Sunday, July 13, 2014

July is National Picnic Month! A Bevy of Bento Box Lunches to Celebrate.

July is National Picnic Month! I love a good picnic. What's not to love... fresh air, sunshine (Vitamin D), good food and if you can share it with some good company even better. I sort of picnic a few times a week, I made a resolution this year to spend more time outdoors so my way is to bring more of my meals outside. I can't always get to the beach or park so sometimes it's just out in the back yard but it's always fun and filled with protein packed, healthy food. Here are some recent bento box picnic lunches and some tips for making your next picnic perfect.

Tips for planning the perfect post-op weight loss surgery picnic

1. Early post-ops, word of advice: Don't try new foods when you are out and about. Bring something tried and true or do a test run at home. You want to enjoy the day. The squirrels will laugh at you if you end up hurling behind a tree. They are rude like that.

2. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Always practice food safety. When I go further than the backyard I pack my bento box and then my bento goes in a cooler or bag with ice packs. Don't mess with salmonella.

3. If your picnic area doesn't have tables, find a soft spot in the shade and lay out a big picnic blanket. If it's an all-day affair, bring comfortable chairs or cushions to sit on. Post-ops over a year out are feeling me on this one. Ouch.

4. The Basics: Bring plenty of water. Don't neglect this. Dehydration is no joke and one of the major reasons for re-admittance to the hospital post weight loss surgery. Bring a few cold and a few frozen bottles so as they defrost later in the day you will have ice cold water and bonus they help your food stay cold. Don't forget your vitamins, no missed doses. Of course, pack the sunscreen and bug spray.

5. Pack your picnic backwards. If you have a dessert pack that on the bottom of your cooler, put any appetizers on the top, save yourself from digging around. Don't forget the utensils, condiments and salt & pepper. I love mustard packets, I snatch a few extras when I see them at restaurants. Shhh ;) I am a dipper and it's safer than mayo or yogurt for all day picnics.

6. If your day is being spent with whippersnappers be sure you have some fun games. I love this old school favorite. If it's just you and a friend or loved one... turn off the electronic devices and connect.
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ~Robert Brault

7. The Food. Find oodles of protein packed and delicious (even the non-ops will love) Bento Box Picnic Ideas here on the blog or on my Bento -licious Pinterest page.

Here are some recent picnic perfect lunches. Click on links in descriptions for recipes or online sources.

Pink Box (top left): Grilled Zucchini (swipe of olive oil, sprinkled with Greek Seasoning, grilled on the BBQ)
Green Box (top right): Homegrown Tomatoes
Blue Box (bottom left): Salami and Provolone Rounds
Orange Box (bottom right): Fresh Cherries

Pink Box (top left): Homegrown Tomatoes and fresh Mozzarella (sprinkle S&P and oregano)
Orange Box (top right): Mango Chunks
Blue Box (bottom left): Dill & Onion Tuna Salad, Dill Pickle Spears
Green Box (bottom right): a hunk of a Premier Protein Crisp Bar (all flavors are really yummy, this one was Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Mint is awesome too)

Pink Box (top left): a hunk of a Premier Protein Crisp Bar (Chocolate Mint Flavor) in blue silicon cup and Blue Diamond Rosemary & Black Pepper Almonds in green silicon cup
Green Box (top right): Pineapple Chunks
Blue Box (bottom left): Roast Beef and Dill Pickle Spear Cold Cut Rollups with Mustard for dipping 
Orange Box (bottom right): Jarlsberg Minis (I love these)

Pink Box (top left): Greek Salad (tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, sprinkle S&P and oregano)
Green Box (top right): Hunk of Peanut Butter Creme Power Crunch Bar
Blue Box (bottom left): Turkey and Cheese Melted Rollup
Orange Box (bottom right): Chive and Onion Crunchamame

Pink Box (top left): Leftover Grilled Chicken
Green Box (top right): Shelly's High Protein Feta Dip for dipping chicken
Blue Box (bottom left): Berries! Blueberries, Raspberries and a Red Ripe Strawberry.
Orange Box (bottom right): Shelly's Homemade Protein Square (cross between a protein bar & oatmeal cookie)

Pink Box (top left): Ham, Cheese, Pickle Spear Cold Cut Rollups
Green Box (top right): Mustard and Blue Diamond Toasted Coconut Almonds
Blue Box (bottom left): Grapes (I grew these!)
Orange Box (bottom right): a hunk of a Premier Protein Crisp Bar (new Cookies and Cream flavor)

More Bento Box lunches, FAQ's and an Online Source for them 
My Bento Box Pinterest Page - Oodles of Bento Box Pictures and Lunch Ideas

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Shauna C said...

OMG...thank you so much for the laugh regarding chairs. I had not seen your previous post regarding tailbone issues until tonight and am so glad I came across it. Both my husband and I had the sleeve and complain to each other about how much it hurts to sit for any length of time. Hate to say that I am glad you have experienced this, but happy to know it isn't just us and it is common. Thank you!

Daniel said...

Thanks for all these great and colorful Bento Box combinations :)
I'm sure I will pack some of these to lunch soon.

Meghan Little said...

Looking at getting a bento box now! Thanks! I love all of your recipes too! I JUST had gastric bypass surgery this past Saturday. I started a blog this morning actually and would love for you to take a look at it. Your blog as been an inspiration for me and I look forward to reading more! I am also looking into going to the YWM2014 conference! Hooray!

Melissa Laws said...

I had WLS 3 years ago, love your blog. I am down 125 pounds. My husband recently had WLS, he is the cook of our house and I have introduced him to your blog. He has began trying your recipes. I remember cooking meatballs and cutting baby bel cheese and putting them inside the meatballs. I know I found that recipe from your blog? It was excellent for protein and small portions. I have looked for hours and can't find it, can your help me? Thank you so much for the wonderful tips and recipes!

Anonymous said...

this site is awesome. Thank you so much, I have been struggling on what to eat and how to prepare my food.

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Thank you. Hope you all enjoy all you try!

Melissa, It sounds familiar LOL I couldn't find it but I'll look around this week and link you when i do find it.