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Living with PD

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

People often ask us for ways to stay healthy and what we do in our daily lives to set the right tone for our health. As you can imagine, keeping John’s Parkinson’s at bay requires a focus on a healthy lifestyle. We have been living with Parkinson’s now for eighteen years and have made many changes to our lifestyle to support John’s (and my) health.

John has a great routine of Pedaling for Parkinson’s spinning classes that he does weekly. Fortunately, they have been able to set up a Zoom program to continue riding throughout the Covid shut down. You can find the links on their website and join him any Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

We have a weekly boxing class we attend on Saturday’s at the local Salvation Army Gym in Denver. During the Denver Covid restrictions the class has a very limited number of people allowed so, I have stepped back to ensure that the Parkinson’s folks get the first shot at the sessions.

When the weather is good, John and I take a daily walk of about 2 miles. We are fortunate to live near a lovely park that provides us a view of the whole front range of Colorado. It is spectacular at sunrise and sunset.

I start my day every morning with a QiGong practice. John will sometimes practice with me. If you are not familiar with QiGong, I highly recommend taking a look at this gentle energy practice. It builds awareness of your body and its connection to the wider energy of space. The practice teaches you acceptance of yourself and others and is built on a foundation of loving kindness. I follow a teacher from Sante Fe, Master Mingtong Gu, who posts many meditations and practice sessions on YouTube or you can sign up for one of his more in-depth classes taught online. Starting my day with Chi Gong sets a positive energy flow and an attitude of loving kindness to carry forward into the world. John has started to do the Five Organ Sound healing practice with me several times a week.

We take time out in the mornings to plan our healthy meal for the evening. John will do the ingredient shopping, while I am out working on new product development and bringing our products out to the world. Most evenings we eat something light and tend toward a much larger portion of vegetarian or mostly vegetable centered meals than we did years ago. Our meat and fish consumption is focused on pasture-raised organic and wiId caught salmon and cod. I have a “go to” set up of recipes and cookbooks that we draw from to ensure we have a broad selection of seasonal dishes. When shopping, we try to buy organic as often as possible. When it's not possible to find a ingredient that is organic, we try to make sure we are familiar with the producer or the brand and how the food is grown. Food quality is just as important as the foods you eat. For example, you can eat a vegetarian diet but it won’t be very healthy for you if those vegetables are laden with toxic pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides that can harm your microbiome.

We end our days with some quality time together enjoying a game of cards, old Star Trek episodes of Deep Space Nine, the Great British Baking Show and lighter fare or listening to books on tape. We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary before Christmas in the photo here. We consider our raising our children as our greatest contribution to the world.

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