Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

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red_the_opinionated
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 15 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports
bronwyncarlisle wrote:

I also started a blog to facilitate participation in this challenge. I figured that if I wrote everything down I'd be less inclined to give up. It's at http://bronwyncarlisle.blogspot.com/ and contains more photos and details about food and calories and walks and stuff if anyone is interested.

I did the same thing! It really helps.....you think about what you have to write to the world, and make better decisions. It's helping me, anyhow.

I've been trying to post every day to my journal, but I did go off track one day. It was "New Menu" day at work, which means little bites of aaaalllll the new items. We all know how those little bites add up, so I just had an orange for my real lunch.

Next week I'm going to up the veggie factor, as I think I go a bit heavy on the proteins, and also to include more vegetarian proteins. I like that veggie meals tend to feel lighter in my stomach. ^_^

sushi_junki
Bento-ing from: London › Great Britain
Joined: 5 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 3 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

My week started really well, but from Tuesday onwards it went totally down hill. I got the flu and have had no energy since Wednesday - so I will start over again tomorrow and work a week behind. I was really looking forward to the whole challenge and I want to see the whole thing through so I'll let you know how I get on.

oinkmoo
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 36 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

I think my first week went pretty well. I had committed to making 3 bentos for myself, but in reality made 4 for myself, and 2 for the hubby. I'm not a morning person, so I prepare all meals the night before (is this considered cheating?) I found one of the most challenging aspects was in trying to include a variety of foods in the bentos each day without too much repeats. I also found that I spent way more time preparing the bentos that I would've liked!

For this coming week, I'm going to try working on the planning aspect, mise en place and hopefully, cutting down the preparation time. I've already started to use the meal planner to pre-plan for this coming week's menu... let's see if I can stick to it! I'll be making bentos for all days that I don't have work-related lunches (4) as well as bentos for the hubby. I think my bentos have a good amount of veggies already, but I'll continue to work on the right "balance" of veggies/protein/carb ratio. I think I could also definitely improve my presentation a bit.

That's all I have to report for now... looking forward to week 2!

stackeff
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

After moving from New Hampshire and spending two weeks in Orange County, and gaining eight pounds of "In-n-out-el-pollo-loco-del-taco-bahia-too-lazy-to-walk-outside" weight, my move to San Francisco seemed like an ideal time to kick start my taking better care of myself. I signed up for another round of Self magazine's Reach Your Goal, to keep track of both my food and my fitness efforts. Maki's challenge was also perfect timing, because I can easily do both!

Alas, the fitness portion of the week did not go as well as planned, although I've been enjoying the chance to walk about my new neighborhood as much as possible, so it hasn't been a complete wash.

Planning

I live less than half a mile away from the Noe Valley Farmers market, which occurs each Saturday on 24th street. The produce is bountiful, as we live in the middle of the most fertile landscape. In an effort to watch both my wallet and avoid wasting food, I've been attempting to work on a twenty dollar budget for the farmers market each week. This has generally given me two full tote bags full of produce, as our the market is significantly cheaper than the supermarket for most items.

In addition to the farmers market, I made additional stops at Drewes Meat Market, down our block, which has been open since the 1880's, where my good friend Umberto, tells me that he likes young women with dark hair and fair skin, and gives me good deals on my bacon.

I made one more important outing, to Manila Oriental Market, which, while bigger and better, and more well stocked than a super 88, still doesn't quite compare to Kam Man foods in Quincy. It also smells strongly of fish. Nevertheless, I managed to stock up on freezer items and sauces of various kinds. I also acquired a half gallon of Boku (Young Coconut) ice cream from Mitchells, you know, for the diet.

The Food: (Photo's seen in Flickr, username: (alphaprep)

For the most part, I did some prep on Sunday for the week, cooking a large batch of Turkish Zucchini, as well as a pot of Butternut Squash and Apple soup. Most of my Bentos were comprised of doctored leftovers from the night before.

Monday Bento: Kapuska, a Turkish dish with cabbage and ground meat (I used turkey), roasted green beans, 1/4 cup cherries, 1/4 cup Young Coconut Buko ice cream

Tuesday Bento: Turkish zucchini, Lemon Parmesan chicken, Roasted potatoes, blackberries and cherries

Wednesday Bento: Turkish zucchini, carrot salad with a line of feta, a quesadilla wedge (not in bento), a home made turkey burger

Thursday Bento: Braised swiss chard with parmesan, Veggie curry with rice noodles

Friday Bento: Shiro miso Rice Noodle soup with a poached egg, fennel salad

What I learned this week:

Packing Bento's actually seems to be a no brainer. I'm also making the effort to pack the man bentos, which have to be eaten completely on the go, need to be more calories, and also slightly more of the "American fare". He certainly tries things though, and was pleasantly surprised at the deliciousness of the (Tortilla, PB, honey and banana wrap).

The biggest problem for this week was certainly a lack of exercise. I'll have to work on it.

marzia
Bento-ing from: Venice › Italy
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 30 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

I managed to prepare 4 bentos for the first week, more than I expected!
I have to follow a gluten-free diet so, at lunch, I cannot have sandwiches at the bar with my collegues, I have to bring my own lunch and usually eat it in the small office kitchen (we have a microwave available). I used to have leftovers from dinner - pasta or rice - and, when very lazy, a piece of cheese with gluten-free crackers and some green salad, but it is not such an appealing and filling lunch. Preparing this 1st week bentos, I managed to have, everyday, a well-balanced lunch (more than what I usually eat!) and save 5-10 minutes in the morning while preparing the bento.

One of my goals was to use leftovers and not to waste food, but I had no leftovers or staple food to use for the very first bento, so it took a little time to prepare and I was not very satisfied with it, but in the following days things got a little better as I decided to use some chicken I had previously frozen (not for the challenge!) as well as the broccoli and smoked salmon available at home. I had to resist the temptation to go out and buy something 'special' for the challenge: these first bentos look a little bit 'boring', but at least I used things that needed to be eaten and that otherwise I would have wasted.

One other goal was to use the Bento Challenge to quit eating junk food: preparing a rich bento lunch to resist to pre-dinner temptations! It worked...it worked too well, I must say! The 900 ml container turned out to be a little too much for me, so, for week 2 of the Bento Challenge, I' will use slightly smaller bentobako!

here the pictures (in the bento pool on flickr I'm maruchan2008)
http://marziablogga.blogspot.com/2009/01/bento-challenge-report-of-first...

mirthful
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 39 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

I'm pretty happy. I made bentos four out of five days last week, and the fifth was on pupose as the cafeteria at work has this delicious fish dish every other Thursday (though when it came to it, I had soup instead, as I wasn't all that hungry...).

I also cooked enough rice for friday's curry to freeze 5 portions for future bentos and also bought a roast chicken with a short expiry date and stripped it of meat which I divided into portions and froze. So planning-wise I'm getting better.

I have found I need to do most of the work the evening before, though. Some cutting of salad and vegetables in the morning is fine, but there is no way I will start actually cooking at that time of day.

Basil80
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 31 weeks ago.
Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports: LATE!

Ok, I'm late. I'm sure that's alright, right?

This first week went really well--better than I expected! I got all my bento made and even did some of my working out goal stuff. I got more in the food prep grove, and I've relearned to love my freezer. I even got inspired to freeze some fresh produce from a big box of it so that I could skip some prep work later.

My bento are all over at my blog, and I didn't really do a formal "wrap up" but they are listed at that location.

In addition to the other goals for this week, I'm going to add:
*take photos and upload at home, not off cell phone (at least one time)
*keep momentum going with inspirational readings off the forums.

Zu
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

On Tuesday, Jan. 13, I made two bentos, one for me and one for my boyfriend. Mine was called "Green and Orange bento" and his was a "ninja lunch". (His friends at work always ask about his "ninja lunch" and he puts it someplace where everyone can see it. They ask all day about it and what is in it.)
I ate my mini babybel, bacon and laughing cow first for breakfast. The bacon bits were really tasty and packed a big flavor punch even though it was only one teaspoon.
I ate the chicken and peppers around 11 am before I went to the gym.
I seem to end up eating the bento for a mid-morning snack and then lunch, sort of grazing in mini-meals all day.
My boyfriend really liked his food, but it was too much for him. I wondered about that when I packed it. He said the hash brown divider broke up and he broke it up into his food. I was hoping the freshness of the broccoli would break up the potato-ey-ness of the rest of the food. I didn't mean to use so many potatoes.
The second bento was the "I am trying harder" bento on my flickr page. I had not tasted the Quizno's black angus sandwich beforehand and I did not like it. I only ate one half of it. The sweetness of the bread didn't go well with the meat flavor and the sauce on the sandwich. The yogurt did not look good, but it tasted good. The sprinkles had dissolved and so did the honey and it just looked like a syrupy rainbow mess. I never ate the almonds and cherries because it didn't seem appetizing to me. The almonds were a bit "off" even though they were not expired.
I only ate out once during the week that week with the Quizno's sandwich and it was 2.5 meals for me and my son (one meal for me, one for him and then a second for me the second day). Even though I didn't like his sandwich, with a buy-one get one free sandwich I received from their e-mail list, it was a good deal. (I have no affiliation with Quizno's.)

Zu
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

On Tuesday, January 13, I made and posted:

“Green and Orange” bento and “Ninja lunch”
• Ate mini babybel, bacon and laughing cow first for breakfast
• Then ate chicken and peppers before gym @ 11 am
• I tend to graze if I pack a Mr. Bento. I also forget what’s in there. I think I need to write myself a post-it because I make the containers warm when I open them too much.

For my boyfriend’s “Ninja lunch” (this is what his co-workers call it)
• Too much food for him
• Hash brown disintegrated, but he mixed it in
• I think it was too much potatoes

For the “I am trying harder” bento
• Did not like Quizno’s sandwich; the bread is sweet and so is the sauce
• Didn’t eat cherries and almonds
• Yogurt didn’t look good, but tasted good

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33913560@N08/

bento_belle
Bento-ing from: › Virginia › USA
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 38 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

Tues Jan 13 “Green and Orange” bento and “Ninja lunch” (flickr link below)
• Ate mini babybel, bacon and laughing cow first for breakfast
• Then ate chicken and peppers before gym @ 11 am
• I tend to graze if I pack a Mr. Bento. I also forget what’s in there. I think I need to write myself a post-it because I make the containers warm when I open them too much.

For my boyfriend’s “Ninja lunch” (this is what his co-workers call it)
• Too much food
• Hash brown disintegrated, but he mixed it in
• I think it was too much potatoes

For the “I am trying harder” bento later in the week
• Did not like Quizno’s sandwich; the bread is sweet and so is the sauce
• Didn’t eat cherries and almonds
• Yogurt didn’t look good, but tasted good

General observation: I prefer to use the Lock & Lock for more artistic flexibility. The Mr. Bento is like packing 4 little bentos and is harder for me.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33913560@N08/

I am enjoying this very much, Maki. Thank you for doing this.

Zu
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

Sorry I posted more than once. I thought my posts didn't go through because I wasn't logged in. Duh!

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

I know I am a bit late on posting this but, I have been pretty busy/tired so I am cutting myself some slack...

I did exactly what I wanted to do this week as far as the bentos went. I packed lunch all 5 five days as usual [I am just too thrifty to eat out every day]. I had a lot more variety than usual, which was enjoyable. All the guys at work are starting to notice the nice little lunches I make for myself, starting out with teasing but moving more towards envy [I work with almost all men who eat out every day, so home cooking probably looks pretty good to them].

I did not meet my exercise goal for the week I only walked to public transit twice, which was really bad [no more dragging butt in morning, I must wake up a bit earlier]

Zoé
Bento-ing from: Warsaw › Poland
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 9 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

So my report, comes a bit late, and the post on my blog will have one week of delay, as I usually only surf on the net on week-ends.

I managed to prepare five bentos (each time in two exemplar as we are two bento eaters at home). I didn't really manage to stick to plan as I'm not used to that stuff. I have to improve the plans I make ahead, because this one was unstickable, I had nothing left for my last bento! Geez!
The meals were differents than bentos but somehow, the bentos were really similar, with only a new item each time. It took me a bit too much of time each evening, without having one cute bento.
So my goals next week will be to manage a better planning, and continue bentoing. Maybe a bit of cute bento to cheer me up!

So here are my bentos:
Monday
First bento for bento challenge
Pear, beetroot cupcake, roasti of kohlrabi and potato, carrot version of the vegetarian sushi.
Tuesday
Polish sweet cabbage salad
Beetroot cupcake,, beetroot quinoa bites, carrot version of the vegetarian sushi, , lentils and pumpkin seeds cupcake, Polish cabbage and apple salad.
Wednesday
broccoli and cabbage bites
Beetroot cupcake, broccoli and cabage burgers, beetroot quinoa bites, carrot version of the vegetarian sushi, , lentils and pumpkin seeds cupcake, grated carrot.
Thursday
flower's in the air
and
I love you
Rice, chocolate cupcake, spicy tomato sauce and cabbage, broccoli and cabage burgers, beetroot quinoa bites, lentils and pumpkin seeds cupcake.
Friday:
Bento with empty fridge
Bento with empty fridge :
egg, sandwich with vegetable pâté, cabbage and citrus salad, beetroot cupcake, kiwi.

ailcoh
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

Looking at my goals from the Flickr resolution page:

1. Kept up with the bento lunches 3x the first week
2. Ate lower on the food chain
3. Continued reduction in food waste by using left overs
4. Saved Money with three lunches from home
5. Kept consistent with for pay weight loss program (with initials of WW) and lost 3 pounds this week.

I need to pre-plan more as this week is turning into a raid on the freezer in the morning for last minute foods with the only fresh things being carrots, apples and hummus on the side.

Andrea
Bento-ing from: Near Boston › Massachusetts › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 37 weeks ago.
Re: Challenge Week 1 Wrapup Reports

My report is very, very late! I was at the MIT Puzzle Hunt last weekend, so I was busy until late Sunday, then came home with what our team has affectionately named "Hunt Plague," so I've been sick all week. I'm just getting around to making rice for this week *this morning*. *eep*

Anyway, I did manage one little bento for myself last week.

 Bento #1

Then, for the puzzle hunt, I made 3 bento for myself and 3 for my husband, so that we wouldn't spend so much money (and calories!) on junk food and unhealthy group food (pizza, chinese, etc.)

My Bento
 my bento

Husband's Bento
 husband's bento

This week's highlights:

  • Making joubisai stashes in advance is awesome. It saves a lot of time, and it uses up the large shipments of produce I get from Boston Organics.
  • I'm worried about falling into a rut of making the same joubisai all the time, and yet, making the same things over and over again is the only way to get good at it. I'm conflicted.
  • I may be addicted to meatballs as bento proteins. I'm definitely addicted to Boca Spicy Chik'n Patties, but that was always true.
  • My counter space is at a premium, so setting mise en place can be difficult, and will take a good amount of diligence on my part.
  • My husband has no interest in cucumbers, so my little cucumber rosettes are lost on him, because he won't eat them.
  • Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Rectangles + silicone cupcake liners = great low-maintenance bento boxes.
  • I *must* wake up earlier to make bento in the morning!

Off to look at the week 2 challenge! I'm making a bento for myself today, and 2 for my husband and I tomorrow. Hopefully by next week I'll be set to make more bento in the morning like I'm s'posed to.

Everyone is doing great! I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.

^_^

Andrea

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