vin’s super-seed breakfast porridge

Kids vegan cook

I know it seems boring to eat the same thing for breakfast every day, but hear me out- it’s really the best thing ever.  Not only do I not have to think about what to throw together when I can barely peel open my bleary eyes (I’m decidedly NOT a morning person), I also get in so much nutrition for my kids in one fell swoop.  Vin usually makes this with my supervision too, so win-win there.

Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts are my non negotiable foods that I get into my kids diets EVERY single day.  Why?  Plant based omegas, calcium, other minerals, and brain boosting fats.  That’s why I add them all to the morning porridge- because then I don’t have to worry about it later.  It’s our whole food vitamin “supplement” for them, along with an after school fruit and veggie smoothie.

In one serving of this porridge (not even counting the fruit/optional extras), there’s: 73% fiber, 42% iron, 20% calcium, 50% zinc, 14% protein, and 7.2 grams of omega-3’s.  PLANTS are everything.

chia coconut flax hemp seeds oat porridge

The fat + fiber + carbs combo keeps tummies nice and full so they’re not hungry at school. Plus, it’s nice to get a warming meal in their belly in before they have to go outside on cold mornings.

We vary the toppings so every day is different and we never get bored:

-always a seasonal fruit or two: banana, berries, kiwi, mango, peach, apple, persimmon,prunes, plum, pear, etc

– sometimes add flavorings like almond or vanilla extract, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, chai spice, turmeric, pumpkin purée

-sometimes cook with nut milk instead of water for a creamier porridge

– sometimes add nut butters: coconut, cashew, almond, peanut, chocolate hazelnut

-sometimes do 1/2 and 1/2 quinoa + oats

-always add a sweetener: chopped dates, golden raisins, stevia, maple syrup, molasses or raw Demerara sugar

healthy vegan kids porridge omega 3 breakfast

vin’s super-seed breakfast porridge (2 large servings)

for the base:

1 cup oats

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

3 cups water or nut milk or both

for the toppings (per each bowl):

1 tablespoon ground flax seed

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

fruit of your choice

sweetener of your choice


Place the oats, chia, and coconut in a small pot. Whisk in the 3 cups water and bring to a boil while you whisk (so the chia doesn’t clump).  Turn down to medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and chia seeds are plumped, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and divide between 2 bowls.  Top with your desired toppings and eat!


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in season now: cauliflower + 5 ways to use it

Purple romanesco cauliflower green vegan

Cauliflower is everywhere at the market right now.  It’s so beautiful with its tightly packed, creamy florets and tender green leaves.

Cauliflower is a member of the brassica family, otherwise known as cruciferous vegetables.  Others members of the family: broccoli, brussels, arugula, bok choy, radish, turnips, collard greens, watercress and cabbage.

Cruciferous vegetables basically have superpowers- they’re one of the top vegetables for cancer prevention.  They boost and activate our immune system receptors in the gut, they contain high levels of antioxidants, and eating them regularly appears to boost detoxifying enzymes in the liver.  Food is SO amazing.

Back to cauliflower, though.  It’s in season and you should totally be eating it.  Not only is it super healthy for you, it’s delicious and super versatile.  You can keep it raw or roast, steam, purée, sauté it.  When you cook it, it turns into this slightly sweet, creamy bank canvas to soak up really any flavors you want.  You can even turn it into grain free, nutrient dense “rice“.

At the market, choose cauliflower with nice dense florets, bright in color, heavy for its size, with fresh looking leaves.  If the ones you see have brown discoloration on them, they’re not as fresh, but you can cut it off at home and underneath it will be fine.

Purple graffiti cauliflower vegan meal

Cauliflower is quite hardy and tends to store very well in the refrigerator.  I usually just store mine loose in the produce drawer of my fridge, and it does just fine.  You may like to cut it up + store it in a bowl with a lid in the fridge to make it easy to grab and use later in the week.  If you’re not using it up fast enough, you can steam it and freeze it- it’s actually great in a smoothie (really! read this if you’re curious).

There are so many vibrant colors of cauliflower- green, purple, orange, white.  The colored ones are even better for you than standard white because of the antioxidants.  There’s even romanesco, an Italian broccoli-cauliflower-ish veggie that comes in a gorgeous natural fractal shape.  I die over these!  They are soooooo beautiful.

Romanesco cauliflower broccoli recipe vegan

I first tried cauliflower and squash together in a soup when I made a recipe from the lovely Loni Jane’s second ebook.  It’s so perfect-  the cauliflower makes it super velvety and creamy!

I made a few tweaks but really this is such a simple recipe, you can customize it however you like.  It’s especially good with some crusty bread to dip or a dollop of quinoa and rice added when serving.

After the recipe, I’ve also added links for 4 other recipes to use cauliflower in to give you more ideas on how versatile it can be.

cauliflower squash soup vegan creamy dairy free plant based chickpeas

winter squash + cauliflower soup with harissa chickpeas

for the soup

1/2 a medium cauliflower, cut into large florets

1/2 a large kabocha or butternut or pie pumpkin, (or even sweet potato!), cut into 2 inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

3 large cloves garlic, smashed

5 cups veggie broth or 5 cups water + veggie bouillon

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon harissa spice or less depending on how spicy your harissa is (you can also omit or sub curry powder)

3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (optional but boosts the savory flavor)

for the crunchy chickpeas

2 cups or 1 can of chickpeas, drained

2 teaspoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon harissa spice or curry powder

salt and pepper



Crank the oven to 450 Fahrenheit.

Add everything to the pot except the nutritional yeast.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer until the veggies are very soft.  A fork should be able to go through with no resistance when you poke them.

While you wait for the veggies to soften, dry the chickpeas on a kitchen towel so they’re not soggy.  Transfer to baking sheet and drizzle over coconut oil and salt.  Mix with hands to evenly coat.  Spread the chickpeas out so they’re in a single layer with plenty of space between them.  Pop in the oven and roast till crispy, 15-20 minutes.  When they’re done, sprinkle the harissa over them and stir to coat.

Transfer soup to a blender, using a ladle and add the nutritional yeast, then purée till very smooth.  Alternatively, add the yeast to the pot and blend with an immersion stick blender.

Ladle/pour into bowls and top with the chickpeas, cilantro and green onions.  Finish with chili flakes and any crunchy nuts or seeds you like- I used my DIY everything bagel spice blend but use whatever you like- roasted cashews, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, anything that adds a little texture.  Enjoy right away!

This freezes and reheats perfectly too.  I freeze in mason jars and then take on out in the morning, put it in the fridge during the day, and then heat it up at night for dinner.

+ 4 other ways to enjoy cauliflower:

kung pao cauliflower: this looks amazing!  Obviously leave out the bacon, though, because grosss.

cauliflower cashew curry: curries are a perfect easy weeknight meal as they go so fast yet deliver big flavor.  Cauliflower is perfect in curried with its soft, tender texture.

cauliflower “gnocchi” with pesto:  this is such an easy trick I learned a long time ago from one of Kim Snyder’s cookbooks.  Cut off the ends of the florets, reserving the stems for another use, so that you’re left with bite size roundish pieces.  Steam them and then toss with your favorite pesto.  UNREAL.  So tasty and lightning fast.

cauliflower buffalo “wings”: I’m sure you guys have tried of these or heard of them before, but I still had to mention them because I’m in love with wing sauce and can eat a whole pan of these guys.  It’s just cauliflower dipped in batter and baked, then coated with wing sauce.  Perfect texture and a great healthier replacement for chicken wings.

easy pasta with cauliflower + greens: this has a Sicilian flair with the raisins, vinegar, and chili flakes and it’s so yummy.  Add in chickpeas or use chickpea pasta to make this a hearty, one dish meal.

ENJOY your cauliflower this week!  I hope I’ve inspired you to work it more into your rotation- it really is such a wonderful vegetable.

xx Amanda

a week of gf+v meals

Meal plan vegan farmers market zero waste meal prep whole good plant based

FRIDAY!  So happy for the weekend: kids home, farmers market ritual, stocking the fridge and pantry, and cooking up some delicious food.  We LOVE food in our house, like I am always thinking about food and what I’m going to eat and make next….to me food is an absolute pleasure of life.  Here’s a few dinner ideas of what we’ll be making this week:

miso soup with winter veggies: brothy and delicious, plus packed with minerals from the seaweed, mushrooms, and kale.  I’ll add some bulk tofu in with it, too + rice or rice noodles.

fagioli al fiasco: slow cooked brothy beans with kale wilted in + plenty of punchy, herby toppings + gf bread

heidi Swanson beans instant pot vegan meal plan gluten free

image via Instagram @heidijswanson 

curried lentil, tomato + coconut soup: easy and flavorful + a green salad and a scoop of rice or quinoa

Curried lentil soup ottolenghi vegan coconut curry plant based

image via Instagram @healthy_ish

herby grain salad with olives and lemon + roasted veg (beets or carrots) + I’ll add some steamed kale in with the salad, too, for more greens

kale + lentil salad with turmeric dressing: will be subbing out the bell pepper and cherry tomatoes for winter veggies like carrot, beet, celery.  + a quick creamy butternut soup.


baked tofu with coconut kale: an easy sheet pan style dinner.  + a fresh raw salad: thinly sliced fennel, apple, bitter greens (arugula, radicchio. endive would all work) and a mustardy vinaigrette.

buddha bowls: roasted sweet potato, sautéed or massaged kale, chickpeas, and a bright yogurt sauce (coconut yogurt mixed with lime juice + zest, black pepper, chili flakes) FAST and easy.  Roast the sweet potatoes in the am before you go to work or the night before to make this come together in less than 10 minutes.

pecan-miso butter: I’ve been dying to make this for a fancy PB&J.  Looks super easy and delicious.  C is always asking for this kind of sandwich for lunch (I think many of her peers eat this on the daily) so I thought I’d give it a whirl with this fancy version of a classic.

healthy choc chunk cookies: these look so good and they’ve got great ingredients +GF.  You could leave out the oil and sub applesauce or more banana probably to make these oil free too.

curried sweet potato hummus: for lunches and to add a dollop to salads for a filling protein + fiber boost.

Hummus curried sweet potato

image via

That’s it for this week.  Enjoy your weekend and get some fresh produce for the week to invest in yourself!  For more day to day recipe inspiration, follow me on IG @mamaeatsplants (I show almost all my meals, recipes, and how I make them in my stories)

xx A

zero waste: on the go kit

eco bag sustainable vegan zero waste to go kit less trash mason jar tiffin

Let’s be honest, being on the go is the trashiest situation you can have as someone trying to reduce waste.  You’re away from home and put in a compromised situation.  Especially when you’re hungry, it can be really easy to make a bunch of trash like plastic cutlery, to go boxes, plastic cups and straws, and more.

It can really add up, especially when you’re out and about day after day.  With just a little planning ahead, most of it is completely avoidable.  Here’s a simple kit to either bring with you or stash in your car.  Even if you just choose one thing to swap out for a reusable, you’ll be making a huge difference and others who see you may be inspired to make the swap too!

reusable grocery tote: Did you know the world uses 1 MILLION plastic bags a minute?  Sick, right?  They’re used ONCE for, on average, 12 minutes, and last forever.  If you don’t have a reusable tote yet, check your local thrift store, or there’s  a ton on Etsy , or these Eco Bags string bags, or this one from Package Free shop.  The key here is not to forget them, or if you do, just carry your stuff out.

plastic pollution trash animals vegan zero waste ocean

a small cloth bag:  I keep one of these folded and tucked in my purse always.  They’re really convenient when you’re on the go.  Let’s say you’re out in the morning and stop at your bakery for a croissant.  You can get it in your bag instead of the paper one.  OR say you’re at a store getting lunch and you want a bagel or a cookie from the case, or some almonds from the bulk bin, or a few tangerines.  Pop them in your reusable cloth bag and you’re good to go!  I love these linen bento bags , also these organic cotton bags work super well (and double as a good nut milk bag).

a glass mason jar with lid: glass jars are perfect utilitarian multi-use vessels.  I keep one in the car and my bag all the time.  You can find one at a thrift store and basically just about anywhere these days.

Plastic single use cups are the worst.  To-go coffee cups that look like paper are actually lined with a plastic coating, which means they can’t be recycled and are also terrible for our health.  Starbucks alone contributes 4 BILLION cups a year to the landfill.  If you get coffee or tea everyday, pick up a reusable coffee cup like this one.

Starbucks plastic cup single use ocean pollution zero waste

I use my jar to buy drinks in on-the-go like juice, smoothies, coffee, tea, kombucha, water from a drinking fountain- I’ve even bought ice cream in it when all they served in was disposable cups.  Take your jar to a party, BBQ, festival with you if you’re not sure if they’ll be using plastic cups.  If you can’t take glass into an event, this stainless steel pint is lightweight and durable.

a set of reusable utensils to keep with you:  plastic cutlery is really easy to avoid.  Just keep a set with you like this bamboo one or this foldable stainless spork.  I just use a small fork + spoon from my home set and keep them in my purse. Wash them off in the bathroom when you’re done.  Include a stainless straw in your kit if you’re a straw person.

seahorse q tip ocean pollution zero waste single use vegan

a cloth napkin: there’s so many pretty cloth napkins you can choose from at really any store to get away from those paper thin disposable napkins that shred and don’t do much anyway.

a reusable water bottle: I usually just use my mason jar for water out and about, but if you’re going to the gym, hiking, or just drink a ton of water, a reusable bottle is a must.  Plastic bottles are not only the scourge of the earth, they are terrible for our health too- plastic leaches chemicals into the water, and is especially destructive to kids growing bodies.

Americans throw away 2.5 MILLION plastic bottles every HOUR.  Plus, it’s basically just tap water with no safety regulations sold back to you for a huge profit.   This stainless one is very durable and plastic free.

Making this swap is one of the easiest things you can do, and saves you so much money.  I know because I used to buy flats of Smart Water at Costco (embarrassing and expensive).

Ocean pollution plastic single use zero waste vegan

a stainless steel tiffin: If you buy takeout a lot, the plastic containers can really add up.  Keeping a stainless steel tiffin or other reusable container with you is the easy solution.

Call ahead first to ask if it’s ok to use your own container if you’re worried.  One time I did get turned down, but later the guy apologized and said it was ok.  If you’re getting food at the salad bar, have them weigh the container first so you don’t get charged for the weight.

If you pack your own lunch for school or work, or hike a lot, these are fantastic for bringing your own food in.  I also bring mine to events that have food stands to use instead of the plastic coated paper plates they use.

Eco bag net bag green sustainable zero waste family to go tiffin reusable trash

Keep in mind that you don’t have to make all these swaps overnight.  If you feel overwhelmed, just choose ONE thing to swap out.  Then, once you’ve got that down and feel like it’s comfortable and easy, move on to swap out another thing.  Also, if you forget, don’t feel bad.  The point is, you’re trying + doing your best every day to make the best choices you can.  And every time you refuse single use, you’re voting with your choices and sending a clear message to businesses and others around you. Spread the inspiration.

All my love,

xx A

healthy holidays: 5 tips to keep your glow

lemon water detox bitters liver holiday glow vegan

Whew!  Can you guys believe its already DECEMBER 4th?!?!  I feel like things are shifting up to top speed already.

Welcome to the crazy holiday season: traveling, cooking, cleaning, hosting, wondering what the f@#$ happened to your healthy habits.  butter! candy! cheese and crackers!!  people you can’t really stand but have to play nice with!  traveling!

If there’s any time of the year where you need some extra energy and grace, it’s definitely now.  Not to mention you want to look your best, glowy, vibrant self when you’re heading out to 3495069 dinners, holiday parties, family reunions etc.  So, here’s 5 tips to keep it healthy during the festivities.

palm tree holiday christmas

  1.  start every day with warm lemon water and green smoothie.  This simple habit is especially great during the holidays because it kicks sugar cravings and boosts the liver.  You’re getting your greens in FIRST THING which is promoting healthy, clear skin and resetting your palate.  Add in hemp, chia, or flax for a nice omega boost which helps keep you full longer (so that later you won’t be rummaging through that box of candy your neighbor gave you).  This recipe is nice and creamy.  Not a fan of green smoothies?  Try a turmeric carrot smoothie for similar anti-inflammatory, detoxifying properties.
  2. practice meditation daily.  Even if it’s just 5 minutes!  Taking that time for yourself to ground down, breathe, and stop the constant flow of thinking what you need to do next.  This is ESSENTIAL any time of year, but especially when you have a to-do list with no end.  I like to meditate 5-15 minutes right when I wake up to start with a calm, clean slate + right before I go to bed, to let go of whatever happened/didn’t happen that day.  You don’t have to be sitting, either- sometimes I do this when I take a shower, especially at night.   I like to visualize the water taking my stress, worries, and attachments + rinsing them right down the drain like mud.  If you need a little help meditating, I highly recommend the app Headspace.
  3. chlorophyll.  These little green drops are magic, especially when you’re lacking in sleep and/or drinking alcohol.  You just add a few drops to water and they boost liver function, support detox + are intensely alkaline.  That extra alkalinity will help balance out any acidity you may have from coffee, less-than-ideal foods, and stress.  Chlorophyll also increases energy, immunity + oxygenates skin to support that glow.  Of course, whole plant greens are better than extracts, but when you’re traveling or just need an extra boost, the drops are amazing.  You should be able to find these at any health food store, but here’s a link just in case.4272A317-86EB-4E04-A811-F231EB1E61E3.jpeg
  4. digestive bitters.  It’s all too easy to over indulge during the holidays, even if you normally eat healthy.  Keeping a bottle of digestive bitters in your purse is an easy way to help.  You can take them after eating if you overdid it to soothe a too full, bloated, or gassy tummy.  You can also take them before eating to stimulate your digestion and reduce cravings (even do a dropper full right into your cocktail!).  Bitters are super supportive for your liver + keep skin glowing and clear.  I like these from Urban Moonshine + they have a tiny spray bottle version too which can tuck into even the smallest bag.
  5. meal prep.  INVEST IN YOURSELF by prepping a breakfast/lunch the night before so you don’t even have to think about what to eat when things get crazy during the day.  That way, no matter what, you will be eating healthy.  Prep some of Loni Jane’s burcha the night before and keep it in jars in the fridge to grab and go.  Make a big batch of quinoa and chickpeas and a dressing or two.  Roast a big sheet pan of veggies and pick up some fresh salad greens.  Now you have everything you need to make a buddha bowl for lunch- just mix and match.  If you’re really exhausted, bring your own container to a salad bar like at Whole Foods and get your own healthy takeout.  No excuse to eat like crap, no matter how busy you are.  There’s always a better way + you deserve better.

Make your self care a priority this holiday season so that you look + feel your best.  I’m sure you guys have some tried and true tricks yourself for keeping it healthy in a hectic time- if so, comment below!  I’d love to hear them.

xx Amanda

a week of v/gf dinners in december


Here’s what we are planning to eat and cook this week for dinner with seasonal, fresh produce in December.  After Thanksgiving and the heavier foods, sweets, etc I’m ready for some veggie heavy meals and lots of greens!  I’ll be heading back to a green smoothie to start off every day after warm lemon water- both those things really help me cut back on sugar cravings.

The kids always eat porridge for breakfast- either oats or quinoa or a combination- cooked with chia seeds and then topped with hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, any fresh/frozen fruit, a splash of nut milk, and a drizzle of maple syrup.  They really enjoy this and it gives them a super boost of healthy fats and minerals first thing.

For lunch, it’s usually just dinner leftovers reimagined with a few extra components I throw in.  I rarely cook lunch, mostly out of sheer laziness.  I hope these meals inspire you guys to cook this week- even if it’s just one meal, and to sit and share it with loved ones.

MONDAY:  simple red lentil, lemon, spinach soup– (35 minutes but most is hands off) this is a house favorite and takes so little work to make.  Very few ingredients/work but HUGE flavor.  Side of simple quinoa or rice or millet.  Plus an easy carrot and parsley salad to add that raw vibrant component- something like this recipe but omitting the anchovies/feta and adding pomegranates and chopped toasted nuts and or seeds.

TUESDAY:  chunky celery soup + fennel lemon giant beans+ green salad

WEDNESDAY:  root vegetable crumble + bitter greens salad with mustardy vinaigrette

THURSDAY:  Thursdays I don’t get home until 8-9 pm, so I need something quick and not too heavy.  This tofu and kimchi stew fits the bill.  Spicy, warming, lots of plant protein.  I’ll wilt in some spinach with it too to add some greens and a few shiitakes for the flavor, chew and immunity boost!

FRIDAY:  We love to do simple meals on Friday nights so we can have more time to enjoy each other.  Kale slaw + oven sweet potato fries- my kids love fries and pairing it with the creamy slaw feels comforting but is packed with so much nutrition.

SATURDAY:  Dinner: fingerling potatoes with a turmeric sauce on a bed of fresh market greens.

SUNDAY:  The kids have been asking for mac n cheese, so I’m trying out this one which has kale added.  YUM.  +a fresh green salad.

+extras for lunch boxes and school snacks/after school snacks:

vanilla chia pudding

herby avocado hummus

carrot, ginger, turmeric smoothie

berry, beet, lime and chia smoothie

healthy granola bars

+ lots of whatever fresh, local fruit I can find at the market…right now it’s pomegranates, apples, tangerines, kiwis, pears, and persimmons.  I keep these + bananas around always for us to have as a snack.  If I have extra that we don’t eat, I simply freeze them!

Have a wonderful weekend xx


talking trash: 2 months


It’s been 2 months since I decided to start keeping all of our trash.  It’s been an eye opening experience.  It really keeps me on my toes avoiding trash since I don’t want to have to add anything unnecessary to the jar!  Having a visual reminder keeps me on track when I’m feeling lazy.

Background: We are a family of 4 and live in a town with access to farmer’s markets and bulk stores where we can buy most things package free.  For more in depth information on HOW we live waste free, check out my first post in this trash series.  Now, lets get down to the nitty gritty.  Here’s what new trash was added to the jar this month:

  • Clif bar wrapper- given to Vin at the park and opened before I saw it.  The struggle is real with kids!  People desperately want to give them things, like food, candy, toys, stickers, and other small plastic entombed items.  I enforce the “No, thank you” rule with my kids- when someone offers something like this to them, they firmly but politely say “No, thank you”.  This is quite easy for C (9 years old) to do, as it’s second nature by now.  For V (5 years), things sometimes slip through, like this bar.  REAL LIFE with kids guys.
  • Two green wristbands- we went to a fall festival at our kids school, and they required the kids to wear a wristband.  I mentioned to the PTA that a stamp would be cheaper and less waste, so I’m hoping they make the switch next year.  IMO the event isn’t high tech enough to require a wrist band?? 😉
  • some more plastic tag connectors.  We picked up quite a few winter clothes secondhand this month and although the tags are paper and compostable, the connectors are usually plastic.  Sometimes they use staples which is awesome and recyclable (save them all up and recycle inside a metal container or foil).  For more info on how and why we buy virtually all our clothing secondhand, check out this post: why+how i buy secondhand clothing
  • backing of a fire station sticker: our local fire station had a open house and V ended up with a sticker to replace the one on his toy fire hat that was worn out.  Stickers are my arch enemy basically.
  • silver plastic pouch of tempeh starter: I miss tempeh so much, its always wrapped in TONS of plastic so I don’t purchase it.  I made my own with this starter and it was a paper box but the starter pouches are plastic 😦 Much less waste than buying it pre made though.  I used banana leaves to wrap the tempeh in instead of a ziplock bag as recommended.
  • seal from a b12 supplement spray which came in a sealed paper box yet still had a plastic seal on it ????? y tho
  • seal from a glass jar of barley grass juice powder
  • seal from a glass jar of coconut yogurt
  • seal from a plain kombucha used to make my own SCOBY
  • produce stickers from avocados, one of the only things I buy that I can’t always avoid stickers on.  There’s a booth at my farmers market which sells avocados from Southern California without stickers.  I buy from them when possible, but they haven’t been at the market lately.

That’s it!  Everything else I’ve been able to refuse, refill, reuse, repurpose, recycle, or rot (compost).  If you’re inspired, try keeping all your trash for a week and going through it to see just how much you’re generating and ways you may be able to make small changes to reduce it.  Do the best you can and don’t get discouraged.  Little changes add up!  For how to reduce waste without access to a bulk store, read my post on this topic.  LOVE to all of you xx