Nourish Nourish to Heal Fostering a healthy relationship with food can nourish more than just your physical self. By Erin Ward Elissa Goodman is a holistic nutritionist and lifestyle cleanse expert who believes that proper nourishment, healing by listening to your gut, and a daily renewal practice are essential for optimal living. Join her for a special interactive dining experience and nutrition discussion at Wanderlust Hollywood on July 25. Click here for tickets! If you practice a yogic lifestyle, you probably have an active relationship with the food you eat. More so than just energy and sustenance, what we eat can help us to feel emotionally balanced, mentally clear, and achieve an inner radiance. Food affects everything from our immune systems to our mood. As such, figuring out what foods are most optimal us as individuals is a necessity to thrive on the day to day. The obstacle, however, to this simple logic of good food equaling a good life, is that the waters surrounding what is “good” and what is “healthy” get murkier by each wellness-inclined blog post. There is a plethora of conflicting information regarding what we should and should not be eating, what times of day, how often, and how much. Googling “healthy foods” gives you over 1 billion results, overwhelming even for the most curious of the health enthused. Food also serves as emotional support for many of us in the Western world. In a culture in which advancement and progress serve as the primary narrative, food becomes an outlet for many to help manage stress. A study conducted by University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found direct correlation between disordered eating patterns and high levels of stress brought on by the pursuit of perfection, particularly for women. All this is to say that forming a relationship with food that is wholesome and that contributes to our personal contentment, growth, and well-being is easier said than done. Luckily, there are thought leaders in the field of holistic nutrition who devote their life’s work to figuring it out. Using Food to Heal Elissa Goodman, LA-based cleanse expert, holistic nutritionist and writer supports her clients in their journey to full well-being through her delivery cleansing programs, one on one sessions and educational resources. Elissa herself was able to use her approach to eating to not only cure herself of cancer, but help her to feel content, balanced, and energized. As Elissa says in her book Cancer Hacks, “We can use food as medicine to manage our stress and anxiety so that we can get to a place where we can take care of ourselves.” Elissa provides a mirror for her clients to see how their eating habits are affecting their over all well being. She guides them in making simple impactful adjustments that lend to health and longevity. She acknowledges that, “A lot of our emotional and physical distress is triggered by malfunctions in the body that can be reversed and depleted with simple nutritional changes.” To say that food is a panacea for illness and disease sounds extreme. However, the more we learn about our bodies and what fuels us in the most beneficial way, we can start to make choices based on self-care. When we feel energetic and content, it is easier to make food choices that best serve us and that are detached from emotion. In turn, when we make food choices that are right for our unique self, it fuels energy and helps us feel content. It’s a beautiful spiral of self-care and healthful living. Elissa’s Watermelon Detox Smoothie Recipe Ingredients: 1 cup watermelon, chopped ¼ jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped 1 lime, juiced 2 tbps fresh mint, chopped 1 tbps fresh ginger, juiced Directions: Add all ingredients into blender, blend until smooth. Enjoy cold in the evening before bed. — Erin Ward is a freelance writer, yoga teacher, and navigator at Wanderlust Hollywood.