All about EUROPE – Having the time of my life!

Hey everyone! I finally made it back to America and I seriously had the most amazing time ever!!! I’ve been blogging about my adventures in Europe on another dedicated travel site and so I’m going to include the link here: LoveDOesTravel

I was only able to write 3 posts while over in Europe but I am working on posting all about Spain, Paris, and just about how to travel smart in general 🙂 I hope you all enjoy it and stay connected on that site to see all our travel adventures. Let me know if you’d like to be a guest blogger for the LoveDOesTravel site – you don’t have to be a doctor or pre-med just love traveling!




Shape-Up Challenge Day 2

Hey everyone! It’s been 5 days since the start of the Shape-Up Challenge and I am sooooo sorry for not posting each day. I know that was one of my goals and I failed! It’s been such a crazy week and I probably could’ve done much better but I let the crazy schedule get the best of me.

But on an exciting note – it was the last week of undergraduate classes for me EVER! It was such a whirlwind week of banquets and end of the year activities. I had my 2 amazing cheat meals already (which means none for this weekend!)

On Wednesday we got cupcakes at the Flying Cupcake Bakery which makes those amazing gluten free cupcakes I posted about a while back and I got the Orange Dreamsicle which was pretty amazing.

Thursday night we celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday early since we’ll be out of town for his real birthday. I surprised him and took him to the BARcelona Tapas Restaurant in downtown Indy so we could get a taste for the yummy Spanish cuisine we’ll be having in exactly 2 weeks!!!

We ordered several “tapas” which are very small plates (kind of like mini appetizers). We ordered:

  • Ham and cheese croquettes with spicy aeoli
  • Garlic shrimp in a buttery tomato sauce
  • Roasted cauliflower with pine nuts, raisins, and spinach
  • A skewer of chicken and chorizo with more aeoli
  • Grilled salmon with an olive tapenade

We shared most of these and they were seriously small serving sizes! We also had margaritas and finished off the night with a piece of flan and creme brûlée.

We thought we’d need more food but by the end we were stuffed!

We’re so excited for Spain!!!! Only 2 more weeks.

After eating we walked around downtown and caught a glimpse of American Ninja Warrior being filmed then decided to check out a new bar called “The Broken Beaker”. It’s a science-themed bar! How neat! They serve everything in beakers or test tubes! Such a cute idea.

Back to the Shape-Up Challenge – this week’s schedule was out-of-whack but I know that’s not an excuse. I’m determined to get back on track since today marks exactly 2 weeks until we board our transatlantic flight.

Because next week is bound to be even crazier than this past week (graduation, finals, family coming into town, moving, and packing for Europe!) I know it’s going to take some hard-core discipline to be healthy.

Some updated goals:

(although all the ones from the first post still apply!!)

  1. Cheat meals 2 times per week, 1 drink per week (it’s graduation!)
  2. Make a schedule for each day of finals week and include workouts/meals
  3. Sleep at least 8 hours each night – which means minimal procrastinating on finals!
  4. Drink lots and lots of water and make a big batch of iced green tea for the week! 🙂
  5. Make sure to get a big serving of veggies at both lunch and dinner.
  6. Workouts: Run or walk 3 times per week, 3 sessions of BBG, 1 hot yoga class, 1 Zumba class and try to stay active throughout the day!
  7. Keep blogging to stay accountable!

On a random note (but very health-related) – my Polar A360 activity tracker has been tracking my sleep for the last 4 days or so and it analyzes restful sleep vs. rest-less sleep. And it looks like I lose about ONE FULL HOUR to rest-less sleep each night! So I usually try to go to sleep 8 hours before I have to wake up and I only get about 7 of that. I do notice I wake up throughout the night a lot and change positions but does anyone else track their sleep habits and know anything about this? How can I improve my sleep? 

What are your summer plans?

How do you stay healthy?


Day 1 of the Shape-Up Challenge: Failing, BCAAs, and Saying No to Gelato

Hey everybody! It’s the first day of the shape up challenge and it’s been pretty weird for me because I’m still traveling!

I woke up this morning around 8am at my aunt’s house and had some steel cut oats with frozen blueberries and a Chobani Greek yogurt. Of course I had to have some coffee with a little creamer!

Eating while traveling hardly ever satisfies me sadly. I hate being out of my routine and eating food that doesn’t make me feel good.

And sitting for 6 hours in the car doesn’t help either.

I downloaded a podcast (A NPR Ted talk on tolerance – I recommend it!) and listened to that and then googled some packing tips for Europe.

At about 10am I got bored and hungry and had some Skinny (it’s the brand name) Popcorn and then made myself wait for lunch. It wasn’t easy. LOL. Why is it that I get so hungry in the car when all I’m doing is sitting?!?


I think it’s the boredom.

And then I screwed up. Only 4 hours into the challenge I failed and ate a piece of Ghiredelli mint dark chocolate.


I had this one tempting little square. I can’t believe I gave in so easily!

LOL. What is my life.

In my defense, we missed our stop for lunch so I was super hungry and had been eyeing that chocolate all weekend.

What matters when you slip up or go overboard is that you:

1) recognize it and let it go and

2) get right back on track with eating clean. So I could’ve said f-it I’m going to eat those other 3 pieces of chocolate and have French fries and ice cream for lunch. But of course I didn’t and you shouldn’t either. Be positive and remember little decisions make all the difference!

Oh well! 🙂 Moving onnnn!

We did stop at McDonalds for lunch though. Middle of nowhere and that’s all we had to choose from so we went with it! In my opinion (although I only eat McDonald’s or fast food when I have no other choice) but anyway in my opinion I think it can be a good choice if you choose the right thing.

I had a Southwest Grilled Chicken salad and skipped the tempting French fries. I ate some popcorn in the car and made myself wait until I got back to my apartment to snack again!


It wasn’t nearly as beautiful in person. 😦

And on a side note – I’m not saying the Southwest Grilled Chicken salad is a good healthy choice but I think it was the best choice out of the fast-food restaurants we had to choose from. Just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good decision that you can be satisfied with. 🙂

When we got back I unpacked and caught up with my best friend/roommate then ate 2 whole grapefruits. Wowza. But I was dying for something refreshing and grapefruit always satisfies my sweet tooth and makes me feel a little detoxified. It’s delicious!

I almost thought about not working out… But then I remembered how terrible I felt sitting in the car for 5 hours. Disgusting.

I did Week 12 Legs of BBG (it’s my last week of BBG!) and it felt so good! I love plyometrics and it was my first workout with my new Polar A360 Activity tracker so I was excited to see how BBG would size up to my other workouts.

29 minutes for 313 calories burned is pretty good!

I made myself a shaker with water and BCAAs (I use AminoX brand) and drank 1/2 of it before my walk.

Usually if I do a BBG workout I won’t get in some kind of cardio because I’m usually crunched for time. However, I looked at the weather forecast and since today was gorgeous and the rest of the week is rather drab I decided to take advantage of it and go for a 40 minute walk with Duke (my roomie’s dog).

41 minute walk
We soaked up the sun and when I got back I finished the BCAAs.

Just a note on BCAAs – a lot of people ask me if I use protein powder or what’s the best healthy natural supplements for women. I personally have protein powder and BCAAs and pre-workout but I mainly use BCAAs after workouts. I rarely use pre-workout (it’s a natural kind) and as for the protein powder I usually use it 2-3 times per week at most as a mix-in for my greek yogurt (it tastes just like chocolate pudding!).


The brand of BCAAs I’m currently using

But why I love BCAAs:

  1. Low calories (you can find ones without any sweetener and ones with natural sweetener). The sweetened kinds almost feel like I’m drinking an exotic yummy drink.
  2. Quickly digested – drink them on an empty stomach or while working out/after you workout because they will be quickly absorbed
  3. We learned all about how amazing they are in Biochemistry – if you wanna geek out with me about how they entire into the TCA cycle send me an email at !! I’d love to 🙂
  4. Perfect for protecting hard-earned muscle gains but not adding too much bulk. Essentially they’re perfect for people who want to tone-up but also lose fat.
  5. They give you a little bit of energy! Sometimes they even curb my cravings!
  6. They help speed up recovery time! Seriously I’m way less sore the next day compared to when I don’t take them.
  7. I’m sure I’ll think of other things to add to this list…

Anyway… they’re great!

After my walk I showered and ran to the grocery store to pick up the things I need to make food throughout the week. I decided against meal prepping tonight because I had wayyyy too much work to get done.

For Dinner, I heated up some of the rice and black bean + veggie dish I had made last week and added some salsa and cheddar cheese. Then I added some dried shallots from Penzey’s Spices on top because my aunt gave me an entire jar over the weekend! I love shallots! They’re amazing on everything.


This kiiiind of looks like what mine did. It wasn’t pretty enough for a picture though.

I ended my day with a bottle of Kombucha – I’m spacing on the brand right now but the flavor is “Trilogy” – it’s my ultimate favorite.


I googled it 🙂 – the brand is Synergy

I like drinking Kombucha as a treat or when I need some probiotics – generally after drinking or feeling blah from unhealthy eating. I’ll definitely do a post on probiotics and why they’re so amazing soon. Like this if you’re interested!


Oh! I almost forgot. I opened up the freezer and saw the Talenti Salted Caramel Gelato I had left in my boyfriend’s freezer. AHHHHH. I ALMOST had some. And then my mean boyfriend said “but what about your shape-up for summmeeerrr??” He was joking but I almost ate his head off. However, I did put it down unscathed. 🙂

This is my final activity goal completion/summary. It gives the steps, miles, and calories burned. I’m not sure how accurate it is but it seems reasonable. I’m mostly going to compare day-to-day.
Overall, my first day of the challenge was pretty successful. I’m kind of glad I failed right away so that I could practice my getting right back on track skills. LOL.

How’d your first day go? Wanna join?! Read my previous post about the challenge and comment/like it. I need all the support I can get! 

Like and follow me for more healthy lifestyle posts!



Join my “Shape-Up for Summer in 2.5 Weeks” with me!

If you’ve been reading my blogs you know I’m headed to Europe in less than 3 weeks! I’m so excited to finally visit Spain and France! As always, I try to be healthy and constantly work towards new fitness and health goals but for Europe (where I know there will be lots of unhealthy treats everyday) I want to be in the best shape I can be so I can fully indulge!

I love you Chipotle but you’ll have to go for now

So I’ve come up with a plan to “shape-up” for vacation in 2.5 weeks. Of course it helps to have been working towards it longer but for these last few weeks I’m really going to focus on eating as clean as possible and getting in a few extra workouts.

But I also have finals in a week.

And I’m graduating college.

And moving out of my apartment.

And getting ready for medical school.

I have a lot on my plate these next couple weeks!!

And it is soooo easy to skip workouts, eat junk food, and not sleep when you’re busy.


I’m crazy determined. Lol. Especially since this past week and weekend I’ve been giving into treats and skipping workouts. It’s been baaaad. But no more!

good bye beautiful butter

So if you’re brave and tired of putting off your goals when you’re stressed and/or its finals week, join me for these next 17 days (about 2.5 weeks) to shape up for summer 🙂

I hope you’ll join me!

So these are my rules for myself (but feel free to improvise and make your own, the key is to not let my Health slip while I’m busy these next couple weeks)

1) Plan my workouts at the beginning of the week and don’t skip them!!

  • 3 BBG resistance workouts (legs/glutes, arms/back, abs)
  • 2 Zumba sessions
  • 3 runs or walks for 40 min each
  • Stretch and foam roll 1 day (at least)

2) Sleep at least 7.5 hours each night – I really think I only need 7.

3) Eat clean, pescetarian, homemade meals. No added sugar/refined carbs.

4) Limit eating out to once a week

5) 2 cheat meals a week (i.e. Cupcakes 😋)

except when my boyfriend surprises me with gelato…

6) Blog or journal everyday to stay accountable! Comment on my posts each day to let me know how you did that day! 🙂

7) Don’t procrastinate – make detailed lists and start right away on them!

8) Stay positive and focus on being happy and healthy. 🙂
Those are my rules but I’m sure I’ll think of some more/adjust if needed. I hope you decide to join me for these next 17 days!

Overall, it helps me to have a goal in sight – knowing that if I sacrifice now I’ll be able to enjoy Europe more makes me very motivated. I’ll also be posting my plan for staying healthy in Europe when it comes closer!

French food in America

Make sure you follow and like for more updates!

Comment if you’ll join me for the next 17 days! No judgments just positive motivation to keep each other going 🙂

Tell me about your summer plans!

Travel + healthy ways to eat out

I’m almost to the end of our trip and wow I am ready to get back! It was a great time catching up with family but I miss my routine and home!!
I left off the recap of the weekend yesterday (See previous 2 blogs) before we went to our last winery stop and then headed to dinner! 

For dinner we went to a really nice restaurant called The Boathouse in Traverse City area. I was completely tired of wine so I ordered a mojito. Normally I wouldn’t order a drink with dinner but because it was a special occasion and we’d be waiting a while until our entrees came out I ordered one. It was amazing! I loved the fresh mint and lime but made sure I didn’t drink it too fast! I shared it with practically everyone! 

For my entree I ordered the Scottish salmon gluten free (so they took off the bread crumb crust) and it came with a couple pieces of broccoli and cauliflower risotto and a creamy beurre blanc sauce all over. (Beurre = butter and blanc =white in French) 

To be completely honest, it wasn’t amazing. It was definitely good but I wasn’t blown away or anything. I did have an amazing time laughing with the aunties though! 

Something my mom and aunt did that you might want to try is ordering a couple appetizers and/or a salad as their main meal. It comes out separately so you have time to eat and you can try a couple things instead of just one entree! 

When I go out to eat I have a couple rules I try to follow:
1) If there’s chips and salsa/guac I ALWAYS order it (okay not always but I always want to) 

2) If I order an unhealthy appetizer like chips I make sure my entree is decently clean – like salmon+veggies or a salad. If I’d rather have a side of mashed potatoes or fries I won’t order the chips. 

3) If dessert is free (like birthdays) I ALWAYS try it. I love dessert. 

4) Unless I really want it, I don’t order a drink so I can eat more food 😋 

I love food and I’m happy to sacrifice a little but not everything! 

When we got back we had some chocolates for dessert (the desserts at the restaurant were a little too pricey) and then went down to the sauna to relax and sweat a little. 

After the sauna I did some various workouts until I reached my 100% activity goal for the day lol. Then I showered and went to BED. 

Oh! And I almost forgot! The dang water jug thing at the inn ran out last night! No water! I was doing so well (probably why we ran out) at chugging water and just all gone! We all were pretty upset and drank the tap water which was GROSS. So I’m a little dehydrated and know I need some real physical activity to get me back to feeling good. 
I wish I could go to hot yoga today but we won’t be back until tomorrow. 😦 
Overall it was a great vacation and even though I feel a little blah I feel good about how I did staying healthy. Of course there’s room for improvement but I’m happy with just a bit of progress! 🙂 

Hope you all are having a fabulous day and loving your Sunday! 

Please like and follow me for more posts on living healthy! 🙂

Staying HEALTHY on Vacation!

Hey everybody! I hope you had a fabulous week and are enjoying your weekend! I’m currently in Traverse City, Michigan at Chateau Grand Traverse Winery Inn. We’re having a girls’ weekend to celebrate my Grandma’s 80th birthday and that means lots of wine!


This place is great! I recommend coming here for family parties! 

I actually don’t enjoy wine very much… Don’t hate me! It’s so weird because my parents and the rest of my family LOVES wine. X10000. Red wine seems to give me a headache so I avoid that and some white wines I enjoy but other than that it’s just not my drink of choice. BUTTTT I LOOOVE champagne. Loveee it. Make it a mimosa and I’ll drink the whole pitcher (not really…). But that and hard apple cider are my true favorites.


The Winery is gorgeous

And speaking of alcohol consumption, I actually don’t drink very much. It makes me feel blah for several days and to me it’s just not worth the extra calories and blah feeling! (I’d rather have ice cream or cupcakes… 🙂 ) But I definitely understand other people who like to have a glass of wine as a treat or a tasty cocktail. Everything in moderation!


I’ve been thinking a lot about how one is supposed to stay healthy while on an extravagant trip like I am this weekend. It’s not easy and I know that the answer is always balance but it can be hard to know what “balance” means.


Balance is hard.

For me, I think it’s key to know that I’ll be going on a vacation at least a week or two in advance. I kind of think of it as a ginormous cheat day. The week before/7 days leading up to the trip I tried my best to eat as clean as possible. This meant saying no to my cupcake and ice cream cravings and trying to get in lots of fruits and veggies. Honestly, this week was really difficult for me to stay on track. On Monday I came down with a cold and allergies. Then on Thursday I started PMS-ing and craving everything in sight. I caved and had Chipotle one night and the next day I ate a couple pieces of chocolate and some chicken fried rice.


Except it’s black beans, guac, and fajita veggies!!! 

My go-to order at Chipotle: Kid’s Build Your Own meal – it comes with 2 corn tortillas (or flour), your choice of meat (or guacamole which is what I choose) and then 2 other sides. I always do Guac, Black beans, and Fajita veggies. Sometimes I’ll order some salsa on the side if I have a little extra to spend. The meal comes with your choice of either a Kid’s size chips or a piece of fruit. I try to choose the fruit but this past time the fruit was all moldy! So I got the chips instead. But I swear I tried to be healthy! You also get chocolate milk or juice… I LOVE the brand of chocolate milk they have that comes in an adorable little box and straw. It may or may not be the reason I get the meal… Another plus though is if you’re on a budget this meal comes in at about $5! That’s not bad compared to about $10 for a bowl with guacamole. Win-win!


So #1 is eating clean at least 7 days before so you feel okay about going a little crazy. #2 is making a game plan for while you’re on vacation! This is what my game plan for the weekend is:

  • Eat as many fruits and veggies as I can
    • I’ve actually been having trouble getting myself to want to eat vegetables lately which is kind of odd but maybe the new scenery will change that.
    • article-new_ehow_images_a06_6e_vl_fruits-vegetables-can-rabbits-eat_-1_1-800x800.jpg

      Yep this will probably be me…

  • Bring instant plain oatmeal and protein powder.
    • I did this for my last trip and it made my mornings feel more organized/clean. I like to have protein+carbs+fat for breakfast so I’ll just need to find some type of fat like maybe nuts or peanut butter.

I love gluten free oatmeal with berries!

  • I also brought a couple other snacks like carrots and a grapefruit. I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to eat them!
  • Be DD for at least 2 of the 3 nights. That way I have to stick to 1 drink or less and I know no one will object! Because I’m not a big drinker this is perfect for me.

Maybe my friends and I need this…?

  • Try to be active everyday. I’m not going to slave away alone at the gym but I’m going to make myself choose activities that keep me moving – like hiking or taking a walk with my grandma or aunts. I might sneak in a workout or run if we don’t have anything scheduled or planned but I want to maximize the time I have with my family.
  • Make healthy options whenever possible until there is something I really really want.
    • This used to be hard for me because I hate depriving myself! However, my trick now is choosing things like salads or healthier options and then having a little of something I like. For example, we stopped at Chik-fil-A and I ordered a southwest chicken salad and then split some potato wedges with my mom and aunt! I didn’t feel deprived at all!
    • Chick-fil-A-Spicy-Southwest-Salad-4.jpg

      Their salads are actually good!

    • In order to keep myself from buying an ice cream at the restaurant or something sweet at the convenience store I just kept assuring myself that we’ll probably have a chance to eat a decadent dessert on our trip and this way I can fully enjoy that treat instead of having cheap not-so amazing junk food now.
  • Drink tons of water! This is so easy for me at home but sooooo hard when I’m on vacation! I hate bad tasting water and the inconvenience of water fountains. But then I remember what a spoiled American I am for having that problem! So I’m going to suck it up this time and make sure I drink enough H2O!


  • Be happy and positive! I’m going to make sure I focus on why I took this trip: to see my grandma and the rest of my aunts and spend quality time with them. Something I don’t regularly get to do. 🙂

So yeah there’s definitely a balance and I don’t think I’m at the point where I want to bring entire meals and not socialize with everyone else. There will be tons of snacks and I’m sure I will eat less than perfectly this weekend but I’m going to enjoy it and be happy that I have this opportunity!


Just kidding… (Or am I?) 

I’m also working on my budget for the first year in medical school so I can figure out how much in loans I’ll need to take out. If anyone has advice or numbers I can look at that’d be great! It’s hard to know how frugal to be!

Starbucks Made Healthy and Getting Through a Rut

Hey everyone! It’s Wednesday, which is my second favorite day, next to Monday. I just love  the mid-week push to get everything done and this morning I woke up extra early and headed off to school to get some studying and papers out of the way!

Lately I’ve actually been pretty down. I attribute it mostly to fluctuating hormones and friend issues but I am having a hard time straightening out my mindset and putting a big smile on my face.

Of course, it’s very very common to have low periods of time and the first couple years in undergrad I struggled much more. This is odd for me because it hasn’t happened in a year!

Winters are generally dark and cold here in the Midwest and I don’t get to go out on runs and walks as much. But this year I made sure to stick religiously to my workout schedule and find ways to brighten my mood. It worked! But now it’s getting sunny and I’m feeling less than motivated to power through a resistance workout or to keep myself from tearing up!

Howeverrrrr, there is a bright side and that is I feel fully prepared and ready to overcome this low spot. And it’s actually been working. I swear our minds are the most powerful and beautiful things in the world.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to get out of a rut:

  • Smile – I try to catch myself any time I start having negative thoughts about life, myself, or other people and to remember how lucky I am to be here.
  • Mediate/Pray – This one has been hard for me lately but I’ve actually found yoga helps a lot with the peace of my mind. (Try Bikram yoga on youtube – there’s a quick 30 min. one and I love that flow)
  • Plan quick pick-me-ups throughout the day – For me this generally means food. Haha.
    • Breakfast – I always plan a breakfast I love and that will keep me full + it makes me want to get out of bed in the morning (I know, weird.)
    • Mid-afternoon/lunch – Starbucks green tea + mango lemonade – it’s sweet and delicious and I enjoy it guilt free now w/ the inexpensive and healthy recipe I’ve shared below.
    • Late night – I either have a grapefruit for desert or a bowl of greek yogurt mixed with half a scoop of chocolate protein powder and a couple of dates, maybe drizzled with almond butter. It makes me feel like I’m never deprived of sweets!
  • Try new things/workouts – Even though I’m so busy I decided I needed to add something extra that would make me happy throughout the week and that happens to be 2-3 outdoor runs lasting about 40-45 minutes. I also gave myself the freedom to skip one resistance workout a week and replace it with yoga or just plain old stretching. It’s been great.
  • Shopping – Spending money generally doesn’t make me very happy but I know I need several things for my trip to Europe that is coming up in 4 short weeks and giving myself the go-ahead to spend that moolah takes some stress out of it.
  • Remembering to just make the “next right choice” – this is something a mentor of mine told me and I swear it makes a huge difference even though it’s so simple!
    • It goes like this: If you just focus on making the next best choice at the time you will always end up in the right place because you did the best you could with the knowledge you had. It helps me when I’m trying to decide between a nap or going to an academic meeting or between going to sleep or watching a movie on Netflix. Or even when I’m trying to figure out how to handle a friend problem.

And now for my amazingly delicious Starbucks drink made Inexpensive and Healthy:

*** I hate plain green tea but I am trying SOOO hard to substitute my second cup of coffee in the day with green tea. Since I love the Mango green tea at Starbucks (which is like 4$ and has a little too much sweetener) I decided to try and make it at home instead. Enjoy!

You can make this in smaller batches as well (for example 1 tea bag + 8oz water + 3 oz mango lemonade once the tea has cooled.)


  1. Buy your favorite plain green tea (I tried to find Organic) This box of 20 tea bags was only $2.50. Buy a mango lemonade with a small amount of ingredients and no added sweetener. It will have sugar but a little bit of natural sweetener never hurt anyone. 🙂
  2. Make the tea.
    1. I heated up water using a hot water heater.IMG_4643.JPG
    2. I added 10 tea bags to a huge bowl and poured the water on top.IMG_4642.JPG
    3. Let it steep for 10 minutes.
    4. Remove tea bags and add about 1 cup ice cubes.
    5. Once all cooled, add the container of juice (I chose Mango Lemonade).
      1. I’m going to try adding less each time.
    6. Store in the fridge and enjoy over ice anytime!



These are my two best friends from the first day of freshman year! We all received awards at the Senior Award Ceremony! (I’m in the middle)

I would LOVE to hear any tips or tricks you have for me on how to get out a rut/low spot. I’m sure I missed some things and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  • Tips and tricks for getting out of a rut
  • Did you try the Mango Green tea recipe?
  • Want more healthy recipes?

As always, you can email me anytime at or comment below!

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