August 23, 2012

The Art of Lunch

I've become fascinated with bento boxes. If you're not familiar with them, I highly recommend you do a Google search and check out a few images. Some are fantastical art that only resemble food when you look closely.

What I like most about bento boxes is that they seem like little lunchtime gifts. Most aren't elaborate art, they're simply lovely food divided into small containers in a lunchbox. Simple enough isn't it? But how many of us take the time to package our lunch so it's a wonderful treat when the clock strikes noon? I don't. I throw things into baggies with one hand as I use the other to pour water into the cup that goes with me everywhere. Then I dash out the door to work. When lunchtime rolls around, I eat at my desk and hope people have the decency to leave me alone for at least 30 minutes while I wolf down whatever happened to land in the lunch bag that never keeps anything cold or warm enough.

No longer. Bento boxes have made me realize lunch isn't just about satisfying the gnawing little hunger in my stomach I keep trying to ignore. It's about taking a break, breathing deeply, relaxing, enjoying what I'm eating, reading a book, writing a story, talking to a friend, listening to music. Perhaps one of the things that's keeping me from truly being satisfied at lunchtime is that I'm not stopping to actually participate in the art of taking a lunch.

So I purchased my own version of a bento box, and today I filled it with my favorite yogurt, apple slices, carrots, cucumbers, spinach, tuna salad, veggie chips, pita bread, and string cheese. I brought a placemat, real silverware, and a cloth napkin with me to complete the experience. It's the same lunch and snacks I had yesterday, but it was so much better today. Music played as I relaxed and enjoyed my meal, which was arranged nicely in burgundy bowls. I didn't think about photographing it until I was finished, but this is the lunchbox I'm using, purchased at Amazon.
Today's experience proved to me that it's worth taking a few minutes each night before I go to bed to make my lunch so I can have an enjoyable meal every day at work. If I'm more satisfied with my meal and less stressed overall, I'll be less likely to want to have an unplanned snack later in the day.

Thank you, little bento boxes!


  1. I like the lunch box. Glad you mentioned where to purchase:) I think what you did was a great idea. I am sure if I tried that at work they would just chalk it up to one more quirky thing I do. First I would have to fight for space at the lunch table as we really get a crowd sometimes. I could eat in my office, but then I would miss out on stimulating conversations:-)

  2. This is so fun! There's something charming about a 'kit' you get to play with, don't you think? That's my theory of why those "Snackables" are so popular. My problem would be washing the thing out so I could take the box again the next day.