I am often asked about any special diet I followed for recovery from Parkinson’s. In general, I have been loosely and intermittently following the candida diet, a plan I followed rigidly for over a decade due to digestive issues which appeared long prior to the PD diagnosis. Many of you know the drill: no yeast, sugar, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, carbonation, fermentation, and limited dairy. Some grains and gluten-free baked goods are permitted. I re-introduced coffee, as it is now sometimes suggested as helpful for PD. I also lightened up on other aspects of the candida diet, having followed it for many years. It was a comfort to be able to find so many gluten-free available baked goods recently . Then I noticed that many of these products contain tapioca and other ingredients for which the verdict is not yet determined. My recent difficulties with my left ankle and foot (swelling and pain from scar tissue from an old and unremembered injury) motivated me to research diets that would reduce swelling and inflammation. The Paleo Diet appeared often enough for me to decide to give it a try.
So for the last week or so I have been following a slightly loose rendition of the diet- I use dairy in the form of 1 tbsp. of organic Greek yogurt in smoothies. Also, restaurant dining is infrequent, but when I’m dining out, I steer away from creating drama for myself by not stressing over what kind of cooking oil is used. I don’t need to control everything.
I mention The Paleo Plan because I have seen it recommended for many chronic health conditions and a number of PWP’s seem to be exploring it. This diet is a bit radical, and many PWP’s already have a number of regimens in place. So another plan I researched and found to be close to The Paleo Diet in intent and desired outcome, but quite a bit more generous and forgiving, is The Omni Diet. It’s creator, Tana Amen, is a nurse and the wife of Dr. Daniel Amen, a neuropsychiatrist who wrote “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life” and other transformational tutorials. Tana Amen’s book, “The Omni Diet” mentions Parkinson’s as one of the conditions aided by this food plan. The author also presents case studies, recipes, suggests supplements, and strongly motivates the reader. My “slightly loose” rendition of the Paleo Diet merges into the Omni Diet at times. However, the one area I have totally avoided so far is grains.
The outcome has been swift and pleasing. Within a day or so all swelling disappeared from the ankle, and most of the pain was quick to follow. I hadn’t realized that for some, grains can be a toxin that causes conditions like inflammation and subsequent swelling. I’m glad that for now I have found a food solution that is working. I have met the challenge of making food fun by including creating smoothies as a part of my menu. If I close my eyes and visualize- Voila- a milkshake!
Why am I sharing this with you? Because there are so many approaches to working with chronic health conditions, and although I didn’t employ this diet when I had Parkinson’s, others may find it useful to explore. I find that as my healing process continues, different challenges emerge. I believe many of these to be precursors of Parkinson’s, and therefore hope that as I share my personal strategies, others with chronic conditions may be able to use these resources as well.
If any readers would care to share their dietary experiences, you are most welcome to comment here. May all have a peaceful and fulfilling week.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: I would like to send a shout out to Mingtong and the recent group of practitioners at the Angela Center Retreat. What wonderful energy! My visit there was so uplifting. Thanks to all who were present. While there I heard healing stories- topics for another blog. Keep qigong-ing folks!