Elissa Goodman is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist who won her battle with cancer by cleansing her body. Today, she is cancer free and lives her life helping others transform their bodies. I first discovered Elissa during my healthy holiday to New York, LA and San Fran after she created the amazing ‘I am Cleansed’ menu for Café Gratitude. Meet Elissa…
Tell us about your journey, what sparked your passion for the health and wellness industry?
Like a lot of us, when I got out of college I wanted the life of a “successful” businesswoman. I focused on what my vision of success was – which was long hours, stressful jobs, living on caffeine, eating out…all the bad habits you can mention. After years of living this life, my journey to wellness began with a jolting wake up call.
At the age of 32, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I really couldn’t believe it. My doctors recommended chemotherapy and radiation, but I refused the chemo treatments. I chose to do half of the radiation they recommended. Needless to say, the doctors weren’t happy that I was calling the shots. I have to say I was terrified too, but an inner voice inside me said there had to be a better way. I had grown up going to a fabulous “health ranch” called, Rancho La Puerta and they had taught me a lot about healing with food, exercise and meditation. I realised that, in addition to medical treatment, my body needed nourishment and love. I shortened my radiation regimen and pursued an alternative path. I left my job, began managing my stress and doing yoga, and learned that what people told me was good food wasn’t always healthy food. I began juicing daily and eating a mainly plant-based diet. I put myself in therapy and began to connect and become present it my life. It was through this experience that I found my passion – I knew I had to share my story and my knowledge with others.
After losing my husband to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma ten years later, I enrolled in the American University of Complimentary Medicine to become a nutritionist and can truly say that this is the career path I was always meant to have.
What’s your number one wellness tip?
Learn to love yourself! No healthy tip I could share on food/diet/cleansing could be as effective as loving your self. The emotional component this provides is the tool to well being. In working with my clients, I find that if we can get them to a place of self love first (which takes a lot of work) they will get to a place of well being. I look back now on the time before my cancer diagnosis and self love and acceptance was the one major thing missing from my life. I never felt good enough, present, or satisfied and I am sure that is what made me sick. Self love requires that you face emotional issues, take time to get to know yourself and it takes hard work – I recommend counseling, seeking out a meditation practice, picking up Louise Hay’s amazing book “You Can Heal Your Life”, and really putting the work in on yourself.
What’s your one non-negotiable when it comes to your health?
Sleep. I get 8-10 hours of sleep EVERY night. I never negotiate on that. Sleep is really the only time our body has to regenerate and restore and we need good quality sleep more than we know. I prefer a cool room, no electronics, as dark as possible, and I make an effort to get to bed by 10 or 10:30pm no matter what. It takes a commitment, but after years of good sleep, I can’t have it any other way.
What motto do you live by?
Living by this motto has always served me well, “You will begin to heal when you let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged you and learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes”. Not always easy to practice, but there is truth in those words and actions.
What is your proudest achievement?
When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was told that I would most likely never have children. I overcame those odds and had two beautiful daughters – but they lost their dad at a young age. Losing my husband and having the sole responsibility of raising these two beautiful girls forced me to create a new life. I am proud that I could show my daughter’s this is possible, after tough times you can reinvent yourself and go after your dreams. I think women in general need to know this is possible. We do not have to be a victim of our circumstance, we are strong, we have so much to offer and I am proud that I picked myself up, pursed my passion, followed through, and am now experiencing the joy of what that has brought.
What are your goals for the future?
To continue to build my brand, to spread my cancer free life message to as many people as I can. I am working on new opportunities to share this message via a platform that is more conducive to our crazy lifestyles these days, including online coaching and more internet presence. I have always dreamed of creating a well constructed, meaningful book that will convey my passion and message, but will also bring cleansing to others in a way that fits easily into their life. There is so much to look forward too!
Tell us something not many people know about you?
It’s a bit embarrassing, but I sing and dance at home when no one is watching. I’ve just always had a passion for music, dance, and performance – I just wish I were better at it!
Can you share with us one of your favourite recipes?
I’m sharing my Coconut Kefir Yogurt. It’s an easy to make, probiotic rich food made with citrus, fresh coconut meat, and coconut water…it’s dairy free and delicious! I love to have for breakfast with nuts and berries or as a snack.
Coconut Lemon/Lime Kefir Yogurt with Nut-Date Crumble
2 cups coconut meat (if frozen, thawed)
1 tablespoon coconut kefir (Tonix or Healing Movement coconut kefir)
1 teaspoon dairy free probiotics (I use one capsule of Garden of Life 50 billion or 100 billion)
juice of 2 freshly squeezed lemons
juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime
½ cup raw coconut water
Blend all ingredients in your Vitamix or blender until creamy and smoothie-like with no chunks left over. Pour into a glass jar and cover with a mesh fabric like cheesecloth or nylon and an elastic. Leave out at room temperature for 12 hours and put into your fridge for one day.Once y ou’ve gone through this process, your yogurt should have a slightly sour, tangy smell and taste and be ready to eat.
Note: Your yogurt should be creamy and have the consistency of a normal yogurt. If it looks chunky after sitting out for 12 hours, try putting it back into the blender until it gets creamy.
If desired, add crumble and/or sweeten with stevia.
5 dates, pitted
¼ cup raw walnuts
¼ cup raw almonds
1-2 dashes of cinnamon
Pulse dates in the food processor until they are in very tiny chunks, almost paste like but not quite. Remove from food processor and set aside in a bowl. Add walnuts and almonds to food processor (no need to clean it) and pulse until they are almost a flour, again into tiny chunks. Mix dates and nut mix in the bowl and add cinnamon and stir together until they are mixed well or combine with your hands. Crumble can be stored for 7 days.
Where can we find you?
You can find me on my website http://elissagoodman.com and be sure to sign up for my “CANCER FREE LIFE TIPS” free on my site!