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Spring 2017 / theholisticparent.ca


Life’s an Art… and a Science Creative Solutions and Effective Approaches to Encourage Personal Growth and Family Wellness

Limestone’s professional services focus on supporting positive and lasting change in the lives of individuals and families. We offer specialized services through a collaborative process. Individual psychotherapy Couple therapy Family therapy (parenting, nuclear, blended, extended) Grief and loss (individual, couple, and family) For a full list of services, please visit www.limestonecounselling.ca Limestone supports healthy change through • practical skill building to aid in shifting unproductive patterns; • psychoeducation to encourage an understanding of the context of behaviour; • emotional processing of losses and past hurts that may be blocking healthy responses. Limestone also provides consulting services and professional clinical supervision.

Phone inquiries welcome • 519-590-2220 lc@limestone counselling.ca • For secure email, please use the contact form on our website

610 Lancaster Street West Kitchener Professionally accredited Costs of services covered by employee benefit programs Healthy Home, School, and Work Environments


MILLENNIAL REBELS by April Scott-Clarke

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REGUL ARS

OUR TEAM Meet the writers that make this magazine awesome PAGE 4

UP FRONT Lemony goodness just in time for spring PAGE 6

PRODUCTS Eco-friendly products for birthing, big kids and mommas PAGE 8

COLUMNS

MIND Sweet Surrender PAGE 10

BODY Brain Gym on the Jungle Gym PAGE 12

SPIRIT Teen With A Dream PAGE 14

BACK PAGE Special Snowflakes PAGE 30

FEATURES

TRANSCENDING LANGUAGE BY HEIDI ARGYLE

A beginner’s guide to art therapy PAGE 21

THE ALLERGY PUZZLE BY DR. SARAH HAWTHORN

Piecing together why food allergies are on the rise PAGE 25

ON THE COVER The cover image was shot on location at Amber Allen’s home in Kitchener by Trent Sluiter of Fedora Media and directed by Erik Mohr of Made By Emblem.

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CLOTH REVOLUTION BY LAURIE DIWAKAR

Changing your tune on disposable diapers PAGE 28

Spring 2017 THE HOLISTIC PARENT

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UP FRONT | OUR TEAM

CONTRIBUTORS

HEIDI ARGYLE Art Therapist | Delton Glebe Counselling Centre Heidi is a practicing artist and art therapist. She is a graduate from the University of Western Ontario in art history and from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Currently, she is working full time practicing art therapy with a variety of populations in Hamilton, Brantford and at the Delton Glebe Counselling Centre (glebecounselling.ca) in Waterloo. Read her article Transcending Language on PAGE 21.

Volume 03, Issue 02 | Spring 2017

PUBLISHER | EDITOR Elaine Kapogines elaine@wiltshiremedia.ca ART DIRECTION

www.madebyemblem.com Erik Mohr (Creative Director)

LAURIE DIWAKAR Entrepreneur | Rearz Inc.

Ian Sullivan Cant (Graphic Designer) Sally Tan Soriano (Production)

Laurie Diwakar is a mother of three with more than 11 years of experience in the natural health industry.  As a motivated entrepreneur and the owner of Rearz Inc. (rearz.ca) in Waterloo, she has committed the last 10 years to developing, sourcing and testing a large range of washable options. Read Laurie’s article Cloth Revolution on PAGE 28.

ADVERTISING DESIGNER

Elizabeth Wise PHOTOGRAPHER

Trent Sluiter FEATURE WRITER

April Scott-Clarke

LEAH GARRAD-COLE Entrepreneur | Love Child Organics Leah Garrad-Cole is the founder of the highly successful Love Child Organics (lovechildorganics.com) brand of baby and children’s foods. Her first cookbook, It All Begins with Food, available April 25, 2017, is filled with recipes for everything a young family needs, from baby purees, finger foods and nutritious snacks, to family meals and healthier remakes of supermarket staples. An entrepreneur, mother and former special education teacher, Leah currently resides in Whistler, BC, with her husband and two young children. See Leah’s recipe for Lemon Coconut Macarron Nests on PAGE 6.

DR. SARAH HAWTHORN Naturopathic Doctor | Health In Balance Dr. Sarah Hawthorn is a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist, mom of two young children and co-owner of Health In Balance (health-in-balance.com) in Cambridge. She has a special interest in treating the pregnant and pediatric population and loves helping families live more holistically. Dr. Sarah has been voted the #1 Naturopathic Doctor in Cambridge annually since 2011 in the Cambridge Readers Choice Awards. Check out her piece The Allergy Puzzle on

CONTRIBUTORS

Heidi Argyle, Laurie Diwakar, Dr. Jen Forristal, Dr. Sarah Hawthorn, Jayne Hembruff, Leah Garrad-Cole, Nicole Schiener PROOFREADER

Lesley Wiltshire

PUBLISHED BY

www.wiltshiremedia.ca The Holistic Parent magazine is published three times per year. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher © 2017 Single copy price is free to all patrons of the Growing Up Healthy Show and is available through our over 50 community partners in the Waterloo Region, Wellington County and surrounding areas. Visit theholisticparent.ca for a list of distributors. ISSN 2368-6790 Publications Mail Agreement No. 42845523

PAGE 25.

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UP FRONT | RECIPE

LEMON COCONUT MACAROON NESTS

Children and adults alike love these macaroon nests, free of dairy, gluten, nuts and refined sugar, and topped with blueberry “eggs,” which makes them perfect served as dessert at a special Easter family brunch. Have your kids help you assemble them — they’ll be so proud to contribute to the special feast when their family and friends oooh and aaah over what they’ve helped to make. MAKES: 8 NESTS PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES + TIME TO CHILL AND COOL COOK TIME: 12–15 MINUTES

1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk (from a BPA-free can) 2 large egg whites 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp liquid honey, divided 1 tsp pure vanilla extract Pinch of sea salt 2 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice Zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon 1 cup fresh blueberries

1. The night before, place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a baking sheet.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites, 1/3 cup honey, vanilla, and salt for 1-2 minutes until frothy on top. This can easily be done by hand with a whisk.

4. Add the coconut and stir to combine. 5. Spoon the macaroon mixture onto the baking tray into eight mounds, a few inches apart. Use damp fingers to form the mounds into nest shapes by flattening them out, smoothing out the edges, then creating a well in the center of each, ensuring that there is still a good layer of coconut at the bottom of each well.

6. Place the nests in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. When they’re done, the bottom and edges will be dark golden brown and the centers will be just slightly sticky.

7. Allow them to cool on the baking tray. Place a bowl and beaters in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes. (You can use a stand mixer, or a bowl and a hand-held mixer.)

8. To make the lemon coconut cream, remove the bowl and beaters from the refrigerator.

9. Scoop out the firm coconut cream from the can (it should be separated from the coconut water) and put it into the chilled bowl. Discard the coconut water or save it for another use.

10. Whip the coconut cream until very fluffy.

11. Add the 2 tbsp honey and whip again until fully combined.

12. Keeping the beater on high, slowly add the lemon juice, a small trickle at a time.

13. Sprinkle in the lemon zest and beat for another 10 seconds or so.

14. Place the macaroon nests on individual dessert plates or together on a platter and fill each one with a dollop of the lemon coconut cream. Place blueberries on top of the coconut cream in each macaroon, so that they become the eggs in these pretty and festive nests. The macaroons can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time so that all you have to do before serving is make the lemon cream and top with blueberries.

Excerpted from It All Begins With Food by Leah Garrad-Cole. Copyright © 2017 Leah Garrad-Cole. Photography copyright © 2017 Janis Nicolay. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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THE HOLISTIC PARENT Spring 2017

Doula In A Box Not sure if a doula is right for you? Balancing From Birth to Baby has a great alternative where you get many of the benefits of the doula’s “stuff.” The Birth Box rental is distributed during the 37th week of pregnancy and includes a labour ball and mat, massage oil, massage knuckles, TENS machine, raspberry leaf tea, postpartum bath herbs and Rescue Remedy pastilles, rebozo scarf, hot/cold pack, hair clips and elastics and much much more! The box even comes with detailed instructions so your birthing partner will be ready for anything. $85 | balancingbirthbaby.com

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PRODUCTS | UP FRONT

Tent Time Mo & Grace Who doesn’t love a good tent? Good for inside or out, this high quality, handmade canvas teepee is great for kids of all ages. Standing approximately 5’ 5” in height, you can opt for a window, a fancy door, both or neither. All windows and doors come with tie-backs similar to a typical camping tent. (Poles not included.) $99.99 | moandgrace.com

Cereal Love Love Child Organics’ instant organic baby cereals are made with the goodness of healthy whole grains and one powerful superfood — the mighty chia. With simple, nutrient-rich ingredients and fortified with non-GMO iron and B vitamins, you and your baby are going to love them. $5.79 | lovechildorganics.com Lactating in Luxury Refluff’s eco-friendly nursing pads provide three layers of absorbent protection. The 4” washable pads are made from cotton flannel, double-sided terry cloth and backed with double-sided anti-pill recycled poly fleece. While some nursing pads are bulky and unflattering, we have created our soft pads to be discreet and comfortable — perfect for any eco-conscious momma! $9 | refluff.ca Pinnable Parks In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, Butterpot Designs has introduced their national parks map. Pinnable and customizable, each map features national parks and marine conservation areas marked and numbered. The map is printed on fabric, mounted on cork and batting and framed. Add your family motto, colours that match your home or a favourite quote about Canada or travel. And our handmade maple leaf map tacks are the perfect size to mark off the parks you’ve visited. Price includes a framed 27” by 19” map and 15 pins. $150 | etsy.com/shop/butterpotdesigns theholisticparent.ca

10 Mommy Minutes The perfect at-home treatment for busy parents, Pure + Simple’s Rejuvenating Rosehip Mask is packed with nourishing ingredients to revive your skin. Rosehip counteracts the drying effects of the sun, reduces wrinkles and premature signs of aging. Grapeseed extract, vitamins A, C and E are rich in anti-oxidants and work to plump skin cells and even out skin tone. All you need is 10 minutes to sit back and let this luxurious, 100 percent vegan mask soak in to help you achieve beautiful skin, naturally. $27.45 | pureandsimple.ca

Spring 2017 THE HOLISTIC PARENT

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MIND | MINDFUL MAMA

SWEET SURRENDER Letting go to help embrace the authentic Story by NICOLE SCHIENER

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take away ...

When we sacrifice our creative spirits or career dreams and our desires as women, we put unfair pressure on ourselves.

quiet through daily mindfulness and listened, not only could I embrace my emotions and have compassion for my sensitive nature, helping me respond to my children with an open heart but I also began to hear the whispers of my soul. By surrendering to my inner guidance, beautiful things began to happen. I stopped doing what I thought I should and tapped into my desires including getting attuned in reiki and dedicating time daily to writing. One of my poems was read by thousands in less than 24 hours. Common themes with my clients and beautiful feedback from my online community fueled the creation of my e-book, Awakening Peace and Possibility: Poetry for Authentic and Abundant Living. Beautiful friendships blossomed for myself and my children. We deepened awareness of the importance of going after our dreams while seeing our worth as separate from our accomplishments and others’ opinions. My children’s once perceived materialism became a welcome reflection of the abundance available to all of us, inspiring me to attend a beautiful women’s retreat in Maui for my 40th birthday. The scenery was so beautiful and the women I shared space with made it a magical experience. The children and hubby made out just fine without me and on the trip, and I surrendered any agenda. Instead I stayed open to being in flow and following my bliss. Since returning home I’ve been wrestling with my ego as I work to continue to surrender and trust even deeper. Life, this dance between balancing our desires with our fears for our children, is so much sweeter when we see each other as separate and engage fully in the present moment. From this place, we can embrace our authentic selves, replace fear with faith and show up with humble, grateful hearts. NICOLE SCHIENER M.Ed, RP, CCC blends professional

counselling and public speaking experience with personal insights from raising two passionate little people. Follow her on Facebook at “Peace and Possibility”.

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photo: Submitted by Nicole Schiener

P

arenting is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Each day presents new challenges and tests us in ways we never could have imagined or totally prepare for. But amidst the tears and the tantrums, it’s full of beautiful lessons and blessings. From the moment we find out we are pregnant we learn quickly that our bodies and our lives are no longer our own. While I loved being immersed in my babies to foster a secure attachment, as they grew older I began to feel like I was losing myself. Throughout parenthood we’re being pulled in a million different directions. If we don’t start to surrender control to allow our babies to become little people of their own, we can personalize and become increasingly anxious when they make mistakes or act out. While I love being a mom, I cannot deny I am so much more — and so are you. For a long time, I felt like I had one foot on the gas and one on the brake — putting my needs on hold to focus solely on my children. This led to feelings of exhaustion, getting sick and growing frustration and reactivity. When we sacrifice our creative spirits or career dreams and our desires as women, we put unfair pressure on ourselves and our children, which can lead to resentment and feelings of failure. I am realizing what Shefali Tsabary teaches, that it’s only through fulfilling ourselves, that we free our children to be their true selves. So I had to surrender the need to be there for my children all the time and instead trust in them while returning to me, the woman. A weekend yoga class became my sanctuary and deepened my appreciation for my body. The more I got


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Spring 2017 THE HOLISTIC PARENT

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BODY | OUTDOOR PLAY

BRAIN GYM ON THE JUNGLE GYM Building cognitive flexibility through outdoor play Story By DR. JEN FORRISTAL

...

C

ognitive flexibility is a skill that rarely makes dinner conversation. It’s not as trendy as mindfulness or growth mindset, and not as familiar as empathy or kindness. Despite its lack of celebrity status, cognitive flexibility is an extremely important skill, especially in today’s rapidly changing world. Our children will be called on more and more to quickly shift and adapt their thinking and cognitive flexibility is the skill that helps us do that. Let me backtrack for a second and define what I mean by cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility is: • the ability to change our strategies when we face new and unexpected conditions in the environment; • our ability to make sense of the unexpected; • switching tasks easily; and • the ability to shift and change our thoughts as needed in a situation. In short, cognitive flexibility is the skill that helps us understand the unfamiliar. It’s important for innovating, coming up with new ideas and solving problems, and is essential to creativity. It helps us easily switch from task to task, which can improve our success at school and work. Cognitive flexibility can also improve our relationships, break down stereotypes and help us understand our world from different perspectives.

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take away

Spring 2017

Instead of micromanaging your children’s experience, it’s best to step back and let them explore freely.

Life doesn’t always follow a predictable pattern and cognitive flexibility helps us navigate uncertainty and feel like we have more options when faced with challenges. As things change around us, we need to change in order to maintain our well-being. So how do we build this important skill in our children? There’s an easy and often neglected strategy that you can start today to boost this skill in your children. This strategy not only builds cognitive flexibility, it reduces obesity, calms anxiety and can make parenting a lot easier: freely chosen outdoor play activities. Research shows that children now play outside much less than previous generations, and lead far more passive, inactive lives. Outdoor time offers them the opportunity to build problem solving and creative skills, initiative, self-motivation, imagination, reason and…cognitive flexibility! The best part is that outdoor time does this best when the activities are freely chosen. This means that instead of micromanaging your children’s experience, it’s best to step back and let them explore freely. Empower your children and stimulate their decision-making by asking what outdoor play they would like to engage in before suggesting your own ideas. This may be a struggle at first but over time their ability to come up with fun, self-directed play will grow. Remember the joy of throwing rocks in a pond, collecting leaves or building forts outside? These seemingly simple activities can provide a world of benefit for your children. There’s no time like the spring to establish new family routines and incorporate something like regular outdoor play into your children’s day. Seek to develop their natural curiosity, playfulness and cognitive flexibility through outdoor play and the benefits for their future will be immeasurable! DR. JEN FORRISTAL is a naturopathic doctor specializing in family medicine and pediatrics. She practices at True Wellness Integrative Health Centre by Fiddleheads in Waterloo. mydrjen.com

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Spring 2017 THE HOLISTIC PARENT

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SPIRIT | BALLET

TEEN WITH A DREAM A mother’s perspective on high achievement Story by JAYNE HEMBRUFF

L

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take away ...

This whole experience has taught me it really does take a village to raise a child — and a couple of villages to support a child with big dreams.

way. Sadly, Leela again wasn’t accepted to the full-year program. This pushed her dream further out of reach, but her resolve did not waiver. Just another obstacle! Going through another round of auditions this winter, she’s been accepted into two professional programs for the summer of 2017, and plans are already underway for “Leela’s 2nd Ballet Dream Showcase Fundraiser” to help foot the bill. Two years ago, I asked Leela how she planned to achieve her dream. Leela’s response didn’t sound like an 11-year-old: “Mom, there are five things that will help me be successful: I believe I can do it; I have other people who believe in me; I have the courage to fight my fears and all the obstacles in my way; I have the drive to work hard and learn; and I’m passionate about achieving my dream.” I’ve watched Leela transform from my shy, little girl into a confident young woman. She’s not just learning ballet, she’s cultivating invaluable life skills like communication, relationship building, decision-making, problem solving, creative thinking, resilience and sacrifice. I’m simply along for the ride! This whole experience has taught me it really does take a village to raise a child — and a couple of villages to support a child with big dreams. Leela’s dreams wouldn’t be possible without the support of so many people, and words alone cannot express the gratitude we have — a lesson we’re never too old to learn. To follow Leela as she continues her journey, visit leelasballetdream.wixsite.com/leela-taggar/blog. is the proud mom of three teens and the owner of Waterloo’s Innovative Wellness, a company dedicated to inspiring positive results through strategic initiatives. innovativemwellness.ca

JAYNE HEMBRUFF

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photo: Submitted by Jayne Hembruff

eela’s dream to become a professional ballet dancer is about much more than ballet — it’s a journey of creating your own path to success. And she shows me every day that her dream has her on a pathway to personal transformation and the development of life skills. My beautiful daughter’s journey is my inspiration. I remember the day her sister, Kia, and I drove Leela to Barrie for her first ballet audition. We were her trainers and cheerleaders. When she was accepted we all jumped up and down, falling all over each other, as we laughed and cried with joy. And even though professional ballet school is expensive, Leela made it very clear that she was determined to pay her own way. After countless hours of both training and working hard to raise money taking any job she could get (including dog walking, cat sitting, house cleaning and baking her “famous” muffins), Leela was able to dance full-time in the summer of 2015 at the National Ballet School in Toronto. In the end, she was not accepted to the fullyear program — a bittersweet result for me as her mother. I could feel her pain, but at the same time, I was relieved; I was just not ready for her to live away from home at only 11-years-old. However, the non-acceptance only added fuel to her fire, and she became even more determined. In the summer of 2016, Leela attended Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Professional Ballet School. Again, Leela made many sacrifices to work countless hours, juggling more jobs and even putting on a showcase fundraiser to help pay her


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Spring 2017 THE HOLISTIC PARENT

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COVER | MILLENNIALS

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THE HOLISTIC PARENT Spring 2017

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Millennial

COVER | MILLENNIALS

Rebels

Millennials get a bad rap. They’re often accused of being lazy, entitled, technology-obsessed and self-centred. When we hear the term that Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research classifies as those born between about 1980 and 2000, images of young, care-free teens and young “professionals” come to mind. Well, reality check — it’s 2017 and millennials are all grown up with many of them now in their late-20s to mid-30s. These “kids” are smack in the middle of getting married and having kids of their own — in fact, children born to millennial parents accounted for 80 percent of births in the US

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Story By APRIL SCOTT-CLARKE

Photography by TRENT SLUITER

last year and that number is only expected to grow over the next decade. But as with every generation before it, millennials are not immune to the criticism of their predecessors, especially as we see this highly engaged, highly educated group breaking all the traditional parenting rules. Millennials are — if not outright rejecting the parenting styles they grew up with — drastically adapting them. While mainstream media has had a field day mocking, berating and attacking the new gentler style of parenting that many millennials have latched on to, Terry Carson, Canadian parenting coach says it’s normal for people to not parent exactly how their parents did. “It’s common for people to draw on experiences they had as a child and then mixed in a new style,” says Carson. “Parents are dropping what they didn’t like about their childhood and the things they liked, they are keeping.” And that couldn’t be more true for Amber Allen, 27-year-old Kitchener mother of two (ages 4.5 and 19 months) and CJ Pedwell, a 30-year-old mother of four (ages 10, 8, 5 and 1) from Cambridge. Both women were homeschooled themselves and have carried on that tradition with their own broods, but both also grew up in strict, authoritarian households and have vowed to do things differently on that front. “I let my kids be who they are as long as they are respectful to the people and environment around them,” Allen explains. “I don’t yell, and I try to treat them like people, and I think that’s a bit different than the norm.”

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COVER | MILLENNIALS

Above: C.J. Pedwell (top, middle) and her family including Katie, 10, Devon, 8, Anakin, 5, and Lucian, 1. (Photos submitted by C.J. Pedwell)

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SO SCIENCE SAYS Parents today have more immediate access to information than any generation. Millennials are also the most highly educated generation to date according to research from TD Economics, which could be why they tend to seek hard facts to help guide them on the path of parenthood rather than relying on anecdotal evidence alone. “What to do with a teething baby, a temper tantrum? Parents can pretty much Google it and get information, whether it be from another parent or an expert. What happens with information is that it can be a blessing or a burden,” Carson says.   Science and research are big influencers in the choices millennials make with regards to childrearing, more so than when their parents were figuring things out. “Parents used to have a very much ‘let’s just get through the day’ way of parenting,” Carson says, and there was less emphasis put on defining what’s “right” or “wrong.” Given how connected millennials are to the world around them, and the amount of research that is now being done on childhood health and development, it’s natural that parents views and behaviours have shifted over the past three decades. At a basic level, look at the changing acceptance and standards for sleep positions and breastfeeding. Until 1999 when the Back to Sleep campaign launched in Canada parents were putting their babies to sleep on their bellies, which we now know is a high-risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). And even though numbers are sparse in relation to co-sleeping, we are starting to see a broader acceptance of this practice, if not publically, at least anecdotally. It’s no longer just the “hippies” that breastfeed their babies. The most recent published data from Statistics Canada

THE HOLISTIC PARENT Spring 2017

found that in 2011-2012, 89 per cent of mothers initiated breastfeeding at birth and 26 per cent continued to breastfeed for six months or longer. There’s still a lot of work to be done to improve breastfeeding rates and overall acceptance, but in comparison, in 1982, only 69.4 per cent of women even initiated breastfeeding. In both of these examples, research and education is what pushed —and continues to push — these health practices and societal changes forward. It’s hard to argue with science when it comes to the benefits of something like breastfeeding or sleeping positions, but where things start to become more contentious — and sometimes even vicious —between this generation and last is how parents are dealing with the discipline and behaviour. And it’s here where we really see the generational divide.

THE NO-SPANK MOVEMENT For generations, spanking was as common as a morning coffee. It was (and still is for many) a widely accepted form of parenting tactic to get kids to stop misbehaving. According to data from Child Trends, 82 percent of women and 84 percent of men in 1986 agreed that it is sometimes necessary to give a child a “good, hard spanking.” By 2014, the spanking approval rating among women went down significantly to 65 percent, but only to 78 percent for men. Allen doesn’t subscribe to the corporal punishment style of parenting, which is in direct contrast to how she was raised. “My parents were very strict,” she says. “They believed in spanking, and it traumatized me to a certain degree. It influenced me and it made me resistant. I didn’t feel like it was right when I was a kid. Behaviour is not black or

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COVER | MILLENNIALS

There are exceptions to the rule but, according to these stats millennials are killing it when it comes to being grown up.

52% white.” Pedwell can relate to Allen, as she too was raised in an authoritarian household. “You didn’t listen, you got spanked,” says Pedwell. “I remember very clearly standing and staring at the wall, and thinking about the wall and not having the slightest idea about why I was staring at the wall. We do things differently in our house now.” For Pedwell, moving towards a gentler style of parenting wasn’t a decision she formally made. “It just naturally happened and it has changed a bit overtime. We’ve learned more with our kids, and we’ve learned that some things make sense and some things don’t.” For Allen though, the decision to be a gentle parent wasn’t by accident. “My parents were not gentle, and neither were my husband’s. It was a conscious decision that I made when I became pregnant. I made a decision to not be like them. I’ve chosen to break a cycle,” she says. Instead of time-outs and spankings Allen says parenting through the rough stuff is more a matter of problem solving. “If they do something that makes it clear they are having a hard time, we sit with them, talk with them, and find out what might be the root cause of what is going on,” she explains. “Are they tired? When was the last time they ate? Why do they think something is unfair? We ask questions and problem solve from there.” Both moms say that these approaches to dealing with their children’s behaviour is what they find is most criticized—and mainly by family members. “Our parents don’t understand why we don’t cryit-out, why we don’t spank, why we don’t do time outs. They think we are making it harder on ourselves then it has to be,” says Allen. “They say we turned out fine. But I want my kids to be more than fine. I want them to have a childhood they don’t have to recover from when they are adults.”

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Pedwell says that her own family and her husband’s are more accepting of their parenting style now than they use to be, but it’s been a progression. “I think at first my mom was offended because she felt [we thought] her parenting wasn’t good enough.” And that’s the crux of it all — parents are just doing what they think is right for their children, at the present time, based on the information they have. Had parents known flipping their child to their back at night would reduce their risk of SIDS significantly, or that breastfeeding could reduce the child’s chances of ear infections, respiratory illnesses and reduce their own risk of ovarian cancer, more parents most likely would have hopped on board. So now that the Canadian Paediatric Society publically states, “The research that is available supports the position that spanking and other forms of physical punishment are associated with negative child outcomes,” which is in line with a whole host of psychologists that advise positive parenting is more effective, can you blame millennials for following this advice? Information changes, standards change and as parents, we have to change too. Pedwell’s first daughter slept in a crib, in her own room from the time she was brought home from the hospital. Now Pedwell co-sleeps with her one year old. “We look at their actual needs rather than what a parenting book, or my mom or my aunts say.” Will the children of millennials grow up to raise their own offspring differently than they were raised? Most likely. Will today’s parents raise an eyebrow to their own kids’ parenting strategies for being too soft or too hard? Almost certainly. It seems the only constant when it comes to childrearing is that parents will find their own way and the older generations will criticize — and the cycle will continue.

of babies born are to a woman 30 and over (from Statistics Canada, 2011 - most recent published census data)

50%

of millennials in Canada owned a home and entered into homeownership at a younger age than their parents – or any other cohort that has come before them. (TD Economics, as of the first half of 2015)

29

The average age of first time home buyers. (BMO, 2013)

88%

of millennials are college or university educated (Strategy Online)

Spring 2017 THE HOLISTIC PARENT

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FEATURE | ART THERAPY

TRANSCENDING LANGUAGE A beginner’s guide to art therapy Story By HEIDI ARGYLE

A

“Art Therapy promotes selfdiscovery, supports cognitive development, integration and control. It allows young people to discover their strengths�

rt therapy was developed out of traditional psychotherapies for children. Early therapists, such as Edith Kramer, observed and developed a set of theories for working with children therapeutically. Kramer observed that when children were allowed to express themselves through art-making, they experienced fewer negative behavioural outbursts, developed a stronger core concept of self and increased problem solving skills. A professional art therapist is specially trained to encourage and empower children to use their imaginations to understand their worldview. There are two main approaches to art therapy: artas-therapy and art-in-therapy. An art therapist may choose to work within the confines of one approach, or flow through both to meet the client needs. Artas-therapy theorizes that visual arts creation is inherently therapeutic. When children create things with their hands they are engaging both sides of the brain to focus, thereby calming them, which in turn promotes learning. Often these sessions rely on the spontaneous creation and imagination of the client. A child would be invited to make whatever they like, with whatever material they choose, and -Tracy Councill the art therapist would observe how they approach materials, images, and ask if they would like to share their creation when complete. Art-in-therapy uses traditional therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy

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(CBT), but emphasises visual arts creation as the catalyst for change. This theory takes established approaches to therapy and inserts art rather than talking to facilitate change. An art therapist can give open directives to a client, such as instructing them to create their personal symbol. This approach gives structure and direction to a session while still allowing the child independence to be creative and expressive through their art. Art-in-therapy often allows the client to explore the deeper meaning behind their work because it promotes more talk and language integration than art as therapy. Art therapy offers a natural outlet for children to conceptualize their experiences, thoughts, feelings and emotions. Art therapy uses metaphor so children can learn to externalize their experiences in a supportive, safe and controlled environment. Children have the ability to experience all of human emotion; however, their ability to think and act on their emotions is what separates them from adults. What happens when there are no words or the ability to describe a situation is too complex for a child to understand? They will often resort to internalizing their feelings and using negative behaviours or coping skills to express their dis-ease. Because art therapy does not rely solely on language, children have an opportunity to externalize experiences and give voice to their emotions. Additionally, art therapy is a multi-sensory approach to understanding experiences: a child can pour,

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FEATURE | ART THERAPY

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THE HOLISTIC PARENT Spring 2017

are trained in so much more than just the product of art making; we are trained to look at the process in which a person creates, and to understand the subtleties of how they create, such as the materials chosen, the willingness to approach a specific subject or the physical affect change of the individual. Professional art therapists must also be willing to seek new opportunities within a client’s artwork in order to facilitate positive, meaningful change. Having that in mind, while parents must tread lightly, they can learn a lot from their child if they are willing to observe and listen to what the child has to say about their art work, rather than superimposing their opinions on the child’s art work. Assuming something is in the child’s artwork can be damaging to the art therapy process, therefore it is important to allow the child to make his or her own statements about the work. Visual art therapy is a rich and complex therapeutic model for children to use when things are too complex to be understood through language alone. Creating art is naturally cathartic — it makes children feel good, thereby putting the child in a good state of mind, allowing the art therapist to facilitate change. Parents cannot expect children to understand their experiences through language alone and when talking isn’t enough, visual art therapy acts as another modality to facilitate positive, meaningful change.

I’m interested in how you make art, how you apply meaning to the things you create. photo: Artwork submitted by Heidi Argyle

splash, cut, rip or destroy materials to externalize their feelings safely and efficiently. These activities allow children to express their frustrations and build tolerance for when situations in their daily lives do not go according to plan. Art therapy also has the ability to help children build confidence. Children explore their world by observing and learning from actions of others. Art as a condition is visual and observable, and therefore it allows the child to see and fully experience the achievement they have made. A child who experiences their own actions within a situation can then integrate that learning into further character development. Sometimes I’m told quite staunchly, “I don’t like art” or “I’m not an artist” — to which I will say, “You’re probably right about that, but I’m not interested in that part of you. I’m interested in how you make art, how you apply meaning to the things you create, and whether or not you have the ability to give the things you create meaning.” The process is more important than the end result; art therapy is not wholly about skill, rather it is about the meaningful interaction with visual arts creation. How is art therapy different from arts and crafts? Can I practice art therapy with my child? Often, I’m confronted with well-meaning parents asking me these questions, and they are important questions to ask. Like all therapies, art therapy requires a relationship to be present for change to take place. Professional art therapists

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FEATURE | ALLERGIES

THE

ALLERGY PUZZLE Piecing together why food allergies are on the rise Story by DR. SARAH HAWTHORN

I remember growing up and one kid in the school had a food allergy — now it seems like there’s a food allergy pandemic. It has also personally affected my family. My now four-year-old son was diagnosed with an anaphylactic egg allergy when he was two years old. And according to Radical Medicine by Dr. Louisa Williams, as of 2013, approximately 10 percent of infants have an anaphylactic food allergy, and up to 90 percent of people have a food sensitivity. A food allergy is when there is an immediate immune response that can be life threatening; this is called an IgE response. A food sensitivity is a delayed immune response that shows up anywhere from 20 minutes to 72 hours after

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consuming that food group; this is called an IgG response. These symptoms are more diffuse, ranging from digestive upset, eczema, headaches, fatigue, etc. There are several theories as to why the rise in allergies, including the overuse of antibiotics, the increase in C-sections, not breastfeeding, genetically modified foods, “the hygiene hypothesis,” genetics and environmental toxicities. A food allergy is an abnormal reaction to a generally “harmless” substance. Dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and eggs account for 90 percent of all food reactions. Why these foods? Dairy has been completed altered by

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FEATURE | ALLERGIES

Dealing With Allergies A few ideas on coping with and potentially warding off food allergies

1. Heal the gut. Drinking bone broth is an excellent way to start this process. It contains L-glutamine which is an amino acid that helps to rebuild and repair the GI walls.

2. Take probiotics. Multi-strain probiotics are the best. Talk to your naturopathic doctor about what probiotic would be the best fit for you.

3. Avoid antibiotics when unnecessary. 4. Avoid interventions during birth

5. Breastfeed for as long as possible. 6. Allow your kids to get dirty. 7. Introduce foods at six months and no later than 12 months.

8. Talk to your naturopathic doctor about an individualized plan to treat and reduce your allergy symptoms. In any plan, treating the gut dysbiosis and individual detoxification are needed.

when possible.

modern processing methods, in which the milk proteins are denatured and the enzymes needed for breakdown are depleted. When indigestible milk antigens are absorbed into the bloodstream, they are flagged as foreign molecules by the immune system, thus creating an allergy response. For years, lactose has been taking the blame, however, casein (the protein in dairy) is the main culprit. And 77 percent of the protein in cow milk is made up of casein. Lactose-free products are still loaded with casein. Wheat has also been modernized so that proper germination does not take place, rendering modern wheat more difficult to digest. There is also an overconsumption of the same species of wheat. According to Dr. Williams, out of more than 200 varieties of wheat, only three types account for 90 percent of the wheat grown today. This could be helped by rotating grains in the diet, such as quinoa, millet and teff. At birth, the babe swallows mouthful of microbes from mom’s vaginal canal. These take about 20 days to establish themselves in the baby’s brand new gastrointestinal (GI) system to become the babe’s gut flora. Breastfeeding within the first 24 hours is also vital for the appropriate population of the baby’s digestive system. Vaginal birth infants begin life more often with a healthy intestinal flora from mom’s vaginal bacteria. This is essential for optimal immune system functioning since babies are born with a sterile gut. According to a study by Rima Rachid published in 2016 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, four-day-old infants showed 60 percent of those born vaginally had helpful bifidobacteria infantis (strain of heathy bacteria) in their GI tract versus only nine percent of the C-section babies. Also, if the mom suffers from digestive disturbance, which indicates she has abnormal GI flora, food allergy tendencies can also develop during pregnancy from exposure to mom’s undigested food proteins. Using antibiotics damages the beneficial species of bacteria in the gut, starting the development of gut dysbiosis. After each

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course of antibiotics, it takes anywhere from two weeks to two years for certain strains of healthy gut bacteria to repopulate. During this time, the gut is now more susceptible to pathogens and more likely to respond to allergens. Without beneficial bacteria, the GI wall degenerates and becomes unable to digest and absorb food properly, leading to malabsorption, nutritional deficiencies and food allergies — in other words, it becomes “leaky.” Partially digested food gets through the damaged leaky gut walls and into the bloodstream where the immune system recognizes them as foreign and reacts to them. This is one way food intolerances and allergies develop. In the same study by Rachid, it was found that food allergic-babes had decreased amounts of beneficial bacteria compared to non-allergic babes. Smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of food allergies by impairing effective immune responses. The risk also increases as if there is a first-degree relative with an allergic condition such as atopic dermatitis, food allergy, asthma or allergic rhinitis. Another explanation is the “hygiene hypothesis.” It’s the concept where we keep our houses and environment too clean. Our immune systems need something to practice on, so our immune system may see food proteins as the problem. Traditionally, naturopathic doctors have recommended delaying the introduction of food allergens with an infant. However, the new study that was published recently recommends introducing allergic foods sooner and starting at four months. Personally, I still recommend waiting until six months to introduce any solids. The babe’s gut is porous and the mucosal barrier is too immature before six months and the babe should still be exclusively breastfed. If the child or family has a history of food allergies, I would still take it slowly during the introduction phase. The new research shows that there is an increased risk of food allergy development if food introduction is too early or too late (before six months and after 12 to 18 months). Therefore, based on the new data, all foods should be introduced between 6 and 12 months to reduce their potential for food allergies (except for honey).

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FEATURE | CLOTH DIAPERS

CLOTH REVOLUTION Changing your tune on disposable diapers Story By LAURIE DIWAKAR

W

hen we think about diapers it’s probably an image of disposables lining store shelves that pops into our heads. And while the available options may seem endless, it’s really broken down into two choices: disposable or reusable. While disposables are definitely the most popular choice, more and more people are considering washable options. There are many benefits to using washable (cloth) diapers. Cloth diapers are better for skin health because they are breathable, free of chemicals and gentle on sensitive body parts. Using cloth diapers instead of disposables reduces the occurrence of diaper rash and skin breakdown. In addition to the obvious health benefits, there is the environmental impact to consider. The choice to use cloth diapers makes a massive impact on the quality of the environment. The average household with one in diapers throws out approximately 1,500 diapers per year. Beyond the cost of purchasing the diapers, many regions limit or charge fees for waste collection. The combination of environmental, health and overall cost is enough to make many people research all their options. Many have calculated that they can save thousands of dollars and avoid emergency trips to the grocery store by simply buying a few washable products. Most choose to use disposables for their “ease of use,” with no idea what they are actually putting next to the skin. Disposable diapers contain many “ingredients” that companies try to keep the consumer from knowing about, including petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, cellulose tissue, elastic, gel and perfume. Everything we buy from clothing to cosmetics to baby food is required by law to disclose the contents on the tag or label. Yet somehow there is nothing listed on diapers — not one ingredient. 

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There are always “green disposables” made without chlorine, fragrances or latex, but most still have sodium polyacrylate (SAP), an absorbent chemical gel. SAP was banned from tampons in Canada because of its link to toxic shock syndrome, but studies have not been done on SAPs effect on babies or seniors. And all disposable diapers contain polyolefin (plastic) film. Gdiapers and hybrid cloth/compostable options have been thought to be a good option for the cloth-scared individuals. Their inserts claim to be compostable, but they are not biodegradable, nor are they natural with their chemical SAP component. SAP gels claim to be non-toxic. However, these cross-linked polyacrylate polymers have been linked to a decrease in sperm count and increase in scrotal temperature among boys that may cause problems later in life.  In one study, they found that on average, the in-plastic temperatures were approximately 1.8°F higher than in cloth. According to research published by the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the babies in cloth had cooler recorded temperatures, and other scientific studies have linked disposable diapers and their toxic substances to the increase of asthma in today’s society.  Laboratory rats exposed to disposable diapers straight out of the package have suffered increased eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as bronchial constriction similar to that of an asthma attack, according to findings recorded by Dr. Rosalind C. Anderson of Anderson Laboratories in the US. Disposable diapers are not really disposable at all. This information, from the Real Diaper Association, a US-based organization that supports evidence-based cloth diaper education, shows the full impact disposables has on our landfills:

• An estimated 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the US, of which over 92 percent end up in the landfill. Against manufacturers’ advice, less than 0.5 percent of fecal waste is disposed of properly in the toilet/sewage system before the diaper is discarded. • It is estimated that a single disposable diaper takes up to 500 years to decompose. • Disposable diapers are the third largest single item in landfills. • In a house with one child in diapers, disposables make up 50 psercent of household waste. Disposables are also expensive; you can expect to pay $2,500-$4,000 for disposables from birth through potty training. For adults that number is $1,000-$4,000 a year on disposable incontinence supplies. Cloth diapering has come a long way from your mother’s days of pin pikes and artful folding of diapers. Velcro or snap closures have done away with pins, making some cloth diapers as easy to use as disposable diapers.  Modern choices are simply to fasten and don’t require any folding. There is a seemingly endless variety of options that are functional and durable. You may think that it’s a lot of extra laundry or work, but what is another one or two washes a week? And we are also very lucky in our region to have access to several cloth diapering services if DIY isn’t up your alley. Cloth is better for your health and the environment and it can save you thousands of dollars, especially when you use them on more than one baby or more than one year. And because babies who use cloth can actually feel wet, they tend to potty train earlier. There are so many pros to cloth diapering that there’s no reason it can’t be your first choice.

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BACK PAGE | MILLENNIALS

SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES Story by ELAINE KAPOGINES

I

’ve been fascinated by millennials for a while, but little did I know that I was actually part of the “me me me” generation until I started researching for this issue’s cover story “Millennial Rebels.” As a 1982 baby, I must admit that I’ve probably had the same eye-rolling response as my elders to some of the stereotypical millennial “behaviours.” Given that the term “millennial” encompasses everyone born within a 20-year span, the differences between myself and someone born towards the end of the 1990s is actually quite staggering. Nevertheless, I am a millennial. The cover story was inspired by the viral video “Millennials: What’s wrong with this generation?” where Simon Sinek, a 43-year-old marketing consultant, shares his views on why millennials are notoriously difficult to manage in the workplace. Right off the bat he lays blame on “failed parenting strategies,” specifically how we were made to feel special as children and are therefore incapable of making the transition into the “real world.” He specifically points to the concept of “participation medals” — a strategy implemented in the 1980s to promote inclusion and reward hard work. I’m still not entirely clear why Simon — and many many many others — continue to dump on millennials for this concept of participation tokens. We didn’t give ourselves these ribbons. Ten-year-old children weren’t running around the playground demanding trophies from each other. This was a strategy developed by our parents based on research that says rewarding the effort encourages a child to try new things and is more likely to stick with a sport or activity. (Check out “Science Says Participation Trophies Are a Big Win for the Little Ones” published by Huffington Post.) In fact, this concept of focusing on the effort behind an activity is very much part of the language of today’s gentle parenting strategies, i.e. “Wow, you worked really hard on your letters today” vs. “Wow, you’re so smart for knowing all your letters.” Sorry, Simon, science is on the side of the parents in this case. Last generation’s parents picked up on this concept, and this generation’s parents are perfecting it. Simon argued that by rewarding kids for “just showing up” the entire generation has an entitlement complex so large that we are unable to function in the workplace. Millennials, let’s all take a moment to think back to our own elementary school days. One particular token of personal note was a track and field ribbon I received for an ill-fated hurdle event from around grade 6. Somehow I managed to qualify to represent my school at the board-wide meet in this single event. I fell on the first hurdle. I was out. My entire participation in the day lasted approximately 15 seconds. I went home with a scrapped up knee and a yellow ribbon declaring that I was a “Participant.” Did I go to the event expecting or even wanting the ribbon? No, of course not. I went because it was fun. Would it have been nice to win the race? Yes, but the entire day left no lasting impression on my life (other than as a cute anecdote for a magazine article).

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All these track and field ribbons, baseball trophies and dance certificates all ended up with one of two fates: 1) the garbage, or 2) on a shelf where they reminded me of what a great time I had. Their impact on my life lasted about as long as that scab on my knee. No kid sets out to do the bare minimum expecting to be rewarded — I dare you to find a kid sitting on a bench counting down the minutes until they get their participation ribbon. And for the most part, these tokens dried up around the early-teens anyways when activities naturally became more competitive. This highly critical view of this generation has led to the gag-inducing term: special snowflake. Barf! It has developed into a derogatory term to describe someone, usually millennials, as oversensitive, weak-willed and entitled. It’s also being very frequently used in the political context of “liberal snowflake.” Double barf! (And a rant for a different article.) Are we as a generation too sensitive? Offended too easily? Are the “trigger warns” overtaking our right to free speech? All legitimate questions, but I think the real question is why are these inherently bad? There’s such a huge difference between shrivelling up at the slightest criticism and expressing empathy and consideration for our actions within the larger context of society. And as parents, especially millennial parents who are adopting a more gentle style, empathy, awareness and sensitivity are all traits we’re working very hard to instill in our children, and the traits we believe will make the world a better place. Maybe we are snowflakes, and maybe we are raising a blizzard of more snowflakes — but maybe snowflakes kinda rock! In the US, millennials launched 160,000 start-ups in 2014 making up one-third of all entrepreneurs. Maybe we are having trouble functioning in the traditional workplace, so we’re making our own. Familiar with Facebook, Airbnb, Groupon, SnapChat or Tinder? All millennial start-ups. Millennials are also the most socially minded generation in history. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2015 found that 75 percent of millennials would rather work for a company that gave back to their community; millennials believe in and fight for equality boasting the generation with the highest number of female university graduates which directly sets us up to bust through a crapload of glass ceilings; and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation said millennials are embracing and driving environmental initiatives, like green products, hybrid vehicles and wind and solar energy. And you can bet retail trends will be following the millennial wallet since we represent $200 billion of annual buying power. So Simon Sinek, and anyone else, call me a snowflake — I’ve got a thick skin. My generation is doing just fine, and we are doing our best to raise empathic, socially conscious children who will change our world in way we can’t even imagine yet — and I can guarantee we’ll criticize them while they do it. ELAINE KAPOGINES is a millennial mom and entrepreneur. And apparently she also loves snowflakes. Visit theholisticparent.ca for additional content and digital copies of past issues.

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