In my last journal, I never took the time to fully explain my blog’s mission or “bento philosophy.” I make my bentos for several reasons, the foremost being portion control and visual appeal. When I actually take the time to think about what I am putting into my body, I find that the prettiness of bentos make otherwise “boring healthy meals” a lot more fun to eat. For some of us, presentation can make all the difference. Another bonus is that since the size of the box restricts how much food you can put in it, a well packed box actually looks like you are getting a lot more food than you really are. You don’t need to feel bad about packing it up because there is only so much that is going to fit in there anyway. Just make sure that you don’t buy a bento box that is too big.
Another aspect of my bento making practices is that I make Western-style bentos. I do love Japanese and other Asian foods and will from time to time experiment with Japanese recipes, but since my background is Italian-American, be prepared for a lot of what I like to call “Bento Italiano.” I find that when I am in a rush, I will often stick to what I know and can get easily, so unfortunately that can sometimes limit how “authentic” my bentos can be. The nice thing is that I have yet to see anyone out there who feels that making Japanese bentos is the only way to go. I’ve found that bento is more about healthful eating, fun, creativity, and even love. You don’t need onigiri to have those things.
Okay, so before this lecture gets out of hand, I do want to explain one more thing about my bentos this week. . .they don’t have any carbs. In order to lose some of my holiday weight, I have decided to try The South Beach Diet. Right now I am in the second week of phase one, and will be entering Phase 2 just as the Just Bento Challenge begins. I really can’t tell you how much I miss carbs, but at least the bentos are keeping me on track.
Here are my first 2 carb free bentos for this week. The first one was eaten today (Jan 5th) and the second is for tomorrow.