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Bento Boxes Baby!

One of the major keys to my success in changing my food over the last year has been carrying healthy food with me. If you are going to successfully pack food to go, you will need to find good containers. I am partial to metal containers for both food and drink. Currently I have 3 sizes of "bento boxes". The largest I use mostly for travel or a full day out. I can fit approximately 600 calories into the large one.


The smaller ones are for daily use. I carry a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, crackers, breakfast cookies, granola, dark chocolate, and just about anything healthy that doesn't require refrigeration. I use my thermal metal cups for smoothies, cafe or tea au lait, or just taking water along with me wherever I go.

The idea is to find containers that fit well into your everyday purse, backpack or briefcase. You might already have a plastic or metal container at home that would work perfectly—several of my bento boxes are recycled from other uses. A rigid container is important, as I have found bags tend to rip leading to goodies getting pulverized migrating around your book bag! These containers are eco-friendly; in addition to feeding yourself healthy nutrient-dense foods you will be keeping our Mother Earth greener and cleaner! Don't wait another day to start this routine! You will quickly see the difference it makes out in the real world. The temptations of fattening pastries, chips, fast food, soda and other readily available snacks will not even enter your mind as you are enjoying your almond, cranberry, pumpkin seed mix in your bento box!

I started changing my food a year ago last April, after admitting to myself that I wasn't truly committed to being prepared. Getting caught out on the road with no choices was one of the areas I had the hardest time with so it was one of the first to change. I can honestly say that this is the first step to changing your food…which will change your life!

Tips to Get Started:
  1. I shop the bulk section at my local food Co-op or grocery store for nuts, seeds, dried fruits and healthy goodies. Raw nuts and seeds are best, as they hold the most nutritional value (roasted nuts and seeds are cooked, which does diminish some aspects of their nutritional value). RAW is always better for you when it comes to any plant-based food. Unless I am getting a great deal, I don't buy more than a week's worth at a time. This also gives you an opportunity to mix things up and keep it fresh. If you do buy in large quantities, you will want to store nuts and seeds in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer, as nuts and seeds can go rancid quickly.
  2. Storage Tips: Dried fruits can be stored in an airtight container in a cupboard or fridge. My favorite dried fruit is prunes, actually dried plums. We use 500,000 pounds of prunes in Breakfast Cookies each year! They boast the highest antioxidant levels by volume and are truly decadent, delicious and affordable. I eat them whole, or I chop them up and add to my hot cereal, cookies and yogurt.
  3. Don't buy too much! The bulk food section can be overwhelming and expensive if you go overboard. Ease into shopping in this section by choosing one of your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Buy enough for the week and make adjustments the next week.
  4. Find the perfect bento box and thermal cup. I like Starbucks metal thermal cups…I have tried many!
  5. Start today!
GO!
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