Get Walking

Walking.  We do it everyday.  If you look around you see colorful bands adorning wrists on many people you come into contact with on a daily basis.  Maybe you’re even wearingWoman running one as you read this, frequently checking the reading to see how many steps you walked today.  But why are people suddenly in a craze to track steps?  Walking has been the simplest form of exercise since.….well, since forever.  Maybe these new cool devices have re-ignited our society to get up and get moving.  Maybe the craze is the start of a healthier world.  Let’s explore some of the benefits of walking as the latest fad in exercise.

 

1) It’s Inexpensive.

No, you don’t even need to have a fancy bracelet to count your steps.  All you need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes that provide decent support for your foot and enough cushioning for what your own body needs.

You don’t need a gym membership.  Not even when temperatures plummet to freezing.  Have you ever been to mall early in the morning?  Check it out sometime and you will see some pretty dedicated walkers doing their laps.  Just make sure you don’t stand in their path.

 

2). Opportunity to Work on Posture and Core Stability

After reading the following instructions, I want you to stop reading and take one minute to perform the task described.  Stand up and place both feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.  Roll your shoulders down and back.  Pretend a string is attached to the top of your head and it’s gently pulling you up.  Imagine pulling your belly button back into your spine.  This posture, when done correctly, is called neutral spine.  After 3-5 breaths take 10 steps. Did you notice if your posture changed or did you remain in neutral spine?  The majority of you may find that you will lose your posture when you begin to walk.  Where does it go?  It succumbs to the tight hips, back, and weak core that develops as a result of jobs that require you to sit most of the day.  Or it disappears into the lack of habit to stretch and work on your core.

Regular walking with mindfulness on your posture will help you to more easily engage core muscles.  This will enable you to feel longer, leaner, and breathing easier.

 

3) Improve Your Numbers (and not just on your pedometer)

The American Heart Association claims that walking can improve blood pressure, blood sugar, and improve your lipid profile.  Let’s first look at blood pressure.  You hear from your doctor, you see it in ads, and you read it in your books and magazines, that exercise helps lower blood pressure.  I will leave the medical explanation to the doctors and I will share with you the wellness perspective.

 

When you exercise, you are releasing endorphins – the feel good hormones.  You don’t have to be a runner to experience the positive effects of physical activity.  Any physical activity that’s done for fun, leisure, etc. has the capability of generating endorphins.  We all know what happens to our stress levels when we are participating in something enjoyable right?  Stress is linked to blood pressure.  Lower your stress, lower your blood pressure and go out for a walk.

 

4) Maintain Body Weight

You might be thinking, “Can I really lose weight just by walking?”  It really all depends on your physical state and where you are starting.  If you are already engaged in a regular exercise program you will find great benefit to adding a walk into your regular schedule.  If you are coming from a place where you haven’t been involved in a regular routine, you will absolutely feel and see a difference.

 

For starters, if you’re engaged in any intense training program, schedule in regular periods of active rest days to allow your body to recover and to address inflammation in the body.  Inflammation can occur in the body as a result of intense workouts on a day-to-day basis without time for rest.  Keeping your body in an inflamed state is counterproductive to your fitness goals.

 

If you’re new to exercise or haven’t been keeping a consistent schedule add a regular walk to your routine.  It may produce some great results on your weight management journey.

 

5) Catch up with Friends or Catch up with Yourself

The great thing about walking is that anyone can go along with you.  In our busy, fast-paced worlds it can become easy to lose those connections with those people that are dear to us.  Walking is an activity that can be shared with anyone in your life.  It allows for quality time to talk and share events going on in your lives.

 

Solo walks are great for the mind.  As a form of active meditation, it allows you to take a mental break from your hectic day.  Take a walk to clear your mind so you can look at things with fresh eyes.

 

So how much walking should you do?  The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes five days per week.  Use that guideline as your minimum, get yourself a comfy pair of shoes, plan to find a partner or go solo, and schedule that time in consistently.  Happy Walking!

 

 

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Many Benefits of Avocado

bottle of avocado essential oilThe alligator pear, more commonly known as avocado, is a native fruit of Mexico and Central America.  Widely known for its use in guacamole recipes, there is much more to this single seed fruit that you might realize.  Rich in essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, its nutrients are easily absorbed by the body allowing your body to run more efficiently.

 For your healthIt is true that this little fruit is high in fat, but it’s filled with 15 grams of heart healthy fats made up mostly of monosaturated fats.  These fats come in the form of oleic acid, which is linked to reduced inflammation in the body.  Lower cholesterol and reduce your risk for stroke and heart disease by adding this fruit to your daily menu.

Additionally, avocados are loaded vitamins and minerals.  They actually contain MORE potassium than bananas.  You can also be sure that you’re getting the following vitamins when you snack on this fruit: Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9, and Vitamin E.

Finally, avocados pack a powerful punch in the fiber department.  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams of fiber per day for men.  At 11 grams of fiber, you will be getting almost half of your daily recommendation.

For the skin and hair:  Cold-pressed avocado oil is used for anti-aging skin-care in Ayurvedic medicine.  Premature skin aging occurs from extreme elements of weather, poor nutrition, stress, and genetics.  Cold-pressed avocado oil can be used for moisturizing and smoothing skin.  Fatty oils make avocado good for treating rashes, sunburns, and overall moisturizing.  If you’re suffering from dry skin this winter try making a simple mask by rubbing the inside of an avocado peel on your face.  Leave the mask for 15 minutes.  Rinse with warm water then pat dry.

 

Is it time to bring your dry, frizzy hair back to life?  Avocados contain biotin, which is most commonly known to treat hair loss.  Make a paste by mashing one peeled avocado.  Mix the mashed avocado with ¼ cup rolled oats and then combine with 1/8 cup of olive oil.  Add one cup of milk and stir.  Smooth the mixture over your hair and leave on for 30 minutes.

For your palette:  From delicious salad topper to substitute for cooking and baking, you can be creative with an avocado.  Want to make that tuna sandwich a little healthier?  Use 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado as a mayonnaise alternative.   I’m sharing one of my favorite treats with you but for more recipes where you can determine other ingredients to use with avocado go to http://www.whfoods.com/recipestoc.php

Avocado Chocolatey Fudgey Brownies

Ingredients

2 large avocados

4 scoops of Isagenix IsaLean Dutch Chocolate

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups walnuts

3 teaspoons honey

Directions

Blend avocados, protein powder, cocoa powder and salt in a food processor or blender.   Slowly add walnuts to the mixture and blend until smooth.   Prepare 8×8 baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.  Pour mixture into dish and flatten with the back of spoon.  Freeze 5-6 hours before slicing and serving.

 

 

 

 

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A Cup of Courage

CupCourage is taking a step when you don’t know where it will lead.  Life is a journey filled with unknowns.  You venture into new relationships, new careers, or you decide to just jump on a spinning roller coaster.  They all have the presence of fear.  It’s what you do with that fear that can make all the difference.

Fear has held different meanings. Face Everything and Rise or Forget Everything and Run.    

Going straight into the heart of fear requires you to acknowledge what you feel.  It demands that you stand up and stand strong for what you want abolishing any fear that tries to sneak in.  It takes courage – it takes strong will – it takes constantly reminding yourself of your goals, dreams, and aspirations.

Sometimes it’s not so easy.  Sometimes you get knocked down and doubt starts to creep in.    There are a lot of examples in life that demonstrate acts of courage.  To some, there is nothing more scary than change. Transformation of anything in life can be pretty darn petrifying if you allow it to be.  You give up the known to move into the unknown and at times it’s not by choice. But what if… what if you decided to find the courage to embrace that change as an opportunity?  Opportunities lie on the other side of fear if you’re willing to see it that way.

Face Everything And Rise…rise up to the challenge of a new way of looking at things.  Rise up to grow, to learn, to find the courage to move forward.

takerisks

 

 

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A motorcycle, a friend, and the sea

Be like water

Be like water

Doesn’t everyone have those moments in life when you wish it was acceptable to revert to the behavior of a 3 year old when things are getting frustrating?  Stomping feet and protesting in a whiny string of “no no no” could possibly work at 40 years old, but I’m pretty sure my friends and family would have thought I completely lost my mind.

Last summer I had some big changes going on in my life.  I wanted to stomp my feet.  I tried saying “no no no” but my poor dog thought she was in trouble.  Plan B would have to be put into effect.

Transformations, no matter if they’re good or bad, can have a big impact on balance.  Not only was there a big change in my personal life but I had taken on a new job.  I was feeling a little overwhelmed, totally frustrated, and needed a mental break.   That’s when a good friend, knowing what was going on, called me up and came to pick me up on his motorcycle.  I had no idea where I was being taken I just had a strong feeling he knew exactly what I needed…the ocean.

Have you ever sat and just watched the water?  It’s pretty stinkin’ cool!  Look out across the sea.  The surface can be so peaceful and soothing.  You can’t see everything going on

Peaceful Sea

Peaceful Sea

beneath the surface but you know there’s a whole lot of stuff going on.   The waves roll, the sun glistens and you can get completely lost watching the waves. It’s like instant meditation.

So how does the sea really give us lessons for our situations?  Let’s first just call these little frustrating situations in life, positive challenges.  Positive because you always grow from them.  You learn a lesson, you move along, and you leave behind any of the negative pieces that don’t serve you.  Any struggle you go through is meant to teach you something.  When you’re at the height of the issue and can’t see the lesson, it feels like the wave that’s rolling in.

IMG_2726When I saw the riprap sign I started to laugh and it became the new name for my situation. It was purely riprap and I entered at my own risk.  Who and what is in your life is all there by your own choice.  Some say loving is risky, changing jobs is taking a chance, and trying a new ice cream flavor is living on the edge. No matter what it is, it’s always your choice and you know full well the different directions it could take.

While we sat and talked, I kept noticing the water.  Crashing against the rocks and then rolling away.  The rocks stay firm where they are and the water just finds its way around the formations and then rolls back to the sea, unchanged.  Continuing to be beautiful and peaceful.  Not all situations will be the same or will stir the same amount of discomfort inside.  If you can do your best to hold strong like the rocks but flow like the water, it will get easier.  Stay strong in your values, in your truth, and your authenticity….stay fluid enough to adapt and change. Once your wave rolls back out to sea and things become peaceful again, you’ll start to discover the lesson you needed to learn.

So what about the motorcycle?  Being free on the bike, enjoying the wind and the sun, was just a really cool part of the day.  😉

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Deck the Halls – 8 Week Program

Deck the Halls – 8 Week Program designed to help you get on track to stay Motivated and stay FIT through the holidays.  Screenshot 2014-10-13 20.43.35

Individualized Workouts*

Individualized Nutrition Plans*

Private Facebook Group

Weekly Challenge

Weekly Motivation and Inspiration to help keep you going

*All participants must complete an evaluation form  prior to the start of the program in order for the workouts and nutrition plan to be created


Pricing:

FREE for members of my team using recommended products.

Click here to join my team

$100 for non-members of my team

 

 

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Healthy Balance

From the time I was born I was always battling some sort of respiratory challenge or high fever.  As an infant I had scarlet fever.  Throughout my childhood and into adolescence I was constantly fighting strep throat.  I have a vivid memory of my parents taking shifts through the night putting a cold facecloth on my head until my fever would break.

My mom had told me that during her pregnancy she was so sick and could barely eat anything.  In my years of studying early childhood development I had learned how much of an impact that had on my health.  I can’t remember a season in my childhood that I wasn’t sick.  Much of it probably had to do with the numerous food aversions I had.  I think the only things that I would eat were peanut butter and cheese.  I even remember going through phases where I would either hate jelly or hate marshmallow.  Textures, tastes, or even how food was prepared really impacted whether or not I would eat it.  I have no idea how I even had energy back then but I was always playing sports.

It’s no wonder that I was so susceptible to any germ or illness that was out there.  My immune system hated me and I hated it right back.  In college I had to move out of the dorms because of germs that kept holding me down.  I was one of the lucky ones who actually lost 15 lbs when I went away to college instead of gaining weight because all I would eat was granola, salad, and frozen yogurt.  I’d watch the cafeteria workers prepare the food and I would cringe thinking of how many germs were flying through the air and landing on my food just waiting to make me sick again.

Life Changing Moment #1  Eventually, during my first job as a teacher I was knocked to the ground with some nasty illness.  I ended up having to spend almost an entire month in bed with no voice or even energy to walk from my bedroom to the bathroom.  During a visit to the doctor I was told that I was given the wrong medication to treat what I had.  It not only made it whatever I had worse, I was told that if I had kept taking the medication it would have killed me.  (This was also the exact time I decided I was not a fan of medicine).

When I began getting my strength back I laid in bed thinking “I’ve got to finally figure out how to make my body so strong that I can stop being sick”.   It became such a common occurrence for me to get sick, feel better, and then get sick again all over again.  It seemed like it happened every 2 weeks. Some nights I would even pray to God to help me feel normal.

The age of 25 was a turning point for me but it was only just the beginning.  I began to learn about essential oils.  I threw out most food in my cupboards and started shopping for organic foods.  On a first year teacher’s budget and rent to pay that was pretty interesting….and hard to maintain.  I tried yoga for the first time.  I went to class, laid down on my mat and started coughing from the incense.  As the music played and I lay still on my mat I was thinking “How much longer is this going to be? I’ve got work to do”.  I got up and left.

During that time, I was preparing for my Black Belt in karate and I was introduced to a holistic doctor.  I sat in on a drmincollapresentation he gave at my karate school and I was hooked.  Dr. Mark Mincolla opened my eyes to a whole new world.  Within a week of seeing his presentation I booked my first appointment.  I was not only hooked…I was feeling better!   I noticed so many changes including the ability to breathe (I had been diagnosed with exercise induced asthma when I was in high school)!  I needed to learn more.  The concept of food as medicine fascinated me and I was set on my journey.

Years went by as I worked hard to figure out what worked for me.  I became certified as a Sports Nutrition Specialist so I could learn about vitamins, minerals, and everything else that would help me with strength through my workouts.  I KNEW there was something my body was missing and I was determined to figure it out.  I began to feel even better.  But I just wasn’t quite there yet.

The afternoon fog was common for me.  I would spend my days teaching and ready to put my head on a pillow by 2:00.  I would suffer from exhaustion from overtraining.  It’s always when we hit a wall that we finally “wake up”.

Life Changing Moment #2 I was sitting on my parent’s balcony in Florida staring out at the ocean.  I couldn’t even pick up my legs and I remember thinking “I don’t even know how I would find energy to go for a walk right now”.  Tears were streaming down my face.  I was desperate to figure out what I was doing wrong to cause these episodes of extreme exhaustion.  When I returned from vacation I decided to slow down a bit.  I was running 5-7 miles a day, competing in karate, lifting weights, finishing my Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies…and just on the go constantly.   I was that girl that would set out to conquer any physical, mental, or intellectual challenge placed in front of me and I would do it at 100 mph.  But something had to shift.

Of course, when you start feeling better you just bounce right back to what you were doing.

I continued on.  As soon as I got my groove back I was flying through life again.  This time I added fitness competitions, a marathon, and my doctoral degree to the agenda.

Soon after, I set the goal to “become one” with yoga.  The only way I ever do anything is to go full out.  So I enrolled in a yoga certification program.  Six months later I was officially  certified and opening a studio!

Life Changing Moment #3  Not only did I hit a wall but I hit that wall and slid down to the floor with a thump.  After a visit to my doctor for my annual physical I received a phone call.  Apparently, my liver function tests were in the critical range and I needed to get back in ASAP for more testing. While I waited for the second round of results I made a trip to Dr. Mincolla.  After one visit he knew exactly what was going on.  Extreme adrenal fatigue and I was headed for disaster.  It’s never a good thing when the doctor adrenalfatiguetells you “Sit down. This is serious.”  As I continued with blood work for 3 more weeks I became more exhausted, sleeping 12 hours a night only to wake up in the morning and feel like I needed to go back to bed again.  For several months after, I would walk into the gym and pick up a dumbbell only to put it back down and leave.  My energy was at -100.  I tried going for walks only to realize I couldn’t even feel my legs.

Since I had no energy I had a lot of time to read and think.  I needed to design a new life.

My intensity came to a screeching halt for fear of testing my fate again.  In a year’s time I began feeling better.  I developed more balance in my routines but found times that I still needed to put the brakes on.  I was focused on eating healthy – because now I knew that every time I became ill I was placing more stress on my body.  Stress that my body just didn’t want to handle any more.  I had maxed it out and the stress-o-meter just was no longer set to “high”.

Life Changing Moment #4   2011 was the biggest turning point in my life.  After going through the winter of 201o with pneumonia I was introduced to something that has made a significant improvement in my health.  When I was appointed to a elementary school principal’s position I knew that I needed to figure out how to keep myself energized for an entire day.  I also needed to figure out how to avoid getting sick because I just couldn’t take time off.

In comes Isagenix!  WOW!  Within my first week of using Ionix Supreme I noticed I didn’t have the afternoon fog.  I wasn’t sleepy.  I had ENERGY!  Even better, a month into the job I didn’t get a cold!  Every single year of my life, for as long as I could remember, I always had a cold in September.  On I went through the year.  Trying different products and feeling better by the day.

Think of one of the toughest challenges you’ve ever accomplished in your life.  Recall those feelings when you finally finished the most grueling task you ever faced.  This is exactly how I felt on my visit to Dr. Mincolla in January of 2012 when he said “Everything is perfectly aligned”.  I left that office with the only words “Keep doing what you’re doing because you are at complete health”.

That night I was presented with my 4th degree black belt.

It’s been 3 ½ years since starting with these products and every single day, every season, every year I am so grateful for the strength it has given me.  I once got a cold 2 years ago and it lasted for ONE DAY!  I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my entire life and it feels so good.  Isagenix is the key to my optimal health.  It keeps my body balanced, healthy, and strong.

My only wish is that this company was around when I was a kid.  I would have had alternatives to the peas that I would hide under mashed potatoes on my plate.

If you want more info, check out my product page.

Watch my upcoming post on the need to cleanse.

My daily products:

  • Ionix Supreme
  • IsaLean Shake
  • Want More Energy
  • IsaFruits
  • Greens
  • Ageless Essentials with IsaGenesis
  • IsaFlush
  • Brain Support

 

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Whole heart – whole soul: Commitment

How committed are you to reaching your goals? We must have commitment of heart and mind in order to fully engage in anything we set out to accomplish.  Linking the two together can be so powerful.  My karate instructor used to teach us about commitment with relation to a punch or kick in sparring.  During a sparring match, if you don’t commit to a punch or a kick you could either miss the point or get hit with a strike.  Who wants to miss completely or take a shot?  Not me!

If you find yourself in a spot where you lack commitment stop and think about why you are even in that spot.  Is it because of a choice you made or a choice that someone made for you?  Are you in a funk because you lack proper rest and you’re just feeling fatigue?  Motivation can play a huge role here and when you go back to determine your WHY, you can often find that spark for your commitment.

I’ve never had a challenge with commitment until I started to get older and the responsibilities pile on.  Every week I check in with myself to make sure I’m on target with each project I tackle.   If I don’t feel 100% about something I know it’s time to take a step back to see if I might have too much on my plate.  I absolutely don’t want a mess on my table from my plate overflowing!  But it does happen to the best of us.

So what do I do to stay on track and make sure I’m putting 100% into everything I choose?  I go through this mental checklist:

1) Does it make my heart happy?

2) Do I know how to do this?  And if I don’t, am I willing to figure it out?

3) Do I have the time it will take?

4) Can I give it my all?

Stay committed even when things get busy, when times get tough, or if you have to deviate from your initial plan just a little.  When you can put your whole heart and whole soul into something, the results will be amazing.

 

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The Sun and Thoughts

Do we ever really stop and focus our awareness on the day?  How many people knew that today was actually the longest day of the year?  Have you ever woken up to watch the sun rise or have you taken the time to sit and watch the sun set?

Watching the sunrise is a beautiful event yet there are so many people that choose to miss it.  One of my favorite things to do, when time will allow, is to start my morning run right before sunrise.  There is so much peace in that time when you know most are asleep as you cruise down the road with just the sound of your feet hitting the pavement.  If you’re lucky enough, there are no trees blocking your view of the amazing sun as it slowly rises up signaling a new day.  [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKusr6d_1-c[/youtube]

Each day presents an opportunity to put the events of yesterday behind….if you choose to look at it that way.  We are given  the chance to start fresh with our thoughts, with our interactions, with our choices, and with the peace we choose to have within.  There is life – and there is stress.  The two are, and should be, independent of each other.  How many of you reading this form your sentence to say “My life is stressful”? Now how many of you can agree that it is the choices you have made or continue to make that create a stressful life for you?  What is it that you are feeling deep within you that is driving you to make stressful choices for yourself that you would never wish upon your dearest friend?

A great thought to ponder while watching the next sun rise or sun set……..

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Reach for Resiliency

S-T-R-E-S-S Its an ugly word. As you read the word notice how your body automatically tenses. You might feel your breath catch and you may even feel your pulse quicken. We’ve all experienced stress in our lives. Work. Relationships. Life. They are all things that we seek to balance in our lives and as life happens, work can pile up and relationships can suffer. We hear how our own stress can even have an impact on those closest to us. It’s ironic that those that surround us with love, support and care can feel the effects of our own stressful situations. You have the power to change that.

Read the following words and take note of how they make you feel: worry, fear, anxiety, insomnia. It’s like a layer of BLAH. Allowing those words to take over you can have an even more detrimental effect than just the feeling of BLAH. It can crumble the best things you have…if you let it.

Now read the following words and take note of how you feel: happy, positive, smile, love, rested. Don’t you feel so much better? There have been numerous studies on how words and images affect the brain and how we feel. It can be challenging, but if you train the brain you change the feelings. If you can change the feelings you can change your response. Imagine that? Imagine having complete control over how you feel during times of stress? The old saying “Count to 10” has a lot of validity when it comes to handling your stressful scenarios. It gives you time to BREATHE. It gives you time to breathe out the stress and all those ugly feelings that accompany it and breathe in all of the positive words you can think of.

Life can throw us some pretty interesting events. It is how we choose to respond that will determine if we let it get to us or we let it grow us. Choosing resiliency during stress is a really good start. Making this small change has the power to build things up and to continue to grow the wonderful things around you.

Next time you’re feeling the weight of things on you try the following: Take 3 slow and controlled breaths. As you inhale visualize yourself breathing in love, light and happiness. As you exhale, take the breath from your lower abdomen and visualize yourself breathing out worry, anxiety, and negativity. After your third breath inhale while bringing your arms up over head. Reach them up high towards the sky. Exhale and slowly bring them down to your sides. Continue this for 10 seconds (or more). You will feel lighter, brighter, and more peaceful. Reach for resiliency as often as you need to until you feel only good things filling your heart.

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Happiness Starts with YOU

Many people go through life thinking that the key to success is to get “something” done. Success is not measured by tangible things or what we accomplish.

Success is measured by the degree of joy you experience during your journey through life.

Think about that for a second. How much joy do you have in your daily life? Are you finding things throughout your day to smile about? Are you starting your day with enthusiasm?

Pure happiness is the key to success. Is there something in your life that is preventing your heart from true joy?

You have been given the gift of being in this life. We can only operate at our best when our hearts are filled with joy. If we don’t put our hearts first, not only do we suffer, but those around us do too because we are not allowing ourselves to shine to our fullest potential.

Start meditating on all that you desire and believe that there is a rainbow in every day. Live with the intent to have happiness in your heart and you will receive everything you deserve.

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