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January 2008 - Vol 5, Issue 1
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Welcome to our monthly e-newsletter! We hope that you will find this and future issues helpful and relevant. We are very interested in hearing from you. Email us a topic (or more) you would like to see covered in future enewsletters and you will be entered for a chance to win a free cooking class.

Whether you receive services at ph&w;, attend classes or workshops periodically, or read our monthly newsletters, we strive to support you on your path to good health.

The holidays are over and for many of us, the New Year brings new opportunities. If you've been thinking about making some changes in your life that may help you feel better and improve your health, our newsletter this month explores the health benefits of sleep. If one of your goals for the year is to improve your health, click on the web link to the left for tips on the top 5 things you can do to improve your health from our past newsletter on this topic. And don't forget to check out our newsletter next month which will explore vitamin D and health.

Our recipe this month is an old favorite. It is quick to make and may even make you think of warmer days ahead.

Portland Health and Wellness is anything but your typical medical clinic. We offer health-based cooking classes, yoga classes, and group psychotherapy for individuals with eating disorders or food and body image issues. We continue to offer exceptional individual healthcare services, workshops and classes on various health topics, and our year-long comprehensive weight reduction program. Heather Rice offers small yoga classes, including yoga for larger bodies and beginner yoga. Heather is also available for individual instruction. Please call us to schedule an appointment with her.

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. He will offer 'Mindful Eating Boot Camp' in mid- January. This 2-day workshop allows people who struggle with food and time to focus on developing new skills that can have a profound impact. Donald also offers individual counseling at ph&w.; 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.


  • Jan 5.... .....sauces 101
  • Jan 19........mindful eating boot camp part I
  • Feb 9..........Valentine's day cooking
  • Feb 16........mindful eating boot camp part II
  • Mar 8..........cooking 101: a class for women who hate to cook
  • Mar 22........diabetic cooking made easy
  • date tba......one pot cooking: a class for high school seniors
  • date tba......gluten-free cooking
  • date tba......cooking 101: a class for couples

  • We offer 'yoga for larger bodies' on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30pm. 'Yoga for depression' will be offered on Mondays from 4:30 to 5:30pm beginning February 4th. 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.

    You can expect great things from ph&w; in 2008. We will begin to offer private cooking lessons for families and small groups. We will continue to offer corporate cooking classes. We plan to offer more stress management classes, as well as classes aimed at diabetes prevention and management.

    In February we will launch 'yoga for depression'. This class will be appropriate for anyone suffering from depression or with a history of depression, but is not intended to be a substitute for medical care. During the month of January, we will be offering yoga classes at 1/2 price for anyone who brings a friend. This offer is limited to 'yoga for larger bodies'.
    For many of us, sleep is a luxury which we allow ourselves only after we have completed our daily responsibilities. We feel like we almost never get enough sleep and yet we continue to cut into our sleeping time in order to cram more activities into one day. And let's be honest; often we choose to spend that extra hour or two (or four) at the end of our days watching television rather than hitting the hay early. So what effect does this have on our bodies? You already know that if you get less than 6 hours of sleep you probably will feel sluggish the next day. What you may not know is that lack of sleep has been linked to depression, weakened immunity, heart disease, diabetes, decreased concentration, weight gain and reduced lifespan. In children and adolescents, insufficient sleep has been linked to behavior problems and poor academic performance.

    When you sleep at night your body is hard at work repairing the damage done to it throughout the day. Specifically, your brain stores all of the information received, your muscles and bones repair themselves, your body most effectively recovers from illness and your hormones are regulated. When you don't get enough sleep these functions are interrupted and the long term effects can lead to a decrease in your overall health.

    When you get enough sleep you reduce your stress level, which in turn reduces your risk of high blood pressure and weight gain. The stress caused by lack of sleep also causes general inflammation in your body which is the leading cause of your body's aging process (hence the saying "get your beauty sleep") and is linked to cancer and many other illnesses. Also, the more continuous inflammation your body undergoes the shorter your lifespan becomes.

    Getting ready for an intellectually challenging day? Be sure to get enough sleep. Research suggests that a good night's sleep increases your ability to think quickly and easily access information stored in your brain.

    Trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight? Research has also suggested that getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night increases certain hormones which lead to increased appetite. This reaction is linked to the stress caused by lack of sleep. When you don't get enough sleep you are prone to many hormone imbalances including a deficiency of serotonin. This imbalance can cause depression.

    When you cut back on sleep you are much more likely to catch a communicable bug and your body will be less prepared to recover from it. So if your goal is to be more productive with your time, get an extra hour of sleep and save yourself from being knocked out by a cold for a week.

    There is no exact amount of sleep needed for maximum benefits from sleep but researchers agree that adults need at least 6 hours of sleep and usually no more than 9, while teenagers need at least 9 and infants need 16-18. Your sleep needs depend on your age, your lifestyle and your genes but research findings suggest that most adults need at least 6 hours of sleep to maintain a healthy body. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms caused by lack of sleep you should attempt to incorporate a few more hours of sleep into your schedule. Getting a good night's sleep can change the way your body functions for the better and improve your quality of life, so it is worth making an effort to get the amount of sleep you need.

    by Laurel Shonerd

    This recipe can easily be varied to suit your taste and dietary restrictions. It tastes much better than most store-bought versions and is always a hit, no matter what the occasion.

    3 ripe avocadoes; 1 or 2 limes; 1 small tomato; 1/2 of a small onion; 1/2 of small jalapeno (or other hot pepper); 1 small clove of garlic; 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh cilantro; salt.

    MINCE onion and garlic and set aside in small bowl. CUT jalapeno in 1/2 and REMOVE seeds. Be careful not to touch your eyes with the oils from the pepper. CHOP cilantro and tomato and add to onions. CUT limes and set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut avocados in half and discard the pit. SCOOP the flesh out and place in medium bowl. MASH with a fork, but leave some chunks. ADD freshly-squeezed lime juice and MIX well. ADD minced onions, garlic, tomato, cilantro and jalapeno. STIR gently until ingredients are barely mixed. SEASON to taste with salt. CHILL briefly or serve at room temperature. SERVE with good quality chips.

    copyright 2008 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.


    the staff of
    Portland Health and Wellness

    phone: 503.236.4506