Thinking aloud about the January bento challenge

UPDATE: Details of the Challenge are now up here! We’ll start on January 13th.

I’m quite overwhelmed by the amount of interest in my little idea about some sort of health and weight loss related bento challenge for January! The original post is here if you missed it. Here is my thinking about this at the moment:

  • The focus will be on healthy bentos (as it always with with Just Bento), with an emphasis on using bentos for weight loss. Most if not all of the recipes etc. posts on Just Bento during the challenge will be challenge-related. (In practice that won’t really change the nature of the posts much!)
  • The objective is to get into the bento-making habit and to kickstart our healthy lifestyles in 2009!
  • Participants will state a goal or goals they want to achieve at the start of the challenge - can be a specific number of pounds/kilo/stone to lose or anything else (e.g. Get into the bento making habit, learn to eat healthier, learn to tie a cherry stem with your tongue, etc. (ok the last one was an obscure cultural reference joke.))
  • We’ll share the contents of our bentos. I think the most straightforward way is by just taking a photo of it! The photo doesn’t have to be beautiful or anything (cellphone photos are fine) as long as we can see what’s in there. I think this will be instructive for ourselves as well as other people, because you see things much more clearly in a way when you take a photo of it. (For myself, I plan to shoot a pic of every bento I eat, and maybe even share some of my other meals! Yipes!) Of course it won’t be mandatory to share every meal, just as much as each person wants to.
  • We’ll share bento recipes, tips, etc. along the way too. And of course we should encourage each other.

(Comments have been closed for this post. Go here for the Bento Challenge details!)

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And visit our sister site, Just Hungry for great Japanese home recipes and more.

47 comments

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Healthy bento forum

What about starting a blog for the group? As an example, Blogger is quite easy to use, and allows for photo posting as well as easy commenting. But I think people who want to participate would have to be invited, which requires a little set-up work.

-g.

Still in!!!

I’m still in, just wondering were could I purchase a bento box in Dominican Republic? or can I use a dif container?

You can use any plastic

You can use any plastic container you want - it doesn’t have to be a authentic bento box. I have used the zip lock/gladware “disposable” plastic containers in a pinch and they work really well.

Photo sharing

I think the flickr idea is good for sharing the photos. I might also post the pictures of my bento lunches on my blog and link back to yours. I assume you don’t mind the publicity, right? :)

a bento forum or bbs would

a bento forum or bbs would be AWESOME and I’d be all over that!

I’m not really into flikr that much, since I have my own website for hosting images.

@Vanessa - The container doesn’t matter! IT’s what you put in it that counts! :D

I think a forum might be the

I think a forum might be the most organized way to do this, given the number of people interested. Then people will be able to link or post their pictures from their preferred source.

Definitely forum

Forum seems to be the best way imo… so those of us with blogs can link back to our blogs, and those of us with out own photo hosting services can just use that… I am excited, I have been slacking on bento-losing-weight… this should put my butt in gear :D

Whatever Works

You could set up a Google Group - which has forum capabilities and page posting capabilities.

places to meet online --

flicker sounds good for start up

I am not sure re facebook

then see where the needs are for ‘meeting’ and if something else is more appropriate

… I always vote for

… I always vote for livejournal. It’s quick and easy to use.

I like the livejournal idea,

I like the livejournal idea, partially because I already use it. =)

The communities there are easy to set up, and people can join on their own and you can moderate joining as you like, or not at all.

Definitely love the LJ idea.

Definitely love the LJ idea. I have my own bento blog on LJ, and it’s nice to see all the other Bento communities out there.

I was going to suggest the

I was going to suggest the LJ as well. I don’t need to lose any weight (I’d be in trouble if I did!) but I think it would suit your needs best. :)

Wow, seems like LJ is the

Wow, seems like LJ is the place as so many of us have suggested it. ^_^ It would be my preferred but I’m up for anything.

This is my second choice

This is my second choice after Flickr, but Livejournal’s large number of fan communities (read: questionable content) might scare some people off

Any of the suggestions is

Any of the suggestions is fine with me, though my preference would probably be a community on livejournal since I already have an account there (I always forget new logins and passwords ^_^; ). And I would prefer not to use facebook.

This sounds like fun no matter where it ends up happening.

Comment

I think that flickr would be nice to share the photos and everyone could add comments or questions if they chose to. I am in whatever is decided! YIPPEE!!

I’m a facebook or

I’m a facebook or livejournal fan simply because I know I go to those sites every day and since I’ll be logged in there’s no excuse for not staying on track ^_^

i vote forum

i’m not signed up for a whole lot of social interaction sites and i don’t particularly want to be. a forum is open to everyone and has all the dynamic group interaction needed for this kind of program.

My Thoughts

A forum or facebook maybe live journal would be good. I’m up for anything.

I vote flickr

I’m not a fan of any of the group sites that are out there (yahoo, google) & have found group blogs to be really convoluted in the past. Flickr gives you a place to share photos plus a discussion forum - and it’s easy for anyone to join. Admitting I’m biased though because I’m not on livejournal or facebook and am on flickr.

I like the idea of a blog or

I like the idea of a blog or forum, that way we can either organize discussions based on topic (daily bento shots, recipes, etc) or we can tag posts so they can be searched for the same results. Either way, make sure whatever you go with is picture-friendly, I love the idea of uploading photos.

One thing I’d LOVE to see is sharing: like say we pick a recipe (ie potato salad) And then share ideas on how to either adapt it to make it low-calorie, or compare ingredients and results. :)

Looking forward to this!

Facebook, Flickr,

Facebook, Flickr, Livejournal - whichever route is fine by me, and I will be joining in! It will be a great excuse to see other Just Bento-er’s delicious lunches, and to share recipes and tips. I didn’t think Just Bento could get any better, but this might just manage to do the impossible and improve the Just Bento experience. I think a ‘support group’ atmosphere will be great for everyone to help keep to their New Year’s bento resolutions. I have just started full time employment for the first time in ages, and I have made a bento every day this last week. It’s early days for me, but I’m committed to bento and healthy recipes!

I vote Flickr

Flickr is my first preference… and I must make a specific vote against Facebook, as it is blocked at my work (and since I sit in front of a computer all day there, that is where I’d be accessing the proposed healthy bento community). Thanks! :)

No Facebook

LOL someone at my work got fired from using Facebook. It is supposedly a threat for the network. I wouldn’t know! I vote for Flickr, or whatever is “secured.”

And a vote for the forum

A forum would be nice as then you could have separate sections for recipes and picture posts and goal-tracking and such, plus, it would be easier to manage.

I’m very interested in

I’m very interested in this. Either livejournal or flirck would be better for me =D

I would be able to

I would be able to participate via a Flickr group, Livejournal, or any forum software you’d choose. No Facebook, please.

Same with LiveJournal,

Same with LiveJournal, another blog perhaps, or maybe even a self hosted forum.

I think a combination of another block and a Flickr group would be a good way to go.

Flickr would be cool

Think its a great idea and I would love to participate! I’ve been watching the posts with interest and got as far as getting some boxes (the locktight ones) and some muji chopsticks in a case! so this would be a good kick to get started. great blog!

m.

Form of... a BENTO!

I was thinking this is just the thing to get me back on the vegan wagon I’ve been slowly slippery-sloping off of… I mean, I actually ate a turkey sandwich today. I think I need professional help. Bento Challenge, ACTIVATE!!! (Talk about obscure cultural references…)

I think me and my boyfriend

I think me and my boyfriend will participate too. I want to have a healthier ways of life and have the habit to make bentoss. Same for my boyfriend

Forum is my favorite

Hi, this is my first comment here, although I visit this page for at least half a year now g I’d like to participate too, but I’d prefer a forum instead of anything like Flickr, Facebook or Lifejournal…

Concearning my intention: it’s to get back into healthier quick meals, because lately I got a bit lazy and ate stuff like frozen lasagna and things instead of standing in the kitchen for an extra half hour each evening :-(

While I love LiveJournal,

While I love LiveJournal, there are already several bento LJ communities, and I think that a forum would be the most organized system. It could be separated among daily bento threads/categories, recipe categories, resources categories, etc. Plus, there could be organized contests with different themes (Italian bento, vegan bento, all green bento, etc). It could be really great.

Hi! what a great idea! I

Hi! what a great idea! I also have an idea on how it could take form. Maybe something like www.chictopia.com, people there post what they are wearing, so instead of cloths it’s bento!!! I just propose this as I have no idea of how makable that is! :S

I’m a mac user and am not

I’m a mac user and am not abble to use flick (welle i tried and it didn’t work). Face book, why not? Still with you.

That’s strange…I am a

That’s strange…I am a Mac user too, and I’ve been using flickr for 2+ years. Works great! (though I’m leaning towards the forum option at the moment for the bento challenge.)

I currently use Live journal

I currently use Live journal for annother bento community, thats quite a nice place to use.

I'm in too!

Any format is fine with me. I really need to get serious about losing some weight, it would help my chronic heartburn and sore feet. Hey, carrying 30+ extra pounds around everyday would make anyone sore. lol! This sounds exciting and fun! Let’s do it! ^_^

ooh yay

this is a great idea :D a little bento weight loss community! instead of just hungering after bento ideas, i’m going to start making them too!

i don’t have a real japanese bento box yet, but i guess the lunchbox we have at home will suffice. oh, and i recently got a sushi maker set, which comes with molds heart-, round- and oval-shaped. can’t wait to use it!!

a forum sounds nice. we can all create accounts, and post in organised threads and topics. on the other hand, (i don’t know anything about them), but will a self-hosted forum need too much maintenance? (although, you HAVE been maintaining all 4 of your sites so well >_<). anyway, facebook has so many aspects and applications that are still quite dodgy…it usually stuffs up on me.

:D looking forward to seeing our online meeting place!

Count me in...

Just send me info!

I am more into the forum

I am more into the forum idea. You would be able to break it down into subforums; one area for people to upload their bentos, another to discuss recipes/bento making tips, and possibly other areas simply for general discussion (it’d be a good way to get everyone together and get to know each other).

I’m personally a fan of the http://www.phpbb.com/ style forums.

However, I think i’d be ok with Flickr too, simply because it’s mostly about photo sharing and that is what this will partially be about.

I am more into the forum

I am more into the forum idea. You would be able to break it down into subforums; one area for people to upload their bentos, another to discuss recipes/bento making tips, and possibly other areas simply for general discussion (it’d be a good way to get everyone together and get to know each other).

I’m personally a fan of the http://www.phpbb.com/ style forums.

However, I think i’d be ok with Flickr too, simply because it’s mostly about photo sharing and that is what this will partially be about.

I am more into the forum

I am more into the forum idea. You would be able to break it down into subforums; one area for people to upload their bentos, another to discuss recipes/bento making tips, and possibly other areas simply for general discussion (it’d be a good way to get everyone together and get to know each other).

I’m personally a fan of the http://www.phpbb.com/ style forums.

However, I think i’d be ok with Flickr too, simply because it’s mostly about photo sharing and that is what this will partially be about.

Oh my, i’m so sorry for

Oh my, i’m so sorry for posting 3 times. My computer gliched out and i thought it just wasn’t going through! Feel free to delete the first two. Sorry! ><

Great idea! My vote is for

Great idea! My vote is for either a forum or facebook.

Totally in

I like the LJ/blogger type idea. I feel like it would be easier to bounce ideas around and have longer comments/text. As far as mait. goes, it CAN be a bit of work to manage a forum, more than a LJ community(or thats how I feel about it - I hate admin’ing forums!).