Add this one to things you probably don’t know about me—I used to be really into making bento boxes.
You know those little single-serving Japanese lunch boxes that folks turn into mini, edible art pieces? Yeah, those! I never really got into making the super artsy ones (some of them should be in a gallery!), but I did love arranging my favorite foods in a nice, organized box.
There are so many things that appeal to me about bento boxes. They fulfill the small (but strong) part of me that craves organization. I love things in boxes! The visual part of me loves the artistic aspect of it. It’s so fun cracking into a beautiful box for my meals. Above all of this, the most appealing thing is the inherent portion control. When I first started losing weight, I made bento boxes because of how easy they were for keeping my meals the correct size. You find a box that is the right volume for you and then fill it up with the correct ratio of veggies, carbs and protein. Without much effort you have a perfectly balanced, portion-controlled meal.
I got out of the bento-making game because of the time involved–it’s a lot more time-consuming than just throwing leftovers in a Tupperware. But as of recent, I’ve gotten back into making bentos. With my recommitment to weight loss, I’m trying to return to the practices that served me well once before—and one of those is bento-making.
It’s been a few years (and I since threw away all my bento accessories), but I’m really enjoying creating beautiful lunches (and snacks and breakfasts!) for the sake of health and beauty. Of course, having cute boxes, picks and cups would be nice, but there is something simple and beautiful about brightly colored, delicious food organized in boxes.
If you’ve been really paying attention, you might say, “Uh, Cass. You don’t like Asian cuisine. Including Japanese.” Truth. But that’s the great thing about bentos—you can use whatever foods you want! Sure to be traditional, you’d fill it with Japanese dishes, but the principle works with any kinds of food.
I’m eating the same kinds of foods I did sans-bento, but just in smaller portions and arranged beautifully.
Overall, I’m really excited to get back into bentos. So often weight loss is such a bore, but I think bentos are a great way to take something that is usually a snooze-fest (portion-contro—zzzzzzzz) and spice it up. It’s hard to hate on counting calories when it looks this pretty. If you are interested in making your own bentos, there are some amazing blogs out there with great tips on getting started.