health and weight loss

Keeping your bento lunch safe (Reviewing bento basics)

Note: This bento safety article is one of the first ones I posted here on Just Bento, back in November 2007. I’ve edited it and added some more information, especially since more and more new people are coming to the site. Even if you’re a veteran bento maker, it’s good to go over the basics occasionally!

A traditional portable bento box meal is meant to be eaten eaten at room temperature. It’s typically made in the morning, then held for a few hours until lunchtime, also at room temperature. Millions and millions of Japanese people eat bentos like this (as well as an increasing number of people all around the world). There are some basic, time-tested precautions to take to ensure that your bento box meals will be tasty and safe when you tuck into them. continue reading...

Packing a nutritionally dense bento box for the active person

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This health-conscious guest post is by Debra of the fabulous hapa bento. We are entering the heavy duty feasting season now, so now is a good a time as ever to use nutritional bentos to keep yourself going!

The classic bento box with its proportioned rice, protein and vegetable combination is a balance of taste, harmony of flavors, and prepared to keep spoilage to a minimum. Another dimension of this classic lunch is nutrition. The rice provides carbohydrates, and carbs are arguably the most important source of energy. The protein keeps your muscles in repair, vegetables offer crucial vitamins that nourish your organs, and lastly but just as vital, some fats. More about the value of fats a little later. A bento box lunch is designed to offer sustenance.

But what if you need more? What if you are an active person and need to turn it up a notch? Well, a nutritionally dense bento box may be your answer. continue reading...

Teaching my sister to make bentos to help deal with her hypoglycemia

This is a guest post by Nicole of Discojing. She tells us how she taught her sister to make bento lunches for herself to help to cope with hypoglycemia. What a great sister!

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Diseases that involve blood sugar often creep up on you. It wasn’t until my mother was older and my younger sister and I were well into our teens that we were exposed to hypoglycemia and Type II Diabetes. Type II Diabetes is a growing epidemic in the world, and most people don’t know that it’s actually preventable. My mother’s poor diet habits led her hypoglycemia to develop into Type II Diabetes. My sister and I both have hypoglycemia and are in trying to keep Diabetes at bay. Unfortunately, in a culture that advertises unhealthy and fast food at the same time as a thin=attractive mentality, it is hard to win this war.

By eating a well-balanced diet and eating when your body tells you to (whether this is three, four, or five times a day), great strides can be taken to eliminate the risk of developing Diabetes. I am currently in the process of helping my sister understand not only her disease and its risks, but also valuable life skills such as cooking and budgeting. My sister is just starting college and she needs to be able to budget the adequate time and money needed to planning her meals, as well as understanding what types of food she should and shouldn’t eat. I think bento does a great job of meeting all these requirements because it’s fun, transportable, environmentally friendly, economical, and is a medium for learning. continue reading...

How bentos help Tracy happily lose weight

This is a guest post by Tracy, aka Crazed Veggie, who blogs about bentos, amigurumi and personal rants and raves at CrazedVeggie.com. She’s lost 50 pounds (22.7 kg) so far since June of last year, and uses bentos as part of her successful weight loss program!

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The story goes a little something like this. I’ve been overweight all my life. Struggling with the weight had been an everyday thing and I’ve never known anything different. Two years ago I decided to become vegetarian. I did this due to ethical reasons (I just couldn’t go on knowing that an animal had to die for me to shove food in my mouth!). Once I became dedicated and seen how easy it was for me to make such a massive change in my food habits, I decided that I was going to watch everything that I ate and not destroy my body any longer. I joined a calorie counting website and went on a mission to lose weight. That was June of 2008, and so far I’ve lost 50 pounds!

I began incorporating bento box making into my weight loss program in January. As soon as I began researching the history behind them and the many websites and blogs dedicated to them, I knew this was something that I just had to be a part of. continue reading...

Get Started Bento Challenge: Week 5

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Welcome to the 5th and final week of the Getting Started Bento Challenge!

Where did the time go? For me, the Challenge weeks have just flown by!

Since this is the last week, the focus is on: Putting it all together, and moving forward. continue reading...

Bento Challenge Week 3: My Report

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My Challenge Week 3 in a nutshell: Did pretty well, but exercise remains an issue. Spring couldn't come fast enough for me! continue reading...

Bento Challenge Week 2: My report

My Week 2 in a nutshell: I was fairly happy with my bentos. I’m progressing at bit on my fitness goals - at least I did some exercise! And on the one day when I didn’t have bento, I really felt it. continue reading...

Get Started Bento Challenge: Week 2

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Welcome to Week 2 of the 5 week Getting Started Bento Challenge! This week’s focus is Healthier Bentos. continue reading...