Meet Elissa Goodman and there's no doubt about it -- she glows.
Sure, she's a Los Angeles-based holistic nutritionist, so one automatically assumes said glow is a nice career perk. What may come as a surprise, though... this wellness path that led to Elissa's career began when she was a teenager. Little did she know then, it would serve her in great stead, years later, when she battled cancer.
Elissa shared her story with Change Your Life Travels about how travel itself led to a journey structured on health and well-being. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate June 11th aka Global Wellness Day.
Growing up, there was a place that had a special place in my heart -- Rancho La Puerta -- a spa retreat, located in Tecate, Mexico, not far from San Diego.
Rancho La Puerta has been around for 75 years, but back when I visited it as a teenager, the concept behind the resort was ahead of its time.
My mom, who had asthma, would visit twice a year, with me in tow. It might have looked unusual, this lone teenage girl with a group of older women, but I loved every minute of it.
It truly was a special, special place, and I can honestly say, it transformed my life.
Rancho La Puerta is in a beautiful setting. It's very peaceful, calm and spiritual.
There are hikes in the morning...
Yoga and meditation...
Time in the spa...
They actually required you to have a massage each day.
The resort grows its own food and features great classes on cooking and nutrition.
Speaking of the featured speakers and teachers, they're very heartfelt and soulful.
It's a place for nourishing both the body and the soul.
As for the guests, they're eager participants.
As a destination, Rancho La Puerta has this dynamic that lends itself to regrouping and getting back to oneself. At the end of the week, these women were completely different people. And so was I!
But I didn't really want to admit to it... Probably because I was too young to realize it was going to transform my life, which it truly did.
Years later, I was a very driven businesswoman, living a fast-paced lifestyle on the go. Then, at 32, I discovered a lump and received an unexpected diagnosis -- Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Now a mother and a wife, I knew a life transformation was needed. Memories of my time at Rancho La Puerta flooded in, propelling me to have the knowledge and courage to heal myself.
After I healed, cancer struck our family again, this time it was my husband who received a diagnosis -- non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. After an 18-month battle with cancer, he passed away from an infection. He was 45 years old.
After my husband passed away, I kept tapping back into those days at Rancho La Puerta. The food, meditation, yoga and calmness found there.
Going back to a calmer and more mellower lifestyle during their time at the resort allowed many of these women to go off certain medications they were on.
My mom was a prime example of this. She no longer needed her asthma medication and was happier, healthier and had more energy.
I had a professional calling -- to pursue a career as a certified holistic nutritionist.
Now it's my turn to help people transform their lives -- to move into a healthier place both physically and spiritually.
As for Rancho La Puerta, I still dream about it. It's left an imprint on me.
We find Elissa's journey to be utterly inspiring. With it in mind, we celebrate Global Wellness Day, the annual celebration (every second Saturday of June) during which seven small steps are suggested as small changes that will transform one's life. They are:
Do a good deed.
Walk for an hour.
Drink more water.
Don't use plastic bottles.
Eat organic foods.
Have a family dinner.
Go to sleep at 10 p.m.
And with their motto, we leave you: "One day can change your whole life."
For more information about Elissa, visit https://elissagoodman.com. To learn more about Rancho La Puerta visit http://www.rancholapuerta.com. And get involved with Global Wellness Day! Visit http://globalwellnessday.org/en to find opportunities to amp up your health and wellness.