Get Healthy with the ‘Love Your Greens’ Challenge

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Desi Ward was a Mormon student who grabbed whatever was handy whenever she was hungry. Until she got sick in 2003. Her journey has not only brought her to good health, but has made her a successful blogger, cook, and sponsor of The Mom Conference, completely held online, and coming this fall. The 2014 conference was a huge success, spotlighting the Bloggernacle’s most successful bloggers.

Desi explains what started her on the road to good health:

I did a study abroad program in Peru and while I was there I got really sick. When I came home, no one could figure out what it was for months. Not until I went to a parasitologist (I bet you didn’t know they existed) did I finally find out what I had, giardia. By that point, the giardia had wreaked havoc, leaving my whole digestive system a complete wreck. I was a mess for a long time. I went to countless doctors with no answers how to repair the damage done. I started realizing that if I wanted to feel better I needed to do something different. Before, my diet had consisted of quick college food, Dinty Moore beef stew, and spirals macaroni and cheese. Not that my mom hadn’t raised me to eat healthy, but in college I went for mostly convenience.
Desi Ward
I started researching and studying nutrition. I realized how powerful food can be to nourish the body and heal it. It opened up a whole new world for me. At about that point I saw a doctor who put me on a whole foods cleanse. The cleanse for pure necessity made me get really creative in the kitchen ( I really wanted treats, and sugar was off limits). I started experimenting with different ingredients and natural sweeteners, and my love for cooking was born. I felt so good, I had forgotten that I could ever feel that good.

A returned missionary who served in Guatemala, and then a wife (she met her husband 3 weeks after she got home from her mission) and mom, Desi took her whole foods journey to its natural conclusion by becoming a fantastic cook and helping others to enjoy a healthy, yet delicious, diet and lifestyle. Her initial desire was to shorten the learning curve for those who want to start eating right and feeling better. Desi is passionate about motherhood, and she limits her time blogging to 4 hours per week, so she can devote herself to her family. She and her husband Scott have three children — Isaiah, 6; Skye, 4; and Cooper, 6 months.

Her website, Unconventional, provides a healthy eating plan, recipes, holiday ideas, and pure inspiration. On Monday, May 11, 2015, her Love Your Greens green smoothie challenge begins. This is your chance to clean out all the nasties that are making you sick and get healthy and radiant for summer and then the rest of your life. Just go to the site and sign up, grab your blender and veggies, and begin life anew.

Food illustration from unconventional kitchen


Says Desi,

Looking back having gone through all of this, getting sick is one of the greatest gifts that I have been given. I have learned how to nourish my family and myself, eating real food. I have had the opportunity to share my passion with others, by teaching cooking classes, doing contract work with recipe development, and even co authoring a cookbook with Green Smoothie Girl. It has been an incredible journey, and one that I would love to continue sharing with others.

Gale Boyd is the managing editor for She is a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived all over the world. She has raised 6 Third Culture Kids and is always homesick for somewhere.