More Bento Fun and A Festive Salad

Sweaty Stats: Thursday I did my last run before the race on Sunday… 5 miles.  It felt good and easy, so bring it on 13.1!!  Friday I hit up the elliptical and did some ab work.  I’m not sure if I’ll do anything today, maybe just walking and stretching tonight.

I feel totally ready and really excited for tomorrow’s Rock and Roll Half Marathon!   I have some friends running the race with me, and some friends coming down to cheer me on along the course!  Talk about amazeball friends!  I’m a lucky girl 🙂

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because I have a race expo to get to in a bit, but I wanted to share a couple of my eats from this week.

You know I love my bento meals!  Check out my last bento post on how to build the perfect bento style meal.  Here’s my latest bento breakfast box from this week.

PB banana sushi bento

I took 1 piece of my favorite Alpine Valley bread and cut off the very edge of the crust.  Then I flattened/smashed the bread, this is important!    I spread about 1 Tbl. of peanut butter on the flat bread and placed the whole banana right in there.  Roll it up and carefully cut the roll into bite size pieces.  I tried to be careful but you can see this is a bit delicate and can break up a bit.  Finish off with some fruit and the breakfast bento is complete!  It was so good and cute looking, give it a try! 🙂

Next up, this corn-avocado-tomato salad.  I’m loving corn right now and it’s cheap and in season!  I’ve seen variation of this salad, but I wanted to keep it simple, and free of creamy dressings and cheese.  Try this light and refreshing salad for any occasion this summer!

UPDATED – I didn’t realize that half of my post wasn’t up, agh!  So here’s the salad and quick recipe for it.

corn avocado tomato saladI love love love corn in the summer!!  I always try to add it to salads, sides, and pretty much anything I can!  This lil salad is delish on it’s own or to compliment a main dish.  Since it’s a salad, the measurements don’t have to be super exact…you know how salads go, pretty much throw stuff in a bowl and call it a day!

1 Small Serving (About 1 Cup):

  • 1 ear of white corn boiled and cut off the cob (grilled would be even better)
  • Small handful of grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 small avocado cubed – this ones up to you, the more you add the more healthy fats you get…along with more calories.
  • Dressing: 1 tsp honey, juice from 1 lime, dash salt, pepper.  I added a bit of cayenne pepper for a lil kick
  • Mix it all up and enjoy!
What’s your favorite summertime fruit or veggie?
Have you tried my bento breakfast ideas?  What’d you think?!

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Tasty Tuesday – Bento Style

Sweaty Stats: Monday was a rest day for me…I’m letting my legs recover from Sunday’s run.  I’m usually never sore after my runs, but I’m definitely feeling this one!  Tomorrow I’ll be back at it, though 🙂

It’s no secret that I love meal planning and keeping everything organized.  I must admit, I don’t always stick to the plan 100%….but hey, I try!  When I have a plan, it’s much easier for me stay on track and keep to my healthy ways.  When I don’t…well there’s good ‘ol guilt staring at me in the face when I look at my “weekly plan.”

Another biggie for me is visually appealing food.  I’m totally a visual person, and my food is no exception.  This is what brought me to building my bento-style snacks and meals.   I must say, this has become a total obsession!  Bento-style meals is a great way to keep serving sizes low, account for calories, and keep it looking pretty 🙂

So what do you need to get started?  

  • Tupperware Containers- I use real Tupperware because they’re totally durable, environmentally friendly, and usually nest in each other nicely.  Bed Bath & Beyond has some good options for bento style lunch containers too.
  • Silicone Cupcake Liners No, I don’t eat cupcakes everyday…I wish.  These are perfect for keeping small foods all together.
  • FOOD!  

Make sure you keep these things in mind.

  1. Is this a snack or a meal?  Snack bentos should be in the 150 calorie range, whereas meals should have 300-400 calories depending on your diet (these are the calories that I shoot for).
  2. Do you have most of your food groups represented?  A balance between healthy carbs, protein, and fruit/veggie is my goal.  Remember some foods double dip in the nutrition category, i.e. almonds are a healthy fat and a  source of protein.

Here are my go-to bento ingredients:

  • Protein:  (remember, I don’t eat meat) Almonds, Hard Boiled Egg, Peanut Butter, Edamame, Hummus, Black Bean Dip.
  • Cheese: Babybel Rounds, Laughing Cow Wedge, Tilamook Snack Squares, String Cheese.  (When I include cheese, I shoot for prepackaged portions so I can keep track of the calories, they add up quick!)
  • Grains:  Whole Grain Crackers, Pita Bread, Whole Wheat Pretzels, Popcorn.
  • Fruits and Veggies: Grapes, Strawberries, Blackberries, Sliced Apples, Baby Carrots, Grape Tomatoes, Sliced Cucumbers.

Here are a couple I’ve had recently:

breakfast bento

Kashi Berry Muffin bar, 1 Hard Boiled Egg, A Handful of Berries, and a Snack Tilamook Cheese Square- 260 calories and 12 grams of protein.

big snack bento

This could be a breakfast bento, or big snack!  I had it as a big snack in lieu of lunch because I was having an early dinner.  Wasabi Almonds (about 14), Milton’s Multi-Grain Crackers, Babybel Cheese, and Grapes- 230 calories and 9 grams of protein.

breakfast bento

1/4 cup Lowfat Cottage Cheese, 2 Tbl. Organic Granola, 1 slice of Alpine Valley Organic Bread, 1 Tbl. Peanut Butter, and Berries.  This is one of my favorite breakfasts…lots of filling food for just 300 calories with 15 grams of protein.

OK, Ready?!  Time to build your bento!!

Do you tend to meal plan, or wing it?
Have you tried bento meals before? 
If so, what’s your favorite combination?