Elevate Your Inmate Game: Building Habits to Help You Seize the Day

By Leo Cardez

From PHN Issue 45, Winter 2021

There’s a note on my planner that I update each year on my birthday with annual increasing numbers. On my 40th birthday, eight. On my 41st birthday, nine. And so forth. That number is how many healthy habits I live by. I add one new habit each year. This goal I set each year is a gift I give to myself. I might be getting older, but I am doing something that can help me live longer and makes me a better and happier person overall. My good habits have increased each year, often replacing old, bad habits. I love the idea of becoming a better version of myself. There may come a day when I won’t be able to adopt a new healthy habit. That felt all the more real this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. But I try to take this in
stride, realize it is about the journey, take a deep breath and try again… and then again. Sticking with new habits can be difficult, but it is all about taking one small step at a time and understanding that it is okay to fail, as long as you try again.

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Eating Healthy with Diabetes in Prison

By Donna Ballard

From PHN Issue 41, Winter 2020

With me being diabetic and in prison, it’s hard to eat healthy. To eat healthy in prison, you really have to go hungry. They serve us a lot of bread, corn, tortillas, and potatoes. We eat a lot of starches and white food that turns to sugar. We have to learn to eat only half of what they serve. If you eat your
veggies, it’s a start. Some meats.

You get a lot of sodium from commissary food, and starches and fatty foods. There are ways to eat better, but it’s always small portions. Now, if you go to the store, you can get stuff for yourself that will help you. At the store, you get peanuts, energizer mix and M&M’s, mix it together to make a snack mix. You can snack on it all week. Jalapeño peppers, meats—some things are good. Check the labels for contents. I hope my sharing has helped.

Understanding and Taking Control of Your High Blood Pressure

By Priyanka Anand and Neil Menon

This is an updated version of an article that appeared in our Winter 2017 Issue.

Most people have heard of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Almost half of all adults in the United States have high blood pressure, so this is very common.

What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the pressure of your blood pushing against your blood vessels. When you have your blood pressure taken, the doctor or nurse will give you two numbers: your systolic blood pressure and your diastolic blood pressure. Your systolic blood pressure is your highest blood pressure, when your heart is contracting, and the diastolic is your lowest blood pressure, when your heart is relaxed. For example, if your blood pressure is 120/80 (“one-twenty over eighty”), you have a systolic blood pressure of 120, and a diastolic blood pressure of 80.

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