The food blogging world is full of amazing people doing remarkable things, but sometimes you stumble upon someone doing something really big for the well-being of others and you just have to share it with the world and spread the feel-good.
You’ve likely heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the hindrance it can cause in one’s day-to-day life. PTSD is an Operational Stress Injury (OSI) and lives under the OSI umbrella with depression, substance abuse, anxiety disorder, and other debilitating conditions that can interfere with everyday functions. It’s a perpetual psychological struggle that is a result of operational duties performed while serving in the Canadian Forces or as an RCMP. Complications can occur after having served in a war zone, amid combat duties, or even post peacekeeping missions. It’s so easy for the general public to focus on the battles these people have faced in the fields, but there needs to be more focus on the battles they face once back home. After experiencing a traumatic event, it’s common (and pretty much expected) to encounter distress in some way, shape, or form. Unfortunately, for many, the symptoms never seem to disappear.
The silver lining is that there is help out there, and help is becoming more and more available as time goes on–not only in the form of therapy and prescription, but in the form of diet and lifestyle.
Meet Cody, The Wellness Soldier.
Cody is a Chef, Marijuana Advocate, husband to Kaleena, father to their three children, and a Veteran.
“I joined the Canadian Military in 2001 (Basic Training 0110 B) and I did seven years and two tours. I was Army, yet I served my whole time in the Navy.”
Cody and his wife Kaleena started The Wellness Soldier to offer information and help educate Canadian Veterans on healthy eating and drinking, fitness, meditation, cannabis, and Veterans Affairs Programs. It’s designed to help Vets get back to the basics and treat their bodies and minds as working machines that need the proper kind of fuel to make it run smoothly.
“I’m the Chef, and my wife Kaleena is the amazing photographer (among many other roles). We also have professional contributors for fitness, meditation, and cannabis strain review experts.”
As stated on their Website, The Wellness Soldier is not anti-prescription; they simply believe that fueling the body with healthy, nutritious, whole, and fresh foods paired with exercise and meditation can lend a great hand in reducing the amount of medications that Veterans are on, in addition to the side effects of some of these medications.
This is important to Cody, because Cody himself has an Operational Stress Injury due to multiple tours outside of Canada with the Canadian Forces. When he started to see the horrors of war hitting closer to home, he reacted.
“My mother served 30+ years in the Canadian Forces with multiple tours, and she has severe OSI’s. When the doctors did nothing but prescribe harsh medications with no follow up, she was unable to properly take care of herself, let alone feed herself a nutritious meal.”
Cody started preparing meals for his mother to help toughen her immune system so that the drugs she was prescribed could work effectively. As he was doing this, he was hit with the realization that there had to be other families going through this same horrible ordeal. His response: creating a Website to relay information and educate those in need.
It’s too often that healthy living is overlooked as a way to deal with disorders. There is a knee-jerk reaction to get a prescription and rely on medicine to do all the work.
Cody explains, “Food is the most important thing you can put in your body, and when you put the wrong foods and drinks into your body, your body will react negatively thus having your brain react negatively. As a result, the harsh medications don’t work properly.”
It’s important to mention that The Wellness Soldier is NOT fad diet site, nor is it solely based on paleo or vegan living.
“It’s to give people healthy and simple ways to incorporate real and healthy foods into your body. If you can buy it in a freezer aisle, you can make it yourself and have it taste better and get more out of it. Fresh is Best!”
Some admirable future plans for The Wellness Solider include delivering healthy home-cooked meals to the homes of Canadian Veterans so they can “live healthier lives and push past the horrors of war by focusing on living a healthy and full life.”
Photos in this post credited to Kaleena Lindsay.