Helping make Portland a healthier place to live, work, and play!
Winter 2014 - In This Issue:
Physical Activity
Got the Winter Blues?

It's been a long snowy cold winter, but don't let that stop you and your family from staying active!  Bundle up, get outside and beat those winter blues!


Pick up a Places to Play map in the rotunda of Portland City Hall and and try out some of these fun activities:

  • Sledding! It is not just for children! Everyone in the family can have fun and get a great work-out walking back up the hill.
  • Ice Skating! Many free outdoor rinks open up in the winter. In Portland, Payson and Deering Oaks Park are popular spots. North of Portland, there is the Falmouth Family Ice Center and a skating pond in Yarmouth.
  • Want to try a new outdoor activity but don't have the equipment?  No problem, just swing by Portland Gear Hub for low cost rentals of cross country skis, snowshoes, and more!

If the weather isn't cooperating and it's too hard to get outside try some of these fun indoor activities:

  • Dance Party! Put on your favorite tunes and dance yourself warm!
  • YouTube yourself fit!  YouTube has videos ranging from dancing, kids yoga, pilates, boot camp and more.  The best part about this is it's FREE.


Remember to dress warmly when going outside, and bring a friend. Exercising with someone else can help chase those winter blues away and make you feel great!



Healthy Eating
A Whole Diet Approach
A study in The American Journal of Medicine  reveals that a whole diet approach, which focuses on increased intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish, has more evidence for reducing cardiovascular risk than strategies that focus exclusively on reduced dietary fat. This new study explains that while strictly low-fat diets have the ability to lower cholesterol, they are not as conclusive in reducing cardiac deaths.


Carefully analyzing studies and trials from 1957 to the present, investigators found that the whole diet approach, and specifically Mediterranean-style diets, are effective in preventing heart disease, even though they may not lower total serum or LDL cholesterol. The Mediterranean-style diet is low in animal products and saturated fat, and encourages intake of monounsaturated fats found in nuts and olive oil. In particular, the diet emphasizes consumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and fish.

Here is a recipe that emphasizes the whole diet approach:


Avocado Melon Breakfast Smoothie:


Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2


1 large, ripe avocado
1 cup honeydew melon chunks (about 1 slice)
Juice from 1/2 lime (1.5 tsp lime juice)
1 cup (8 oz) milk, fat-free
1 cup fat-free yogurt, plain


1. Cut avocado in half, remove pit.
2. Scoop out flesh, place in blender.
3. Add remaining ingredients; blend well.
4. Serve cold. (Holds well in refrigerator up to 24 hours. If made ahead, stir gently before pouring into glasses.)




CVS Quits for Good!

Public Health celebrated a big win in the fight against tobacco when CVS announced that they will no longer be selling tobacco products or nicotine delivery devices.  While the decision may barely put a dent in big tobacco's bottom line, the social implications are huge.


From Healthy Portland's perspective, any change that makes tobacco use less ubiquitous is a step in the right direction. Changing social norms and environmental cues can impact behavior, and by reducing visibility and access to tobacco products, children and adults will have a better chance of staying tobacco-free. 

Healthy Portland Engages Youth in Tobacco Work



Healthy Portland has been working with  tobacco retailers in Portland to remove tobacco advertising from the stores, both inside and out with the help of local youth from the Riverton Boys and Girls Club. SSS Brothers gas and convenience store was awarded with silver -star recognition from the Partnership for a Tobacco-Free Maine's Star Store program for reducing their tobacco advertising by 50% and having zero ads aimed at children. For more information on the Star Store program, click here.


Substance Abuse Prevention
SIRP: An Alternative Option for Parents & Youth

The Student Intervention and Reintegration Program (SIRP) is a free educational program for 9th-12th graders who are at risk for tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse.  It is being offered, free of charge, for teens in Portland, South Portland, Gorham, Westbrook, Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth through a partnership between the City of Portland, Opportunity Alliance and Day One. It is a highly effective evidence-based program that is implemented for 12 hours over a three-day period. 


Certified Instructors use a non-judgmental approach to empower youth to make healthy choices and reduce high-risk decisions. 


A primary goal of SIRP is prevention of any type of alcohol or drug problem. This includes problems such as being absent from school, car crashes, and fights, as well as health problems such as dependence and addiction. Emphasis is on knowing and understanding risks one cannot change and reducing risks one can change.


SIRP is an educational, risk-reduction program for high school aged youth who have had experiences with tobacco, alcohol or drugs, and who may not qualify for treatment.  If through the course of the program it's determined that treatment seems like an appropriate option, the instructor can assist parents with referrals.


Referrals can be made by parents, schools or law enforcement.  To refer, please visit: or contact Chanda Sinclair: 874-8965.   

Marijuana & Youth: a Community Conversation

March 19th, Rines Auditorium

Portland, ME- The 21 Reasons Steering Committee and the City of Portland, Health and Human Services Department, Public Health Division's Substance Abuse Prevention Program are working in collaboration to present an informative and proactive community conversation about marijuana and the effects on youth.  This is an opportunity to hear from professionals, advocates, and our community leaders on this issue.  The event is open and free to the public.


Shannon Moss is the moderator for the evening and panelists include, Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck, Maine State Representative Diane Russell, District 120, Scott Gagnon, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Maine Chapter and Grainne Dunn, American Civil Liberties Union.

When:      Wednesday, March 19th, 6:30-7:30 p.m. 

 Doors open at 6:00.


Where:     Rhines Auditorium

                  lower level of Portland Public Library


In an attempt to provide objective information, great effort has been made to include panelists from all sides of this issue. The panelists' views are their own and are not necessarily those of 21 Reasons or the City of Portland. This is not intended as a pro and con debate, but as an open dialogue of how the current conversations about marijuana impact youth and the roll of the community in supporting them.  


We hope that you will be able to join us.  For more information, please contact Chanda Sinclair at 874-8965.

Healthy Portland
134 Congress St. 
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: 207-872-8618


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