I really have no idea how I got onto this kick, but today I started reading up about bento lunches, something I had wanted to try doing for awhile, but never got around to actually following through with. I think I started thinking about how much I want to try to cut frozen food and high-sodium processed crap out of my diet and went from there. I’ve been doing pretty well with calories as of late, but not actually great with nutritional content, so that’s something I want to work on in the near future. Add in the fact that I feel like my grocery budget could be decreased a fair amount if I didn’t spent quite as much on the “convenience tax” of prepared and packaged food and it becomes clear to see that my work lunches are really in need of an overhaul.
That said, I spent about an hour looking at bento boxes online before I decided that I should probably do the intelligent thing and, you know, actually do some research before plunking down a chunk of change on supplies for the preparation of lunches. I did end up buying The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh, though. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do some actual reading and recipe browsing and the book is rated five stars on Amazon, so we’ll see how good it turns out to be. I will say, I’m drawn to the fact that these seem to be “grownup lunches” and not the cutsey lunches normally come to mind when one mentions the word “bento.” I figure that if I do end up sticking with my urge to do this (because let’s not lie, I sometimes get distracted and don’t follow up with my ideas) I’ll stop buying my beloved Au Bon Pain Chicken Pesto Sandwich on Fridays for a few weeks to offset my initial start up costs because I have been really neurotic about sticking to my budget lately.
All things considered, I know that I’m really lazy about actually cooking because I live in an 80-year-old house without a dishwasher, so I’ll probably end up doing a lot of raw vegetable-based dishes with microwaveable rice or simple crockpot meals made in bulk over the weekend, but it’s too early to decide just yet. I’ve already bought my groceries for this week, so this definitely isn’t something I’d be starting for another week, probably two. (Heh, I am nothing if not a planner.) In all honesty, bento for me wouldn’t be about making super cute, attractive meals, it would be saving money and feeding myself better while doing so. Going into it with that attitude would make it a pretty feasible alternative to my current lunches which consist of sandwiches and 100-calorie-packs, I think.
In unrelated news, I’m almost done reading 703: How I Lost More Than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life by Nancy Makin, the book I bought yesterday. This, my gentle reader, is an indicator that I have entirely too much free time on my hands. I must admit, it does feel rather nice to be reading an actual physical book for a change, but I do hands down prefer my Kindle. The book is really different from what I expected it to be: it’s not so much about her experiences in losing weight, as it is about her life from childhood onwards and how that led her down the road of morbid obesity. I’m really enjoying the book nonetheless, I just think the title was a misnomer. One of my friends who is also on her own personal fitness quest is going to have a few weeks off work in the not-so-distant future, so I do believe I’ll ask her if she wants to borrow it; that’s one really nice thing about physical books: lend-ability. On that note, I do think I’m going to go burn some incense and finish reading it.