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    • twinkle_star
    • By twinkle_star 29th Jan 09, 8:16 AM
    • 342Posts
    • 1,672Thanks
    Going vegan......old style?!
    • #1
    • 29th Jan 09, 8:16 AM
    Going vegan......old style?! 29th Jan 09 at 8:16 AM
    To make this thread easier to navigate and to make sure people can always find something lovely and vegan to eat I've decided to make nice links to all the recipes on this thread. It's a work in progress but you should be able to get to them by clicking the link below:

    Click me for all the vegan recipes!

    Back to the first post...

    Hello people. Well I've recently made the rather unexpected decision to become vegan. I say unexpected because I was not, nor have I ever been, a vegetarian beforehand so I'm jumping in at the deep end. I realize that veganism is rather an extreme diet to most people but once I settled on the idea it felt right for me so I’m happy with it.

    Now, up until this point I’ve been trying to be as OS as possible, cooking meals for myself and OH from scratch, meal planning, budgeting and making a few meals for the freezer. I’m hoping to continue doing this as much as possible as make the transition into my new diet and I thought I’d try to keep a little chronicle here in case anyone is interested and also because I’d really like some recipe suggestions and free help!

    I think it should be fairly in-keeping with old-style because although veganism may seem a little odd it is in fact fairly frugal (no expensive meat, milk products or eggs) and low fat (same reasons) and requires plenty of pre-planning and home cooking (there aren’t too many vegan meals provided at my work or most places).
    I hope people won’t be too weirded out by this diet. I’m hoping that I’ll generally be making recipes that can easily be adapted for meat/dairy eaters (my OH is a confirmed milk and meat lover) and they should be pretty tasty.

    Also, when I mentioned this plan to my district nurse she was a little horrified so I've been doing a fair amount of nutritional research to ensure I don't make myself ill from lack of vitamins and minerals and I should be able to post some nice geeky info along the way.
    Before I disappear from my first post I shall quickly post this link to the first vegan recipe that I tried and that persuaded me that veganism might be tasty. The lovely Weezl74’s lentil pate. Proof, I hope, that even meat eaters can enjoy a vegan delight. (Yes, weezl is my MSE hero and I have stolen and adapted many of her recipes! Thanks Weezl ). Right, epic first post over.

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    Last edited by twinkle_star; 05-06-2009 at 8:38 PM.
Page 1
  • rosered1963
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 09, 9:40 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 09, 9:40 AM
    Hi there - you could have a look at these links: Simple Vegan recipes: of-course, The Vegan Society: and and Viva's L Plate Vegan guide:

    My OH is a meat eater and I do all the cooking for him, and for myself. I tend to do batch cooking for myself and freeze portions in "lock and lock" containers which I label with what it is and the date, so I don't forget.

    Regarding nutrition, I would say that the key is to vary your diet and eat vegetables that are in season. Make sure you get plenty of protein. Make yourself a good vegan store cupboard containing things like chick peas, tinned tomatoes, lentils, herbs, curry pastes , oats, etc so that all you need are fresh veg and you are ready to go. Frozen veg are also good - even the frozen parsnips are great for roasting and making lovely soups, like parsnip and lemon. If you dont have a blender, i would suggest you buy one for making things like salsa, houmous, soups, etc which are so quick and easy to make. Have nice oils in your store cupboard like olive oil and sesame seed oil which is nice.

    If you can, you could grow some herbs. If you have a garden or patio, Rosemary is easy to grow and lovely with vegetables. Sage is also easy. Plant and forget it! If you don't have outside space, try growing some herbs and leaves indoors - you will find plenty of info on the web about what you can grow on your windowsill, including bean shoots which are very good for you. You can get kits from garden centres but these are expensive - you can make your own once you get the idea.

    You don't say why you are a vegan - for me its because of animal welfare to be honest. I would pick up an injured bird off the road and do everything I could to save its life, so I'm hardly go to eat one! I did miss meat, to be honest, but after a while, you don't bother. I stopped eating meat 25 years ago, when I was very young. It was a stigma to veggie or vegan then. I don't think that's the case now - no-one will think you are weird, and you are helping the planet because veg is more energy efficient than meat production.
    Good luck to you.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Zorica; 09-02-2016 at 5:17 PM.
    • thenanny2die4
    • By thenanny2die4 29th Jan 09, 10:25 AM
    • 2,347 Posts
    • 54,003 Thanks
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 09, 10:25 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 09, 10:25 AM
    Hi Twinkle.

    Lots of useful advice there from Rosered. I spent two years eating a vegan diet and lost a great deal of weight as a useful extra! I have to say, I don't think I've ever felt healthier than when I was meat and dairy free; I seemed to have endless energy.

    I made the change from a long-term veggie diet, so, for me, it just meant moving away from the eggs and cheese and being more inventive, eg. discovering lentils. One piece of advice I was given was to remember, "Marmite is your friend"!!! If you're not careful, it's easy to miss out on some of the B Vitamins so marmite is a good source of those.

    I'm sorry to say, when OH and I moved in together, I found it very difficult to maintain the vegan diet and eventually decided to go back to being a bog-standard veggie, although, as you've discovered, we all probably eat vegan food sometimes, probably without realising it.

    Good luck.
    Avoiding plastic, palm oil and Nestle
  • star2007
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 09, 2:07 PM
    OS vegan food
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 09, 2:07 PM
    Congratulations on going for it!

    I'd recommend some good cookbooks:

    Another Dinner is Possible

    and the Isa Chandra Moskowitz ones:

    I've found them really inspirational & really helped in giving me a push towards veganism.... like I'm adding so much more to my diet, rather than cutting stuff out! Highly delectable recipes without being decadent

    I think you can bulk cook up a load of beans/ chick peas etc and freeze them in portions, which works out a bit more economical than the tins.

    Nutrition wise, as long as you're eating a varied wholefood diet - all sorts of vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses, salads, nuts etc you can't go too far wrong. Try and eat wholemeal bread & brown rice etc as they haven't been stripped of nutrients & have a more complete nutritional profile. I second the profligate use of Marmite!

    Chick pea flour can make a great egg replacer... make up a mixture about as thick as yorkshire pudding batter with soya milk/ water. Whisk well trying to get out the lumps (doesn't matter about a few tiny ones).

    Dip in slices of bread, press one side onto a plate of chopped nuts, then fry in a large frying pan on both sides. Drizzle with maple syrup.

    Or - cook up some onions & new potatoes as for spanish omelette. Instead of beaten egg, use the chick pea batter. Season generously to taste. Cook on a lowish head till the batter is set and it's golden underneath. Then, either flip it over with a plate & slide it back in the pan to cook the other side - or - finish cooking the top under a preheated grill for a few mins.

    Haven't tried it in cakes - not sure how it would turn out, but there are other egg replacers you can use like mashed banana, applesauce, soya flour, ground flax seed etc.

    Considering a huge bag of chick pea flour is £5 at Tesco's, you can see how OS vegan food can be! Add a large bag of spuds from the farm shop & you're laughing in the face of the credit crunch!
    • twinkle_star
    • By twinkle_star 29th Jan 09, 4:46 PM
    • 342 Posts
    • 1,672 Thanks
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 09, 4:46 PM
    non-dairy milks
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 09, 4:46 PM
    Hello again,

    Thank you for all the lovely responses.

    Rosered1963 - I was planning on gettingsome herbs growing in my porch (i like to think of it as a teeny-tiny conservatory) so am just waiting for a bit of sunshine! As to why, I'm not entirely sure - I've always been a bit of a guilty meat eater so I guess I just cracked.

    thenanny2die4 - Thanks for the tip re: marmite. Good job I already love it!

    Star2007 - i've been looking for some good cookbooks (as most of mine are now very pointless) so thanks for the pointers. I've just received Liz Cook's So What Do You Eat?cookbook which is a beautifully illustrated book of easy recipes for vegan beginners like me. I also got her nutrition chart which really useful. It has little sections for all the nutrients with illustrated lists of what to eat for each one.

    Anyhow, today I performed the great dairyfree milk test. I was trying to find a 'milk' that was decent to drink, both in tea and 'as is', works in a cup of tea, and can be used in baking/cooking. No small order! I got a carton each of oat, rice and unsweetened soya milks from a local health food shop and began my tests.

    1. Glass of milk test
    Oat milk - I could taste a hint of oats in this (a little bit like the floury taste if you ate a spoonful of raw porridge oats) but it wasn't overpowering and had a pleasant creamy and very milk-like aftertaste.
    Rice milk - You could smell this before it even got near to your mouth. Very cloying fake vanilla smell and taste. Extremely sickly. :confused:
    Soya milk - Slightly floury hint when in the mouth (like the oat milk but less oaty:rolleyes. Nice creamy milk-like aftertaste.

    2. Cup of tea test
    None of the milks made the tea go quite as opaque as normal milk does but all did an acceptable job of it.
    Oat milk - really quite decent. Not spot on but good.
    Rice milk - tea smells and tastes of the horrible sickly vanilla and has weird little floating dots:confused:. Blarg
    Soya milk - not bad at all.

    3. Baking
    All three purport to be fine for cooking. So I made individual vegan microwave chocolate puddings. These are totally easy and yummy!

    Drop the following into a small mug/ramekin - 1tsp oil, 2tsp cocoa, 3tsp self raising flour, 3tsps sugar, 6tsp 'milk'. Mix well to create a sort of 'batter' then sprinkle 2 tsp sugar and 2tbsp of water over the batter and put in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on full power.

    Rice milk - vile
    Oat milk - yummy
    Soya milk - yummy

    So, in conclusion rice milk is a hideous thing never to darken my kitchen door again but either soya milk or oat milk is fine. Soya milk seems to be cheaper and much more widely available (my local cornershop stocks it and Mr.A & Mr. T even do value versions for 60p/litre) but for those allergic or avoiding soya the oat milk is your friend!
  • frazzmunch
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 09, 5:43 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 09, 5:43 PM
    hi twinkle ...congrats on taking the plunge....i was vegan for ten years and only went back to an omnivorous diet twelve months ago....vegan is without a shadow of a doubt the most economical and healthy way of living if you are prepared to eat a very varied diet, be inventive and give everything a go at least once!!!

    i will pop in from time to time to see how you are getting on...
  • Sam37
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 09, 6:02 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 09, 6:02 PM
    Another cooking book to add.

    It's a middle eastern vegetarian book, but with lots of stricktly vegan recipies too (lots with pulses and grains, lots of fantastic dips, and a lot of recipies that are quick and easy). A couple of recipies contain yogurt, so I suppose you could replace that with soy yogurt.
  • star2007
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 09, 6:19 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 09, 6:19 PM
    Hi Twinkle!

    I can empathise with you over the rice milk. Last May, I went camping with the b.f. I'd brought along those mini cartons of rice milk for convenience to use in tea. After what seemed a good 20 mins of heating the water on the miniature camping gaz stove, I managed to get it boiling for tea. Poured in the rice milk --- and --- CURDLE Needless to say Mr Star was not impressed.

    I've found oat milk to be ok, but as one of my friends put it, it's like putting porridge in your tea. I've gone back to having soya milk now, I used to have soya intolerance issues with stomach & throat pains, when I drank a lot of the chocolate stuff by the glass. I've found recently that I'm fine with the alpro fresh stuff in moderation, mainly having it in tea, making the odd white sauce, and a pot of their yoghurt every couple of days.

    I've no idea if this brand is genuinely better, or whether I'm just developing more digestive enzymes to cope with it better as time goes on. Will have to buy a cheaper brand to compare I think.

    Will have to test out your quick & easy chocco puds soon.... sound ultra yummy!
  • weezl74
    • #9
    • 29th Jan 09, 6:44 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Jan 09, 6:44 PM
    The lovely Weezl74ís lentil pate. Proof, I hope, that even meat eaters can enjoy a vegan delight. (Yes, weezl is my MSE hero and I have stolen and adapted many of her recipes! Thanks Weezl ). Right, epic first post over.
    Originally posted by twinkle_star

    Awww shucks !

    Remember I'm a pregnant lady, you'll have me welling up!!

    Seriously though twinkle_star, I wish you huge success with this, and shall observe with interest!

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
  • ceridwen
    ...and I'm sitting here thinking well "Rice Milk - depends on what brand one uses. Rice problem..Other brands....yuk!" - so worth a bit of experimenting as to which brand one uses...
  • HelenYorkshire
    Ooooo *watches thread*
    I have briefly tried and failed, mostly through lack of inspiration.
    Hopefully my veg box (saves a trip to and around supermarket) will spur me on to try again.
    I got "Vegan cooking for one" from amazon - it has shopping lists for each week so ok to give things a go, and I'm ticking and crossing the nice and not-so-nice results
    "She who asks is a fool once. She who never asks is a fool forever"
    I'm a fool quite often
  • HelenYorkshire
    PS - almond milk - mmmmmm *drool* as a sweet treat,not in tea or anything. Also goes well with malibu. Don't ask how we discovered that....!
    "She who asks is a fool once. She who never asks is a fool forever"
    I'm a fool quite often
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Jan 09, 8:19 PM
    • 13,274 Posts
    • 226,132 Thanks
    I like rice milk but I do make sure that I don't get the flavoured stuff! And admittedly I only really use it for porridge.

    I'm an omnivore, but my diet is mainly vegan, as I feel better when I stick to seasonal, organic, locally grown fruit and vegetables... which is obviously much easier in the summer. Although I do eat some meat, fish, eggs & dairy, the majority of my diet is vegetables, and it is an extremely economical way to eat!

    As part of this approach, I've increased the variety of ingredients that I use - I have several types of rice (black, red, jasmine, basmati, brown, arborio, vialone nano), several types of lentil (black, puy, red, green), millet, quinoa, pearl barley, several types of flakes (oat, millet, quinoa, blarley, rye, wheat) that I use to make muesli & porridge mixes. I also drink yogi teas, which I don't find need milk (although you can add it if you prefer).

    I also use tofu - silken tofu to add to casseroles and sauces, block for stir fries etc, and flavoured (basil, red, smoked) for salads (very handy for taking to work).

    I haven't found this particularly hard, as there are plenty of adventurous things to cook within the vegan repetoire... it's not all lentils and brown rice! I find aubergines and tomatoes extremely flexible (I'm trying to deal with my tomato addiction at the moment :rolleyes: ). As I've never tried to make my vegan meals as meat substitutes, I haven't felt that I'm missing anything, more enjoying something extra.

    My GP was very supportive of this approach, as she agrees that a diet rich in plant oestrogens is good both in helping deal with weight problems, and in balancing hormones. As a result, I've been able to avoid having some conventional treatments inflicted on me, and have been discharged by the gynaecological consultant as I've managed to resolve something that they thought would require long-term medical treatment.

    Go for it, and make sure you enjoy it, don't see it as a discipline you have to stick to rigidly. I you have the odd bit of dairy, meat etc it won't mean you've failed (it may mean you're dealing with a difficult social situation), but it you stick to it most of the time it'll do your health and your budget the world of good!
    • twinkle_star
    • By twinkle_star 29th Jan 09, 8:49 PM
    • 342 Posts
    • 1,672 Thanks
    Hello all!

    Am amazied at having so many responses and congratualtions and yay for all the vegans appearing from the woodwork. And Weezl, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek. I'm starstruck! Hope the bambino is growing well.
    Ceridwen - i did wonder if it was that particular brand of rice milk. Might try some different ones in the future. Do you have any suggestions?
    HelenYorkshire - my mum told me about almond milk but haven't been able to find anywhere yet. Hope its as yummy in other things!
    Greenbee - i hope my storecupboards will one day be as varied as yours!
    Sam37 & fraxxmunch thanks for the congrats and advice.

    Well, after the milk testing I was a bit full but have managed two bowls of homemade minestrone soup and some wholemeal bread. Being vegan certainly means I'm eating more!
    • Justamum
    • By Justamum 29th Jan 09, 9:23 PM
    • 4,685 Posts
    • 35,888 Thanks
    I spent two years eating a vegan diet and lost a great deal of weight as a useful extra!
    Originally posted by thenanny2die4
    I became vegetarian 25 years ago, and vegan about 5 years ago, and I'm still battling with my weight! :confused:

    Anyway, congratulations twinkle-star on making the decision to go vegan. It's really easy when you get the hang of it! Pulses are always cheap and easy. Soak and cook a whole bag then freeze. I used to do them in portions, but now I just open freeze them in a roasting tin and break them up singly when they are frozen to put them in a bag. It's quicker to use them that way (about 8 1/2 oz is equivalent to a tin btw).

    I agree with you about rice milk - bleeugh!!! The soya milk I use is white wave, which I've found is the only one which doesn't curdle in coffee (I drink tea black)

    I'm going to bookmark this thread so I can see how you get on.

    • vixtress
    • By vixtress 29th Jan 09, 9:30 PM
    • 1,148 Posts
    • 4,012 Thanks
    ...and I'm sitting here thinking well "Rice Milk - depends on what brand one uses. Rice problem..Other brands....yuk!" - so worth a bit of experimenting as to which brand one uses...
    Originally posted by ceridwen

    this is very true, we use provamel and its fine. i bought a different brand last week and it was foul! complete with nasty floaty bits :eek:

    were not vegan (or vegetarian for that matter) but the kids dont have dairy. i am always interested in any thread that might bring me new recipes though :D

    had roasted veg and cous cous for dinner....delicious and vegan too
    - prior planning prevents poor performance!

    May Grocery challenge £150 136/150
    • Patchwork Quilt
    • By Patchwork Quilt 29th Jan 09, 10:58 PM
    • 1,837 Posts
    • 11,056 Thanks
    Patchwork Quilt
    One of our favourite veggie recipes is an old Rosemary Conley one

    Splash of olive oil
    2 onions, chopped
    1 clove garlic, sliced

    Fry until browned

    1 can chickpeas, including liquid
    6 oz of green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths
    1 oz bulgar wheat
    1 tablespoon soy sauce

    Add to the pan, with a little more veg stock if necessary and simmer until the beans are tender
  • fff
    ooh, how interesting to see vegan OSers emerge. i decided two weeks ago to go mostly vegan. have been veggie for ten years (half my life ) and the most major changes are that ive switched to soya milk, stopped buying cheese and eggs (and milk chocolate of course). processed food/reading labels is more of a challenge though. and wine/cider!

    i have realised that i was eating mostly vegan anyway, lots of homecooked things with pulses. so anyway i just wanted to say that i'll be following with interest!
    • twinkle_star
    • By twinkle_star 30th Jan 09, 5:38 AM
    • 342 Posts
    • 1,672 Thanks
    The great protein debate
    Well, big thank yous for all the responses and recipes (and milk-esque advice).

    I thought I'd do a quick bit of nutritional geeking over breakfast. One the questions I've been asked most since I announced my changed to veganism is 'but where will you get protein from?' Now this was probably the thing I was lest worried about since I was already fairly aware that pulses, beans, lentils, nuts etc all provide plenty of protein but I thought I'd do some research and here is what the Food Standards Agency's Manual of Nutrition has to say in their section on animal versus plant proteins:

    "the nutritional advantages of animal foods over vegetable foods in practice lie more in the presence of associated nutrients such as vitamin B12, iron and retinol (pre-formed vitamin A) than in protein."

    I'll discuss the other nutrients mentioned at some point but generally I was fairly pleased protein-wise. The FSA point out that vegetable foods have typically been labelled as 'second-class' proteins because, unlike animal foods, each individual source does not contain all the amino acids needed by humans. However, where pulses are short on an amino then a different source (generally a carbohydrate) has plenty. For example lentils are low in tryptophan but rice provides plenty so rice and dahl as a meal would be full of all the essential amino acids. You have to try to ensure that the two sources are eaten together (or shortly after each other) as the body doesn't store amino acids but luckily there are many cultures throughout history where the nut/bean/lentil & carbohydrate have grown up e.g. Rice & dahl, falafel & wraps, tofu & noodles, bean stew with bread, and even beans on toast!

    Some quick numbers of average protein content per 100g, uncooked:

    Whole cow's milk - 3.2g
    Cheddar cheese - 25.5g
    Beef, stewing - 20.2g
    Chicken - 17.6
    Dired red kidney beans - 22.1g
    Peanuts - 25.6g
    Bread white/wholemeal - 8.4g/9.2g
    Spaghetti - 12g
    Steamed tofu - 8g

    I think I'm less amazed about how protein-packed peanuts are than how little protein beef is. I think when you're eating meat you really tend to think of it as a bit chunk of protein when, of course, its full of other things too.

    So I'm pretty happy protein-wise. Even my lovely breakfast of porridge with banana and brazil nuts is providing me with some protein. Coming soon - the real vegan issues: B12, iron, calcium, vitamin D & iodine. :rolleyes:
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 30th Jan 09, 6:55 AM
    • 3,782 Posts
    • 12,941 Thanks
    I find simple meals such as the following to be easy nutritious meals that are not to expensive:
    Vegetable stir fries with noodles
    Miso soup with noodles
    Vegetable soup
    Lentil soup
    Vegetable maki
    Salads (I make HUGE ones that donít usually fit on the plate. Not very money saving but very yummy and if local can be cheap)
    Vegan shepherds pie
    Veggie curry
    Veggie chilli

    The list goes on really. I have found so far that ALL the meals that have meat can be made vegan. Meat alternatives can be expensive though and usually not very nutritionally sound, however every now and then wonít do much harm so using pulses in the place of them can be a better idea. I also find that dairy free cheese such as sheese and cheezly to be hit and miss for different people as well as different styles of the dairy free cheese. They are also not that cheap and again only really should be used every now and then.

    If you start the day with a smoothie I find this helps. Something like bananas, apple, strawberry, blueberries with a desired vegan milk. I usually add wheat germ to this as well as a vegan liquid omega 3,6 and 9 mix although if you know you are eating quinoa later in the day you donít have to worry about the omega 3, 6 and 9 mix as quinoa has all of these as well as being a complete protein for you. Nuts and seeds are also a good way to consume 3, 6 and 9.

    I personally donít worry about any vitamins or minerals really unless I am ill when I will take a vegan multivitamin (my doctor only ever said that B12 and iodine should be carefully looked at for vegans. My blood work has always come back fine to do with vitamins and minerals though so I donĎt worry). I do take extra calcium in the form of supplements though every day as an x-ray showed a split/un-fused vertebrae and I donít want any more damage happening (although they believe itís from birth as I havenĎt had anything happen that could explain it otherwise :confused: ). As long as you do have a balanced diet you should be fine although I believe learning nutritional information is certainly a must as it should be for omnis, veggies, pecsetarians etc alike . We could overcome alot of problems if more people looked more into the nutrition of the foods they are eating .

    I do have a slow cooker, a blender, steamer and other such things to help me out. I always find my chilli or curries taste better slow cooked, blenders are wonderful for smoothies, soups and the like and steamed veg and rice couldnít be much healthier really.

    I do also have a milk maker (it can make any plant food based milk you want really). I can make soya milk for a matter of about 15p/litre doing this (not including the electricity mind). Saves so much money as basic soya milk is 60p/litre as you said. 45p/litre saved adds up over time believe me . However it may take you a while to adjust to home made soya milk rather than store bought as it has a slightly different taste and texture (store ones have thickener agents in them to make the texture more like animal milks as thatís what most people are used to). Oat milk to make costs me about 8-9p/litre and costs about £1.30/litre on average to buy from the shops . It may be worth buying a milk maker due to this but do bare in mind they can be difficult to clean!

    Sorry for the long post. I do get into this kind of thing lol. If you need any more information Iím happy to help though. My friends call me a pool of knowledge for veggie and vegan diet aspects .

    I am a vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
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