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Cahliah's Mother/Daughter Whole30


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(Please don't mind my long-windedness... Or if I suck at forum etiquette or conversations in general. I wasn't going to do this, but I really need somewhere to write out what I'm thinking/feeling, and keep track of how I'm doing.)

I'm not a diet person. Every time I've dieted, I've gained more weight than I lost - in fact, that's the only time I've really gained weight since I was a teenager - directly after dieting! So, when my mom (who lives with me) told me that her doctor told her that she needs to lose weight before she can have knee replacement surgery (they won't even consider it until she loses weight!) I silently groaned, but listened. I expected the advice to be like the last doctor who told me to diet - specifically the South Beach Diet - and when she brought up Whole30, I was, of course, skeptical.

But, here's the thing. We make really poor choices when it comes to food. I've been trying to change that recently, but she's old and set in her ways (her words, I swear!) and doesn't like to take the time to check labels, or to try new things, or even to cook from scratch. I'm a much more adventurous eater, and over the course of the past few years, have learned that I have definite reactions to some foods, and that processed stuff makes me feel horrible. In fact, it was only a few weeks ago that I was telling her that I'd rather cook from scratch from now on, because I feel a lot better when I do so. (Which was, of course, met with eye rolling - she's used to me having these crazy, inconvenient ideas about health. Which she usually repeats back to me when my cousin or someone at work says the same thing. I'm used to it.)

In this house, a typical meal is a box of Kraft mac & cheese, and hot dogs, or frozen chicken. Sometimes a can of green beans. My 13-year-old daughter is a carboholic - she'd be perfectly happy eating pasta - and nothing but pasta - every day, for every meal, for the rest of her life. My mom, on the other hand, is really into hot dogs - which have to be grilled - no boiled dogs for her. Unless they're from the Costco food court. On the other hand, I'm a pizza fiend. Give me a good crust, a nice tomato sauce, some stringy cheese, and nummy toppings (mushrooms and roasted red peppers are my favorite, especially if I can get thinly sliced steak with it) and I'm a happy camper... I swear, it's been less than 3 hours, and I'm already having a hard time not camping out in the kitchen and baking a loaf of bread.

Anyways, my goal is to learn to eat healthier, and make better decisions - and also get my mom eating healthier without always complaining about how much it costs, or how much time it takes, or how I insist on reading labels on everything (I have sensitivities to low- and no-calorie sweeteners, so I have to read labels - and those lists of ingredients can be frightening!!!) Her goal, of course, is to lose weight - but I'm hoping to convince her that there's more to it than that.


So, I've spent the past 2 weeks plotting and planning, and trying to convince my mom that this is not a diet, and we will not be eating nothing but grilled chicken and steamed veggies. I've made up a menu for the next week, printed up a grocery list, we went shopping yesterday morning, and I spent a few hours making up stuff for lunches and the like. We have homemade (dairy-free, unsweetened) ranch & french dressings for salads, scotch eggs (minus the breadcrumbs) with homemade breakfast sausage, taco meat with a homemade spice mix, and a breakfast casserole to help us stick to our plan this week. Our meal plans aren't "out there" enough that my mother or daughter will balk at them, and they're actually looking to a few of the ideas. So far, considering the fact that we're only a few hours into this, I think we're doing great! ;)


I had my first meal at midnight tonight (I work 3rd shift - from home) - I made an ill-advised "taco salad" with a prepackaged salad mix, taco meat, guacamole, salsa, a bit of ranch dressing, and an egg because I didn't think the taco meat was enough protein. With a little fresh pineapple on the side... The pineapple was ok, but the salad was too many flavors trying to blend together. Blech. I followed it with some apple slices and cashew butter because I needed something more - and didn't enjoy that, either.

It's going to take a while, I think, for me to figure out how to feed myself on these in-between meals where I'm eating on my own instead of preparing a meal for everyone. Leftovers will definitely help, but there will probably be some meals like tonight where I just want to shove a whole loaf of bread in my mouth and call it good.


My mom's first meal (she also works 3rd shift) consisted of 3 hard boiled eggs, a handful of walnuts and cashews, and a mix of apples, grapes, and pineapple - and I think she bought a single, packaged pickle at work (she asked me if it was compliant, at least). I'm going to have to talk with her about how to fill her plate, but we'll get it worked out.


So, the plans for the week are as follows (though they may need to be amended):

Breakfast casserole (already cooked and in the fridge for easy access)
Shakshuka (only I will eat this, so it may not happen this week)
Chicken sausage & pepper hash (little more work, but if I'm feeling adventurous...)
Scotch eggs (already cooked!)
Taco salad (taco meat and salad dressing are prepped!)
Chicken salad
Tuna salad
Hot dogs (for my mom - bought some compliant, organic hot dogs)
Chicken sausages (for me - maybe served with some onions and peppers)

Monday - Chicken fajita bowls with fried bananas
Tuesday - Soutzoukakia (Greek meatballs in a tomato sauce) over mashed potatoes, with green beans
Wednesday - Fish with roasted potatoes and carrots, and homemade coleslaw (my mom and daughter are both excited about the fish!)
Thursday - Shepherd's pie and sauteed balsamic mushrooms
Friday - Burgers w/guacamole, baked onion rings, and salad
Saturday - BBQ Wings, veggie sticks, and coleslaw
Sunday - Potato soup, pork belly, and salad

This week is going to be a bit heavy on the potatoes, salad, and coleslaw, but it's a tester week - let my mom (and daughter, to some extent) get used to the idea of eating like this, and then start introducing new vegetables next week (I'm going to try for brussels sprouts and spaghetti squash - and maybe even some cooked greens!) I'm also hoping to cook up some plantains this week - if they ever get them back in stock at the grocery store!

...also, starting this while in the middle of a cold really sucks!

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Wound up sleeping in my recliner last night because I couldn't breathe lying down - ugh. Woke up with my nose completely stuffed up, and the driest mouth I've ever had. Not fun.

Breakfast today was 1/2 serving of the breakfast casserole I made, with salsa on top. Sadly, the salsa wasn't enough to save it - took a whole serving, only ate half. I had a scotch egg, too, and a banana. Not a ton of veggies this morning - need to work on that. I also need to find a better breakfast casserole recipe!

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29 minutes ago, JenHZ said:

sorry your casserole was a disappointment.  make sure the next one has plenty of fat.  there are a lot of recipes out there.  pick one where you like all the ingredients and good luck

Yeah, I'm already making plans for the next one - more fat, more flavor (sauteed onions, and maybe some peppers and possibly even carrots!)

This whole thing is a learning experience, and I figure I'm not going to get it right from day 1 - it's going to take me a bit to get in the swing of things.

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I broke down and had a snack a couple hours after lunch - my stomach was growling, and I knew I couldn't last until dinner, so I had 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce and a small handful of cashews. It killed my hunger pangs and got me through until dinner, but I'd rather not do that again - don't need the extra fruit, and it wasn't all that great anyways.

Dinner (or whatever you call the evening meal when you wake up at noon and work until 4 in the morning) was good, though. The chicken fajita bowls were tasty - fajita seasoned chicken, green and red peppers, and onions, in a bowl of lettuce, with salsa and guacamole. I loved the fried bananas too much, though, and won't  be making them again - they were too close to a dessert, and it was definitely on the edge of feeding my sugar dragon. It was good that I made them - the chicken was a bit spicier than I can handle without something to cool it off - but plantains would have been a better choice. If the grocery store hadn't been out, of course.

Had a cup of tea after dinner, to try to soothe my throat and clear my sinuses a bit. But, I'm not a huge tea fan to begin with, and without honey to sweeten it, I really didn't like it. I'll try again in a week or two, maybe - after I've had some time without all the added sugars.

Still sick - my head is all foggy, my sinuses are halfway between being stuffed up and draining constantly, and my throat is starting to get sore. But it's just a cold, and it'll be gone soon.


Oh, and I realized today, as I was cutting up the raw chicken for the fajita bowls, that I haven't handled raw chicken in years. That strikes me as very, very sad. Time to start handling REAL food again!

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Hunger pangs started a little less than 5 hours after dinner - not too bad!

My midnight meal (3rd meal of the day) was just leftovers from dinner - chicken and veggies over a pre-mixed salad, with salsa and guacamole (and the last bits of fried bananas - might as well get them out of here today and, if I have to, stretch to a Whole31)


I have to say, I'm loving all the La Croix flavors I bought in preparation for this! Haven't repeated one yet, though I have definite favorites (Cherry Lime, Peach Pear, and Coconut so far!) I started drinking flavored sparkling water around New Years, and I honestly don't miss soda. I even had a soda yesterday, before starting my Whole30, and it was more of a "Last one!!!" thing - I would have been just as happy with a La Croix, honestly (and possibly happier - the sugar in most sodas makes my throat back up!)

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Also? I had a hard time finishing my 3rd meal tonight. Not because it was bad, but because I was, simply, full!

One full day down without grains, dairy, or added sugar! (Though the fried bananas were too good and might as well have had added sugar - oh well.)


As for my mom... She didn't enjoy the fajita bowls, and wound up eating a couple pickles after she had eaten all she could. Not sure what she took for food at work tonight... She's going to be a challenge.

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New plan for lunches (and maybe breakfasts): Double batch of (bean-free) chili.

...though I'm going to have to cut all the veggies super small so that my mom doesn't notice they're in there. She's like a toddler sometimes, I swear! A 65-year-old toddler! (Seriously - when I told her I needed tomatoes for the chili, she balked... Imagine what she'd say if she knew I was putting zucchini in there, too! And any other veggies I can sneak in!)

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Woke up this morning, and immediately got started on the chili. Lots of tomatoes, 2 zucchinis, red onions... Though I forgot the peppers, and I didn't feel like dealing with garlic, so I used garlic powder (there was garlic in the fire roasted tomatoes anyways.) It looked so good - nice and chunky and wonderful... And I had to take the immersion blender to it with the hope that my mom and daughter will eat some. Because veggie chunks. Picky eaters. Ugh. Next week, I'm making some Pakistani Kima just for me, and I won't have to blend out all the veggie chunks!

I had a scotch egg for breakfast-ish, just to hold me over until the chili is done. I won't be doing this regularly, but every once in a while, I guess it's going to happen. At least I didn't grab a banana, even though I was tempted!

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I think my mom is getting the idea - or, at least, starting to. She had 2 grilled hamburger patties, a couple big spoonfuls of approved relish, and a whole can of green beans, with about a tablespoon or so of ghee. And she loved it.

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The chili turned out great, even though I blended it up really fine. I finally had my "breakfast" at around 1:30pm. Added the leftover vegetables (green & red pepper, and onion) from last night to a bowl of chili, and it was perfect.

Was making the meatballs for dinner when I realized we were out of cumin, and I asked my mom to go get some while I worked on dinner. We wound up snapping at each other - not sure if we were just tired from not sleeping enough, or if it's a side effect (my money is on the not-enough-sleep - it happens.) But, for once, we apologized right away, and everything was fine. The meatballs and potatoes were a success - to the point where my daughter, who hates any potatoes with chunks in them, ate them without complaint! Woot!

I'm not sure if I'm feeling any real hangover effects - still coming off the tail end of that cold, and not sleeping well because it's hard to sleep when you can't breathe, but other than that, everything seems pretty normal. If anything, I'm impressed that I managed to cook two full meals today, especially considering I've been sick!

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Wound up skipping the first few hours of work tonight and taking a nap. Going on 4-5 hours of sleep isn't really conducive to working hard.

Woke up with a cough - cold progressing - and still a bit tired, so I didn't really have the energy to cook up the veggies I wanted to add to my chili, or to rip up lettuce for a salad, so I grabbed a bowl of chili and a small bowl of fruit (couple strawberries, some grapes, a few chunks of pineapple - which I couldn't eat because it tasted odd), and some guacamole to go with the chili. Realized, while eating, that I would have rather had leftovers from dinner. Oh well - that can be breakfast/lunch tomorrow. If my mom doesn't eat it all before then!


I figure I should start doing a quick at-a-glance thing so I can review what I ate in a day without reading through my own ramblings, so today was:

Snack: Scotch Egg
Breakfast/Lunch: Chili, leftover veggies (onion, green pepper, red pepper)
Dinner: Greek meatballs over mashed potatoes (forgot the green beans - ack!)
Midnight meal: Chili, guacamole, grapes, strawberries

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Dealing with my usual head fog tonight, and I have work I need to finish by morning, so I'm breaking down and having a HiBall Energy Water. No sweeteners, just sparkling water, natural flavor, caffeine, guarana, ginseng, and B vitamins. Like a caffeinated La Croix.

I was going to try to avoid drinking them as much as possible, because I know they're technically compliant, but not encouraged... But work is work, and I need to be able to focus. I'm sure, later in the 30 days, I'll be doing a lot better on energy and focus (I hope, at least!!!) but that doesn't help me today. And it's less caffeine that 2 cups of coffee, at least? They make smaller cans with the equivalent caffeine content of a cup of coffee - that might be a better choice for now.

I did a month-long study to see what worked best for me, including coffee and tea. The ones I drank before Whole30 - Amazon Energy - were organic and included actual juice, along with just the right amount of caffeine to keep me focused but not jacked up (half what's in these HiBall drinks), but they had sugar added, too. Coffee, I can't stand without tons of cream, sugar, and flavoring - plus, it makes me anxious in a way that most energy drinks don't (I've narrowed it down to either the guarana or B vitamins in the energy drinks that keep me level-headed), and tea doesn't do a thing for me - not to mention the fact that I can't stand the stuff without honey in it. Blah.

So, for now, HiBall only as needed. I'm not hooked on caffeine, at least - I drink maybe 1-2 a week (if that), unless I have deadlines I need to meet - but I know that, if I use it regularly, I won't have a chance to watch my natural energy levels rise due to eating right.

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8 hours ago, JenHZ said:

shift work is so hard on the body, a judicious amount of caffeine sounds reasonable

Yeah... I'm going to try only drinking half of a big can next time, see how that works (looking into soda can caps so maybe I can do this without wasting anything!) The big can was way too much caffeine, though.

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So, that energy water last night... Not doing that again! I was wide awake until about 7am, and then dozed off a couple of times, but didn't actually managed to sleep until 11 - and even then, I only got a couple hours of sleep. My bedtime is between 4 & 5am. This doesn't work for me.

Of course, that totally threw off my entire day. I had my 1st meal at around 2, and I had to force myself to eat (caffeine kills my appetite) - and, even then, I didn't want veggies. Wound up having 2 burger patties, wrapped in lettuce, and topped with mayo and a little of my veggie-loaded chili (which I removed the chunks from for nothing - my mom said it has no taste. Bah.) Had a banana with that because I felt I needed more produce, but didn't want vegetables.

Dinner was around 6:30 - fish fried in coconut oil, with oven-roasted carrot and potato "fries". There was supposed to be coleslaw, but honestly, it was horrible, and wound up being tossed. Which I hate doing, but... It was horrible!!! The fish was good, and I liked the fries, though it was still hard to make myself eat them. Today's not much of a vegetable day, I think. My daughter surprised me by not only trying the carrot fries, but eating a second fry after she decided she liked the first! This kid hates cooked carrots! She only ate a total of 5 fries, but 2 of them were carrots, so that's a win in my book. (My mom only ate the potatoes, though. And no coleslaw. Really need to work on that.)

The fish recipe called for sparkling water, and I had a(n unopened) 2-liter of lemon-flavored, unsweetened water we had tried before xmas, so I used that... I tried a bit of it while I ate dinner and, surprisingly, I actually liked it this time - in fact, it tasted like Sprite - without the sweet. And I like it a lot better than I like Sprite! Score!

I also got a batch of chicken stock going this morning from a couple chicken carcasses and some veggie scraps, and strained it while putting away leftovers tonight. It smells a little odd to me, though, so I'm not sure if I'm going to have to dump it or not. Everything was frozen in a timely manner, so I don't think it's off - it might just be my nose, after being sick.

Overall today, though, I'm just feeling tired. My right knee started acting up, going up and down the stairs, and apparently it's time for a visit from Aunt Flo - about a week early (though, that's never been regular, and even the semi-regularity I've had lately is highly irregular, so it's about normal, I guess.)

Might be heading into the "Kill all the things" stage and skipping the hangover entirely.

Especially if I have to clean up cat vomit again.

Is cat meat Whole30 compliant, I wonder? <_<

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Dinner/3rd meal tonight was leftover Greek meatballs and mashed potatoes. I tried to at least eat a handful of grapes with it, but couldn't even stomach that - I managed one grape, and set the rest aside.

Not sure why I'm having such trouble with vegetables today - usually I'm pretty good with them, so long as they're in some sort of sauce. Maybe I'm just tired of them, or maybe I'm just tired, period - or it could be my body's reaction to suddenly loading it with all this vegetable matter and no grains, or to it  being that time of the month, or who knows... But I think I'll be going to bed early-ish and hoping that tomorrow is easier.

...and the cat left me another "present", right in the middle of my bedroom rug. On the plus side, I found a recipe for braised cat that's almost compliant - just need to replace the white wine with chicken broth! ;)


Meals today:
1: 2 burger patties with mayo and chili, wrapped in lettuce, with a banana on the side
2: Pan-fried fish with oven roasted carrot & potato "fries"
3: Meatballs and tomato sauce over mashed potatoes, with 1 green grape

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Last night ended with an anxiety attack at about 12:30 in the morning - wound up curling up in bed and just crashing for the night.

Aside from cramps, today is marginally better. I was able to eat a handful of carrot and potato "fries" and a banana along with my leftover fish, though it took me a few hours until I felt that I could eat anything. Going back and forth on whether I need a nap before my daughter gets home from school - I think I might still try to sneak one in.

I'm switching around tonight's and tomorrow's dinners, as my daughter is going to spend the weekend with her dad and his side of the family starting after school tomorrow, and she really wants to try the baked onion rings. Plus, I wouldn't mind a night off of cooking - my mom is perfectly capable of cooking burgers.

At least my cold seems to be mostly gone, and so far, I don't have a cough like I usually do afterward.

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I'm not sure if it's because it's shark week, because I'm still suffering from yesterday's lack of sleep, or because of Whole30, but I've been pretty tired today. Probably a combination of the three.

The onion rings that my daughter was so excited about were a total failure. We baked them, per the original recipe, and it was like eating a mouth full of (coconut) flour. So, I got the idea to fry them - after they had already baked - to see if that helped... Nope. Still horrible. Didn't leave me wanting "real" onion rings, at least! (These were real... Just not real good!)

The burgers were alright, and I pulled out half of the remaining carrot & potato "fries" and popped them in the oil left from the failed onion rings, just to crisp them up a bit. Loaded my plate up with those, and put some of my chili on top of everything, and it was pretty good. Wound up feeling not full, but ok enough to not really need the banana I was eyeing.

My daughter needed more than just a burger (with no bread because the bread my mom bought for her, thinking it was healthy, was half soy, and smelled disgusting) so I let her make a box of Annie's mac & cheese... And regretted it as I watched her eat the creamy pasta that's the epitome of everything we can't have this month. Bah! I survived, though - even through watching her eat a piece of Dove chocolate - by sipping a La Croix and eventually eating a small handful of cashews.

My chicken stock didn't smell as bad today, either - I'm thinking yesterday was just an off day, period. I skimmed the fat off the top, and I'll be portioning it out for freezing tomorrow.

So far, other than the issues yesterday, my mood has been decent. I'm tired, sure, but I'm not wanting to kill anyone. Almost makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong... But, at the same time, looking back on how I was eating before this, it wasn't as bad as some. I already was anti low-fat, and didn't touch artificial sweeteners. Of course, now that I've said it's not so hard so far, tomorrow is going to be hell. That's how things work, after all!

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Lol about the cat, my husband and I joke about making roast cat for dinner all the time. Little bastards, gotta love em.

My family is not doing W30 so I feel you on the kids eating stuff we can't have. I think I'd cut a ... Well you know, for Mac n cheese.

Congrats on all your hard work.


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1 hour ago, Georgina2 said:

My family is not doing W30 so I feel you on the kids eating stuff we can't have. I think I'd cut a ... Well you know, for Mac n cheese.


It's really not worth it, though. Even if it is mac & cheese. We can always add it back to our diets later (and make better choices when choosing our mac & cheese, too.) But right now, it's better to just look away. Even if the cheesy goodness is incredibly tempting.

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3rd meal of the day was the remaining potatoes and meatballs with tomato sauce. I'm sad to see it go, but we have plans to make more in a couple of weeks. I threw in a banana, too, because I didn't feel like there was enough there to tide me over until breakfast. And ibuprofen. Need ibuprofen today. Especially since I can't have chocolate.

I'm stuck in a bit of a rut with my veggies, but I'm making up a bunch of balsamic mushrooms tomorrow, and throwing celery into the mix with our shepherd's pie (wish I could add snow peas or zucchini or something - damn picky eaters!) And next week will be better - I have spaghetti squash, plantains, brussels sprouts, and collard greens on the menu. And I'm eyeing a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles.

Still tired, but I managed to get a few things done that either I'd usually put off, or I have been putting off for a while now, so that's a plus. And my knee is feeling better, too. Might be feeling another anxiety attack coming on, though, so I'm not going to start patting my own back just yet.


Today's total food log:
1st meal: fish, roasted potatoes and carrots, banana
2nd meal: 2 hamburger patties, 2 yucky onion rings, decent serving of potatoes, and carrots, smothered in chili
Snack: handful of cashews
3rd meal: Greek meatballs in tomato sauce over mashed potatoes, banana

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And I'm eyeing a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles.

I just bought a spiralizer this week, it's magical!  I used mine to make curly fries, nom nom.  Going to make zucchini noodles this weekend.

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30 minutes ago, Georgina2 said:

I just bought a spiralizer this week, it's magical!  I used mine to make curly fries, nom nom.  Going to make zucchini noodles this weekend.

Curly fries sound good, too! Think I might have to break down and do it.

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Woke up this morning with what felt like swollen lymph nodes in my neck. Guess I'm still getting over that cold.

I had a couple plantains that were getting riper than I wanted, so I fried one up for breakfast. Had half of that and the rest of my carrot & potato fries with a couple spoonfuls of my chili, and an Aidell's chicken & apple sausage. The plantain was a little sweeter than I had hoped for - next time, I'll cook them up while they're still green.

I swear, I know that there isn't any sweetener in this flavored sparkling water that I've been drinking, but with the lack of added sugar in my diet, it's starting to taste sweet! And the flavors are more pronounced than they were even a week ago. Who needs soda?!?!

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