Thursday, January 20, 2011

The relationship between food and me - "Diet" may be the key to improving symptoms. "You are what you eat" is more true today than ever.

Hi my name is Laurel and I have been living with Parkinson's Disease since  August of 2004.

While Parkinson's Disease does not define who I am, it certainly affects who I have become.

I started a website in 2005 in order to share all the information that I had gathered about Parkinson's Disease. I did not intentionally have this in mind when I was researching about PD. It just seemed to come about as a result of my research.

In all of my research, one thing seems to keep coming to the forefront of my mind. Diet is the key to health. The saying " You are what you eat" seems to be more true today then ever.

The one common denominator for me in my life  "Food has always had an effect on me". When I was a preteen, I broke out in hives. As a teenager and young adult, I had sore throats, congestion, ear aches, respiratory problems, bladder and kidney problems and I lived with a mental fog that made me feel weird. It all just became my "norm".  At the time, I had no idea why I felt that way. Now, the association between food and my body seems obvious.

In the beginning years of having Parkinson's symptoms; shaking, muscle spasms, and muscle tightness. I had depended on different alternative medical treatments in order to help my symptoms. Weekly Glutathione intravenous therapies helped tremendously with symptoms in the first few years.  But, eventually had a wearing off affect and no longer was effective in relieving me of uncomfortable tremors, muscle contractions and spasms.

I then embarked on a journey of trying an agonist called Mirapex. Mirapex may work well for some, but did not work well for me. It caused me to become obsessive compulsive and just generally did not agree with me. I did not feel like my normal self. I do not want to go into details, but those of you who have experienced side effects know what I mean.

I eventually came upon another treatment using the herb Mucuna Pruriens and compounded Carbidopa, made by a compounding Pharmacy. In the beginning, I felt amazing, but this did not last. Similar to taking Sinemet, in the beginning you feel great, but eventually get worse.
Over time, I built up a tolerance to the Carbidopa and needed larger amounts of the compound, which caused me side effects of dystonia in my leg, arm and head.  Along with tremors and muscle contractions, the toll it took on my body was too great and I had to stop this therapy. I couldn't function like this.

Again, I looked for a new alternative. In 2009 I came across a treatment using Mucuna Pruiriens and Amino Acid therapy.  Actually, someone from the Patients like me website sent me a link to

I read the information on the neuroassist site and  knew that I would give it a try.

I contacted Neuroassist through their website and they referred me a local Physician 

I started the Neuroassist combination therapy  program in April of 2009.

It hasn't been an easy road. I have had many challenges.  Mostly due to stomach related issues and taking the Amino Acids and Mucuna Pruriens. I have spent many days feeling sick with flu like symptoms. Including severe nausea and spontaneous vomiting.  I know this sounds horrible, but I have stuck it out because the therapy does have positve effects.

The combination therapy has somewhat controlled the PD symptoms. Allowing me to have many hours during the day where I feel normal.  That means, no shaking and no muscle spasms. Anyone who has PD knows that this is a big deal. No shaking for any period of time is like being NORMAL again. This was huge for me.

Now, getting to the purpose of this blog. Diet seems to play a huge role in how I feel while taking these Amino acids and Mucuna Pruriens and in general plays an important role in healing my body.

Neuroassist does write about possible carbohydrate and protein intolerance on their website. Unfortunately, I did not read this area before starting this therapy in April of 2009. If I had read that part of the website, I probably could have avoided feeling any stomach distress or at least minimized it considerably.

I have read many books concerning food and how it can affect the body. Both negatively and positively.

My goal is to share with you positive ways food can improve how our bodies feel and minimize symptoms of inflammation, which according to Dr. Richard Fleming in his book "Stop Inflammation Now" can contribute to symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, along with other Neurological and Inflammatory conditions.

If you have had a chance to read any of My Story on my website you will see that  diet has played an important role in making me feel better in the past. Reading my earlier posts regarding my diet, it played a key role in how I was feeling, physically and emotionally. Unfortunately,  I have lost my way in my journey for health on numerous occassions. I have no excuses. Only that life in general, sometimes overwhelms me. All I can say is that I have found my way back to eating healthier.

I know that it won't be easy. I seem to get distracted easily.  I love to eat... and it isn't always the best food that I choose.

Let's get Started. I hope that you will follow along with me on this journey.

Breakfast Starter for me today is Fresh Organic Juice made by me in my Juicer.

4 Kale leafs
6 Carrots
1 Apple
2 Celery stalks

I drank this heavenly juice and it left me wanting more....  on to my morning exercise.

30 minutes- Combination of walking on the treadmill and bouncing on a mini trampoline. I usually break up the time between treadmill and trampoline, 20/10 minutes or 15/15 minutes. This seems to work for me and gets me motivated for the day.

After exercising-  I made a mini meal mixture of 1 chopped pear, 6 chopped prunes and a touch of  pure orange juice and put it into a sauce pan, heating it up for about 10 minutes or until pears and prunes are soft. I then added golden flax meal.  This is a breakfast option from the book " Stop Inflammation Now".

I am hopeful that I will feel and see a difference in my symptoms of PD. Inflammation plays a big part in the pain that I have in my limbs at night. I am hopeful to reduce this pain, which will allow for a better nights sleep.

Water plays a big part in the process of elimation, so I am drinking a 16 oz. bottle of water to keep things moving. I have to be conscious of drinking enough water. I tend to forget to drink it throughout the day.

That's it for now.  Keep the faith. Keep moving. -Laurel

January 29, 2011

Well, it's been an interesting week. 

We went to a Bus show in Wickenberg, AZ last weekend.

In an attempt to stay on track, I prepped some food before we left. I wanted to have some choices, besides fast food, as we traveled and stayed in Wickenberg.

I made a Spinach Salad and brought lots of fresh fruit.  I purchased some Boar's head Turkey and Provolone Cheese. If your not familiar with Boar's Head Brand, they sell it at Fry's Grocery Store. Products are suppose to be Gluten Free, Preservative Free and Free of Artificial Ingredients. Also made some Egg Salad, made with Cage Free eggs. I survived without too much temptation. Though, we did have some Mexican Food on Saturday evening. I wasn't perfect. But, all in all I don't think I did too badly. Considering the temptations that are out there when your away from home.

During this last week, I also eliminated Gluten products and Oat products. I believe that the stomach problems that I have been having over the last year and a half may be due to Gluten Intolerance and a definite allergy to Oats.  Eliminating Gluten products does follow the eating plan outlined in Clean, Green and Lean, so I guess I am on the right track.

I have already noticed that my stomach isssues are already disappearing.

The past week, I have tried to eliminate eating foods that are processed. Replacing them with whole food that is Organic and Pesticide and Chemical Free.

We have a local Farmer's Market here in town on Thursday's from 11:00 a.m. til ? . I have gone to it many times before, but this time I made a point of asking the vendors how their products were grown. Most say they were grown without Pesticides and some were Organic.

I tried to purchase most of my vegetables and  fruit there this week.  But, still had to go to the grocery store for items not available at the Farmer's Market.

I am also trying to be conscious of Cleaning Products that I use at home.  Am slowly transitioning to Greener Products. Products that are safer for me and our environment.

Most Mornings... I start the day with fresh juice from my juicer. I usually use a combination of different greens and carrots, along with broccoli and an apple.

After my morning exercise, I make a breakfast of Cream of Rice cereal , adding Lecithin Granules and Bernard Jensen's Seasoning.  Along with a Poached Egg, also topped with Bernard Jensen's Seasoning. Or Gluten Free Waffles with homemade topping of Frozen or Fresh Blueberries, Strawberries, Raw Blue Agave nectar with a small amount of Orange Juice.  Combine the Berries, Agave, Orange Juice and a small amount of Corn Starch in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, until it starts to thicken. Add as much or as little Agave, depending on your desired sweetness.

They recently opened a Chipotle Mexican Grill in town. Lucky for me... I love Chipotle's Menu.  It is one of the only Restaurants that I know of that serves no preservative or chemically laden foods.
This has been my choice for lunch a few times this week.   I know that I can't eat this everyday... but I sure wouldn't mind it if I had to.

Dinners have been pretty simple... Wild Alaskan Salmon, (lucky me, the local Farmer's Market had someone who had just come from Alaska and brought an abundance of fresh Salmon) Poached with a mixed Salad. Using Organic Dressing. Also, made Veggie corn tacos, used red onion,corn, zucchini, red pepper and mushrooms, seasoned with chili powder, cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and chipotle seasoning, served it on a Homemade Corn Tortilla(from Farmer's Market)  with  a side of Sweet Potato Fries. 

Snacks have been a piece of fruit and a piece of cheese.  This seems to keep me from wanting or snacking on things that I shouldn't.

Also bought some smoked Salmon at the Farmer's Market. Made a Salmon pate' using Organice Cream Cheese, Green Onions, a little Organic Milk and of course the Smoked Salmon.  This is great as a spread or dip for vegetables or on top of Salad Greens.

My Goal this week is to stay on track. Keep it Simple and Eat more Live Food.

Keep the faith, Keep moving.   Laurel

May 3, 2011

Sorry it has been awhile.  My main computer crashed and then my laptop also went down.
But, I am back now.

Since my last writing I have discovered that I can no longer access my website files.  At first I was really upset, but now think that maybe it is a sign that I need to re-invent myself as it is and start writing about my life now, with Parkinson's. All of the alternative information will remain on the website. (Note: I am currently using the Protocol and think that this is the most effective way for me to treat my Parkinson's symptoms. It has given me the most relief and is my source of hope in keeping my body active right now. I share this with you, so you can investigate for yourself about how this can work for you, if you choose too!)

Now I feel the need to move on... I am on a quest to improve my health. Diet seems to be the key for me.

After re-reading several "raw food" books, I have decided that "going raw"  is the most beneficial thing I can do for my body right now. Eating living food; salads, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is key to a "living body".

Today, is the 6th day of going "raw".

I have tried eating "raw" in the past, only to give up after a few days.  I think the key to success this time is simplifying my food choices.  And having enough food on hand, all the time.

I just can't complicate this. Keep it simple. Keep it raw, that is my new motto. So far this new thinking has helped me to make this a successful "Day 6".  

Simple recipe for Breakfast-
Blend in Vita-Mix blender

Frozen Banana
Raw honey

Simple snack-


Simple lunch- Salad
Mix all together and enjoy!

Red pepper
Green onion
Lemon or Lime juice
Sea salt

Simple Snack-

Simple Dinner

Flax crackers
Fresh salsa and avocado

One of the other reasons that I had trouble sticking to a an all "raw" diet in the past was the side effects of detoxing.

So far I have experienced sluggishness, sleepiness, mental fog and brief periods of euphoria, though they did not last long, it could be scarey if you don't know what or why this is happening to you. Fortunately, I have done my homework and realize that each of us is individual and will experience "raw" in our own unique way.


  1. Hi Laurel,
    I was diagnosed with PD one year ago, and will be following your blog with interest. I totally believe in diet, regular exercise and meditation.

    I've just watched an excellent video on the health benefits of adding green-smoothies to your diet. The Miracle of Greens - Sergei Boutenko at Pilgrim's Market
    The summary is: greens are the best source of nutrients, blend them into smoothies with fruit [and plenty of water] to supplement your regular eating habits. Stick the rest in the fridge and drink whenever you feel hungry.
    Good luck on your journey.

    1. Keith,

      Thanks for your positive post!

      I still research and read as much as possible .., posting and sharing what I feel is pertinent to feeling better!

      Hope you are doing well!

  2. Hi Laurel, I am very new to blogging but am hoping to start following your posts. I was diagnosed with Parkinsons 8 years ago and am trying to manage this disease with the use of amino acids. Any knowledge or information you have in this area would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  3. Doug,

    Nice to hear from you!

    I have been using Amino Acid/Mucuna therapy for over 5 years now... it's not without challenges... for me it's a better alternative than the traditional drug therapy.
    My treatment is prescribed and guided by my Naturopathic Physician Dr. Dana Keaton of Phoenix, AZ I have been working with her since April of 2009.

    I have been writing about my experience with Parkinson's since 2005 .... via my website and then most recently this blog. My hope has always been to share what I have learned through trial and error of what works and has not worked for me over the years.
    I hope that you will find the information helpful in finding your way to help yourself live a more productive life with Parkinson's.
    Not to many people have commented on my blog...but many have written to me via email to thank me for the information that I have posted over the years. And many have written to ask for more information on the Amino Acid therapy.
    I hope you find it helpful!

    When did you start using the Amino Acid therapy? Are you working with a Naturopath or Doctor?

    Your questions and comments are welcome!

    I am happy to share what I can with you.

    Keep the faith,

  4. Hi Laurel,

    I'm so glad to have come across your blog - it's very informative and helpful for someone like me who is trying to learn about PD.

    My sister (55 yrs old) has just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s – it’s a very overwhelming news for us as she’s the doll of our family. She's not much on the Internet, so I am trying to help her research and learn about the possible treatments. You have mentioned Amino Acid therapy in your blog - can you please share some more details about this treatment? Are these amino acids prescription based for this therapy, or can be obtained over the counter? You also mentioned taking Carbidopa with Mucuna Pruriens – is there some optimum combination of these two? How many times a day should one take these? I am meeting a Neurologist with her next week and would like to be more informative in discussing her treatment options. Any advice and additional information will be highly appreciated! Take care,


    1. Hi Zack,

      Thanks for writing...
      In response to your question regarding using Amino Acid therapy for Parkinson's Disease symptom relief.
      I would like to tell you that this treatment is my preferred treatment after trying many other alternative treatments. It is not a cure by any means and has many challenges and can be costly.
      One recommendation that I do have for your sister is to have her educate herself about eating a clean Diet ... what you eat affects your overall health. Their is plenty of documented evidence that the Environment plays a big part in the possible decline of our health.
      Traditional Neurologists, Medical Doctors can learn about Amino Acid treatment through Continuing Medical Education Classes www.neuroassist,com AMA CME | Nutritional optimization
      The Most Important Parkinson's Advancement In 50 Years We Are Doctors (MD, DO) Who Pioneered The Medical Research Being Taught As, "Six Hours AMA Category 1 Continuing Medical Education" Chicago September 20, 2014 Chicago Conference Brochure LA (Santa Monica) October 11, 2014 Santa Monica Conference Brochure Atlanta November 8, 2014 Atlanta

      I have be using this treatment since April 2005 under the guidance of my Naturopathic Physician. Her name is Dr. Dana Keaton her office is located in Phoenix AZ . I suggest you contact her office for more information as to how this therapy may help your newly diagnosed sister.
      I hope that this information is helpful to you... please email me at if you would like to talk further.. I wish you well.
      Keep the faith,

  5. Hi Laurel,

    Thank you for the reply and the additional details you provided regarding the PD seminar. I will surely get in touch with you via the email you provided, if I have questions down the line. Thanks again!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I don't have PD, but I have problems with dopamine & serotonin regulation. I have tics, trichliomania (sp?), OCD, dopamine depression (no motivation), insomnia (just don't sleep). I went on Mecuna with the amino acid treatment as well. I think the Mecuna is causing my intermittent flu-like symptoms - though it might be helping me sleep more soundly. I had a hard time finding information with this flu side effect. I'm glad I found yours! I get them 1-2 days the then go away, then return 3- 5 days later. I've been wondering if all these pills so many times a day will be worth it, so your story has helped a lot. The L-Lysine really helped me more than the mucuna so far. I'm wondering if the mecuna will improve or I should just be on the aminos. We'll see. It's going to take me 3 yrs to pay off the costs of this alternative psych & supplements! Best of luck to you.

    1. Kay,

      Thank you for your comments... I am glad that you found the information helpful.
      I am curious how you came about using the Aminos and Mucuna for your health problems... always interested in why people turn to Alternative Medicine for what ails them. If you are interested in sharing more details of your journey .... you can write to me at
      Keep the faith,

  7. Hi Laurel it's so great to meet someone else who is dealing with PD in alternative ways. I was diagnosed 2 years ago and so far I have never been on any meds. I am doing the raw plant based diet. I heard about Dr. Robert Morse the naturopath, you may have heard of him too, and I was blown away by his youtube videos. He has been healing people with cancer, diabetes, MS, ALS and the like with herbs and raw foods for over 42 years. He says that if you have chronic nerve degeneration that 100% raw fruit is the answer. He focuses on cell and nerve regeneration and the body healing itself by alkalizing, detoxifying and regeneration. I also came across an incredible book with well documented cases of people who have completely reversed their PD and MS into full remission. The name of the book is "Impacting PD and MS into Permanent Remission" by Jim Tibbetts, very enlightening! This is the only source I have found where PD was put into full remission! Bottom line it takes 2 years of raw foods, along with detoxing and fasting. Just wondering if you have heard of any of this in your journey. This is the path I'm on right now. I don't know if it will work but the alternative is drugs or treatments, so far I'm only in my ninth month of all raw fruits and veggies. All the best to you in your journey, I know that our bodies naturally want to heal once given the chance, it can happen!


    1. Gigi,
      Thank you so much for your post...

      I have kinda been in a nutritional slump lately... you have re-lit the fire that burns within me to keep searching, learning and stay true to my belief that the body knows how to heal itself... if we provide what it needs.
      It is all about what we feed it!
      I would love to hear more about your journey, how you stay focused and committed to your journey of healing! ... I hope you will contact me via my email