.) I even had to copy out the clause in the primary care manual, and show it to her. Repeatedly. (She was from Eastern Europe, so I had some compassion.) I have a new wonderful pharmacist in the new location. They send me text reminders for new test strips. I believe the relationship you have with a trusty pharmacist is an important part of monitoring your own health with prescriptions, and of course medications. (Suzy Cohen - I love you!)

    (Swedes don't need this info. BG testing is assumed to be all part of good diabetes management. Sigh. Ibland, saknar jag Sverige.) (And now I am going to go sit in the sun to have my lunch, in a warm season which began in November and ends in March or April in this a subtropical part of NZ. There are good things and bad things about every country!)
     
  5. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thought I would post end of VLCD numbers while waiting on the HBA1c and c-peptide results (coming some time soon).

    Recap on starting numbers:
    FBG: August Average: 7.1, September: 8.0
    Waist/Height ratio: .49
    BMI: 24.2


    Recap on halfway numberss (beginning of November):
    waist/height ratio:.46
    BMI: 23.2

    Average FBGS over VLCD weeks:

    Week 1: 6.5
    Week 2: 5.7
    Week 3: 5.9
    Week 4: 5.3
    Week 5: 5.4
    Week 6: 5.5
    Week 7: 5.2
    Week 8: 5.1

    Average October FBG: 5.8
    Average November FBG: 5.3
    Total average over VLCD: 5.5

    Finishing numbers:

    waist/height ratio: .45
    BMI: 22.1

    Weight: Down 6 kg
    Waist: Down 7 cm
    Hips/Belly: Down 9 cm


     

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  6. jjraak

    jjraak Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    am in awe of your stamina, determination and achievement.

    i am new here, so don't fully understand SIRD, but do clearly see how difficult managing such a condition must be.

    you have my utmost respect, as i now shamefully silently berate myself for moaning so much about my woes.


    And Re the film..Loved them ALIEN, ALIENS.both 5 STARS...( .then they got a little silly.even prometheus, disappointed)
    BUT the style of your reporting, and sadly the gaps in between, exemplified the atmosphere aboard the Sulako, post Alien break out, when it was just Ripley and the Cat.

    Marvelous post style, and for such a serious subject, brilliantly laid out..

    I wish you all the best in meeting all your goals.
     
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    #26 jjraak, Dec 9, 2018 at 10:33 PM
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  7. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @jjraak - what a lovely post!

    I too am not a Prometheus movie fan, and absolutely the ghastly second one - Alien Covenant? there where poor old Dr Elizabeth Shaw - well. What a truly terrible end they gave her! (So sweet tho to have such an English character with such a strong Swedish accent! Sorry Nooni Rapace, but hey! If Meryl Streep can do it - so can you! ;):))

    And did anyone else notice that the Prometheus human-forebear-aliens are all male? The males give birth? Good grief.

    And yes - a big thumbs up to a cat character in the original. Ellen Ripley gets a much more interesting, ah, ending, in Alien Resurrection. (LOVE the basketball game she plays!)

    SIRD is not as complex as it sounds. It basically just means having had insulin resistance (in my case - off and on I am pretty sure) for years/decades. And, according to my understanding, is to do with the underlying cause of fat cells gone haywire/sick and causing a wonky hormone cascade of ghastliness. (Which is a theory for the basis of all type two diabetes.) And fat cells are quite long-lived. 10 years. So the longer you have sick fat cells, the more sick fat cells - the more stubborn those dynamics of type two are. Specifically - inappropriate gluconeogenesis - the body creating more glucose in an already glucose-ridden environment - how much glucose in there already is dependent on the diet.

    My understanding is anyone with that symptom of very stubborn high fasting blood glucose, especially in the context of eating very low carb, reflecting a liver overproducing its own glucose in an environment with too much insulin and too much glucose already, has SIRD. (The Swedes estimate it at 15% of all type twos.)

    I had IR that affected one of my organs (my ovaries) very badly long before I had Metabolic Syndrome. MetS came a couple of decades later. Then the type two.

    For those of us here, it will be very interesting to me if in 10 years post that way of lchf/keto eating, the more stubborn vestiges of a miscommunicating haywired blood glucose regulation system (to do with ceramides and free fatty acids) start to correct - then that theory will be supported. (It just depends on how many sick fat cells we are talking!)

    If the high healthy fat element of LCHF and Keto is, how to say it? Wrong for SIRDs, which is something commentators are asking, me too of course, then, well. Gosh.

    (Really interesting reading on this topic is the wonderful if anti-Taube Evelyn at her 'Carb Sane' website, in an article called 'Elevated Free Fatty Acids: Detrimental?', 2011, and related and referenced articles and papers.)

    I in particular would have to start again on another ten year cycle to wait and see, on another way of eating. (Lower fat, one would imagine.) As I am already in my mid 50s, well, I would be battling my own end in this regard! Especially with the possible 10 years life span knock off. So it would be other SIRDs after me that will find this out.

    Basically though, I hope the highish healthy fat folk are correct, because I cannot imagine low carbing and really low carbing without eating a significant amount of healthy fat to be filling. I think feeling full is all good!

    And I don't have licorice allsorts anymore, but I love my pork slices and munching away on the crackling and fried pork fat! And dipping the odd berry into whipped cream. Eating carrot sticks just wouldn't do it for me.
     
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  8. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    HBA1c - 44 (down 4 digits)
    c-peptide - 581 (insulin down 186!)

    The practice nurse contacted me and said, "Aloe! Great news! Your HBA1c is down, well done! From 48 to 44. Especially considering 4 years ago you were diagnosed with an HBA1c of 93! But best of all - what a reduction in that pesky insulin, which we know is in excess in type two diabetics, and which elevated is underlying any number of metabolic diseases and cardio vascular trouble. 581! How lovely and healthy looking is that! Now I know your cholesterol is high, but as you just lost a fair bit of fat around your tummy and your waist, as you told me, and of which I was super interested in - that's a bunch of extra fat you have in your bloodstream right now. We'll wait for that to calm down. Ditto your triglycerides - still normal I see, but a little elevated, due to the same thing. See you next month and see if it goes down any more! And if you don't go nuts with carby food at Xmas, it may do, eh? Cheerio Aloe!"

    Gotcha! That didn't happen.

    Instead this happened. "Oh you didn't get your results? But I rang you and texted you." [Silence.]
    Me:" But I didn't get a phone call, or a text. [I double check my phone just in case.] No. No calls from you. No text with the result. I don't know who you texted but it wasn't me." [Silence follows. I'll let her see which wrong number she actually texted after I have gone.] "Maybe you could give them to me now that I am here?"
    Nurse: "Oh. OK. [Prints them out.] Now your cholesterol is very high. blah blah blah blah."
    Me:" Yes. I always have high cholesterol. So it's higher than the normal high? I look at my trigs. How are my trigs? [Silence as she peers at me.] Higher, but still healthy-normal? Good.
    But my HBA1c is down to 44 - that's good. That's what I was expecting. Hoped for lower, but expected 44. [Nurse says nothing. She is still pondering my cholesterol. I can't help myself...] You wouldn't get results like that with metformin, in that period of time, would you?"
    [Now she perks up. And really peers at me. Oh dear.]
    Nurse: "No."
    Me: "Gosh. I'm lucky I have the forum! I've gotten two medals already! You're not into that kind of thing?"
    Nurse: "No."


    And I got bruises from her blood taking too! I guess we two won't be swapping Xmas cards.
    (Some times, some times - I really miss my marvellous diabetes nurse in Sweden, Gunn.)

    And I feel for all the patients this new doctor told me who have HBA1cs in the 100s. Lots he said. (This practice is in a very small town. Just to remind you - NZ is a diabetes hotspot country.) Honestly I could cry. I didn't cry, but I could cry!

    Instead it is great to wait till the next morning and write it up in here.:)
     
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  9. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    OK, 3-4 weeks have passed now, since eating normally. What has happened?

    BMI has gone up to 22.5 - weight seems to have stabilised with a 1 kg increase. I keep a close eye on this.
    My waist is still hanging in there with only a 1 cm increase - the waist height ratio still the same at .45. I would like to maintain this, but I don't know if this is possible. We shall see!

    My tummy has had the biggest change, which makes sense, as my hip/belly size had been affected the most by the low-food regime. It has increased by 2 cm.

    Muscles very defined on my legs and arms, due to heavy lifting and the being leaner thing. (I once lived with a body builder and did a bit of body building in my youth, so I do get the fact that less body fat brings out the muscle definition rather nicely.)

    During Xmas party festivities, I am lean enough still that women are asking me for weight loss tips. I understand that the desire to be slim is a big thing for many women - I don't bother telling them for me it's about health, not an aesthetic thing - falling on deaf ears and all that. I talk about low carbing, and mention that I need to be so low-carb and higher healthy fat I am a keto eater.

    My walking is completely back to normal, so I feel much happier about being back out pounding on the pavement and up and down dale. I am still doing heavy lifting every day. I did plan to do scheduled two day a week low-food intake - but I have needed the energy from normal food intake in order to prepare for the family Summer Solstice/Xmas get together which I am hosting. Instead I have kept up with the window-of-eating thing, and don't eat in the morning. Close to the solstice weather and lots of chores and things to do means later dinners al fresco the way often happens, but in 5-6 months time I will be able to keep it eating within 8 hours without problem. Post Xmas day I will low-cal/low-food a couple of days a week, as planned. I should be able to slip them in without family noticing, I hope. I was wondering if doing the VLCD so close to Xmas would affect things, and yes, it does. I meant to begin one month earlier, but family considerations interfered. One day in the future, I remind my adult children - they will be hosting Xmas and me and Herr Svea just need to pack a wee bag and the xmas presents and go to their houses for a feast they have prepared in a house they have tidied and cleaned, prepared yard etc etc. I look forward to those days! And then I can do low-food intake regimes - oh just whenever! But that time is not now, and doesn't seem to be on the horizon for some years.

    Oh yes. I am now calling a VLCD 'a low-food-intake regime' rather than focus on the word calories. I am soooooo not a calorie oriented person normally.

    I also look at the counting calories merely as a method or technique to ensure you eat little enough food for the twin cycle reversal back to normal/insulin reduction/fat cell overhauling to do its thing. A different way of looking at it, talking about it, but it works for me.

    And for me, when/if my HBA1c creeps up - I see doing a low-food-intake regime as a definite ongoing treatment option. It's so hard and drastic (to give over two months of your life to having low energy and an otherwise unhealthy focus on eating unnaturally small amounts) - that it is something I would only consider every three or four years. But yes, sadly for me, with my level of carbohydrate intolerance, I do believe that will be necessary to stay out of being diabetes-proper level of BG dysregulation. My ultimate goal here is to keep off kidney damage and breakdown - ie the kidney dialysis 'thing'. (Which is the biggie with SIRDs, apparently, according to our friends at Lund University who studied this different kinds of diabetes thing.) And of course - my cardio vascular health ticking along by being fit and active, and muscles doing their thing and working well. This is the plan in any case.

     
  10. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Oh - my FBGs. I got new test strips for the accuchek meter, and it seems to be giving more 'to be expected' readings again. I no longer get lovely low to mid 5s, alas. But respectable 'intermediate hyperglycemic' readings - upper 5s to low 6s. The odd upper 6s. (Really don't like those upper 6s.)

    Beginning the day with an upper 5 reading, and ending at the same, is good for me.

    This is consistent with the post spaceship Nostromo (VLCD back in early 2015) readings.
     
  11. AloeSvea

    AloeSvea Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The 'We shall see' part. A bit over a month later:

    I still haven't picked up my new BG meter, so don't know what is happening with my FBGs which is a big shame. Big summer holiday time in Aotearoa. Will get another HBA1c next month at least.

    Weight creeping up, which does not surprise me. One, this is what happens, a lot. And two - not a good idea to do a lower-food intake regime so close to Xmas if like me you have problems keeping the higher carb food intake down to just the one day (Xmas!) I did find it really hard. As in, I wasn't able to do that. I was very careful to have very little of it, but I had very little of traditional NZ-Xmas food over a whole week - not just one day as I had actually planned.

    I have kept up the not eating in the morning, keeping the window of eating to 8 hours. This has not been hard, although mediterranean-ish later dinners have crept in, due to the very hot summer weather and lifestyle, so sometimes that window is 9 hours. I am working on stretching the morning to 1pm. although that is far more challenging for me.

    Now my BMI is 22.8, and waist height ratio is .46 (two kilo increase, and 2 cms increase.) It's my waist, and therefore my liver (and pancreas) fat that is the health focus as y'all know. Need that 'buffer zone' to stop tipping over to 'warning warning diabetes danger' zone of .50 and over.

    I instated the two low-food intake days a week - one month later, this week, but better late than never. So more 'we shall see' over the next six months.

    My normal walking and some cycling regime totally reinstated. I never stopped lifting heavy things.

    The good thing is, as I am on day two this week of low-food intaking/low-calorieing, it is relatively easy to do after having done it for two months. Two days is a walk in the park in comparison. (But note - it was not do-able for me when family and occasion-feasting as a hostess with family!) It is easy to eat the same things one ate on the low-fooding regime, make sure you don't eat more than a few nuts, keep the berries number low, literally not wasting the energy on alcohol, in order to keep your satiation up on so little food. And - bliss - it will be over by tomorrow morning - until next week.

    I am hoping that two days low-food intaking a week will become second nature, like LCHF/Ketoing is now. (Whether I am lchf or keto basically depends on how many berries I eat! It's berry season.)

    Again, for me, low-food intaking is much easier to integrate into my normal life than no-food fasting, which I also have considerable experience in. A known personal preference. I don't care about the science, in this regard (as the science points to no-food fasting as being better in so many ways). It is about what fits into my life best, and with my metabolism.
     
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