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Espresso Chocolate Chip Smoothie

This delicious espresso chocolate chip smoothie will give you energy, balance your hormones, and make you smile!
espresso chocolate chip smoothie

When I start out to make a smoothie — which I do many times a week — I almost always stop, close my eyes, breathe deeply, and really notice what kind of flavor combination my mouth wants and what kinds of superfoods and healing ingredients my body needs. Yes, I’m aware that I turn the business of smoothie making into an oddly serious affair, but hey, it works for me. And today, this espresso chocolate chip smoothie is what I wanted and needed.

Every Saturday and Sunday morning, we take our two huge dogs to Central Park for coffee and croissants. We get coffee. The dogs get croissants. We sit by the lake and people watch. It’s awesome. And then we come home and have breakfast. One of the reasons it’s not so hard for us to sit there and watch the dogs eat while we just have coffee, is that we know when we get home we can have a smoothie like this.

Today, we sat on our bench at the lake. The weather was just perfect. There was a slight breeze and the scent of coffee and wet dogs in the air… haha that’s really true. We watched the remote control boats, the hundreds of dogs running around, and we just sat. It’s kind of meditative for us.

Then we walked back home. Now, I’m really ready for something good.

For me, some types of smoothies seem to work best for breakfast.

And, some are more for an afternoon pick-me-up.

And some work anytime.

This espresso chocolate chip smoothie is more of a breakfast smoothie for me, but I did serve it to Steve in the afternoon and that was perfect for him… so, this is an anytime smoothie.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that you don’t have to actually brew coffee for it. I’ve made smoothies with coffee before, and I brew hot coffee, then either stick it in the freezer so it will cool or add ice and hope it doesn’t get too watered down. It works, and I’ve never really minded the process…

But now, I’ve found espresso coconut water (see recipe below for details) that actually tastes like coffee, so all I have to do is use the espresso coconut water as a base. Easy-peasy.

And, if you’re in the mood for a fruity smoothie treat, try my recipe for Pink Pitaya Mango Smoothie Bowl.

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a smoothie recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this espresso chocolate chip smoothie recipe:

In Chinese medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I used espresso coconut water for this recipe, and I added coconut butter.

I use cauliflower for breads, crusts, rice… everything. One of my favorite uses is in smoothies — when used frozen, it’s a great thickening agent that really has no taste, so it’s a perfect base for whatever you are adding into your smoothies. Cauliflower can be used in so many forms… and, it’s really good for you. In Chinese medicine we use it to aid in digestion and help with constipation. One of the things I find most amazing about this cruciferous vegetable is it’s ability to help with age-related memory loss (my menopausal friends will appreciate this benefit!), and weight loss. It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids and can help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cauliflower also helps the body with detoxification and with reducing inflammation.

Raw cacao is a superfood. It is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals. Not only is it packed with health benefits, but it actually has properties that help the body absorb nutrients better and it’s filled with antioxidants. Cacao can actually be translated as “food of the gods”… Raw cacao can help lower blood pressure, promote healthy heart function, improve digestion, and may even help increase the libido. This recipe makes use of raw cacao powder and raw cacao nibs.

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes. I use sunflower seed butter in this recipe.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

If you make this Espresso Chocolate Chip Smoothie, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Espresso Chocolate Chip Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie, breakfast, snack, blender
Cuisine: paleo, vegan, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
This delicious smoothie will give you energy, balance your hormones, and make you smile!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients, except cacao nibs, into your blender.
  2. Whiz it up.
  3. Pour into glasses.
  4. Top with cacao nibs.
  5. Enjoy!

espresso chocolate chip smoothie

Creamy Sweet Potato Bowl

This creamy sweet potato bowl is the most comforting bowl of creaminess ever… and it’s great for your digestion!

creamy sweet potato bowl

It’s Monday and it’s the first day of spring! So, happy spring… I know, the weather report says there’s another snow storm coming this week here in New York… but outside today it actually smells a little like the warmer weather might actually be on its way. Yup, even here in the city I can smell it. I can tell. I swear. It’s going to be spring soon. Fingers crossed.

Right before this past weekend, I was trying to step over one of my dogs who was sprawled out on the floor, and I got my toe caught on a chair leg in my living room and now it’s broken. Oh my, have you ever broken a toe? It’s really painful and you really do see stars. And there’s not much you can do to make it heal quickly. You never realize how many things you do during the day until you are restricted because of an injury. What I’m finding is that because I can’t do yoga for a little while or go on long walks in the park with the dogs, I have extra time to myself, and for me that means extra time in the kitchen.

I’m a big believer in not feeling sorry for myself. Especially over something fairly minor like a broken toe.

But, I’m also a big believer in doing whatever I can to make myself feel better. So, I allowed myself a few minutes of cursing and despair, and then I thought about what this injury would give me the excuse to do that I don’t usually get a chance to do. You know, like binge watching something mindless or reading more books than usual…. or cooking even more.

And, one of the things that always makes me smile is reading all of my favorite food blogs. When I saw Caitlin’s awesome recipe for a sweet potato breakfast bowl on From My Bowl, I just knew I had to made a version of it.

Okay, so here’s where I connect the dots of my ramblings… creamy, comforting, warming bowls of food always make me feel better. That’s how this creamy sweet potato bowl came to be. This bowl actually made me so happy that I made it three days in a row. And, if I hadn’t run out of some of the ingredients, I could have continued to make it for a few more days.

One of the awesome things about this recipe is that you can customize it any way you like. And it’s really easy. All you do is roast the sweet potatoes and combine the flesh with a few ingredients. After you scoop the creamy mixture into your favorite bowl, you can top it with whatever makes you happy. I was so in love with the bowl I made the first day, I made it exactly the same way each day I ate it… and I rarely eat the same exact thing twice. So, I highly recommend this creamy sweet potato bowl recipe it appears below.

creamy sweet potato bowlcreamy sweet potato bowl

Here are some of the healing ingredients in this creamy sweet potato bowl:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.

In eastern medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses almond milk and can also include almond butter.

Cinnamon is one of the best herbs to warm the body. It’s great if you have a cold. If you are nauseous or have diarrhea, go for the cinnamon. It also gives you energy and helps with menstrual pain. Cinnamon is a Chinese herb: “gui zhi” is the cinnamon twig and “rou gui” is the cinnamon bark. Both are warming and are used for a variety of ailments. In the winter I add cinnamon to all sorts of foods. It helps with the common cold, swelling, various menstrual issues and some aches and pains. Be careful with it if you have a fever because it is so warming.

Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body.

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes. I like to use sunflower seed butter in this recipe.

creamy sweet potato bowl

Creamy Sweet Potato Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, vegetarian, main course, sweet potatoes, vegetables
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: From My Bowl
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
This is so creamy and comforting and it can be customized any way you like. Make one of these bowls for breakfast, lunch, or dinner... it will put a smile on your face and heal you at the same time.
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) or almond butter (Here's the sunbutter I like)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • toppings: pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds (Here's some sprouted ones), cashew yogurt (or another non-dairy yogurt)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Poke a bunch of holes in your sweet potato with a fork.
  3. Place the sweet potato on a piece of foil or a small baking sheet and roast in the oven until cooked through -- about an hour.
  4. Remove the potato from the oven and slice it in half.
  5. Scoop the flesh into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the almond milk, nut butter, cinnamon, and sea salt. Mix until completely creamy. (You can also use a hand mixer or a blender for this.)
  6. Scrape the creamy mixture into 2 bowls.
  7. Top with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, and a big dollop of yogurt.
  8. Enjoy!

creamy sweet potato bowl

Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Pesto

crispy smashed potatoes with pesto

I am always testing new recipes and playing with different preparations of foods. I love to create new dishes — this experimenting has always been what de-stresses me. There’s just something about the kitchen itself and the fresh ingredients and all of the possibilities that puts me in my happy place.

While this sounds good to many people, it makes my family crazy. Even if they love a dish, they rarely see it again the same way because I’m always tweaking and changing and experimenting.

But, this recipe for crispy smashed potatoes with pesto is different. I make it the same way every time. Because it’s awesome. And, it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…

There’s no better side dish than these potatoes. They are the perfect compliment to chicken or fish or steak. But honestly, I love them best served alongside a great bowl of soup. And, last week we even ate them with some grain-free pasta. And yes, I know pasta and potatoes at the same meal doesn’t sound right. But I guess I figured since the pasta was made out of almonds and almonds are a protein…

The last time I made this dish, I stored the leftovers in a container that somehow got hidden in the way back of the fridge. So, a few days later when I found the container, I had to figure out what to do with them. One of my go-to ways to refurbish leftovers is to cook them with eggs for an awesome breakfast. These crispy smashed potatoes with pesto made the most delicious base for some over-easy eggs… yum… I couldn’t have planned it any better!

If you want to try another great side dish recipe, try my Kale With Tomatoes And White Beans.

crispy smashed potatoes with pestocrispy smashed potatoes with pesto

This recipe for crispy smashed potatoes with pesto only has a few ingredients, but they are healing ones:

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, iron, zinc, and selenium to your diet. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and also contains fiber, so it’s a really good thing!

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

crispy smashed potatoes with pesto

Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Pesto
Author: 
Recipe type: side dish, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, potatoes, vegetables
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Minimalist Baker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This is the perfect side dish. It's easy, healthy, delicious, and it goes with everything. The pesto is garlicky and tangy and OMG it's so good!
Ingredients
  • About 20 mini fingerling potatoes, washed
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • For pesto:
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • juice of 2 small lemons
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Place the potatoes in a medium pot.
  3. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes.
  4. Add a handful of sea salt to the water.
  5. Boil the potatoes until a fork stick easily into them (about 15 to 20 minutes).
  6. Drain the potatoes.
  7. Using a potatoes masher or the bottom of a skillet, smash the potatoes until they are flattened a bit.
  8. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  9. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  10. Bake in the oven until crispy (about 20 minutes).
  11. Meanwhile, make the pesto by putting all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor and processing until almost smooth.
  12. Feel free to thin out the pesto a bit with some additional extra virgin olive oil if it seems too thick.
  13. When the potatoes are crispy, remove them from the oven, arrange on a platter and top with pesto.
  14. Enjoy!

crispy smashed potatoes with pesto

Chopped Broccoli Salad

This chopped broccoli salad is delicious, can be customized with your favorite ingredients, and can be made in advance!

chopped broccoli salad

Almost every time I buy broccoli I end up roasting it in the oven until it is nice and charred — burnt broccoli is awesome! Now that I’ve said that, this chopped broccoli salad has nothing in common with burnt broccoli… but it’s my new favorite side dish.

So, while I was making this recipe, I kept thinking to myself that if there’s no burned edges and blackened stalks, how good could it be? Well, let me tell you, it’s excellent. What this chopped broccoli salad does have is lots of fruit, nuts, and seeds. And a delicious creamy dressing. This is so good, you have to try it instead of cole slaw or potato salad the next time you need a quick side dish.

I even chopped up some Chinese herbs and tossed that into the mix. So, if you are a newbie with the herbs, this is a great recipe to start with…

I served a big bowl of it alongside some roasted salmon the other night for dinner. The next day we ate it with some chicken. I still have a bit left in my fridge and I’m going to dive in with a spoon and finish it off as soon as I’m done writing this post!

For another delicious idea for broccoli, check out my recipe for Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole.

chopped broccoli salad

This recipe has a bunch of healing ingredients:

Broccoli has a lot of potassium and is great for brain function; it also has magnesium and calcium to help regulate blood pressure. It’s also good to clear your body of excess heat and it actually can help your vision too. I love foods that make you feel better mentally as well as physically, and broccoli is one of those foods — it can lessen feelings of irritability.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen. This recipe uses tart dried cherries — I love them and use them as a substitute for raisins in many recipes.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit) is a Chinese herb that can be found in many Asian markets. They are small, like berries and have a delicious and slightly smoky and sweet flavor. This wonderful herb is great for insomnia, heart palpitations, and memory.

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

chopped broccoli salad

Chopped Broccoli Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad, vegetables,
Cuisine: raw, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
This is the perfect side-dish. The broccoli is chopped and combined with delicious and healthy fruit, nuts, and seeds. It's so easy and it's so much better than traditional cole slaw or potato salad!
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli, florets placed in food processor and chopped (stems saved for another use)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened dried tart cherries
  • ¼ cup raw almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit), chopped (this is an optional Chinese herb)
  • 2 Tbs raw sunflower seeds (here are some organic ones)
  • 3 Tbs of a healthy mayonnaise (I love this one)
  • 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (this is the one I buy)
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (here's a good one)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped broccoli, scallions, cherries, almonds, Long Yan Rou (if using), and the sunflower seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and coconut sugar.
  3. Add the dressing to the broccoli mixture, stirring well, until combined.
  4. Enjoy!

chopped broccoli salad

Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl

This cherry berry smoothie bowl is delicious, healing, and has everything your body needs to stay healthy!

Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl

I remember the first time I had a smoothie bowl. I had been seeing them pop up in photos all over the internet and I thought they were the most beautiful things. Yeah, I’m a bit of a freak that way — I think food photos are gorgeous the way other people think pictures of amazing sunsets are the best…

Then, I went to visit my daughter at college, and I went to a juice bar (I can find a juice bar in any city) and lo and behold they had a whole smoothie bowl menu. I ordered one, ate it, and then went back every morning for another one.

Smoothie bowls are the perfect way to start your day.

I still think these bowls are awesome. I put all of my greens and superfoods in them and I top them with such great healthy toppings. There are just so many options!! I get excited just thinking about it!

This Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl was one I made for my husband. He’s a happy camper when he gets a great smoothie bowl for breakfast. As with all smoothie bowl recipes, feel free to add whatever ingredients you like and top it with things that make you smile.

I know the smoothie bowl craze is bound to end sometime, but not in my house! And, if you want a simple but great smoothie of a different type, try my Banana Chai Smoothie.

Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl (close)-0558

Here’s some of what I put in my bowl:

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen.

I love to add bananas to smoothie bowls; they give it a great natural sweetness and a nice thick texture. Bananas are good for your intestines (an old Asian remedy was to eat a banana every day to relieve hemorrhoids) and your lungs, and they even help relieve the effects of overindulging in alcohol.

Most people think of Popeye (I just realized I’m really dating myself with this reference!) and iron when they think of spinach. It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

Figs are good for anemia, constipation, indigestion and fever. They are also good at fighting fatigue and boosting memory retention.

Lucuma powder is made from a South American tropical fruit. It’s sweet and contains a good amount of calcium, magnesium and potassium. It also has a great anti-inflammatory effect and can improve the condition of your skin. If you don’t have access to lucuma, you can use coconut sugar or add any sweetener that makes you happy, or just add more figs or a few pitted dates.

I add grass-fed gelatin powder to my smoothie bowls. Gelatin is great for your bones, joints, sleep, skin, and hair. It’s a superfood and it’s a protein. (See the recipe below for the one I like and where to buy it.)

Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl

Cherry Berry Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie Bowl
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
This smoothie bowl is deliciously refreshing and will energize you for the day; it's an awesome breakfast!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put cherries, cranberries, banana, almonds, figs, lucuma, and gelatin in a blender. Whiz it up until it's smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Arrange toppings so it makes you happy.
  4. Enjoy!