Cancer Hacks to Beat Cancer (or Any Health Challenge)by Elise Museles
Cancer: a six-letter word that has touched all of us in some way. Whether you’ve been diagnosed yourself, know a loved one who has, or just want to understand more about this ubiquitous and frightening disease, it has simply become impossible to ignore. While we continue to hope and pray that a cure will be found, cancer impacts countless more lives every day. But even now, there are warriors out there empowering us to take charge of our health.
Meet one such warrior: my good friend, holistic nutritionist, and author of Cancer Hacks, Elissa Goodman. Elissa not only endured a cancer battle of her own when she was only 32, but she also lost her husband to cancer a decade later. Now, at 55, she is the happiest and healthiest she has ever been, and Elissa is on a mission to inspire others with her healing story and share her hard-won insights on how to face our fears and regain our power, no matter what kind of diagnosis we receive. (And we even have an incredible giveaway to support you – but more on that in a minute…)
While no one magic pill or cancer-fighting food can get rid of this awful disease, Cancer Hacks is a guide to making the necessary lifestyle changes – along with mindset shifts – that can help you feel in control of your health. Most importantly, Elissa’s main message throughout her book is that no matter what is happening with your body, it’s still YOUR body – yours to love and care for and heal.
Recently, I sat down with Elissa to talk about what it means to not just survive but THRIVE after cancer, and what steps we can all take to live our most vibrant and healthy lives, free of cancer or any other health challenge. Read on for Elissa’s answers to some of our most pressing questions and learn more about creating your strongest and healthiest body—inside and out.
Can you share the inspiration behind your newly released book, Cancer Hacks, and how you began to heal yourself from cancer?
I’ve long wanted to share my journey with a larger audience. It started with a short version of 10 cancer hacks that I gave my holistic nutrition clients and followers, but my story is much more than that. This is a story of resilience after diagnosis, a story of loss – my husband Marc passed from cancer-related illness – and a story of reinvention. The biggest inspiration along the way has always been my daughters. They are the reason I fought so hard to rebuild my life after Marc’s death and my reason for wanting to live a long and healthy life.
One of the ways that you help and empower people is teaching them not only to survive, but to really THRIVE. What does it mean to THRIVE for you personally, and how does someone know that they’re not just surviving, but actually thriving?
When we are in survival mode, we do the bare minimum to make it through the day. This usually means waking up, working, eating, and functioning, without personal growth or elevated consciousness. I lived in that mode for many years, and it was comfortable and safe, but I never felt like my life was progressing.
Thriving is living your best life. When I’m thriving, I feel strong, happy, and present in every moment. My business flourishes, I have abundant energy when I wake up, and I feel that I am growing as a person. Life is never perfect; there are ups and downs, but when I’m thriving, I feel strong enough to get through and take on any challenges that come my way. By stepping outside my comfort zone and making lifestyle changes, my health has improved, I have been able to transition off my thyroid medication, and my mental outlook is clear.
Nutrition and lifestyle made a major difference for you in your journey with cancer, but the field of wellness is filled with all sorts of conflicting information. How did you cut through all the noise to effectively use nutrition and lifestyle for prevention and healing?
You are right: there is so much conflicting information that it becomes a little much, even for us in the wellness field. In Cancer Hacks, I share my own post-diagnosis experiences. I had experts coming at me from every which way. They each had something to offer and made different recommendations. What I learned from each of them was that I had the ability to heal. I’m big on trusting your gut and listening to your inner voice. What works for one person does not always work for another. At the end of the day, your mental outlook and positivity will take you further than the supplements you’re taking, and your body will tell you what is working and what is not.
Your book contains your top 10 cancer hacks, each of them seemingly more essential than the last. If you could suggest a starting point for people on this journey to living their healthiest life, where would you direct them to begin?
Of course, I think every hack should work in unison with the others, but in the beginning, my discussion of “Disconnection from Self” is probably the most critical. It is by reconnecting, loving, and having compassion for ourselves that we grow and thrive.
When you were writing Cancer Hacks, what was the most surprising research you uncovered that could help people not only ward off cancer, but also live a healthier and more vibrant life?
Up until now, we believed that more than one cancer-causing mutation needed to take place in a cell in order for tumors to grow. Scientists have now discovered that every day emotional stress is a trigger for tumor growth. Researchers showed that mutations could promote cancer even when they were located in different cells, because stress opens up “pathways” between them. Any sort of emotional or physical trauma can create pathways for cancerous cell mutations. This discovery shows that the conditions for developing cancer can be affected by your every day work and family stress.
I have long believed that emotional factors are contributors to disease. We are conditioned to accept stress as a daily part of life and it is causing cancer to germinate in our bodies. We are driven and anxious and have a desire to keep up with a culture that is making us sick! If we could all take a little time to relax, make mindfulness a priority, take better emotional care of ourselves, and have a daily practice of self-love, we would all be healthier and more vibrant!
In Cancer Hacks, you teach people how to eat better, balance their gut, and reduce toxic build-up within their bodies and their immediate environments, but you also link suppressed emotions and mindset to cancer, as well. How do you think our thoughts play a role in our ability to THRIVE and ward off the disease?
As you can see from the responses above, I think there is a HUGE connection between our thoughts and our ability to THRIVE and ward off all types of disease, not just cancer. As you will read in Cancer Hacks, I truly feel that the mindset of my late husband impacted his inability to fight cancer, just like my mindset helped me to survive.
I recognize that it is easy to say that we need to have a positive mindset and we need to deal with our emotions, but it is not so easy to put into practice. In Cancer Hacks, particularly in the chapter on Denial/Suppression of Emotions, I detail some really effective ways to start the process of releasing emotional baggage so that you can reach the healing mindset. I know I would not be in the peaceful and healthy place where I am today without them.
Cancer Hacks is also loaded with practical information on how to become strong and resilient, while standing in YOUR power. The book includes a 7-day healing cleanse, which is filled with cancer-fighting recipes and tips. You don’t want to miss Elissa’s Every Day Detox Tonic, her signature Super Seed Bars (I’m hooked!), or her Faux Almond Tuna Salad. As a lifestyle cleanse expert, Elissa’s selections of ingredients all serve a purpose—from nourishing your gut and promoting digestion to helping with nutrient absorption. Plus, everything is delicious in addition to being nutritious!
And although there is no denying that nutrition plays a vital role in our overall health and wellness, it’s only part of the equation. Cancer Hacks is a holistic guide that teaches us how to care for our bodies while listening to them, empowering us to overcome our fears and health challenges, up to and including cancer.
To encourage you to take your health (and the health of your loved ones) into your own hands, we’re giving away a copy of Cancer Hacks to one lucky winner! Plus, Elissa is offering a 30-minute consult to go along with her book, as she is on a mission to support as many people as possible that have been affected by cancer. To enter, share which cancer hack (or hacks!) you hope to incorporate into your life. I can’t wait to read your inspiring thoughts!
UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Stay tuned for future giveaways.
About this week’s guest:
Elissa Goodman is a holistic nutritionist and lifestyle cleanse expert who believes that proper nourishment and a daily renewal practice are essential for optimal living. Elissa’s mission is to educate and encourage healthy, mindful living helping others embrace the concept that we are a product of what we eat and how we treat ourselves. Elissa is based in Los Angeles where she works privately with professionals and celebrity clients. For more information visit www.elissagoodman.com.