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July 2010

Laptop Lunch Times:July 2010
July 2010


In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Food for Thought: Blueberries
  • Summer Snack Boxes
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Twelve Ways to Make Cooking Fun and Easy
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site: www.AboutMyPlanet.com

From Our Desk to Yours...

Now that summer is in full swing, we hope you’re finding time to relax with family and friends, and that you’ve got lots of opportunities to use your Laptop Lunches for summer camp, outings, and travel. Don’t forget to check our Web site for recipes, menus and creative meal ideas. And please continue to send in your Laptop Lunch photos. We love ‘em!

 




NEW 2010 STYLES: Stay tuned for the official launch of our 2010 back to school styles on July 23rd. These highly anticipated new bento colors, carriers, women’s bags, and backpack sleeves are sure to be a hit this season. Look for an email on July 23rd with all the details!

FRUIT AND VEGGIE CUTTERS: Want to add hearts and stars to your lunchbox? You’ll love this brand new set of two stainless fruit and veggie cutters. Use them for shaping apples, pears, kiwifruit, melon, mango, carrots, potatoes, yams, beets, mushrooms, and a whole lot more. Visit http://secure.laptoplunches.com/AMAZING/itemdesc.asp?ic=T120-SET2&eq=&Tp= for more information.




BENTO DIVIDERS: These bright little cups are perfect for creating and organizing space inside your bento box. They’re great for berries, olives, cookies, crackers, beans, nuts, and much, much more. You can even use them to bake whole grain muffins! Check them out at … http://secure.laptoplunches.com/AMAZING/itemdesc.asp?ic=T130-SET2&eq=&Tp=

NEW ADDITION TO THE OBENTEC FAMILY: We’re happy to extend a warm welcome to our newest employee, Summer Cornish, who joined Obentec last month—just in time for our busiest season! She is a welcome addition to our growing Customer Service team. If you call and she answers the phone, be sure to welcome her.



Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!

 


  • Three Mini Pita Sandwiches (one with almond butter, one with tofu salad, and one with black bean spread)
  • Homemade Vegan Banana Flax Muffin
  • Carrots, Celery and Dip
  • Grapes and Strawberries

"This lunchbox is so great -- I love that it's made of safe, colorful plastic, prevents waste, and that it encourages me to include lots of variety in my son's lunch every day. I'm a dietitian, and I love products that make it easy to help my family eat more healthfully. Honestly, my son wouldn't be eating half the veggies he does if we used a "regular" lunch box. He loves that little dip container! Plus, Laptop Lunch systems make awesome gifts to any family with kids. I recently gave one to my cousin and she told me that her son now prefers bringing lunch over buying!"

                     -- Dina Aronson, Montclair, NJ


Food for Thought: Blueberries

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Blueberries contain a very high concentration of antioxidants which boost the immune system and protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. Compounds in blueberries have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce the aging process. A blueberry rich diet can help lower blood cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease and age-related vision loss. They've been known to help preserve brain cells and maintain memory.

To enjoy the health benefits of blueberries, add them to smoothies, fruit salads, yogurt and oatmeal. They add lots of flavor to muffins, pies, pancakes and other baked goods.

Blueberry recipes can be found at: http://healthycooking.suite101.com/article.cfm/blueberry_recipes

Benefits:

  • Loaded with Antioxidants
  • Lowers Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
  • Good For Brain Health
  • Reduces Age Related Loss of Vision
  • High in Vitamin C
  • Helps Reduce Risk of Colon Cancer

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Summer Snack Boxes

Here are some fresh and yummy snacks that are perfect for road trips, vacation travel, an afternoon at a park or a day at the beach. They can be eaten by one person or shared with friends and family.

Crunch and Munch Snack Box

  • Cherries
  • Bite Size Cheddar Crackers
  • Blueberries
  • Trail Mix

 



Berry Blast Box

This snack box is loaded with antioxidants.

  • Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries
  • Kiwi Slices
  • Strawberries
  • Apricot Halves
  • Pecans in the Bento Divider

 




Green Opportunities

Some earth-friendly tidbits that have landed in our office in recent weeks...


  • 2010 SUNSCREEN GUIDE Your favorite sunscreen may not be all it’s advertised to be. EWG’s research team found that 92 percent of brand name sunscreens either don’t sufficiently protect skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals — or both. To find out how your sunscreen measures up and learn more about others, visit: www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen.



    • AUDIBLE JOURNEY Looking for a walking tour? Audible Journey has created a walking tour guide. Browse 320 guided walks offered in 17 cities worldwide, read reviews by other tourists, and share your own experiences. For more information visit: www.audiblejourney.com/home.do.





    Laptop Lunches in the News

    World Book and News

    Kids’ Lunchboxes Go Bento for Easy Back to School Lunch Making, Thanks to Laptop Lunches

    June 20, 2010

    School’s about to start and so is the mad morning scramble of what to pack for lunch.Tired of making PB & J? Switch it up with kids’ bento boxes, from Laptop Lunches. They’re ideal for packing fun, wholesome, on-the-go meals.

    The Laptop Lunches kids’ bento lunchbox system includes five inner containers that rest in a tray, a set of stainless-steel utensils, and a water bottle, all of which zip into an insulated mini-laptop case. The brightly colored inner containers accommodate everything from carrot sticks to chicken noodle soup, prevent food from squishing, and fit perfectly and compactly inside the case. There’s even room for an ice pack. To read the entire article, visit http://worldbookandnews.com/business/women-in-business/72712-Kids-Lunchboxes-Go-Bento-for-Easy-Back-to-School-Lunch-Making-Thanks-to-Laptop-Lunches.html.

     

    New Retailers

    Ballerinas and Bruisers
    180 South Main Street
    Zionsville, IN 46077
    (317) 733-3400
    www.ballerinasandbruisers.com


    Storables
    1600 Saratoga Avenue, Suite. 303
    San Jose, CA 95129
    (408) 370-9200
    www.storables.com

    Storables
    7401 France Avenue South
    Edina, MN 55435
    (952) 831-5600
    www.storables.com

    Storables
    105 NW 13th Avenue
    Portland, OR 97209
    (503) 221-4500
    www.storables.com

    Storables
    9140 SW Hall Boulevard at Greenburg Road
    Tigard, OR 97223
    (503) 624-9500
    www.storables.com

    Storables
    2692 NE 49th Street
    Seattle, WA 98105
    (206) 523-7500
    www.storables.com

    Storables
    18205 Alderwood Mall Parkway
    Lynnwood, WA 98037
    (425) 670-2164
    www.storables.com

    Give Wink
    2570 N.E. Miami Gardens Drive
    North Miami Beach, FL 33180
    (305) 705-3341
    www.givewink.com

    Applebum, Inc.
    486 Advance Boulevard, Unit 120
    Tecumseh, ON N8N_0B8
    (519) 727-4800
    www.applebuminc.com

    Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe
    39 Unquowa Road
    Fairfield, CT 06824
    (203) 292-8190
    www.thegreenumbrellastore.com


    Eco Shoppe
    10225 Research Boulevard
    Austin, TX 78759
    (512) 795-7364

    Eco Shoppe
    1601 Mount Diablo Boulevard
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596
    (925) 939-3794


    Eco Shoppe
    5524 Leesburg Pike
    Bailey's Crossroads, VA 22041
    (703) 671-2445

    Eco Shoppe
    1565 U.S. 46
    Little Falls, NJ 07424
    (973) 785-4700


    Eco Shoppe
    6434 Naples Boulevard
    Naples, FL 34109
    (239) 254-0834

    Eco Shoppe
    3365 West Washtenaw Avenue
    Ann Arbor, MI 48104
    (734) 477-6897


    Eco Shoppe
    2062 Redwood Highway
    Larkspur, CA 94904
    (415) 924-2141

    Eco Shoppe
    2747 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614
    (773) 244-8202


    Eco Shoppe
    4587 Okeechobee Boulevard
    West Palm Beach, FL 33417
    (561) 682-9959

    Eco Shoppe
    8283 South Akron Street
    Centennial, CO 80112
    (303) 708-8861


    Eco Shoppe
    5930 West Park Boulevard
    Plano, TX 75093
    (972) 250-2365

    Eco Shoppe
    3151 South IH35
    Round Rock, TX 78664
    (512) 310-5718


    Woni's Bookshelf
    140 Hull Road Suite 2
    Sumiton, AL 35148
    (205) 648-6161
    www.wonisbookshelf.com




    Visit www.laptoplunches.com/retail.html for a complete list of retailers.

    Want to see Laptop Lunches at a store in your neighborhood? Email us at [email protected], and we'll give them a call.


    Twelve Ways to Make Cooking Fun and Easy

        by Janice Stanger, Ph.D.

    Dr. Janice Stanger has developed the Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now with Six Kinds of Whole Foods. It was her determination to keep pushing forward until she found a solution to the weight and health dilemmas devastating her life and so many others. Dr. Stanger analyzed over 1,000 scientific studies in the process of formulating this eating plan.

    Janice received her M.B.A from the University of California, Berkeley and earned a Ph.D. in Human Development and Aging from the University of California, San Francisco. She is also Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition.


    Whip Up Health and Weight Loss Success in Minutes

    Imagine if someone actually paid you to be healthy. Sent you a handful of dollar bills every morning to have fun. That’s what cooking your own food is like.

    Compared to eating out, cooking whole foods at home saves so much money that you can bank the difference. And even if you dread the task of preparing food now, a few simple insights and strategies can make the kitchen a favorite room.

    In this era of manufactured, salt-drenched offerings in restaurants and supermarkets, cooking is a survival skill. If you flinch from preparing food, your health and weight will suffer.

    Cooking is a major survival skill in the modern world. So you may as well learn to enjoy it. Here are twelve tips to get started on preparing your own home-cooked meals using whole plant foods.

    1. The most important strategy is to be satisfied with simple foods. You don’t need an elaborate, multi-course meal. This time-consuming approach is fine for special occasions, such as birthdays or Mothers Day. The rest of the year you can train your taste buds to be happy with a couple of foods per meal. In fact, one-pot meals (such as soups or stir-fries) are ideal. Sandwiches and wraps are filling, inexpensive, and easy-to prepare meals and snacks as well.

    2. Have a positive attitude. Cooking is more fun when it’s your choice, and not something you feel forced in to. Close your eyes and visualize yourself as a successful cook.

    3. Find easy, fast recipes. The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook, by Mary and Dr. John McDougall, lives up to its title, and the recipes are oil free. If you want recipes to grab off the internet, the vegweb site has a quick and easy category. Google is your friend to find lots more.

    4. Take a cooking class. Even if you never cook the recipe again, the instructor will be a role model. She’ll show you food prep as fun and easy.

    5. Use your recipes for inspiration, rather than getting stressed if you lack an ingredient or want to cook a veggie more lightly. The fun of cooking is its creativity. Try your own recipe variations and new foods.

    6. Cultivate cooking time as relaxation, or even a form of meditation. Focus on the task at hand to forget the stress of the day or upcoming events. Listen to music or a story while you prep the food.

    7. Enjoy the aromas, colors, and textures of beautiful whole plant foods. Sample the foods as you cut and cook them. Sniff spices before you sprinkle them into whatever is on the stove.

    8. Cook with family or friends. This is a great opportunity to socialize, cooperate on a common task, and spend quality time together. Food prep goes way faster when the tasks are shared. Even kids can help out – and they will learn to be more independent in taking care of their health as they grow when you set such a good example.

    9. Make more food than you can eat in one day. The leftovers can be freshened by added some more ingredients the next day. For example, cut up and add those baked potatoes from a couple of days ago to the mushroom barley soup you made yesterday. Throw in some chopped parsley while you’re at it. Freezing leftovers means you have a home-cooked meal waiting to be enjoyed any time.

    10. If you don’t have the time, energy, or ingredients to cook totally from scratch, jazz up a prepared food with fresh ingredients. For example, add your own fresh veggies and/or spices and/or leftover rice to boxed or canned animal-free soups. Have a salad with lettuce and one or two other salad vegetables with a frozen dinner. For the prepared food part, do your best to hunt down choices with less sodium than their competitors and no added oil. Think of this as “cooking lite.”

    11. Small changes can make your kitchen more convenient. For example, maybe a new stainless steel pot, a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a high-end knife, or some other gadget will bring more cooking options into range. A steamer for brown rice and vegetables makes dinner so much less time-intensive. Even an easily-used garlic press can make a difference. With the money you save by eating out less, you can afford some new kitchen tools.

    12. You may enjoy cooking but hate cleaning up. Here’s the thing. When you cook oil-free with whole plant foods, clean-up is relatively easy. You don’t need to worry about the nasty illness-causing microbes that are virtually always in animal foods. So you don’t need to always be sterilizing your counters and sponge. Also, with no grease used in food prep, you can just wipe down your workspace, and pots and dishes come clean quickly with soap and water.

    To motivate yourself to cook, look at the opportunity cost of the alternatives. If you eat out or pick up take-out, think of the time spent going to and from the restaurant or store. You need to find parking unless you do the drive-through (which means you are going for fast food, a nutritional wasteland).

    After you look at the menu and order, you need to wait for your food. You might need to wait in line to pay. Then of course there is the cost of eating out – the dollars spent on gas to get there, food, and tips. Don’t forget the health costs, as restaurant food is often saturated with added salt and oil.

    By the time you do all this, you could easily have put on a pot of lentils and steamed some brown rice for a healthy, low-cost meal at home.

    This is not to say you should never eat out. Of course restaurants can be fun and a great change of pace. Supporting restaurants that serve animal-free choices is a wonderful way to encourage businesses to offer healthy, sustainable choices. The point is to not rely on other people for the bulk of your meals. When you do eat out or pick up take-out, this would be a truly special treat for you.

    Remember, health grows out of your kitchen. You can choose to take back your eating and get slim, healthy, and energetic. You’ll enjoy preparing whole plant foods more than you think.

     


    The Perfect Formula Diet :

    How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now
    with Six Kinds of Whole Foods

    By Janice Stanger, Ph.D.

    This science-based food rotation, built on six terrific
    whole-foods groups, is the antidote for outdated,
    ineffective diets and obsolete nutrition myths.

    For more information about Janice Stanger and The Perfect Formula Diet, visit: http://perfectformuladiet.com.


    What Works...Success Stories

    "My 7 year old loves her alien themed Laptop Lunch container. Every day her father and I find new assortments of lunch creations. We find it a challenge to pack each container with a different color of healthy and fresh goodies. It’s become a daily Iron Chef Lunch Packing Challenge for us. Our daughter now loves discovering ‘What’s for Lunch?’ each day. Thanks for a great product!"

            -- The Gaither-Hillard Family, Oregonia, OH

    "This is our second year using Laptop Lunches. My 8 year old and my 3 year old use them every day. I have been waiting for something to break or go missing so I can order the new sets with the big container! These things keep going! I wash them every day in my dishwasher and I don't recommend this, but when my boys' soft insulated carrying cases start to get grungy, I pop them in the washing machine in cold water on gentle cycle...they come out fantastic! I air dry them and they smell fresh. I've written before and the truth is I LOVE this product! My younger son eats ALL of his lunch now and it's easy to see why...he opens his box and it's all there in front of him. Thanks guys for a great product! My daughter will be in school next year, so I am looking forward to another purchase!”

            -- Renae Al-Fdeilat, Old Town, Maine

    [Note from Obentec: A number of our customers have reported washing their carrying cases in the washing machine (gentle cycle, strap removed, air dry) with great success. However, others have called in to say that their cases emerged in tatters. The result may depend on the type of machine you have or even how the carrying case circulates within the machine during a particular washing. If you decide to use the washing machine, please know that you do so at your own risk.]

    "I stumbled across your Web site while searching for creative ideas for airline travel. I ordered a lunchbox and it arrived the next day - in plenty of time for my trip. I packed a Mediterranean salad, a 6 oz. grilled steak with steamed vegetables, a tangerine, and a small pastry for dessert. I was amazed at the ability to pack a full-sized meal in such a compact space. And it fit easily in my carry-on bag. My seatmate on the plane was awed. On the return (a breakfast flight), I packed a croissant, apple strudel, mixed fruit and cheese. Again, my seatmate was most envious. As the Western parrot used to say."It's the ONLY way to fly." Many thanks for such a great "made in USA" product!”

            -- RT, CA

     

    Do you have a success story or photo to share? Email it to us at [email protected].


    Featured Web Site: AboutMyPlanet.com


    AboutMyPlanet.com focuses on delivering green news and tips with a down to earth approach that anyone can apply to their daily life.

    AboutMyPlanet.com is the flag ship blog in a collection of member blogs. In an effort to provide more focused attention to new and expanding green markets, they have developed the AMP blog network. They include:

    EcoFriendlyDaily.com brings green products and services to the spotlight.
    GirlSustainable.com focuses on everything green chick, from beauty to green home living. GadgetAddiction.com focuses on latest news in green technology and gadgetry.
    GrowNews.com is a social green news sharing site.
    HybridMile.com focuses on the latest news and developments of hybrid vehicles and alternative transportation methods.

    To find out more, visit www.AboutMyPlanet.com

    On this site:

    • Articles
    • Green Tips
    • Green Q & A
    • Green News
    • Community Forums
    • Network of AMP Blogs

    August Highlights

    Back to School Bentos, Green Opportunities, and an Obentec Article


    Obentec

    Comments, questions, concerns? Please email us at [email protected].

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    © July 2010 Obentec, Inc.

    849 Almar Ave., Suite C-323
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    831-457-0301

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