One Meal One Day: Survive or Thrive

one meal one day What do apples, red grapes, olive oil and walnuts have in common? How about broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes and watermelon? And do you recognize a similar thread between spinach, garlic, potatoes and mushrooms?

one meal one day market

A market stall in Sri Lanka


The answer is actually fairly simple. Choose any one of these or a hundred other fresh foods and you’ll find one very important common link: These are all healing foods.

In my nutrition practice, I routinely explain to my clients that every single bite of food has “the power to heal you or hurt you.” We can survive, or we can THRIVE!

I emphasize that eating healthy isn’t meant to be an imposed diet, but rather a lifestyle to be embraced that will help us live the most vibrant life possible … just the way God intended.

We are so fortunate in our society to be able to actually choose which foods we eat and don’t eat. We eat according to our likes and dislikes until we are pleasantly or overly full, often with little thought to how exactly the meal we just consumed may affect our bodies.

It often takes a diagnosis such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, or irritable bowel syndrome before we begin to question our lifestyle habits. Countless clients come to me after medical intervention, looking for a more natural way to overcome these “sudden” illnesses which, in reality, have grown over time.

Our culture is not traditionally educated to be aware that the human body is an amazing, God-given temple that can heal from many, many illnesses on its own! With the correct balance of biologically correct foods and lifestyle practices, the human body can often regenerate and be revitalized without a single pill or surgery.

This is not always the case, of course, but many times these abrasive forms of “treatment” can be avoided altogether if proper mental and physical changes are utilized. I see it happen almost every day with my clients, and one of my greatest blessings in life has been the opportunity to help people learn what true health really means.

Perhaps this is why my heart has always been pulled toward those less fortunate. I enjoy every aspect of teaching about, preparing, and of course, eating food. And I love to help feed others in need. It is a rare day when I don’t think about the thousands of children and adults who not only can’t choose their meals for health, but aren’t even able to count on having one meal in their stomach each day.

one meal one day strong

Can you imagine? They aren’t concerned about whether to give a child soy or cow’s milk. They are concerned about where they can find a single glass of uncontaminated water!

When I heard about Compassion’s One Meal One Day initiative, I knew that it was a perfect venue to link what I do with helping others on a global scale.

I have been a partner with Compassion for over 10 years, and have always searched for ways to bring its vital message to others around me. When I announced my participation in One Meal One Day last year, I was so genuinely touched to see my clients respond almost immediately with tremendous support. It fulfilled me in ways I cannot describe, and at the same time, fed many small tummies who otherwise would’ve gone without nutritious food.

I realized that if I could personally feed every single hungry mouth, I would make it my life’s goal. I urge you: Please consider taking part, either as a participant or contributor, in the One Meal One Day campaign tomorrow.

Children in extreme poverty don’t have the choice to eat walnuts to fight cholesterol, or watermelon to fight cancer, or spinach to fight diabetes. They can’t choose foods to help them thrive. They need basic nourishment to simply survive.

Compassion has provided a simple, accessible way to touch these lives whom God created in His perfect image. How blessed are we to be able to take part?

I guarantee, your body will not miss the one meal you skip. You will feel fuller inside than you have ever felt, with the kind of fullness that can come only from selflessly serving another person. And according to this nutritionist, it’s the very best way to become truly healthy in body, mind and heart.

Skip a meal. Change a child’s world. And yours.

You can also view the One Meal One Day video on YouTube.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Testa is a holistic nutritional consultant with a home office in Lincroft, N.J. She created her business, Healthier You, in 2008, with the desire to share her knowledge and excitement for healthy living with others in an innovative way.

For nutritional or contact information, visit Lisa’s website at or read her blog at

1 Comment |Add a comment

  1. Kathy MacFarland November 10, 2013

    Meet you years ago Lisa and wanted to just say you have a heart of gold and so willing to help people. I so regret as I am learning more and more about god telling us thy food is thy medicine. Just found out I have Metabollic Syndrome pretty bad and am learning that I wish I had changed my way of eating completely when I meet you. We pick and choose what we put in our mouth and I so believe how foods can heal our bodies. I have had my church help me at times and was so grateful there were there along with you. Hoping one day to be able to soon catch up with you and change my life and get off all these medications once and for all. Recently was hospitalized again with medical conditions, given medications for when I so believe that our foods when eaten correctly are our answer. I am praying god will make a way for me to finally be HEALTHY and eat correctly. God bless you and all the hard work you do.

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