Bento, I’m Sorry I’ve Cheated on You


I haven’t been eating properly lately. I’ve been buying my lunch at work, and have even been buying muffins for breakfast in the morning. The foolishness of this came to a head the other day when I felt a blood sugar drop in the late morning from a combination of too much sugar and too much coffee. I haven’t had that happen in years, and it was disturbing to have it happen in front of a class that I had to muscle through before I could stop and do something about it. Better to eat the high-protein breakfast and not be an idiot, right?

Not to mention the fact that it’s a lot more expensive than packing my own lunch. So, I took a serious look at my bad eating habits and decided I’m going to clean up my act for health’s sake, right?

I’m totally not. It wasn’t that I almost fainted in front of a class. Nope. The thing that pulled me up short was doing the books and being honest with myself about how much I was spending. I’d rather spend that money on books or something. It was just that lately I’ve been to damn lazy to make bento for myself.

I have some new bento boxes that I’m using now. They’re by Bentgo, and honestly? They’re enormous! My usual bento is like this 600ml job. The lower section of this lunchbox is that large!

But in a way, I’m okay with that as well. Remember when I was talking about buying muffins for breakfast because we were going in too early to have a proper breakfast at home?

I can totally make a breakfast bento in the upper half, then our usual lunch bento in the lower half. ‘Sall good.

I got to thinking about these boxes, though, and what kind of lunches I could make in them that wouldn’t be far too large, and realized that the smart thing to do would be to have the top portion reserved for carbs-n-protein and then pack the bottom with fruit and veggies. I like fresh veggies a lot, so this would be a fun way to make some lunches. I’ll be posting some of the ones I make as I come up with stuff.

The thing is, I feel like a bit of a fraud talking about making bento and stuff – how healthy it is. How much cheaper it is. How nice they are. ‘Sall true, mind, but…

I’m leaving my full time office job. Now, I work as hard for Figart Consulting as I ever do in an office. You work harder for yourself. It’s a thing. Anyone who is self-employed will back me on that one.

But the work flow is very different. You might be up and working at six in the morning (that’s my favorite time to write), but you’ll take a break around ten to putter around the house, talk to yourself about what you want to do next, then get back to work doing something else for a few hours. Oh, it adds up, and cumulatively, you work more hours, but they’re paced differently. You don’t have as many interruptions, and you likely have a million times more privacy. You get more done. That really adds up.

So, when I am sitting here writing about bento, I’m doing it as a work from home kinda gal (well, at least starting next week). I can make those bento on a fifteen minute break from working. Can’t do that from an office!

And for anyone who is asking me why in the world I’d start thinking more about making bento when I’ve got my mind on working from home? It’s twofold.

The first is that my husband still works from an office. If I send a bento in with him, he’s not buying lunch unless it’s a necessary socialization thing occasionally, himself. The savings add up there, too. Not to mention, I’d just as soon he eats healthily.

The other reason is that when you work from home, you work close to a fully-stocked kitchen. Buddy, you want to have a nice, healthy lunch to grab out of the fridge. You want that healthy lunch to be easiest thing to do when you’re hungry. You might be able to talk yourself out of “wasting” money on the muffin, but you don’t have that argument available from your house. At least I don’t. I’m a good cook. I want the bar to the healthy option as low as possible, or I totally will make that apple crumble in the toaster oven, ya know?

Do you have ways that you try to make it easy to eat the way you feel best eating? What do you do?

3 Replies to “Bento, I’m Sorry I’ve Cheated on You”

  1. Thank you for sharing how you “fell off the wagon” and are climbing back on. Thank you for the reminders that I need to do so as well. I’ve always loved your bento posts!

  2. Huh.
    I am better at making sure that the rest of my family eats healthy then I am about myself.
    And yep, it comes down to cost.

    Rubbermaid TakeAlongs rectangles are cheap, fit perfectly into a soft side cooler lunch box, and come in ‘open’ and ‘divided’ configuration.

    And all I do is make sure that dinner is large enough to have planned-overs.

    I make dinner and before I even put it on the table I have filled one or two of these containers with the identical meal and stick them in the freezer.

    They go in lunch boxes throughout the week for the people who are not going to be home.

    But I am not as good at my own eating, and I have recently got in into similar habits as you describe above.
    I guess I need to do something about that.

    1. Since it’s just Peter and I right now, part of the issue is that I have no-one to set an example for. Kids to set an example for keep me honest in a way nothing else does!

      And yeah, takealongs are great! I’m going to be doing a “cheap bento” series where I will be using some.

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