Changes will be made following bariatric surgery, and a great may of those changes will be adapting to the bariatric diet. Eating healthy will require extra effort and make demands on your time. You’ll want to make shortcuts where you can, and the bento box lunch can be a time saver as well as a great lunch treat.
I resolved to eat healthy, really healthy, after my gastric bypass surgery. I have found this easier to do in my home because my fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy foods — and I mean really healthy foods.
Lunch at the office is more challenging. I am faced either with getting up earlier in the morning to cook, chop, and pack a healthy lunch or trying to find something healthy to eat in the cafeteria — or pick a healthy meal at a chain restaurant. I am seldom successful.
When repeated attempts to do something fail, it is time for a change. I came up with a new approach to packing my lunch that works quite well. Just two nights per week, I take a little time after dinner to make a few bento box lunches.
Meet the Bento Box Lunch
A bento box lunch is a compact, balanced, visually appealing meal packed in an attractive container with compartments. You can find lots of Bento Box Lunch containers on Amazon. Traditionally, the bento is packed with Japanese food, but as it gains popularity in America the bento box is packed with any healthy cuisine. Say goodbye to your brown bagged sandwich, diet Coke, and Campbell’s Soup at Hand, and meet the bento box lunch.
* Packed in reusable containers, the bento box lunch reduces waste from lunch such as plastic baggies and disposable containers.
* Save money you would have spent on cafateria meals by bringing food from home. The savings makes up of the initial cost of the bento box lunch container. Be sure to check out the size and interiors of a bento box lunch before you part with your money.
How to Make a Bento Box Lunch
Just after dinner on Sunday, I prepare two bento box lunches and one more to freeze. Often I make use of weekend dinner leftovers, as well as raw fruits and veggies. I bring the fresh lunches to the office on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, I pull the frozen bento box lunch from the freezer. Then on Wednesday night after dinner I make two fresh bento box lunches for Thursday and Friday noon time meals. This way, it takes only twenty minutes two nights per week to make delicious healthy lunches for my entire work week.
* Portion control is easy if you follow the “pouch rules” rule of thumb: 2 parts protein and 1 part each fruits and vegetables — no grains, sweets, junk foods or processed foods.
* Put food of contrasting shapes and colors next to each other in an artistic arrangement to make your food visually satisfying.
* Pack it compactly with little gap fillers like grape tomatoes or almonds to stabalize the lunch for transport. Use edible separators such as lettuce or cucumber slices to keep everything in its place.
* Pack plenty of water to drink instead of consuming carbonated beverages.
When you are packing a bento box lunch, ask yourself:
* Is the lunch nutritionall balanced?
* Do the textures and tastes work well together?
* Is the lunch colorful and attractive?
Some ideas for bento box lunches:
* Hard boiled egg, lettuce leaf filled with sliced free range chicken and hummus dip, grape tomaotes, and a plum
* Raw almonds, raw milk hard cheese, turkey jerky, sliced cucumber, and figs
* Leftover frittata, Caesar salad, and an orange
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
Photo: Veggie Bento Love