Why I am Gluten-Free.

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Why I am Gluten-Free.

It came to my attention recently that I have never fully shared my story and my journey here on Tasty Yummies about why I eat gluten-free. I also have never shared some of the “before” photos of me prior to fully changing my diet 3 years ago when I adopted a lifestyle of clean-eating and a diet free of processed-foods and other junk. As much as I enjoy seeing the visual changes from other peoples’ journeys , I have put off sharing my own, for fear of embarrassment and I guess, shame. I have lost the weight, I am healthier than ever, but there is something about seeing photos of myself from before, that is still somewhat painful. I wasn’t obese, many people would hardly call me fat. However, I felt terrible and I was crazy unhappy both in how I felt and how I looked. It is still hard for me to look back at myself at that time. I guess I have needed a few years to pass, just so I could deal with it all and be OK enough with my journey to share it; weight-loss photos and all.

(The purpose of this post is NOT to say that I lost weight by going gluten-free! On the contrary, that was hardly the case and initially I was at my heaviest when I went gluten-free. PLEASE read the entire post!!)

IMG_2741At my heaviest – in 2009. I had already been gluten-free for over 4 years at this point, but I just still wasn’t taking care of myself.

Why I am Gluten-Free.This photo, from my surprise 30th birthday party, was what changed it all for me. I saw this photo and I couldn’t believe that was me. I wanted a change.

Throughout college I struggled with constant stomach aches and other various digestive issues, if I wasn’t constipated I had chronic diarrhea, I was constantly bloated and gassy and always felt lethargic and weighed down. After visiting many doctors including a gastroenterologist, being told to track my eating and consequent symptoms with a food journal, and loads of tests, I was basically told I had IBS and it was just something I would just have to deal with.


Fast forward over 5 years to January 2005 when I was still dealing with chronic stomach ailments of various kinds, chronic migraines and fatigue and other health complications. With the help of a great family friend, a chiropractor and holistic health healer, I completed a supplement supported 30-day cleanse to rid my body of all known common allergens and irritants. Gluten (and most other grains), dairy, nuts, sugar, eggs, soy, corn, caffeine, alcohol, meat, shellfish, etc – all were removed from my diet for an entire month.  At barely even 7 days into the cleanse, I felt better than ever before. I felt lighter, less bloated and had little to no stomach complications. After the cleanse was completed I slowly began introducing foods into my diet to see my body’s natural response to them. Immediately upon any consumption of gluten, I found myself doubled over in pain, sick with diarrhea and I found myself more bloated than ever before. I tested it out for a week or so, finding it hard to believe and not wanting to fully succumb to this new lifestyle. Every single time, sicker than ever before. February of 2005 was the last time I ever, knowingly and purposefully consumed any gluten.

Why I am Gluten-Free.

About 5 years into my gluten-free lifestyle I was blood-tested for Celiac disease. It, of course, came up negative since my body had been free of gluten for over 5 years and from what I understand the only accurate test is the intestinal biopsy and you have to have been consuming gluten for at least 30 days prior. At this point nearly 9 years later, I am still unsure if I am plagued with Celiac disease or a simple gluten intolerance, I tend to believe it is Celiac, but to me it hasn’t mattered too much. I have completely and fully maintained a gluten-free diet and it has been the best thing that I could have ever done for myself. It has been a challenging 8+ years with it’s ups and downs but choosing to be in control of my own health couldn’t have been an easier and wiser decision.

Why I am Gluten-Free.

Outside of going gluten-free and just as importantly, just over 3 years ago I made the huge lifestyle change of cutting out ALL processed foods from my diet . I struggled for those first 5 years of eating gluten-free, I got caught up into buying anything and everything that was labeled “gluten-free”. I liked anything that made eating gluten-free easier and more convenient. I wanted to eat like everyone else. Gluten-free baking terrified me. Over time I found myself gaining weight and feeling sluggish again, even without the gluten. I constantly had sinus infections and would always get sick with whatever was going around. Again, I kick started this massive change with a cleanse and after just two months of being processed food free, I had dropped 30 lbs and I felt amazing! This change was equally as important to my health and overall wellness  as going gluten-free was. Consequently, this lifestyle change and my new found health is what jump started my journey into starting this blog and sharing my recipes with the world!

Why I am Gluten-Free.
These photos were taken just after I lost 30lbs. by not only continuing my gluten-free lifestyle, but also by cutting out all processed foods and focusing on real and whole foods.

Why I am Gluten-Free.

Why I am Gluten-Free.

Both maintaining a fully gluten-free diet and removing processed foods while changing my focus to whole, real foods, mostly plant based – has definitely changed my life in more ways that I could ever list. I honestly feel like I am a new person. Besides the aforementioned physical complications, by removing gluten and processed foods completely, I really noticed a dramatic change in my overall well being. My moods changed, I had more energy, I felt less foggy-headed and I found that I could focus more clearly. I have never been more in tune with and aware of what my body needs and how to properly nourish it. This mind body connection I have found, is something I will never take for granted. It has actually been so long for me, I can’t even remember all of the bad things I used to feel, I just know that I have never, ever felt better!!

Please feel free to comment below to share your story or ask me any questions that you may have about my journey, I am happy to share whatever I can. Thank you for reading!

Why I am Gluten-Free.These photos were all taken this spring and summer.


Why I am Gluten-Free.

Why I am Gluten-Free.
Besides a healthy, clean, gluten-free diet – I have a regular daily yoga practice which has also helped me to feel as good as I possibly can.

Why I am Gluten-Free.

60 Responses

  1. Kerrie says:

    Very inspiring and brave of you to share your journey, photos and all! A year and a half ago I went completely vegan for 6 months for environmental and social reasons. I had never felt good about my body and was the heaviest I had ever been. However, it was the first time I made a change that wasn’t about becoming “skinny”. I started running for fun. Fast forward 6 months and I had never felt better. I too was more focused at work, more present in my day to day, more in tune with my body and I was down 30 lbs! It seemed like a no brainer to maintain my whole foods and vegan lifestyle. I have recently started eating some cheese and dairy, so I can no longer claim to be “vegan”. But it isn’t about labels, it’s about doing what’s best for me and supporting the local and sustainable food movement. Conscientious and mindful living! Your blog is a great source of inspiration. Thank you!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thank you Kerrie! I am so grateful to have found what works for me and to be able to control my health, myself! Thanks for sharing your story and I am so happy for you that you have found what works for you, too! You are right, it isn’t about labels, it is about what is best for you and the earth! Good for you!! xoxo Thanks again!

  2. sophia says:

    Thanks for sharing! I try to eat clean and it’s difficult in a fast food, processed food, false food information world so I admire your hard work and commitment to yourself and sharing your personal journey. I’d like to add that your skin also looks amazing! 🙂

  3. Kayla says:


    I have just graduated from undergrad, and throughout my 4 years at school starting around freshman year I began to have similar stomach issues. Even after moving off campus, avoiding campus food, and when I went home for the summer the issues still remained. I tried to cut out dairy thinking perhaps lactose is an issue and not much really changed. Recently I have been considering going gluten-free, as I have never tried this attempt and think it could really help my sensitive stomach. My question is, do you have any tips for initiating such a change? Should I cut out slowly, do a cleanse, etc? Thanks for any help!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hey Kayla! Everyone is different with how they feel comfortable making such a huge change. Some people prefer to ease themselves off foods when they remove them from their diet, so they don’t have any extreme reactions or have to deal with detoxing. I don’t recall gluten having that sort of reaction, the way say, sugar or caffeine could. That being said, I am an all or nothing kind of person. I just have to stop cold turkey and remove it immediately, usually by way of a cleanse. Here are a couple of posts that I shared that may help you in the transition.
      A Quick Guide to Gluten-free Eating
      Restricted Diets: Focus On What You CAN Eat, Not What You Can’t
      Here is the information on a Spring cleanse I did earlier this year, this is basically the same formula I always follow when I cleanse now-a-days.
      Hope those help. Please feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

  4. Liz says:

    This completely off topic (as are most my comments 🙂 ) but seeing Mark without his ‘stache (even without the “handlebars”) threw me to the point where I can think of nothing else. LOL I’m only half joking. 🙂
    Continuing with the off-topic commenting, I love the all-one-length, natural way you wear your hair now; it’s so becoming and really brings out your beauty. 🙂

    • tastyyummies says:

      Well than I am sorry to report it here first, Mark finally shaved his mustache off this past weekend 🙂 First time he is without it for the last 2 years!! He was sick of dealing with it and ready for a change. I am happy to see and kiss his upper lip again, haha.
      Thanks for the compliment on my hair, it has been a long time since I have had it this long and all one length. It takes some getting used to but I am loving it, too – thanks so much!

      • Liz says:

        I know it can be a little traumatizing for men to lose their “face friend” or, at the very least, take quite some time adjusting to Life After ‘Stache, but if it does anything to soothe his mind 🙂 I think Mark looked positively A-DORABLE facial hair free. 🙂 However grand moustaches can be, a smooth, kissable face trumps all. 🙂 Enjoy, the two of you!

  5. Amanda says:

    Thank you for sharing!
    My journey is fairly similar and I have never been tested for celiac either. I don’t need a doctors test to confirm how something makes my body feel. My husband and I cut out all processed foods and eat a plant based diet full of whole foods and skip out on the gluten. We’ve been eating this way for about 5 years now. What is amazing is that we have more energy, we are more active and look better than we did in our teens and early 20’s! Never ever going back.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Amen Amanda I am so glad you are feeling better as well and I am glad I am not alone without a Celiac diagnosis. To me it doesn’t matter what the words are, I know it makes me sick!
      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make enough time to do this!)

  6. Amanda says:

    Your recipes ROCK! Everything I have made from your blog has turned out incredible. This is always my recommended blog for any of my friends looking for easy, tasty, healthy recipes. Thank you!

  7. Angela says:

    You’re an inspiration! I love your positive attitude and your story was awesome! Thanx for sharing. It brings light to those who struggle to be GF for life like myself. I was Dx with Celiac Disease just about 2 yrs ago and wow! it turned my world upside down. These days I accept it but (there’s always a “but”) at times I get discouraged. I too feel so better since going GF which is great way to watch what I eat. It’s trial & error! You have opened my eyes with super cool recipes and I’m thankful! Keep up your goodwill!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thank you so much Angela. What a wonderful comment. It makes me so happy to know that my recipes can bring so much joy to people and can help them with the difficult transition. Thanks for reading.
      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  8. Julie says:

    Thank you for this post. It has renewed my sense of hope that I too can overcome my stomach ailments, IBS and other issues I’ve been dealing with for almost a year. I am curious though, the cleanse that you mention – can you tell me what that is so that I may discuss something like this to my fundamental doctor. I want to have that feeling of “feeling healthy” again.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hi Julie, thank you for your kind words. The initial cleanse that I did cut out all common allergens and other irritants, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, nuts, sugar, shell fish, fish, meat, sugar, low salt, no caffeine, no dairy, only certain legumes, etc. It changed throughout the 30 days, adding things back in and taking things out, all of this was supported with a supplement to aid in the detox. It was a plan created for me by a good friend of mine.

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  9. Winnie says:

    Loved this post, Beth! Thank you for sharing. Ps you’re stunning (both before and after)!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks so much Winnie!! I really appreciate it.

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  10. […] Alright folks, I promised some stories of inspiration during your first few weeks of eating gluten free, and here they are. First I’m going to share my full story, followed by my husband’s and some amazing stories from the Wild Roots & Tasty Yummies readers. For Beth’s full story, head over to Tasty Yummies. […]

  11. BEVERLY MILLEY says:


    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks so much Beverly. That means so much to me to read that. Thanks for the comment.

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  12. Amanda says:

    I completely understand what it’s like to look at a photograph of yourself and wonder who it is looking back at you. Very inspiring story, thank you for sharing!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Amanda, glad to know I am not alone in feeling that way. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  13. Hi Beth,

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You are amazing and such an inspiration to so many people around the globe. Health and healing is a journey and thanks to your incredible real food recipes, healthy eating can be easier for all of us.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks so much Laura. I sincerely appreciate that. Same goes to you 😉

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  14. Ece says:

    Beth, thank you for sharing your story. I can relate most of it because I have started the same life changing journey 2 years ago. I understand how hard it is to look back yet that much liberating. I did the same cleansing diet, and found out that I am both lactose and gluten intolerant. Also sensitive to soy and sugar. On top of that I have willingly became a full vegetarian. Since then I have lost over 20 pounds. Starting with that there has been a lot of other changes in my life for the better. I can’t say they all felt easy and comfortable at the time. It has been challenging, but gotten easier in time. Now I feel healthier and happier than ever.

    A year ago, while I was overwhelmed and doing tons of research for my new lifestyle, I came across Tasty Yummies and I absolutely loved it. I read your storey and started following your blog. I just want to say that you have been a great inspiration and support. I am much grateful 🙂 thank you.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hi Ece, thanks for sharing your story, too. I am so glad you have found the path to health and that you are feeling so good. Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to read my site and comment!

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  15. Holly says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Beth! I’ve had a similar journey, and I’ve been working on eliminating all processed foods from my diet as well. As someone in the middle of it, I have to give you props — it’s not easy at all. If I don’t plan things out very carefully, I find myself falling into the habit of eating things I know my body won’t respond to well because of convenience. I’m not doing myself any favors when that happens. This post is a great reminder as to *why* I’m doing it, and to keep with it. You look amazing, and I admire you for being brave enough to share the befores and the afters. It helps put things into perspective.

    And, I just wanted to add, that’s quite an impressive variation of crow in the last photo. I’ve been working hard on nailing crow and I can’t wait until I’m there!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hi Holly, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your story too. Planning things out is definitely key and absolutely makes it all so much more challenging. You’ve got it though and each and every day gets easier. I hope it is still going well for you.

      Thanks for reading my blog and for your kind words. PS how’s that crow coming along?

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

      • Holly says:

        It’s going. Every day I learn a little more and get a little better at avoiding the foods that my body doesn’t react well to.

        I love reading your blog! Thank you for continuing to post such great content.

        Crow is coming! I just started going regularly again (my gym now offers it every Wednesday night) and we did crow in our first class. I was happy I could still get into it, but now I’m working on *staying* in it!

  16. Alice says:

    Hi Beth, thank you for sharing, I think we all need a honest point of you like yours.
    Greetings from Italy!

  17. I adore you so much, and I really respect the courage it took to share this with the world. You have had a really amazing journey and I am so blessed that our paths have crossed here on the internet and in real life as well.

  18. Thanks so much for sharing your story!!! I have been gluten /dairy free for over one year now. It has helped immensely with my Ulcerative Colitis. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome who is 19 and we are constantly challenged to bring her over to the gluten free side of life as well as eliminating processed foods. It’s SO HARD. I’m encouraged to keep at it with her after reading your story.

  19. Kathy says:

    Congratulations on becoming your own best advocate! You are an inspiration to me. I have Celiac along with a laundry list of other auto immune diseases. I am so encouraged to see how well you are thriving, I been at this since 2004.Unfortunately I’ve made very little progress, so thank you so very kindly for sharing your journey, it proves to me what can be achieved once the right food/ healthy lifestyle changes for our individual needs are found and made. You are so beautiful inside and out. Stay well and stay blessed.

  20. Shannon says:

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s always inspiring to read about others journeys. I’m kind of a ‘cleanse junkie’…I’ve done vegan, gluten free, and juice/smoothie cleanses. I’ve maintained a vegetarian lifestyle for the past few years, and try to limit dairy and gluten. I’ve inspired so many people around me to try smoothies, juicing, and healthier diets but at the end of the day I have SUCH a difficult time staying away from processed foods. Like you, I wouldn’t consider myself fat, but I am by no means in love with my body (comfort wise, energy). I sometimes think that it might be a compulsion or just an addiction to processed foods. I’m going to review your Spring Cleanse info and look into meal plans. Any other info or inspiration on avoiding temptation would be fabulous 🙂 I also plan on deepening my yoga practice to help manage my mood and stress levels. Thanks so much, always a pleasure reading your blog!

  21. Becky Hodges says:

    I am really enjoying your blog. I too have had a similar journey. I was wondering how you started your yoga journey, as that seems to be an important role in you journey. Did you start with a studio, private instructors or classes?

  22. Hilary says:

    This was a really great post! Thank you so much for deciding to share it!

  23. Gluten Dude says:

    Great, honest post. As I always say, it’s not what you give up, but it’s what you replace it with. Power on!

  24. Amiko says:

    Wow very inspiring. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing and trusting us with your story.
    Lots of love,

  25. Samantha Forrest says:

    Thanks for sharing! All of the symptoms you describe here are all the same things I feel constantly, daily. I haven’t commited to the gluten free lifestyle as of yet. I guess I am being too chicken, thinking it is going to be too hard to stick with but, that thinking is all in my head. You make it obvious that it is possible! Also, I am assuming you went through your cleanses back home in Buffalo. I would love to know who you got in touch with for this. I am SO interested in following in your foot steps. You are truly an inspiration!

  26. Michelle says:

    Hi Beth,
    Thanks for sharing, what an awesome story to share. I don’t really know where to start with my story. I don’t really fit into any group. I’ve never really suffered from any stomach issues till now and I have to admit to being a bit of a disbeliever in the gluten free intolerance (until it hit me hard). I believe I have suffered for many years with the neurological effects of eating gluten and today feel as if what I am experiencing is my bodies revenge for being so naïve.
    I do have to ask if it is normal to become celiac over the age of 40?? I have always eaten well but basically whatever I felt like and now if I have a syrup which is not gluten free I am in tears by the end of the day. I am a runner and have not been able to run for over three weeks now. Naturally the doctors have to rule out everything but I do believe it is linked to what I am eating because the days I feel good are only after I take nothing into my body but whole fruits and vegetables.
    Sorry about the long winded post but like everyone else here has said, your recipes are amazing. I can’t wait to try them all.

  27. Sarah says:

    I’m curious more about how your holistic health healer and chiropractor helped you, and if you could explain a bit more of that part of your journey?

    I ask because my journey sounds very similar to yours right now–I’ve been diagnosed as gluten intolerant (and a few others), but I’ve still been suffering from weird stomach ailments and digestive issues & bloating etc. Despite being gluten free for 9 months & pretty much sugar free for 3 months, my body hasn’t seemed to respond in the way I’d hoped. I’m not sure if my body is just taking awhile to respond to these changes or if I’m missing an important key–because I feel like I’m doing something wrong.

    Was there anything really significant that helped you (was it just the 30 day cleanse or was there more? and can you explain more about that?) thanks! 🙂

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hi Sarah both initially when I discovered the intolerance to gluten and the second time when I decided to cut out the processed foods, the only significant thing that helped me, was cleansing my body, starting over fresh and listening to what my body wanted and needed from there on out. I find that if I pay particularly careful attention to what my body is trying to tell me, there is so much I can learn. If I simply eat and do and don’t find the time to recognize what is causing my body stress, than I will never learn. I found instant relief and change when I changed my diet, maybe you just haven’t found the culprit quite yet? I wish I could be of more help. Good luck with your journey. xo

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  28. Alicia says:

    With a couple small tweaks, your story sounds just like mine. I was told that I had all different kinds of “diseases” by different specialists and none of their medications or diet changes made me feel better. The drastic change in my health came when I did a candida cleanse and maintained a candida friendly diet. That helped me to feel better but my body wasn’t healed. I threw out all my medications and started using essential oils to heal my inflamed gut and continue to balance the good and bad bacterias. Good probiotics have made a world of difference in speeding up that process. Eating whole foods has helped me to maintain my health. It’s so awesome how paying attention to our bodies and feeding it good nutrients can be so life changing! I also lost 30lbs and I’m hoping to lose 30 more eventually. 🙂

    • tastyyummies says:

      Hi Alicia
      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I agree taking time to stop and listen to our bodies is soo important. I am all about intuitive eating and living, who knows better what our own bodies need than us? Congrats on your journey to feeling better, finding your own way and losing some weight in the process. You should be proud!

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  29. Lexie says:

    You are a beautiful and vibrant person in every way. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. xoLexie

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks so much Lexie!! I appreciate it. xo <3

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  30. yamir says:

    thanks for sharing your story I really love to read about all of the authors of blogs. You look beautiful!!

  31. Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing! Going gluten-free by medical necessity has also made me more body aware. My body now looks and feels healthier!

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Laura and taking the time to read Tasty Yummies. Much appreciated.

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  32. This is a gorgeous post – thank you for sharing! You look beautiful and happy 🙂 xo Alyssa

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks so much Alyssa. I appreciate it 😉

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  33. Kristy says:

    I am so so sooooooooo happy i have come across your site – all the way over in New Zealand.

    I am having issues w my body & am wanting to grab the bull by the horns (so to speak) and am trying to lead a much healthier lighter lifestyle (when it comes to my diet). I am also trying to take more time w preparing healthier and more organic meals for my 2 young children.

    Eager to be reading more of your site & being inspired by your journey.

    Yay – thank you!


    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Kristy. I appreciate your kind words and you taking the time to leave a comment. Good luck on your journey. So glad you found your way here to my site to help you along the way.

      (sorry I am really late to replying to these comments, I really need to make more time to do this!)

  34. Kristi says:

    What an incredible story! I have had such a similar experience trying to eliminate things out of my diet to find out gluten was my problem too. Years of sinus infections, gastro issues, and vomiting are no longer a part of my life after going gluten free. Recently I cut out processed foods and try to avoid sugar as much as possible and I feel even better than ever. So many people think being gluten free is about losing weight and it’s so great to see a story like yours to explain it’s about feeling good.

    • tastyyummies says:

      Thanks Kristi. So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Glad to hear you are feeling well, too! xo

  35. Sarabeth says:

    It’s really inspirational reading this, especially because (I hope you don’t mind my saying this), you’re not a skinny-minny, so you’re someone I can relate to.

    I’m not happy with my body right now and I’m sure it’s due to my food intake and lifestyle… But I still don’t want to make that SHIFT to a lifestyle that I know is healthier for me. It’s probably laziness, fear of having to put more effort into everything… How did you actually MOVE yourself into health-gear?

    • tastyyummies says:

      Sarahbeth thank you for your comment and I don’t mind you saying that, at all. I am who I am and I am happy that I am fortunate enough to finally be healthy and have taken control over my well-being.

      I am sorry to hear that you are not happy with your body right now, but I think being able to even say that out loud is a huge step in the right direction. For me, it’s a little bit at a time, not trying to make HUGE lifestyle changes all at once. You are changing habits and that should be a life-long thing, so there should be no rush. Acknowledge some of the bad habits, where they stem from, why you do them and start changing them, one at a time – not beating yourself up if it isn’t a perfect journey. For me, seeing small results, even as simple as my jeans being looser – is enough to continue to inspire me to make even more changes and bigger ones at that. Obviously with each change, feeling better and more how I would like to feel, that just continues to propel me into more and more healthy choices.
      I hope that helps. Thanks for reading.

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