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Before he lost his arm, this chef loved life and food. Now? He still does.

Chef Eduardo Garcia combines his passion for food and his taste for adventure.

Before he lost his arm, this chef loved life and food. Now? He still does.
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Saucony

Eduardo's a chef. But he doesn't spend all his time in the kitchen — no way.

He takes off each day from his Montana home to explore the wilderness and gather all the fresh, wild ingredients he wants to use in his next meal.


Eduardo gathers food to use in his next tasty meal. All images by Saucony.

For many years, he was always on the go, working on boats as a private chef. Every chance he got, he was off to explore, soaking up as much of the local culture as he possible could. His way of getting to know each new locale? The food.

Food, he says, is his “language to connect with other people."

Take a look at how he does that, here:

Side note: Wowww, did you see those dishes he's making? Needless to say, they look amazing.

But as Eduardo describes in the video, cooking isn't the only thing that keeps him ticking.

'Cause he's not just a chef, he's also a runner and an explorer.

"Running is part of my recipe, it's part of my equation," Eduardo explains. "You pick up this rhythmic cadence of your heart, in tune with your ... spirit and your soul." Running, he says, is his way of staying connected to the outdoors.

And in turn, that relationship with nature is what inspires his culinary creations — what's in season? What can he forage today? Gathering wild, fresh ingredients is his favorite part of cooking. Well, second to sharing his delicious food with friends.

“Every day," he says, "is like another opportunity to push a little harder and to figure out how to milk more out of my life. Daily."

"To run is to keep me in the outdoors," he says.

In 2011, Eduardo lost an arm as a result of a backcountry accident.

But despite having his hook-handed prosthetic for only a few years, it certainly doesn't hold him back.

In fact, he prefers the hook to the five-fingered prosthetic he wore for a few months. "When you're cooking ... it's a dance almost," he told Katie Couric in an interview. "When I had the hand, I just didn't feel fluid, whereas with the hook ... I just rock and roll again."

Eduardo talkin' about life.

When Eduardo was first learning to use the prosthetic, he said, “It's definitely been an exploration. … It's OK to screw up, it's OK to not get it right, it's OK to not be as efficient as you were. You'll get it, you'll get it, you'll get it."

“Food and meals should enrich our lives, not just our bodies."

Eduardo's passion for exploring and foraging is one that he simply can't keep to himself. He loves to spark up conversations with friends, teach them about foraging, and share his energy with others.

Safe to say, his enthusiasm is infectious.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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