Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease

Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease: Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put YOU in the Driver’s Seat – Updated Second Edition

This is the story of our adventures with PD, blended with current and easily digestible science, plus more than 80 tantalizing brain-healthy recipes.


Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease: Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put YOU in the Driver’s Seat
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It’s all about a lifestyle that puts you in charge.
Following are excerpts from the book:
“My husband Mike was born an artist of clay and steel; he was  diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1993, and our lives changed dramatically. I was trained as a chef in France at the dawn of the butter/cream foodie revolution. Together, we accepted the challenge to adapt our skills and adjust our lifestyle to include healthier food, more exercise, and maintain the creation of art. How did we get from pre-diagnosis to where we are now?”

“One of the primary purposes in writing this book is to spread the excitement and array of our newly discovered low-fat, brain-healthy pantry. Through our story and compilation of 80-plus recipes, we hope to inspire you to stock your pantry well and create your own recipes using the dynamic list of colorful nutritional ingredients.”

“Even though he wasn’t diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) until 1993, Mike suspected trouble much earlier. He believes his first symptoms emerged in 1981, the year after we were married, and the same year that we finished building our earth berm, passive-solar home on 40 acres in Northfield, Minnesota.

Each individual experiences the symptoms of PD in different combinations, at different times, and with varying degrees of intensity, frequency, and duration. Lack of recognition or denial of symptoms can cause relationship and other stress-related difficulties.”

“Our Northfield home was the bustling scene of hundreds of events centered on friends, family, art, and food. Mike built his new pottery studio and gas kiln across the yard, where he hosted sales twice a year. For these events, I prepared classic French pastries—crepes, brioche, and beignets with fillings and butter creams gilded with sauces made from fruit growing wild along our long driveway—plums, gooseberries, and raspberries. We served these sweet morsels on Mike’s porcelain platters, with sauces poured from his stoneware pitchers.”

“Mike did not share his discoveries with me for a long time, so I drew my own conclusions from his obvious symptoms. He has never shown any tremor, which in the early stages might have narrowed my considerations. Instead, for years I feared depression or—worse—a brain tumor, but he preferred not to discuss or consider treatment. Knowing Mike as well as I do now, I suspect he knew where his health was headed . . .”

This book is a gentle teacher. It certainly teaches the person with PD a new emotional and attitudinal posture with his/her caregivers and loved ones. But even more, this book teaches those same caregivers and loved ones that PD is not an end-game, but a start-game for living a new creatively loving life for its own sake, accenting being over doing, for looking closer at the “who” of me, and not simply the “what of me.” Everyone touched by PD, however direct or oblique, will find this book a treasure they will read and reread many times.

Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.
Clinical Director
Spiritual Strengths Cancer Care Center