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August 2006 - Vol 3, Issue 4
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Welcome to our monthly e-newsletter! This issue will explore emotional eating and offer suggestions for healthier options. Conquering unhealthy eating patterns can play a big role in weight management and staying healthy. Look for information on mindful eating in our September e-newsletter.

Juleeanna Andreoni, MS, RD, was recently a guest on AM Northwest. She spoke about the obsession some teens have with thinness and offered helpful suggestions for parents. Congratulations Juleeanna!

Portland Health and Wellness has recently added some new services: health-based cooking classes, a drop-in weight loss group for men and women, and group psychotherapy for individuals with eating disorders. We continue to offer individual healthcare services, workshops and classes on various health topics, and, of course, our year-long comprehensive weight reduction program.

For those of you less familiar with PH&W;, our clinical team is committed to providing cutting-edge healthcare services. Donald Altman, MA, in addition to being a counselor, is a former Buddhist monk and award-winning writer. He offers '12 Weeks to Mindful Eating', a program he created to help individuals develop a healthier relationship with food, as well as workshops on stress management and mindfulness. This fall he will offer continuing education mindfulness seminars for psychotherapists, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Juleeanna Andreoni, MS, RD , is a clinical nutritionist with a broad range of experience. She is certified in adult, adolescent, and childhood weight management. Juleeanna was recently featured in the Northwest Women's Journal. Christine Howard, PsyD continues to provide individual psychotherapy and is now offering group psychotherapy for individuals with bulimia or binge eating disorder. Marcela Vinocur, MD serves as the director of PH&W;'s unique weight reduction program and maintains a psychopharmacology practice.

In September, look for a special appearance by Canadian author and food connoisseur Birgitta Hellman. Her cooking class will feature recipes from her recently published book "taste this: ordinary ingredients, extraordinary flavours".

  • Aug 15........Why Diets Don't Work; a medical perspective
  • Aug 19........30-minute Gourmet Meals
  • Aug 26........Cooking for Men who Hate to Cook
  • Aug 30........12 Weeks to Mindful Eating
  • Sept 8/15....Mindful Eating training for Healthcare Professionals
  • Sept 9/16....Mindful Living training for Healthcare Professionals
  • Sept 23.......'taste this' cooking class and book signing
  • date TBA.....Mindful Living: Finding Peace in a Chaotic World
  • date TBA.....90 Minutes to Stress Reduction
  • date TBA.....Weight Management on the Run

  • Ongoing groups include a weekly drop-in weight loss group on Mondays from 12:30 to 1:30 pm (led by Juleeanna Andreoni, MS, RD / cost:$15 per session) and weekly group psychotherapy for individuals with binge eating disorder or bulimia on Mondays from 5 to 6:30pm (led by Christine Howard, PsyD / cost: $45 per session). Please call us for additional information.

    For up-to-date information about our upcoming workshops and classes, please check our website or give us a call. Registration and payment in advance are required for all ph&w; events and space is limited to 12 (cooking classes are limited to 6). We strongly encourage early registration.

    If you find yourself eating when you are stressed, anxious, feeling down, or struggling with other difficult emotions, this article is for you. Most of us have had the experience of eating for reasons other than physical hunger. But when we frequently turn to food - especially high calorie food - to soothe our emotions, then emotional eating may be playing a role. While eating disorders are considered to be psychiatric conditions, emotional eating refers to a pattern of eating behaviors that is not considered to be an actual disorder. But emotional eating, when it occurs frequently, can lead to unwanted weight gain and may contribute to the development of certain medical problems. In this article, you will learn to identify emotional eating and its triggers, and you will find some suggestions for regaining control of your eating habits.

    The term emotional eating refers to a pattern of eating, especially calorie-dense, nutrient- poor foods, in order to soothe or comfort ourselves, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. When we engage in emotional eating, we may consume larger quantities than we would if we were physically hungry. In fact, emotional eating can lead to a 'disconnect' between our body and our mind. Some emotional eaters have little awareness of how much they are eating when they are in a state like this. It isn't unusual to feel guilty, angry, or ashamed afterwards.

    In order to conquer emotional eating (yes, it can be conquered!!), we must first be aware of what triggers us to eat, other than physical hunger. We all have different triggers. Triggers to eating tend to fall into 5 general categories: 1) emotional, 2) physiological, 3) social, 4) situational, or 5) cognitive (thoughts). For example, an argument with our spouse, friend, or co-worker may lead us to reach for for a pint of ice cream (emotional). Or we may eat because we feel fat and worthless (cognitive). Since we are all different, it is very important for you to identify your own triggers. The best way to do this is to keep a food/mood diary for a few days. You will want to keep track of the time of day, location, what and how much you eat/drink, your hunger level, event (s) prior to eating, and how you are feeling (before and after eating). By going over your logs closely, you will be able to find patterns. Once you are able to identify these patterns of emotional eating/overeating, you will be ready to make positive changes!

    Now that you can identify your triggers, how do you break the habit of emotional eating? Here are some quick tips for changing your eating habits:
    • honor your hunger; if you are physically hungry don't forgo eating, but if your hunger is emotional, then look for other outlets
    • identify other ways to comfort or soothe yourself, such as calling a good friend, going for a walk, or listening to music
    • keep your stress at a manageable level by making time in your day for relaxation
    • learn to be mindful, or present, when you eat; be aware of each bite you take
    • make time in your day for a walk or some other form of physical activity
    • make sure you get enough sleep - sleep deprivation and fatigue can certainly lead to over- eating
    • eat a healthy, balanced diet and keep healthy snacks around
    • eliminate unhealthy, high calorie foods from your home, office, and car; we are much more likely to eat tempting foods when we have easy access

    Healthcare professionals such as counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and nutritionists can play a role in conquering compulsive over-eating. If you are interested in more detailed information, check out the links on emotional eating in the quick links section above.

    copyright 2006 portland health and wellness

    We are very interested in your comments and suggestions. Please let us know if you have a topic you would like to see covered in future newsletters. We look forward to hearing from you.

    Portland Health and Wellness

    phone: 503.236.4506