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diet

A new research report launched today by safefood has revealed that chocolate is the main ingredient in almost 40 percent of protein bars surveyed, with many also being high in saturated fat and containing added sugar and salt. The research also found that over 1 in 3 people (37 percent) surveyed think protein bars are “healthy”.

When comparing current protein intakes among adults with what’s recommended, both men and women are already consuming more protein than they need from their diet.

The safefood research looked at the nutritional content of 83 high-protein snack foods and drinks available for sale in supermarkets on the island of Ireland. These foods included protein bars, yoghurts, yoghurt-style products and milk drinks. According to industry sources, there was a 498 percent increase in products launched between 2010 and 2016 with a high-protein claim.

Introducing the research, Dr Catherine Conlon, Director of Human Health & Nutrition, safefood said, “We’ve witnessed a significant and consistent upsurge in the number and variety of foods and drinks for sale which claim to be ‘high-protein’. From bars to milks and yoghurts, high-protein foods have now become mainstream in our supermarkets. When we asked people about protein bars, a third of them thought they were healthy. However, many of these bars are, in reality, highly processed foods with a calorie content similar to that of a bar of chocolate”.

“What’s also evident from dietary data is that men and women are already consuming more than enough protein in their diets and simply don’t need this extra, highly processed protein,” stated Dr Conlon. 

Of the 39 protein bars surveyed, 38 percent listed chocolate as their main ingredient. 77 percent were high in saturated fat, with 79 percent being a source of salt. The average bar size was 55g with an average price of €2.27, though some bars cost as much as €3.00 each.

“Processed snack foods high in protein need to be combined with fat, sugar or salt in order to make them tasty,” continued Dr Conlon. “People would be better sticking to natural sources of protein in their diet, which tend to be much healthier. And if you need a source of protein as a snack, alternatives like some nuts, a small glass of milk or a yoghurt is the way to go instead of these foods with added chocolate.”

The report “A survey of high-protein snack foods” is available to download at www.safefood.eu

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We've always suspected it, but now scientists have confirmed that dog owners are more likely to have better cardiovascular health.

The research was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings and involved 1,769 people between 25 to 64-years-old, living in Brno in the Czech Republic.

Each participant had to provide information on their BMI, diet, physical activity levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, if they smoked or not and their fasting blood sugar levels.

42 percent of the candidates owned a pet of some sort, with 24 percent of people owning a dog and 17.9 percent owning another animal.

The American Heart Association heart score system test was used, looking at seven changeable risk factors of heart health.

Dog owners were more likely to exercise, have an ideal diet and blood glucose level than those who didn't, but they were more likely to smoke for some reason. They still scored better overall for cardiovascular health, however.

The study authors cautioned: "The higher smoking rates among dog ownership attenuates the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health."

Existing evidence links dog ownership to better mental and physical health, so it makes total sense.

Study co-author Andrea Maugeri commented in a statement: "In general, people who owned any pet were more likely to report more physical activity, better diet and blood sugar at ideal level.

"The greatest benefits from having a pet were for those who owned a dog, independent of their age, sex and education level."

Research claims that getting a pooch could be a useful way to boost heart health, and an important way to tackle the prevalence of heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US alone, causing one-in-four deaths each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Senior investigator Francisco Lopez-Jimenez stated that owning dogs has previously been linked to better mental health and feeling less lonely, both of which are assumed to decrease the risk of heart attacks.

One study published last year in the journal BMC Psychiatry, which examined 17 existing papers concluded having a pet could help the symptoms of mental illness.

Philippa Hobson, senior cardiac nurse for the British Heart Foundation, told Newsweek: "Whether you're a pet-owner or not, physical activity can benefit your heart in lots of different ways.

"Just spending 10 minutes a day walking around the block is good for your heart health."

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WW, formerly known as WeightWatchers, launched a diet and nutrition app marketed at children and adolescents this week and have faced immense backlash since.

Kurbo by WW is a free programme that claims to help eight-year-olds to 17-year-olds "build healthy habits", and lose weight through personalised coaching and food tracking.

The app's "traffic light" diet approach categorises foods as red, yellow and green (red being the most process, sugar-filled, yellow being lean protein and pasta and green being fruit and veg).

Kurbo by WW was developed at Stanford University, and WW have defended their programme by stating the app is backed by safe scientific studies. 

CEO of WW, Mindy Grossman, said; "To change the health trajectory of the world, we have a tremendous opportunity, but also a responsibility, to help kids, teens and families adopt healthy habits."

Many critics of the app insist that encouraging kids and teenagers to diet can perpetuate an unhealthy and dangerous mindset.

Fatphobic cultural messaging around dieting has led to a massive issue surrounding eating disorders and mental health among youth.

In an article published in Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics in 2015, researchers found that because adolescence is such an important time for body image development, 12-to-18-year-olds with a negative perception of their body or weight are more likely to develop eating disorders or dysfunctional exercise habits.

Of course, obesity can be linked to numerous health concerns but disordered eating and mental health conditions among adolescent is reportedly more likely to pose a dangerous risk than paediatric obesity.

35-to-37 percent of adolescent girls in the US alone report using unhealthy weight loss measures, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. These methods include fasting, smoking, taking laxatives and 'skinny teas', skipping meals and even vomiting.

One-in-three adolescents in the UK alone reported experiencing mental health issues, according to a troubling survey by the charity Action for Children. 

More than 12 percent of adolescents in the US are affected by depression every year. 

Many people on social media were furious about the Kurbo by WW app. Jameela Jamil, an activist and actress who runs the iWeigh campaign for body positivity, tweeted her disgust at the news.

“Are we kidding? Breeding obsession with weight and calories and food at the age of…8?" she wrote. "I was 11 when my obsession started, due to being put on a diet for being the heaviest girl in the class. I became afraid of food. It ruined my teens and twenties.”

Petitions have already been created against the app, with the hashtag #LoveNotDiets trending to urge parents to use love rather than diets to help their nutritional habits.

Childhood obesity is still an incredibly serious public health challenge of the 21st century, and the app attempts to reduce a child's sugar intake. There is nothing wrong with promoting healthy foods and exercising for physical and mental health benefits. 

However, many parents feel that instilling a diet-centered mindset among young people who are already vulnerable could be a dangerous mistake. Targeting the mental health crisis could be a more productive way forward.

Feature image: Instagram/@coachdavidflowers

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Commuters arriving into Dublin’s Connolly and Heuston stations on Wednesday morning next (April 17) will be invited to go bananas – all in the interests of healthy eating.

There to welcome passengers and help get their day off to a healthy start with the gift of complimentary bananas will be Fyffes mascot Freddy Fyffes.

Marking National Banana Day, now in its third year, the celebration supports the national drive to encourage better and more-healthy eating habits.

As Emma Hunt-Duffy, Fyffes marketing manager puts it: ‘This is especially important for young and growing children’ and a reminder to adults to ‘think bananas’ when it comes to choosing a wholly-natural and nutritious convenience food or main meal accompaniment.

Get ready to go bananas on April 17 and join Fyffes in making Ireland a happier and healthier place!

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Veganism – it's taking hold of the world and it seems that everyone is becoming or has become vegan these days.

Ireland has definitely caught up with its European counterparts when it comes to giving meat the chop from our diets.

When ranked, the most popular countries for veganism in 2018 shows that Ireland came in at…number eight. 

Looks like the days of Irish stew are long behind us. 

Image result for worldwide veganism

Veganism means nothing animal based – so no meat nor fish nor dairy nor honey.

As well as food, it also means embracing a lifestyle where you don't wear leather or wool or visit the zoo.

For people, it all means different things for different people – for some, it's all about animal rights and others it's about having a healthier diet.

So where do other countries come on the list? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We have, in order…
1.        Australia (Score 100)
2.        United Kingdom (Score 98)
3.        New Zealand (Score 87)
4.        Sweden (Score 84)
5.        Canada (Score 79)
6.         Israel (Score 78)
7.         United States (Score 65)
8.         Ireland (Score 62)
9.         Austria (Score 60)
10.       Germany (Score 59)

Ireland has climbed from 11th place in 2018 to 8th this year, which puts it below the United States, but above European vegan powerhouse Germany.

The vegan diet is becoming so popular in Ireland that last year Deliveroo reported a 73% jump in vegan orders across the country through its app, clearly showing there’s a change in the air.

And when it comes to veganism in Ireland itself, the top five places are as follows: Bray (Score 100), Galway (Score 90), Dublin (Score 83), Cork (Score 81), Waterford (Score 78).

So we're not doing too badly when it comes to the health stakes.

Fair play to us we say. 

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One of the UK's most senior doctors, Professor Stephen Powis, has written in The Telegraph that weight loss advertisements which are celebrity-endorsed should be banned.

Professor Powis is currently the NHS' medical director, and has criticised well-known celebrities such as the Kardashians for promoting weight-loss products and aids such as teas, shakes and pills on social media, and has even called for Instagram to oppose them.

The doctor referenced the troubling statistic that more than one in 10 young people are affected by mental health issues in the UK, and are heavily influenced by body insecurity and famous faces encouraging them to lose weight.

He emphasised that mental health issues are one of the "most pressing issues facing out country".

SHEmazing recently wrote about the level of profit which people like the Kardashians can gain from the insecurity of their fans. 

Poor messaging can lead to dangerous consequences, and numerous organisations such as the National Eating Disorder Association have branded the Kardashian family’s representation of weight loss products as ‘triggering’ for those who struggle with eating disorders.

Professor Powis made sure to emphasise that impressionable young people look to these people for lifestyle guidance; "At what is already a sensitive and important time in their development, this group is especially vulnerable to pressures which trigger or exacerbate mental ill health," he writes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#ad You guys all know I looove @flattummyco shakes. I've just restarted them (it's Day 2 today) and I’m already feeling so good. We had a huuuuge Christmas this year and between that, New Years and everything inbetween… I felt like it was impossible to fit in my regular work outs and eat healthy. But this program is giving me a kick in the right direction that I need. These meal replacement shakes are so good and they're helping me get my tummy back to flat. I’m already feeling amazing and I’m so excited for the next few weeks. Because they’re all about getting women back on track… they’ve got a 20% off sale going on right now, so if you want to start 2019 off right… trust me, you’re going to want to check them out. PS. I’m doing the chocolate program

A post shared by  (@kimkardashian) on

A shocking HALF of young girls say that they feel under pressure to lose weight, the doctor says that social media's ascension has escalated this pressure and both celebrities and the platforms themselves must take responsibility for their posts.

"Our young people are bombarded with ideas, images and advertising which set such a high bar for what they should feel and look like," he writes. "And yet there is little accountability for the impact this has.

"Where celebrities and the platforms which promote them exploit this vulnerability by pushing products like laxative teas, diet pills and other get-thin-quick solutions, they are taking the health of our young people in their hands and should act with far greater responsibility."

Activist and actress Jameela Jamil tweeted her support for Professor Powis:

Prof. Powis also suggested that practical measures should be taken to stamp out the 'exploitation' of youth, such as online platforms "banning adverts for products with a known health risk". YAS KING.

He argued that the NHS is working on understanding and treating mental health conditions in young people;

"Everyone, especially those engaging with young people like social media firms, and celebrities who profit from them, have a duty of care to do more for our health and wellbeing".

"The NHS can't keep putting out fires if some parts of society keep lighting matches," he concluded, using a pretty effective allegory. 

Kim Kardashian West has an especially long history of promoting weight loss products on social media, as well as her sisters, Kylie and Kourtney. Kim faced backlash in May for promoting appetite suppressant lollipops on her Instagram.

One of the world's most powerful women was literally telling other women and young girls NOT TO EAT.  The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil founded the i Weigh body positivity social media movement and Kardashian West "a terrible and toxic influence on young girls".

Jamil has consistently called out celebrities including Cardi B and Iggy Azalea for promoting 'detox' teas, claiming they're just selling digestion problems instead.

She also called Kardashian 'an agent of the patriarchy', for her incessant need to 'recycle self-hatred.'

Jamil herself experienced an eating disorder as a teenager, and skipped meals for years at a time. She spent money on "miracle cures and laxatives and tips from celebrities" which later left her with "digestion and metabolism problems for life".

The Competition and Markets Authority has announced a clampdown on celebrities who don't label their posts as promotional advertisements, but solid rules aren't in place.

NHS England's national mental health director Claire Murdoch expressed concern over the influence which these celebrities have young people at an "impressionable" stage in their lives.

"Both the celebrities themselves and these social media companies themselves should be more responsible," she told BBC Breakfast.

We're so glad the NSH are finally using their influential platform to steer people in the right direction. Time will tell what type of future diet fads will hold, but they're looking highly unpopular right now.

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We can all agree that Vogue Williams has a stunning figure.

And now the presenter has revealed the secret behind her amazing body by showing fans what she eats in a day.

And it's definitely not what we expected.

Vogue Williams shares a snap of her breakfast with fans

Since giving birth to her first baby in September, the 33-year-old had snapped back into fantastic shape so we were keen to see what her diet consists of.

She took to Instagram to document her day-to-day routine.

She started off with her breakfast, showing us that she ate porridge made with milk , water, berries and honey followed by two marshmallows and two or three cups of tea.

Sounds like heaven to us. 

Vogue shares a snap of her snack after tennis

This was followed by an after tennis snack of a yoghurt, pear and cup of tea…plus two sneaky marshmallows.

However, Vogue then posted saying, ''Then Spen gave me a piece of his chicken so I put the pear back.''

Then it was lunch time.

Vogue revealed her day-to-day diet with her devoted followers

She snapped a picture of bread writing, ''I can't help eating the bread and then I kind of ruin my meal because I'm full.''

Her lunch was tacos to start followed by prawns and grilled octopus for mains.

Then it was on to sushi and lamb for dinner followed more chocolate and almonds.

This balanced range of food is something we can all realistically do and not deprive ourselves of anything. 

Sounds good to us.

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Prince Harry’s days of partying are well and truly behind him. The dad-to-be decided to give up alcohol as a mark of respect to pregnant wife Meghan Markle, and now he has made another major changed to his diet.

It is understood that the Duchess of Sussex has encouraged Harry to follow a healthier lifestyle.

As part of the new regime, Harry can’t drink tea or coffee.

According to the Express, the lifestyle changes have had a major impact on Harry’s health and wellbeing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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A source told the publication that he is a lot more relaxed than he used to be: “Considering he’s been a pretty brutal drinker since he was a young teenager, it’s quite an achievement.”

They added: “He was always fidgeting and on the go, always looking for the next thrill. He was a great laugh but it was always very full on.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Duke & Duchess Of Sussex. (@meghanandharry2018) on

He is no longer the wild, booze-loving prince he once was, “Now his new regime doesn’t make him the most entertaining party guest in the world, but he’s definitely more chilled and relaxed.”

Since marrying the former Suits actress, Harry has been living a healthier life. “All she [Meghan] did was show him there’s another way to live and he’s become a huge fan. He eats well, doesn’t poison his body, exercises, does a bit of yoga and is a lot happier.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Duke & Duchess Of Sussex. (@meghanandharry2018) on

It is also understood that Meghan is hoping Harry will become a vegetarian, or at least cut down on how much meat he is eating.

The Duchess of Sussex is a big animal rights activists and is hoping her husband will follow in her footsteps.

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While it's not uncommon to enter the New Year on a total health buzz, we were surprised to discover that women are almost twice as likely to do so when compared to their male counterparts.

A recent survey conducted by iReach Insights looked at the resolutions made by 1,000 Irish adults, and found some pretty big differences in the way men and women chose to interpret the 'new year, new me' mantra.

Rather surprisingly, results showed that just over one quarter of us made any New Year's resolution at all this year – though 39 per cent say they are starting a new diet plan this January.

Surely a new diet plan counts as a resolution, no?

Anyway, whatever you want to call it, 50 per cent of Irish woman plan to eat healthier over the coming year, while just 28 per cent of men intend to do the same.

The figures highlight the pressures and unrealistic beauty standards facing young women today.

Sure, there's no harm in trying to shed those Christmas lbs, but when the female population are almost twice as likely to want to do so, it's worth looking at the bigger picture.

What's more, another recent survey conducted by iReach Insights found that 51 per cent of Irish females felt deflated and low upon returning to work after the Christmas holidays, compared to 44 per cent of men.

Chin up ladies, you're doing great!

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We've heard it time and time again.

Thanks to various diets such as Atkins and Paleo, it has become more and more common to hear your mate say, 'I'm cutting out ALL carbs this week' when she wants to lose a few inches.

Of course, most people give up within a few days (or hours) because bread and pasta… glorious.

food water perfect make genius

However, a new study has revealed that pasta isn't that bad, and can actually help you along the way to becoming a healthier person.

Department of Epidemiology at the Institute for Research, Hospitalization, and Health Care in Italy analysed the eating habits of 23,000 people.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert food hungry yum late show

Out of all the participants, they found that those who ate pasta regularly had a reduced likelihood of being obese.

"Our data shows that enjoying pasta according to individuals' needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference, and better waist-hip ratio," George Pounis, the author of the study wrote.

pasta

Taking a line from the Mediterranean diet, which has been proved to be one of the healthiest, pasta is a "fundamental" part and cutting it out to lose weight is not the "correct attitude."

Well, pass the Carbonara then.

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The term 'clean eating,' is now one that evokes both eye-rolling and a considerable amount of backlash online. Its devotees swear it's the key to a healthier lifestyle while its critics are quick to point out how unsafe it is to swear gospel to terminology that became a phenomenon on the back of many foodie bloggers and Instagram stories.

Blogger and author Ella Woodward, now Mills, AKA Deliciously Ella is one who knows how fast the tables can turn – she is regarded as the one who spearheaded this, despite never once using the term on any cookbook or product.

She has always affirmed that when it comes to eating healthy and eating well, it's about simple dishes that taste great – and more importantly that you enjoy eating. At the launch of her latest range of products – you'll find them stacked with plenty of healthy food options in SuperValu, she spoke to SHEmazing about self-care, her favourite dishes for a woman on-the-go and why doing this one thing is the key to successfully changing your diet.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Deliciously Ella (@deliciouslyella) on

Tell us a bit more about your latest range of products?

We’ve just launched our energy balls, oat bars, granola and muesli, which we’re so excited about. They’re all made with a few simple plant-based ingredients with a big focus on flavour. Each one is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. 

So many hear the words Vegan or Gluten Free and think that the food will compromise on taste, what advice do you have for someone wanting to eat healthier but is afraid to take the plunge?

Start experimenting with your cooking, adding lots and lots of herbs and spices to everything you do – that’s the key to veggie cooking. It’s not about stripping things back and taking flavour away but celebrating flavour, texture and deliciousness. Try something like our five bean chilli; the Thai curries or a spread with a black rice, piquillo pepper and pistachio salad, roasted aubergine, tomato and pesto salad and sweet potatoes with spring onions, chilli and tahini.​

Many women on-the-go want to eat better and cut out the gluten or eat more plant-based foods but are fearful these type of meals will just eat into their time. Do you have any particular meals or foods that you like to prepare if you're in a hurry?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Deliciously Ella (@deliciouslyella) on

Stews, curries and dahls – they take just a few mins of prep time, they’re so hearty and filling and they’re brilliant for batch cooking and freezing. The recipes in the orange chapter of our new book, The Plant-Based Cookbook, are my go-to’s when I’m busy. Each dish is full of warming, toasted spices; hearty veg, potatoes and beans; lots of creamy coconut milk and so much flavour. The Tuscan bean stew, cauliflower lentil dahl with dried apricots and the Thai curries are such winners in our house.

Tell us about your self-care routine – how important do you think it is to have one?

Looking after myself is really important, as we work 14-15 hours a day often seven days a week, so I need all the energy I can get! Yoga is a big part of this, I practice every morning before my day starts and it really helps me create a positive headspace – I absolutely love it, it’s magic for my mental health.
If you're planning to kick-start a new diet change, what are your top tips?   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Deliciously Ella (@deliciouslyella) on

For anything to be sustainable it has to be enjoyable, so find things you love and don’t be too hard on yourself – go slow and steady and think about what you’re adding in not just what you’re taking out.    

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Veganism has become pretty popular these days, with the number of vegans in the UK rising by 360 per cent in the last 10 years, according to a recent study by The Vegan Society.

With this in mind, we're sure there are plenty of Irish people willing to try the vegan lifestyle, which strictly prohibits the consumption of any animal by-products. 

Veganism has been cited to improve the health, aid weight loss and be better for the environment than a carnivorous diet according to its followers. 

Here are a few tips to get started if you want to give it a try: 

8. Watch a few documentaries.

There are plenty of documentaries out there about the reasons for going vegan, and plenty of videos about how to do it efficiently.

Films like Earthlings, Cowspiricy and Vegucated have been credited for turning many people on to the vegan lifestyle. 

A warning though, these flicks expose the grim realities of the meat and animal by-product business and may be a bit much for squeamish folk. 

7. Order PETA's free vegan guide

Animal rights organisation PETA is a huge promoter of the vegan lifestyle.

They have a free Vegan Starter Kit for those interested, all you have to do is head to the website and give your address, and the kit will be sent out to you anywhere in the world, completely free. 

6. Make small swaps

Making small steps like swapping cow's milk for soy or oat milk and switching crisp flavours can take your diet from carnivorous to vegan. 

There are tonnes of options to try when it comes to milk and cheese alternatives. 

5. Try new things

Speaking of these alternatives, don't be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone and try some new taste experiences.

While almond butter and hemp seeds may not sound the most appetising, trying vegan alternatives is so important in order to maintain a balanced plant-based diet. It's not just about eating salad!

 

A post shared by HappyRealFood (@happyrealfood) on

4. Consider why you're doing it.

There are people who move to veganism for ethical reasons, those who do it for health reasons and those who do it to lose weight.

Having a clear motive for your transition will make sticking to it so much easier. 

3. Ditch dairy. 

People cite the amazing benefits of minimising their dairy intake. 

Ditching dairy is a prerequisite for the vegan diet, but it can also help clear the skin and put an end to bloating. 

 

A post shared by Bonnie (@the_wholesome_vegan) on

2. Consider your non-food choices.

A lot of people who choose veganism for ethical reasons look further than their diet when it comes to incorporating the message into their everyday lives. 

Some avoid leather or products made at the expense of any animal, and actively avoid beauty products that test on animals or include animal by-products. 

1. Keep an eye on the carbs.

When going vegan or even vegetarian, it can be easy to rely on pure carbs to keep yourself going if you haven't taken the time to look into new food choices. 

This can leave your plates looking pretty beige, so make sure you're getting plenty of variety into your diet. 

Feature image: Instagram/ Vegan Food Spot/ Lumadeline

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