The key words here are flexible and vegetarian. For a long time, I didn't know how to categorize someone with eating habits like myself. Although, I can't say I was looking for a group to belong to. Most people would just call me a picky eater whose eating choices were based on what mood she was in. But it just so happened that there were other people out there like me, who mostly avoided meat and animal byproducts weeks at a time, but could go for chicken strips or a cheeseburger occasionally.
According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, a flexitarian is one "whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish." Although I don't eat meat regularly, I also make it a point to avoid eating eggs and drinking milk. That said, I'm a flexitarian whose diet is more vegan than anything.
But Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet, says opting to become a flexitarian doesn't require you to remove anything from your diet, but instead to simply add more vegetables to your plate. Blatner suggests that there are three levels of flexitarianism: beginner, advanced and expert. Beginners start with two meatless days per week (or cutting down to fewer than 26 ounces of meat or poultry per week). You gradually decrease the amount of meat you eat until you reach expert level, which is five meatless meals every week. This means you're consuming about nine ounces of meat or poultry per week.
"It’s about building a mindset that promotes healthy eating habits for the rest of your life," Blatner said.
Not only is it about eating less animal products, but also making smarter food choices in general. This means little-to-no processed foods, more nutrient-dense and organic fruits and vegetables and healthy, gluten-free grains.
The flexitarian lifestyle is one that leaves a lot of room for interpretation, but one thing is for certain — it's a conscious effort to actively and intentionally move away from a Standard American Diet, and toward ingesting more life-sustaining foods.
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A'Nita E, Blavity Creative Society member and founder of the cooking blog Cuff in Seasons, spoke to us about her passion for creating accessible, healthy and easy-to-make food for millennials. Read our interview with her below.
Blavity: What motivated you to start Cuff in Seasons?
A'Nita E: I was motivated to start when I was in undergrad. My friends and I were eating like garbage. I was like why don't we have a space that can teach us how to cook within a budget with simple but great meals? Why don’t more people in our age bracket have more information about shopping in season, because fresh ingredients are cheaper when you do and have all of that information in one place?
I spent this weekend reflecting and meditating. But it is Sunday and the start of a new week. What's for dinner today? Some spicy shrimp and steak ramen. It's filling, cost effective and will leave you with some lunch for work tomorrow. Recipe coming soon. #love #instagood #seafood #food #foodie #cooking #blavity #blavityfoodie #blackbloggers
A photo posted by Cuff In Seasons (@cuffinseasons) on Aug 14, 2016 at 12:21pm PDT
B: My favorite part about your blog is that so many of the recipes are affordable. Talk to us more about why this is a vital part of your mission.
AE: This is a vital part of my mission because eating healthy can be difficult, money-consuming and time-consuming if you're not paying close enough attention. While it's great to look at recipes that call for ingredients not found in a local grocery store, when you're in college or recently graduated, you're counting your money. With tuition, bills and sometimes taking care of a family, money can be limited. You want to be able to eat well, have something left over and still have your bank account acting like it knows you.
It's the perfect day to try some thai food. Shrimp and pork dumplings with a savory dipping sauce is a great "snack". Try it 😋 #instagood #food #foodporn #foodphotography #love #thai #thaifood #dumplings #nomnomnom #yum #foodie #eeeeeats
A photo posted by Cuff In Seasons (@cuffinseasons) on Aug 10, 2016 at 1:28pm PDT
B: What words of advice/motivation do you have for young black professionals to prioritize cooking and healthy eating in their everyday lives?
AE: I would say to take it one day at at time. Our lives get busy, so don't beat yourself up if you fall off sometimes. What I've learned on this journey so far is that the easiest way to stay on track is to plan during the week and meal prep once or twice during the weekend. It gives you variety during the week and you don't have to wonder what you're going to be eating. I would also say to go outside your comfort zone, try something new that you normally wouldn't get at the store and experiment with it. You can never go wrong with expanding your culinary tastes.
Eating well should NEVER have to make you side eye your wallet or have your bank account giving you the side eye. There's no shame in living great on & stretching a dollar. I try to shop in season for certain vegetables& fruits if I want them fresh. What do you guys do to keep some spare money in your wallet? #food #cooking #budget #eeeeeats #foodgasm #ballin #ballinonabudget #savingmoney #bargain #wallet #foodie #people #peopleofcolor #blackbloggers #black #chef #homecook #publix #breakfast #lunch
A photo posted by Cuff In Seasons (@cuffinseasons) on Jul 27, 2016 at 9:15am PDT
B: Talk to us about what it takes to design and run a successful food blog.
AE: I'm still learning the answer to this every day. It's trial and error . So far, I've learned lots of patience, good photography, and making your readers feel connected and being relatable.
B: How does the city you live in influence your blog?
AE: I'm a southern girl, so being from Atlanta but living in the surrounding area, I crave great comfort food, but I like a lot of different flavors. Luckily, you can find that here. Whether that's an Ethiopian restaurant or one of the farmers markets we have here, you can honestly find just about any and everything you can possibly want to try. However, as a textbook introvert, the city and this blog has influenced me to explore even more and see what else Atlanta and other surrounding cities have to offer.
You can never go wrong with a good sandwich for breakfast. Toast your bread, make an egg white scramble with spinach, pan fry some turkey, add your favorite cheese and start your day! #cuffinseasons #breakfast #food #foodporn #chef #love #sandwich #nomnomnom #turkey #spinach #cheese #healthy #wholegrain #blackbloggers
A photo posted by Cuff In Seasons (@cuffinseasons) on Jul 18, 2016 at 5:22am PDT
Check out Cuff In Seasons, and let us know your favorite recipe below!
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If there were ever a day to try spicing things up in the kitchen, it's "National Grits for Breakfast Day." They're a southern favorite, but everyone knows that anyone who can make good shrimp and grits for breakfast is a top chef in training. They get overshadowed by the all the cakes, biscuits and pastries, but they're just as filling. And there's really so many other ways to enjoy them. These recipes prove it:
Braised beef short ribs and cheesy grits
Blackened sea scallops with sweet corn jalepeno grits
Gouda grits with smoky brown butter shrimp
Fried green tomatoes over basil-goat cheese grits
Roasted tomatoes with goat cheese grits
Red snapper and sweet potato grits
How do you like your grits? Let us know in the comments below!
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As you get into the swing of things this semester, you'll probably realize that you don't have as much time in the morning as you hoped, and you might not always have time to run to the cafeteria before class. Sausage McMuffins and pancakes on a stick aren't the only way to make sure you get an early serving of protein. And Pop Tarts and Toaster Strudels don't have to be on your grocery shopping list because you're a college student. Prepping is the name of the game. Get smoothie ingredients into a ziplock the night before, or make fresh granola on Sunday evening to last you throughout the week. Don't just pre-pack your lunch (honestly, you'll probably eat out anyway), but get a healthy serving of fruits, vegetables and more with these recipes.
Fruits and vegetables
Coconut Matcha Smoothie
Green Smoothie Bowl
Fruits and grains
Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Parfait
Granola Nectarine Yogurt Parfait
Blackberry Cashew Bars
Cinnamon Apple Granola
Sweet Potato And Mozzarella Egg Skillet
Spinach, Egg, And Cheese Breakfast Bites
Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
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Mornings can be hard. Especially when you know you have a busy day ahead of you, your alarm has gone off for the fifth time (really, you just need five more minutes), and by 10 a.m., you're thinking about happy hour. But then you remember: Coffee! Of course you're not addicted to coffee (seriously, you could stop drinking it whenever you want), you just prefer to indulge every morning and after a meal, occasionally. If this sounds like you, this means two things: 1. You're successfully adulting, and 2. You'll love these recipes.
Here are several recipes every coffee lover must-try:
Recipe via Hint of Vanilla
Coffee cinnamon rolls
Recipe via Perfectly Sprinkled
Recipe via Starbucks
Grilled coffee rubbed hanger steak tacos with fresh corn and zucchini relish
Recipe via The Kitchenista Diaries
Salted caramel mocha popsicles
Recipe via Melanie Makes
Smoked sea salt coffee float
Recipe via Starbucks
Coffee soda floats
Recipe via How Sweet Eats
Recipe via Diethood
Salty cocoa and espresso roasted almonds
Recipe via Mangia Blog
Braised jerk beef short ribs in coffee & red wine reduction sauce
Recipe via The Kitchenista Diaries
How do you like your coffee? Let us know in the comments below!
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Do you find yourself moving a little slower than usual lately? When you wake up, are you already tired? If you find yourself dragging your feet to get anything done, don't just resort to your third espresso shot of the day or a sugary energy drink. Try these foods for a natural and healthy boost of energy.
The fiber and natural sugar found in bananas will bring you back to life.
With Vitamin C, potassium and folate, this is a longer lasting energy boost. Be careful if you've got diabetes, as the sugar content, though natural, is higher in oranges.
For all of my iron-deficient homies out there, get some spinach in your life! Your energy will be up in no time.
Vegans know that this is a great way to get a little extra protein without eating meat. Feel free to snack on these at your desk at work.
The B vitamins in this will help break down the carbs you consume.!
Are you getting your eight glasses a day? We're mostly made of water, so if you don't get enough, your body will start to feel the effects. Boost your water intake to boost your energy.
These are great to mix with almonds or cashews. Some people believe they increase blood flow and help stabilize your mood. Either way, they're perfect for a healthy energy-boosting snack.
Have a few pieces without feeling guilty! Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which is a natural stimulant that boosts your energy and mood.
You can use this to make a curry sauce or drink in chai tea. Many believe it promotes good blood flow, which is essential for better energy levels.
Fiber, protein and lots of vitamins make broccoli a great energy booster that you can eat raw with some hummus or quickly steam with garlic and a little butter.
Want to combine a few of the aforementioned foods into a quick snack? Pick up a KIND bar. They're low in sugar and will give you an easy boost of energy.
Self care can seem like a struggle, but if you just make time for it (and who doesn't like snacking?) you'll be able maintain consistent energy levels and get done whatever you're striving to do.
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Southern cooking is known for its rich flavors, whether sweet or savory. Many times, those flavors come from some of the most unhealthy ingredients we could possibly consume. But that doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite comfort foods. Check out this list of substitutions that will have you enjoying your favorite guilty pleasures, minus the guilt.
Want to make great gravy or cream-based sauce? Soy milk or rice milk might lack the consistency you need, but almond milk hits it on the nose. For many of us who are lactose intolerant (and ignoring it), southern cooking is often followed by a stomachache. Avoid the pain and sub in this dairy-free milk.
Southern cooking requires butter for almost everything, but again, if lactose is your enemy, butter can do you in after a large portion. Grab some vegan butter for no changes in taste, but better feelings after consumption.
I know you bacon lovers are giving me the evil eye right now, but turkey is a much leaner option than pork. If you'd like to spare yourself some fat and calories, it smells and tastes just as good.
This is a great alternative for fatty dips and dressings. It's traditionally made with tahini, lemon, garlic, chives, and sometimes avocado, which means that you can make your own at home! Feel free to also use it as a substitution for mayo on sandwiches. Check out this quick and easy recipe from Thug Kitchen.
Nuts and Raisins
I would say that this is a great substitute for southern snacks like huge slices of pound cake, but since we both know that we're going to eat the cake anyway, we can at least add some ingredients of substance to our southern sweets. Nuts and raisins are great additions to cookies, with nuts adding healthy fat and raisins giving you a boost of sweetness without the processed sugar.
We know how addictive processed sugar is, yet we're white sugaring our tea like no tomorrow. Let's stop this! You can sweeten your tea, your baked goods, and even your cereal with a little honey, and it's much better for you. There are also processed versions of honey that aren't as good for you, so your best bet is to look for raw honey.
Substitute quinoa the next time you're cooking some delicious rice and (almond milk-based) gravy. Rice isn't a pure protein, but quinoa is, and it will fill you up much faster. Throw in some of your favorite herbs or veggies and you've just recreated a super healthy southern...
Two things that make for a great pregame: Appetizers and alcohol. It's no wonder why the two meshed together would get any night off to an excellent start. #NationalTequilaDay was last month, but the fun doesn't stop there. That said, here are some must-try tequila and lime recipes I've curated for you to execute at the next taco Tuesday night with friends, or for an epic start to your best night out on the town.
Tequila Lime Chex Mix
Tequila Lime Chicken Nachos
Tequila-Spiked Shrimp Ceviche Recipe With Avocado
Tequila Lime Shrimp
Tequila Lime Steak And Poblano Quesadillas With Citrus Sour Cream
Tequila Lime Chicken Kabobs
Tequila Lime Sorbet
Tequila Lime Cheesecake Bars
What recipe do you want to try most? Let us know in the comments below!
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Black vegetarians, vegans, or just health-conscious relatives go through a lot at family cookouts. Traditionally, this event is full of food with oil, dairy, and/or covered in sauce. No one wants to hear any speeches about calories, health implications, or how big mama just put a pound of sugar in the sweet tea. Many don't want to try anything that looks unfamiliar to them. Don't give up, my health-savvy friends! Here's a list of things to try at your next family cookout.
Let's start with the basics. Kool-aid and sweet tea have not been good to us as a people over the years. We want the great taste, but not all of the health implications that come with sugary drinks. Infused water is a great way to get a bit of sweetness, but keep it light. You can infuse your water with herbs such as mint or fruit such as strawberries. Some even enjoy cucumber!
Before you get on my case, I know that kale salad has the been the much maligned dish at family cookouts the past few summers. The common mistake people make is forgetting to massage the kale with liquid amino to break down its toughness. Liquid amino is also a great way to flavor the kale, a natural seasoner, so you can skip the salad dressing at the end. Throw in some avocado and some quinoa (which is a pure protein and will help you feel fuller longer), and your salad is a hit!
I could eat grilled salmon all day long. It's a delicious alternative to fattier meats, and it has healthy fats as well. Throw this on the grill after a quick marinade for a great fish option at your next cookout.
No, not the fruit salad where your mom dumps a can of fruit cocktail in a bowl of jello. It's a nice childhood memory, but let's cut this out. Gather pineapple, blueberries and strawberries, squeezing lemon juice over them and adding chopped mint for a delicious and healthy fruit salad.
This is as simple as removing the skin before grilling and saucing. As most of the fat is in the skin, you can avoid a lot of calories by taking this extra step. I know some people don't even consider it a real bbq without some chicken, so let's just make that chicken a little better for us (it'll still taste just as good).
All my non-vegan folks out there: It's not gonna taste like ribs, but it can be delicious. Don't be afraid to step out and try something from a plant-based diet as an alternative. Here's a recipe you can try, and guess what? You can still have the ribs on deck in case not everyone's feeling it.
Fruit Spring Rolls
This is something really fun for kids. Instead of messy ice cream or sugary popsicles, wrap some fresh fruit (mixed or not) in a rice casing (maybe with a touch of honey) and serve!
Even when I still ate beef, I preferred turkey burgers once I gave them a try. They're leaner, less greasy, and just as tasty. You can put your patties in a marinade overnight or do a spice rub, whatever you like. If you sneak these in, I doubt anyone will be able to really tell the difference.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato fries are a huge thing and offered at many health-conscious burger joints now, but many times, they're still fried. Throw these bad boys on the grill for a really smoky taste, some beautiful grill marks, and surprised guests, as they enjoy this great AND healthy treat.
Traditional succotash has corn and lima beans, but my mom made hers with corn, okra and tomatoes. I always love to add some grilled sweet yellow onion and cayenne pepper to mine for a touch of sweet and spicy in this savory dish. This is a fantastic way to get a vegetable jolt in your meal.
Spicy Chicken Kabobs
For all of my spice lovers out there, throw some peppers on a kabob with a bit of chicken for a true summer treat at your next cookout. It's an easy way to incorporate veggies, and the kids will love and have fun with it. Bonus: No mess!
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Day parties seem to be the new thing for enjoying the weekend, but some of us still love a good old fashioned brunch with the homies. Here are some of the top spots in the Bay Area to try on your next search for a scrumptious meal with friends.
Want chicken and waffles for brunch, but you're strictly vegan? Souley Vegan's Sunday brunch has you covered. Serving everything from seitan shrimp 'n' grits to fried candied yam tots, your dietary restrictions never have to affect your ability to get your soul food fix, even at brunch! Bottomless mimosas are also served.
Eating brunch on the lake on a hot summer day is possible here. One of my personal favorites, this neighborhood gem serves up the best crab cake benedict I've ever had, and the drinks aren't too shabby either. Many times, beautiful decor covers up mediocre fare, but Lake Chalet's food is just as awesome as its atmosphere.
The Terrace Room
Meat eaters, you have found your spot for chicken and waffles on a serene Sunday morning. Although The Terrace Room doesn't sit on the lake, it does have a beautiful view of it and much of downtown. The service here is impeccable, and a great place to bring your parents or visiting relatives.
Lois The Pie Queen
If you arrive during their busy hours, be prepared for a wait at this popular spot. She might be the pie queen, but Lois also does brunch right, as evidenced by the bustling atmosphere during the weekend rush.
Oakland Grill is tucked neatly into Jack London Square, and is the perfect spot after a long night of partying, when you're famished, exhausted, and happy with your crew of friends. The portions are phenomenal and the prices are affordable, so get ready to fill your belly and recharge for the rest of your day (or before a long nap).
Pepples Donut Farm
Brunch is something that you want to linger in, spending hours lounging and enjoying every morsel of food and conversation. But sometimes you don't have time for all of that and you want the brunch feeling without the brunch time consumption. That's where Pepples comes in. Listen closely... vegan donuts. Yes, it's a thing! It's a delicious thing with flavors such as strawberry cream and lavender chamomile. If you're on the run, these babies will bring you that brunch joy in no time!
Combining traditional Indian flavors with brunch concepts, this spot has Tikka Masala chicken and waffles and Tandoori shrimp and grits on its menu. If you're feeling adventurous and want to try more creative fusion, this is the place for you.
Homeskillet is the spot if you have a spouse and/or children and you want to keep it simple but still fun. The menu is pretty straightforward, but if you're inclined to treat yourself to donuts after your meal, you can get them for the whole family without breaking the bank.
This is one of those spots that has stood the test of time. We all know that mom and pop shops are getting pushed out by chain everything, and Zocalo's has been a neighborhood hub for over 20 years. This is the place you go when you've moved away, but want a taste of home while visiting.
If you love brunch the way I do, you'll be excited to learn that Café M serves it every single day. Seriously, if I want it on a Wednesday, I can slide through and get my fix. Another casual neighborhood spot, this a great place for two buddies to catch up over good food.
Grand Lake Kitchen
The food is good and there are options for everyone, but Grand Lake Kitchen is also the spot to go when you want to see and be seen. Literally, this area is so popular, you're bound to run into all of your friends from in town and the surrounding cities on the weekend. Try to coordinate, especially if you're going with friends, as the wait can be a little lengthy.
Tell us some of your favorite brunch spots below!
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It won't give you the ability to breath fire, but dragon fruit will remind you of some rare and mythical fruit from a fairytale about a goddess who outwits her evil adversary. It's also my new favorite superfood because of the cool benefits that its peculiar frame packs.
The blossoming of this lurid creature is a tale of adventure and allure all its own. Jay Ruskey, dragon fruit cultivator and owner of Good Land Organics describes the fruit as a "night-blooming cactus that likes to climb up the stalks of trees, then stick its branches out while being supported by its host. The emergence, from the bud to flower to fruit, is an extremely rapid process, about 40 days."
Once the flower is pollinated, blooms, base swells and the petals eventually dry up, the fruit appears. It grows until it turns a bright pink or yellow color. Then it's finally ready to pick.
The taste is like a delicious combination of kiwi, pear and strawberry with a hint of melon. It has a great texture to add to smoothies, cocktails and acai bowls.
Some health benefits of dragon fruit:
1. Packed with antioxidants: Betalains, Hydroxycinnamates and Flavonoids. These help to protect lipoprotein from becoming oxidized or damaged, promote anti-cancer activity, and are linked to better brain health and a reduced risk of heart disease.
2. It’s one of the most phytonutrient-dense fruits around, which helps fight disease.
3. Supports weight loss, the body's digestive system and anti-aging.
4. One dragon fruit has all the daily fiber you need.
5. Aids in eliminating acne and helps treat sunburned skin.
What's your favorite superfood? Let us know in the comments below!
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I think #BlackGirlMagic in the kitchen needs a moment of its own. It's nothing short of amazing how these women can transform simple ingredients from the earth — well, mostly — and create beautifully-crafted, decadent dishes. From vegan to flexitarian, these black women can be found cooking up a storm and sharing their masterpieces for us to drool over and replicate with hopes of similar success.
Here are 11 black women chefs to follow:
1. Chef Lauren Von Der Pool
Who's hungry #NEWORLEANS? #AvocadoToast anyone?
A photo posted by I AM Chef Lauren Von Der Pool (@queenofgreen) on Jun 30, 2016 at 7:29am PDT
2. Chef Latham Thomas
Glow Foods- Rooftop Garden Greens and edible flowers and herbs. Straight out of Soho, NYC. Just picked these and have a few pounds more, wrapped in cloths in the fridge. It's growing so abundantly. So glad I don't have to go to the Farmer's Market and pay $12 for a 1/4 pound of greens and lettuces. We are so blessed to stay hooked up all summer with such a variety. I will be making seasoning salts, marinades, pickled veggies and special summer dishes and sharing tips on green kitchen and the summer- stay tuned. #glowfoods #summergreens #vegan #salad #edibleflowers #herbs #greens
A photo posted by Latham Thomas (@glowmaven) on Jun 1, 2016 at 11:17am PDT
3. Chef Ahki
Thanks to everyone who joined me on Live stream and periscope yesterday for Sunday dinner👍🏼
A photo posted by Chef Ahki (@chefahki) on Mar 21, 2016 at 11:31am PDT
4. Chef Carla Hall
I'm gonna get my daily dose of oatmeal in one way or another. This is my I'm-running-out-the-door-but-I-can-still-eat- well version. #quakerflats #RefreshAndRenew #breakfast #snack
A photo posted by Carla Hall (@carlaphall) on May 10, 2016 at 6:29pm PDT
5. Chef Yoli Ouiya
Tiny cleansing salad: cucumber, red pepper, red cabbage, carrots, celery, water chestnuts, sunflower seeds, collards. #WellthyHome #WHHamptons ....... #Montauk #Hamptons #salad #foodie #foodgram #travel #cleaneating #food #travelgram #healthyeating #nofilter
A photo posted by Yoli Ouiya (@yoliouiya) on Aug 1, 2015 at 2:21pm PDT
6. Chef Dee
Let's call it "the lunch special" Lemon Grass glazed Chicken with brown Jasmine rice and stir fry Veg #ijustcantstopchefingitup
A photo posted by Chef_of_the_year🍴🔪#Zphi (@chefdee305) on Jan 28, 2016 at 11:19am PST
7. Chef Kay Kay
Teriyaki Salmon #postworkoutmeal
A photo posted by Kayla Greer (@chefkaykay) on Jun 28, 2016 at 8:30pm PDT
8. Chef Angela
#Buttermilk brines are the way and the light. Juicy, tender, seasoned all the way through. You have probably tried buttermilk for fried #chicken, now try it for #bbqchicken! 🔥🔥🔥 #kitchenista #Chicken #grilled #smoked #bbq #bbqsauce #marinade #brine
A photo posted by The Kitchenista Diaries (@thekitchenista) on Jul 5, 2016 at 7:38pm PDT
9. Chef Alisa Reynolds
Return of the Mac @my2centsla
A photo posted by My2Cents (@my2centsla) on Jun 9, 2014 at 3:55pm PDT
10. Chef Q
I ask for #strength and #God gave me difficulties to make me strong. I asked for #Wisdom and God gave me problems to solve. I asked for #Prosperity and God gave me a #Brain and #Brawn to work. I asked for #Courage and God gave me #Danger to #Overcome. I asked for #Love and God gave me #Troubled people to #Help. I asked for #Favors and God gave me #Opportunities I asked for #Forgiveness and He did. I asked Him to shine thru me and He is. #CantYouSeeIt #KeepWatching #Oprah #HaveOne #Cajun #Shrimp #DevilEggs #TBT #Chefism #TBCE #1000plate #ChefLife #Mayweather #Chef #BeYou
A photo posted by CHEF Q (@chefism) on Jun 30, 2016 at 9:46pm PDT
11. Chef Sunny Anderson
Sunny's Easy Braised Tomato Chicken and Spinach with Fettuccine. #sunnyrecipeyo look it up xo. One Pan Plan! Pasta served in a pie pan. Sue me.
A photo posted by Sunny Anderson (@sunnyanderson) on Feb 25, 2015 at 11:23am PST
Who are your favorite chefs to follow? Please share in the comments below!
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