Packin' up

Packing is in full swing around here! We only have two days left in Brooklyn until we're headed South. I'll be back within the next two weeks. Packing is exercise, right?
See you then!

PS: I am wayyy behind on emails. If you've sent me an email in the last month (or two) it's coming!

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BMI Illustrated

I didn't find this particularly shocking, but really interesting. This is a group on flickr that basically shows you what people look like and what their BMI reading is.

Check it out: http://flickr.com/photos/77367764@N00/sets/72157602199008819/

I am Morbidly Obese

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Pack My Bento

Bento boxes have got to be the cutest things I've ever seen! I've been so curious about creating my own bento box lunches for some time now, but haven't actually started. Back in March my mom got me a Mr. Bento for my birthday upon my request. I imagined myself packing little lunches for work the night before. But, then two weeks later I started working from home and Mr. Bento was left in his bag.

What is a bento box?
(Photo Lunchinabox.net)

From my own definition they are Japanese inspired food boxes with compartments and dividers for food. They are basically smaller versions of meals to fit in compact spaces. They range from very creative and quirky to very simple. I think when people see these they might automatically assume they are just for kids.

Me? I think they are perfect for anyone wanting to have a healthy and portion controlled meal. When I first discovered a few blogs written by moms packing lunches for their toddlers going off to preschool I couldn't help but see the advantage of these meals for those of us trying to eat better.

(Click Here for More info.)

I think at first the idea of packing a bento can seem daunting or difficult. Or maybe thats just me. But, I'm really determined to give this a try once I get settled into our new place in VA. This is great way to bring your lunch to work, but I could totally see this working at home too. The appeal to me, is that you can enjoy some of your favorite foods, just smaller. I think taking care to pack a nice meal for yourself would make the process of eating more enjoyable even if in smaller amounts.

The ideas are endless. I think the key to bento boxing is a little bit of planning and organization. I really like the idea of making things like mini pressed sandwiches, fruit, and a salad. Or you could make mini casserole-type foods in muffin tins and freeze them in advance. For me, when I had an office job I ended up eating all of my meals at work except for dinner. With a larger bento, you could pack breakfast in one layer, and lunch in another.

If you like muffins on occasion which we all know are very calorie dense (450+ calories each) you could make mini muffins over the weekend and pack one or two on occasion for the mornings. That would end up being about 50-100 calories each. You could use the rest of your space for things like yogurt and fruit. You could also make mini quiche, egg fritata's, or even turkey sausage. Mini pancakes with a small container of syrup with strawberries. The options are endless. I'll admit I'm really excited about bento boxing, but we'll see how it goes when I actually start doing it.

I can really see the diet benefits of a bento lunch.

If you want more ideas check out these useful websites:

Lunch in a box
Ichiban Kan- cheap bento supplies
Flickr search: bento box

Do any of you bento?

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On the move

I'm back now, at least somewhat. I won't go into detail about the past week, but to be vague it was surreal. Its weird how unexpected events have a tendency to jolt us back into reality and our lives. Its hard to see it this way at the time, but looking at the other side of the coin: a difficult experience often brings something you really needed into your life. In this case, a new perspective and appreciation.

A week from Wednesday I will be leaving Brooklyn for a very small and rural country town in Southwestern Virginia. I don't know what my posting status will be like until I get there, or in the next few days while we pack up. I will say I'm really looking forward to moving and looking forward to fall. September, like January to me is always symbolic of new happenings.

I feel ready to leave nyc, which in the past two years has been really good for me. Life here, is unlike anything else I've ever experiences. In new york, I learned to be a little more braver and learned to just deal with things totally out of my control. Living here is not comfortable or easy, but it has been really rewarding. I feel like when I moved here after leaving college, I desperately needed to experience everything I did here.

This trip in new york, hasn't been perfect or without mistakes. I didn't put myself out there as much as I would have liked, or have much to show for the decent salary I was making except for the opportunity to have a nice life here. I'm really glad that I was introduced to new foods, and new ways of eating. I also got used to walking a lot and walking everywhere. I'll miss that too.

In Virginia, I look forward to being more creative- something that never really happened here. I really thought I would create more, but I rarely did. Lately, I feel more of a drive to be apart of something and get outside of my head. I find myself wanting to go out and try new things, which in Virginia seems much more manageable.

I've been thinking a lot about dieting and exercise lately. And wanting to find more joy in my health pursuits. There is a really great article in this months Bon Appetit, written by a food writer. How she eats out every night and still stays thin. It was so refreshing to hear her write about how she is not naturally thin and how she really does want to eat everything in front of her. She talked about eating only things she really liked. I find this so true, often times in my life I have spent a lot of calories on food I didn't even like. I've scarfed down many of a cookie, fries, nachos, whatever because they were "bad" or "there" but I didn't really like them or even want them. The writer also talks about enjoying food, and eating what she likes to eat, but being more disciplined about the amount that she eats.

I also read a quick interview with Margaret Cho, who has publicily struggled with her weight and body image. The interview was in this months Marie Claire. She talks about her love for belly dancing and how much it has given to her body and self-esteem. When asked about her weight loss because of dancing she responded:

"It's Weird. Discovering burlesque led me to take up belly dancing, and a lot of weight came off. It's a pleasurable movement that has positively increased my body awareness. It's so unlike going to the gym and hating it."

I really liked that. I'm feeling a sway in my life to find more joy in my pursuits for better health. Weight loss can be so negative sometimes, and keeping a blog can really keep you "in your head" about the whole thing too. The thing about blogging is, you are always aware that someone else is reading. I have other blogs, but this one makes me more vulnerable. I get so many lovely emails and comments every day from people trying to lose weight too and sometimes I just think we want to know that we aren't alone in wanting to lose weight and wanting to feel normal and accepted.

With joy in mind, I guess I feel a pull in my heart to get out there and get physical in ways that I love. I was looking at the Floyd (where I'm moving) calendar of events and I noticed that there is a 5k at the end of this month. There is no way I could run a 5k at my current weight and fitness level, but wouldn't it be a crazy notion to try and run one next year?

I guess what I'm feeling is, is that I want to take care of myself and celebrate my life and body more. Take care of my appearance, and just feel good about my body now at this size and find physical activities that really excite me. And in that pursuit becoming healthier and slimmer. Trying a new sport, training for a 5k, dancing, hiking, rowing, are things that deep down I know I want to be apart of, but never tried because of my weight. And now this pull is no longer ignorable.

Wow, not kidding, this post was originally about blackened chicken salad. I had a picture and everything.

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Will return shortly

Dealing with some things at the moment, will return soon. Thanks for stopping by!

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Day 4 of 21

Yesterday was another "lay low" for an hour days. I've been feeling "off" this week, which soreness and hormonal surges.

I'm feeling better today, so I plan on doing an hour cardio session today. Will report back :)

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