Elissa Goodman describes herself as a “type A Aries." She lived a fast-paced life and might have continued that way if she had not been diagnosed with cancer at age 32. Today, Elissa is a Holistic Nutritionist and cleanse expert and the bestselling author of “Cancer Hacks."
Leading up to her diagnosis Elissa remembers experiencing chronic stress, feelings of inadequacy, and feeling the need to be “perfect." At the time, she remembers not being able to understand how someone so young and–by all appearances– healthy could have cancer. She later discovered that her stressful lifestyle was compounding toxins in her body, compromising her immune system, and affecting her overall health.
She remembers her doctor asking her about her levels of happiness and stress. The doctor asked her a series of questions, and just by hearing her own answers, she realized that her current diagnosis had a lot to do with the current state of her mind and body.
So, Elissa took this new realization and put it into action. She began to manage her stress levels with therapy, yoga, and eastern medicine practices in addition to traditional western cancer treatment. She started to move toward recovery as she balanced both eastern and western medical practices.
Elissa credits her plant-based and healthy diet to her recovery. After her diagnosis, she committed to a plant-based diet in addition to juicing, which she has kept up to this day. After beating her cancer, she was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, and Celiac disease. Through clean eating, she’s able to regulate her autoimmune disorders and keep Celiac disease at bay. Today, Elissa is cancer and autoimmune disorder free.
Just a few short years after Elissa beat her cancer, her husband, Marc, tragically lost his 18-month battle with cancer at age 45. Following Marc’s passing, Elissa went back to school to become a certified Holistic Nutritionist. Continuing her education and pursuing a new profession was personal for Elissa. She focused on holistic nutrition and eventually started her own practice.
From there, Elissa went on to create the S.O.U.P. 5, which is a five-day food cleanse. S.O.U.P. stands for “Superfoods, Organic, Uniquely Designed, Prepared with Love." Elissa’s cleanse has been so successful she’s even managed to partner with Erewhon and Cafe Gratitude.
Elissa defines nutrition as “the process of providing and food to your body that supports its health and growth." She notes that being well nourished is essential because doing so supports the proper growth and replacement of tissues. Our bodies thrive when they’re able to grow through the replacement and rejuvenation of tissues and cells.
Nutritionists have a working understanding of exactly how nutrients affect the body and which foods promote the growth and replenishment of vital tissues. Nutritionists are valuable because of their ability to pinpoint foods that will help balance their client’s diets in the interest of reducing the risk of disease, balancing weight, curbing side effects from health conditions, and helping to fight against inflammation.
Holistic nutritionists specialize in helping patients use natural foods to heal and nourish the body. These nutritionists think about a person’s wellbeing as a collective of “mind, body, and soul" in addition to taking an entirely natural approach to health and wellness.
HOW EATING A BALANCED DIET CAN AFFECT MOOD AND OVERALL WELLBEING
Your overall wellbeing is how happy, healthy, or comfortable you are. External factors such as work, relationships, stress, regular sleep, and nutritional diet all affect personal wellbeing.
Nutrition can affect mood and overall wellbeing as diet impacts mood, sleep, and energy levels.
WHAT TO EAT TO BE LESS TIRED
Low levels of zinc, iron, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids are associated with decreased energy and poor mood. Eating too many refined carbohydrates like processed sugars and processed carbohydrates can cause blood sugars to rise and fall rapidly, leading to low energy and irritability.
To energize the body, nourish yourself with unprocessed foods, organic fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and complex carbohydrates.
NUTRIENT DENSE OPTIONS
Elissa likes to juice celery, dandelion greens, lemon together with parsley, ginger, and apple. Celery is rich in vitamin A, K, and C and minerals such as potassium and folate. It’s also great for the stomach and blood sugar regulation. Dandelion greens are excellent sources of vitamins A, C, K, and contain vitamin E. Lemons are high antioxidants and contain vitamin C. Antioxidants are helpful against free radicals.
Eating clean and organic can be synonymous with eating plant-based foods. Cruciferous Vegetables are nutrient-dense and have cancer-fighting properties. Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale are great to eat to regulate toxins.
Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of fiber and protein. Beans contain essential vitamins and minerals like copper, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Quinoa and wild rice are great “clean eats" and gluten-free.
Elissa is also a fan of collagen powder, which can be added to juices, water, or tea. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, and Elissa recommends taking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water.
Cleansing your body can be a gentle and accessible process. One way to accomplish this is by modifying a person’s diet to clean, plant-based foods.
Eating clean foods can even have positive effects on mental health.
Meditation is also helpful in maintaining mental health as it can support reconnection between the mind and body.
Elissa begins her mornings with 5 mins of meditation, where she sets her intention for that day. These practices help her find a necessary balance in her life.