This book tells a story of a special and even loveable couple who are thrust into living anew by the husband’s Parkinson’s Disease (PD) diagnosis.   While there’s considerable medical information in the book, it’s all seamlessly folded into the story of the couple, told by the wife Anne, as the couple meanders through the new ingredients of their life with PD.  Anne is masterful at capturing and expressing her inner thoughts, her musings, reverie, and spiritual moments, all of which give the book its attractive and engaging personal flavor. While Anne is clearly her husband’s champion, she never forfeits her uniqueness (which is ever-apparent) to the PD.  Paradoxically Anne embraces the PD; the story of her unique embrace seems to magically transform PD into a life accelerator and animator rather than the opposite.  Anne’s perception is compelling; I was so captured by it that I developed the impression that the PD was not simply her husband’s; it belonged to them both.  We experience the presence and the effects of PD through Anne’s eyes as an artist, her mind as an insightful wisdom figure, her heart as a faithful lover, and her hands as an accomplished chef.

The book is sprinkled with little snapshots of meaningful incidents that each sparkle as a new facet of self-discovery.  Food gives energy to the book as Anne garnishes each new insight with a recipe, as though the new thought and the recipe somehow belong together and support each other.  Recipes are not plopped into the text; rather each is delicately placed in interpersonal settings, each portraying slight shifts in the couple’s ever-evolving relationship, all with PD as the backdrop, but never the story driver.

I loved the journey this book brought me on; I delighted in its intimacy, I learned a lot about mind-healthy foods, about shifting life priorities, about the healing power of good food well fashioned and presented, about life lived simply, and about the sustaining might of love, swirling together in the vortex of PD.  The book changed me, certainly it changed my perception of PD, but more than that it inspired me.  The inner fruits of Anne’s labors of love are the food that this book offers to the reader.  By the book’s end Anne’s husband is still greeting life with vitality even 20 years beyond the original diagnosis of PD.  His triumph is Anne’s success, an internal testimony to her tenacity, courage, wisdom, simplicity, spirit, and tenderness.

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

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Natalya V Shneyder, MD(Mayo Clinic Hospital)

This is an unusual and informative book on Parkinson’s disease that combines
caregiver guide with a sophisticated cookbook for healthy nutrition.

The author uses her experience both as a culinary professional and as a
of long-term support of her husband with Parkinson’s disease to outline a
healthy lifestyle that can benefit anyone.

This book provides information and help in the everyday lives of all those
can put a human face on Parkinson’s disease. Patients, physicians, or
caregivers all can benefit from the author’s ideas of healthy lifestyle and

It includes a brief, well-written description of symptoms, possible causes,
expectations of patients with Parkinson’s disease, as well as healthy
that anybody can use. Especially if you are stressed by the everyday care of
loved one who is battling Parkinson’s, this book can give you many
ideas on how to make life better.

This is a great addition to currently available books on healthy nutrition,
it concentrates specifically on people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.


Weighted Numerical Score: 90 – 4 Stars!

For more than 20 years, chef Anne Cutter Mikkelsen and her husband, Mike, have overcome the obstacles of living with Parkinson’s disease.

Mikkelsen’s book Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease, Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put YOU in the Driver’s Seat is full of recipes and information on using nutrition and exercise as a way of maintaining optimal health. Her training in French cooking and an irresistible palate of antioxidant ingredients coincides with emerging science on the importance of brain-healthy fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs…
Read more:

Embracing Healthy Foods Helps with Parkinson’s Disease | The Hunt Magazine

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Chances are you will know someone with Parkinson’s Disease in your lifetime. 15% of adults age 60-74 have been diagnosed with this debilitating disease.

I recently had the opportunity to read a new book, Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease. Written by Anne Cutter Mikkelsen, it is the story of her life with her husband Mike, who has had Parkinson’s for almost 30 years….

Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease – A Review

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When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the one thing I did not do was read about it.  Quite honestly, I didn’t want to know what the future might hold for me.  At this point, five years later, I can say I’ve read two books about Parkinson’s.  One is Michael J. Fox’s book, Lucky Man, a book which helped me to find my balance after my diagnosis.  The other one is a book I’ve just recently read.  It is Anne Cutter Mikkelsen’s new book, Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease:  Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put You in the Driver’s Seat.

I was intrigued by this book when I first learned about it.  What attracted me initially was the focus on exercise and diet.  I’m a big believer in exercise for Parkinson’s and I want to learn more about diet changes that might be helpful.  I’m still not planning on doing a lot of reading up on PD, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take a peek at this one.  I’m glad I did.  I also loaned it to Paul Zeiger, my yoga teacher.  He read it, too, and I will include some of his thoughts as well.
Continue Reading…

Terri Reinhart
Parkinson’s and Dystonia Journal

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Chances are you will know someone with Parkinson’s Disease in your lifetime.  15% of adults age 60-74 have been diagnosed with this debilitating disease.

I recently had the opportunity to read a new book, Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease.  Written by Anne Cutter Mikkelsen, it is the story of her life with her husband Mike, who has had Parkinson’s for almost 30 years.

It not only takes you on the journey of their life together, learning about coping with the disease, but gives important health facts throughout the book.  Most of the healthy living tips are not new to those of us in the anti-aging field – we’ve been preaching them for years.  However, when you are reading them with the idea of making just one person with this disease more comfortable, the healthy living lifestyle becomes critical. Continue reading…

Anti Aging Nutrition News

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Advance Reviews, November 2010

Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease:  Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to Put You in the Driver’s Seat is an honest and inspiring story of one couple’s journey with Parkinson’s disease.  It is filled with the power of hope and taking control of your life in a very practical way.  The resilient attitude of Anne and Mike as they make changes to face day to day challenges provide a road map for others in similar situations.  The advice is very down to earth and doable. Part II about Food and Optimal Wellness provides clear suggestions about how to take charge of your diet by introducing “the brain healthy pantry.”  Numerous healthy, interesting, easy and mouthwatering recipes entice you to run to the kitchen and start cooking.

Margaret Anne Coles, OTR/L, BSR, MQI
Program Manager
Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center
Barrow Neurological Institute
Phoenix, AZ

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Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease is an inspiring, must-read book for those caring for a loved one with the illness and for anyone interested in cognitive fitness and healthy ageing. The authors clearly explain Parkinson’s pathology – enabling caregivers to become more patient and supportive – then introduce readers to the “brain-healthy pantry” and recipes that benefit brain health. Mikkelsen’s simple, wholesome recipes are accessible to everyone; no special culinary skills are required, and her touching and sometimes humorous personal stories will surely add motivation and hope to the lives of millions challenged with the disease.

-Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., L.D. Author of The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet

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The meaning of life is not where-you-get-to-in-the-end, but rather, the journey you take along the way.  Anne Mikkelsen’s book describes the bitter, sweet, complicated, funny, and very human path that she and her husband have followed over almost 30 years with Parkinson’s disease.  For any couple whose journey has screeched to a halt because of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, this book should be inspirational; it gives you permission–and some specific ideas about how–to regain control of your lives.  And there are some great recipes for healthy foods included!

Martha A. Nance MD
Medical Director, Struthers Parkinson’s Center, Minneapolis, MN, and

Adjunct Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota

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I couldn’t put it down.  This book makes people proactive and stresses early detection. The information is clear, short, to the point … and uplifting.  And, the recipes are great!  It’s a book that especially people still “in denial” should pick up.

Barbe Awalt,
Daughter of Robert Awalt, whose struggle with Parkinson’s disease was chronicled by her mother, Jane Kriete Awalt, author of The Stranger Comes At Sundown: Living & Dying With Parkinson’s Disease (Rio Grande Books).

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Concise, well-rounded, and up-to-date, with practical advice on living well with Parkinson’s Disease. I wish I’d had this book when I was diagnosed.

Peter Dunlap-Shohl

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Warmly and clearly written, Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease . . . offers many healing, hopeful messages and invites readers to consider how meal times can become an essential part of the support system for persons with Parkinson’s disease and their families.  Nutritious, appealing, and comforting food is important for good mental health, emotional well-being, and better relationships in the face of chronic illness. The book applies evidence based research to the role of nutrition, skillfully expressed through Anne’s irresistible recipes and guidance for selecting “brain healthy” ingredients. Through Anne’s powerful storytelling and practical information about stress management, exercise, and caregiving, we are inspired to consider the things we can control: our outlook, what we eat, and the power of sharing our story with others.  Simply reading this book is a healing experience for anyone touched by PD.

Susan E. Ouellette, CRNP, CSP, APRN-PMH
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Patient Advocate

…”Thank you Anne for sharing your journey.  Your candid saga of the delicious lifestyle that you and Mike created in spite of PD will inspire others who find themselves traversing a similar life path with chronic disease.  Your brain healthy recipes are a welcome addition to the PD armamentarium.”
Becky Dunlop RN, BSN, Nurse CoordinatorThe Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center


Take Charge of Parkinson’s Disease: Dynamic Lifestyle Changes to