We give ev­ery­thing to our ca­reers but do not invest in the great­est gift we have — our health

LESSER KNOWN IN­GRE­DI­ENTS WE SHOULD IN­CLUDE IN OUR DIET

WKND - - INTERVIEW -

ing in our­selves first and I can tell you first- hand, this never pays off in the long run.”

It was al­most as if life had given her a wake- up call. The doc­tors told her it wasn’t too late as she started ses­sions in chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion — but as the side- ef­fects of the in­ten­sive treat­ments weighed her down, she was in­creas­ingly feel­ing like “the so­lu­tion was worse than the prob­lem”.

She de­cided it was time to give her body some­thing more than con­ven­tional can­cer ther­apy: all- round sus­te­nance. So she quit her job, started prac­tis­ing yoga and watched her diet care­fully. Pri­or­i­ties had to be shifted. “[ Ear­lier], I had the money and time to buy nice things and en­joy nights out but I couldn’t make time for a home- cooked meal, a yoga class or a daily self- care prac­tice. When you’re young, you feel you are in­vin­ci­ble. Of­ten, you don’t quite re­alise the con­se­quences of that men­tal­ity…

“I knew I had to deal with my emo­tional is­sues and the bag­gage that was hold­ing me back,” she con­tin­ues. “In ad­di­tion to weekly ther­apy ses­sions, my days were spent juic­ing as many veg­eta­bles as I could get my hands on, turn­ing my­self orange from all the car­rot juice I drank, and over- haul­ing my diet. I went ve­gan for the first year post- di­ag­no­sis. I be­came a sponge, and tried to learn as much as I could. I re­searched Ger­son Ther­apy, the Bud­wig Pro­to­col, and many more al­ter­na­tive meth­ods. I ex­plored colonics, yoga, med­i­ta­tion, the up- and- com­ing ve­gan restau­rants in LA ( at the time there wasn’t much of any­thing!), and set out to heal my­self one day at a time.”

To her sur­prise, it started to work, and Elissa was soon on the path to re­cov­ery. How­ever, after the birth of her two daugh­ters, tragedy struck the fam­ily when can­cer came back into their lives — only this time, it was her hus­band Marc who was af­fected. Un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion, and go­ing in and out of hos­pi­tals, weak­ened his im­mune sys­tem, and in the end, Elissa says it wasn’t can­cer that claimed his life, but an in­fec­tion.

Although she did see this as some­thing of a sign, in no way does she be­lieve that al­ter­na­tive ther­apy is a sub­sti­tute for chemo­ther­apy or other more tra­di­tional treat­ments. She sim­ply be­lieves that ‘ it’s dif­fer­ent for each per­son’. “For some, chemo­ther­apy may be the best de­ci­sion they could have made. But I do know this — no treat­ment can make up for an un­healthy diet, seden­tary life­style, and emo­tional is­sues. In fact, I pre­fer ther­a­pies that are com­ple­men­tary to sci­en­tific ones, be­cause we can­not sim­ply dis­re­gard mod­ern sci­ence and re­search. [ You have to] find out what com­ple­ments your treat­ment plan ( al­ter­na­tive or oth­er­wise) and fo­cus on heal­ing not just the body, but the mind and soul too.”

After the death of her hus­band, Elissa chose to study com­ple­men­tary medicine and be­come a cer­ti­fied holis­tic nutritionist. To­day, the best part about her job is know­ing that she is ‘ help­ing oth­ers heal’. Want­ing to share her knowl­edge with a wider au­di­ence, she wrote the book Can­cer Hacks: A Holis­tic Guide to Over­com­ing Your Fears and Heal­ing Can­cer. She’s also a big ad­vo­cate of cleans­ing — but fret not, it is not an ad­vo­cacy of those ex­treme liq­uid

Or­ganic In­dian Tulsi Tea – I drink a cup of tulsi al­most ev­ery day. Tulsi is prized for its ther­a­peu­tic as­pects, and one of the most unique things about tulsi is that it is an adap­to­gen. Es­sen­tially, adap­to­gens bring the body into bal­ance, in­crease our re­silience to stress, and help the mind and body cope with ev­ery­thing from dis­ease to ev­ery­day stres­sors. Tulsi tea is also full of an­tiox­i­dants that pro­tect you from free rad­i­cal dam­age.

Co­conut Water Ke­fir – Fer­mented co­conut water has all the pro­bi­otic ben­e­fits of ke­fir, with­out the ad­di­tion of dairy. Co­conut ke­fir is heal­ing to the di­ges­tive sys­tem and liver, con­tribut­ing to a strong im­mune sys­tem. Reg­u­lar con­sump­tion pro­motes glow­ing skin, re­lieves in­testi­nal is­sues while aid­ing with di­ges­tion, and even cleanses the en­docrine sys­tem.

Bar­ley Grass Juice Pow­der - Bar­ley grass has in­cred­i­ble an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties that can pre­vent de­vel­op­ment of dis­eases caused by ox­ida­tive stress. One of the most sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits of bar­ley grass is to cleanse the liver and elim­i­nate toxic build up. It also con­tains far more vi­ta­min C than or­anges, which is another im­mune- boost­ing nu­tri­ent. Th­ese two fac­tors in­crease your re­sis­tance to ill­ness, help­ing you fight off stress and fa­tigue.

Spir­ulina – Spir­ulina has one of the high­est con­cen­tra­tions of chloro­phyll of any food known. It can break down and elim­i­nate tox­ins and heavy met­als, is ben­e­fi­cial for GI is­sues, and is a com­plete pro­tein that con­tains all 22 es­sen­tial pro­teins. It con­tains three times the B12 found in liver, and 3 4 times the pro­tein found in beef. It also pro­vides car­dio­vas­cu­lar health ben­e­fits and re­duces in­flam­ma­tion.

Or­ganic Un­re­fined Co­conut Oil – It is ex­cel­lent for your thy­roid health, ben­e­fi­cial to your me­tab­o­lism and can fight off pathogens and viruses. It’s brain fuel that is easy on your di­ges­tive sys­tem and pro­vides long- last­ing en­ergy with­out any crash.

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