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Newsletter Summer 2015

We are excited to announce the roll out of two new free holistic healthcare projects in September: 1. Two art therapy interns from Notre Dame de Namur University Art Therapy Program, available to the extended East Palo Alto community for the next 9 months and 2. The start of classes on healthy eating that is tasty, fast and inexpensive, taught by local residents of East Palo Alto, in English, Spanish and Tongan. Read more about these programs below. We are also pleased to announce that we have a matching grant to pay for the teachers of the healthy eating classes and for art materials. We would greatly appreciate ANY contribution to help us meet this grant requirement.  For online donations, please see


Summer has arrived and the weather in the Bay Area tends to be warm to hot and dry. In Chinese medicine, summer-heat and dryness can negatively affect our bodies if we do not pay attention to maintaining balance in our diet and behavior. Summer-heat and dryness tends to injure the Yin of the body. Symptoms of summer-heat/dryness include aversion to heat, sweating, headache, thirst, dark urine, and dry lips; and even delirium, slurred speech, and unconsciousness in more severe cases, or “Heat Stroke”, as is called in Western term. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the summer safely:

1. Stay hydrated: it is better to drink room temperature beverages as ice cold fluids can damage digestion leading to loose stools and abdominal distention.

2. Exercise: Try to get out for your daily exercise early in the morning or later in the evening to beat the heat.

3. Eat cooling foods: Not Ice-cream or icy cold foods! We are referring to foods that have a cooling effect on our digestion such as watermelon, cucumbers, mint, lettuce, seaweed and mung beans.

4. Minimize exposure to air conditioning: Avoid going in and out of an air conditioned place frequently because your body needs time to adjust its own temperature. Also, avoid standing or sitting directly in front of the air conditioner or a strong fan, especially when sweaty – this will cause extensive opening of the skin pores leading to more susceptibility to external pathogens such as the common cold.

5. Stay protected from direct sun: Reduce exposure to the harmful UV light from the sun by wearing sun block, sunglasses and hats. (partially adapted from  



We have mentioned in our last newsletter that Art can be an effective tool in mental health treatment. As a start, we have given patients some paper templates to color at home and patients were loving, claiming that this activity has been helpful in relieving their stress and anxiety. In fact, we have seen their drawings and they are wonderful. We have included a few examples for your viewing in this newsletter, and we hope to include more of them on our website soon.

Collage_A 2Collage_B
     Modesta L                    Leonor O                        Emily L                Maria Luisa L


Starting in September, for nine months, two art therapy interns will be working within a number of East Palo Alto community organizations to provid group and individual counseling. The aim is to use art as a tool for building confidence and self esteem, understanding ourselves better and increasing skills in communication. Both interns, SUSANA NAVARRO RAMOS AND JENNA SARACENO, will be using a variety of art forms, one of whom who also uses movement as a form of art. Services will be provided in English as well as Spanish. For more information contact Herban Health in order to determine where and when these services will be offered.

    IMG_4617 cropped 2    Jenna_Head shot 3
   Susana Navarro Ramos         Jenna Saraceno


In May, four people from the East Palo Alto community were trained as educators in how to eat nutritious, tasty, quick and inexpensive meals. The training was done through Leah’s Pantry ( in San Francisco and additional training by Emily Caruthers, a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and a member of the Eating Disorder Resource Center, on the subject of emotional eating and recognizing eating disorders. Our group is ready to reach out into the community, providing people with information and skills for themselves and their families. We will be doing our first training soon. We will be helping people to gain knowledge and also to form cooking clubs, where groups of people can gather on some regular basis to learn new recipes and ways of preparing food. Our Community Educators are Shirley Banks-Lawrence, Carla Bedford, Mele Heimuli, and Jasmine Rubio. We have consultants who will be helping in working with recipes so that they will be particularly tasty. Our educators will also be relying on all those FOODIES that we have in East Palo Alto who will add to the delicious smells and tastes coming from the kitchen.



HERBAN HEALTH HAS A GRANT FOR SUPPORTING OUR HEALTH EDUCATORS, BUT IN ORDER TO USE THAT GRANT WE NEED TO RAISE MATCHING FUNDS BY NOVEMBER 1 . We are asking for donations to reach our goal of $5000 to be used exclusively for the community educators as they go out into the community, giving classes in churches and other organizations. Any help that you can give us would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made online at our webpage



Emily Caruthers MFT has provided a questionnaire to be used to evaluate when we are eaing because we are hungry or because of some other reasons, such as stress, need for comfort or distraction. By learning to identify the underlying factors affecting our appeptite and cravings we can more easily make changes over time to our eating habits that are not helpful for our body and mind.

Are you an emotional eater?

• Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed?

• Do you eat when you’re not hungry or when you’re full?

• Do you eat to feel better (to calm and soothe yourself when you’re sad, mad, bored, anxious, etc.)?

• Do you reward yourself with food?

• Do you regularly eat until you’ve stuffed yourself?

• Does food make you feel safe? Do you feel like food is a friend?

• Do you feel powerless or out of control around food?

The difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger

Before you can break free from the cycle of emotional eating, you first need to learn how to distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. This can be trickier than it sounds, especially if you regularly use food to deal with your feelings. Emotional hunger can be powerful. As a result, it’s easy to mistake it for physical hunger. But there are clues you can look for that can help you tell physical and emotional hunger apart.

• Emotional hunger comes on suddenly. It hits you in an instant and feels overwhelming and urgent. Physical hunger, on the other hand, comes on more gradually. The urge to eat doesn’t feel as dire or demand instant satisfaction (unless you haven’t eaten for a very long time).

• Emotional hunger craves specific comfort foods. When you’re physically hungry, almost anything sounds good—including healthy stuff like vegetables. But emotional hunger craves fatty foods or sugary snacks that provide an instant rush. You feel like you need cheesecake or pizza, and nothing else will do.

• Emotional hunger often leads to mindless eating. Before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bag of chips or an entire pint of ice cream without really paying attention or fully enjoying it. When you’re eating in response to physical hunger, you’re typically more aware of what you’re doing.

• Emotional hunger isn’t satisfied once you’re full. You keep wanting more and more, often eating until you’re uncomfortably stuffed. Physical hunger, on the other hand, doesn't need to be stuffed. You feel satisfied when your stomach is full.

• Emotional hunger isn’t located in the stomach. Rather than a growling belly or a pang in your stomach, you feel your hunger as a craving you can’t get out of your head. You’re focused on specific textures, tastes, and smells.

• Emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt, or shame. When you eat to satisfy physical hunger, you’re unlikely to feel guilty or ashamed because you’re simply giving your body what it needs. If you feel guilty after you eat, it's likely because you know deep down that you’re not eating for nutritional reasons.




In this newsletter, we would like to pay tribute to David Lin, who has been volunteering at the Saturday clinic despite being busy with school work as a high school senior. David has been an invaluable member (and one of the youngest) of our HH team and he has helped to make our clinic run much more smoothly and with higher efficiency. David is a young man with few words, but very dedicated and focused on what he is doing. We are both sad and glad that he will be off to college this Fall, in the East coast no less. We wish him all the success (and fun) at college and look forward to his visiting us whenever he is back in the Bay Area.



Rice Cooker Quinoa, Chickpeas, and Greens (A Budget-friendly recipe)

• Serves: 5

• 1 hours 10 mins. (Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Low Added Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian)

Quinoa is a complete protein with lots of vitamins. Use it as a great substitute for white rice or pasta.


• 1 Cup Quinoa

• 2 Cup Water

• 1 Cup Greens (spinach, kale, collard greens) chopped

• 1 Cup Chickpeas

• 1 Cup Cranberries dried

• 3 Tablespoon Olive oil

• 6 Tablespoon Lemon juice

What You'll Need

• Measuring cup • Measuring spoon • Knife • Cutting board • Slow cooker • Mixing Spoon


1. Mix all ingredients in rice cooker

2. Cook for a normal cycle

3. Stir twice while cooking

Substitution Tips • Use raisins instead of cranberries. • Use orange juice instead of lemon juice. • Cut this recipe in half to save money.

Nutrition Info and more Serving size: 1 Cup Total calories: 219 Total fat: 4.8 g Saturated fat: 0.7 g Fiber: 5.6 g Sodium: 168 mg


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Herban Health
1765 East Bayshore Road #205
East Palo Alto, California 94303

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