6 EXCELLENT AND SUPER EASY WAYS TO DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE HABITS

One of the most powerful habits we can adopt is the ability to be sustainable as citizen of this awesome planet. As the population grows the world gets smaller and smaller, as our future becomes increasingly connected. The people, businesses, organizations and NGOs we are all citizens of one planet, and this linkage places an increasing responsibility on each one of us to not only take ownership for our actions, but also share in our appreciation for this planet. Long-term sustainability hinges on our mutual collaboration.

However, over time, mostly as a result of globalization, creating cheap and readily available consumer goods and services, we have developed many bad habits resulting in over consumption and rapidly increasing energy use. We have also accepted the idea of  having and doing whatever we want, when we want. But as the world’s population expands we are facing a critical breaking point in our future.

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The only way sustainable living is possible in this constantly evolving consumer world is through our ability to change habits, until those little behavioural changes becomes habits we will never become successful on the climate change fight, posing a number of challenging to our well-being. An individual is based on needs and values, and we should be developing new practices every single day, which should create a brighter future for our family.

A sustainable world will require commitment and support from each of us, we need each other to live a satisfying life, a big part of sustainable living is the idea of giving back. A life that is deeply satisfying, fulfilling and appealing because it is socially, environmentally and economically responsible. This should be about making changes and informed decisions, which seeks to improve the quality of life for our future generations. There is truly no one fit all definition for sustainable living since it’s about making decisions which gives an individual unique leverage to drive positive change.

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Multinational corporations like Unilever and Nestle who have implemented sustainable living as part of their operations by developing and implementing new business practices. These two companies understand that our world is changing and climate change is here, especially in a world where profitability is no longer good enough, consumers are placing increasing pressure on these companies to become active marshals of planet Earth. Honestly they are forced to create a sustainable environment because the availability of their raw materials depends on the cooperation of the environment.

“Just as leaders can be identified by their actions, corporations can exhibit actions that demonstrate their dedication to sustainability.” 

                                                                                                                           Neil Hawkins

The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan aims to double the size of their business while reducing their environmental footprint, creating positive social impact. By working in partnerships with governments and organization to help change the world these initiatives includes deforestation and climate change; water, sanitation and hygiene; and sustainable agriculture and smallholder farmers.

According to Neil Hawkins the three components of the triple bottom line which are people, planet and profit they must be clear and consistently present for companies to sustain their pursuits over the long-term, hence the advancing interest of organizations in the environment.

We are faced with rising temperatures, water shortages, scarce food supply being further strained by rapidly expanding cities and unprecedented population growth also resulting in a challenge for basic sanitation and hygiene. Let us just say that climate change is disrupting our lives, business and economies for example water shortage in Guyana and United States, flash flooding in India and  the list goes on, so why not follow in the footsteps of companies like Unilever and Nestle and develop habits that would sustain us in the long haul.

So here are the top tips for developing sustainable habits:

  • Set realistic and achievable goals – what this does is allow you to appreciate and measures your progress, helping you to feel a sense of accomplishment. By setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation according to Mind Tools, which would better equip you to focus on acquisition of appropriate knowledge, as it helps you to organize your time and resources so that you can make the most of your life. 

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.

  Sarah Pavey

  • Organize your life – I know this could be quite difficult because it often feels like there’s not enough hours in the day, but do you know that by organizing your life you can get back those hours you lose, cluster is most often the result of indecision some of the most organized people make list and set realistic goals. Clear out every thing and work one area at a time, remember to set small task that would lead to accomplishing the overall goal.  It is understood that life can be so hectic these days, so by adopting a number of tactics that works well with your lifestyle can make a big difference. KeepinSpring states that keeping a to do lists and other information written somewhere allows you to look back at it anytime.
  • Take time to reflect on your day – You should reflect on all the good things that happened during the day and all of the things you accomplished during that day, be proud of your self every small step is a step closer to developing sustainable habits. This help you to learn from your mistakes, if we do not reflect on our mistakes we are doomed to repeat them, but by reflecting on those mistakes and recognizing what went wrong, so you can develop strategies to fix it.
  • Get rid of junk – Do not feel bad about purging your life. Ask your self these key questions, do I need this? When was the last time I used this item? Will I use this item in the next year? If your answers sound like this No, No, and No then it is time to toss that item out. Be honest with yourself and do not forget to recycle.
  • Educate yourself and find support –  keep up the research while you focus on achieving your goals. There are many amazing organizations and people out there working towards the same goals as you. Find them and support them, while they teach and support you, consider joining a social group can be very rewarding, others that went before can teach you from their mistakes, forums, blogs and local groups consist of a very interactive group of people who are making a collective effort to educate their peers and make positive change. A group of people is significantly more powerful than an individual.
  • Make yourself accountable – If you have not been accomplishing as much as you know you should lately then you should continue reading, when a person is accountable to someone else, they tend to get thing done and reach their goals. This is called social expectation.

R. J. Rummel Social Behavior Expert states that we live within a structure of social expectations, of belief, awareness, and apprehension of how others will react to our behavior, respond to our acts, play their roles in this human theater.

Simply talking about our goals are not good enough but instead we need to commit to specific actions that will move our goals forward and make an agreement with someone to hold us accountable for these actions to bring sustainable habits in our everyday life.

5 WAYS TO PERMANENTLY ERADICATE CRAVINGS

Are you trying to cut off that unhealthy food craving? Do you constantly have a longing for something sweet? Do you grab a bar of chocolate to boost your low energy afternoons? If your answer is yes to any one, you are not alone in these cravings. So how can you fight off these overwhelming urges without going into starvation mode scroll down to explore 5 tricks to winning the war on unhealthy cravings.

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Even the most health conscious people still have to develop strategies to cope with the carvings as they come around. Ask yourself how often during the day do you have that overcoming desire to consume a candy bar or cheeseburger? or better ask anyone your husband or co-worker what foods they desire frequently and without a hesitation they will rattle off more than one unhealthy choices.  To avoid these mindless eating habits you must first determine what causes your cravings and then develop unique strategies based on your needs and desires.

Cravings are frequently associated with and resulting from emotions and that time of the month but that is not necessarily true, the truth is cravings are weaknesses and your body’s way of telling you something. This is usually a lack of key nutrients needed by the body to function properly, Mind Body Green states that your body is extremely sensitive and if you are not consuming enough of the right things, your body will signal you to consume foods high in fat and calories because it perceives that there is shortage of food. So here are the five tips:

1.    Eat a Balance Diet 

Starving yourself of foods that contain nutrients the body needs can cause you to crave unhealthy foods and drinks. Even though junk food taste good they are very low in nutritional value and would just leave you craving more sugar and salt. To ensure all your meals are balanced, incorporate into your lifestyle a meal prep regime, Eat and Exercise By Amber has a brilliant guide you can follow, updates, weekly tip and tricks to eating healthy.  Remember the moment on your lips results in forever on your hips.

2.     Eat every 3-4 hours 

Our cravings are highest when our blood sugar levels are extremely low caused as a result of stress or hunger, our bodies send signals to the brain requesting an emergency source of energy to boost blood levels and get the body out of a rut, causing the body to crave candy and chocolate.  Clinical psychologist and author of Eat. Q. Susan Albers states that there are different levels of hunger, leading us to make bad food choices, which results in us choosing junk that gives us fatigue, sugar spikes, brain fog, weight gain and other health issues.

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3.     Get rid of temptation 

Do not purchase junk food when you go grocery shopping, yes I know easier said than done, but think about it most of us crave junk foods when we are either emotional or stressed if there is no chocolate, soda or chips in the pantry then we would seek an alternative, that just might be healthier than a candy bar, learn to trick your body. Remember chocolate is a pleasure food but there are healthy alternatives like fresh fruit, raisins and nuts according to Healthy Secrets.

4.     Stop snacking 

The idea is to help your body to burn fat this would help you feel better and reduce unnecessary cravings, also helping  you to have constant energy flow and not sudden burst by unstable blood sugar levels. When we snack we lose the ability to make energy last and the ability to enjoy our meals leaving us unfulfilled. My mother always told me do not snack before meals because you will ruin it. Muscle and Fitness claims that the key is choosing the right foods in the right amounts would keep our metabolism revved up causing us to reduce cravings and burn fat.

5.     Indulge yourself

The trick to indulging is to only have one serving at a time do not purchase a family size, just have enough to get rid of the cravings, which is usually one serving if you are unsure consult the nutrition facts at the back of the label.

Everything has gotten bigger and bigger starts to seem like the norm, misleading how and what we think are the serving size or right amount.  Food makes us feel safe and secure, but food should not  be therapy.

Permanently eradicating cravings may seem far-fetch but it is possible, remember no two people are exactly the same and what may work for one may not for the other the point is to get a plan, it may take some trial and error before you stumble upon the one that is just right for your lifestyle and overall health and well-being.

You are stronger than your cravings. 

Detox myth – Trust your body and stop wasting money

Are you thinking about all the junk you consumed over the weekend and how you could get rid of the waste piling up in your body? Looking for a quick fix or did someone tell you about a new rave cleanse, it is the only way to a healthy life? Well keep reading before you make the decision to detox your body with some unknown substance.

Detoxification is the process in which the body breaks down and eliminates toxins from the system according to Organic Nutrition while Dr. Frank Lipman author of Revive: Stop feeling spent and start living again and world renowned lecturer on internal medicine claims that detoxification is a key component of what the body does naturally to neutralize, transform or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins, this is a primary function constantly working and interacting with all other functions of the body.

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So if your body naturally cleanses itself what exactly do you need a detox or cleanse for?

Nutritionist and detox experts Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman states that our diets are filled with toxins, chemicals and a host of other bad, bad, bad elements for our body, that needs to be cleansed out the solution is to eat raw food cleanse or eliminate meat from our diet for a period of time and in some extreme cases indefinitely. Now, as you guys are quite aware herbal cleanse / detoxing has in recent years skyrocketed to fame, Dr. Josephine Briggs Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine stated that over $34 billion is spent in the United States yearly on Alternative Medicine, this includes a range of health practices from promising and sensible to potentially harmful.

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The human body is extremely fascinating  it can take anything we eat such a sugar, alcohol or even fast foods which could become very toxic when consumed in high quantities but did you know also oxygen, salt and even water in high enough quantities are all poisonous to our bodies.  This is the function of the liver and kidneys.

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that extract waste from blood, balances body fluids, form urine and aids in other important functions of the body, residing in the back muscles of the upper abdominal cavity, sitting opposite each other on either side of the spine. The kidneys are multi-functional powerhouses of activity, but the core function as it relates to our topic is waste excretion, with all the different things we eat that the body does not need inside of it, the kidneys filters out toxins, excess salt and urea a nitrogen-based waste created by cell metabolism. Urea is synthesized in the liver and transported through the blood to the kidneys for removal, while the liver clears the blood of drugs and other harmful substances, produce bile which helps to carry away waste and breaks down fats in the small intestine during digestion and resist infections by producing immune factors and remove bacteria from the bloodstream.

In reality the human body comes with structures designed to specifically clean and filter the blood and digestive system, the liver and kidneys does a great job at filtering out actually toxins and send them out of our body as waste and bacteria from the blood and chemically neutralizes toxins in addition to synthesizes and secreting bile in which the liver is famous for, by converting them into substances that can be eliminated by the kidneys. Dr. Lipman claims that detox actually decreases the amount of toxins we put into our bodies while at the same time supporting our bodies natural detoxification and elimination system with nutrients it needs to function properly through internal cleansing, and that detox is currently ignored by our current medical system, let’s explore why.

According to the Guardian and Harvard Medical  a detox does not really help the kidneys and liver to function any better, fight off disease, increase energy and lift the spirits, but these diets actually turn a blind eye to nutritional health and that detox kits are often designed to make you feel that you are getting superior value for your money even though you are not, this point is further cemented by British Diabetic Association that stated detox is non sense and that DNA testing is quite inadequate for analyzing botanical products that have gone through a lot of processes from leaf to tablet.

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According to experts prolonged fast can put blood sugar levels out of whack, with a threat for those with diabetes, heart and kidney disease, user of these detox can also experience sodium, potassium and chloride deprivation,  so call detox are not accomplishing anything because what they do is simply take out the fluid in your intestines, you will not get rid of fats or supposed toxins only water weight.  Harvard Medical School in its Healthbeat newsletter examined the Master Cleanse and found it “lacking in protein, fatty acids and other essential nutrients. Carbohydrates supply all the calories, which is extremely low, daily laxative regimen causes dehydration, deplete electrolytes and impair normal bowel functions. A person who goes on the famous Master Cleanse diet used by stars such as Beyonce and Naomi Campbell risk developing metabolic acidosis, depletion of the body’s acid base balance and acidity in the blood. This can lead to coma and death.

There is no sufficient scientific evidence to support herbal remedies and its safety for human consumption, research determines reliability and while one person may take a cleanse that seem to work for them, this in no way states that this cocktail of drugs will be safe for consumption by the general population.

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In general all medication, let’s just say every single thing we consume is detoxified by the liver and eliminated by the kidneys, by taking a cleanse, there are great risks of damaging both the kidneys and liver and should be avoided, the Department of Health and Human Services say that most commercial detox diets are nutritionally unsubstantiated, unnecessary and unable to support claims that they cure disease and medical conditions.

The reason behind drug testing by the United States Food and Drug Administration is to ensure safety, and cannot determine whether the potential medical treatments offer benefits to patients until clinical research on the treatment is completed. Clinical trials are an integral part of new product discovery and development and are required by the Food and Drug Administration before a new product can be brought to the market, determining the quantities they should be used, with cleanse we don’t truly know how they will affect the individual, if it will clash with other medication being used or if it will negatively enhance other medication causing it to become toxic, while risking medication becoming either increase or decrease where the prescribed drug stays in the body longer or is eliminated to quickly affecting the overall therapeutic effect.  According to the Food and Drug Administration people think detoxes are cleared but in fact they do not need proof of safety or effectiveness to go on the market.

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Remember we are all different and with the seemingly infinite array of detox diets currently available the fundamental question to ask oneself before embarking, is it worth the unknown risk? Detox are generally not recommended, University of Guelph, researchers used DNA fingerprinting to find that 1/3 of 44 supplements tested contained no trace of the plant listed on the label is that enough to deter you? Instead try to stop smoking, cut back on alcohol, eat a balanced diet, drink more water, get more fiber in your diet and avoid processed foods.  Let me know in the comments if you have ever taken a cleanse or detox and if you received the desired results.

Lifestyle changes may be better than doctor visit for HEADACHES

Do you know that there are approximately 12 million Americans go to the doctor every year seeking help for headaches? A quarter of this population suffers from recurrent severe tension headaches or migraines.

When you think about it, its quite strange how a headache even exist the thought that your brain itself can’t feel pain, so why exactly would your head feel this continuous pain? Well experts think that surrounding tissues, brain chemicals, blood vessels and nerves produce the pain signals. Associate Professor of Neurology  at School of Medicine at UCLA Charles Flippen MD, states that we are fortunate now because we know a lot more than we did 20 years ago about what causes headaches, we know what areas of the brain are generating pain, but we don’t have the whole picture.

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Now let discuss the 5 types of headaches:

1.  Tension Headaches are the most common types of headaches especially in adults, and commonly referred to as stress headaches, suffers claim that it feels like a mild to moderate constant ache, tightness or pressure around the forehead or back of the head and neck that can appear periodically such as episodic or chronic. Episodic occurs less that 15 days per month or daily these can last 30 mins to several days and chronic which would occur more than 15 days per month  where the severity increases with frequency.  Studies show that between 30-80% of adults suffer from occasional tension headaches while approximately 3% suffer chronic daily tension headaches. An alarming fact is that women is twice more likely to suffer from tension-type headaches as men.

2.  Cluster Headaches these affect more men than women and are considered recurring headaches that occur in groups or cycles. These are sudden with an intense, severe or debilitating pain in or around one eye on one side of your head, accompanied with watery eye and nasal congestion or a runny nose. The causes of a cluster headache is unknown, and people often feel restless and unable to get comfortable, cluster headache is considered one of the most painful types of headache, but are rare and not life threatening.

3.  Sinus Headaches occurs when the sinus becomes inflamed, most  often due to an infection, allergic reaction or tumor. This inflammation causes swelling and increased mucus production and the channels can become blocked. These are air-filled cavities located in the forehead, cheeks bones and behind the bridge of the nose. The increase pressure in the sinuses causes headache. The pain is usually intensified with sudden head movement or straining.

4.  Rebound Headaches the theory surrounding this type of headache is that the regular, long-term use of medication to treat headaches can cause the brain to shift into an excited state, triggering more headaches. Another is that rebound headaches are a symptom of withdrawal as the level of medicine drops in the blood stream.

Source: Atlanta Migraine Headache Treatments 

5.  Migraine Headaches it is estimated that between 15-20% of people with migraines experience visual distortions and hand numbness. Migraine is a throbbing pain that is usually worse on one side of the head. Migraine is not just a bad headache the attack is most often accompanied by extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell.This pain often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days if no medication is taken with 1 in 6 women suffering from migraines daily

There is no single reason why people get headaches, although migraines are associated with having a genetic component and usually a trigger, but it must be noted that the trigger is different for different people. Headache triggers includes but not limited to diet, too much sugar, certain types of alcohol, sleep patterns, stress, lack of exercise or a combination of others.  National Headache Foundation states that a person who suffers from headache should first consult a doctor to have a thorough medical history done which should include headache patterns, disability and mood assessment before a comprehensive remedy could be prescribed.

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3 lifestyle changes that can reduce your headaches

  • Modify you diet – certain types of food seem to trigger headaches in some people, in particular chocolate and alcohol, also the lack of sufficient water in your diet.  A great meal to help rehydrate yourself according to Catherine Roberts top health expert is salads she claims that lettuce and spinach leaves has a high water and fiber content but low level of nutrients, giving the body a great feeling. Bananas are also great to eat when trying to relieve a stubborn headache, since they are high in magnesium which relaxes your blood vessels and ease head pain. Bananas are also high in potassium which is an essential part of balancing the body’s electrolyte. Experts recommend to keep a food diary in order to determine what is triggering your headache.
  • Develop a good exercise routineRichard Lipton, neurologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York states that an excellent headache management is either walking, biking or any other moderate physical exercise for thirty minutes, three times a week, although there is no clear indication as to how it helps but  it reduce stress which is a cause of headaches, when you exercise the brain releases certain chemicals that blocks pain signals but also help to alleviate anxiety and depression. A small Turkish study reported that participants following a thirty (30) minutes treadmill or other aerobic workout reported fewer and milder migraines. Point is to choose a plan after consulting your doctor that you enjoy and start slowly.
  • Adjust your sleeping patterns – Headaches do one of two things keep you from falling asleep or wake you up at night, as well as are triggered by poor sleep at night. The recommended standard time of sleep is eight hours, experts claim that headache suffers could benefit from sticking to a regular sleeping hours. A good night’s rest with a proper supportive pillow and positioning, while ensuring that your head is not twisted one side or tucked into your chest can relieve and reduce the occurrence of headaches.  Save your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy reduce the distraction by removing the television or not taking working materials into your bed.

Although headaches are a daily challenge for a significant number of us, simple lifestyle choices can help, believe in your own ability to take control of your health. The important thing is to determine what triggers your headaches, try keeping a diary documenting when the headache started, what you were doing at the time, duration and what provided relief, eventually you may be able to prevent your migraines by changing patterns in your daily life.

5 Natural Energy Boosters at work

We are living in times when the big rave is an energy drink or to guzzle down a gallon of coffee, I have found myself guilty of at least one to make it through what may feel like the longest day ever.

But determined to motivate myself into reducing the consumption of caffeine, I did some research and found some scary results a study published in the Journal of American College Health stated that teens consuming high amounts of caffeine are more likely to take dangerous risks, that may result in injury or legal troubles another study by Dr. Georgina Trapp of the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia claims that in a significant amount of people caffeine from energy drinks cause them to be shaky and anxious, which could interfere with the performance of normal daily task or cause emotional issues.

During this process I have tried a thing or two but these are my top 5 ways to boost my energy levels without the unnecessary chemicals.

Hit the Gym at noon – I am not a morning person and attend evening university so the only time available is mid day, since starting this routine I find that I am less tired during the afternoon period and my productivity levels have drastically increase.

Drink Lemon Water – This gives me energy and changes my somewhat of a depressed afternoon mood, all I do is squeeze 2 drops into a glass of water and like magic I feel better, all the fatigue is gone. Dr. Oz stated that lemon water provides the body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and helps to reduce anxiety and depression.

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Take in some fresh air – I am fortunate to have a window seat at work, so from time to time I stick my nose out for 5 minutes, the freshness and sunlight helps to boost my alertness.

Turn up the temperature – I cannot deal with a cold room, it makes me feel sick yes literally sick, my body goes into sleep mode, so I adjust the temperature and this helps me to refocus.

Stretch at my desk – For us hardworking girls that sit all day at our desk trying our best to get the work done, sometimes it could become extremely difficult to fight off the midday crash,  don’t worry help is on the way, try something that would instantly spike up your energy, yoga stretches is an easy option, simply sit up straight and stretch my arms up as to touch the ceiling or stand and walk from one end of the room to another. Studies suggest that this could fight depression and anxiety. The US Department of Health and Human Services state that the best thing you can do for you neck and back is to stretch at your desk.

O boy and the big great bonus is to sip a cup of tea, this always get me alert, American Dietetic Association claims that tea is a great alternative to coffee drinking and that studies have found some tea may help with cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Now tell me your tips in the comment below.

Bibliography 

Health Line, 2015. The Ultimate “Deskercise” Stretch Routine. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/deskercise#1

Web MD, 2015. Health Benefits of Green Tea. http://www.webmd.com/diet/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits.

Happy Mother’s Day

To all the mothers around the globe:

So its relaxation Sunday, and you know what we to do on Sundays, reflect and just go with the flow. Today I am going to mediate for 30 minutes, then we are out to brunch, catch up on my favourite show of all time Big Bang Theory. I always aim to get in my bed by 7 ish, we will see if I make it today, anyway the point is to develop a routine that make you feel all rejuvenate on Monday, only you can determine the right way, unfortunately life does not have a one fit all option, what ever you choose to do it does not have to be something big, just be happy.

Let me know what your Sunday is like, I want to know.

The key to this hectic life is to find the balance that makes you happy:-

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Relaxation Sunday

Hey folks hope you enjoy Sunday just as much as me. Its a time to reflect, relax, prepare and plan for the week ahead.

You know what they say about planners, its not the plan that’s important but the process of planning. I love to plan everything to detail, so much that I am sometimes referred to as a control freak, I disagree but it might just be true. Anyway don’t intend to burden you with any long, post.

Today I am introducing my new series “Relaxation Sundays”, I will post something motivational with a bit of ease to read, from this Sunday until the end of time.

I need to get on with it quickly since I am also preparing to go to the beach this afternoon.

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Thanks for spending part of your day with me, hoping you a restful evening and enjoy this little quote.

” it is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent but the one most responsive to change”
Charles Darwin

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