Challenge Week 5 Talk

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 1 day 22 hours ago.

Hard to believe, but it’s the final week of the Get Started Challenge. Week 5 details are here. Week 5 officially starts on Monday, February 9th. and ends on Sunday, Feb. 16th.

Don’t forget to wrap up week 4 first!

Besides your individual goals and thoughts, a couple of questions for you all:

  • What are the one or two best reasons for you to make bentos a part of your life?
  • What aspects of bento making are giving you problems? What do you enjoy?
____________________________________

The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

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eilismaura
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 12 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Week 5 goals:

* sort bento ACCESSORIES and plan to use more of them
* look into new things to try like furikake from samples on hand
* pre-plan the bentos and other meals for 7 days ON PAPER OR AT LEAST ON THE PC
* refine mise en place according to meal plans
* make at least 4 bentos and photograph them
* post here and write a report on my adventures!

Eilish

____________________________________

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

simidhel
Bento-ing from: York › UK
Joined: 12 Feb 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 33 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Well I have joined the Bento community too late to participate in the first 4 weeks of this challenge so I will just start here instead. :)

At this stage I have mostly started off making Bento for my partner as a neat way to build upon the gifts (the Bento boxes and accessories themselves) that I already gave her and it is just a nice way to creatively express my love for her via a medium that we both in turn love so much (food!)

I am also quickly learning to love exploring the new foods and tastes and fitting it all together as a joy in itself though. I find that in some ways it is quite like my software work in that it is all somewhat modularised and then fits together in a nicely (hopefully) presented package :)

Goals:
-> Improve my mise en place (I have always been a big fan of this approach anyway, but I find that Bento is making me redefine the way I need to approach this, specific to the task)
-> Build up my food knowledge and subsequent vocabulary
-> Build up my johbisai accordingly
-> Gradually increase my learning of new recipes to add to my repertoire
-> Gradually increase my use of variations of those recipes I have already learnt.
-> Become more familiar with exactly how much of any one food I need, to combine with the others and fill the boxes whilst maintaining a nice balance overall.

In terms of weight loss, I haven't been directly using Bento for this so far but I can see how the measured portions could be a very useful tool for this and plan on looking into this further. I have been on a general weight loss journey in any case and have lost 46kg this past year or so and am doing okay with it so far, but I can see that Bento could very much become part of that in the future as well :)

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 32 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Welcome to the Just Bento forum.

Why not do the whole 5 week challenge anyway? You don't need to be in sync with the rest of us, and the forum will be staying open after it finishes. I can imagine that there may well be a few people who would like to do that.

____________________________________

Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

Veriest
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Reasons I like making bentos:
-I know that I'll have a fairly tasty lunch that I can enjoy without fear of indigestion issues, which has helped me eat a few times when my appetite's been low, or has helped curb my urge to buy something greasy that would inevitably end with my befriending of the nearest toilet bowl.
-It's a nice way to carve a bit of time to take care of myself and take care of myself, which I don't do nearly enough.
-And while I don't have much of a choice about bringing my own food to school, it does make me feel a bit less deprived to have something nice of my own, which is also tasty.

Things I've learnt:
-Having a johbisai is a really good idea.
-Varying my two meals at school is somewhat difficult, but planning out helps, as does having most of my bento stash in my pantry/fridge in an immediately visible range. Also, having a johbisai really helps.
-While school food in general is unkind to my stomach, I can still get away with a carefully picked out sandwich, or some sweet loaves, or a bagel or something. And soup seems especially safe, which is nice as a protein alternative.
-Don't try to make two mains in the morning.

I could still work on being more organized, as I definitely could have a lot more things built up for my "stash" and just knowing what I'm going to do, I guess. However, I'm far more organized now than I was pre-challenge.

In terms of weight loss, I've lost about 3kg since the beginning of the challenge, and my weight's settled here. I'm not sure if it's the IBS diet (no oil helps), or the strain of school, or if it was the portion control from the bento, but it's been nice to lose those 3kg for vanity reasons.

So week 5 goals:

-Keep up with the organization!
Which means:
-->Keep using up leftovers
-->Keep on planning out bentos, even if it's just jotting down a few things on note paper the night before
-->Keep trying to do mise en place
And finally, keep on having fun. :)

marzia
Bento-ing from: Venice › Italy
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 31 weeks 2 days ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

When I read Maki's focus for this week "Putting it all together, and moving forward" I thought "Great, it is exaclty what I had in mind for my week 6 and 7 and 8, that is to say for the weeks and months that will follow the challenge!"

Pre-planning and having everyday a nice bento for lunch is not always that easy or natural, but in these past 4 weeks I learned a lot on how to get organized and I tried to see the 'fun side' of cooking and making the bentos, and while doing so I realized how much I can save (money and time) and became more conscious of general wastes in my life that I'm currently trying to 'fix'.
I know that once the challenge comes to an end, I will have to put extra efforts on bento-making (I'm really feeling part of a group now, even though I cannot post in the forum as much as I would like to, and hope to keep this feeling alive) but I'm really motivated to go on with bento-making and adjust it to my habits.
With this week and following weeks I will
:: continue making bento every day, with a 'one-dish obento' once a week (also for weeks to come) like pasta or rice with fish/meet & vegetables
:: try to eat better at breakfast (home made biscuits, dried fruits & green tea) and have healthier snacks
:: focus on the money saving aspect of bento, also by filling it with less meat/fish and more dried beans (cheap & healthy)
:: work on the pre-planning and continue to work on organization of staples and freezer/refrigerator
:: use a smaller bentobox at least three times a week
:: prepare 'dried beans bentos' for my father (who should pay attention to glycaemia and eat helthier) and his lady who is not very fond of cooking
:: try to be more involved in the forum!!!

____________________________________

http://marziablogga.blogspot.com/

marzia
Bento-ing from: Venice › Italy
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 31 weeks 2 days ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk - my reasons for making bentos

Dear Maki
my reasons for making bentos
:: to save money (I did not realize how much food I wasted until I got into the challenge, and thank you for this) and use all leftovers!
:: to eat healthier
:: to get to practice more Japanese style recipes
still have problems in
:: having the kitchen/cupboards/refrigerator well organized
:: arranging food in the bento and making it look nice
but enjoy
:: exercising on organization and pre-planning, and love to take notes on bento making and recipes in my notebook!!

wisdom goddess born
Bento-ing from: B-more › Maryland › USA
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 11 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

I've learned a lot from this challenge. Some things I am ok with and some things I need to work on.
* I need to stop being so elaborate, at least some of the time. I plan an extravagant meal using a recipe I find intriguing. I love to cook so that's good. But I find my bentos are a bit heavy and I find I'm still a little peckish after eating. SO I am trying to go for healthy volume in terms of items and additions, and cut back on the sweet or salty snacks I use to supplement.
*I haven't lost any weight, but I realize from calorie tracking it's not my food, as I have not been far off my estimated mark. It's the lack of movement. So I need to get my butt in gear! I also have to do something about my weekends as they are random and therefore unaccounted calorie wise. This could be what's holding me back.
*I like eating my largest meal at lunch. I avoid reflux when I eat lightly at dinner, but I need more dinner structure. I should plan my dinner too, as I already am starting to plan breakfast.
*I do enjoy my lunches, so I will keep it up, and it's priceless to see folks drooling over my home packed lunch. My effort for myself and my SUN has been a boost for us both.
*I need to make better use of what I have on hand and stop being tempted by blogs (recipes and food info) and the grocery stores! Saving money begins with being grateful for what you have.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

I have been packing lunches for years, I am just far too frugal to eat out all that much (looking at my immediate family I seem to be the only one), but I have had trouble with the blahs. I would do the typical thing where I would pack a salad or a sandwich, which got pretty boring with just vegetables, beans, and the occasional egg. Needless to say I was very happy to find bentos, which I have been packing since last summer. And I really like opening up a nice, healthy lunch every day kind of gives me something to look forward to.

This challenge has been very good for me, it has made me have more variety and it has given me the push that I needed to start losing weight again. I think I have lost about 10 lb. since the end of December (did not have a working scale, so I am not sure), now I am back to my low and hopefully I will be able to get to a new low eventually.

So this week I am going to take it a little further with the weight loss and actually start recording my calories again. My husband gave me his old ipod touch (he got an iphone), so I got an app that allows you to track calories and even calculates your RMR for you. Since it is easier than using a regular journal I think I will be able to stick to it.

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

No time!!! This week I'll be lucky to squish in bento whenever I can, and am mainly aiming to have a proper breakfast every morning.
Will come back to analyse my bento making at the end of the week.

____________________________________

"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.

nicole
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

I'm definitely working on my bento stash -- this really helps if I'm feeling uninspired! In the last 24 hours, I've stashed servings of brown rice, sushi rice, onigiri, black bean burgers, balsamic sesame chicken. I also have some pre-cooked legumes (lentils and black beans) that I can make into other things or just eat with the brown rice. I will probably make lentil snacks with some of the cooked lentils.

I'm trying to eat all my meals at home this week because I keep winding up getting glutened when I eat out. It's happened so much recently (with things that aren't supposed to contain wheat, but actually DID contain wheat APPARENTLY) that now I've got secondary lactose intolerance again. Sigh. Because I do produce lactase but can't take it up due to the gluten damage, Lactaid is of no help at all.

So, my goals are to feed my vegetarian guy meals with plenty of vegetables and protein (he seems to do well on a lot less protein than I need) and to pack mine with as much variety as I can -- preferably a little of everything. I've also been slipping off my diet (mostly been eating too many fried potatoes!), so I pack the bentos after breakfast when I'm not hungry. This keeps me from making food choices when I'm already hungry, which often means I'll wind up eating something I shouldn't.

____________________________________

My flickr photostream: http://flickr.com/photos/astrogirl

All my bentos appear on flickr, but not all on my blog, which is here: http://astrogirl.com

mosaica
Bento-ing from: › Vermont › USA
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 41 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Interesting questions!

My life doesn't have a lot of naturally occurring structure and yet I find that I'm happier and healthier when I have a bit of structure within and around which I can do my free-spirited thang. For a number of reasons, including my health, planning meals and eating them at a reasonable time works as a good structure for me. So making a habit of making a bento lunch each day works really well in this regard. Another thing I love about bento is that each bento has a wider variety of foods than I would normally eat for lunch, and this just makes me feel more satisfied with lunch, which in turn helps me not graze my way through the refrigerator, which for me almost always leads to eating too much.

I want to continue to improve my relationship with my pantry: using the staples I have before buying new staples, and not feeling the need to hoard things as if I was back in neanderthal times! It will be much easier to use what I have if I can actually *see* it. One thing I've noticed is that some weeks I'll buy too many groceries to actually use in a week, which means that I end up scrambling to preserve food via freezing/pickling, etc., or else having to throw away perishable food that I didn't get to in time.

This week my goals are to make bento each day & share them via the pool, continue working on using the johbisai I have and making more as I need it.

Finally, I hope to row 3 10-minute pieces each day for this week. Yes! I finally (just today) got my rowing machine uncovered, oiled, and ready to use! I got batteries for its little onboard computer, and I've dusted off my user account and training log over at the Concept2 rowing site. I'm so excited! I actually already rowed about 5 minutes, so yay!

____________________________________

http://mosaica.wordpress.com

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 1 week ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Exams are starting this week, and studying for it started last week, so I didn't come round to my report for last week by now and I'm not shure when I will find the time.
At the moment I like making bentos, because it is something to look forward to to eat, and making it gives me time not studying! Hope to finde more time soon!

____________________________________

Adopt one today!
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wisdom goddess born
Bento-ing from: B-more › Maryland › USA
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 11 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

I am finding a dilemna of sorts. I have endeavored to eat my largest amount of calories for lunch, so my bentos are pretty large and because of that I feel pretty stoked about eating. But its seems I'm still hungry after lunch, 10 minutes, and hour or 2 hours later. Today I tried to stave that off with a snack of hummus and crackers (a Tribe pre measured kit) and while I am doing well on the calories, I don't feel fulfilled and satiated. Any suggestion for making more volume without upping the calories much. I am allowed 700 calories for lunch, and i have a bento that measures .7 liters. (rest assured I eat smaller breakfast and dinner)I have variety, like today I had curried veggies and basmati and brown rice( 1 cup each), with a tsp of almonds, one minced apricot, and green onions, also a small roti, which was heated without oil, and a banana. Why am I still hungry? It does seem I'm eating below my calories for the day mostyl all days. But really what can I do to boost without being a total piggy?

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 32 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Less carbohydrate and more fibre, protein, and veges. And a bigger box if necessary to hold the veges.

Carbohydrates tend to be sort of addictive - and you know what they say about rice - you feel hungry again in half an hour? Protein and fibre (and fat for that matter, but we don't talk about that) are filling and satisfying for much longer. If I were you I'd dump the basmati rice and replace it with some sort of protein. If you are vegetarian (or even if not), with something beany, which adds fibre as well. Baked falafel, Maki's vegetarian dry curry, that sort of thing. Carbs and protein have the same number of calories by weight, so you can do a straight swap - by weight, not necessarily volume! You can also use bulghur wheat instead of rice, it has about three times the fibre of brown rice.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

I also have a max of 700 calories for my bentos with a 0.7 L container, but I usually stay in the 500-600 (if you want some examples you can look at my bentos, I am juanknowsspanish on Flickr). To keep myself full I usually pack:

::1 cup of brown rice (in some form) ~ 200 cal,
::~ 200 cal of protein, and
::I pack the rest with as many vegetables as I can (maybe with a bit of olive oil when I can spare the calories, whole grains and fat combined can make you fell full longer).

Another trick that I have learned, from past dieting, is that calorie tapering can be pretty effective. Having breakfast be the biggest meal and have 100-200 calories less per meal through out the day, some do this with carbs too but I don't see a big difference personally. And personally I have a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack, just to keep me going and avoid being ravenous.

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 1 week ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

I have a similar problem. 10 minutes after finishing I get hungry again. But normaly this hungry feeling goes away when I eat somthing sweet, like a little candy or something. I guess it does have to do with my stomach starting to work on the things I have just eaten and the energy needed for this, which is not immediately available. It works for me and is easy put to test

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 32 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Having lost nearly three kg (6 1/2 lb) in the first four weeks of the challenge, I certainly intend to continue making bentos for myself - and I do wish my granddaughters were a little closer so I could make cute ones for them! Actually I wish they were closer full stop. Never mind, I'm visiting in April; by which time I shall be a svelte 66 kg (or maybe less, the way things are going) thanks to bentos.

Is there any reason why we can't continue to report back here weekly? I'm happy to keep putting up the "Week x Wrapup Report" posts if others want me to. I find it a great motivation myself.

My main problem at the moment is freezer space - I've built up such a stash of meatballs, falafels, bits of chicken and beef etc, that I'm running out of room. My main aim for week 5 is going to be NOT to cook any more protein things, but use up a good bit of what is in the freezer. I am going to concentrate on interesting vegetable accompaniments if I feel like cooking - maybe make Maki's cooked to death peppers again, without leaving the kitchen this time. The dry curry with cauliflower and broccoli instead of beans was great too - I'll be making that again. And of course the runner beans are beaning so I'll have them as often as possible.

As far as Maki's idea of extending the bento concept to dinner - I already do that, but in reverse. I make large stews and curries and things and freeze them in 250 ml plastic containers. Soup goes into 400ml containers. Whenever I cook rice or bulghur I do the same thing - one cup of raw grain becomes one serving to eat immediately plus three freezer portions. One meat portion plus one grain portion plus whatever veges or salad I like make dinner. That's as long as there is no cheese sauce involved in the veges; it ups the calorie count considerably. Of course I don't eat this every night - I do eat steak and fish and suchlike, but it means I have a ready supply of dinners that can be ready in 15 minutes, and of which I have some idea about the calorific value.

moonshae
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 27 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

* What are the one or two best reasons for you to make bentos a part of your life?
I have looked at bentos for a long time but always decided that since I take leftovers or whatever for lunch 9 times out of 10 getting a specific box was just a waste of money, especially as I'd probably get over the whole bento lunch thing in a couple of months anyway, making it a bigger waste of money AND a waste of space. Well, the day I told myself I am allowed to splurge on myself and spent $20 on a new lock'n'lock lunch set has changed my life for the better. Which seems weird but is true. Bento lunch means I have to think about food and how it looks and do I have my ratio of foods somewhat correct rather than just having something to eat. It's reinvigorated my love of food AND made me eat vegetables more regularly (yes, I'm nearly 30 and I don't often eat vegetables, mostly by accident).
Since starting this challenge I have been throwing away less food at the end of each week (those limp carrots, that sad looking capsicum) and trying to be more creative than just having what we had for dinner. Because of this and actually looking _properly_ in the fridge and pantry each day to make lunches I'm saving money by using what I have instead of buying new all the time.

* What aspects of bento making are giving you problems? What do you enjoy?
I don't feel very creative with my bentos. I feel like I'm eating the same couple of foods over and over, but only when I'm taking photos and comparing them. I seem to only eat carrot sticks and broccoli, with one or two days of green beans, for my vegetables. I'm hoping once I've moved and settled into my new kitchen I'll be able to branch out a little more. Though I still think I'm a picky eater, so I'll need to get over that!
I also can't seem to make a bento in the morning. The one day I intended to make just a tamagoyaki in the morning I ended up oversleeping and grabbed a hard boiled egg instead. I would like to make tamagoyaki. I like it! I want it! I therefore must go to bed earlier or start drinking coffee in the morning or something.
I really really like making lunch for The Boy. It's so girly. I always used to joke about him getting a fancy job when he's done with his phd and being a kept woman who sends him off to work with a packed lunchbox. And now I do it anyway. Though I am definately cranky that I always seem to get his bento prettier than mine! I'm not sure if that's due to my box being solidly partioned, or that I lurv him so much I try harder.

Thankyou so much Maki! This challenge has helped me stay with the bento thing and I hope people do stay on here and help keep each other motivated with it all!

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

Reasons to make bentos:
1. to be more frugal
2. to have healthier options than what is offered student union's food court
3. to have something to look forward to during my office hours
4. to have fun with my food

I enjoy "playing" with my bento boxes and accessories when I'm making my lunches. After I've assembled a bento, I feel as if I really accomplished something. I also enjoy trying out new foods in my bento.

Presentation is still giving me some trouble. I'm in the habit of prioritizing speedy cooking/assembly, so I'm finding it difficult to slow down and think about the composition and colors of the bentos. Maybe I should pre-plan that aspect of my lunches in addition to the menu itself. A while back, I read a book called Wrapping Culture , written by Joy Hendry. The author basically discusses the prevalence of wrapping and layers in Japanese culture--whether it's furoshiki, architecture, or even social interactions. I immediately thought of bentos as another example of this kind of wrapping. The book--as interesting and informative as it is--made me feel intimidated about emulating Japanese presentation styles. Over time, I want to re-examine the book (although probably not this week) in a more positive way to get some inspiration. I also plan to keep reading bento blogs and looking at online photos to get ideas.

For the fifth week, I want to think of specific strategies to make further progress with my lunches, work on my bento stash, and think about how bentos fit in with my weight loss efforts.

wisdom goddess born
Bento-ing from: B-more › Maryland › USA
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 11 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

I want to stay online. How else will I get such sage advice from browyncarlisle, maki and the rest of you? Thanks for helping me rethink my bentos. I find that right now my bentos are too brown! I need to add some more color in veggies. And of course learn to balalnce the foods for my health. I can admit that I have a love affair with carbs. I am always seeking that perfect bowl of noodles. Today I realize that I am not always going to be able to solve the questions regarding my health by myself. So thank you for sharing, I appreciate your help and love to look at your creations too. Maybe I will actually lose some weight this time.

mosaica
Bento-ing from: › Vermont › USA
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 41 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

Welcome! I think your modularization is spot on, a sort of plug & play lunchbox. Looking forward to seeing more of your bentos.

:-)

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 25 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 5 Talk

* What are the one or two best reasons for you to make bentos a part of your life?
* What aspects of bento making are giving you problems? What do you enjoy?
*1-
Well let's see... some of the best reasons I've found while doing this are; I'm paying more attention to my food choices. That's not to say I've always chose the best, but at least I'm now aware of when I'm eating better or not. I'm not on auto-drive with regards to food as much as before.
Related to that, I'm eating more vegetables than before. I've always thought of vegetable cooking as an all or nothing exercise. Make up a big batch of green beans for dinner and maybe eat the rest the next night and that's it. Hardy any veggies at other meals. So now I've expanded my veggie choices and am eating more variety, smaller portions but more often, and that's all good.

I've been much better at making bentos for my teenage daughter than for me, and she's been eating more healthfully because of it. The food choices at school are mostly high in salt, fat, and/or sugar and are rather expensive for the size serving. Also, they have a lot of prepackaged food like chips and candy which makes for more trash. So she likes bringing her lunch as it's cheaper and tasty and less expensive. Plus it's better for the environment to reuse containers than disposable ones. Also, her friends are jealous of the yummy lunches she has.

*2-
Planning is still my biggest problem in too ways; one-I often forget to plan and end up searching through the fridge and pantry for bento fodder, which at 6:30am is not too fun. The other is when I do plan and make stash food for the week, my other older daughter and her boyfriend raid the fridge and they can inhale a bento weeks worth of say mini-meatballs in one sitting. Grrrr! I certainly don't begrudge them the food, it's that I'd prefer them to eat a sandwich or the dinner left overs than my bento stashes.
They say, well they just taste so good! She has a really weird schedule between work and school, so it's hard to include her in the bento plan. I'm going to have to teach her to make her own, then maybe she will respect the "bento stash" LOL!
Her dad is retired now, so he eats at home whenever he feel like it. He'll make a sandwich most times as that's what he prefers.

I really enjoy the artistic aspect of bentos. I like the nutrition balancing while making them artistically balanced. I love all the different cute boxes and the accessories. Maybe too much! LOL. My bento cabinet is getting kind of full. Could be a down side to being close to a Japanese $1.50 store!
I like the weight loss too! Not much, only 5-6lbs in the 5 weeks but that's about a pound a week which is a realistic amount. And considering I haven't lost any weight in the last year, but in fact gain twenty more pounds, I'll take it as a personal victory!!

I also would like to keep this going informally. I've very much enjoyed the forum and reading about everyone journey too.

I would very much like to thank Makisan for making all this possible. A well deserved applause for her; Hip hip hooray!!!
Domo arigatou gozaimasu!

____________________________________

BarbJ
http://barbsblab.blogspot.com/

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