Follow Up Thoughts on Raw Babies, Raw While Pregnant or Breastfeeding : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Tuesday Jul 31, 2012 | BY |
| Comments (77)

hudson milk monster
Headline: Alien Milk Monster Attacks Lactating Mom

After Friday’s article (here), we got a lot of questions, support and some criticism about our decision to not eat all raw or even vegan during Annmarie’s pregnancy.

Today, I want to address a few of them to assist those with questions, highlight some good points and talk about the criticism.

Let’s not waste any time here, since there’s a bunch…

“I’m gone, you’re not vegan and you shouldn’t call yourself raw…”

Ok, I get it. You’re disappointed.

I was disappointed when I had to stop being vegan for health reasons too. I wanted it to work. It wasn’t.

And we definitely don’t call ourselves raw. Haven’t in years. We’ve even removed it from the browser title on the blog. We are and will always be Renegade Health. Not RAW-negade Health — which a commenter cleverly pointed out.

I have to admit, it’s been only two weeks since we’ve had Hudson and I’ve been increasingly more and more dismissive of silly criticism like this.

Something switched on in me that just cut out a bunch of extraneous things like this.

I just don’t have the time to argue — and when I do — I get stressed out and don’t feel great. When I don’t feel great, I don’t have time to be with Ann, my son, my brother and family.

So, I think I’m done with it.

It’s a waste of everyone’s time — arguing.

No mas. (No more in Spanish.)

So if you’re looking for an argument, you might as well not even post your angry comments on the blog. I’m not engaging.

If I feel that anxiety/stress/arguing-energy welling up inside of me, I’m going to stop writing and comment on something else.

“So-and-so’s raw or vegan baby looks healthy…”

Let’s face it, most babies look healthy.

So, yes, so-and-so’s raw or vegan baby probably does look healthy. Look at all the mom’s who eat a Standard American Diet and then look at their babies… many of them look healthy.

Looking at a baby is not a great standard for determining if a diet works or not during pregnancy.

While it may be an example that it’s possible (end result = baby is not always success), it does not instantly make it safe.

I’ve even said it in the first post… I assume that Hudson is healthy, but that won’t be determined until he is much older. Since my view of good health is the full package — from bookend to bookend. How did everything work out?

Will he be like my grandfather who’s almost 94 and is on no pharmaceutical drugs? Or will he be like my uncle who died when he was 60 from congestive heart failure.

Who knows?

Same family. Different results.

You can’t judge a diet on the successful results of a baby that is 1, 2, or even 5 years old — but you can judge its ineffectiveness if there are very strange and unusual health issues.

While like I said, here, I’ve observed.

“Vegan babies can be healthy, why did you say they weren’t?”

I actually didn’t.

I was mainly referring to raw, vegan babies.

It’s easier to have a healthy vegan baby than a healthy raw baby. I’m still concerned about brain development for some — since the baby is developed in mom’s belly and mom might be deficient.

So moms, if you’re having a vegan baby, be sure to test your omega-3 levels. It will help you make a wise choice for your baby’s future.

Here’s a great example of vegan babies raised seemingly healthy. Keep in mind, Dr. Ritamarie is a an EXPERT in human nutrition. A geek’s geek. She has the clinical knowledge to really drill down into what works and what doesn’t.

If you aren’t so skilled in diet and nutrition, you should find someone like her, or cover your bases by adjusting your diet.

No judgement ever. Food “religions” are not healthy, in my opinion.

I eat a “mostly raw” vegan diet that consists of pounds and pounds of vegetables each day. Some of the veggies are cooked on some days, some days it’s all raw.

I raised 2 vegan babies, with one exception.

My babies were adopted at birth, and their prenatal environment was SAD plus smoking!

I fed them a home made formula in lieu of breast milk, which consisted of whey protein,flax oil, dha and other nutrients made to be as close to breast milk as possible (the recipes I used are on my website in a book called nut milk formulas)

At 4-6 months they began to eat fruits and veggies and I began to make the “formula” using vegetable juice and nuts and seeds.

We avoided all grains until they were 18 months old.

Their diets were high in raw food, but also included lots of lightly steamed vegetables. At 7 months, my first born ate more broccoli at thanksgiving dinner than anyone else in the room except for me.

Their diets have evolved over the years based on what they gravitate towards and hat they feel most energized from.

They were never vaccinated, except for whatever they give in the hospital right after birth.

Both had difficult pregnancies and births. One was a c-section, the other had the cord triple wrapped around his neck and was in ICV for 48 hours on IV antibiotics.

While neither had a good start nor good genetics. Their birth siblings are all sickly and overweight. Their birth parents on a plethora of medications and are not healthy. Both my boys are both strapping, muscular, athletic boys now, at age 14 and 18. Other than occasional colds they have never been sick. This I believe is a testament to their outstanding nutrition and a loving home.

I supplemented both with B12 (ones a month or so) DHA and vitamin C as needed to support immune system. Neither has ever been on a medication of any type, except for the oldest at birth.

Even though I raised them on a whole foods vegan diet, high in greens and raw foods, I did not do it dogmatically. Had there been evidence of deficiency or failure to thrive, I would have been looking at what needed to be changed to feed them optimally.

I originally thought I would raise them on all raw but discovered early on that they needed and wanted more so we included cooked vegetables –lots—and legumes and whole non gluten grains.

I approach my patients similarly to how I approach my kids.

My job is to guide them to the most appropriate diet for them, not to adhere to a food religion.

So there you have it… the story of 2 vegan since birth very healthy and hearty young men. They are not scrawny, they are muscular ans strong. They had teeth issues with their baby teeth (I believe baby teeth issues are a prenatal issue) and have perfect teeth now. The only fillings they had were in their baby teeth.

Given they didn’t come from high intelligence parents, they are amazingly intelligent. My older son starts college soon, and was awarded several scholarships.

I believe their nutrition has helped them overcome genetic tendencies.

So Kevin and Anne Marie, you will make choices for Hudson based on what you believe is right and by how he is developing and I know you will test and reassess and change and tweak as needed.

I wish you the best,

Everyone else, know that there is no one right way to eat that is perfect for all.

Start somewhere, know how to assess how it’s working for you and adjust as needed. This is what I teach in my coaching programs, the latest and most comprehensive being energyrechargecoaching.com

Many blessings to Hudson. He is truly lucky to have such amazing parents. The time does fly by. I get teary eyed thinking that my 18 year old who will be living in another city for the next four years was just a little newborn “only yesterday”

Much love

Dr. Ritamarie
drritamarie.com

What fish oil did you choose?

We used a super-critical carbon dioxide extraction that limits oxidation. The source was also high EPA/DHA. There are also no toxins detected in the material data sheets.

This was recommended by Dr. Williams and we’ll be announcing a short run of of it in August or September. He’s seen some amazing things come through his clinical work with this product and we’ll let you know when it’s ready.

“I just heard dr. william wong (naturopath, sex and exercise expert) say that we can’t make hormones if our cholesterol is under 180.”

The lower the cholesterol, the less likely we are to make these sex hormones, yes. Your body does make its own cholesterol, but sometimes it’s used for emergency repair type use when there is little — leaving less for sex hormone production.

My cholesterol, when I was raw and vegan, was 110. My sex hormones were also very low.

“The meat industry is incredibly cruel and unsustainable for our planet. I believe there is much evidence that humans can grow and thrive on a vegetarian diet.”

I believe that the meat industry is incredibly cruel and unsustainable for our planet.

I don’t know if the vegetarian diet for everyone is the solution.

I think, first and foremost, all vegetarians, conscious meat eaters, vegans and raw foodies need to fight against factory farming.

It’s an easy target.

No one wants to see animals treated like they are in these animal prison camps.

“What about a raw omnivore diet, including raw fish and maybe cured meats, unpasteurized dairy, as well as fermented foods? Raw eggs or just with runny yolks… What about high raw omnivore with small amounts cooked food?”

We were warned about raw fish and raw eggs while pregnant. I’m sure there’s evidence that show it’s dangerous and I’m sure there’s evidence that counters that as well.

Luckily, Annmarie doesn’t like either, so it was a non-issue for us.

If you’re considering raw eggs while pregnant, I would read up on both sides and make a decision erring on more cautious than not.

Please remember, healthy babies come from those who aren’t eating as healthy as you or I. So the body is smart enough to use what is needed to nourish the fetus even if mom is off her strict “whatever” diet.

This doesn’t give you permission to eat Ho-ho’s everyday, but it does allow you to relax, enjoy your pregnancy and prepare for a truly life-changing event.

“Have you read the book, The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp?”

Yes.

ESSENTIAL READING.

“Can I ask, which prenatal did you all use, if any?”

Annmarie used a prenatal from Innate. She also used one from New Chapter, but since they were bought by Proctor & Gamble she will not buy more from them.

Your question of the day: Do you think arguing is healthy?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

77 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Jennifer says:

    That is one cute baby! Kevin and Annmarie, I really admire the way you seek balance in your diet. It is great to hear a voice of reason when it comes to nutrition!

  2. Annie M. says:

    I don’t think arguing, where you get angry or on your high horse is ever healthy. Sharing a difference of opinion, with no vested interest in being “right” can be useful if both parties are willing to have an open mind, and not take someone’s different opinion personally!

    Your honestly and willingness to change is why I stay here! Blessings to you and your family! Hudson is adorable!

  3. Fontrella says:

    Keep up the good work and no, it is not healthy to argue. It causes you to be stressed.

  4. Laurie says:

    Right on target as usual, Kevin….hope to see you & Annmarie and get to meet Hudson soon! Congratulations!!

    Laurie

  5. Barbara says:

    You should not have to justify your dietary choices for your child to anyone. Enjoy your beautiful healthy boy!

  6. Kuru says:

    My question is, why do you think a difference of opinion requires an argument? People have varying opinions. You have a blog. You ask for comments. If you really believe in honesty as in yesterday’s post, there must be room for all kinds, imo. Reply or don’t reply, but suppression does not work in a world where people love each other. Everyone needs to be heard. Thanks for listening. And what a cute baby!

  7. Denise says:

    Love your integrity in all you do!! Balance in life is essential and your living proof! Thank you !!
    p.s I loved the comment about “food religion”.

  8. Peg says:

    Love the bright-eyed baby!

    I always enjoy reading your viewpoints, but do not think you should get all stressed out with it–at least not at this time when you are a brand new daddy.

    Keep the pictures coming 🙂

  9. Yvonne says:

    He is sooo cute!!!! I envy you!

    Is arguing healthy? Of course not!

  10. Kristin says:

    Yeah, arguing – With A Sense of Humor! can be both fun and healthy…in my opinion.

  11. Jeannie says:

    Your baby boy,Hudson is such an alert baby. The way he holds his fingers and head shows he is strong.
    I have a Masters in Child Development and studied Infant development.
    There is no one perfect diet .I am also studying nutrition . I studied raw nutrition too.I feel you picked the perfect diet for Hudson’s growth and later development.You have great judgement and expert advice.
    There are pros and cons to every nutritional regime.~

  12. Roberta says:

    Kevin, you are a beacon of hope in this world, thank you. I truly value you honesty and ethics in all that you do. I do eat all raw vegan, and I don’t believe everyone else needs to. We were each created unique. And, we are also growing and changing every day, so listen to the body and what it needs and honor that. We are all evolving and changing beings, thank goodness. Thank you Kevin!?

  13. Gerry says:

    Congrats on yr new baby! Re the discussion of the merits of a vegan diet, you have been a strong advocate of it, and made a lot of money promoting it. That is why people are suprised you filp flopped on the issue.

  14. esther says:

    I raised two sons now 18 and 17 before I became raw vegan 7 years ago. The key phrase to me when it comes to parenting and food choices is “Stay Flexible.” Change is a constant, and no matter how you want your kids to eat they will eventually determine what their preference is on their own. I like that my kids are half like me and half like my ex the “carnivore.” Living in a world with less negative judgements would help us all.

    Hudson looks especially curious in that photo and how perfect that is! Congrats to you both again; you’re great parents!

    esther

  15. Darcia says:

    Please disable comments when people want to argue. Turn it off because it is NOT healthy. I appreciate the fact that you listen to your body and make YOUR nutritional decisiions.

    Thank you for all you do.

  16. Liane Valentine says:

    Angry and critical thoughts are worse for our body than a bit of cooked pumpkin soup!

    My belief is:
    “Raw is best…bless the rest! and the odd crap food binge has its place in keeping me humble amongst my ‘not so food aware’ friends.

    Congrats on your beautiful baby boy!

  17. woodyj says:

    Hey! Love…

    Renegade health!

    I don’r care if you were weston -price I still like ya!

    We need healthy whole foods we need to build mass to turn this around. We need a big tent.

    We need ethical food production. And we need ethical animal husbandry.

    Ain’t wasting time on food religions.

    I love vegan food, I love raw food….. but tired that many vegans have an unhealthy diet. get your own house in order before knocking others.

    Let the haters fall to the way side.

  18. sue says:

    OH! Hudson looks so very alert! I can’t decide who he resembles more. Thanks so very much & keep those pics coming! Personally, I think arguing is..worthless.
    sue

  19. Faye says:

    Thanks for commenting about the fish oil. I will look forward to hearing more.
    In regards to the “arguing”, I think there is a difference between arguing and discussing!
    Some comments I read on some blogs are simply rude and come across argumentative. When I see these posts, I wonder what they eat because if what they do is causing them to have these reactions, I certainly wouldn’t want to follow in their footsteps!
    I agree with Kevin that arguing is a waste of time and steals from you mentally and emotionally. Discussing, on the other hand, is a totally different experience, which I enjoy.

  20. Jean says:

    As usual, you are a voice of reason and sanity, not dogma. Keep the pictures coming!

  21. Henrik says:

    I get a little sad when I read this. It’s just getting ugly.

    Perhaps it’s me being nostalgic. But I miss the old renegade health.
    For me those shows weren’t about promoting raw food, it was about you guys spreading your positive loving energy into the world. I really miss that. Especially wednesday in the kitchen.

    I understand that thing change and you feel the need to change lifestyle and move on to other things. And it’s much harder doing interesting shows when you are more or less settled in one place.
    I still read your articles from time to time, but I don’t feel the passion and so much of the positive energy there anymore. It has nothing to do with you not being vegan or raw fooders anymore. I just don’t feel an urge to go to the site every day like I used to. Perhaps others do though!

    You are such loving and positive people. I’m sure your kid will grow up to be a fantastic person.

    Warm regards and best wishes,
    Henrik

  22. Eric Rivkin says:

    I feel its healthy to inquire and present information kindly, to seek truth, and healthy to agree to disagree.

    You mention

    “It’s easier to have a healthy [cooked, I presume] vegan baby than a healthy raw baby. I’m still concerned about brain development for some — since the baby is developed in mom’s belly and mom might be deficient….be sure to test your omega-3 levels”

    I disagree because there is plenty of peer-reviewed evidence (from the ones you so kindly call “geeks”) that Omega-3’s, 6’s and all other essential fatty acids are in MORE than sufficient amounts in a raw vegan diet that include soaked and ground whole chia seeds, flax, and walnuts. Omega-3’s are essential for brain development and the data on chia shows it provides more than enough Omega-3’s when consumed often enough. Evidence proves that processing and heating plant foods that contain Omega 3 turns this EFA rancid and toxic when heated. Its why European countries BANNED ground flax seed. Raw vegan rocks!

    • Dear Eric,

      I think you will be interested in the fact that research has shown that the omega-3 fatty acids in chia (Salvia columbariae and S. hispanica) survive the heat of cooking. This is due to the high amount of antioxidants found co-occuring with the essential fatty acids. Some people are now adding chia to various cooked foods (such as breads and soups) to help offset the otherwise omega-6 rich content. That said, the unfortunate thing is that ALA (the omega-3 form found in plants) isn’t as bioactive as the longer-chain animal forms. In men (for example), the conversion rate from ALA to EPA/DHA is generally below 5%. That said, I still make it a point to consume plant foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Best wishes.

  23. Stacy says:

    I haven’t looked at the comments from the other day, but I have to say that I loved your previous article. I’ve been mulling it over for days as it’s something I’ve thought of before as the mother of two kids: The experimental nature of raw foods (and I’m a raw foodie too!).

    The one thing I’ve really appreciated about your work in recent years is your honesty and willingness to question, which speaks SO much more to me than dogmatism. I say keep up the good work and keep the dialog going.

    The truth of the matter is that most of the world does not want to and never will become raw vegan. People can still improve their health nonetheless in most cases if you’re looking at an SAD foundation.

    And DO get some sleep while you have the help of Ann’s mom!

    Hudson is awesomely cute! Enjoy while he’s a munchkin…

  24. Cherie says:

    Discussing and difference of opinion is good, arguing and being rude is uncalled for and never changed my mind. Hudson: SOOOO cute. Caption: Who ME???

  25. Aileen says:

    I raised 3 children on a vegan diet. They did extraordinarily well. I have been a vegan for over 40 years and have never been sick. None of my children are vegan now, although I am still raw vegan. My children have more health issues now but I feel it’s more because they have not been conscientious about their diet. I am about to be a grandmother (YAY!) and I would imagine my son and daughter-in-law won’t raise their son as a vegan but hopefully they will be on top of it, as you are. Raw food Veganism is not the only way to go. It is for me but everyone has to do what is right for them. I don’t believe there should be any judgment. No one has all the answers. I am sure you are and will continue to be amazing parents and your beautiful child will grow and thrive. You have a wealth of information and are open to constant learning. You are great.
    Congratulations!

  26. Jeff says:

    Arguing is never any fun. I enjoy exploring everyone’s point of view involved because ultimately there are so many ways to go about life, it’s tough to say that anyone is right or wrong. It goes much deeper than that. Good intentions. Everyone thrives. Everyone wins. Thanks for being real Kevin and Annmarie. It is so refreshing to see you bring your child into our world so lovingly and consciously. Lots of love.

  27. Aditi says:

    It’s a basic human impulse to do everything you possibly can to protect your baby from anything. That impulse trumps any other belief system you may have held up until the advent of your child into your life. So while I am admittedly quite surprised by the meat eating that went into Annmarie’s prenatal diet and I possibly would not go the same route myself, I can understand the basic human impulse that governed it. And I really appreciate their candor in being open about what they did. Everybody has the right to do what they think is best for their child without being judged. It’s hard to have such a personal aspect of your life under public scrutiny. You can decide whether or not their decisions are in sync with your own life and whether you want to continue to use them as role models but you cannot question and berate them for what they think is fundamentally healthy for their own child. Parenting is just about doing the best you can with whatever information you have at your disposal at that point in time and what your instincts tell you.

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy and may he continue to grow and flourish.

  28. Kathy says:

    Arguing is a waste of time and energy…

  29. Thankful says:

    Hey Kevin,

    I’m so thankful for your work. It has been such a blessing to me over the last few years.

    Ignore the haters and do please keep sharing your pregnancy and birth experiences and lessons with us. I have learned so much from you over the years, and as I’d like to have children soon, I very much hope to rely on the good sources and experts that you can point us to. (And I’ll keep buying your great RH products!)

    After a few years of a nearly totally raw food, vegan diet (well rounded with supplements, regular blood testing and working with two doctors – I wasn’t playing around), my health suffered and I’m now working with a holistic nutritionist.

    I can say that your work alone spared me months of self-loathing and dogma-induced guilt for having strayed from what I thought was the best diet on earth. And what many gurus I followed state is the only healthy diet for everyone…

    So thank you. You’re the best. Truly. Thanks for being authentically you.

    I don’t know if you will ever know the great impact you’re having on the world, but do know that you’ve changed my life.

    • Jenn says:

      Thankful, I am interested in your story. What are you eating now and what happened with your health while on a raw plant-based eating plan? Thanks for any info.

  30. Marie says:

    Love you guys! I admire you and respect your non dogmatic position on food. Hudson is a beautiful baby! I graduated from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I am certified through the AADP as a holistic health counselor. People can have opinions and disagree, there is never a need to be nasty though. I eat a heavily plant based diet, mostly raw veggies in the summer, a little fish and organic cage free straight from the farmer eggs, with raw goat cheese and only pasteurized goat yogurt. In the colder months I eat more cooked foods: baked root veggies, soups, gluten free grains, beans, and lightly sauteed veggies. It works for me. My children however also eat a little organic local grass fed beef and organic free range local chicken. They need the meat, they crave it and do well with it. I can’t digest meat. We need to be intuitive, respondible individuals and listen to our bodies and our be conscious of our families needs as well.

  31. Carrie says:

    Two points: one more critical, the other more positive

    (1) The only thing I object to is when you say that vegetarian/vegan isn’t possible for all. (I’m excluding raw diets here.)

    The American Diatetic Association did a meta-analysis of studies on the vegetarian and vegan diets from birth through adult, and found that a WELL-PLANNED diet was nutritionally adequate. This is their official position, and as a reminder, this is a scientific organization. You can read it here: http://www.eatright.org/about/content.aspx?id=8357

    No offense to you or to your referring to Dr. Ritamarie as the expert with the final answer (who I love, btw), but your or her opinions of what is and isn’t possible for whether a vegan diet is nutritionally adequate doesn’t hold a candle to a rigorous analysis of the many, many studies out there on the topic. It’s just too easy for the subjective opinion of a clinical practionner to claim that so and so was eating balanced diet, when in reality they weren’t. The beauty of scientific studies that you can rigorously determine whether this is or isn’t the case through the design of a balanced diet to meet all needs AND THEN medical testing to verify health.

    Objectivity rules over subjective experience, especially since it is easily to eat an imbalanced vegan diet and not know it.

    (2) But I love your honesty :). Enjoy your baby!

  32. Deborah Riley says:

    [off topic but thanks for not buying New Chapter anymore with the P&G buy. I stopped buying them too, a shame they sold out.]

  33. kat says:

    Arguing is great if you have an appetite for stress, which I do not. So I’ll take a nice big serving of calm. YUM!

    What a beautiful baby! Wishing you much love and light on your new journey as parents!

  34. Peta says:

    Thank you Kevin for your very balanced and researched ideas. I enjoy reading your blog and stay subscribed because of this at a time i have unsubscribed to many other raw food blogs because of the “food religion” attitude.

    We just learnt the hard way its not a good idea to be too pedantic with diet. My grand daughter is now 9 months old. My daughter has a what i would call a really healthy diet. Mostly raw vegan and cooked vegan. Lots of Green smoothies, green juices, beans, lentils,salads,vegetables, nuts and seeds. After a very healthy pregnancy and first few months at 5 months old she stopped putting on weight. Her head and length continued to grow. My daughter did everything she could to increase her milk supply but nothing worked and then she started giving her organic goat baby formula and she is now thriving. Puting on weight. She is still breastfed twice a day. i was so worried about it but seeing the results I’m sorry we took so long to do it because of our belief that animal products were not good.

    It just reminds me that balance in all things is important.

  35. Caroline says:

    I have been signed up to many nutrition or health newsletters over the years and I have unsubscribed from all but two (your being one) I love reading about your journey, inqiury and practical learning. You do not theroise that one nutrition path is ‘correct’ you test it for yourself and test the results (for you as an individual)

    Your blog has been a great help to me. I have been on a similar path where I have discovered over the years that any fanatical eating system just does not suit me (be it vegan, 100% raw or high meat based diets)

    In my head I want to be vegan, high raw vegan, but my body needs animal protein to thrive. I cannot fight that, it is how it is. I have adjusted my diet to my body (not some ‘guru’ diet who may or may not follow their own advise anyway) and I thrive. My results show I thrive.

    While your honesty may have lost you a few hot headed readers, I hope in time it will gain you a thousand times more. You are a voice of reason in an increasingly dogmatic health arena. We are all individual, so individual points of view are normal and to be acknowledged. However what nutritionally works for one person may not work for another.

    Raw, raw vegan or even committed Atkins follower, follow your own path and do right by your own body (and avoid fanatical ‘gurus’) But I believe that Kevin is correct in recommending testing, only then can you see if your chosen diet works or whether it is a time bomb for future issues.

    Kevin and Ann Maire, Hudson is beautiful, much love to you all.

  36. Claudia says:

    First, the “milk monster” is so cute! Second, I enjoy your information because I believe your goal is to eat as healthy as possible and you want to educate us on how to do that. Sometimes when a person chooses solely to follow one way of doing things, that person becomes obsessive and feels that they are following the only way of doing something…hence a cult. There are varieties of ways to eat and each has it’s merits so I happy that you are trying to eat the way that you feel is healthy for you and your family. I found it was too difficult as a diabetic to eat totally vegan. I eat very little dairy–eggs, yogurt, and some cheese (goat). I also eat some fish but only sustainable. Keep teaching us the health way and do the best you can with your diet. Thanks, Kevin and Annemarie, for all the good information.

  37. LynnCS says:

    I think a lot of people say they don’t “like arguing,” to avoid dealing with a difference of opinion. Perhaps they, maybe not you, just don’t want to negotiate or reasonably work through an issue where there are differing options. I was married to a man like that. Whatever we needed to discuss, he said I was “against” him, and he would walk out of the room. It was his way or the highway..Eventually I took the highway!!

  38. barbara says:

    I have flexed a bit myself, trying to rid myself from carb and sugar cravings. Experimenting with dense proteins as suggested by Julia Ross. It seems to work. If I am going to suggest things to my clients, I have to test it out on myself. Arguing, why elevate your stress hormones?
    An arguing raw foodie I know sneaks off to Burger King for greasy fries so I have heard. Well, you don’t know what the “on the soapbox” raw foodies REALLY eat do you? Take their word with a gain on salt.
    Cute little guy, Hudson.

  39. Laura says:

    Once again congratulations to you and Ann Marie on the birth of Hudson. He is absolutely adorable!

    As far as your question of the day, I think a respectful debate can be enlightening and entertaining but an actual argument by it’s very nature seems hurtful and energy sucking.

    As far as raising a vegan baby vs not, I raised 3 mostly vegan kids that are now (as far as I can tell at this time) healthy adults (with good teeth). We ate primarily a whole foods, macrobiotic style diet with plenty of greens (raw & cooked). But we did not live in a vacuum and they visited relatives and friends, after a certain age, and ate whatever they wanted out of the house. They all ate lots of junk food in their late teens and early twenties but now as they are in their late twenties & early thirties their diets are becoming more vegetarian/vegan and whole food again.

    I think we all worry way too much about food when creating a warm, loving and accepting home is much more important to overall health.

    I also think if you have a true craving for something then that needs to be addressed. If you eat a whole foods diet and you want to eat an egg or flesh then my guess would be you need that. During one of my pregnancies I started to crave turkey (something I hadn’t eaten in years) so my midwife and I worked on getting more protein in me and I ate some fish & egg, that seemed to fix it. That child, btw, is my protein lover and had the hardest time adhering to a vegan diet while growing up!

    Thanks so much for your honesty!

  40. There seems to be a lot of confusion
    about what nutritional plan is best
    for the human species. The best answer
    is to take into consideration the
    physiology of the human body….It is designed
    to have whole foods with fiber. Animal
    products do not contain fiber. The human gut
    is designed to take foods with fiber which
    act as a broom to keep it clean. When humanity
    was first created the foods given by the creator
    was “plants, fruits, seeds, herbs. etc”…We
    were not told to eat the animals. There are
    many aspects to look at and the best for many
    of my infants and mothers and their children
    was the well balanced vegan dietary plan which
    is best designed by an experienced professional.

  41. Brenda says:

    Arguing, no, but sharing facts and respecting the others opinion, yes. And if done right, you may learn something. What one decides to feed themselves and children is strictly up to the individual. Being too rigid in your choices with no flexibilty is not only unnecessary, it can be a sign of hardened arteries and heart disease. Hooray you are tired of the critics, you have much more love to share and enjoy now.

  42. Rose says:

    Your “honesty” is lagging. Had you reported your [emerging] dietary changes alonng the way as they occurred (i.e. your hiding animal products in your shopping cart under your produce), especially during the gestational period, it would have been both more thought-provoking and honest.

    I find your “parallel analogy” of fibbing to your mom about how many beers you drank on various occasions while in high school and your after-Hudson’s-birth admission of fairly drastic dietary changes for you and Ann Marie somewhat still-immature and discordant; as much as I have enjoyed your research, advocacy for healthy lifestyle, etc., I’m starting to think I need to wait six months or so for you to be totally up front with your readers.

    Am I arguing? No! I have always been an advocate for people finding what is right for themselves. No judgment! But come on…since you are “in the business” and give daily updates, I would encourage you to more readily tell us what is on your plate!

    All that said, I know you will be feeding your handsome and very alert-looking son way better than many of my birth-giving family and friends!

    So, love to you both (while I reapportion part of my budget to stay always-supplied with products from your store, especially Ann Marie’s skin care products!).

  43. ana says:

    I’m unsubscribing to your site. Their are plenty of other health sites that are more helpful and consistent.

  44. Donaji says:

    Thanks for your logic Kevin, that’s what I love about this blog, it just makes sense, every time. I gotta say though, like someone else said, I do miss the shows and videos. I think the “energy” is sometimes lost in reading so much information. The videos brought laughter and we were able to SEE you guys…but I understand that change is good 🙂 I’m still here, enjoying Renegade Health and supporting you guys.

    I think debating is healthy, it sparks conversation, triggers the brain, thoughts, points of views and sometimes changes all of that and opinions. Fighting and arguing in circles with a closed mind, raising stress levels and keeping and giving bad energy is not good.

    Hudson is just adorable, can’t tell who he looks like more but I can definitely see you both in his cute face!

  45. Selina says:

    Ugh! I know the feeling of getting sick and tired of internet arguing! Yes, take a deep breath and just ignore, it seems to be the only sensible solution these days.

    I’m vegan and I’m still here 🙂 You’re baby is adorable, and I wish you the best!

    I was wondering about one thing though, what are your opinions on vegan omega supplements? Have you heard about Opti’3? It’s a vegan fishfriendly DHA/EPA supplement, and the new version contains 200mg EPA and also full daily dose of vegan vitamin D3, I think it’s awesome 🙂

  46. Sarah says:

    Hi Kevin and Ann and little Hudson!

    Intelligent discussion – where the participants listen carefully to one another and exchange ideas and opinions – is vital for making progress and learning. So please don’t let nasty comments get you stressed. Those who cannot make comments without getting stroppy probably need more B vitamins and flax oil LOL!!!

    Re: vegan/raw etc. After studying nutrition now for over three years I have come to the conclusion that many differences of opinion about what is the correct diet for them and for other people is based not on physiology but on psychology. Some people FEEL better when they eat raw, others FEEL better when they eat meat. Is this a psychological response or a physiological response? Have there ever been any independent studies done on this?

    I personally don’t eat meat any more (only fish on the odd occasion) and have radically reduced my intake of dairy. I KNOW that my hormones have benefitted as my body has responded positively to the changes. Right now, I could not go back to eating either red meat or chicken. But who knows, in a few years time, I might change my mind. I can’t see it happening though but you never know. I have come to respect animals far more than I did and I cannot imagine eating them again.

    I used to hunt with my husband but can no longer go and watch animals being shot. I’ve ‘been there and done that’. I’ve shot animals, cooked them and eaten them. Perhaps if everyone had to go and kill their meat to eat, we would have far less meat-eaters?!

    From the ‘creation’ side, God allowed man to eat meat after the flood of Noah. But this is not to say that it was the ideal thing to do – there was actually little choice at that time.

    I agree with Dr Halannah Matthew though in that our digestive system was not designed for food that excluded fibre. That in of itself is a true indication of what our diet should be like. Yes, we can digest small quantities of meat and we can remain healthy on that BUT I truly believe that we can be healthy without animal products.

    @Kevin, when you posted your article on Ann’s diet whilst pregnant I got the impression that you consumed meat as a ‘fail-safe’ mechanism? I’m obviously reading between the lines and I might be wrong but did you lose confidence in vegetarianism/veganism because now you were responsible for a new life in this world? Whatever your feelings were, you chose the route that you felt best for Mum and Baby and no-one can criticise you for that.

    I take my hat off to you for being so honest with your feelings and decisions – it must take some soul-searching. Very few people can do that.

    I loved Dr Rita Marie’s insert – extremely informative. Thanks.

  47. i wish you a wonderful time* <3 kevin you doing a great job. maybe you need just some year of renegade health and put other in the battle.

    ITs a hard job you doing. i think i wish you lot of free mind and tohughts. and that you get more of the fire of the health scene 🙂

    maybe just move with your little family to the wilderness and relax. and change your focus on reporting.

    i wish oyu a wonderful time 🙂

    forgive my for the spelling and grammar!

  48. Sarah says:

    Kevin you continue to be an insightful and intelligent blogger. Arguing is not healthy. Discussions, debates and information exchange are healthy. To Kuru: It’s Kevin’s blog and he certainly has the right to not allow negative or critical comments. These are neither constructive or healthy. One can disagree in a polite manner and I think this is all he asks for.

  49. Kira says:

    Baby is a beauty! He’s so lovely and I’m so happy truth came with him also.
    For more than 20 years I’ve been vegetarian, and that almost killed me few times.
    For more than 2 years I’ve been totaly raw and it almost ruined my thyroid gland.

    And my main problem was if I start to eat meat my spiritual life will fly trough the window.

    But life is more than that. And the thing that drives me mad is that old mantra “I’m not going to kill”. Well, you don’t kill animals, but you’re killing the plants. How come the plants are not considered as life forms? How can all vegans kill plants and feel so good and pure about it? And why are vegans so fundamentalistic?

    We are all different and I don’t understand the people who religiously follow someone elses programs even for the cost of ruin their own health. David Wolfe is a great man and I love so much his work, but he said so many times that he cooks his mushrooms, and that he eats ants (which is great Chinese food, I’ve tried is myself for few months). So killing the mushroom (his famous chaga hunting) is not considered as killing?

    For now I’m building my metabolic system with raw eggs, sheep and goose fat (aha, when I think “fat” I’m not thinking about coconuts and olive oil, shame on me).

    But one thing interests me the most. You’ve had the courage to say the truth, but at the same time you market the Gersons tapes. Ok, I know they are valuable, but not for all of us, many of us. Can you say Gerson way is one way to health, but there are others that may be better for that and that type of body?
    Or is the “it’s the Gersons (Wolfes, Weeds, D’Adamos) way or no way”?

  50. Suzy says:

    everyone that commented negative needs to take a chill pill. What ever happened to live and let live according to ones conscience. Dont judge people , love them for who they are. Anger and stress kills the immune system. Good on you Anne Marie and Co. for loveing your baby enough to care what happens. Love your web site. Cheers, Suzy

  51. IdaFish says:

    AAAAH!!!! I LOVE THE PHOTO! Awesome 😀

  52. Deborah says:

    Thanks for sharing all the cute pictures. Hudson is adorable.
    Sending you all happiness and love.
    Deb
    P.S. Hi Annmarie! :o) Hope you’re doing great!!!!

  53. Deborah says:

    Hi Kevin, I love your honesty! I love your flexibility. I believe that is healthy! Arguing is not healthy. Discussion and communication are healthy. Understanding is healthy. Empowering others is healthy.

    You rock! :o)

    Have a beautiful day!
    Deb

  54. Nicola G says:

    I am not sure how old Hudson is in the picture, but he is already holding up his head! Strong little fella! Be encouraged, you and only you decide what goes in your body. God has made these incredible bodies and given us the brains to make decisions. Do not let others get to you! Keep up the good work, your gift is seeking out truths and sharing them! Thank you and many blessings to you and your precious family!

  55. Paula says:

    Wow!!!!
    Congratz on the baby!!!! and let the haters hate, it’s what they do… don’t allow them in your bubble. Having a baby is tiring hard work without letting all the psycho, jealous, haters in your life.
    I’m moved by what Dr. RitaMarie said because that is the case with my baby. I was raw about a year before being pregnant, then changed to cooked/raw vegan, and continued that way until I had my son. My failure to breastfeed led me to do a lot of research on milk substitutes, and I ended up making my own formula. He’s now 16 months old and thriving, loves his green smoothies, raw fruits and veggies and also cooked goodies, with sprouted grains and such. I delayed introducing grains until now and I also fed him eggyolks (well-cooked though) since he was 5 months. Now he eats whole eggs no problem and keep growing amazingly, barely gets sick… BUT, I’m with you in not knowing if what I’m doing is truly working, until I see his whole life, both with his own food choices and what can be the reasons for him to pass away in his old age. I sometimes compare him to other children his age because I still feel the stigma of not breastfeeding, so I think, “look that child is chubbier, may be if mine was breastfed he’d be bigger, or stronger or healthier”, just because there’s that forever present myth of “bigger is healthier”. Then my hubby points out “Our child had no vaccines, he’s understanding of language is astounding even though he doesn’t speak yet, he’s gotten sick 3 times in 1 1/2 year with a stuffy nose and is the most awake and active child we’ve ever known, do stop worrying”. Not only that, he’s taller than all the other kids his age, lol. So I keep worrying as a mom would do, and keep researching and changing whatever needs to change and fixing whatever needs fixing when it comes to his health and nutrition. (btw, although i kept thinking i wasn’t eating “healthy” during my pregnancy because i was eating cooked, it was a beautiful pregnancy, with zero to nil morning sickness and none of the so common “ills” of pregnancy, no edema, no emotional rollercoaster, no pain, etc, etc.;)
    Thanks for inspiring and sharing all this. It really “brought it home” to me. Congratz on the beautiful baby!!! And have a wonderful week!!!!

  56. Christine says:

    One of the reasons I keep coming back to you is your honesty.
    Forget people who cannot handle that. Fanatical dogma is a dangerous thing.

    Thanks for all the great info.
    I’ll keep reading.

  57. Marianne says:

    I subscribe here because Kevin is personable, the information is researched, and because I am interested in health. If you subscribe because you think he should be a God, and now you don’t because he isn’t, then you have been searching in the wrong place. He’s just a guy. But he’s one of the good ones, and I appreciate that he’s here and doing this. He not only pulls together the best information he can find, he searches out and finds important stuff and shares it freely. He also shares himself and his life. It’s all a good thing.
    Pregnancy and childrearing are phases of life so important that no one has the right live by dogma alone. A human man and woman are allowed to (must, actually) make choices that seem right, even when they generally would like to choose another way. It must have been hard for them to choose outside of their known set of expectations. None of us knows everything, and even if we did, tomorrow we would be different, and we’d still have to make adjustments.
    I don’t know why people think that they can be horrible to Kevin (or to anyone else) just because no one can see them. Chances are that they would not think of acting that way in person. If they did, no one would take them seriously anyway, because bad behavior trumps even a legitimate point of view.
    I love to read the comments here because people are generally good natured, interested in well-being and sometimes I learn some things here too. I like hearing the various voices on topics important to me.
    As to the question: I love a well-informed discussion. I hate confrontation though, so no arguement for me. Even debate generally results in, actually is designed so that, people entrench themselves in their side and defend against the other. Can’t we just have a conversation? The difference is that in a conversation we invite difference because it provides interest, and we absorb and assimilate the new viewpoint. We are free to assemble the new branches of information in any way that is pleasing. Many times this sparks new insight. The key is not trying to force your point, but exploring it. Another key is being generous in understanding what the other person wants to communicate so that you can rationally shape your own mind and the topic.

  58. elainie says:

    He’s beautiful- keep up the good work. keep researching, refining etc; growing strong kids isn’t the same as detoxing a body. Different materials required. Don’t let the haters get you down.

  59. Eve says:

    THANK YOU for:

    – your open mind

    – your caring heart

    – your willingness to learn & grow

    – your commitment to health

    – your commitment to peace

    Is arguing healthy?

    Sharing opinions, and differences in opinion is healthy and productive… but opinion-bashing is so much the wrong kind of stress, I think, for both the giver and the receiver. It’s easy to bitch-slap strangers in an anonymous forum like the internet, but ultimately that tends to make both sides dig their heels in, and where is the learning in that? I’m betting it elevates cortisol and other stress hormones to unhealthy levels, too.

    SO I really appreciate your calm way of handling all this…

  60. Nicole - Australia says:

    Oh, how beautiful! Hudson looks so alert. Dont worry about the storys. MORE PHOTOS!!!!!
    Bless you all

  61. Stephanie says:

    Kevin, I’m not an expert on anything, but here are some of my thoughts. I think raw diet fails because it’s simply inefficient for our bodies. Human species evolved by controlling fire and eating cooked foods. All raw diet is, as you said, experimental, and is very difficult to maintain for most people (including myself) without the capability of digesting so much raw fibers. It is in our nature that we favor high-calorie foods, such as meat & dairy. In case of pregnancy, women want more calories, of course. Perhaps that’s why Annmarie felt good with animal foods in her diet.
    The paleo/ancestral fads think fat & protein is what we want, but it really is the carbohydrates. It has been observed that children of prediabetic mothers are smarter – thanks to the extra glucose provided. All around the globe, it has always been about getting sufficient calories. And the best source seems to be starh.
    🙂

  62. Uzuri says:

    I am a certified herbalist and have studied herbs for over 15 years. Plants are beneficial to our health in more ways than one can fathom. Yet, with the plethora of species of herbs that exist do you really think I will argue with another herbalist about an herb if it can save someone’s life? No, I would not because I still have a lot to learn about herbs and their uses – to me that is just silly! Yes, it is healthy to argue! Being angry is not bad either! The key to our emotions is being masters of them and not letting them master us! Though as draining as it might be discord can lead the way to peace. Now, arguing over which lifestyle is best for others is silly! That is as personal and individual as clothes and sex! I have read the comments on this page and find them interesting. I have and always will know that moderation is the key. Whether you eat meat, dairy, raw, vegan or vegetarian over doing it consistently is taxing on the body system. That is why knowing your body system is MOST important! Only you know what your individual body system can tolerate or cannot tolerate. Not to mention for some eating is cultural and sacred and for those reasons individual choices are made as to what to eat and what not to eat. That decision should never be left to others outside of ourselves. And to be quite frank, is it really anyone’s business? I take this principle seriously when advising my clients. It is always their decision to take my suggestions or not. My job is to simply educate them to the best of my knowledge and expertise, so they can make an informed decision about their health. Personally I do not like labels. That is why I believe we all should simply be aware of what we are putting in our bodies and make our decisions accordingly. That’s it and that’s all. The rest will take care of itself. Besides, who are we to judge any one on matters as personal as this any way? Kevin and Annmarie congratulations on the new soul that choose to come through you, I’m sure he made the right choice!! Peace and Love to you all.

  63. SS says:

    Ha! Ha! Hilarious comment on your milk monster! Just goes to show, being a parent changes everything. Glad you are always thinking and not so ridgid with your life. Life is always changing and so are we all. No one is perfect and there is no cookie-cutter diet, life, etc. I also wish you would have shared your thoughts on Anne Marie’s diet as you went along – you had good reasons for what you guys did with your decisions and that’s what matters! Your followers should respect that and not judge so harsh. Bottom Line–you eat and live a healthy life, share the ups and downs and that’s that!! Best wishes with the little one.

  64. joe says:

    the wise keep silence the clever talks the stupid argues. remember: the brain made of saturated fat and cholesterol not oil.dairy products are the wrong formula for people.dairy have to much phosphorus which draws calcium out of the bones to balance itself [osteoporosis]my vegetarian friend used lots of dairy and had a bad stroke.the bacteria in yoghurt digest the milk sugar but the liver turn it back into an other form of sugar galactose,which feeds the yeast bacteria in your body.our ancestors followed the herd of animals their sorse of food that is how they spread all over the world.thay did not have B12 dificiency.

  65. Mike says:

    Keep up the good work. I think you are doing a great job. Everbody is different and so is their dietary needs, just listen to your body and it can tell you want it wants and needs. Our bodies are intelligent and adaptive especially when healthy.

  66. Zak M-K says:

    Discussions and debates are healthy, arguing is not. The former is devoid of personal attacks and knee jerk reactions. Something that a lot of people need to learn how to do in the health community!

    Great post Kevin!

  67. Liz says:

    Excellent!! I’ve just found this post and have to say well done! I hate that people pigeon hole themselves into a particular diet label and feel like they must stay true to their label at all costs. I think we should get rid of the labels and just eat for health, whatever it may be that your body needs at that time.

    Keep up the excellent work, Hudson is one lucky boy to have such smart parents 🙂

  68. Ida says:

    I really enjoyed reading this today. I love your sane approach to food. Sometimes people get zealous and passionate, which is great, however, if judgement creeps in, they just get creepy. We are all different, with different needs at different times. Certainly, raw food is a healing, cleansing diet. During pregnancy maybe more of a building diet is needed. I loved Dr. Ritamaries input. Happy, healthy new year to you, Annamarie , and Hudson.

  69. I would like to thank you for sharing, especially about every person’s body being indiviual and the needs specific for that person. There is indeed alot of information out on the internet to be found and knowing what works well for each of us personally is certainly the best way to go. Thanks for the information that you provide and agruing is not beneficial only disagreeing in a caring manner.

    BC

  70. Dave Bowland says:

    Honest argumentation or polemics is very healthy. It’s how we gain higher levels of knowledge. It’s how progress is made. But it requires listening as well as talking. It requires a commitment to logic and actual evidence rather than hearsay and anecdotal evidence. It requires taking an honest look at what someone else says and then respond honestly to it and consider it in the best light. It requires that you are seeking truth and knowledge rather than “winning”.
    Unfortunately a dichotomy is often set up, as it is here by many people, of either saying arguing is a waste of time and thus avoiding every discussing opposing views or arguing for the sake of arguing or to Win the argument at all costs. Therefore honest people will often be attacked when they “change their mind” and so the next time they are presented with new evidence they won’t really consider it because they don’t want to be dismissed again. My views on health have changed, and they will continue to evolve, i am sure. but only based on new evidence and i can tell you exactly why and the progression of my views. I am proud of that growth, although many have attacked me for “changing my mind”. So of course any dogma is always anathema to knowledge.

  71. Dangermouse says:

    If you don’t wean young Hudson and “unhappy meal” I will unsubscribe! Hee Hee (Trolls be gone)

    I really hope that line brought a smile to your face. Oh and if someone knows some crazy person who has fed their babies “Mac Attacks” ( as our family calls them) please don’t reply. As far as I’m concerned that is a crime punishable by death. “Off with their heads” I say.

    On a serious note the photo above of baby Hudson brought such a warmth in my heart, like a mini solar flare. Babies do that too me EVERY time.

    Well this is the time when you look back on your life and wonder what you were doing before your beautiful bundle of joy came into your lives. Life just gets better from hereon so enjoy, enjoy and enjoy every living moment.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 Gianni family!

    Love and light from Dangermouse
    Looking forward to more photos and a video maybe… 😉

  72. Hudson looks extremely bright and alert. However, what look like bags under his eyes make me wonder if he has allergies.

  73. Annie Millett says:

    I don’t believe arguing is ever helpful, however a thoughtful discussion is. If you are emotionally attached to proving your point of view, and get angry at anyone that doesn’t agree with you, then this is not helpful. However if you share your point of view with an open mind, knowing that not all will agree, or have the same life experience, then discussion can be food for thought for many, and a very welcome thing to do.

    I personally no longer follow some raw food vegan “guru’s” because of their narrow view points and there ease of putting down others that don’t agree with them. One of the reasons I still get your emails is because you are honest enough to admit that you have changed your points of view, and are willing to look at all sides of an issue. I respect that.

    I was also vegetarian for almost 10 years, and most of those during the times I was raising my children. With all the study and research I’ve done, I would never raise a child I loved raw vegan, not if I want them to be healthy and intelligent. I am much more a proponent of Weston A. Price, and Paleo type eating. It has a history that I respect. I’ve also found it works better in my body, and after all, I’m the only real expert on how to eat for me. I have no problem with those that do otherwise.

    My children are all grown now and ages 22 to 31. They were all born at home, with a midwife for the first 5, and my husband being the midwife on the 6th. They were also not immunized, breast fed until they weaned themselves, and are all healthy and very intelligent, kind, loving people. What more could a parent ask?

    Thank you Kevin and Annmarie for all you do with your newsletter. Hudson is a doll, and blessed to have you as parents.

  74. Jillian says:

    When I read the comment that gentleman wrote about not following you anymore, I didn’t see it as an argument, I just saw it as some form of natural selection. We have the same thing in our company, we have a philosophy/brand/worldview, and we are most successful at accomplishing our goal of helping others when we are reaching people that share those same credentials. We cannot please everyone and if we tried we would dilute what is already unique and special about what we provide to our clients. As much as it bothers me to encounter people that reject my way of doing things, I have to remember that there was nothing I could do for them anyway as long as that is their mindset. You do what you do best and those that benefit from it will follow and believe me, your followers want you spending time on what you do best, not wasting time trying to convince those that will never listen anyway.

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