From 80’s supermodel and actress to advocate for clean living, listen to Kim Alexis and Pamela Wirth on health and wellness

From 80’s supermodel and actress to advocate for clean living, listen to Kim Alexis and Pamela Wirth on health and wellness

62-year-old, Kim Alexis grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York. An athlete by the age of 6, she was a competitive swimmer through her senior year in high school. After being discovered at age seventeen, in Buffalo by a New York agency, Kim quickly became one of the top models of the late 1970’s and 1980’s. By 1983, she had become the face of Revlon’s top line of makeup, Ultima II, replacing Laura Hutton. 

In the 1990’s, Kim appeared on the last episode of Cheers “One for the Road”, and also in the movie, “Holy Man” with Eddie Murphy. She was the Fashion Correspondent on Good Morning America, and from there, went on to host a number of television shows on The Food Network, TV Land, The Family Channel, and Lifetime. She was also a judge for the Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss America and Miss Teen USA contests. With over 100 advertisement features, Kim has starred in numerous TV commercials such as Sauve, Revlon, and the Beef Council, and was a featured guest on Oprah, Larry King Live, Fox News, CNBC and Dateline.

Having appeared on over 500 magazine covers, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and being featured in six Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues, she still holds the record for the most covers on Glamour Magazine.

Kim authored ten books, including, “A Model for a Better Future”, “With a Little Luck” and “Beauty to Die For” as well as six eBooks, “Modeling: How to be Discovered”, “Lean Clean”, “Cheat Eat”, “My Healthy Thyroid”,“Dieting Lessons” , “Skin Within” and “Nap Zap”, all available on Amazon. 

Athletically, Kim completed eight marathons, three triathlons, and is a spokesperson for fitness, health, and lifestyle products she believes in. She can be seen on the golf course participating in numerous celebrity charity events. She has broadened her own brand of products to encourage women at any age, to continue to stay healthy and active. Passionate in her Christian faith, Kim is committed to setting healthy boundaries, and staying true to herself. She is the mother of three grown sons. 


Pamela : Hi, this is Pamela from Hello Health and the Encouraging Wellness podcast, and today I have Kim Alexis. Kim is an amazing recognized face in modeling over many, many years. She's graced the cover of over 500 magazines, including Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and six Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues. In 1980, she was a supermodel and an advocate for clean living.


Kim was the fashion correspondent on Good Morning America and hosted shows like Ticket to Venture, The Great American Healthy Kids Quiz, Your Mind and Body, and more. She also co-MCed Look of the Year and judged Miss Universe, Miss America, and Miss Teen. Kim has also starred in numerous commercials, including for Revlon and Covergirl, promoting some of the most famous products.


More than just a model, Kim has parlayed her good looks and passion to help others. She has broadened her brand to encourage people to stay healthy and active as they age with clean lifestyle and health and beauty tips she's learned. She emphasizes healthy boundaries and staying true to herself and has become a passionate Christian.


She's also written many books, both fiction and non-fiction, but she's mostly known for her clean eating eBooks available for purchase on Amazon. Kim, thank you so much for being here.


Kim Alexis : Thank you for the nice intro.


Pamela : It's quite a mouthful, indeed. So, obviously, you've had an incredible journey and life. Tell us a little bit about how what we considered healthy in the 80s is not at all healthy today and what has taken you on your health and wellness journey.


Kim Alexis : Well, when I was young, and before modeling was ever on my radar, I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist. So I must have had this cause-and-effect mindset and a curiosity about what certain products do to you. Probably in pharmacy school, which I was registered in before I decided to go to New York, I would have learned about the natural approach. It's wired in my DNA to search, research, and discover new things, and understand what various substances do to your health.


In the modeling business, which is all about marketing, you learn that most products we buy in any category talk about what they do for you, how they make your life easier, how they can make you thinner, and so on. But they don't mention what these products do to your health. So, I started diving deep into this. For instance, a product might freshen the air in your room, but what does it do to your hormones? I began questioning and researching.


In the 80s, we didn't have access to information like we do today. I remember living in Westchester with two young children, working in the city, and having to drive 45 minutes to an hour up to Connecticut to find a health food store because there was nothing around where I was. This was actually in the early 90s. We've come a long way, and we've become much more aware. My mission is to help people. When I'm on Instagram, I share information like, "You might not have known this, but how about considering this?" Sometimes, people get upset because they don't want to change what they've been doing, thinking they were just fine without knowing how harmful a certain product or habit was. But it's important to make informed decisions and choose the healthier option.


Pamela : Yeah, what are some of the easier ones you found? Obviously, it's better to stay away from chemically derived processed food, but what are some of the things that you find are easier for people to make a change on.


Kim Alexis : Cleaning products are probably the easiest because, and I guess some women would say, "Well, I don't clean a thing," but most of us have something in our bathroom in case the toilet needs to be whatever. So, there are just healthier alternatives. I even looked up the other day eight different alternatives to bleach, whether it's lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide. Depending on what the job is, there are some fairly basic things you can do. Or even companies that are totally clean and pure. If you rely on some of these really good clean companies, you can buy any of their products and trust that you're getting something non-toxic that still does the job.


Pamela : Yeah, no, that's a great idea. So, in cleaning supplies, even cleaning toilets and the bathtub, I mean all of it, huh?


Kim Alexis : Yeah, well, everything. Let's say you touch something with your hands that's going to enter your system. I remember using little Clorox wipes or bleach, you're cleaning away, and then I'm like smelling it, and I'm like, "Oh, that smells like bleach." So, if I have too much of that in my system, I know it can weaken my immune system, and I can feel it. So, I mean, I don't know if I'm just in tune or just a little off, but that's what I choose to do: try and stay away from things that leach into my skin.


Pamela : Yeah, no, it's a great idea. What about food choices? There are so many different diets and so many different things that people are trying and not trying. Do you find that you've got a preferred way of eating?


Kim Alexis :Well, I think that, and I wrote an ebook on this called "Dieting Lessons," and some guy yelled at me after. He's like, "You didn't tell me what to do." I said the whole point of the book is there are various different diets, and some work for some people and some don't for others. I was there to talk to you about what I went through and all the different things I tried and what's the good and what's the bad in each one.


So, some people do really well on high-protein diets, while others have to be vegetarian or vegan. You just have to go through each thing and figure out what works for you. Sometimes I'll eat something, and I'm like, "I did not feel good after that," feeling ready to take a nap and just feeling sluggish. It might be something as simple as yogurt, plain organic yogurt, but it's still dairy. I love yogurt, but I have to remind myself that sometimes I just want to take a nap after that. My sister stays away from dairy, and my mother does too. Sometimes it helps to talk to siblings and parents because there's a family history involved.


For example, scrambled eggs sometimes give me a little bit of a headache, and none of my family really likes eggs. We love eggs, but we don't do well with them. It's a matter of really listening to your body.


The simpler you can keep your diet, just eating whole foods, and not mixing too many different things in a single recipe, the easier it will be to figure out what bothers you. To me, a simple way of eating works best. I try to have a salad every day. I buy a big bin filled with spring mix and put that in my bowl, adding various ingredients to it. That's a staple in my house, along with whole fruits. I don't really eat canned fruit, and I don't drink juice. I recently did a video on juice, and some people got upset, saying, "What do you mean there's sugar in that orange juice?" Well, it's like eating five oranges, and you would never sit down and eat five oranges, so you're consuming that juice quickly, and you're getting less fiber, so that sugar goes through your system quicker.

Pamela : Yeah, that's true. What about salad dressing? You talked about salad. Do you have any salad dressings that you think are better, cleaner than others, you know?


Kim Alexis : I'm one of those people. You can only do so many things, and I would love to make all my own salad dressing. I do sometimes, where I put tahini, lemon juice, and sometimes, I live in Arizona, so sometimes we've got oranges on the back tree or lemons. I'll squeeze some of that in, but other times, I don't have time, so I've got to rely on one or two dressings that I think are healthier.


There is an app on your phone where you can scan barcodes to see how good or bad something is, but sometimes, if you're in the grocery store, you just got to take the best you can take. I'm also a big believer in cold-pressed oils, so if you're having something raw, you want to have the cold-pressed oil for a salad. You want a cold-pressed oil because it's better for you. You don't want to ever heat that. I never knew; nobody ever told me. I thought, "Oh well, I'm just buying cold-pressed because it's pure or clean or whatever." No, then I would heat it up, and it has a very low smoke point, and it was not good for me.


We just have to be educated. It's just a matter of listening and learning. I'm sure you have a lot of great people on, and the more you interview, the more you learn, or ask questions.


Pamela : Yeah, it's been a very interesting journey for sure. We usually try to have doctors on, but when I met you, a fellow hockey mom, and someone passionate about health and wellness, I thought, "Oh, this would be great." So, it would be a lot of fun. Talk to me about water. Water is a huge part of who we are as people, and what we drink and we don't drink. We had someone on the other day who was very passionate about certain types of filtering or not filtering. If you have any opinions on this, that'd be great.


Kim Alexis : Well I am a reverse osmosis girl and um I have one in my kitchen and then I also go to the grocery store with a big five pound or five gallon uh big jug and I fill that and they do the carbon filter and they do this the UV light and they I mean they go through this big huge process and so and then I'm putting it in a plastic bottle I'm like I certainly hope there's no plastics leeching into the the the water and you know 40 pounds of water is heavy so I'm thinking I wonder if they have these five gallon um glass jars and I'm like how heavy would that be trying to lift that up heavy at some point you just uh you know you you can only do so much but I also because I reverse osmosis and it takes out the minerals I'm a big believer in putting those back in so I have liquid minerals and I squirt that in shakes in the morning just to get the minerals  back in um I'm a big believer in sea salt because of the mineral content there 


Pamela : Yeah, you know my son is very big into making sure there's plenty of sea salt and lemon juice. Let's talk a bit about supplements. As we're getting older, our skin can start to show signs of aging. To maintain a youthful glow, some people turn to supplements and other skincare practices. It's important to note that the effectiveness of supplements can vary, and it's best to consult with a healthcare professional before adding them to your routine. In addition to supplements, a good skincare regimen that includes moisturizing, sun protection, and a balanced diet can also help keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.


Kim Alexis : Oh, you're glowing too, by the way. I think that supplements are very individualized. I can read something in an article and be like, "Squirrel!" So I'll read a new article and think, "Berberine! You have to have berberine." Oh, it's got this and this and this, so I'm going to get berberine or whatever it is. And you get on this kick, and then you're like, "Well, I don't know if I feel anything from that. So maybe I... Oh, now I'm going to try something different. Squirrel!" And so I'm off to something else.


But there are a couple of basics that I have to have, like vitamin D. And if I'm eating too many vegetables, I want to make sure I have enough B12. Sometimes I give blood every eight weeks, and sometimes my blood is low. I made the mistake once of giving blood when I was right at the threshold of being on the low side, and I threw myself into anemia. So I can't do that again. I have to make sure I've got enough iron in my system, which those little mineral drops help with, and spinach helps.


So I don't want people to be overwhelmed and think there's too much information, and they can't do it. We just have to keep chipping away every day, learning new things. Some will apply to people, and others will be like, "Nah, that's not for me."


Pamela : Yeah, that's a great idea. What are some of your favorite books on health and wellness? Obviously, you've written quite a few, so you must know some of your favorite topics or some of the favorite things that people really love.


Kim Alexis : I have lately just been reading online, so I go and search. A newsletter could tickle me on a certain subject. I had one the other day on farmers' markets, and I'm going to do a video on it. Some of these farmers' markets are cheating. They're literally going to wherever the grocery store goes for produce. They're getting the leftovers from the grocery stores and then coming in and presenting it as "farm-raised" and "fresh off the farm." So, there, I went down a rabbit hole with that, just studying and learning because I'm trying to write content. There are so many different things to learn, and I am constantly doing it. I love Google; I'm just Googling all the time, different subjects and different things. One thing will take you to another thing, which will take you to another. If you could tell me if there are any good books because I love learning and reading.


Pamela : Yeah, you know what's really impactful? I think it's making sure that you have access to testing your body for the presence of any infection or any nutritional deficiencies. And, obviously, I've been doing quite a bit of research into good food testing because there's lots of discussion around it. Well, that's not a good food test, that's not real. You know, the scratch test, the blood test, the urine test. So for allergies, yeah.


Kim Alexis : Scratch test for allergies 


Pamela : yeah okay


Kim Alexis

Yeah, I know that can get so confusing too. But sometimes, at least you get an idea. For example, I did the skin test, and it came up with eggs. You know, it popped up, and I'm like, "See, I have a headache after eggs, so maybe I don't want to eat those."


Pamela : Yeah, you know, when you're thinking about exercise at the different stages, what do you find that you really enjoy and see impact and feel good? Now, versus maybe 10 years ago, or what do you kind of feel like is, and I would imagine at different stages, there are different types of exercise or different types of stretching or strength training.


Kim Alexis : You're saying I've had a lot of stages in my life. So for me, I grew up swimming, and I was a competitive swimmer from the age of six to 18. I swam up to five and a half hours a day, so I had this already regimented process in my brain of taking time out. This is important. But as I went to New York City, there weren't a lot of pools in New York City, and I was working morning to night. But I realized that if I didn't do something, I didn't feel good mentally. It just helped me kind of unload and center and get back to being grounded. So I picked up running, and I used to look in high school, watching the runners go by, and I'd be like, "Oh my gosh, she ran two miles. Like, wow, that's amazing," you know, the long-distance runners. And then now I've run eight marathons, so it's all just a matter of what you kind of get your mind into. My first marathon, I decided to run the night before. A friend was running; he'd come into town. So I'm like, "Well, I think I'm gonna run it with you." I don't think I'd run more than 10 miles. I was 23, 24 years old, maybe. He'd run 10 miles before, and I finished it in four hours and 26 minutes with him.


Pamela : that's unreal by the way so I I guess um 


when you were all done well


Kim Alexis : When I was done, I think after you run marathons, you have trouble going downstairs with your calves. Yeah, yeah, it's almost more difficult going down than up. But it started me on a journey, and then I started running marathons and running a lot because I loved being creative, and I'd think of things when I was out running. I remember running in Sweden once. I was working with Good Morning America, and I literally got lost in the forest because there was snow, and the sun wasn't giving me much direction. It was really cloudy, and I didn't know which way was north, south, east, or west. I was stuck in the woods outside Stockholm, and I thought, "Oh my goodness." But at least, you know, I got out. When I was traveling in different countries, it was a way to see things and experience stuff on the ground, just a different way of doing things.

Pamela : I have loved over the years running for that reason too because it allows you to let your mind do its thing, which goes into meditation. So, do you do much in terms of meditation, or is this kind of your meditative state as you're exercising?


Kim Alexis : I'm a prayer girl, so I tend to have a lot of mental chatter, and it's challenging for me to stay with meditation for extended periods. But I believe God knows how He wired me, and my prayers tend to be short and sweet. Unfortunately, I can't run anymore, so I've had to find alternative exercises. I've taken up pickleball, and I also go biking for about an hour, even though it's hot in Arizona. There's still a breeze when you're moving fast. I love the gym as well, but I tend to lose track of time and overexert myself. I'm one of those people who doesn't realize they're tired and just keep going until I'm wiped out. Then, the next day, I can't do much. So, I've had to learn to pace myself. When I go with my husband or on my own, I set limits like "30 minutes" or "45 minutes" to avoid overdoing it. I'm a bit like the rabbit, always on the go, and I have to be careful not to wear myself out.


Pamela : So, when you go to the gym, are you doing more cardio, more muscle stretching, what do you kind of like to do?


Kim Alexis : I do both cardio and muscle stretching, but I love lifting dumbbells. I enjoy hanging out with the guys in the gym, and I'll go to a bench, grab 22.5-pound dumbbells, and do a bunch of exercises on the bench. It's funny; I could almost be by myself, and by the time I'm done, there are all these guys around. I think it's because I had three sons, so I'm like, "Oh, I just love this as a mother of boys," to be hanging out with big, muscly guys doing their thing. I just get right in there with them, and I'm not intimidated. I really enjoy a different bench routine for a while. If those are busy, I can adapt because I've been in the gym for so long and had many different trainers over the years. I can make any machine work, or I might just switch to a different type of exercise equipment like a bike or a rowing machine.


Pamela : Yeah, yeah, that is really good, and it's not too hard on the joints, too.


Kim Alexis : As I'm well, and my sister was a crew (she worked on a crew, but I don't know what you call that). She was a crew member. She advised me, "Never set it higher than four on that machine; don't go up to 10." I was always at 10 because I liked to go hard, hard, hard. So, I'd do 30 minutes at a resistance level of 10. However, my sister mentioned that actual rowing on the water typically uses a resistance level of four.


Pamela : I don't know, harder than a four.


Kim Alexis : That's what she said. So, I've got it set at four now, and it's a little bit more tolerable.


Pamela : Yeah, I'll have to try it at four.


Kim Alexis : Yeah, don't you feel like you're cheating or slacking off a little bit?


Pamela : It does feel like a cheat. What about skincare? Washing your face, lotions – what do you like, what do you dislike?


Kim Alexis : I am always trying different skincare products because people give me stuff all the time. Right now, I just finished a book called "Skin Within," which discusses the various products we put on our skin, the presence of toxins, how to identify them, and how to shop for healthier alternatives. Diving into that topic was really interesting.


It's amazing how some people have a well-stocked fridge with organic foods like mayonnaise and butter, but then they use common, possibly less healthy body lotions and shampoos. I thought that perhaps I could get my friend some clean shampoo or lotion as a gift.


There are a couple of companies and products I really love and seek out, as mentioned in my new "Skin Within" book. It's essential to be mindful of what we put on our skin and make choices that align with our health and wellness goals.


Pamela : Yeah, it is everywhere, so you have to stay away from parabens, sulfates. Is there anything else that really is top of mind for you to make sure that you stay away from?


Kim Alexis : There are lots of them, there are 1300 or 500 of them right now, and many are unpronounceable. I wrote just a small amount of some of them in that book, because to list all of them would take a whole book in itself. What's sad is that other countries ban these, but in our country the FDA only stops six of them from coming in to products. They're not monitoring skincare at all.


Well, that's how I feel about corn syrup. I don't think it should be in anything at all, and it's outlawed in Iceland, for instance, which I thought was pretty cool. And yet here we have it, so yeah. And it's in sports drinks and right, or high fructose corn syrup.


Pamela :  Yeah, yeah, so much junk. So, supermodel hockey mom, how in the world do you end up in Arizona? You could live anywhere.


Kim Alexis :  Oh, you met my husband! So he was here and I met him and—and, uh, when I was actually living in Boulder for a while, but I was moving back to New York City. And so I met him and I thought, "Who wants to date a guy that lives in Scottsdale?" Oh, well, I did! And I ended up marrying him, and so here's where I live now. And I actually love it! I never thought that I would love the desert and love the, um, the almost the beauty of the starkness. And it's just different, but I absolutely love it.


Pamela : It's a very easy place to live 


Kim Alexis : Yes, it really 


Pamela : Uh, anything else that I'm not asking about? You know, what about thyroid? I mean, that's a huge thing that many of my friends are talking about now, and most of them either have one that's too, too low, too high. I mean, it seems to be a problem with just about everybody


Kim Alexis : And I'm wondering if the thyroid problems stem from all the toxins we're putting in our bodies. Yeah, and that it's disrupting those hormones and causing mixed messages. So, yes, there's many people with thyroid. I was diagnosed years ago. I actually had to go seek somebody because I was filling out a form for my middle, my oldest son. He was having allergy problems. So, there's this doctor, and she had all these little categories, and I'm, you know, when they're eight, you're filling it out for your kid, right? Well, there was this whole section on thyroid, and it was for him, but I'm like, 'Well, I have that, and I have that, and I have so.' It was all these symptoms, and I said to the doctor, 'I'm like he's fine there, but I have all these.' She says, 'You need to go to an endocrinologist.' So, that was my journey of starting that, and we had a naturopathic doctor living with us for a while, and so he was trying to help me. So, this book I wrote on my thyroid journey was all about how I would get on thyroid and then try and wean myself off of it or have my body get used to my own thyroid getting stronger. And if I keep taking medicine, then my own thyroid stays weak. So, the thyroid medicine is literally just replacing that hormone that we don't seem to have or have too much of. Mine is hypo, which means I was sluggish. So, um…


Pamela:  I could figure that was needed to stay on the medicine because there wasn't. Have you ever found a natural alternative to it? I mean, probably not, but…


Kim Alexis :  I have been on and off it four times. I'm back on it, and I've just given up the fight. Yeah, it's just very difficult. Um, and I feel good, and to go through months of not feeling good to try and get to good, and yeah, life's too busy right now, so I just figured take the little darn pill


Pamela :  Yeah, um, hormones. Any words of wisdom on hormones? Wins, losses, anything that you found naturally that helps?


Kim Alexis :  I wish that I could give you. I've just started listening to a new herbalist that has been around forever but to me she's new. Her talk on what's going on with the HRT, you know, the hormone replacement therapy, she wasn't big on that. I know she's not big on the pill, and the pill can cause problems even with your children down the line, and I'm like, 'Whoa, whoa, scary,' you know? You can be a child of your mother that took the pill and then now you're having problems. So, everything is cause and effect, and we probably need to dive deep into things. Um, I think part of our problem is that there are so many toxins and things bombarding us daily to isolate and figure out and fix one of them is just going to throw something else off. So all we can do is our best and keep learning. But at this point, I'm on pellets. I take pellets every three months.


Pamela : Okay, yeah, and the doctors I've been talking to say that many of the herbs that help with inflammation also help with perimenopause and menopause, and so that's kind of an interesting place where I've been spending a lot of time doing a lot of research as well


Kim Alexis : Yeah, it would be interesting to find put our heads together with that.


Pamela :  Yeah, frankincense was one that keeps coming up, so that's kind of a fun one


Kim Alexis : Yeah, so how do you take it, orally or topically?


Pamela :  yeah just a couple of drops and it's also an antibacterial antiviral anti-inflammatory so kind of kind of interesting yeah reason it made it into the Bible I suppose I don’t know

Kim Alexis : Yeah, one of his three gifts, yeah, right. Yeah, it must have had a lot of value that we're just kind of not really focusing on


Pamela : yeah I think so um what else am I missing St in the life of


Kim Alexis : I'm an animal lover, so right, we've rescued two animals from the pound. We have a dog and a cat, but over the years, I've had a cougar. My first Mother's Day present, I had a two-month-old son, and my husband, ex-husband now but husband at the time, brings home a four-year-old cougar, declawed, defanged, neutered, and deaf. So I registered with the Florida Fish and Game Commission, so she was licensed and taken care of, and I would drive 50 miles to go buy her horse meat and cut it up and stick it in my Subzero freezer so that she could have meat for the next month. So, over the years, I've just had ducks and pigs and goats and sheep and all sorts of things, and I do have a son named Noah, so for a while, we had two of everything.


Pamela :  Good, well, thank you so much for everything that you're sharing with us, and all the incredible work that you do to help others. And a lot of fun


Kim Alexis : Yeah, yeah, I've started a jail ministry also for women coming out of jail. So, trying to teach them healthy boundaries along with nutrition and how to go shopping and relationships and stuff. So we're developing a four-week series, well, a four-part series, I guess, and do it once a week. To try and get these women back on their feet and feeling good about themselves. And I'm working with Dress for Success, St. Vincent de Paul, and a group called Arette, which helps women coming out of jail


Pamela : That's awesome. Yeah, where can people learn more about you?


Kim Alexis :  my website is Kim it has a lot of information and there's a place to sign up for newsletters so that's like the here's what's happening this month or this is what I did last month and I always include a recipe and I included I include an always and a never and uh just the little tips of what I've been up to and a beauty tip and different things so that's the easiest way 


Pamela : Any words of wisdom for any aspiring models that are listening to you today?


Kim Alexis : Always have words of wisdom: never be desperate, always have something else to fall back on. It's okay to say no. Don't sign a contract that somebody gives you without reading it first. The more they push you, the more you push back and say, 'Nope, I'm going to take this to a lawyer.' So, those are just some things that I had to learn the hard way. You're used to being a young girl and listening to your parents and your teachers and saying yes because they're elders, and all of a sudden you're in the modeling business, and sometimes your elders do not have your best interests at heart. So, you've got to protect yourself and listen to your gut. Literally, your gut is that twisted feeling that you get in your stomach when your stomach's just churning up, and that means you're being manipulated and controlled. You've got to say no and walk away.


Pamela : Awesome, thank you. Well, have a wonderful day, and thank you so much, Kim


Kim Alexis :  You're welcome. Thanks for having me.

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