Monthly Archives: August 2011

How to Find Reliable Health Information Online

iStock_000000863840XXXSmallDear Staness,

I am so confused! There is so much conflicting information online about menopause and tests. One website says buy saliva tests to check my hormone levels for $299, and another says these are not good tests and a waste of money. Where do I go for dependable information?

Confused in Connecticut


Dear Confused,

This is a GREAT question! I was shocked at the amount of misinformation online too. The Menopause Makeover co-author Dr. Wendy Klein led me to reliable information sources.

Since menopause is a natural transition, most of us are searching for “natural” management options.

If a website is selling a product, you can bet there will be editorial material supporting their product. How do you know if you can trust what you are reading?

Enter center stage – our leading lady to save the day: science.

The word science comes from the Latin “scientia,” meaning knowledge. Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge.

Many people associate science with the medical community, and make the assumption that alternative methods are not supported. This is not true.

There are excellent, non-commercial resources supported by science that provide sound information on alternative, complementary and medical menopause treatment options. They are not selling anything. These resources are available to provide you with information supported by scientific research… knowledge based on concerted human effort to understand, or to understand better, the natural world and how the natural world works, with observable evidence as the basis of that understanding.

The North American Menopause Society is a professional, non-profit organization. To find your answer about hormone saliva testing, go to The North American Menopause Society and enter “hormone testing.”

“Saliva testing to determine if a woman has the “right amount” of hormones has not been proven accurate or reliable. Even blood testing of hormone levels has the drawback that levels vary throughout the day as well as from day to day. More important, the desired levels in postmenopausal women have not been established. In addition, an individual woman’s physical comfort may not even be related to her absolute hormone levels.”

On any website, it is wise to read the “About Us” link so you know WHO is providing the information. Generally, non-commercial websites make that information readily available so you can see the credentials and expertise of the people who are providing your advice.

We are all different. Work closely with your healthcare provider to discuss menopause treatment options specific to you.

Dr. Klein says, “Know where your medical health information is coming from, and don’t trust the biased medical information on websites that are selling products.”

I applaud your efforts to get educated on menopause matters. Gather information from reliable sources. My favorites are listed below.


Reliable resources that are unbiased and supported by science

North American Menopause Society

National Institutes of Health

The National Library of Medicine

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

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Posted in ask the expert

Jayne’s Story

Jayne’s Menopause Makeover Story

Age:  50 something

Jayne is the amazing woman who launched the Menopause Makeover community.  When we first met via phone prior to the book release, she confessed that she wanted to lose weight and start feeling good about herself again after reaching menopause.

After 12 weeks, our fearless leader got her groove back.

Jayne’s Story

I’m totally amazed by the results after I finally pulled out the measuring tape last night to measure my 12-week progress.

I have lost over 20 pounds, over 4 inces off my hips, two inches off my waist and one inch off my abdomen.

I don’t have the lumpie stuff going on anymore, the back fat seems to be gone, and I’m doing up my bras one clasp smaller.  My arms are tone too.

I’m feeling so much better about being in my own skin – it’s a great feeling!

I had someone at the office approach me today to tell me that my skin is glowing that I look amazing and at least 10 years younger.

This was much more than a book promotion for me, it was a personal journey.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for helping me regain my health on so many levels.

Thought you might like to see how my efforts are paying off in my new more fit Menopause Makeover body (I’m the one in the orange hat below with my daughter)!  I’m back in close fitting tees and sleeveless tops, and although I’ll never be as slim as my baby girl, I don’t look TOO shabby standing next to her.

AND just today I nipped into an outlet mall that is conveniently located enroute…my wallet wishes it weren’t, but I usually get such good deals that I rationalize the expense. I’m wearing a size SIX dress today (self portrait from my cell phone above). Yes, you heard me … SIZE SIX!!!

I nearly ran out of the fitting room squeeling when I put it on and it fit like it was made for me!  I’m sure the salesgirl must have thought I was insane as I went on about how I loved the dress ($15) and I loved my Menopause Makeover plan that got me into it.  Thank you Staness!

NOTE from Staness:  Thank YOU Jayne for your inspirational story, and kudos to the amazing women in our eharlequin Menopause Makeover community for their incredible support and enthusiasm.

Share YOUR Menopause Makeover story!

Click here to email:

AFTER photo with my daughter


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Posted in testimonials

Next Menopause Makeover Giveaway Worth Over $750!

Missy from Savannah, GA won this fabulous

September giveaway! Congrats!

Follow us on Facebook

for the next giveaway worth over $750!!


Celebrate YOU

with this September giveaway worth over $650!

Pamper yourself and win this fabulous giveaway!

It’s easy, just leave a comment on our Facebook page, subscribe to the Hot Flash Newsletter or follow me on twitter.

Open Yellow Box

The Ultimate Makeover! Win a copy of The Menopause Makeover!

The Menopause Makeover: The Ultimate Guide To Taking Control of Your Health and Beauty During Menopause.

Celebrate the NEW YOU in 8 easy steps in just 12 weeks!

Feel fabulous in a Miraclesuit

Miraclesuit® designer swimwear will make you Look 10 Lbs Lighter in 10 Seconds, the time it takes to slip one on. Miraclesuit swimsuits are constructed from a proprietary blend of control fabric called Miratex. This fabric slims and slenderizes without relying on constrictive control panels or inner linings. The high concentration of Lycra spandex means that Miraclesuit’s keep their shape… and yours. WIN one coupon to receive a Miraclesuit (based on size and availability).  Miraclesuit® believes in Curves.

Say YES to Yes

Yes® is a sensuous and original gift idea for you to share with your partner that will inspire and enhance your lovemaking – an intimate gift that you can discover together.  This award winning natural lubricant range is the only certified organic range of intimacy products in the world and promises pleasure, purity and performance! Limited intimate lubrication is a common problem for many menopausal women. Yes Pure Intimacy has the perfect solution – a sensuous, natural, discreet intimate lubricant range that is plant based, free from chemicals, glycerine and hormone mimics. Its purity is guaranteed as it is the only certified organic intimate lubricant in the world, combining the performance of an outstanding lubricant with that of a vaginal moisturizer.

NiteSweatz cool jammies!

NiteSweatz innovative, thermo-regulating apparel makes a distinctive fashion statement while comforting the body and spirit during life changing conditions that contribute to increased perspiration, hot flashes and night sweats.

Created by an Exercise Physiologist that understands technology fabrics from years working out in it has coupled the functional moisture wicking benefits (actually pulls moisture away from the body allowing it to evaporate faster leaving you cool and dry) with fashionable.  The result is light-weight, cool slinky outfits that feel wonderful! We love NiteSweatz – very comfy!

Perimenopause Relief Kit

St Muireann recommends a genuine freshwater pearl necklace, a gourmet chocolate bar, and a good sexy novel to alleviate those pesky symptoms of menopause.  The beautiful, nearly-round 7mm genuine freshwater pearls are separated by tiny glass beads. Unlike pearls knoted on a string, this maintenance-free necklace will never need to be reknotted! Ladies, sit down with a glass of wine and a bar of good chocolate and take a break from those hot flashes and tears with this little gem, it’s a treat!

Our favorite Handmade SWEETS

by Pat Shepard, Two Sisters and The Other One

Two Sisters and the Other One is going GREEN!  They are offering a selection of healthy products including:

-Honey Granola

-Trail Mix

-Sunflower Seed Bars


I have personally enjoyed this basket of healthy treats – yum yum!  I have to fight my husband for the honey granola in the morning, and I hide the sunflower seed bars for my afternoon treat.  You will love this healthy collection of hand-made treats!

We love WalletBe

The WalletBe™ Purple Cellphone Accordion Wallet is made from Italian hand-finished croco-embossed leather and is a high-fashion accessory, practically designed for women on the go. This designer Cellphone Wallet holds your iPhone, Blackberry, PDA, small digital camera or MP3 Player!

Check out all these functional features!

  • Comfortable Designed for the iPhone, Blackberry, PDA’s and MP3 Players
  • 9 Card Accordion I.D. Wallet- A WalletBe Design Exclusive
  • Convenient Outer I.D. has Exclusive Card Curtain to Hide I.D.
  • Inside Coin Purse and Elastic Money Band
  • Outside Elastic Lipstick Tube Holder
  • Detachable Wristlet and Shoulder Strap
  • Handmade 100% Italian Leather Wallet
  • Actual Size: 4-7/8″ x 3-1/4″ x 1-3/4″

Hot Flash Havoc DVD – be one of the FIRST to own Hot Flash Havoc!

Hot Flash Havoc is the most provocative and revealing film ever made about menopause.

HOT FLASH HAVOC is enlightening, entertaining, humorous, profound, and is a crash-course in what you need to know about menopause. It has the power to be a life-changing experience for every woman in your life. Every woman over 30 needs to have this information.

Healthy Slender Pops from our friend, Debi Talbert!

Enjoy these sweet, sugar-free candies as a healthy treat, or even part of your dieting efforts! Sweetened with xylitol and packed with energy boosting ingredients, these nutritious lollipops can support your efforts to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Great for diabetics, carb-conscious dieters, or anyone who wants to cut extra sugar out of their diet!
Win ONE pack of 24.   Sponsor ID USA403970

Hurry and enter today!

For a chance to win this fabulous collection of gifts:

Tell us on our Facebook page that you want to win this giveaway!
Follow us on Twitter
Tell a friend
Subscribe to our monthly Hot Flash Newsletter
If you already subscribe and follow us on Facebook and Twitter you are automatically entered to win, but we would love to hear from you on Facebook again!

Share this contest with YOUR social media community. Scroll to bottom of the page to share.

Contest Rules

Contest closes midnight October 2, 2011!

October 3rd  one GRAND winner will be selected to win this pampering giveaway.

ONE grand prize winner to be announced by October 15, 2011.

Winner to provide a mailing address so the vendors can mail your prize.

Eligibility: Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents physically residing in the fifty (50) United States of America.

By registering, you will be agreeing that your registration and any other information collected in connection with the Contest may be used by Sponsor and may be shared with Sponsor’s affiliated business entities, and that you automatically opt-in to receive email, text messages or other communications from Sponsor. You may subsequently opt-out of the receipt of such email or communications by following the directions in the email, communications or by contacting Sponsor directly.

All registrations must include entrant’s valid email address. The email address provided by online entrants will be the identity of the entrant and, if selected for a prize, the identity of the winner. We expressly reserve the right to disqualify any entries that we believe in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Contest Rules.

Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Contest. All prizes will be awarded. In no event shall the Sponsor be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Contest Rules. All prizes won by minors will be awarded to their parents or legal guardians on their behalf. Please allow 6-8 weeks for prize delivery.

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Posted in Contests

To Eat or Not to Eat Before Exercise

There are conflicting scientific opinions on this question.  Some say you burn more fat exercising on an empty stomach and others disagree.

Muscles usually get their energy from carbohydrates, which is why pro-athletes eat alot of food before a race.   But if you haven’t eaten before exercising, your body doesn’t have many carbohydrates in reserve. That forces it to burn fat instead, some scientists say.

Other experts say that even though people may burn more fat this way, it is mostly fat within the muscles that will be lost and won’t make a big difference to people trying to lose weight.

Most of these studies are done on young, healthy MEN.

My take, since we are not professional young male athletes, EAT something before exercise!

1.  Without enough fuel, you won’t get the intensity of training you need to get improvements.

2.  If your blood sugar is low, you could wind up getting dizzy and you might not be able to exercise as well as if you were well-nourished.

3.  Not eating before exercise might make you more prone to injury.

4. Eating is important so the body has enough nutrients to recover from a bout of exercise.

5. When you postpone breakfast to exercise, it is possible you might eat more afterward.

My recommendation:

If you exercise in the morning, get up early enough to eat breakfast — that may mean one to two hours before your workout. Most of the energy you got from dinner the previous night is used up by morning, and your blood sugar may be low. If you don’t eat, you may feel sluggish or lightheaded when you exercise. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a lighter breakfast to raise your blood sugar. Good breakfast options include:

  • Oatmeal with protein powder and fruit
  • Low-fat cottage cheese and fruit
  • Egg white omelette and veggies
  • Protein bar or shake
  • Hard boiled egg

If you’re not a fan of eating in the morning before you work out, try a protein drink or protein bar. And remember, if you normally have coffee in the mornings, a cup before your workout is probably OK. Just don’t try any foods or drinks for the first time before a workout, or you risk an upset stomach.

Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercise.

The general guideline:

Large meals: Eat these at least 3 – 4 hours before exercising.

Small meals: Eat these 2-3 hours before exercising.

Small SNACKS: Eat these an hour before exercising.

Eating too much before you exercise can leave you feeling sluggish, or worse, with a case of diarrhea or stomach cramps. Eating too little may not give you the energy to keep you feeling strong throughout your workout.

Protein shake recipes, breakfast tacos and protein waffles on my website.

I prefer to exercise in the morning and get it off my to-do list  I have a 1/2 cup of coffee with low fat almond milk, and a 100 calorie protein bar.  One hour later I go to a spin class or hit the eliptical and weights.  I have enough energy and strength to do one hour of exercise and I am not starving afterwards.

We are all different, but I have found most women do better eating a little something before working out.   And don’t forget to drink water!

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Posted in fitness

Cory Everson: Ms. Olympia, Actress, and Author

By Staness Jonekos, Author The Menopause Makeover

Have you ever wondered how female body builders age? How menopause affects them? How do they keep fit after 40 or 50 and beyond?

Cory Everson won the Ms. Olympia contest six years in a row from 1984 to 1989. Cory showed the world you could be sexy and strong – even at 53! Check out her Ironman Magazine cover to the left — she was 50 – woweee!

Cory was the original host and producer of the fitness show “Body Shaping,” which was the number one rated fitness show on television. She is one of the top names in fitness today, and has authored numerous fitness books.

This busy lady has also appeared in the movies “Natural Born Killers,” “Double Impact,” and “Ballistic.” Her television work includes “Charmed,” “Home Improvement,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and many more.

Today Cory has a line of workout equipment and accessories, and shares her fitness secrets with us in her “I’ve Still Got It!” interview.

Question: What was your inspiration to start bodybuilding?

Cory: I had a 4-year scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Although I was not required to participate in sports I just didn’t feel complete without it. At the U of W, I lettered in gymnastics (yes I was the worlds largest gymnast) indoor track, badminton and outdoor track.

It wasn’t until I completed competing on college teams that I took a try at Bodybuilding. I had just won my 4th Big Ten Pentathlon Championships and I had this urge to try something new. Since gymnastics had given me a very early head start in the muscularity and stage presence department I felt I had an advantage in bodybuilding because these basics were already formed.

The strength coach at the time, Jeff Everson, was the person who actually noticed my potential and filled me in on the background of bodybuilding. I had never heard of it, so he showed me books and magazines and urged me to compete. I still to this day remember photos of a bodybuilder who came from gymnastics named Lynn Conkwright. I was impressed with the graceful blend of power and athleticism she portrayed.

Question: How long did it take to prepare for your first Ms. Olympia?

Cory: It took me a number of years of training to get to the top due to a major, scary setback during my first year out of college. In the middle of the night I woke up in massive pain, unlike anything I can even describe, but so great I thought I was dying. I was experiencing thrombophlebitus a major blood clot in my three major veins in my left leg which was blocking circulation from my hip down to my toes. I remember overhearing the doctors talking about a possible leg amputation if they couldn’t get blood circulation to the tissues.

I was hospitalized for six weeks in intensive care in Chicago with the doctors stumped as to why this had happened to a young healthy 20-year old athlete. As it turns out, I have a blood clotting disorder called Protein C Deficiency and Factor Five Leiden which put me at high risk to clot, but we didn’t know about this until some 20 years later when tests were finally invented to diagnose this rare and deadly problem. My doctor put me on a dangerous bout of an experimental drug called streptokinase to dissolve the clot that is what ultimately what saved my life and my leg.

I lost a tremendous amount of muscle weight and strength while I was bed ridden in the hospital. I was laying on my back unable to walk or even turn over for weeks on end. After I was released from intensive care I was moved down to critical care for another four weeks where they started to teach me how to walk again. I can’t tell you how afraid I was to just stand up and take one little baby step …but each day I took one more step until I was off my crutches and mobile again.

The doctor’s prognosis was that I would never be able to compete again, and most likely not walk normally either because of all the vascular damage.

It took me a few years of gaining strength, weight and mostly confidence to finally compete again. I lived in daily fear of this clot reoccurring. I had to be so cautious to even exercise, so I took it slowly and set little mini goals. This was 1980, and I won the Ms. Olympia in 1984.

To win my first Ms. O was truly a surprise. Honestly I was not expecting to even place in the top ten as it was my first Professional competition. I was coming off a victory at the National Championships, and was invited to compete in the pros in just a couple weeks.

Question: When you hit 40, did you find it more difficult to stay fit?

Cory: Not really at 40, I didn’t notice much change in my body. For me it was more like 45 when first my eyesight started to go, and then slight body changes followed, but it is not like it happened overnight.

I wasn’t exercising as much and many times not all, so I still wonder if it is not aging per say that makes the body change but instead not exercising with the same intensity as before. Sometimes I believe that we fall out of shape mostly because we get busier with less time to train, we have more responsibilities, maybe don’t eat as correctly and less of the fact that we are getting older.

After we finished with our ESPN-TV fitness series “Gotta Sweat” my husband and I adopted 2 kids from Russian orphanages, so my focus changed almost overnight. It suddenly went from its all about me/us to it is all about them. At age of 40 I became a parent and that alone was a new experience.

I actually don’t think it would be that hard to stay relatively fit if you have the time to exercise a little and can stick to a clean diet. Time management is the biggest challenge I find for most of us. When we lose our motivation the end result is our butts get bigger and cellulite takes hold of where nice toned shape used to exist. Lack of time is a huge culprit.

Question: What body area was the most difficult to keep tone after 40?

Cory: I think across the board it is the lower abdominals, hips and butt. Those are the places as a female fat wants to accumulate. But after saying that I think we don’t give ourselves half the credit we deserve to be able to redirect our own destiny.

I am serious when I say we can have better control over these areas by balancing the right amount of exercise with the right amount of caloric intake. Some people don’t want to hear this, but we have more power to control our physicality than we think.

Menopause definitely has its challenges, but we can’t use it as a crutch nor an excuse. We can do things about it. Of course changes take place but we can slow them down and determine just how far we will let it go.

I know many women in their late 40’s to early 50’s that are in the best shape of their lives. I see it more and more and often times these women are in far better shape than their 16 year old daughters.

The bad news is that as we age our hormone production in our ovaries slows. The good news is our fat cells actually have the capability to produce estrogen. So I welcome a certain amount of body fat to maintain some estrogen production. Exercise also stimulates testosterone production in both men and women which is important to in building our lean body mass (which is responsible for our metabolic rate.) More reason to exercise.

Question: Did menopausal hormone fluctuations affect your body after 40?

Cory: Not until about 48. When I turned 50 I really noticed it mostly in the texture of my skin and neck, legs. I remember last year my daughter playing with the skin on my neck enjoying herself so much commenting how it was like working with Play-doh …funny to her at least not so much to me. I am 53 now and wonder who is staring back at me in the mirror sometimes…when did I get those little lines around my eyes? Seems like they all of a sudden appeared.

I think my body has held up better than my skin, and I honestly believe that would be the same for most women. We can control what we eat, how we exercise, but we can’t really control our skin. I think the hormones really challenge our skin’s texture and color, our hair health, facial lines, and yes moods and patience.

I did a photo shoot when I turned a half century old and believe it or not wore a bikini on the cover. I didn’t even question that since all I had ever worn in photo shoots was bathing suits and leotards. I didn’t really think about being 50, it just didn’t cross my mind …. what was I thinking?

I doubt I would be so quick to jump into a photo shoot nowadays. I would need to prepare a bit more than before.

Question: What tips do you have for women over 40 on staying fit?

Cory: I think to be realistic is key, don’t expect to look like you did when you were 16 or 25. Life has an effect on all of us, so take the good with the bad. Don’t sit back and just give up either. Put up a fight and do a little something for yourself each and everyday. Not only do you need it for physical health, but equally important for your psychological and emotional health as well.

Join a gym. Say hi to new friends, take some classes that push you a little harder than you would push yourself at home. Don’t be afraid to fail or get intimidated, if you even show up you are already more successful than you were yesterday…just go to the back of the class and be the best you can.

No one expects you to be a superstar, so you shouldn’t either. As long as you sweat a little, who the heck cares if you followed the routine correctly. Just live and laugh, and enjoy each day but at the end of the night think back and make sure you did a little something for yourself. Hey it is okay if it was just a 20-minute walk… that was the best 20 minutes you could have ever taken for yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to others… you are your own person and inherited your own set of DNA so don’t compare. You are unique both with the challenges, as well as the gifts you were given so don’t compare. Don’t give up don’t get frustrated. Try to reset your focus onto all the wonderful gifts you have and remove any negative thoughts that are floating around your little head. Be grateful everyday for your health and respect your body.

1.Take a little walk for at least 20 minutes 3-5 days a week. If you are already doing that then add a few minutes to your existing time or try to walk that same walk a little faster to make it more intense.

Or make time for a few cardio days…try spinning or taking a dance class to get your heart rate up to where you feel like you are late for a meeting and you are a little short of breath but not gasping for air. This insures you are in your fat burning zone. Remember the first 15 minutes your body is burning stored sugars, so any amount of time after that you are most likely burning fat stores.

2. Try to do three days a week of 20-30 minutes of weights, either machines or take a sculpting class. You need this to maintain your lean body mass and maintain your muscle and bone strength (will help prevent osteoporosis) your metabolism stoked throughout the day. Muscle burns calories throughout the day it is metabolically active fat on the other hand does not. Lean muscle not only looks great, but allows us to eat a little more.

3. Always eat clean basic foods, reducing the amount of dressings, fats, sugars and white flour items. Don’t fry your food, instead grill bake or broil it. Just eat the way you think our forefathers ate. Eat raw fruits and veggies and lean meats…it is not that hard to do at all and is so uncomplicated. If you eat this way, you can actually eat more, because the choices are so low in fat and processed sugar. Give it a try it is so, so, so easy. It is all about making good choices, just like we teach our kids.

Question: What is your “I’ve Still Got It!” moment? (Cory has a few)

Cory: When a truckload of teenage boys kids drove by saw me walking my dogs and whistled. If they only knew that under my baseball hat and glasses was a 53 year old mom.

When I was on the cover of Ironman Magazine at age 50 in a tiny bikini.

When my sister and I were ‘hit on’ by a college volleyball team …until my nephew yelled at his teammates to stop talking about the hot cougars because they were commenting about his Mom and Aunt.

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Posted in fitness, I’ve Still Got It

Making a Difference

While Michelle Obama is talking about supporting military families, Linda Franklin – creator of The Real Cougar Woman – has already started her own mission to support women in the military.

At The Real Cougar Woman Linda is intent on providing help for Combat Cougars all over the country.

She has been organizing Combat Cougar Makeover Missions all over the country. Linda started by partnering with a salon and then get to work pampering and gifting not only the women serving our country, but also the vets and military spouses. Check out her video of an event at Rockefeller Center in New York, click here. In the coming months Linda has a makeover scheduled in Maine, Washington, Texas and San Diego – she’s one busy lady!

The Combat Cougar Bracelet is a wonderful way to show support – it’s all about women for women.

The bracelet is gorgeous – a bit of bling that women love. Linda’s goal is to have a million women wearing these bracelets to show their support for our military sisters who too often don’t get the recognition they deserve. Check it out! Until she sets up her charitable foundation, proceeds from the sale of the bracelet will benefit United Veterans Beacon House which provides housing and assistance to homeless women vets.

HELP Linda help our women vets! Purchase a Combat Cougar Bracelet and make a difference!

You can contact Linda at:

Start your Menopause Makeover and make a difference!

Thanks Linda – YOU are an inspiration!

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Posted in spirituality