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July 2011

  July 2011  


In this issue you'll find:


What works...Success Stories

Well Worth Every Penny!

"We are so happy with our decision to purchase a Laptop Lunches set for our daughter. We struggled through kindergarten trying to pack appealing lunches in an ordinary lunchbox. We discovered your product on the Vegan Lunchbox blog when she began first grade. We purchased a system with an insulated carrier (original design). My husband was skeptical about it holding up to bus rides, cubbies, the cafeteria, etc. and was concerned about the price tag. But, our daughter is nearly done with third grade and it is still in fabulous condition! Well worth every penny!"

    -- Kathi

Thank You From The Bottom Of My Heart

"I found your bento boxes while researching divided food containers that would fit into lunch pails I had already purchased and monogrammed for my two year old twins. I liked the kid-friendly size which fits into the soft sided boxes perfectly! I received them Friday and was pleasantly surprised that the colors are perfect too. So many times online colors are not a true representation--but that’s only part of why I am so excited!!! I LOVED the book. I feel so much better about making good nutritious lunches and now I have so many ideas. I was so tired of sending my babies to school with the same variation of meat, cheese, fruit, and crackers every day. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart and I will be telling everyone about your boxes. WOW!!!!"

    -- Katie, Odessa TX

Thanks For The Personal Attention

"Thanks for all the personal attention. My grandchildren (in second grade) already have Laptop Lunches ® and this new set is for their 3 year old sister, who wants one so she can feel grown up also. Thanks again!”

    -- Michelle, WI

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

New Retailers

Good Gracious Contemporary Gifts
3209 30th Avenue
Vernon, BC V1T 2C6 Canada
(250) 545-2952

Whole Foods Market
1090 S. Saint Francis Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 983-5333

Whole Foods Market
2000 N Federal Hwy
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33305
(954) 565-5655

1122 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 423-7200

Lolly Tree Toys
240 Cathcart Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 713-5136

1527 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 426-1351

Eco Goods
1130 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 429-5758


From Our Desk to Yours

Happy Summer!

Summer is in full swing and we are busy, busy, busy! We’re also very excited to finally share with you our new 2011 back to school line-up! Check out our special sneak preview below, and be sure to visit our Web site by August 1st, when we’ll have all of our cool new styles, colors, and patterns ready for sale!

A WARM WELCOME: We are very pleased to introduce our new Director of Sales and Business Development, Kelly Short. Kelly was born and raised in the Bay Area and has resided in Santa Cruz County for the past 12 years. She comes to us with a wealth of sales and marketing experience and prides herself on providing outstanding service to all of her customers. Kelly enjoys spending her free time with family, friends, and Jackson, her 3 year-old black lab. She loves Pilates, the great outdoors, and good movies. Kelly is also an active volunteer for Hospice of Santa Cruz and a huge advocate of giving back and being kind to all beings and our planet. Welcome aboard, Kelly!

NEW FOR 2011: Here’s a sneak preview of the items we’ll be launching this back to school season! We’ll be adding them to our Web store as they come in over the next few weeks. Stop by and take a look at around July 25th.
JUNE CHALLENGE: Last month’s challenge—adding 30 minutes of exercise a day—was a great way to start off the summer! The longer days made it easy to fit this additional activity into our busy schedules, and the warmer weather made it much more fun! We all enjoyed this challenge and have decided to keep it up over the summer and hopefully into the fall as well. If you decided to take the challenge along with us, please let us know how it worked out (pun intended!) at
JULY CHALLENGE: We’re all excited (and perhaps a bit nervous?) about this month’s challenge—The 100 Mile Diet. Everything we eat and drink must originate from within 100 miles of our homes, which means we’re all expecting to eat a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables and a lot less, well, pasta. Why bother? Because good things come out of eating locally. Fruits and vegetables grown nearby can be picked at their prime, which means they’re more nutrient dense and taste so much better! When food isn’t transported from afar, fewer trucks clog the roads, creating less pollution. Plus, eating a 100 mile diet supports the local economy. We hope you’ll join us for this month’s challenge. If you’re already eating locally, please encourage friends, family members and coworkers to try it out for just one week.



From Your Kitchen to Ours

        The Fixings for Thai Lettuce Rolls. Including:

"I love my Laptop Lunchboxes!  We have been using them for a year now and they make packing my kids' lunches a snap!  They have gotten a lot of use over the past year (and have held up incredibly well) and continue to do so while my kids are attending summer camp!  The kids like that they are colorful and I like that they are dishwasher safe.  The containers are perfectly sized for proper portions of proteins, whole grains, fruit and veggies!  We own two sets of lunchboxes for each child so that I can pack their lunch the night before without having to wash the one that they just brought home.  I appreciate your Laptop Lunches website and Laptop Lunches User Guide book for the helpful lunch suggestions and inspiration!  Thank you so much for making it easy for me to pack healthy and creative lunches for my children!"

    -- Karen Beyer, Sugar Land, TX

Food for Thought: Olive Oil

Photo by: Melissa Braun

Olive Oil's health benefits are primarily due to it's high content of both monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. The monounsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL cholesterol levels without affecting the HDL levels. Studies have shown that those who use olive oil, rather than saturated oils and butter, have a lower risk of a number of types of cancers. Olive oil is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial to digestive health.

Olive oil is easy to add to your daily diet. It can be used in place of butter or margarine, and is a great substitute for any commonly used cooking oil. Olive oil is often used in marinades, salad dressings, pestos and even as a dip for dipping bread. To increase it's shelf life, it is best to store the oil in the refrigerator or in a cool dark pantry.

To learn more about olive oil, visit:


  • High in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
  • High in Antioxidants
  • Helps Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels
  • Reduces the Formation of Gallstones
  • Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Reduces the Risk of Cancer
  • Good for Skin and Hair

This Month's Recipes: Summer Salad Bentos

Salad Bento #1



Salad Bento #2

  • Raspberry Vinaigrette



Salad Bento #3


In the Spotlight - An Article By Holly Mosier

Tools for Reducing Stress
By Holly Mosier


With experience as a successful trial lawyer, Holly developed a true fervor for medicine and medical research, inspiring her to specialize in medical malpractice. It was her in-depth study of yoga and fitness that rounded out Holly’s understanding of the pivotal role stress plays in weight control.

Over time Holly developed her lifelong struggle to lose weight into a new career and became a yoga instructor and later, owner of LA Boxing in Lake Forest, California.

Holly enjoys spending time with her husband, Rob and their four children at their home in Orange County, California.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than two-thirds of doctors’ visits are now caused by stress. Beyond illness, stress causes us to lose focus and become edgy, and spikes our appetites as overabundant stress hormones cause very real physiological cravings for high fat, high sugar and high sodium foods.  It’s not your imagination.

So how do we reduce our stress and retain a calm and peaceful state of mind when it feels like the walls are closing in on us at times?  I am a wife and mother of four (two of my own, two of my husband’s), an author, lawyer, business owner, yoga teacher and healthy lifestyle expert.  After years of seeking realistic and practical ways to find peace and calm, I found a way out of this onslaught of stress, and you can, too.  I developed several amazingly effective mental tools to deal with the stressors that arise during the day.  I’ll share a few with you here. 

1) Use Mental Focus to Elevate Your Mood

After much contemplation, I realized that, at their root, all the unrelenting stress and angst I was suffering was caused by my negative thought habits.  Like many of us, I had formed the long-term habit of focusing on problems.  That generated negative emotions and away I went on a downward spiral until all joy had been sucked out of my life – by my own hand!  But armed with the awareness that it was my habit of focusing on negative things that led me to be so stressed, I could see the power to change was also in my hands.  It was up to me to choose to guide my thoughts toward the positives.  No one could do it for me. 

Stress is a reaction to our thoughts.  Think about it.  Do you get stressed for no reason, or do you get stressed after thinking about something unwanted or unwelcome?  Because I know my level of peace and happiness will flow from my underlying thoughts, I realized that if I improved those thoughts, the stress would decrease.  I created a fun mental game I call “Switch Your Focus.”  Here’s how you play.  The moment you become aware of something negative, as fast as you can, switch your focus to the things in your life that are positive.  You can literally drown out that negative stream of thoughts by pouring a torrent of happier things to think about into your mind.

For example, maybe I had an argument with my husband or an unexpected bill came in.  All my focus goes there!  But in truth, so many more things are going right.  I still have my health, my family, my car, food in my refrigerator.  I have my house, a warm bed to sleep in at night.  You get the picture.  We allow our thought to dwell on the couple of negatives, building them into a much larger stature than they deserve, and we just dismiss the overwhelming positives.  

Think about it.  Isn’t that true for you, too?  So switch your focus.  Turn your attention to all of the things that are going right in your life.  Take any positive thought – anything that makes you feel good or happy, something you feel grateful for – and just ponder it for a moment.  See how quickly similar thoughts flood in? 

Play this game as often as you can.  We have the power to move our train of thought from the negative to the positive.  It really is that simple, but it’s not easy.  We have spent a lifetime allowing our thoughts to run rampant in any direction, forming the long-term habit of being victims of our thoughts, rather than mastering them.  But this destructive habit of allowing our thoughts to run away with us can –and must – be changed if we are ever to have a consistently peaceful and stress-free life. 

2) Choose a Happier Response to Your Environment

Sometimes we have little or no control over the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  Some of these situations we can avoid with better planning.  That’s one of the many benefits of doing what I call “opting out.”  Opting out is saying “no” to activities, demands and  invitations that rob you of your time and deplete you.  It is actively creating buffers of space in your daily schedule so you can create the life you dream about, rather than spending years servicing things that are not meaningful to you.  That’s a foundational step for keeping stress at bay.  But even after you’ve opted out and have a more peaceful mind and a steadier, calmer approach to life, sometimes we still find ourselves in contrary situations and surroundings.  And we all have responsibilities of some sort that, although distasteful, must be carried out.

I developed more tools and techniques to deal with these instances.  Let me share a particularly fun and effective one with you.

I call it the “What do I like about it?” game.  Here’s how you play.  When confronted with anything that causes you to stress, as quickly as you can, ask yourself: “What do I like about it?” Don’t edit out any response that comes.  This is an internal game, and you play it in your head.  So no one is going to know what your answers are to that question.  The secrecy is important because it allows you to let go of inhibitions – you don’t have to limit your answers to what is politically correct or socially acceptable.  For every disaster in life, there is at least a teeny sliver of a silver lining, this game allows us to find it. 

Now, that’s important, because this game can very quickly lift you out of “this-is-the-end-of-the-world” catastrophe thinking.  Catastrophe thinking is the result of a downward spiral of one negative thought following another, until we reach bottom and find ourselves in complete despair.  It’s hard to dig our way out from those depths.  Instead, I found I can circumvent that whole downward spiral if I intervene with this game.  And the earlier on I start playing it, the better. 

Remember, this is your secret mental list, so you can be as outrageous with it as you like.  In fact, the more outrageous, the more likely you will start laughing.  And when you are laughing, you are not stressed.

From my perspective now, I see our normal state is, or should be, one of joy.  I’m not kidding (although for many years as we struggled to blend our family and raise our kids, I would have thought you were insane had you told me that).  The value in the two techniques I’ve shared with you is that they are portable.  You can do them anywhere, anytime, and no one will even know.  And I’ve found that, after years of playing these games, it has become easy for me to take control of my mood and live a (mostly) stress-free life.  My normal state is now one of equanimity and peace, no matter what may be happening “out here.”

To learn more about Holly, visit her Web site at:

In Stress Less, Weigh Less, Holly introduces practical stress-reduction tools, and discusses the link between stress relief and weight loss. The book includes photo-illustrated yoga exercises, tools for the busiest of lifestyles, such as “10-Minute Yoga,” tips for eating out, and ways to incorporate exercise into everyday activities. To learn more about Stress Less, Weigh Less, visit

In the News

BCE Goes Green

Your Laptop Lunch Ideas

Now what could be better? Prepare your kids lunch the day before, stack them nicely into your fridge and in the mornings just put those Laptop Lunchboxes into the carrying case and off your kids go with a healthy and nutritional lunch!!!

I pack lunches the day before and mornings are (still a little hassle here and there) but lunches are a no brainer! Laptop Lunchboxes don't take up a lot of space in your fridge. Here is a photo of how our fridge looks with 3 Laptop Lunchboxes stacked on top of each other: To read the full blog post, visit:

The Mom Buzz

The Laptop Lunch – Earthfriendly Lunchbox for Kids

Lots has changed in “lunchbox” design since I’ve been in elementary school. You can go “old school” with a plastic lunch box or you can go with one of the latest trends – a Laptop Lunch bento set..

The idea behind a bento lunch for kids is to pack a variety of nutritious foods in an attractive way so that children look forward to eating. This is especially helpful with picky eaters. It might just be colorful fruits, veggies and small sandwiches or you can go all the way with creating art-like food that is “almost” too cute to eat. Even the picks and containers can get into the act, making the food more appealing. To read more, visit:

Huffington Post

Project Lunch: A Bold New Initiative to Serve Healthier School Lunches

This month, Teens Turning Green, a student-led advocacy group in Northern California, launches PROJECT LUNCH, a bold new initiative aimed at eliminating 'breaded, fried, frozen & reheated so-called meat' from school lunches. Say what? But our children will starve! They don't know what 'real' food that's grown in soil looks like. Seeing heads of cabbage and cauliflower slowly rising up from the ground is like watching Night of the Living Dead to them. Somebody, think of the children, please!

To read the full article, visit:

Green Opportunities

TAKE A SUSTAINABLE VACATION – Interested in planning an eco-friendly vacation this year? has a Web page with a wealth of information on how to plan a green and socially responsible vacation. To learn more, visit:

BIODEGRADABLE SNEAKERS – What happens to a pair of sneakers after it's worn out and unwearable? One innovative European company has decided to integrate a sustainable disposal option right into the shoes themselves. The Oat Shoes are made from biodegradable materials that can be buried in a garden and watered so flowers will grow in that very spot. To find out more, visit:

GREEN GOES WITH EVERYTHING – Sloan Barnett offers "Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet" in her book, Green Goes With Everything. This book is ideal for anyone interested in the health of their family and the well being of our planet. To learn more about the book, visit:

Featured Web Site: (Environmental Working Group) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.

EWG specializes in providing useful consumer resources (like Skin Deep and the EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides™), while simultaneously pushing for national policy change.

To find out more, visit

On This Site:
  • A Shoppers Guide to Pesticides
  • Annual Sunscreen Safety Guide
  • National Drinking Water Database
  • Cosmetic Safety Database
  • Cellphone Radiation Report
  • Enviroblog
  • AgMag: Articles on Agriculture
  • Health Tips

Contact Us

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500 Chestnut Street, Suite 250
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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