Elissa Goodman, Author of Cancer Hacks, Is on a Path to Help Us Heal & Thrive

Elissa Goodman is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and the designer of Lifestyle Cleanses that are vibrant and wildly popular. Her recipes, blog posts and (my favorite) healthy living facts and foods flowing on Instagram are a constant inspiration.

Her stunning new book Cancer Hacks is a culmination of over 20 years of passionately, personally living and thriving as a cancer survivor and helping others to thrive with superfoods, love and dynamic balance.

Elissa was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in her early 30’s and coupled holistic methods and traditional treatments to triumph; her husband was diagnosed years later with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and tragically didn’t survive the medical treatments. This experience moved her to professional certification as a holistic nutritionist and set her on a passionate path to help others to heal and thrive.

I can tell you that I’m still dreaming about the tabbouleh made with raw cauliflower “riced” on a grater at her last dinner party full of laughter. Wildly creative, transformational and so full of energy, Elissa glows on the next level, a testament to her teaching!


If you had an extra hour in your day every day, how would you spend it?

Sleeping! I have a house full of college students this summer and my sleep is suffering a little bit from their late nights. A little extra sleep would be welcomed and I am a big believer in afternoon naps for refreshing the body and resting the mind.

If we could peek into your refrigerator, what would definitely be there?

On any given day, you will find organic blueberries and raspberries, a batch of my coconut kefir yogurt, ground flax seed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, Sonoma Brinery Sauerkraut, George’s Always Active Aloe Vera, one or two types of Probiotics that I’m trying out, dried prunes, a batch of my Detox Tonic – usually enough for the week, a couple jars of my homemade bone broth from my Soup Cleanse, cooked Light Life tempeh for me to snack on/use for salads, cashew, coconut, and almond milk, and of course a good quality dark chocolate, I like to have my Vital Force Juice or Liver Aid from L.A. Juice on hand to grab and go.

You can find my Daily Detox Tonic HERE & my Coconut Kefir Yogurt HERE.

Could you share your go-to recipe that’s now a family classic?

My family loves chicken and this Lemon, Olive, Garlic Chicken is a crowd pleaser and easy to put together after a busy day. I serve this with Creamed Kale that is “creamed” with almond cheese, and cauliflower puree. It’s delicious and you can switch out the vegetables to mix it up or use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand – it’s an instant family classic.

One-pot wonder dishes are making a comeback in my kitchen. Pull out my trusty red Le Creuset, braise up some veggies, add my chicken and by the time my busy day comes to an end, I’m 45 minutes and a salad toss away from a complete dinner. This chicken dish has bright acidic flavors from lemon, those sweet roasted garlic cloves are simply the best, and in between you get bites of caramelized onion and bits of pungent olive. Pair with kale creamed in almond cheese and easy cauliflower mash.

Lemon, Olive, Garlic Chicken with "Creamed" Kale

Servings 1


For the Chicken:

  • 6 bone-in, skin-on organic chicken thighs or drums
  • 2 T. organic olive oil
  • 1 T. fresh thyme, rosemary, or oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 10 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 large white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • 1 cup mixed olives

For the "Creamed" Kale:

  • 2 heads Lacinato kale (also known as Dinosaur kale), cleaned and finely chopped
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • ¾ cup Kite Hill Creamed Cheese


For the Chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small bowl, mix 2 cloves crushed garlic, fresh herbs, sea salt, and several turns of freshly cracked pepper. Generously rub chicken with this garlic, herb, salt mixture being sure to rub on top and underneath the skin and set aside.
  2. In a large oven safe dish (I use a Le Creuset dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium-high heat add the onions and pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have softened and begun to caramelize. Add the whole garlic cloves, lemon slices, and olives and sauté additional 2-3 minutes. Place the thighs skin-side up in the mixture season with additional fresh herbs if desired and place pan into the oven.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes and serve with “creamed” kale.

For the "Creamed" Kale:

  1. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper, cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and chopped kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the Kite Hill Cream Cheese stirring in until the kale is very tender and coated an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Keyword Nutrition, Profiles, Wellness

How do you make yourself at home?

For me, it’s about comfort and function. We’ve created a space with our personality and favorite collector items and art pieces and wanted to make sure our living areas are inviting, beautiful, and most importantly comfortable. I put on my favorite yoga pants, make a cup of Tulsi tea, and feel completely at home.

What’s the best kitchen purchase you’ve ever made?

I use my Breville 5-speed juicer and Blendtec Blender every day. Sauces, dressings, smoothies, juices, soups…I would be lost without these two things in my kitchen!

The one material object in your home that you cherish…

My collection of antique perfume bottles, every piece represents a person or special moment in my life.

The one gadget or app that we all should have…

The Calm app. It’s crucial to take time each day for a self-care practice and mindfulness. It’s a meditation app that reconnects you to your body, emotions, thoughts, and intuition through a daily practice.

The daily habit that’s been game-changing…

I have two, one for my insides and one for my out!

Taking up the practice of writing in my gratitude journal has been an eye opener for me, I have a lot to be grateful for and this process can turn a bad day around in a few moments. You really become aware of all you have to be thankful for and the little things fall away.

For my outsides, taking up the habit of dry brushing has been life changing. I swear I’ve noticed a difference in my skin, less noticeable cellulite, brighter skin tone, fewer in-grown hairs, but the process is extremely cleansing, releasing toxins and stimulating lymphatic drainage. I’m addicted to it!

The best lifestyle decision you ever made…

To reinvent myself after the death of my husband, instead of curling up into a ball and never leaving the house like I wanted to do. I am so glad that I picked myself up, dusted myself off and went on to pursue my passion and show my daughter’s that their mother is resilient and strong. I never regret taking this path although it wasn’t easy for me, I am so grateful for the experiences and struggles that led me to the place I am now.

Where do you go/ what do you do to find inspiration?

I find inspiration daily, there are many creative and talented people in the wellness community, I feel inspired by them and make an effort to reach out and connect to anyone who inspires me. I’ve met energy healers, intuitives, meditation experts, other nutritionist’s, alternative practitioner’s, feng shui experts, doctors, acupuncturists, masseuses… hearing their stories and learning from them is the ultimate inspiration.

This is so wonderful & inspiring! Thank you so much Elissa!