Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 33 weeks ago.

On behalf of Maki, who is tearing her hair out, I'd like to declare the Week 2 Wrapup Report section open for business.

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

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bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

And I'll kick things off too.

I had two goals for week 2: Eat breakfast, and have a little more variety in my lunches. I succeeded on both counts, I'm happy to say, although I was running very late on Wednesday morning and my breakfast was a single Weetbix. Weetbik. Whatever. I also weighed 700g less on Monday morning than I did the Monday before, so the weight loss is working too.

Here are my lunches:

Monday:
A 535 kcal Thai-style glass noodle salad and miso soup, in the box:

and prepared for eating:

Tuesday:
473 kcal of Korean Barbecue Beef, leftover potato salad, coleslaw, and hard boiled egg:

Wednesday:
More coleslaw, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roast vege salad, Thai-style beef, and a thing that would be a quiche if it had pastry, which will henceforth be known as a mini frittata. A measly 366 kcal, which qualified me for a mid afternoon snack of a few sultanas and things.

Thursday:
Another mini frittata, some frozen shrimps (hardly any calories! I hadn't realised), roast vege salad, coleslaw, bean sprouts, the last artichoke hearts, and the last cheese stuffed belle pepper from jars in the fridge. Even fewer calories, 321 kcal. Another mid afternoon snack.

Friday:
Fritters of what was supposed to be whitebait, but wasn't really, another mini frittata, some feta, bean sprouts, tomatoes, coleslaw, and a couple of marinated green-lipped mussels. It came to 427 kcal, and I didn't go for a walk, so no snack today.

arkonitebabe
Joined: 14 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I've loaded my pics this week to the flickr site.
My goal this week was to make bento, take it to work and actually eat it! I achieved that for 4 days this week. I made boring sarnies last night as I have to go grocery shopping this weekend and as a result the cupboards are light :-/

On the weight loss front, I need to go on the wii fit tonight. I haven't been on for almost 2 weeks. I really really need a kick in the butt to get back on. I can't let it slide so quickly (only got it at Christmas!)

Goal for next week will be to try harder on the wii fit training and to maintain my bento lunches for 5 days at work this week.

____________________________________

www.arkonite.net
www.arkonitebento.net

annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

(I love your Tuesday and Friday bento boxes! I've seen Friday's on J-List, but the Tuesday box is lovely and unique.)

annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

My pics will be on flickr later tonight (California time) or this weekend. They're still sleeping on my memory card.

This was a four-day work week for me, but I still made five bentos for myself because I needed more protein in my breakfast to balance my protein-weak lunch for today. I also made a box for a dear friend of mine who builds my computers for me, which I made and presented to him on Wednesday night when he dropped off my new box. YAY!

So goals met include not kicking myself over the food scale non-purchase (I can always go back). I failed to streamline the picture-taking-and-posting process, but I'm not too unhappy about it because I think the new computer will play a part in that.

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Yes, I got Friday's from J-List. Tuesday's box is one of four I got from Amazon Japan. It was quite a mission, involving Google translation tools, a Japanese postgrad student from work, and his mother. Amazon Japan doesn't, or at least didn't at the time, deliver bento boxes outside Japan. I needed to order them and get them delivered to Yoshio's Mum, who then forwarded them the next time she was sending gifts for her grandkids. The pattern on the lid is actually fabric laminated into the plastic. It's made by Hakoya, and one of their larger ones at ~530 ml. They make a lot of lovely shaped boxes with gorgeous fabrics, but most of them are very small. Too small for my lunch, anyway.

bento_belle
Bento-ing from: › Virginia › USA
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 39 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Hi everybody,
I did four this week and it was with Maki's goals in mind ie
1. to proportion the carbs/proteins/veg better
2. keep track of calories (in my case points)
3. to make one extra bento
I did 4 bentos and they are on my flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33913560@N08/
(under set named Week 2 Challenge)
1. Hard to see
2. First attempt at sushi
3. Boyfriend's nigiri lunch
4. Week 2 challenge bento

*
Hard to see: I was trying not to "1 Point" myself to death by putting in too many Weight Watchers (WW) low point foods that aren't filling. I think I've always done well at putting in protein, but the amount of food made my greedy for more, I think.
First attempt at sushi: I ended up eating for dinner/snack because we went out to lunch. It was good and the eggs are very filling. Mrs. Dash doesn't have any taste at all to me.
Boyfriends: He loved it and it was his favorite so far.
Week 2 challenge: I didn't eat it yet because I got the flu. I still have the flu, so I can't stay on the computer long!
*
Thanks, Maki, I hope things get better.
Zu

____________________________________

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33913560@N08/
bento photostream

Eyebrows McGee
Joined: 11 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I made one more bento than last week, for a total of one. :) But I have no picture! I made it for my husband and he ate it before I got a picture.

I focused on dividing his bento calories more evenly among food groups, which worked well, and on using leftovers smartly, which went really well. :)

I did not keep up with my exercise goals; we've both come down with a bit of a bug.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I made all 7 bentos this week. And surprisingly they are all fairly unique, beside the two sandwiches to eat on the way to school. I will have them all up later on tonight here (in California): http://www.flickr.com/photos/19574502@N00/sets/72157612871315697/

I did not exercise quite as much as I had wanted. Working out at home was a no go this week, I really under estimated just how tired I would be with class and all [and to think we have not even had a lab yet :/]. But I did manage to walk to public transit 3 days this week, and I had a good walk over to the Court today. My plan is to go swimming one day this weekend to make up for this week, before I will not be able to go again for a couple of weeks [getting my eyebrows touched up on Sunday ^_^]

kanaloanui
Bento-ing from: › Virginia › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I made four dinner bentos for the week, and due to exhaustion, poor planning, and absolutely *no* groceries, I broke down and took a frozen meal for the fifth and final dinner (it was low-cal, though, so I don't feel too bad...). Also, I used up some higher-calorie saffron risotto and made some plain brown rice to take with me--lower-cal and less likely to spike my blood sugar. Lunches during the week were simple green salads bought from the cafeteria at work. I broke down on the weekend and joined the group takeout order with my coworkers. C'est la vie...

Excercise... I hit the gym every day at work (we have a gym in the building!) for about an hour. Makes up for the days off work when I lay around like a slug.

All in all, doing well with the eating better/losing weight goals, *except* for the Hershey's hugs I have squirreled away in my desk at work. At this rate, however, I will have eaten through them fairly quickly and do not plan on restocking!

jamie
Bento-ing from: Washington › Washington D.C. › USA
Joined: 16 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

The Thai-style glass noodle salad from your Monday lunch looks delicious! What specifically did you put in it?

____________________________________

~jamie
http://culinarylinguist.blogspot.com

jamie
Bento-ing from: Washington › Washington D.C. › USA
Joined: 16 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 24 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I made five lunch bento this week, in spite of a short work week and inauguration craziness here in D.C. Two out of the five bentos were for inauguration events (including the inauguration itself!) You can find details on this week's bentos and whether/how I met my goals here on my blog: http://culinarylinguist.blogspot.com/2009/01/bento-challenge-week-2-reca...

I also posted pictures of four out of five of the bentos to the Flickr pool (my username is MeiMa7106).

My favorite bento this week was the inauguration day bento (consumed on the Mall!) of Spam musubi and broccoli. The spam musubi held up really well in the cold!

My husband really liked the Indonesian-esque fried noodles (I was calling them "mee goreng") that I made and that he helped out with on Tuesday night. I didn't have any rice noodles or Chinese wheat noodles so I subbed thin spaghetti. They made their way into Wednesday and Thursday's bento lunches and were a hit. I thought they tasted great at room temperature; he chose to heat his up.

One thing I was not satisfied with was the protein in this week's bentos - lots of Spam (leftover from the spam musubi) and eggs in various forms (tea eggs; fried with noodles). I'd like to try for more lean proteins and more variety next week. I bought a lot of tofu yesterday and I'm sure that will find its way into at least one bento next week. For some reason I haven't been keeping tofu on hand in the fridge recently and I miss it!

Great work so far, everyone! I continue to be impressed and inspired with the photos in the Flickr pool. I'm surprised at the self-deprecation displayed in some of the descriptions, though - give yourselves a little more credit for even trying! ^_^ I admit that my photos are not professional-quality, and the contents of my bento are not always the most interesting or well-made, but I've found the most enjoyment in the process of thinking about them, creating them, and eating them, and trying something new.

jamie
Bento-ing from: Washington › Washington D.C. › USA
Joined: 16 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 24 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Yecch, flu! It's probably something like what I just came down with today. Hope you feel better soon!

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Glass (bean thread) noodles, that went into the sealed bit of box cooked (as far as you do cook them) and with a dressing of lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, and a little brown sugar. If I wasn't trying to lose weight I'd have put some oil in the dressing too. In the other bit of box was some chicken I had poached in fish sauce and lime juice, slices of capsicum, toasted cashews, and not-very-sprouted bean sprouts. Then I bought a pot of coriander plants at the supermarket and added some of that when I mixed everything together. Not really properly bento, seeing as it went into another larger bowl for eating - but I COULD have eaten it from the box had I needed to.

Sassia
Bento-ing from: Colchester › UK
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Well, this week was nowhere near as successful as the first week. I managed to make 2 bento lunches, but only took pic of 1 as the other was a clear lock and lock box of veg sticks as I had an unexpected work day out of the office and didn't have enough time left in the morning to make anything (I realised i didn't have my normal leisurely breakfast just a bit too late!)

I'm wondering if this coming week will be the same as I am now extremely stressed...We may, I emphasise MAY be moving. We've seen the house, we like it, we just have to impress the landlord who is coming to see us today. Oh and tell the letting agency today that we don't want to renew. This means that we are technically homeless if the credit check that the new landlord does comes back not ok. I'm sure it will be ok, but it's another thing to stress about!

Anyway, enough of a hijack. More pretty food!

maki
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Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I really loved Jamie's Inaugural Spam Musubi! Here it is if anyone missed it:

Obama Inaugural Bento 01.20.09

(click on the image for a bigger view)

Not that spam musubi are overly healthy :P but I thought it was really fitting for the occasion, since apparently President Obama loves them, not surprising since he did grow up in Hawai'i after all. I'm sure he would have loved a bite!

____________________________________

The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

maki
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I've posted my Week 2 report here...even Friday's big plate-o-sausages!

Overall it was a good week though. And I lost about a kilo (2 lbs) too! Whee!

Céline
Bento-ing from: Avignon or Lyon, depends › France
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

This week went much better than last week... At least I think so ^^
It's mainly thanks to the planning and mise en place : This time even if I couldn't put out my pans and pots I put them apart from the rest, and I placed all my ingredients in the front of the fridge so I could easily grab them. More over I followed my bento planer to the letter ^^.
Apart from that, I tried to tackle the go deeper lever, except I only did two bento to suit my needs. I think I did reasonably well :

First bento on thursday

Get started bento challenge week 2, 1st bento

(clickie to see notes and descriptions)

Usualy I prefer not to eat salads bentos in the winter, but I got hold of some fresh roquette and baby spinach leaves, so... ^^
However there is much more cucumber, carrot and cheese in it than actual salad leaves !
I also tried to make a cute bento, for once, since part of the challenge was to make bento more attractive this week... But I'm not terribly good at that, and it took me 45mn (cooking the rice on the stove included) to put this bento and my dinner together , few!

Second Bento on friday :

Get started bento challenge week 2, 2nd Bento

(clickie to see notes and descriptions)

Much faster to assemble. I also liked the combination of gochujang tamagowaki, sesame sauteed beans sprouts and kimchi.

Altogether it wasn't a bad week, bento-wise !

Notes for next week, about 3 bentos needed :

* Maybe think of healthier alternatives than plain white rice...
* And try to pack more calory-dense food...
* Again, try to add more vegetable proteins in my bentos. (I really need recipes... and a pressure cooker T-T)

Hope it went as well for you folks ! ^^

jokergirl
Bento-ing from: Stockholm › Sweden
Joined: 14 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

All righty, here's my wrapup!
My main challenge this year is to make a lot more bentos than last year. I'm feeling much better when eating bento than when eating out, so it's not just an economic decision for me.

So without much further ado...

My week wasn't as successful as last week (mostly due to working late and being tired) but on Sunday I was on a roll and made 4(!) different bento boxes! I usually only count one box if I make two similar boxes for the BF and me, but thanks to them all being different I managed to push my bento count over 200 without even trying!
This also means that now I'll have to wait with the celebrations until 250, but oh well. :)

bento20090119_3
bento20090119_4
bento20090119_2_2
bento20090119_1_2

I also want to mention that I'm not quite happy with the lighting in those photos. It's still deep, dark winter here in Sweden and I'm taking all of my pictures in lamplight.

Tuesday I was tired but needed a bento for the next day, so I decided to re-use half a layer that wasn't eaten on Monday:

bento20090121

Wednesday and Thursday I was a bad girl and ate out. Burgers and Canneloni, oh my! But so good. And as I'm not doing this for weight loss anyway, who cares?

bento20090123

And Friday.

;)

____________________________________

My Bento blog, WereRabbits

shy_hinata
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I've posted my two bentos to the flickr site (under the name 'hweishien').

I'm still finding it hard to get bentos done on a regular basis. I think it's going to get even harder because the hubby and I are now trying to sell our place, so the kitchen has to be spotless before I leave for work. The past while, I've just been leaving all my stuff out to clean when I get home, and that won't be possible after Tuesday.

maki
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I hear you about having to keep the kitchen clean! What I was doing while we had our house on the market was to put all the dirty pots and whatever that I couldn't wash up in the refrigerator! (We don't have a dishwasher...I know, so primitive.) People don't look in there, and it doesn't start to smell or anything. It worked for us...since the house is now sold! (though apparently the people who bought it are going to tear out the kitchen, so...ah...) :)

Alice
Bento-ing from: Leicester › UK
Joined: 9 Jun 2008
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I only managet to get one bento done this week and that was on the day I lost my camera (cucumber rolls, carrot sticks, and peppers if anyone's interested.) It didn't really fit the specifications either as their wasn't as much protein. I only have one exam remaining though so I hope I will be able to catch up next week.

Veriest
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 35 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Wow! Your bento are beautiful - I love the colours and the gochujang tamagoyaki idea. :)

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I posted my report on the blog maki made for me!!! Thank you maki!!!!!!!!!!! I even included the pictures. So have a look

____________________________________

Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!
Adopt one today!

Veriest
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I hear you about keeping the kitchen clean, though for a different reason: both my parents are somewhat anal about cleanliness - the first thing my father did when getting home every day was to sweep the floor. I get to use the kitchen in return for keeping it just as clean as it was before, and as I'm currently living with my mother, I have to factor in cleaning time into bento prep. It's difficult, but I've found that doing most things the night before and only doing simple chopping or only using one pan in the morning helps a lot.

Shellygirl
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I've got a wrap-up on my blog.

I got a bit of the stomach flu going about. It's made me less than interested in thinking about food. I guess I need to get some plans in place for the coming week, but, well, ...bleh.

____________________________________

Shellygirl's blog

Tikitraveler Candice
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Lost camera and sick kids have made reporting a challenge. We have had some delicious lunches though. Hopefully week three will be the turnaround week for me.
I have been really good for a couple of years at packing leftovers from dinner to take as lunches later in the week. This "challenge" is helping me get some more variety into each lunch and helping me get a freezer stash to pull from so DH and I don't have to take the occasional frozen lunch or eat elementary school food.

bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Where can we find it clarissa?

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

You might find cleaning up after yourself a pain right now, but you'll find it's a very good habit to get into. After all, if everyone left the kitchen just not quite as clean as it was when they started it would soon be a total mess.

You can probably tell that I am a mother and have experienced offspring in the kitchen!

witchbaby825
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I did pretty well this week - Even though we had snow (this is decidely odd for my city). The acutal sum up is over here. I even managed to put a face in my lunch this week. Doing really well on making healthy choices & using left overs.

____________________________________

I'm on a get healthy kick - since I quit smoking - next stop weight loss - let the journey begin.

nicolegeri
Bento-ing from: Vancouver › British Columbia › Canada
Joined: 25 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 39 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I only made ONE bento this week. It's kinda sad. OH well, I was here and there for work with my co-worker this week, so I didn't even bother to pack lunch, coz very likely we'd go out for lunch together. It's one big challenge that when you go out for work with someone (i.e., not in the office), if the other person didn't bring lunch, very likely that you'll go out to eat together... since you don't wanna eat alone. Does anyone feel the same?

Anyways, my bento picture is on Flickr, and my username is nicolegeri1213

Veriest
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I agree absolutely - being able to maintain a clean kitchen is a really rewarding experience. It's nicer coming home to a cup of tea without having to put away dried dishes, and it makes living with other people easier as well.

That said, I'm the only one who uses the kitchen in my house (my mother only uses it to eat breakfast most of the time), so the expected level of cleanliness is "spotless" as that's the kitchen's natural state when used by other people, which is not at all. It has been difficult to adapt from my previous habits, which was to leave the dishes out to air-dry and clean the floors when I got back from school/work when I was not living here.

I've found that there are ways to make mornings easier - Maki's cooking timelines can also be adapted to include cleaning time, which makes clean-up a lot easier. You can get a lot of cleaning done when things are cooking, I've found. :) It's a different way of doing things, but the results are quite nice once you get used to it, so best of luck, shy_hinata!

Veriest
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I made some two to three "bento" to eat every day, and there was a fair amount of variety. It's been pretty good, except when I arrived ten minutes late for classes Thursday, so mostly I'm looking for a balance between speed and presentation/completeness now.

Eating Healthy
The week went fairly well - I managed to limit myself to only one sugary good a day, except for that one day with the super-sweet granola bar and the brownie. The bad was that I was experiencing a lot of energy dips, so I'll have to find other sources of fairly easily available energy while I try to get more rest and exercise. More carbs, perhaps, or smoothies?

Organization
I found that this week I learnt a lot about organization and being speedy.

On Wednesday I managed to steam squash and broccoli, stir-fry some leftover cherry tomatoes, pan-fry oyaki, boil fish balls, shower, peel out half a pomelo, eat breakfast, pack the three boxes worth of food, and leave the kitchen spotless in an hour. I only managed because I made a rough timeline of things that needed to be done the night before, which helped a lot as my mind tends to be a bit slow at multi-tasking in the mornings.

Thursday and Friday I was rushed for time and had only fifteen minutes each day from cooking to packing to cleaning, so I found that having a stash of leftovers/frozen food is definitely helpful, as well as only boiling or steaming things for easy clean up. Having a small snack packed the night before helps as well.

I managed to clean my house of most of the sweets we had lying around due to planing, which helped curb my urges to impulsively buy sweet loaves/muffins/etc. that I usually have during the middle of the day. And slowly but surely, my age-old stash of snack foods is being cleansed out. I've got about a litre of candy/chocolates left, which will have to disappear slowly. (Except the chocolate, of course. Because chocolate expires. ;) )

I did okay on the exercise front - twenty minutes of strength training on Monday, about an hour's worth of brisk walking on Thursday while I looked for my lost keys which turned out to have been not lost at all, twenty-odd flights of stairs on Friday, and many kilometres of walking today plus a bit of strength-training.

Overall I'm mostly pleased with how the week went - a few slip ups here and there, but it's been...good. Plus, I've got batteries in my WiiFit now, so my "strength training" can be more than just push-ups and sit ups! :D

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I'm not shure. Maki said she will put it in, when the first post is written. I have written it yesterday, but I can't find it myself........ maybe she has not found time to do it until now?

Edit: wehn you click on my username you will get to my site, where you can come to my blog. And read it

auxetoiles
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Oh gosh, I'm so exhausted from this week's round of bento-making! Thank goodness it's a long weekend here : D

Report is over here.

mosaica
Bento-ing from: › Vermont › USA
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

This week had some great stuff (yay Tuesday!) and some stupid stuff (back failure). I was just looking at the goals I had set for week 2:

• Continue making a bento at least 5 days a week for me and any guests
• Integrate data I get from nutritionist-lady into my calorie/carb/fat goals
• Clean off my damn rowing machine & start using it
• Continue organizing my pantry & fridge & freezer

The bento making went fine & was enjoyable both to construct and eat. I'm still seeing my daily numbers fluctuate quite a bit (cal/carb/fat). I have had two conversations with the nutritionists office, but not with the actual nutritionist.. so I'm eager for my appointment with her.

The growing johbisai in my freezer & pantry has been of huge benefit. I'm particularly glad for the mini meatballs, the soboro, the tea eggs, the delicious CTD peppers, and the store of quickly steamable/boilable veggies. I tried a new brand of rice for this week, and the few onigiri I froze turned out slightly better than last week, but I still am loving them made from freshly cooked rice best. Perhaps a rice cooker is in my future, but I've been making rice in a pot for 30 years now, and it works pretty well. Tamagoyaki make me SUPER happy, even in my non-standard frying pan.

As I've mentioned, I'm keeping a food diary, and my intention is for it to be extremely detailed. That's working okay, 'cause I'm prone to obsessive geekiness, and tools like nutritiondata.com are certainly helpful. However, I am not happy with how long it takes me with the current method. Essentially, I send myself an email each day and use nutritiondata.com to get the cal/carb/fat numbers. I know there are tools such as CalorieKing that might make keeping a food log easier, but I can't really afford it, so I'm still searching for a better way to log my food. There's an iTouch app called LiveStrong which I plan to try this week, and I'll keep looking for a good free food diary application, preferably one I can use on the iTouch.

I did not get my rowing machine cleaned off. Partly it was procrastination: I kept telling myself that I would do it on Thursday or Friday so that I would have technically met my goal, but then my back crashed. I guess that's the classic downside of procrastination! Still, here it is Sunday, and my back feels much better, so I'm encouraged to think that this episode was just a brief blip. I'll try again this coming week to get the rowing going.

I did make some progress with regard to organization. My organizational goals stretch far beyond this bento challenge, so at this point I'm glad to just be keeping up, i.e., doing a little bit every day to improve & streamline my life's workflow. During week 2 I got my freezer neatened up, and it already makes life so much easier to be able to easily FIND those mini-meatballs & sugar snap peas! In week 3 I hope to tackle the pantry.

Besides all the lovely recipes & bento related expertise that Maki is sharing, I've been impacted in some really significant ways. This challenge continues to encourage me to be more mindful about what (and how much) I'm eating, and that really matters to me. Also, though the rowing didn't actually start, this bento challenge is motivating me in that regard as well. And I still really derive a great deal of pleasure looking at all our Flickr pool pictures, and sharing my own.

Oh, and I also credit the bento challenge with giving me the incentive to finally retool my old blog into a much more useful component of my online life. I made it much more general in focus, and that's so much better for me!

Upward & onward!

____________________________________

http://mosaica.wordpress.com

jamie
Bento-ing from: Washington › Washington D.C. › USA
Joined: 16 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 24 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Hi Maki,

Thanks for the acknowledgment of my bento! It was definitely my favorite bento that I've made so far for the challenge, and was a lot of fun to make and eat. (well, a little stressful making, since the brown rice was not always the most cooperative in sticking together, and I was in a rush to get down to the Mall, but a lot of fun eating! ;) ) Also, thanks for including the link to that article, and the picture! I hadn't read the article before I made the bento; I was just guessing that he would like spam musubi, given that he grew up in Hawai'i...
I really couldn't think of a more fitting tribute, which is why I ultimately decided to disregard the "healthy" challenge for last week...my goals for this week are going to include "healthier," in the wake of spam consumption!

Maybe I could post this in a different topic thread in the forum, but I was wondering: How do you add pictures to a post?

Eleven Clovers
Bento-ing from: Warsaw › Poland
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Congrats to everyone on Week 2! ^_^
Celine and jokergirl, your bentos look beautiful! Bet they're super nummy too :)

My report is up on my spiffy new blog

____________________________________

"A common way to tell if it is well cooked is to throw the sausage onto a hard surface; if it bounces, the sausage is good."

My bento photos w/ detail and my blog.

bento_belle
Bento-ing from: › Virginia › USA
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 39 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I read someplace that Virginia got hit with the flu first and that is where I live; I see you are not too far away, so I hope it's not on its way. My friend had it hard core for 1 day and I had it hard for 2 so it seems rather "quick" to pass.

MizLit
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 39 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Two out of four bentos for a short school week. (Copy and pasting one of Flickr's "share it" option. Not sure how this might look when I'm finished, so bear with me, please).

1.23.09

1.22.09

A comment on a ReNest blog mentioned that by the conscientious choice to "save some dinner for lunch tomorrow" many of us are eating less at dinner or making other "more" food choices. I think this is true of me for sure. I made sure to reserve some chicken from dinner for my bento, but was still feeling hungry so I ate more broccoli instead.

I didn't really plan this coming weekend ahead of time like I had hoped, so this week's bentos will fall short of anything well-thought out, I'm afraid. I picked up a few things at Daiso today - smaller silicone cups, sauce bottles, and mayonnaise cups. I want to figure out a way to make portions ahead of time that I can microwave and still have a hot lunch (I am squeamish about using Made in China products for re-heating). I have thought about ceramic ramekins, but the sizes are not so bento friendly).

Week 3 Goals
Bento 3/5 days
Plan for bentos for Week 4
Keep looking for reheating options that I deem as 'safer'.

eilismaura
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 13 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Bento Challenge Week 2 Wrap Up -
How was the week? Hmm - did not get too many goals met. Here are the Week 2 goals and the follow up notes:

* sort bento boxes according to volume they can hold - other chores got in the way of this.
* identify bento boxes that suit caloric intake per meal - other chores got in the way of this.
* pre-plan the bentos and other meals for 7 days - still just roughly planned according to what is in the house and on shopping list but not committed to paper.
* refine mise en place according to meal plans - done for husband and son but because I am not fully planning I don't have it worked out for myself.
* make at least 4 bentos and photograph them - this was achieved in that 4 were made but only two were photgraphed as the camera died.
* post here and write a report on my adventures! - DONE!

Eilish

____________________________________

~ Begin by knowing you have already arrived ~
my blog - http://honeysheistwisted.blogspot.com/

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 19 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

My parents are also very into cleanliness. My mother is very adamant that one should clean as they go, she cannot stand to see dishes pile up at any time. My husband thinks that this is a weird habit, but it really cuts down on the mess when I do massive amounts of cooking.

shy_hinata
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 38 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Oh! That's a great suggestion! I think I'm going to do that! Thanks!!! I'll let you know how it goes (and if our place gets sold :D )

shy_hinata
Joined: 13 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 38 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Yeah, I do try my best, but there are times when my mornings just wind up to be so unpredictable. Sometimes I wish I could turn my pager off when I'm at home :D My hubby is quite understanding of the fact that I have to sometimes just drop things and run off to the hospital, but I have a feeling that people coming to see our place won't be so understanding. Oh well. We'll see how things go.

Zoé
Bento-ing from: Warsaw › Poland
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Wrapup Report:
*Sticking to weekly meal planner if really hard
*Went swimming on Thursday evening, fitness and bike riding on Sunday and bowling (does that count?)
*Bento: did 5 (more exactly 4*2 +2*1) two fancy ones and just plain ones.
*Evenning meals:managed to stick to plan because one morning I wake up earlier and had a cooking frenzy to manage to stick to plan...why on earth did we want to g swimming...damn, then, you have no time for cooking that evening!

Failed in blogging the bentos. Even with one week of difference, I just cannot. I have the photos of four of them, but I guess one has to wait next month before having them on my blog. Just too much for me.

____________________________________

http://vegetarianzoe.wordpress.com/

marzia
Bento-ing from: Venice › Italy
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 32 weeks 15 hours ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I don't know how to upload pictures here, but my bentos are on flickr :-) (maruchan2008). Here's the report of week 2!

It was much more fun than week 1, maybe because things in preparing the bento are getting a little smoother and I was able to pre-plan some staples to use the first half of the week. My goals and achievements, step by step:

:: making healthier bentos using season and locally grown vegetables, with a good balance of proteins, carbs and vegetables/fruits.
>Two out of five bentos I prepared were not that well-balanced, but I used a smaller container to pack my lunch so I managed to eat less (from 900ml containet to 700/670 ml, and I hope to use an even smaller one, a 460 ml Totoro bento I ordered today :-). Bento n.5, the one with pasta, had too much carbs in it, but considering that before the challenge, I used to fill ALL the container with pasta and nothing else, well, I consider it an improvement anyway! As for the season and local vegetables, I did well!

:: making one bento more than you did the previous week, that is 4+1 for me
>Did it!

:: loss of weight
>I replaced the loss of weight part with my personal goal of using a smaller lunchbox, which I did every day with no suffering.

::I usually fill the bento box in the evening, while preparing dinner or after dinner. My other goal was to prepare at least two bentos in the early morning before going out to work.
>I managed to prepare only one in the morning so I guess I need to work on the planning and mise-en-place and, not less important, I need to get the kitchen and the refrigerator more 'bento-oriented'!!

It was real fun, though!!! I used things I had at home and some fresh vegetables like the red chicory my aunt gave me and I did not have to shop a lot for food. I had to throw away three carots and some pumpkin and I'm not at all satisfied with it althought I wasted less than usual, but I really want to get better and better on this point because I hate wastes of any kind!

____________________________________

http://marziablogga.blogspot.com/

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 2 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

In the "How too" section there is a post about posting pictures. Maybe this will help

Basil80
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 32 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I did pretty well last week, and have a wrap-up on my blog.

____________________________________

My bento blog: http://basil80bento.livejournal.com/

imochan
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 37 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Week 2 Report:

I managed to plan and make a bento for all five days last week. Photos will be posted to the flickr group as soon as I get back home to my camera. They were all fairly balanced, I believe, but I do not have a good calorie estimate for all of them. I pulled up my old FitDay account and started to check on the calorie content of the bento, but did not find the time to finish that.

Exercise was more successful than Week 1. The goal was 3x per week and I exercised 2x.

On to Week 3!

moonshae
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 28 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

I didn't so well with my goal of 8 lunch bentos and 3 dinner bentos. During the week it was fine but when the convention was on over the weekend I just ended up snacking on nothing good for me instead of eating the two bentos I did make.
On the whole, I think I did pretty well though. I've been increasing my daily intake of fruit and veg thanks to bento-ing, even if it was only grapes and carrot sticks on busy days. Any improvement is a set forward!
People told me all weekend that I've lost weight though I have no scales to test this. If I have it's thanks to bento. Thankyou bento!

LadyMurasaki
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 2 Wrapup Reports

Late to the party, but here's my report:

In terms of nutrition, I worked on limiting the amount of carbs I used and adding enough protein and vegetables. I did one more bento than last week for a total of three bentos. Monday's lunch which contained corn, red cabbage, vegetarian meatballs, and egg noodles contained 391 calories. Wednesday's bento, which consisted of a tempeh stir fry, rice, and fruit cocktail, had 323 calories. Finally, Friday's bento had gnocchi with marinara, mixed veggies, and a veggie hot dog for a total of 325 calories. This week I primarily relied on measuring cups to ensure portion control.

I've still been planning for the entire week's worth of bentos at the beginning of the week and doing the actual preparation the night before. I find that this system works well for me. I'm starting to get my bento confidence back!

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