Imagine a forest fire, raging out of control. Each time the wind shifts, the fire’s path changes. On an incline, the fire spreads more quickly. In a situation like this, experts are consulted to analyze many factors, such as fuel type, fire-weather conditions, topography, and human activity. They then present a plan for the “best chance” at controlling the situation that can change within minutes.

Extreme poverty can be compared to a forest fire as a multitude of factors can change overnight, tipping millions into poverty. In 1990, the World Bank defined extreme poverty as…

This year we are thankful for something very simple. We are thankful for something that is used in some way, every single day, by every single person in this world. They are used in recipes, calendars, driving instructions, phone books, stores, clocks, birthdays, mail and most importantly, they are used to measure the impact an organization is making as they end extreme rural poverty. We are thankful for…

While I was attending college, I can recall returning home to see a few men working in our family garden. They created nice garden beds and planted a variety of crops that I often only saw in grocery stores. My family and I really loved the work that they did in our garden. A few years later, my mum and I were strolling through our neighbourhood when we heard celebrations taking place at Thrive’s Growing Health Institute. We were intrigued to find out what was going on, so we stopped in. During our visit to Thrive’s graduation ceremony, my mum reminded me about the men that used to work in our garden and that they had come from Thrive. I instantly fell in love with Thrive and dreamt of working with them. Today, I realise that dream has come to pass.

The majority of unsolved problems in our world today can be blamed for lack of political will. We put the blame on the government and they often are unresponsive. As problems are not being solved, we should put our focus in a different direction.
Perhaps a solution to all problems should involve “people will” rather than “political will.” Getting people involved in problem solving is feasible in our world today as ¾ of the world is connected through the internet. Together we can discover solutions and take action.

On January 1, 2018, the first school of the new year started. 27 new students and 3 returning students moved into the Thrive teaching center eager to learn how to grow health. Each day involved morning lessons and afternoon hands-on activities. This blog post will take you through each day of the January 2018 growing health seminar. Make sure to scroll through all the photos to gain a better understanding of what we are doing.

Figuring out where I was called to work was a crazy ride. After finishing my Bachelor of Science – Kinesiology and Bachelor of Education, I went on to supply teach in various Christian schools. One of the schools that I was teaching at mentioned a potential partnership that they may create with an organization called Thrive. I thought nothing of it as it didn’t involve me until the principal of the school recommended me to them for their Curriculum Development Coordinator position.

Easy to Grow, Disease-Fighting Foods

For the last 30 years, forward thinking doctors have been treating patients with disease-fighting food.Disease-fighting foods: cruciferous vegetables

In order to build strong immune systems, doctors agree that the following 5 disease-fighting vegetables are most beneficial if eaten on a daily basis. Additionally, these super vegetables contain the highest protective chemicals to build up the body’s defenses – even more reason to include them in everyday meals!

Cruciferous Plants

Benefits: Reduces inflammation and blood glucose levels. As well, it stimulates the immune system and promotes gut health.

Amount: More than 1 cup per day. These vegetables need to be chewed thoroughly or blended in order to break down its cell walls.Disease-fighting foods: greens

Examples: Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, collards, bok choy, kale, mustard, turnip, and cress.


Benefits: They are an excellent source of fiber. Additionally, they are high in vitamins C and K, folate, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Amount: More than 1 cup per day, especially if the greens are being cooked.Disease-fighting foods: onions

Examples: More than 30 different green leaves can be used, this can include spinach, kale, and a variety of lettuce.

Allium Family

Benefits: Similar to cruciferous vegetables, they are high in sulfur chemicals which support the immune system. Also, they are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and they help to regulate blood sugar.

Amount: Consume 1/2 cup per day.Disease-fighting foods: colourful vegetables

Examples: All members are good for your health including onions, chives, scallion, shallot, leek and garlic.

Coloured Vegetables

Benefits: Each colour of vegetable has its own specific benefits.

  • Green: This colour represents chlorophyll, vitamins K and C, folate and lutein.
  • Red: These vegetables are rich in lycopene which helps to prevent cancer and heart disease.Disease-fighting foods: beans
  • Orange: This colour is associated with high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Orange vegetables support vision and immune function.
  • Purple: Altogether, these purple vegetables support mental clarity, cancer and anti-aging.
  • White: By reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure, these vegetables are especially beneficial to those with diabetes.

Amount: More than 1 cup per day.

Examples: Peppers, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, squash, mushrooms, and potatoes.


Benefits: Beans almost have too many benefits to mention. They are full of fiber which helps to slow down blood sugar. Also, they are rich in iron, protein and help support the kidneys.

Amount: Should include at least 3 servings per week.

Examples: There are dozens of different varieties and it is important to include different ones in your diet.

The Strength of Symphony

When using food as medicine, as opposed to pharmaceutical drugs, we benefit from the hundreds, if not thousands of different supportive plant chemicals in the food. These plant chemicals, especially those in green leaves, work together to boost our immune system. Pharmaceutical medicines on the other hand only provide a few specific chemicals.

If you create a diet that includes many different plant foods, you are increasing the potential for a more holistic solution for all your disease and health challenges.

Majority of people worldwide consume between 1-2 thousand pounds of food each year. Choosing the right foods can mean the difference between a life of sickness or one of health. Therefore, this solution creates the best health care option for those in developing countries.

Learn more about how Thrive grows health on Facebook, Twitter and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.

Rainbow of disease-fighting foods


Where Is Your Gaze?Thanksgiving

Everyone enjoys the time of the year when we slow down and reflect on the good things in life. So often our gaze is only on what is up ahead. The holiday of Thanksgiving helps us to slow down.

During this time, I reflect on the last forty years where I have been trying to help create change in developing countries. If I am honest, for the first thirty years there seemed to be little results for the time and money invested. Thankfully, over the last ten years Thrive has been excited to see 21st-century organic growing practices and natural medicine be birthed in the poorest communities.

Our 5 day Growing Health workshops started many groups down the road to a more secure future.

Thankful for HIV Group Success

Organics 4 Orphans Thanksgiving HIV GroupQuickly, we saw so many testimonies of personal health improvements that we wanted to validate some of the results. With the help of a naturopathic doctor, Elise San Tiago, we identified an HIV group to do a month-long study in 2010. All that we asked of them was to consume a large bowl of various greens that was supplied. Each week, for a month, their immune system was measured to see what change had occurred. Almost without exception, we saw a doubling and even tripling of their immune strength.

The best news though is that 25 out of the 28 suffering with HIV are still alive. This has encouraged us to train many HIV groups and individuals with programs that cost only a few pennies per day.

Changes Need to be Made In Order to End Extreme Poverty

On Sept 13, 2017, Bill Gates stated that the global plan to end extreme poverty by 2030 was failing. There are many reasons for his statement, but we do know that if the same amount of money had been spent on empowering communities to Grow Health all villages would be more secure.

Therefore, we are so thankful during this season that there is a solution today for the one billion people who struggle to get enough food, have little to no traditional medical care and whose life expectancy would probably be cut short by a third. They can actually have a future now.

We are also very thankful for the people who financially partner with us. For as little as $1.30 a day, whole communities can begin to tackle their own health challenges.

If you are not part of this 21st-century solution, consider joining with us!


Thank you for subscribing. Find out what’s happening on Facebook, and Twitter. 



Dale Bolton