Lunch Inspiration

As many of you know, I am transitioning from working in retail to having an office job. In retail I ran around like crazy all day and for my budget’s sake I tried to only eat what I packed for lunch, but the physicality of the job often made me hungrier than I expected, prompting my tummy to seek comfort in a large order of fries. Yes me, the health fanatic, has a weakness for all things greasy and salty, with french fries topping the list.From the time my daughter was born until recently, my weight was in free fall and I lost almost 80 pounds so eating fries at lunch time to get the extra calories wasn't a bad thing. Now that I have a less physically demanding job, I need to watch what I eat more and because I don't have the extra calorie demand, I don't have an excuse for wasting money at lunch time. The problem becomes making my packed lunch look so enticing that I'm not lured across the street by the neon signs in the restaurant windows.

Enter bento, the Japanese art of food packing and styling. A quick Google or Pintrest search will yield thousands of images of bento boxes and the artfully laid out food within them. A traditional bento consists of rice, a protein portion, and various veggies, but today bentos feature just about anything, with the concept of food being divided into discreet sections remaining intact. Although not a prerequisite for bentos, many have ingredients cut in fun shapes and animals.

I love the idea of bento boxes for a lot of reasons. They hold all of your lunch together in one container while keeping the individual components separated. I hate having a stack of random containers at the end of the day to wash. When you style your food in fun shapes, it's like opening up a surprise every day at lunchtime and it definitely captures my attention away from the restaurant signs next door.

Looking at the pictures below may have you thinking about what you may need to start creating your own bento boxes. Online you can find a ton of tools from shapers and molds to miniature tooth picks, but you may have some useful tools already around your house, like cookie cutters and silicone cupcake molds to divide components. JBox is a website specializing in Japenese paraphernalia and they sell specialized bento box tools. also has a great selection. If you're looking for the boxes themselves, Amazon has a pretty extensive assortment. As I said, these specials tools are not absolutely necessary. They are simply a fun add on.

I love the look of this, but  I would need to add more food for myself. 

Cute and healthy for owl lovers

Harry Potter!!!

A simple bento box that comes with a sauce container and utensils. 

I love these adorable pigs. The woman who created this has a ton of other great ideas too. 

Simple, but still enticing. 

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