Monthly Archives: January 2014

Breakfast

Breakfast post!
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I had a smoothie with this too, which I do believe makes this quite a nice healthy breakfast. This bowl had cottage cheese, avocado and one slice of seeded toast with marmite on.

What healthy or not so healthy breakfasts do you grab yourself on a work/busy morning?

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Bento (No.71) and Appetites

Todays bento belongs to the boyfriend.

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This bento contains a ham and cheese salad wrap, cherry tomatoes, grapes, cucumber, cheese triangle and a snack pack of choccy animal biscuits.

I mentioned appetite in the title. This is because this bento would not be enough food for a whole day for the boyfriend. No he’s not a piggy, he is lucky to have a very fast metabolism and has to eat a reasonable amount to sustain his current weight. Soooo, here is his snack bento:

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These snacks are for him to eat throughout the day. He has malt loaf, a few crisps, fruit, a cereal bar and unsalted nuts (in the blue lidded pot).

If I had a lunch that big I might go pop!

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Bento (No.70)

A Relatively plain Bento for my Dad:

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Ham and cucumber sandwiches, cucumber sticks, clementine, cherry tomatoes, grapes, mix unsalted nuts and malt loaf (in foil).

As much as I love Japanese cuisine, and so does my family, Bento doesn’t always have to revolve around that and it can be as simple as the one above. As long as there is a healthy balance of the right food groups, it is doing its job!

Talking of healthy balance, I may have sneaked this treat in:

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Dad has still got to have a treat, right?

How do you make sure you pack a healthy lunch for yourself or your family?

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Bento (No.69)

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There are many uses for eggs in bentos, but this was the second ‘trial’ bento I made like this. I cooked egg whites into very thin omelettes (with no other vegetables in and used them as wraps!! I filled these egg wraps with hummus and red pepper slithers. Accompanying these were more red pepper slices and mange tout. They were very tasty; I would encourage anyone to try these!

Tip for making egg wraps: use as little oil as possible (or none at all in a non-stick pan) to limit the sogginess when in the bento!

Have you made anything new and fairly simple that turned out to be brilliant?!

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Bento (No.68)

 

Bento back log!

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This bento was super yummy!! It contained mixed roasted vegetables, quinoa cooked in vegetable stock, olives, sliced steak and a big cupcake case full of hummus with smoked paprika. It had so much flavour from the vegetables and so much goodness in everything!!

I could eat another bento like that right now!

Have you tried smoked paprika with hummus? It is super yummy!

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Living with no gallbladder: My food do’s and don’ts

Time for a bit of a side story on my blog. I do talk about this frequently within my bento posts, but I’ve recently been thinking that a couple of specific posts on it would help some people. When I first had my gallbladder out, it would have been such a help to me if I could have found a range of blogs and websites about specific transitions in eating after a gallbladder removal, but alas, it’s mainly medical sites out there :S

This blog post will be specific to my food do’s and don’ts; what I eat and don’t eat, why I eat or avoid those things and other tips. This may help some of you, but please excuse my rambling if it doesn’t ๐Ÿ™‚

My food do’s:

– Do always have breakfast – as bile is constantly dripping into my digestive system, not eating for long periods of time makes it uncomfortable (like acid burn), so I always eat breakfast, even if it is just a banana.

– Do up the protein – processed carbs cause me issues and comfortableness if I eat them too often, so I make sure I eat more protein. The protein I eat includes cottage cheese, low fat natural and flavoured yogurts, edamame, fish, chicken, chickpeas (hummus), lentils and quorn.

– Do enjoy your fruit and veg – I can eat all fruit and veg, bar one or two things (although when my stomach isn’t feeling great, I avoid raw vegetables). I’m not able to eat radishes as it was one of my trigger foods, but I always get my 5-a-day in so many different ways; smoothies, soups, snack pots, dipping, baked, roasted, stir fried, steamed ๐Ÿ˜€ I especially like baked apples with a sprinkling of oats on top!

– Do snack – again, due to the bile, it is better for me to never have an empty stomach for too long, so, snack it is! I love home popped popcorn, with paprika and pepper on it, or hummus and veggies, or good old rice cakes. I even like sliced apple with a small amount of choccy spread!

– Do exercise! – exercise is a fantastic non-medical way to help with digestive problems. Running, for me is what keeps things moving (apologies for the term!). If there is anyone who has digestive problems after a gallbladder removal, then exercise!! It will solve it!! Exercise how you are able to though, so even a short walk in the fresh air or a nice swim will help.

My food don’ts:

– Don’t eat high fat items often – high fat items, for me, include peanut butter, most nuts, full fat dairy (including cream, milk, cheese and yogurt), fast food (especially battered items), fatty meats and high fat carb items (like pastries) and whole eggs. I have some of these very occasionally but if I eat them too often or eat too much of them, my digestive system does not cope so well and it isn’t comfortable.

– Don’t overeat! – no-one should overeat anyway, it’s not good for you, but having no gallbladder to control the flow of bile means that a very large meal can take a very very long time to digest, which equals the very full feeling for a very long time (for me). I do eat large meals sometimes, but I am a lot more conscious of how overeating affects me.

– Don’t worry! –ย Stress exacerbates a lot of conditions, and it also makes for a unhappy digestive system. By stress I mean worrying about eating the right foods or too much of the not so good foods. Don’t worry! Your main aim should always be to eat lots of fruit and vegetables. I have found all the rest will balance itself out due to being full up on all the good stuff!! Exercise also helps all forms of stress, so get moving!

Overall, just be happy. I get aches and pains sometimes, that are directly to do with the scar tissue from the op. But guess what? They are smallย aches.ย Not the excruciating pain I was in when I had my silly gallbladder. I can cope with these, I can enjoy my life, and I am happy and healthy!

Have you got any food do’s and don’ts that are specific for yours or your familys needs?

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Bento (No. 67)

Bento for everyone!

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Just a lovely large selection of Bentos that I made for my family ๐Ÿ™‚ Lots of sandwiches and sides (lots of foil though). There is malt loaf and crackers in the foil packages in the boxes.

Anyone started Bento-ing as their New Years Resolution?

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Fussy eaters?

I make a lot of bentos for my family. I get a lot of feedback from my family too. And not all of it is good.
This isn’t down to packing horrible food, it is down to people’s personal preferences. And wow do they have a lot of preferences.

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I have mentioned about fussiness in the past but I thought I would give some tips on how to work around different preferences and make bento-ing a bit easier.

– Remember preferences – as you are the bento maker, unfortunately it is your job to know what people like, primarily to reduce waste. Also if you know what people like you can tailor the whole process around dishes that cater for everyone.
– Don’t be afraid to be boring sometimes – most of my family like standard sandwiches with the same (healthy) sides every day. That’s ok, as long as they have a healthy lunch they will eat, the purpose of bento is fulfilled.
– Always have a range of vegetables for bento sides – it’s always a good idea to have lots of veggies available when you are trying to be healthy and even better when everyone you make lunch for likes a different vegetable in their lunch!
– Question their preferences – my familys lunch preferences can change quite frequently so I usually question their reasoning for the new preference. If it is justified I will suggest replacements or a solution to their preference. I am adamant that the lunches I make will have a healthy side ‘dish’ in them. So if my brother states he would prefer not to have red pepper as his side due to not liking them as much now, I would ask him for a replacement vegetable to use instead. In this case it was celery. No veggie, no lunch! (Maybe that sounds a bit mean!).
– Warn them before you pack new things – again it’s about reducing waste. Letting your family know about new foods in their bento will give them chance to state their preference of the new food and suggest either a different time to try this new lunch food or a different food in its place. When I say new foods, I don’t mean foods they have never tried before ever, just bento snacks that they may not have carried around in their lunchbox before.

Remember, bento is all about healthy lunches ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you got any tips about dealing with fussy bento eaters?

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Bento (No.66)

Ive been better at this regular blogging so far!!
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In this bento, my lucky other half had: tomato pasta with ham (in the smaller round pot), malt loaf (in the foil), cheese and pepper quesadilla slices, cucumber, mixed unsalted nuts and raisins, satsuma, sweets and cherry tomatoes and red pepper slices.
The guy definitely eats well!!

I know other countries refer to pepper as capsicum, but does it get confusing while reading blog? Sometimes I have to stop and think!

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Bento (No.65)

Bento back log again!

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Naughty snacks of celery with peanut butter (can’t have that now!) with dates and a babybel.

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Main Bento with lots of choice! – (clockwise from top left) baked tofu (sesame oil and soy sauce) with cheese, celery and sweetcorn, olives and red pepper, tomato and cucumber relish (homemade) with lots of grapes to fill the gaps.

On the same day I’m pretty sure I had a couple of rice cakes with this, or oatcakes as all the main bento ‘dishes’ are great as cracker/sandwich toppers!

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