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January 2012

  January 2012  

Highlights

In this issue you'll find:


Good
Simple
Fun

What works...Success Stories

This Product is a Lifesaver

"Thank you for making such a great product - we are very excited to receive our lunchbox! As the mom of an extremely picky eater this product is a life saver! My son is 12 and has a syndrome called "Sensory Integration Dysfunction," and for him texture aversion is a huge aspect of what he struggles with daily. Children who are wired like this typically don't like to try new foods and need foods that they are comfortable with to be separated (i.e. not touching). Attempting to create colorful and nutritious lunches for him without calling out his eating issues to his peers at school can be a challenging task. I downloaded the lunch cookbook link and have shown him the many ideas that we can put into his bento box, and for the first time in many years, he is truly excited to try some new ideas for lunch! It is my hope that the colorful containers will stimulate his receptiveness to new foods and make lunchtime an exciting adventure and not an event that he dreads."

    -- Kimberley Ferguson, Alpine, CA

Love Making Lunches Now

“My boys love making their lunches now, and we have a contest to see who has the most colors in their box”.

    -- Kerri Waits, Mobile, AL

Love Our Bento Sets

"Our Laptop Lunches bentos keep me aware of what my kids have and what they need. It is a visual reminder to mix it up and keep their portions in check! I love our bento sets and in turn my kids love them, because they get to eat the benefits.”

    -- Ashley Gaffney, Everett, WA

Do you have a success story or photo to share? Email it to us at info@obentec.com.




New Retailers

Whole Foods Winter Park
989 Aloma Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32792
(407) 673-8788












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From Our Desk to Yours

    

Happy New Year!

Wow, it’s 2012! Can you believe we’ve been in business for nearly 10 years? We’re looking forward to celebrating our 10-year anniversary in February—and we’d like to thank YOU for sharing this wonderful journey with us.

NEW LUNCH KITS: We are really excited about the arrival of our new Dual-compartment Lunch Kits! Now available in two styles! You’ve made suggestions, and we’ve listened. Be sure to check them out at http://secure.laptoplunches.com/AMAZING/items.asp?Cc=DUALCOMPARTMENT&Bc=. We hope you'll love them as much as we do!!!

MIS-MATCHED SETS: Our discounted mis-matched sets are back in stock while supplies last. From time to time we end up with "extra" containers. Instead of recycling them, we assemble them into "mis-matched" sets, made up of many different colors. We're currently offering these in cartons of 24 only for a flat price of just $384.00 per carton. More information can be found in the DEALS and STEALS section of our Web site at http://secure.laptoplunches.com/AMAZING/items.asp?Cc=SPECIALS&Bc=.

BALANCE: Living a healthier lifestyle starts with balance. Click here to learn more about how you can add wholesome balance to your bento box this year.

WASTEFREELUNCHES.ORG: Be sure to check out the newly updated tri-fold pamphlet at www.wastefreelunches.org/Resources.html. It’s a great resource for parents, teachers, students, administrators, and anyone else interested in waste-free lunch programs.

ATTENTION SCHOOLS: Look for our new school programs in 2012! Want more information? Please email us at info@obentec.com, and we’ll send some information your way!

YEAR IN REVIEW: This has been a full and wonderful year! In December we challenged ourselves to eliminate all disposable bags from our lives. And we have to admit that this was the easiest challenge of all—a veritable “feel-good” adventure, in fact. Did you join us for any challenges in 2011? Which were your favorites? Share with us at www.facebook.com/LaptopLunches.

                

With warm wishes and heartfelt gratitude,


From Your Kitchen to Ours




"I find that it's easier to eat a lot of fruit and veggies when I use my Laptop Lunchbox. It's so easy to make it look colorful and tempting!"

    -- Ingvild, Oslo, Norway

Food for Thought: Cinnamon

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices and is an excellent source of calcium, fiber and iron. It may be helpful in the prevention of colon cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown that cinnamon helps reduce blood sugar levels and can lower cholesterol, which is beneficial to those with Type 2 diabetes. It acts as a digestive aid, comforting diarrhea, stomach upset and indigestion. In addition, cinnamon provides some anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits.

Cinnamon can easily be added to hot cereals, stews, rice dishes, fruit salads and apple sauce. Sprinkle it on yogurt or cottage cheese and consider including some cinnamon in a warm drink like coffee, apple cider or milk. Cinnamon is used as an ingredient in many herbal teas. It pairs well with apples and is commonly used to add a bit of spice to desserts and baked goods. Be aware that small and moderate amounts of cinnamon are beneficial, large doses may cause adverse health reactions.

For unique cinnamon recipes, both sweet and savory, visit: Cinnamon Recipes at Holy Cow Vegan.net.

Benefits:

  • Lowers LDL Cholesterol
  • Helpful for Digestive Ailments
  • Good Source of Fiber, Iron and Calcium
  • Offers Pain Relief from Arthritis
  • Beneficial for Blood Sugar Levels
  • Helpful to Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun


This Month's Recipes: Baking With Cinnamon

Zucchini Bread

Although this recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, cinnamon lovers may choose to use up to 1 Tablespoon.


Yield: 2 medium sized loaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs till frothy.
  3. Add maple syrup and oil. Beat mixture till thick and lemon colored.
  4. Stir in grated zucchini.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients and add to the egg/zucchini mixture.
  6. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until golden and springy to the touch.

Baked Apples

These baked apples are good to eat as is, or might be served with yogurt, ice cream, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut. The apples in this recipe are the slightly tart, Granny Smiths. A sweeter variety of apple may be used to replace the Granny Smith.


Yield: 4 baked apples
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Core the apples using care not to cut through the bottom of the apple. Cut the peel around the top of the apple about an inch wide.
  3. Fill each apple with 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp maple syrup.
  4. Mix the orange juice with 2/3 cup apple juice. Pour the juice mix in equal parts into the four apples.
  5. Top the filling with 1/4 Tbsp of butter for each apple. Sprinkle extra cinnamon if desired.
  6. Place apples in baking pan.
  7. Add remaining apple juice and water to the pan.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft.
  9. Allow to cool slightly and serve.
In the Spotlight: An Article By Jill Troderman


Post Holiday Cleanse

By Jill Troderman, Holistic Family Nutrition

Jill Troderman is a certified Holistic Family Nutritionist and certified First Line Therapy Lifestyle Educator. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from ASU and graduated from Bauman College in 2006 as a Certified Nutrition Consultant. She specializes in family and child nutrition by empowering and educating parents on the art of holistic eating and balanced nutrition necessary for a lifetime of enjoying healthy and healing foods.

Jill is a partner at the Pacific Wellness Center (www.SantaCruzHolisticNutrition.com) in Soquel, California.

We loved every indulgence the holiday season offered! But if the season to be jolly has left you with a jiggle around your middle or feelings of mental and physical sluggishness, a super nutrient boost is just what you need to cleanse and detoxify. I will share with you a holistic approach to restoring balance, by infusing yourself with natural foods, herbs, and supplements!

Many cleanses can leave a person even more depleted and run down than when they started. As a holistic nutritionist, my approach to cleansing and detoxification is to infuse the body with the nutrients it needs to do the job. Our bodies are designed to detoxify and cleanse on a daily basis, always moving towards health and wellness. Therefore, these detoxification recommendations can be used throughout the year to support your ongoing health.

I will discuss three areas to focus on to support your daily detox and cleansing; the mind, the gut, and the liver.

THE MIND
Detoxification begins in the mind. Therefore, my first suggestion is to forgive yourself for any holiday over-indulgences and create the serenity to start fresh today. There is no point in ruminating about the past or counting pounds obsessively as this may indeed lead to more stress and unnecessary weight gain.

Start your cleanse with an affirmation and repeat it every night before you go to bed.


THE GUT
The second strategy in restoring your body, so it can efficiently and safely rid itself of waste products, is to heal and fortify the digestive tract. Just as your mind needs to be clear in order to absorb information and function well, so does your gut. Most nutrients are absorbed in the digestive tract, so it won’t matter how well you try to eat or how many supplements you take if nothing is getting absorbed.

Alkalize
Creating an alkaline pH condition in your body is one of the secrets to creating optimal health. Reducing sugar, stress and yes, eating your veggies, are some ways to achieve this. Upon awakening, flush your system with an 8-ounce glass of warm/hot lemon water. Lemon is an alkalizer that will help balance your pH. Lemon water actually helps mineralize the blood, thereby supporting digestive acid production (HCl).

How to take: Squeeze half a fresh lemon or a few tablespoons of lemon juice into warm or hot water and drink before your first meal. Enjoy every morning.

Bitters
The body needs nutrients, like bitter foods, to act as a catalyst for proper gut function. Bitters are made from foods and herbs like artichoke, dandelion, turmeric, ginger, hops, and gentian root. Bitters stimulate bile production and stomach acid (HCl) while enhancing bowel function.

How to take: Thankfully, there has been a resurgence of eating bitter foods, like arugula, endive, radicchio, kale, and dandelion greens. These can all be enjoyed with your meals.

Digestive Enzymes
Another vital factor in boosting digestion is supplementing with food enzymes. Commercially packaged, processed, and most cooked foods are missing what would be naturally occurring enzymes found in plant and animal foods.

How to take: When in doubt, it is prudent to take comprehensive supplemental enzymes (with amylase, lipase, and protease) with every meal. Supplement with 2-4 dosages taken before or during your meal.

Probiotics
When consuming sugar in all its forms, be it chocolate, candy, white breads, alcohol or sweet drinks, your body will start hosting not-so-friendly guests in your gut, if you are not careful. The “holiday” time of year finds us indulging in more sweets, refined carbohydrates and white foods that cause more gut imbalances than we bargained for.

How to take: Take a comprehensive probiotic. You can buy them in health food stores in the refrigerator section. Take every day with food to aid in the restoration of the gut.

THE LIVER
The liver is one of the body’s major detoxifying organs, working at great lengths to keep you clear of unwanted chemicals, contaminants, and waste products. We can help our liver do its job daily by supplying it with vital nutrients, herbs, and supplements.

Eat beets! Beets contain betaine, a detoxifying agent that is great for cleansing of the blood, liver, and intestines.

Milk Thistle
There is extensive research on this wonder herb, for its capacity to support liver function. It has been shown to protect the liver from damage by chemicals and free radical damage. It has more antioxidant power than vitamin C and vitamin E.

How to Take: Take milk thistle in tincture form or as a supplement in capsule form.

Licorice
You might associate licorice with candy but, in truth, it is a powerful medicinal herb. Licorice enhances digestion, promotes liver and heart health, and assists in cleansing the blood and digestive tract of stored toxins.

How to Take: Take as a tea. You can also take licorice as a supplement or as a chewable tablet before meals.

I hope you have been nourished by reading about all of the wonderful and delicious ways we can support or body’s own natural rhythm of cleansing. Celebrating our body’s natural ability to detoxify daily means that all you need do is supply it with the needed nutrients with a good dose of happy thinking. Cleansing and detoxifying are what we are meant to do. It is fine to choose to eat lighter at certain times of the year, but you’ll never again have to starve yourself with another crazy cleanse.

For more information on Jill, to check out her recipe box and to learn about her Food Tree , visit: http://santacruzholisticnutrition.com.

Please consult a health care practitioner before introducing new supplements.


In the News

Miami Herald

How to stay serene on a not-so-calm flight

Study up on in-flight manners and pack these products to block out unruly passengers

Airplanes are a source of anxiety for me. The reality of flying more than 30,000 feet in the air puts my thoughts in a terror chokehold, reminding me why Cast Away is one of my least favorite movies. But death and disaster aside, it’s often the other passengers who make my blood pressure rise higher than our altitude. Rather than cancel my next flight, though, I’m going to air my grievances and suggest products that can turn even the most obnoxious seatmate into a travel buddy.

Eating smelly food. All puns aside, this is a foul move. I’m already heading up, up and away; I don’t need to be curried away by the smell of shrimp vindaloo. Instead, I’d suggest bringing along some sandwiches, carrots, walnuts or sliced fruits. Laptop Lunches sells compact bento boxes ($27.99) that are handy for traveling. With four compartments, it keeps food fresh and separated. Plus, the different sections help users exercise portion control. So pack some healthy but filling snacks and wait till the flight is over to dig into that tuna salad. Read more: www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/13/2492727/how-to-stay-serene-on-a-not-so.html.



Healthy Schools Campaign

Guest Post: Summer Squash Sauté

Thanks to Amy Hemmert for today's guest post! Amy is co-founder and president of Obentec, Inc., maker of the Laptop Lunches line of lunch containers. For additional recipes, nutritious menus, and inspirational lunch photos, visit www.laptoplunches.com.

Summer is, without question, my favorite season. Sure, the rest of the year is pretty good too, but something happens inside of me when the weather has warmed, my garden has been planted, and I can savor my favorite meals outdoors. Long days, warm evenings, and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s just nothing like it!

Food always tastes better when it’s fresh, and it’s even better if you’ve grown it yourself. If you've got squash in your garden this summer (or have purchased it from your local grocery store or farmers’ market) you’ve got to try this light, delicious recipe. Serve it over brown rice for a wholesome, delicious summer treat. It’s great for lunch or dinner, and it travels well too. The accompanying photo of my bento box shows how appetizing it can be for a lunch on the go!

For the full article along with the Summer Squash Saute recipe, visit: http://healthyschoolscampaign.typepad.com/healthy_schools_campaign/2011/08/guest-post-summer-squash-saut%C3%A9-.html.



Chicago Sun-Times

The new lunch boxes: How they stack up

These days, a lunchbox isn't just a box. It's a kit. A carrier. An insulated bag. It's bento-style. It comes in a dozen colors and prints, with a matching water bottle. We (and a few other moms) put some of the newer, eco-friendly models to the test with our kindergartners.

Laptop Lunches

Bento-style kit comes with five containers, stainless utensils and carrier. Some models include water bottle. $20.99-23.99; laptoplunches.com.To read the entire article, visit: www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/food/7105044-423/the-new-lunch-boxes-how-they-stack-up.html.

Green Opportunities

HEALTHY EATING TIPS FOR 2012 – Many people begin the New Year with the goal of choosing a healthier lifestyle, by eating better and exercising more. This article offers simple nutrition tips to easily incorporate positive, long-term changes into our daily lives. To learn more, visit: http://thefoodcopblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/healthy-eating-tips-for-2012.html.


THE HEALTHIEST BREADS - 6 TYPES EXPLAINED – How healthy is the bread you are eating? Here's an article that can act as a shopping guide to help in choosing the healthiest of breads. To learn about the breads to eat and the ones to stay away from, visit: www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/06/healthiest-breads_n_1078520.html.


GREEN GUIDE QUIZZES – Test your green know-how and learn how to shrink your environmental footprint on the planet! The National Geographic site has created a series of educational quizzes on subjects such as home insulation, water conservation, organic foods and how to green a kitchen. To find out how much you know and to check out the various quizzes, visit: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/green-guide/quizzes.


Featured Web Site: DrWeil.com

DrWeil.com is the official Website of Andrew Weil, M.D. It's the leading online resource for information on natural health and wellness, based on the principles of integrative medicine and the insights of Dr. Weil. The site provides in-depth information on healthy aging, heath care, diet and health tips, to help readers on the path to optimal health. There is also a comprehensive guide to vitamins, herbs and supplements.

Dr. Weil is an internationally-recognized expert on integrative medicine, medicinal plants, mind-body interactions and the future of medicine and health care.

To find out more, visit www.drweil.com.

On This Site:
  • Ask Dr. Weil
  • Daily Q & A
  • 50 Top Q & A's
  • Vitamin Advisor
  • Featured Health Articles
  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet
  • Head to Toe Wellness Guide
  • Recipes and Videos

Contact Us

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Laptop Lunches Bento Lunchboxes

© January 2012 Obentec, Inc.

500 Chestnut Street, Suite 250
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-457-0301

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