After a lengthy military career with both the Australian and British Army, Damien Lee knows all too well the importance of having a healthy and balanced diet, so he created Mr Lee’s Noodles.
The gluten free, no nasties noodle range is proving popular, and is now available on military bases through the AAFCANS canteen outlets.
Born and raised in Sydney, Damien Lee got his first taste of military life during high school – serving in the Australian Army Cadets. From there, his lengthy career included many different capabilities, units and roles – beginning in the Australian Army Reserves for eleven years.
“My career began with being deployed into the Australian Infantry Corps, then later transferring to Military Intelligence, culminating in the Australian Special Forces with the 1st Commando Regiment,” Mr Lee said.
After relocating to the UK in the 90s, he continued his military journey by joining the British Army Reserves in London, serving for another 10 years in the Royal Military Police.
One of the things he noticed whilst serving the ADF was the lack of healthy food options available to Defence personnel.
“The desire to have my noodles in AAFCANS was driven by my connection and history with the Australian Defence Forces,” he said.
“This stems back to my memory of ration packs containing freeze-dried ingredients, and even back then thinking wow, wouldn’t it be great to give the ADF a light, wholesome ready meal made entirely with healthful, freeze-dried ingredients.”
Knowing the physical challenges a young soldier goes through during training and serving, Mr Lee thought that his brand of noodles would be a tasty alternative to the often sugar packed and salt laden options available in AAFCANS.
“The lifestyles of those serving military careers require high levels of fitness typically beyond the average civilian, and unfortunately, army canteens are offering processed foods full of high-levels of salt & sugars ineffective for the performance of military roles. “We’re hopefully going to help fill this space, as young squaddies have always eaten instant noodles, but there are none of offer that aren’t full of chemicals and nasty ingredients.”
On a personal level, Mr Lee knows just how important it is to eat nutritiously balanced meals. “Overcoming two-times stage 4 cancer made me realise that you’re truly what you eat, as it was only through the adaption of a more holistic, raw diet that I was able to beat my illness and change perspective on my fast-paced lifestyle,” he said.
Feeling hungry? Mr Lee’s Hong Kong Street Beef, Tai Chi Chicken and Coconut Chicken Laksa noodles are not only available in AAFCANS, but sold in 1,000+stores across Woolworths, Metro and EzyMart.