My beef with juicing

Juicing. It’s had a LOT of press recently. With lots of different brands offering juices for detoxing, skin, weight loss… The list is endless. Many of these brands came as a shock to me when I actually read the label.

Tom and I

Tom and I

So many of them were utterly packed with sugar. Either that or there was the bare minimum of each ingredient advertised on the front, actually in the bottle. Juicing seems to be a bit of a craze at the moment. One that I disagree with. Strongly. With some celebrities seeing it as a ‘quick fix’ to weight loss. They appear to be juicing most of the time in replacement of food.

I’m not saying that all juicing is bad for you – I myself make several ‘Greens Drinks’ each week to help me get my intake of green vegetables, which is indeed cleansing, detoxifying, packed with nutrients and fibre. When you make it yourself you know exact what’s gone in there too!

For example I know when I make a juice there’s a good half a bag if spinach in there as opposed to a few leaves. What I do disagree with is using juicing as a long term solution to weight loss. For a start the body cannot survive without protein. Eventually the body will start to break down and gaining lean muscle mass will become impossible. In essence you’re quite simply ‘wasting away’.

If the juices you’re consuming are high in sugar you’ll also have terrible insulin resistance and it will absolutely have a massive effect of skin, hair, nails and energy levels. My fear with faddy diets is celebrity endorsement. I feel that when in the public eye we have some sort of responsibility.

Detoxing is great when done responsibly and I’m all for alkalising as it’s quite clear after extensive research that it’s optimal for our health, but when celebs do interviews and starts saying things like “I just juice now and eat at weekends” or “I’ve gained 3lbs I’m juicing for the next month” (yes this does happen! A lot!), It’s giving their fans a really poor view of good nutrition.

Young girls are so highly influenced by their celebrity idols – if their favourite star loses weight by barely eating, they’ll try it too. Like I said – irresponsible. And what a miserable existence!! Life is too short guys!! A good rounded diet includes lots of protein, good carbs, good fats and veg combined with exercise is the healthiest way forward, you’ll live longer, look younger and have more energy too! In my eyes it’s a no brainer.

If you’re going to detox do it properly! And don’t juice as a long term solution to weight management – it is NOT sustainable and not healthy!

Wedding in Newark

Wedding in Newark

In other news Tom and I had a lovely weekend in Newark at his cousins wedding. The weather was glorious, good food and merriment was had by all and I managed not to dance like my dad in front of his family! Winner! Congratulations Chris and Nicola and thank you for having us!!

Friend's dog Dexter

Friend’s dog Dexter

We’ve had Dexter my friend’s dog all week, so we’ve been on lots of nice long power walks with him after work too. Which really helps me to switch off after a long day on set.

A healthy egg dish

A healthy egg dish

I’ve been so very busy at work, dinner times this week have been quick fix solutions! Got loads up my sleeve for you guys. I know how much we all rush about – work, kids, social life… work! But we can still get a nutrient-dense meal FAST! Here’s one of my faves! It’s light, it’s paleo and it’s bloody scrumptious!

It can also be eaten cold for breakfast with some smoked salmon! Lush!

Egg on Your Face!!

3 whole eggs
3 egg whites
Half a cup of milk
Good quality goats cheese (small cup) or Feta cheese
Garlic infused olive oil
Tsp of lazy garlic
1 Aubergine thinly sliced
Two Tomatoes roughly chopped
3 Spring onions chopped
Two small leeks chopped
Two handfuls of spinach
Fresh coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the Aubergine slices on a baking tray and drizzle with Garlic oil. Bake at 180 for 10-12 mins until golden brown. In a medium frying pan add a little oil and stir fry onions, leeks, tomatoes and garlic until leeks are almost cooked- then add the spinach to wilt. Add the sliced Aubergine- spread out evenly, Meanwhile whisk eggs, egg whites and milk.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables and cook on a low heat for a further 5 mins. Sprinkle the goats cheese and coriander on top then place under a medium grill until golden and the egg mix is cooked through! Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with salad! Yum!

Dream Big
love

Auntie Cath x

Curries and Tough Mudder!

It’s been a busy week in Weatherfield . When you’re working in the Rovers Return you become embroiled with the buisness of its punters. You can’t help but get involved- and Eva is no exception! I’ve been filming some great scenes this week with the fabulous Bev Callard aka – the legend that is ‘Liz McDonald’. We’ve been having a right giggle between takes and sharing fitness tips and recipes. Bev teaches fitness and nutrition here in the UK and in Spain, so we always have a good natter about our new discoveries.

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The ITV canteen have been getting involved and bikini ready with gorgeous healthy BBQs for us too! It’s been a lovely treat! I’ve also been filming out on location in Wythemshaw with the gorgeous Paula Lane. I love Kylie and Eva scenes- they always get themselves into some kind of mischief don’t they?! I can’t wait for you to see the fab storylines coming up over the coming months! Eeeeek!

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In other news we celebrated Antony Cotton’s birthday at the weekend. Aka – Sean Tully! Antony is the king of fabulous parties and always does something special for his birthday. He threw a gorgeous BBQ with food supplied by none other than ‘Reds BBQ’ which was the BEST burger and ribs I ever did have the pleasure of polishing off! I felt like Fred Flinstone! Antony also spoiled us with a professional cocktail bar and a gigantic hot tub- all the right ingredients for an awesome party right?! We had a blast! Thanks Antony and a big Happy Birthday!!

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Due to a manic schedule I haven’t been able to train as much these past few weeks. So when I do train, Paul pushes me hard! My shoulder is getting better at the gym so this week we were able to do some more upper body work. One of our faves is ‘The Single Arm Row’.

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Personal trainer and nutrition expert @paul_boys explains:

“The single arm row is a great exercise for targeting the back muscles but also brings your core into the exercise with the bicep getting a good workout also. Keeping the supporting arm locked so it engages the core, with the weighted arm fully extended then drive the elbow as high as you can with minimal rotation in the core. Then lower in control and repeat the motion. With your knee placed on the bench have your other foot placed flat on the ground making a tripod like base. Keep your eyes on your supporting hand to keep the back in a neutral position.”

Paul competed in ‘Tough Mudder’ last week – in lightening fast, sickening time. Paul’s fitness level is that of a Marine. I’m convinced he’s actually a robot/terminator but he’s inspired me to work towards ‘Tough Mudder’ next year!! Yep!! You heard it here first! Can’t wait… Honestly… Electric shocks and all! (He’ll probably end up carrying me on his back like a human log but I can at least try right?)

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I’m going to share something very special this week! One of my dad’s curry recipes!! Graham is the king of curries and treated us to an Indian feast this week with one of his favourite dishes – Lamb Rogan Josh!!! Yum!! Here’s the recipe below! Ssshhhh don’t tell Graham!!!!

Papa G’s Lamb Curry

3 chunks fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups water
1 desert spoon of Organic Coconut oill
2 pounds boned lamb shoulder or leg, cut into cubes
8 whole cardamom pods
2 whole bay leaves
6 whole cloves
2 medium onions, peeled, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seed ground
2 teaspoons cumin seeds ground
4 teaspoons red paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, ground (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 dash fresh ground pepper to taste

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Put the ginger, garlic and 4 tablespoons of water into the container of an electric blender. Blend into a smooth paste.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pan over a medium-high flame. Brown meat cubes in several batches and set aside in a bowl. Put the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns into the same hot oil. Stir once and wait until cloves swell and the bay leaves begin to take on colour.

Now put in the onions. Stir and fry for 5 minutes or until the onions turn a medium-brown colour. Put in ginger-garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Then add the coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and the salt.

Stir well! Add the browned meat cubes and the meat juices. Now put in 1 tablespoon of the yogurt and stir and fry for about 30 seconds until the yogurt is well blended. Add the remaining yogurt, a tablespoon at a time in the same way. Stir and fry for another 3-4 minutes.

Now add 1 1/4 cups water and bring the contents of the pot to the boil, adding in all the browned spices from the pot. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or until meat is tender. Every 10 minutes give the pot a good stir . When the meat is tender, take off the lid, turn the fire to medium high and boil off some of the liquid, stirring all the time, until the sauce is thickened. Scrumptious!! Freezes well too! Serve with brown, black or red rice or a bed of steamed kale :-)

Until next week Campers.

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream Big!!

Auntie Cath

xxx

Kool kale and my Corrie co-star’s business launch

I think cereals are the devil. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. They are not a great way to start the day! The more sugar that’s in these unbelievably processed boxes of lies the worse they are.

What we chose to start the day with dictates our hormonal response for the rest of the day. You start the day with protein and you’ll stay fuller for longer and start burning fat. You start the day with processed, sugary carbohydrates and you are spiking your insulin – which leads to fat storage and cravings for similar rubbish for the rest of the day.

I’m not talking about Organic porridge – that sort of thing isn’t processed and is sometimes needed in our diet. I’m talking about cereals.

That includes cereal bars. Have you taken the time to read the back of them?

I think jaws will drop when you do. Can you even pronounce some of the rubbish that’s in there? Our bodies were not designed for this processed junk. I know, I know – I can hear you all shouting “its quick!” … “I don’t have time”. So you don’t have time to boil an egg for three minutes? You don’t have time to throw a turkey steak under the grill while you finish your make-up? MAKE TIME.

Its basically about keeping your body in a state of ‘Ketosis’. Let me explain what that is! Ketosis is a state at which the body has an extremely high fat-burning rate. Even the brain runs on bm fat (via ketone bodies). These are energy molecules in the blood (like blood sugar) which become fuel for our brains after being converted from fat by the liver.

To encourage ‘ketone production’, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production.

And when you have a well-controlled, sufficiently large amount of ketones in your blood, it’s basically proof that your insulin is very low – and therefore, that you’re enjoying the maximum effect of your low-carbohydrate diet. That’s what’s called optimal ketosis. (If you’re diabetic ALWAYS consult a doctor before tweaking your diet).

I DON’T believe in cutting out carbs from your diet. I believe in eating good carbs and losing processed food such as cereals. This isn’t just for maintaining a healthy weight. It’s optimal for your health. It’s the same with bread. I haven’t eaten bread in around 8 years. If I choose to enjoy toast I’ll have a slice of rye bread instead. It’s all about thinking ahead. A boiled egg with rye bread soldiers or even asparagus soldiers for example is a great breakfast for the kids.

Here’s some better breakfast ideas below:

*Turkey steak with pan fried spinach and tomatoes
*Omelette with smoked salmon and goat’s cheese
*Scrambled eggs and bacon
*Poached eggs on toasted rye bread with guacamole
*Kippers and wilted spinach
*Sardines on toasted Rye bread
*Turkey and red pepper omelette

I could go on – you get the idea, and getting up 5 minutes earlier isn’t a hardship when it comes to your health is it? Give it a try for 2 weeks – stick to it!

Don’t eat processed carbs and see how much better you feel – Get your nutrition from meat, fish, veg (plenty of greens and swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes), good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds lots of water – basically GO BACK TO NARURE! If it ran, swam or grew from the earth – EAT IT. Anything else has been tampered with! Rant over…

Lovely break with the boyfriend

Lovely break with the boyfriend

In other news this week, him indoors and I took a gorgeous Paleo picnic to Formby beach- it’s gorgeous there! We played a bit of volleyball and then chilled out and watched the sunset with some lovely homemade goodies. If you live up north – it’s certainly worth a visit!

Visiting London

Visiting London

I also bobbed down to ‘that there London’ to pay a visit to the lovely Kate Garraway on ITV’s Lorraine show. We had a good natter about The Great Swim, Corrie and nutrition.

I hung out with Kate Garraway

I hung out with Kate Garraway

 

From there I headed straight back up north for the launch of my lovely pal’s condiment and biscuit range at her beautiful restaurant ‘Annies’ – I’m of course talking about yummy-mummy to be Jennie McAlpine, who plays our wonderful Fiz-Bomb!

Jen has a gorgeous new selection of homemade jams, chutney’s, biscuits, mustards and sweets! We were all spoilt rotten! Well done Jen and Chris!

Well done to my Corrie co-star

Well done to my Corrie co-star

If you follow me on twitter you’ll know how much I love kale! I have it with a lot of my meals and in my greens drinks. It’s amazing! The health benefits are ridiculous – it is great for aiding in digestion with its great fibre content.

It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium. Kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more. It’s also high in Vitamin K – Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.

It’s high in Vitamin C -This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration (better than eating oranges which are packed with sugar!). Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. As well as everything I mentioned – Kale is filled with fibre and sulphur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

 

One of my favourite recipes for Kale is below:

Crackin’ Kale Salad!

• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 4 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup Manuka honey
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 red pepper
• 1 yellow pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Large bag of kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
• 2 tart yet sweet apples, sliced into thick matchsticks
• 3/4 cup pecans
1. Combine the olive oil and pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is golden and crispy. Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl and leave the crispy pancetta off to the side to cool. Add the cider vinegar, Manuka honey, salt and pepper and whisk well. Combine the peppers, kale, apples and pecans in a large bowl. Toss while adding the dressing, little by little, until salad is well dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with crispy pancetta. Give it a try!

Until Next time!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dream BIG
Love
Auntie Cath
x

Swim, Sun and Salmon!

This week saw the waves of the ‘Great Swim’ at Salford Quays. Right on ‘Corrie’s’ doorstep. Over 3,000 turned out to take the plunge and my lovely other half Thomas was included.

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Unfortunately I was unable to swim due to a shoulder injury. I was absolutely gutted – I loved our swim at Windermere so very much and I’d been so excited about the Salford swim. Nonetheless, Tom did us both proud!

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Everyone there was firmly in great spirits despite the horrendous stormy weather, so many inspiring people diving in the Quays for their chosen charities. It was heart warming to see. I started the race off and wished everybody good luck, I was dying to whip a wet suit on!

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Although we had a wet start to the week, we’re all buzzing up north that at last the sun appears to be hanging about for a while! Wahoo!! Bikini’s out, BBQ’s at the ready guys! I’m going to be all sensible now – as much as we love to embrace the sun when he has his hat on – you should be wearing one too!! Us Brits have a terrible reputation for looking like lobsters in the summer, its quite true- many of us are simply not careful enough. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, and rates continue to rise.

At least 100,000 new cases are now diagnosed each year, and the disease kills over 2,500 people each year in the UK – that’s seven people every day.

While we are getting better at understanding how skin cancer works, we still have a long way to go. On average, someone who dies from skin cancer typically loses 20 years of their life, and rates of malignant melanoma are rising faster than any other type of common cancer.

In terms of external protection we have sun creams right?
But there’s things we can do to help from the inside out believe it or not. Medicinal Chef and all round genius @dale_pinnock talks to us this week about how we can help ourselves and indeed our children:

“Whilst no food in the world is going to stop your skin from burning or getting overly damaged by the sun, but one important group of nutrients can offer some protection. This group is the fat soluble antioxidants. Antioxidants are diverse and varied in our food, but they can essentially be divided into two groups – water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble antioxidants, like vitamin C, enter our general circulation where they deliver their effects for a specific period of time, before they are metabolised and excreted. Fat soluble antioxidants on the other hand don’t stay in circulation very long. By their very nature they want to migrate out into fatty tissues – such as the subcutaneous layer of the skin, where they can accumulate. As they accumulate here they can start to offer localised protection to the skin and the structures within it, such as collagen and elastin, from environmental and metabolic damage. Out of the fat soluble antioxidants, a group of compounds called carotenoids come up trumps. So where do you get these nutrients from? Any plant foods with an orange or deep yellow colour. Sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes are all great examples. The carotenoids are colour pigments in plants that give the orange tones”

So if it’s orange? Eat it!! Every bit of protection helps right? Plus- the ‘lobster look’ is sooooo 1995. Tan tactfully and enjoy those rays!

Due to my shoulder injury (grrrr) our training has been altered this week so I’ve spent more time soaking up the sun outside Hale county club instead of sweating like a pig inside it.

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Taking my fab Corrie scripts out in the sunshine and chilling… Bliss! We’ve been training legs hard non the less and I’ll be sharing some more fab exercise from @paul_boys next week!

I’ve got a lush Salmon recipe for you this week, not only is salmon an AWESOME source of protein but its packed with omega 3!
The outstanding omega-3 benefits of salmon are not this food’s only claim to unique health support. One new area of health benefits for salmon involves the protein and amino acid content. Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract!

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Cath’s Cajun Omega Wonder!

2 salmon fillets, about 140g/5oz each (organic if possible)
juice 1 lime
pinch chilli powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
tsp Manuka Honey
drizzle of coconut oil

Put the salmon in a bowl, pour over the lime juice and leave the salmon to ‘cure’ for 5 mins. Meanwhile, mix all the spices together with the honey. Lift the salmon out of the lime juice and roll in the spices so it’s completely coated. Heat grill to high. Grease a baking tray, then sit the salmon, flesh-side up, on the tray. Grill for 5 mins, until the salmon is cooked through and the edges are starting to blacken. Job done! I like to serve with pan fried Garlic Broccoli and homemade salsa :-) Gorgeous!

Until next week my little Health Cherubs!
Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and Dreambig!!
Auntie Cath
xx

In celebration and remembrance of my little legend Gran-Gran Lily

On Sunday it was the anniversary of my gran-grans (great grandmother) death. We lost her last year at the grand old age of 100! At four foot nothing She was the head of the family ‘The Godmother’ as it were.

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You didn’t mess with Gran-Gran Lily. One of 14 children, she was an inspiration to our whole family. Losing her left quite the hole in our hearts. So we came together to celebrate Lil’s life. Our family is built on strong women and six of us attended a lovely afternoon tea at the Doubletree Hotel by Manchester Piccadilly train station, in celebration and remembrance of this little legend.

The afternoon tea was gorgeous! We’re a very close family , so days like this mean a lot to us. I’m pretty sure Gran was there in some form!

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She’d hate to miss out on cake. Thrilled to bits to find a hotel that actually provided gluten and lactose free afternoon tea too!

Most places just look at you like you’ve lost the plot!

I was certainly entitled to a treat this week to as Paul and I have been training very hard as always . Unfortunately this week I’ve pushed myself a little too far and I’ve hurt my shoulder by getting a slight tear in my rotator cuff :-( so unfortunately I won’t be taking part in this Saturdays ‘Great Swim’ .

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I’m absolutely gutted as I’ve been training so hard . However Ill still be there to start the race and cheer my lovely boyfriend on @TP_PTfitness – - who will still be swimming for Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Thankyou for all of your kind donations!! You can still donate by clicking here:

http://ow.ly/xY5DW

Every penny helps the children receive the care they need- Thankyou for your support!

This week we’ve been on the BBQ again and come up trumps with a cheeky chicken marinade and chili sweet potato fries :-)

Auntie Cath’s Spicy Chuck and Fries

For The Chicken:

4 chicken breasts or thighs

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 lime, juice only

1 heaped tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

pinch cayenne pepperr

1 tsp tumeric

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil, for griddling

For the spicy ‘chuck-chuck’ (chicken), mix all of the ingredients , apart from the coconut oil, together in a non-metallic bowl and mix to ensure the chicken is completely coated in the other ingredients. Transfer to the fridge to marinade for at least three hours or overnight.When ready to cook the chicken, heat a griddle pan until hot, then remove the chicken from the marinade and rub all over with the coconut oil. Place on the griddle and cook for about 15 minutes for breast, 20 minutes for thighs, turning once or twice, or until cooked through (juices should run clear with no trace of blood when the thickest part of the chicken is pierced with a skewer).

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For the fries…

350g/12oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chips

2 tbsp Coconut oil

½ tsp Himilayan Pink salt

1 tsp crushed dried chilli flakes

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the sweet potato chips into a roasting tin and drizzle over the coconut oill and season with the salt, crushed dried chilli flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well to coat, then roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the sweet potato chips are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with a cool salsa and guacamole to cool you down!

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Congrats to my lovely friend and Coronation street script writer Jonathan Harvey – his new book is released today ‘The Girl Who Just Appeared’ – if his other books are anything to go by- this will be absolutely brilliant! I think it’ll be the talk of our green room for the next few weeks as we all delve into the fantastical treats of Mr Harvey’s comical brain.

Menelik Watson played a visit to the street this week (plays for the Oakland Raiders the National Football League (NFL) – turns out this giant man is originally from Burnage and adores corrie! So Bev Callard and I had the chance to meet him and show him around the new set. He loved every second!

Earlier this week I attended the Buddhist centre . It’s a great place for meditation, reflection and mindfulness. They offer several workshops to help you focus on meditation and tackle everyday problems. I struggled to switch off this time around but I’ll be going back very soon and will keep you updated with any tips and Revellations! It’s not religiously based at all- it simply promotes wellbeing and mindfulness. Which I’ll be talking about more next week.

Before I bid you farewell a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my really mean personal trainer @paul_boys!!! Maybe he’ll go easy on me now? Mellow with old age??? Nahhhh! I think not! Happy Birthday dude! Thanks for keeping us healthy and hench!

Stay Happy, stay healthy and Dream Big!!

Love

Auntie Cath

Xx

Celebrating Christmas in July!

What a lovely little week I’ve had. Best part being a trip to London with my gorgeous Mum – Janet. I’d been asked to film a Christmas episode (yes you heard that right) of Gino and Mel. One of my favourite shows! I love Gino, I love Mel and I Love cooking – so this show was a no brainier!

Gino and Mum

Gino and Mum

I was interested to see what Italian chef (= obsessed with bread and pasta) Gino would come up with for me as I’m wheat intolerant. Let me tell you – he pulled it out of the bag and then some!

Wow! The recipes were absolutely stunning! And very Paleo! I’ll tweet and let you know when my episode is on so you can try these recipes. Now my little mum LOVES Gino! Most ladies do right?

Gino and Mel

Gino and Mel

What’s not to love? Lovely guy, Italian accent and he does amazing things with naughty carbs? So taking my mum was also a no brainer! We enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at the Corinthia Hotel the night before and had some real girly time – which was so precious.

Time with my family always is. I’m big on family – and I’ve been blessed with the best!

The next morning we were picked up and taken to the studios, Janet was like a small child at Christmas!

We were strangely gifted with mince pies and a Christmas cake – that was enough for my mum to sing ITV’s praises all the way home!

Then her moment arrived! I arrived on set and chatted with Gino and Mel while mum sat anxiously in the audience. First thing Gino asked me “Where is your mother?” I pointed her out and he skipped over and planted those lovely dual European kisses on her cheeks.

She might not wash them again …and I feel I have secured my place as ‘Favourite Daughter 2014′.

Just call me Daughter of the Year!

Just call me Daughter of the Year!

The show was such great fun, we laughed throughout and Both Gino and Mel were super lovely. So keep your eyes peeled for that one guys!

After my holiday I’ve been trying to Alkalize my body as much as possible with lots of greens drinks and green soups.

I’ve come up with an uber quick soup for you guys, That helps to alkalize, detox and cleanse whilst tasting pretty damn good too!!

Auntie Cath’s ‘Cram-a-Green Soup’

Ingredients:

2 Large leeks, finely chopped
1 White onion, finely chopped
3 Celery sticks
3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
2 Cups of Broccoli
3 Cups of Kale (approx half a bag)
3 Cups of spinach (one bag)
2 Courgettes roughly chopped
1 Aubergine, thinly sliced
1 small tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
1 tsp of grass fed organic butter
1 veg stock cube (organic)
2 Pints of hot water

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Lightly fry the leeks, celery, onion and Garlic in the butter until golden brown, meanwhile roast the courgette and aubergine in the oven for approx 25 mins until cooked. Add the broccoli and Kale to the onions, celery and leeks and sauté for 5-8 mins stirring often.

Add the stock cube to the hot water and stir until dissolved. Pour onto the sautéed veg and allow to simmer on a low light.

Add the roasted courgette and aubergine and finally the spinach. Bring to the boil then blend the whole mixture either with a food processor or a hand held food blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, enjoy! Boom- Easy!

All about posture

All about posture

One of the things they instilled in us at drama school is posture. When I’m tired I become quite round shouldered and slumped – one of the exercises I do with Paul to combat this as well as targeting several muscle groups is the ‘Seated Row’.

The seated row is a great exercise for not only targeting your upper back muscles, biceps and forearms strength, it’s great for activating all the muscles that indeed – help hold a great posture and stop you slouching.
So if your shoulders roll forward making you look like you slouch, try this to correct a bad posture.

Drive your elbows as far back as you can without cocking the wrists, keeping the chest held high and be conscious of trying to pull your shoulder blades together.

Good posture also make you look slimmer (gives you Perkier breasts to ladies!).

Chow For Now Heath bunnies,
Stay happy and dream big!
Auntie Cath xxx

Stay Calm and Tap!

First week back at the gym this week, ‘Post Holiday’… it hit me like a brick wall, I’m not gonna lie. @Paul_Boys is like a priest…I can’t lie to him! When I told him about the naughtiness had on my ‘Big Fat Greek Holiday’, I could see his evil mind working, to see what torture he could put me through after all that feta! So it’s fair to say I’ve been knackered and walking funny all week!

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One of Mr Boys’ favourite ‘core exercises’ is what I call the ‘Olympic Bar Twist’ . Trust me… You’ll feel this ALL over your upper body!

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Olympic Bar Twist

You place 2 feet firmly on the ground, approximately shoulder width apart. Then keeping your arms extended away from the body, begin to twist the bar from side to side with the opposite foot of the side you twist on, pivot on the toes. Make sure your hips follow the bar when you twist. It’s important to keep the arms extended to keep the tension in the core. Do this under a slow tempo to really hit the core muscles hard. This is a great exercise for targeting all the muscles in the midsection (core).

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Last week I told you about my friend Tania-Louise, an incredibly talented lady. I have been working with her recently in terms of relaxation/meditation and EFT. Life on the cobbles is so very busy, it really is important to look after one’s body, mind and spirit. When I make the time in my day (even if it’s only 10 minutes) to meditate or use EFT – I instantly feel calmer and more focused. Here’s what Tania had to say about EFT:

“EFT with Tania Louise – www.tanialouise.com

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a fantastically effective therapy that helps to resolve a wide range of imbalances including stress and illness, quickly and easily. EFT is based on the ancient principles of acupuncture without the discomfort of needles and is one of the most effective energy psychology techniques, with the medical profession even starting to take notice of its effectiveness.

It really is interesting and proven to work. I was sceptical at first but it’s definitely had a positive effect on my busy lifestyle and training.

This simple tapping procedure gently realigns the body’s energy system and helps to address issues such as stress, phobias, pain, anxiety, depression, grief, public speaking, agoraphobia, abuse, trauma, fertility, weight, eating disorders, sports performance, anger management, fear of flying/heights, and addictions. A Freedom from Smoking Package is also available to help clear associations with smoking and re-programme positive new ways of being. EFT has shown impressive results on both emotional and physical problems; it is one of the fastest techniques available and often works when nothing else will.”

Whilst we’re on the subject of de-stressing and relaxation, here’s a fabulous recipe from medicinal chef Dale Pinnock (@dale_pinnock). Food to keep you calm! Dale explains…

“This recipe really brings together the best in nutritional tools for helping us feel a little calmer, in terms of both the nutrients it supplies, and the way in which the meal is composed.”

 

Sesame soy salmon with garlic greens and coconut rice
1 large salmon steak

2 large handfuls of shredded greens (kale, cabbage etc)

1 clove of garlic

2 tablespoon of low salt soy sauce

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 teaspoon of honey

2 handfuls of brown rice

1 400ml can of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut

 

Mix together 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, with the sesame oil and the honey, and mix well to create a marinade.

 

Marinade the salmon in this mixture for as long as possible (overnight is best, but 1 hour will do).

 

Place the rice in a pan, along with the coconut milk and simmer. Once the coconut milk has begun to reduce, add enough boiled water to cover the rice and continue to simmer until it is cooked throughout, adding more water if necessary. You need enough so it cooks without the need to strain, as you need the coconut flavour to remain, so it should almost cook dry. At this point add the desiccated coconut.

 

Add the garlic, onion, and greens to a pan, and sauté until the vegetables soften. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce, and sauté for another minute.

 

Add the salmon and its marinade to a pan, on a medium heat, and pan cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning every couple of minutes to avoid blackening.

 

Once the salmon is cooked, warm through the cooked vegetables, and serve.

 

 

So, what makes this dish so special?

 

Salmon - great source of Omega 3. Regular intake of this fatty acid has been shown to improve mood, concentration, and alertness.

 

Greens - a very rich source of the mineral magnesium.  This mineral aids in muscular relaxation, so when you are feeling a little tense, it can help you to feel more physically relaxed, which in turn can help you feel more relaxed overall.

 

Brown rice - rich in B vitamins which help you to release the energy from food. If you are feeling dog tired, its very difficult to keep an even head! B vitamins also have quite a calming effect upon the central nervous system.

 

Meal composition - by combining a high quality protein source with a high quality low GI carbohydrate, and nutrient dense fibre rich vegetables, you create a meal that releases its energy slowly. It drip feeds your blood sugar meaning that it keeps your energy levels at an even keel, rather than you experiencing the highs and lows. Keeping blood sugar even is incredibly calming for the simple reason that you feel neither hyperactive nor completely knackered! Even energy levels makes for a more even state of mind.”

Last weekend we had a lovely event to go to – the engagement of our lovely friends Andrew and Rebecca (Aka ‘Bat & Ball’). These guys are made for each other and we can’t wait for their wedding next year. Andrew has elected my Tom as ‘Best Man’… I don’t think he realises what he’s let himself in for. As I write this blog, Tom is beavering away in the corner, writing down the most embarrassing stories he can think of. God help you Andrew and CONGRATULATIONS!

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Also this week, I have been supporting ‘Jeans For Genes’. Jeans for Genes charity campaign has this year teamed up with the prestigious Edinburgh College of Art on the design of their official charity T-shirt. The T-Shirt features a one off design by young designer Rachel Hill. The design, which was one of hundreds submitted via a competition open to Edinburgh College of Art students, features a double helix, which depicts the structure of a DNA molecule, combined with on trend SS14 pastel colours. The T-Shirt is a gorgeous piece that can be dressed down with shorts and sandals or dressed up with jeans and is available in sizes 6-22. The campaign supports children with genetic conditions, and their families. You really can make a difference this year and buy the Jeans for Genes T-shirt and support the campaign in style. The T-shirt is £20 and is available online from www.jeansforgenes.org/shop  . Jeans for Genes Day is on Friday 19th September and invites everyone to wear their jeans to work or school and make a donation to transform the lives of children with genetic disorders. Sign up for your free fundraising pack at: www.jeansforgenes.org

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Also, big congrats to my pal Kit Rice whose single ‘Nonsense’ is out this week! Such a talent. Buzzing for you honey!
Until next week campers!

Stay Happy, stay healthy and dream BIG!
Love

Auntie Cath

Xx

 

My Big Fat Greek Holiday

What a delightful start to the week I had! A few days away in Greece! Corrie storylines are about to get heavier at work (yey!!) So we grabbed the chance of a cheeky get away while we could. I pretty much spent the entire time sat on my backside… Utter bliss!

I went to Greece

I went to Greece

I’m a bit behind on this but -I finally got around to reading my friends book ‘The Confusion of Karen Carpenter’ by Jonathan Harvey. Jonathan and I met in 2006 when he wrote an episode of ‘Lilies’- a fantastic BBC period drama I starred in, set in Liverpool. Jonathan is one of our fabulous Corrie script writers too.

I’ve always loved his work, this book didn’t disappoint (but I knew that anyway).

My good read

My good read

Pretty sure the pool staff at our hotel thought I’d lost the plot as I laughed hysterically several times each time I picked this little treasure up. I became so engrossed with the lead character – Karen (I’d like to be friends with her) other times I had to pretend the chlorine in the pool had gotten in my eyes, rather than the fact I was indeed balling my eyeballs out – Greek stylee.

(Tom just thought I was hormonal and ate his own body weight in Feta). Such a fantastic book- strongly recommend it if you’re off on your jollys. You won’t put it down, I promise.

Gorgeous Greece

Gorgeous Greece

I spoke last week about exercising outside and finding alternatives when you don’t have access to a gym – I mainly sat on my backside during my holiday – as it was totally about recharging for me. However we did venture out on some lovely walks in the Greek countryside – where we did some hill sprints – which is an incredibly efficient way of burning fat and upping your cardio-game at the same time.

Obviously it makes life easier when you’re overlooking mountains and beautiful coastlines. Hey – it made eating all that glorious Greek food a lot easier too :-) Now then… I’d like to talk about poo please. There I said it! Oh don’t pull that face! We all do it! Fact is 70% of the nation suffer with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) at some point in their lives. This can be incredibly debilitating for some people. It’s something that most of us will suffer with to varying degrees. It is a common condition of the digestive system.

It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Symptoms vary between individuals and affect some people more severely than others. The symptoms of IBS tend to come and go in bouts, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods.

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but most experts agree it’s related to an increased sensitivity of the entire gut, which can occasionally be linked to a prior food-related illness.

This may be caused by a change in your body’s ability to move food through your digestive system, or may be due to you becoming more sensitive to pain from your gut. Psychological factors such as stress may also play a part in IBS. If you think you may be suffering with IBS go and see your doctor!

There are things you can do to help yourself, foods to be avoided include: wheat, dairy, spicy foods and caffeine. Taking Magnesium and probiotics is helpful and eases cramps. Meditation often helps too in times of stress, I’ll be chatting to my good friend Tania next week about some ways in which you can help ease the symptoms and stress of IBS through meditation and EFT (http://www.prismhealing.co.uk/) The IBS Network also offers support- check out their website: http://www.theibsnetwork.org

I indulged in a facial

I indulged in a facial

When on holiday I always wear factor 50 sun-screen on my face (no one wants to look like a raisin at 40 right!). Nonetheless, it’s important to feed the skin after over exposure to the sun. The skin can become extremely dehydrated. So I indulged in a rose-oil based facial this week too.

It really rehydrates the skin, as well as having anti-aging properties it is an antidepressant: rose oil boosts self-esteem, confidence, and mental strength while efficiently fighting depression. So get smelling the roses!

Eva is getting stuck in behind the bar

Eva is getting stuck in behind the bar

 

I’m back on the cobbles now, as always were extremely busy and Eva is getting stuck in behind that bar.

So wonderful working with Bev and Simon (Liz and Steve). They both have me in fits of giggles most if the time – true Rovers legends! And I’m pretty sure Eva will be borrowing Liz’s bling at some point! Ha ha. Till next week kids! Stay happy, stay healthy and Dreambig!

Tackling the Great Swim and flipping tyres

This week I’ve been muchos outdoorsie! @paul_Boys took our session outside. Paul spent 11 years as a PT in the army.

So if there’s a tree trunk/ tyre/ slab of stone/hefty person lying about, he’s usually lifting it/running a stupid distance with it strapped to his back. So I was pretty nervous when he told me we were venturing outside! Sure as eggs are eggs, there lay a large tyre (on the field, not my tummy).

Paul Boys

Paul Boys

 

Yup, this 60kg vehicle piece had my name written all over it. We took no prisoners! With several laps of squatted tyre flipping, travelling jumping squats, walking lunges and hill sprints. It felt great (I’m so weird)!! Nothing beats the feeling of a mega training session outside and it just reiterates the point that you don’t need to join a gym to stay fit, if you’re a bit skint. I’m a firm believer in the guidance of a good PT, but there are ways and means outside of this.

Heavy stuff

Heavy stuff

I always see health and fitness as – ‘you either pay now… Or pay later’! If your washing machine was broke, you’d hire a pro to fix it right? Same principle in my book! I’ll be posting more outdoor exercises of the next few weeks. There’s loads you can do guys and it’s great fun for all the family.


Tyre workout

Tyre workout

I know what you’re waiting for. How did the Great Swim go?! Well, we arrived into Windermere the night before the swim. Our hotel is right on the lake, literally, you could throw a stone into the lake from our window (please don’t try this). Which made us incredibly nervous! We could see the evening swim groups crawling out of the lake – exhausted and some very emotional after completing their swim. The hotel had no ‘good carbs’ on the menu, so I delved into a plate of chips – what?? It will restore liver glycogen which I’ll need for the morning… Ahem…

The Great Swim with my other half

The Great Swim with my other half

After ‘carbing up’ we went for a stroll lakeside. I dipped a trotter in this vast beauty and let out a little yelp – which confirmed to Thomas (my better half that I have roped into swimming too), what we indeed feared…It’s colder than a snowman’s rude bits! In the morning we head down to the starting point where we were met by hundreds of other swimmers. In total 10,000 swam for varies charities that weekend. How amazing is that? Also at the starting point was the lovely Rebecca Adlington, who couldn’t stop giggling as I shrieked while acclimatizing myself to this mahooooosive lake.

The big day on the lake

The big day on the lake

‘Eva Price’s’ fake tan was firmly gone for a burton at this point. After prepping the crowds and telling them they looked like giant sperms, we were ready – this was it!! After weeks and weeks of worrying and practise we absolutely smashed it. In approx 18mins no less! Rebecca Adlington said she watched me and thought I was a great swimmer :-) chuffty badge for Cath please! The feeling of exhilaration and achievement afterwards was fantastic, I even managed a breathy interview half way around the course! Seriously good fun guys – you can still sign up for Great Swims up and down the country.

Beautiful view from the hotel

Beautiful view from the hotel

We’ve been filming in the sunshine too this week (which is always weird – it’s forever raining on them cobbles) I’m thinking now that Jason has the Builders Yard, Eva should give that place a makeover – what you reckon? Some flowery wallpaper? Pink chair covers? Diamanté hard hats? I wouldn’t put it past her to be honest!

We’ve got a lot of children in our family at present, which is lovely :-)I’m constantly trying new recipes to try and give them the nutrients they need without them throwing a paddy over ‘scary veg’! Dale Pinnock (dalepinnock.com) is full of bright ideas when it comes to keeping little ones healthy. Here’s a VERY simple idea:

Healthy food for kids

Healthy food for kids

Getting kids to eat more fresh food is quite an art form. I’d really love to tell you that there is one sure fire way, but alas, it is any imaginable combination of bartering, inspiration, and outright deception. Getting kids cooking with you can sometimes do the trick, it’s amazing what they will eat if they helped make it.

But, for some parents, the art of culinary deception is the key. This is literally a case of finding as many creative ways as possible to hide the good stuff in the foods that your child will eat.

One of my favourite tricks here is my ‘pumped up pasta sauce’. Many kids will happily munch on pasta and tomato sauce. It’s quite a failsafe. So how about making the tomato sauce and give it a mother of a facelift?


//


Makes a decent sized batch – 3 servings roughly. Freezes great.

1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
1 red onion – finely chopped
1 small courgette – sliced then halved
3 handfuls of baby spinach
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of tomato puree
Mixed herbs

Sauté the onion and garlic in a little olive oil, with a pinch of sea salt (ok, you don’t want to give your kids lots of salt, but you don’t want their food tasting of nothing either), until the onion has softened.

Add the courgette and continue to sauté until that has softened.

Add the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree, and simmer for 10 minutes until the tomato reduces to a thicker texture.

Add the spinach and the herbs, and transfer to a blender or food processor. Blend into a smooth tomato sauce – and hey presto! It looks, feels, and tastes like tomato sauce, and they will never know that they are guzzling down green vegetables – plus it won’t have all the sugar, transfats, additive and gunk that the version in a jar will have.”

I’ve made the sauce with courgette ribbons instead of pasta and it’s delicious! Give it a go guys!

Until Next week! Stay Happy,
Stay healthy and dream Big!

Auntie Cath xxx

Cracking footie seats and luxury treats with the other half

Knowing that the next two months are completely back to back I have played hard, trained hard and rested hard this past week! Starting with Helmsley :-) my little haven of calm, ’twas a pleasure to visit again.

A little treat

A little treat

I love Helmsley because it seems to be stuck in time zone. A rural time of community spirit and simple outdoor pleasures. A small village filled with antique shops and beautiful local produce. Him indoors treated us to the Feversham Arms- a firm favourite of mine, a little haven of relaxation and luxury.

Gorgeous facilities and outstanding service. Now – I’m a big fan of my food, and this place bowls me over every time. So much of it organic and locally sourced, the chef here really knows his stuff, and we utterly filled our boots!

All this pleasure was then balanced out nicely with a whole lot of pain with a killer gym session from the legend that is Nick Mitchell. I’m a big fan of UP Fitness and train there whenever I’m in London, so to get a session in with the big man himself is pretty awesome.

Nick and I

Nick and I

When Nick told me we were doing a ‘Leg Session’ I became fully aware that walking afterwards would be a massive challenge. There’s nothing Nick doesn’t know about fitness and nutrition – hence his status in the fitness industry. Most PTs, certainly here in the UK – are aspiring to be at Nick’s level. Sadly very few are.

Which is why it’s SO important to check what qualifications your trainer has. Our session was tough and included Laying Leg Curls w/toes pointed, Incline Hyperextensions, Laying Leg Curl w/toes up at shins, Front Squats, Back Squats, drop sets and just when we thought we were about to die he made us do Wingate intervals on an erg bike. What a nice guy!

UP is tough stuff

UP is tough stuff

 

We were training at the same time as the Team UP group training session – that looked like awesome too a very accessible and economical way to get Personal Training at UP Fitness.

Also this week I filmed an episode of new series Celebrity Squares, I’m sure you all remember the old show?! Well its back! The format is the same, with some awesome celeb guests, and the lovely Warwick Davis hosting, so that was pretty cool. It’ll hit your screens in a few weeks’ time – there’s plenty of giggles, I’ll promise you that much!

Celebrity Squares

Celebrity Squares

Whilst I was making a fool of meself on Celeb Squares my wonderful friends Rebecca and Antony were getting married in a dream wedding ceremony in Barbados! So massive congrats to them – wish I was there!

Friends tied the knot in Barbados

Friends tied the knot in Barbados

Who watched Soccer Aid?? How good was Olly Murs?! James McAvoy pulled it out of the bag too. We were lucky enough to have cracking seats for this fantastic match and loved every second. Not to mention the fact it raised 4.2 MILLION!!! Well done Rest of World Team! I’ve definitely got the football bug after last week’s 5-a-side revelation!

We had cracking Soccer Aid seats

We had cracking Soccer Aid seats

With only a few days to go until my Great Swim in Lake Windermere, I think I’d better rest up mind! Thank you for all your support after my appearance on Good Morning Britain this week, there is still time to sponsor (in aid of Manchester Children’s Hospital) :http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CathTyldesley

Good Morning Britain

Good Morning Britain

I have a gorgeous recipe for you this week to help improve and protect your skin in the sun! From my uber brainy pal @dale_pinnock – medicinal chef. I’ve been taking it to work with me this week and it’s lush!! Enjoy!

Proper Pepper Soup

This soup is gorgeous and nutrient-rich. Serve with a nice lump of fresh wholemeal bread, and get transported to heaven!

1 red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 red peppers, coarsely chopped
1 large sweet potato, diced
Vegetable Stock

Sauté the onion and garlic along with a pinch of salt in a little olive oil, until the onion has softened.
Add the red peppers and sweet potato to the pan with the onion and garlic.
Add enough vegetable stock to cover all the ingredients, and simmer until the potatoes have softened.
At this point, use a hand blender, or add to a food processor, and blend into a smooth soup.

See you next week!

See you next week!

Benefits
Red Peppers
Red peppers are bursting with a whole range of powerful compounds. The chemicals responsible for the deep vivid red colour are compounds called flavonoids, which have a very powerful antioxidant property. All varieties of pepper contain a large amount of a compound called beta carotene, which is also a colour pigment, ranging from yellow to deep orange.

Beta carotene is the plant source of vitamin A. Beta carotene is also a fat-soluble antioxidant. This means that it will be most active within fatty tissues, especially the fatty areas of subcutaneous tissue of the skin. This will help to protect the skin from free radical damage, and can help to maintain elasticity and plumpness.

Helpful Hint: When buying red peppers, buy the darkest coloured ones that you can find. The darker they are, the higher the concentration of the antioxidant flavonoids.

That’s me for another week my little Health Bunnies!

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy and
Dream Big!!

Love Auntie Cath
Xx

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