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The Low Carb 
Luxury Newsletter: Volume II / Number 7: April 11, 2001
Issue Date:
April 11, 2001

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In this issue:
  1. Welcome and Overview
  2. Lora's Column"Nutrition 101?"
  3. Guest Column"Calling All Chefs!"
  4. Richard's Corner"A Taxing Time In The Kitchen"
  5. Recipes!"Stupendous Sides!"
  6. Stuart's "Rant""Two Steps Forward; Three Steps Back"
  7. Letters"Hair Loss Mystery"
How do you know when Winter's over? Dandelions!
And I see I have my work cut out for me again this year. Each year I don my armor and beat them back. But then, as Andrew Mason says, "If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn." I think I have to get myself one of those shirts that says, "I fought the lawn and the lawn won."

All of us at Low Carb Luxury want to wish each of you a very joyous Easter and a blessed Pesach (Passover.)

And now... on with the newsletter!

"Nutrition 101?"

Two weeks ago, sitting at home (watching an episode of my favorite new show CSI), I received a phone call from a good friend. This is a friend out of state to whom I had been giving the basics of a low-carb/no-sugar diet. She was interested in getting healthy along with her family. A history of overweight and the threat of diabetes had prompted her to make a change.

She, in turn, had been relaying much of this information to her husband and teenage and pre-teen children. So she was somewhat distressed to tell me what had occurred in her daughter's classroom at school.

It seems the teacher was giving the class the "basics of good nutrition" which of course was the usual "fat is bad" routine. Her daughter, Mira, was taking this all in stride until the subject of sugar came up. Mira asked the teacher about the roll of sugar in diet and if its empty calories were the only reason to stay away from it. The teacher's replies to the class were actually worse than I'd expect, since most people at least grant that plain sugar isn't great for anyone and that its destruction of teeth is well known. But here's what she actually said:

"Sugar is just one more carbohydrate — necessary for energy and for life. Anyone that tells you to exclude it from your diet is preaching a fad diet that could be dangerous to you!" She went on to tell them, "Sugars help you manage the amount of fat and calories in your overall diet because they tend to be low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol — and everyone's interested in that!"

When Mira asked her about tooth decay, her answer was, "Although sugars and starches can play a role in tooth decay, good dental hygiene is the best way to help prevent cavities. As long as you brush with a fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly you shouldn't have to worry about sugar's influence."


Lastly, Mira asked her, "Aren't sugars linked to health conditions like hyperactivity, diabetes and heart disease?"

To which the teacher replied "Many years of research have shown that sugars do not result in any of these conditions. Sugar has no role in making people sick and in fact, gives you energy to fight off disease!"

Why do we know this teacher's words so precisely? Because the students must keep notes, and micro-cassettes are encouraged. Mira uses one.

Okay, so these are pretty outrageous statements for a teacher to make, but plenty of dieticians would agree with her. Only the last statement worried Mira and made her come home and query her mother. Mira began to fear that she could become ill if she didn't start including sugar back into her diet. Her mother called me and wanted to know the facts. Which is it? Does sugar make you sick, or does it help to FIGHT diseases — even the common cold. She'd begun to remember how her doctor had always had her eat Jell-O and Ice Cream and drink 7-UP when she was sick. All packed with sugar. Was he helping or dragging out the cold/flu/whatever?

I took the time to do some research for her and once I'd finished, I knew I had to share this with all of you as well.

Ever hear of the "Leukocytic Index"? Remember the name — you may want to share this information with doubting family members who still believe a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down...

The Leukocytic Index indeed proves the devastating effect of refined carbohydrates on immunity and may help many people to begin to take this health risk seriously...

More than 20 years ago a large study was published about the effects of refined carbohydrates (of which sugars are the worst) on the leukocytic index. Our white cells are the most important factors in protecting us from invading organisms. The leukocytic index is a measure of how many organisms one white blood cell (WBC) can eat in an hour. Therefore an index of 10 means that that one WBC ate 10 organisms in THAT hour.

The average LI (leukocytic index) in the USA — and remember, the "average" is not super-healthy — is about 13.9.

Within 15 minutes, after an individual eats the amount of refined carbohydrates normally ingested in the standard American's evening meal — about 100 grams, the leukocytic index drops to about 1.4!

Depending on the genetic susceptibility to this problem, it might be better or worse — this is just an average. Diabetics ALWAYS have a LI of less than 2.

That means: the average person loses more than 90% of their immune function within 15 minutes of indulging in this poisonous substance. This deficiency lasts for 2-5 hours after the stress occurs. For those eating high carbs/sugars all day every day, their immune system is at a 90% loss ALL THE TIME.

Now, think about this. You're in the hospital. You've just had surgery. Now more than ever, you need your immune system at its very best. What is routinely given intravenously during surgery? Glucose water!
[ Addendum : Since we first published this, it's been called to our attention that in many or most parts of the U.S., most surgical proceedures are now using Ringers – thankfully! ]

When Ringer's Lactate (which has no sugar) is used instead, the incidence of post operative infection is reduced by two thirds. The only reason I can think of for this kind of persistent ignorance is that there is no money in changing the thinking of operative routine. There is a lot more money in treating the infections that are created by the powers-that-be.

Since this has been known for more than 20 years, don't you think it is time for this information to get out to the public? Clearly it hasn't made it into our schools.


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                                      Calling All Chefs!

Calling All Chefs By Contributing Editor, Andrea K. Rogers

Hello my fellow low-carbers! I have a couple of questions to ask all of you. Have you recently found yourself converting measurements from ounces to cups in your sleep? Can you define the following words: sauté, poach, and puree? Do you know what each of the following is: ghee, kosher salt, and vital wheat gluten? Do you also know why they're used in cooking? Have you been experimenting with different spices and flavorings, even if a recipe doesn't call for it?

What's happened to you— Were you like this before you started low-carbing, or is this a side affect no one mentioned to you when you started this new Way of Life? Shhhhhhh! I won't let your secret out, it's happened to me, too! The Atkins' diet has made us…gourmet cooks! Don't Cry! It'll be okay! Really! I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of! I personally feel that we can still raise our heads in public and look others in the eyes. However, beware! There are those out there (traditional low-fat dieters?) that might become jealous, so let's not brag about it. Here's my theory as to why Atkins dieters and other low-carbers are quickly finding themselves to be: rather good gourmet cooks!

1: Flavor

First off, let's take a look at a couple of our traditional cooking ingredients, shall we?
  • Skim Milk
  • PAM spray butter/oil substitute
Now, let's take a look at our low-carb ingredients:
  • Cream
  • Butter
Skim milk used to go in my cereal, in my batters for cookies, and in my drinking cup mixed with chocolate syrup. Each time I'd use it; it would be combined with some sugary ingredient just so there'd be some flavor! It's runny, bland, and high in carb. Yuck! Now think about Cream. Say it out loud, slowly, and with a dreamy-like tone. Mmmmmmmmmm. Talk about flavor. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Add it to a shake and you don't even need any SPLENDA. Cream helps you make your own pudding, your own custards; it simply helps you make your own low-carb, gourmet desserts and meals! Cream makes a low-carbers kitchen happy! J Cream can even be turned into butter and buttermilk! Imagine the possibilities. Got cream?

Our low-carb ingredients not only have flavor and versatility, they have FAT! Fat makes cooking fun! Let's say the word again! Fat, Fat, FAT! Be proud! Say it out loud! Ooops! Don't let a low-fat dieter hear you say it; they'll give you a bad look!

Hey, we've all been there, we've tried the low-fat way of life and it nearly killed us! We made FAT the enemy for so many years, it's time to give our friend the credit it deserves! Fat makes things not only taste better, but it adds texture and volume to a dish. Try this: Imagine spraying some PAM on a slab of chicken (kinda bland, huh?), now think of cooking that chicken in some butter or bacon GREASE (oh! Another fun word!), or how about some lard (you're mind explodes with a sensory overload of FLAVOR)! Let's expand our vocabulary, the word for today is: Deep-fry! Can you smell it yet? FAT has numerous advantages, don't be afraid of it, it's not going to hurt you! Fat is fun! Don't go overboard, but certainly enjoy yourself.

2: It's Necessary

But why, you ask yourself? Why do we cook and cook and cook as a dedicated low-carber? Cooking is just part of being a low-carber, my friends, a part that no one really talks about. At first is seems time consuming, then the pounds start to fall off. It's a good balance!

Have you recently found yourself watching FOODTV or logging onto, eagerly trying to learn the tricks to cooking with certain ingredients? Do you find yourself looking over a recipe and adding more ingredients or differing the amounts of ingredients in it? Have you been rummaging through old cookbooks trying to find a favorite high-carb recipe you can convert into a low-carb recipe? If you've answered, "YES" to one or all of these questions, then it's happened to you! You're no longer a product of the five-minute-nuke-a-meal generation! YOU'VE BROKEN FREE! Our only other choice would be to gorge ourselves on sugar. Eating and eating but never feeling satisfied (sounds like a bad place to be, to me). But we want to live long and healthy lives! That's NOT A CHOICE! IT'S A DEATH SENTENCE!

We cook because we want to make sure no unnecessary carbs go into our mouths. Yet, because of the popularity of low-carbing now-a-days (Gee, I wonder why? Maybe because it works?!), there are many products out there that help us low-carbers out. Yet, the price tags can be prohibitive to some of us. New technology tends to carry a heavy price, but the convenience is sometimes more than worth it! However, when your budget just can't take another $100 order, then you must rely on yourself. You cook, and you cook something that will satisfy you and taste like a million bucks!

3: It's Fun!

Okay, at first it might be kinda scary. You're going to have to get over your past disasters in the kitchen, you're going to have to take charge and show that kitchen whose boss! You'll have to learn how to braise, poach, and puree, but it's not a hard learning curve. It's fun; even your disasters are learning tools (believe me, I've had more than one- "what do you mean you don't add water to grease? Ouch!"). Your kitchen has become a playground for experimentation and diversity. You can learn to cook with different meats, different low-carb veggies, and learn how to incorporate balance into your diet. Feel like a little soul food? Bring out those bitter greens and smothered chicken recipes! Feel like a bit of New Orleans? Start shoppin' for some shrimp and crawfish! What about some beef? Oh darlin'! You've got a billion choices now! All you need to do is decide what flavor of "Yummy" you want tonight! You have control over your life now. You know what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat. Doesn't that feel empowering? Maybe even kinda scary?! You're in charge of the kitchen now! So get cooking!


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A Taxing Time In The Kitchen

In Honor of April 15th, I couldn't resist:

1040 Cake:

Line 1    Butter, a minimum of half a pound (8 oz.), but not to exceed 1 (one) pound.
                (See Line 4)

Line 2    Sugar Twin, light brown or white, unless you or your spouse had a financial
                account in a foreign country in 1998, in which case Splenda must be used.
                Do not substitute molasses or honey. Use 1 (one) cup and adjust to taste.

Line 3    Eggs, six or half a dozen, whichever is greater.

Line 4    Sugarfree chocolate, 6 oz. Non-farm families may choose the optional
                method of using cocoa powder. If you elect the Cocoa Method, add
                1/2 oz. (one tablespoon) of butter to each 3 tablespoons of
                cocoa. Multiply by .9897 per ounce of substitution. For adjustments
                to sweetener, see pg. 29. Add total of additional butter to Line 1 (above).
                Splenda adjustments should be reflected in final total of Line 2.
                For additional details on cocoa conversion, see Form 551.

Line 5a   Flour, almond. If you were a federal, state or local government employee,
                you may be eligible for an excess almond flour tax credit. Measure 2 cups.
                Sifting is optional.

Line 5b  Powder, whey protein, 1 2/3 cups.

Line 5c  Alternative mixture: 1 cup pecan flour plus 3/4 cup oat flour.

Line 6    Vanilla, 1 teaspoon. See Schedule ZE for reporting use of imitation vanilla
                flavoring. You may be able to deduct the cost of real vanilla extract in 2001
                if you itemize deductions.

Line 7    Salt, 1/3 teaspoon (optional). If you are a head of household with
                dependents and were born during a leap year, you must add salt.

Line 8    Baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons. Use of baking soda will result in a penalty.
               See form W-Q.

Line 8a  Walnuts, 8 oz., chopped. You may be eligible to use pecans or almonds.
                See Part III of Schedule PE, Itemized Substitutions.

Line 9    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (375 if altitude exceeds 5,500 feet). Be sure
               that you have turned the oven on before you begin assembling ingredients. In
               a bowl (2 quart capacity), cream butter and Splenda for 3 minutes, or until well
               blended, whichever occurs first. (Note: If you are using the Non-farm Cocoa
               Method [see Line 4], add additional butter and sweetener at this point.

Line 10  Incorporate eggs, one egg at a time, into creamed mixture. If the eggs are
                from a farm of which you are the sole owner, you may be eligible for a Fowl
                Credit. See Form 9871m "For the Birds".

Line 11  Add vanilla.

Line 12  In a double boiler, melt chocolate at low heat. If you are using the Non-farm
                Cocoa Method, disregard the preceding instruction and stir cocoa into the
                creamed mixture. Then stir in flours and powders from Line 5a, 5b or 5c.
                Add salt (optional, but see Line 7 for exception) and baking powder.

Line 13  Add nuts, which should be chopped, regardless of type (See Line 8a).

Line 14  Pour batter into 2 (two) greased and floured 8 inch round cake pans
                or 1 (one) greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan, which you should have
                prepared earlier. Bake in preheated oven (see Line 9) for 40 to 50 minutes,
                whichever is greater. After removing cake pan(s) from oven, cool for 10
                minutes (12 minutes for 9 x 13 pan) and turn cake(s) out onto wire rack.
                When cake is completely cool, frost it. (To determine time needed for cooling,
                complete Worksheet on pg. 25) See Form 873 for details on
                appropriate low-carb frostings.

                Note: If you weigh 20 percent more (or higher) than your ideal weight,
                (see chart on pg. 19), ignore this recipe and complete Schedule F,
                "Fresh Salads".


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Stupendous Sides!

Okay, okay, now everyone wants more side dishes. It seems we've been offering lots of breads, desserts, main dishes, and specialty foods, but no real sides to speak of. We hear you and have been testing recipes to beat the band. Here you go! These are terrific!

Cheesy "Potato" Kugel

By adding just a bit of real potato to this dish, we get a scrumptious faux potato classic with an authentic flair!
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled and shredded turnips
  • 1/2 peeled and shredded medium potato
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Paprika
  • Additional black pepper if desired

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Place turnips and potatoes in a colander, mix well, and squeeze out excess moisture. In a large bowl combine eggs, salt, pepper, oil and onion. Place turnip/potato mixture and cheese in the bowl and mix well. Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Sprinkle Paprika over top (and additional black pepper if using.) Raise heat to 450°F. and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until browned. Serve hot. Remember to adjust times for your oven.

Serves 6 — 5.8 carbohydrate grams per serving.

Spicy Zucchini Boats

  • 1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise then in half
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Italian spices
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • paprika to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add zucchini and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and scoop out seeds. In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, spices, and garlic. Spoon mixture into zucchini halves and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through.

Serves 4 — 5.5 carbohydrate grams per serving.

Brooklyn Green Beans

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 links spicy pork sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pounds frozen green beans
  • seasoning salt to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until tender. Stir in sausage and cook until evenly brown. Pour in water and bring to a boil. Stir in green beans; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

Check water level often and add more as needed to prevent scorching. Season with salt to taste.

Serves 8 — 5.7 carbohydrate grams per serving.

Beanie Bundles
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans whole green beans, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons dill relish
  • 2 teaspoons liquid sweetener
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons sugarless ketchup

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix mayonnaise, relish, sweetener, water, and ketchup together and set aside.

Slice bacon in half (easiest to slice whole package at once right down the middle). Bundle 6 to 7 green beans together and wrap one slice of bacon around the middle of the bundle. Secure with a toothpick. Arrange bundles in one layer in a buttered baking dish.

Pour mayonnaise mixture over all of the bundles - make sure to drizzle some on each bundle.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes or until the bacon is done.

Additional Notes:
  • For sweetener, we recommend either all liquid Splenda or a mix of liquid Splenda and liquid Sweet'n Low. If you add pourable or packet sweetener instead, adjust carb count as necessary.
  • For sugarless ketchup we recommend Steel's Splenda sweetened low-carb ketchup or Estee Brand sugarless ketchup.
  • We recommend dill relish because it contains no sugar, but if you prefer to avoid the 'bite' of the dill, rinse the relish under cool water for a few minutes in a strainer. Then let it soak in the liquid sweetener called for in the recipe for a few minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
Serves 6 — 6 carbohydrate grams per serving.


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Two Steps Forward; Three Steps Back

"With devotion's visage and pious action, we do sugar, or the devil himself."
  — William Shakespeare's Hamlet: Act 3 Scene 1

It appears on the surface that things are beginning to look better. Richard wrote a bit about this in our March 8, 2001 issue in his column called "Paradigm Shift".
  • While watching local news in New York City last night, I saw a news story about the way the sugar in our children's diet is destroying their health. What? They're acknowledging this?

  • The Bayer Corporation is now sending little pamphlets with their insulin kits for Type I (insulin dependent) diabetics recommending a lower carbohydrate diet as an adjunct treatment.
This is all great news to hear, and we are making progress. But to see how far we still need to go, we need look no further than Suzanne Somers' recent story.

Suzanne Somers is fighting breast-cancer — by way of alternative medicine. In a recent interview she said that it is something she is doing for herself, and that she is in no way telling other people what is best for them. Her solution includes a low carbohydrate diet, with the rationality that cancer requires high levels of glucose to survive. A spokesman for the AMA, when asked to comment said he "didn't believe that Ms. Somers has all the facts." It is evident to me that she knows that in spite of what cancer requires to survive, the first thing the AMA wants the doctor to do in cancer treatment is flood your body with sugar. I find this typical of the politics of the AMA. Anyone who goes out and does their own research (and finds that hard science conflicts with the AMA's recommendations) and concludes that another means of healing might be best for them is immediately attacked for those conclusions. And the reason is.... what? What if she's right?

With all of this research on the positive effects of low carbing finally seeing a wisp of light in the darkness of dogma, I imagine that the amount of money being spent to lobby politicians to keep them in line is astounding. Every time another study shows the benefits of the elimination sugar and empty carbohydrates in a person's diet, I imagine phone calls being made to senators and congressman. Phone calls from representatives of the sugar industry, the cereal and bread companies, the drug companies, and of course, the AMA.

"Be plain in dress, and sober in your diet; In short, my deary, kiss me, and be quiet."
  — Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762)

At the heart of the AMA's intent lie the seeds of conceit, and a penchant for greed. To be proven to have been incorrect about its cancer treatments, as well as the entire low fat concept, would be a disaster for them. Consider the number of deaths that can be attributed to the consumption of sugar and other carbohydrates pushed upon us by the AMA. It is staggering. Any evidence showing that they were aware of this and failed to act upon it would drive a stake through its heart. This is why they will threaten, coerce, discredit, or stop by whatever means necessary, anyone who would seek to expose this.

As I have stated before, it's most often not the doctors I blame (most adhere to established dogma because they believe it to be correct), rather I place the blame at the feet of the upper echelons of the medical establishment. Corruption always floats to the top, with the depth, breadth, and height being too large to comprehend.

What scares the hell out of me is how far this conspiracy must go for it to work. The AMA says "Let them eat cake" with the unspoken follow-up "and taste the profitable hand of death".

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I have been eating low carb for about 3 months. For the last month or so, I have been noticing extreme hair loss. Have you ever heard of hair loss being associated with a low-carb lifestyle? I am really getting quite worried because I can't figure out what's causing this.

  Thank you,

Dear Donna —

What you describe is called "Telogen Effluvium". The good news is, it's normal in about 10-15% of dieters. The better news is, it's temporary.

Telogen effluvium is when a stress (such as dieting/weight change) causes noticeable shedding of hair after the stressful event. The hair loss is always delayed, usually 3–4 months after the "stressful event". The event can be a physical stress such as an illness (especially with a fever), sudden weight changes (the most common), or a major surgical procedure. Sudden severe emotional stress can also trigger telogen effluvium, including the death of a loved one, a divorce, or a job termination.

It's all about something called "Transition to Resting Phase". In telogen effluvium, the stressful event causes a high proportion of hair follicles to halt their growth phase prematurely, and to begin a transition to the resting phase at the same time. 3–4 months after the stressful event, a high proportion of follicles shed their hairs all at about the same time, as they prepare for a new cycle of growth.

The confusion comes in here — What triggers the hair loss begins 3–4 months before the loss of the hair actually occurs. Usually, the person losing hair has recovered from the event (or stabilized from the weight change or dietary change), and then they start shedding their hair in clumps! The condition is almost always temporary, and new hairs soon grow back in. Within a few more months the normal random cycle of hair follicle growth and rest resumes.

Usually telogen effluvium results in random hair loss from all over the scalp. Often the effect is not noticeable to others, although seeing the increased quantities of shed hairs is disturbing to their owner. Treatment for telogen effluvium includes waiting for the new hairs to grow in, and styling to give a fuller look in the meantime.

Rest assured this phenomenon is not restricted to low-carbing, and in fact because our diet is high in protein, we often recover more quickly. Make sure your diet is TRULY TOTALLY sugar free. Sugar great exacerbates the condition. It also helps to do the following:
  • Up your protein by 15% each day over whatever levels you've been eating.
  • Make SURE you are taking in at least 1500 calories per day.
  • Drink LOTS of water. 64 ounces is a minimum per day.
  • Take your supplements! At a minimum, you should be taking:
    • A good multivitamin with NO iron
    • CoEnzyme Q10 – 75-150 mg per day.
    • Acetyl l-Carnitine – 1000 mg per day
    • A good Essential Fatty Acids supplement if you don't
      eat some form of salmon, tuna, or olive oil every day.
Hope all of this is of some help, Donna. I know it feels scary, but it's not as abnormal as it may seem. I've seen people go off their diets because of it and then attest that after going off and eating "normally" their hair came back. Of course it would have come back anyway, but because these cycles are delayed, they draw the wrong conclusion. You'll find posts all over the web about how this or that diet caused their hair to fall out so the diet is DANGEROUS. They scare a lot of people with misinformation. I appreciate that you took the time to come to me and ask.

Thanks for all your letters, everyone! I get hundreds of letters each week and try to answer as many as I can.


Thanks for reading! Keep your suggestions and questions coming in — we always want to hear from you! Remember, we can't address every request and query, but the ones we hear about the most or offer the greater potential to help others will surely make their way here.


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