About


Hi, I'm Kaitlin and thanks so much for stopping by! Sharing plant-based foods is one of my life's greatest joys and my hope is to spark your excitement for it too - with easy, approachable vegan recipes that are packed with enough flavor to please both herbivores and carnivores alike. Most of us don't have time to stand in the kitchen making long, complicated meals. Recipes you find here are super simple, showing just how quick, easy, and fun healthy eating can be. And because it brightens my day (hopefully yours too!) I especially love creating dishes with as much color as possible :) One of my favorite parts of this blog is connecting with people. I genuinely love hearing from you guys - seeing what you're cooking up, your thoughts, your travels, and what inspires you! So I encourage you to come join me on The Garden Grazer Instagram 🍓 and share if you'd like! 


About Me
I love animals, nature (especially Yellowstone, mountains, and the smell of fresh pine), matcha & tea, reading, exploring this beautiful Earth, and doing my best to live consciously and compassionately. I grew up in a small town in southern Michigan which is where my veggie love-affair began. My parents lovingly labored to provide us with a beautiful vegetable garden right behind our house. I spent many childhood days sitting between the rows, eating fresh tomatoes, green beans, sugar snap peas, and strawberries right off the vine. (Hence the name "The Garden Grazer") 😊🌿 It was pure summer bliss!

 Planting seeds with my grandma in our garden - early 90's, Michigan

I graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Environmental Biology/Zoology, then my husband and I traveled around the western part of the country. We spent time living near Yellowstone, Tempe, Arizona, and Portland, Oregon - BEST city award! We recently moved to Bozeman, Montana and are absolutely loving it. The mountains and fresh air completely energize my soul! (Feel free to check out more of our outdoor adventures here on my Yellowstone instagram.)


About the Recipes
I'm passionate about using one-ingredient, organic/non-GMO, whole foods as much as possible. Rice, quinoa, beans, fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. (Basically I like to follow a whole food, plant-based, no oil diet.) I love simple, healthy meals that aren't complicated, so I put a ton of emphasis on developing the recipes in a way that's easy to follow and most efficiently uses your time. (i.e. I'll let you know as the quinoa is cooking, that's a great time to dice veggies.)

Why Vegan?
There are a few reasons why I choose a plant-based lifestyle. For one, I've always been a huge animal lover. (Just look at these adorable little faces!) I'd never want to harm or kill an animal, so why pay others to do it for me - often in a cruel way - just for the sake of consuming it? There are so many wonderful foods out there to enjoy without taking other creature's lives in the process.


Another big reason is health. While reading "The China Study" by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (a true hero!) it was a huge spark of inspiration to start preparing more plant-based meals. (And also to obtain a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell, based on Dr. Campbell's research - fantastic course!) My husband and I completely fell in love with the notion of plant-based foods, and gradually shifted to preparing all vegetarian then vegan meals. We considered ourselves pretty healthy people, so it came as quite a shock when we experienced how much more health and energy there was to gain by eliminating all animal products from our diet. My awful migraines disappeared, debilitating menstrual cramps went away, stomach issues resolved, acne cleared, and many others. So much research is continually coming out backing the endless benefits of incorporating more plants into our diet to slow, halt, or even reverse diseases - it can be such a powerful tool to take control of your heath. I recommend checking out the new documentary "What the Health" for more info!

Last but not least, the environmental impacts of a meat/dairy diet are alarmingly destructive compared to a plant-based diet. I believe it's important to become aware of the connections of our personal actions with our environment and do the best we can to live gently, consciously, and take care of our beautiful, diverse earth. (Check out the awesome documentary "Cowspiracy" for more info!)


Transition from Vegetarian to Vegan
After about 4-5 years as a vegetarian, a couple things inspired me to try a vegan diet. First, I became even more aware of the awful conditions and violence within the dairy/egg industry. (If you're interested, here's a short article of one example.) Second, I'm in a constant search for discovering what food and nutrients my body needs to achieve optimal health and well-being, with a responsible connection to nature. In addition to meat, I found eliminating all animal products (eggs, dairy, etc.) gave me even more energy, health, and happiness. Once I started listening to my body, I felt much more empowered and connected to the food I eat. The power of whole foods continually amazes me! It's a lifestyle that all-around just feels right in my heart 💚

Enjoying the beautiful Montana winter!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I truly hope you enjoy the recipes!
To stay connected, come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram - I really love to see what you guys are cooking up 😊

 Grand Teton National Park - so majestic!


 Walking with my daughter near Hebgen Lake, Montana




Disclosure / Affiliate Program Details
The Garden Grazer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites.

I only occasionally share things that I personally use and genuinely recommend. If you click on the affiliate links and make a purchase within a certain time frame, I may earn a small commission. There is no additional cost to you by clicking the affiliate links. The commission is paid by the third party (Amazon), not by you. The money earned helps me continue sharing my passion, and I thank you very much for your support!


53 comments:

  1. How do you access your blog andvrecipes from pinterest. They look amazing.

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    1. Hi there! To see my full list of recipes, click the "recipes" tab at the top or go here: http://www.thegardengrazer.com/p/recipes.html
      My Pinterest page is located here: http://pinterest.com/TheGardenGrazer/
      Take care!

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  2. I'm so glad I found this page! I just read The China Study too and I'd love to try and incorporate more of a vegetarian diet into our home meals, but I'm at a loss about what to do besides your regular garden salad. Look forward to trying your recipes :)

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    1. Hi Janice! Great to hear from you! That's so awesome you read The China Study and are looking to incorporate vegetarian meals into your diet - we found it to be so much fun!! Hope you find some meals you enjoy here. Keep me updated if you get the chance. Would love to hear which ones you try out! :)

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  3. I found your site today, and I'm really excited to make the black bean spinach enchiladas this week :) I'm a "new" vegetarian - one month of no meat and feeling great! My husband and I decided on a vegetarian diet for similar reasons you listed above.

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    1. Hi there and welcome! I love hearing you're ditching the meat and feeling great! Hope you and your husband love the enchiladas. Good luck and have fun on your vegetarian journey :) Thanks for the message!

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  4. Elisabeth in HoustonJuly 16, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Hi there! I've never left a comment on a blog before, but I need to drop you a note to let you know how much I love your site. My husband and I have been vegetarians for almost a decade (well, pescatarians technically since we do have fish every once and a while), and your recipes are now the ones I return to over and over. My meat-eating extended family thinks I'm an excellent chef thanks to you. :) Thanks for the simple, delicious recipes. Truly!

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    1. Hi Elisabeth! I feel so honored that you came back and left a message. Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I LOVE that you're trying so many of the recipes and having success with them! It's so fun to hear that. Take care and hope you keep enjoying them! :)

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  5. I love your site! Thank you so much!

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    1. Yay!! So glad you're enjoying it! Thanks for the message :)

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  6. What a beautiful and lovely concept you understand and also expressed it to others....that we love our pets who are animals and claim that we love animals....why or how would we eat the others out there? Never understood the justification people have behind loving one and killing the other.

    I have been a vegetarian all my life and so happy to find your site. Totally loved your thoughts, am definitely going to try out some of your recipes.
    Thank you so much.

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    1. Hi there and thanks for your lovely comments! Glad to hear you're a fellow animal lover and vegetarian. I hope you find many recipes you love here! Would love to hear which ones you try if you get the chance :) Take care!

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  7. Your site looks beautiful and your recipes really lovely. I think your reasons for being vegetarian are great and I couldn't agree more. These are reasons to be vegan, since animals are harmed when we consume dairy and eggs. Please look into it. Many of your recipes could easily be vegan (and many probably already are - I haven't looked through your entire site, yet). Keep up the good work, and consider going vegan for the reasons you're vegetarian.

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    1. Hi Rowen! Thanks so much for your thoughtful message. I completely agree! We've significantly cut down our dairy and egg consumption since we've learned that industry is absolutely terrible for the animals. I very rarely eat eggs anymore and have been shifting away from "real" cheese. Nutritional yeast is a wonderful thing!! Thanks for the reminder that I should update the info on this page! ;) Take care!

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  8. I have recently switched to a vegetarian diet after watching Forks over Knives and several other food documentaries. I am absolutely amazed and obsessed with learning about where food comes from now. Ive even signed up for an online course about our US Food Production. Im still new to cooking and trying to find great easy recipes for my busy schedule. Thank you for being another great resource for me

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    1. Hi Des! Your online course sounds awesome! There's also one run by Dr. Campbell from eCornell for a certificate in plant-based nutrition if you want to check that out: http://www.ecornell.com/certificates/plant-based-nutrition/certificate-in-plant-based-nutrition/
      I totally agree - it's such a fascinating field and I think it's awesome you're getting into it. Hope you enjoy it, and glad you're finding my website useful as well. That means a lot! Take care :)

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  9. I became a vegetarian in 1983 and lived this lifestyle for a few decades. I always bought organic milk from “happy cow farms” and bought free-range eggs. I was oblivious and naive and never wondered what happened to those animals when they couldn’t fulfill their purpose anymore until I read a similar article to yours. I began to do my own research and contacted these farms that I was purchasing from and sure enough, the hens after they don’t lay anymore, which is about 2.5 – 3yrs old are sent to poultry farms where they are slaughtered. The male calves are sent to auctions where they are slaughtered and the females, when they are no longer able to produce milk, are also then sent “away.” I’m unable to watch any videos of the animal industry as it pains and haunts me too much to think of the fear that these poor, sweet animals go through because of us. Thanks for your post! Perhaps we can convert more people to a vegan lifestyle if they’re aware …

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    1. Hi again Patricia! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. I love hearing other people's stories and points of view. Totally agree - we have to protect our cute little critters! My goal for this site is to show people how delicious vegan/veg cooking can be, in hopes that it can cut down animal consumption in some small way :) (And get people crazy excited about eating veggies!) I loved making the transition to vegan and haven't looked back! Thanks again so much for your kind words :)

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  10. Hi, Kaitlin!

    I found your blog when Finding Vegan posted your black bean and lentil salad (which looks delicious, by the way)! I wanted to comment on your About page, though, because I love how open you are about your transition from omnivore to vegetarian to vegan. I was raised vegetarian and began my vegan journey in 2009. I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you for being willing to share the steps you took in your journey!

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    1. Hi again Nichole! I really appreciate your comment. That's awesome you were raised vegetarian and decided to transition to vegan a few years ago. Totally agree - I wouldn't have it any other way! I find there's so much fun, new food to discover all the time!! And I love sharing my journey in hopes that it encourages others in some way. :) Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

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  11. I just watched the documentary Vegucated and am transitioning to a vegetarian lifestyle. Your website is beautiful and will make my journey easier! So glad I found you!

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    1. Hi! I have yet to see that movie, but I must watch it soon! :) I'm so happy this site will be a helpful resource for you during your transition. Would love to hear how it's going if you get the chance! Have fun and enjoy this new journey!!

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  12. Hi Kaitlin!

    Glad I found your blog! I'm vegan too and started a blog and am always excited when I find other blogs that have easy, vegan recipes. I'll be checking back often!

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    1. Hi Faith! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment so I could go check out your awesome blog too! Love it! Excited to see what you come up with next :)

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  13. I will never go vegetarian/vegan but a lot of your recipes sound yummy. There are a lot of family run farms out there that treat their chickens and cows humanely that you can get eggs, milk, etc from or if you have land raise your own.

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    1. Hi Tracy! Agree - and thanks so much for stopping by! :)

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  14. I just came across your blog via pinterest Love it! Excited to follow along.

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    1. Hi Heather! Awesome to hear - hope you find some recipes you enjoy! :)

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  15. Great looking recipes, and lovely blog. Glad I found it :)

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    1. Hi Kathy! Thanks so much for your sweet message :) Hope you enjoy the recipes!

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  16. Do you have a newsletter? Your recipes look amazing! I would like to try vegetarian and also start eating more healthy. Im going to try the greek salad tonight!

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much for your interest in the blog! I don't have a newsletter at this time, but I'm definitely keeping that in mind for the future. I think that's awesome you're trying vegetarian!! Love hearing that - have fun with your new journey! :) Hope you enjoyed the greek salad!!

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  17. Hi!!! My name is Iris and I've been vegetarian for a year now. I am the only one, my husband and my son still meat eaters..But today was a great day because I made your recipe black bean spinach enchiladas and everybody love it!! They didn't asked for meat!!! I was so happy!!! I'm going to try more of your recipes!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR RECIPES,KAITLIN!!

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    1. Oh my goodness - YAY!!!! I've heard that a lot about those enchiladas and it makes me smile every time. Score one for veggies!! ;) Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such a sweet message. Keep me updated if you try any of the other recipes! :) Wishing you a lovely weekend Iris!!

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  18. As a nurse and a cancer survivor, going completely plant-based is the best thing I ever did for my health and happiness. Now I help others find their inner health. Thanks for giving me a great resource for recipes! LOVE Dr Campbell too! (and his daughter LeAnne) www.cancersurvivorsforlife.com

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    1. Hi Susan! I loved your message so much, thanks for taking the time to connect! The power of food is incredible isn't it? Awesome to hear you're helping others now - how amazing! Hope you find many recipes you love here! :)

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  19. My sister became vegan and I am in the process of being vegetarian, was hard at first, but over time we have been collecting recipes, a few days ago I found your blog and I can not believe even that easy and delicious that most are recipes. I wanted to write to thank you for your wonderful website thanks, thanks, thanks!!

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    1. Hey Camela! Aww, your sweet message made me smile :) So happy to hear you're enjoying the site. Hope you have lots of fun with your vegetarian transition! Keep me updated if you get the chance - would love to hear how it goes :) Have a great weekend!!

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  20. Tried my hand at your 'Ultimate Vegetable Soup' INCREDIBLE'. Thank you for posting this amazing recipe. An amazing array of flavors and colors. Instead of sauteing the onions and garlic, I cooked them right into the soup for about 30 minutes. Although I was skeptical about doing that, The flavor turned out amazing. Thank you, again, for sharing your heart for good health.

    -Ryan

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    1. Hi Ryan! Yay - so glad you enjoyed the soup! We make it often, each time a little bit different and always enjoy it. For some reason the colors seem to make it so much more fun and delicious! ;) Thanks for your message, have a wonderful weekend!

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  21. Amazing dear one, I'm a transplant from Germany and I'm a vegetarian as well, I cannot be fully vegan by Dr's order ( but would rather like to)
    I love veggies and all the amazing recepies,

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    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for your kind words :) Vegetables are definitely amazing and versatile - please enjoy the recipes!

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  22. Hi, Kaitlin. Just found your site and I love it! I'm adopting a plant-based diet mostly for health reasons (as well as ethical and humanitarian reasons), and it has been wonderful! I've lost 37 pounds in the past 8 months and have gotten off of cholesterol and diabetes medications. I was intrigued that you moved from Illinois to Arizona. So did I! I grew up in central Illinois, but lived near the Chicago area after I got married. We moved to Arizona 25 years ago. Sadly, I'm divorced now. I live alone, in the northwest part of Arizona in the mountains. I'm 68 and live on just Social Security, so it is sometimes a challenge to get as much organic produce as I would like to. But I do the best I can with what I have. Sites like yours are really helpful! Keep up the good work!

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    1. Hi again! SO awesome to hear your story, thanks for taking the time to share. And a huge congrats on taking control of your health, plants are amazing! :) It's fun to hear you were an IL --> AZ transplant too! We actually just moved again (up near the Yellowstone area) but love Arizona! Thanks for such kind words about the website, I'm truly glad it's helpful! Wishing you a beautiful week and take care :)

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  23. Thank you for providing simple delicious plant based recipes! I am excited to start the new year eating plant based healthy foods! I think your recipes are just what I have been looking for and will help me in the transition! Thank you :)

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    1. Fantastic!! Could not be more excited to hear you're embarking on a plant-based journey :D Best decision my husband and I ever made!! Hope the recipes make it easy for you, and don't hesitate to email if you have any questions! Happiest new year to you and have fun with all the plants!!! <3

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  24. Hello Kaitlin - This is Janet from the Philadelphia suburbs. Like you, my husband is passionate about animals and he became vegetarian out of love for them. When we started dating, I became vegetarian out of love for him :--) I found your website several years ago and it has been one of my favorites ever since. I made your black bean avocado enchiladas for my whole family on Father's Day last year. I appreciate that you keep your site's advertising footprint to a reasonable level, and I love all the photos you include for each recipe. Your site sends a loving vibe so I thank you for sharing your recipes and your journey.

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    1. Hi Janet! I can't tell you how much your sweet message means to me, truly. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It makes my day to hear people enjoying the site/recipes so much and gives me the encouragement to keep sharing :) I think you're the first person ever to comment on the ads here - it's something I feel VERY strongly about and do my best to keep the footprint as low as possible. There are so many sites out there that I have to immediately close out of because the ads are so invasive and get in the way of the content... I'm not making as much money as I could be, but the overwhelming ads are not a sacrifice I'm willing to make. So thank you for sharing your thoughts! <3 And I LOVE that you went vegetarian out of love for your husband, so sweet!!! Wishing you both a beautiful week!! -Kaitlin

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  25. I came across your quinoa stuffed bell peppers, LADY! You are a genius in the kitchen!! I am trying to cook for myself, vegan, and for hubby who refuses to give up meat and dairy. Your recipes make it incredibly easy to make vegan food for me (and kiddos) and just add some meat into hubby's dish and keep him happy! Thank you for sharing and making life much much easier for me! (I'm gradually decreasing the amount of meat and dairy I use for hubbs, hopefully he will see a difference in how he feels over time and give it up ;D )

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    1. Hi!! I LOVE that you're trying to cook vegan for your whole fam! <3 Yay! How's it been going this summer? We just watched "What the Health" documentary on netflix a couple nights ago and thought it was a great summary of why we're vegan - maybe your husband would be up for watching to help encourage him to make the transition? ;) So glad to hear you're enjoying the recipes here. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

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  26. Hi Kaitlin, where did you grow up in southern Michigan? Your comments about growing up in southern Michigan eating veggies straight out of the garden made me smile because my husband also grew up in southern Michigan (Eau Claire)eating veggies from his family's large garden and, today, he is a veggie fanatic (which seems to be a lot like you)! It seems that the food patterns you establish as a child have a life-time impact on your eating habits. With the recipes found on your site, I am, hopefully, establishing those same healthy patterns for my children. Thank you for having the courage and the creative genius to share your viewpoint and recipes with the whole world. It's not always easy to go against the status quo, but it's worth it in the end. Appreciate your contribution to making this world and our health better!

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much for your sweet message and encouragement, truly. That certainly brought a smile to my face :) How fun to hear the similarities with your husband! I grew up in a small town called Charlotte (about 20 miles southwest of Lansing). Definitely agree that childhood food patterns can have a significant impact on our adult eating habits. I grew up appreciating the beauty of whole foods straight from the garden, and it certainly blossomed into a deep, life-long passion. Forever grateful to my parents for that beautiful gift! I LOVE how you're establishing that connection with your kids as well. So important! Hope you continue to enjoy the recipes here and thanks again for taking the time to write, I love hearing stories like yours :) Hope you're all having a wonderful summer!

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  27. I am writing simply to connect as we share similar lifestyle goals. Your website is refined and welcoming. I hope you are well and keep up the good work!
    In health,
    Kyle Wheeler (plantbasedstrength.blog)

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