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August 2011

Laptop Lunch Times: August 2011
  August 2011  


In this issue you'll find:


What works...Success Stories

Your Bento Kits Are A Lifesaver!

"I just wanted to send you a note to thank you for such a great product! We have recently switched our kids to the Feingold Diet for ADHD/Autism, and in doing so, we have to carefully manage everything that our kids eat at home, and in school. I have to tell you, I wasn't at ALL enthused about dealing with the expense and hassle of plastic bags every day, squished food, and felt that preparing lunches would be yet another chore. Boy, am I ever glad I bought your Bento Kits! They are a lifesaver! My kids really love opening their lunchboxes each day, and the added fun of the colorful containers actually makes them want to eat it all! They've eaten more in the last week than they have in the last two months when they were eating school hot lunches. And as a parent, I have to say a BIG thank you for making something that is quick and easy to clean up, pull together, zip up, and send them off each day. Thank you!”

    -- Kelli K., Lakeville, MN


"My nieces and nephews were so excited to get new, super-cool Laptop Lunches® lunchboxes for Christmas. Even the nephew who is too cool for school lunch was thrilled with his, once he realized he could make anime-style bento lunches in the real world. He also loved the book, and used it to make up some new recipes. The girls loved theirs because their new lunchboxes were a) cute and b) unlike anything anyone else at school has. The older girl was thrilled that she could pack leftovers or make sandwiches or do whatever she wanted for lunch, and it would all fit! And of course their mothers were overjoyed for all the expected reasons."

    -- NJ, Chicago, IL

Thank You For Such An Amazing Product

"Our first box we ordered in August for our daughter. It's been an amazing tool to help me make lunches without having to fight a losing battle of fitting random containers into an insulated bag whose interior was designed to hold I know not what. Certainly not the containers I owned! It's also helped me think more creatively about what to send in with her. Along the way, the children's lunches have become healthier and healthier as well as really understanding portion control. Thank you truly for offering such an amazing product. I wish I had had these for my children all along! I'm so excited that for once I don't have to think about repurchasing a school item after one school year. It makes me feel so glad that our Laptops will last far longer than we will probably need them!”

    -- Heather, Phoenix, AZ

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

New Retailers

Whole Foods Market
8003 Turkey Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32819
(407) 355-7100

Whole Foods Market
6550 E. Pacific Coast Highway
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 598-8687

Whole Foods Market
5600 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 899-9119

Whole Foods Market
105 Stacy Road
Fairview, TX, 75069
(972) 549-4090

Whole Foods Market
9101 Strada Place
Naples, FL 34108
(239) 552-5100

Whole Foods Market
6701 Red Road
Coral Gables, FL 33143
(305) 421-9421

Gethsemane Garden Center
5739 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 878-5915

Foodies Duxbury Market
46 Depot Street
Duxbury, MA 02332
(781) 934-5544

Whole Foods Market
833 Wayne Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 608-9373

Whole Foods Market
4944 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 899-5545

Whole Foods Market
808 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10025
(212) 222-6160

Whole Foods Market
11701 S. Dixie Highway
Pinecrest, Florida 33156
(305) 969-5800

Earth Fare
14021 Boren Street
Huntersville, NC 28078
(704) 875-3122

Henery Hardware
218 Sims Way
Port Townsend, WA 98368
(360) 385-5900

Learning Express
7918-F Rea Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 544-1885

Eco Chic Baby
318 Main Street
Vacaville, CA 95688
(707) 624-6168

The Going Green Store
909 River Road
Granville, OH 43023
(740) 963-9644

Green Goods Shop
220 NW Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387
(910) 692-2511

7830 Wormans Mill Road
Fredrick, MD 21701
(301) 663-3031

Whole Foods Market
120 New Moriches Road
Lake Grove, NY 11755
(631) 588-1466

Whole Foods Market
429 North Broadway
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 932-1733

Whole Foods Market
471 State Route 35
Red Bank, NJ 07450
(732) 758-1688

Whole Foods Market
44 Godwin Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
(201) 670-0383

Whole Foods Market
701 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 746-5110

Whole Foods Market
110 Bloomingdale Road
White Plains, NY 10605
(914) 288-1300

Whole Foods Market
50 Ledge Road
Darien, CT 06820
(203) 662-0577

Whole Foods Market
905 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020
(201) 941-4000

Whole Foods Market
399 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06880
(203) 661-0631

Whole Foods Market
222 Main Street
Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 822-8444

Whole Foods Market
2101 Northern Blvd.
Manhasset, NY 11030
(516) 869-8900

Whole Foods Market
350 Grasmere Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 319-9544

7118 E. 5th Avenue
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 551-4910


From Our Desk to Yours


The back-to-school season is upon us, and we are all stocked up and ready to go! We hope you’ll take  a moment to visit our Web site for creative lunch ideas, seasonal menus, kid-friendly recipes, inspirational photos and more. If you’re in the market for lunch boxes, bento boxes, insulated carriers, drink bottles, or accessories, please stop by to see what we can do for you.

NEW FOR 2011: Be part of the action! Check out the new additions to our Web site at, and let us know what you think. Your choice of purchase will help us solidify our fall line-up. As always, we welcome your feedback at [email protected]!

A NEW FACE AT OBENTEC: We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jamie, the newest member of our team. Jamie grew up in the foothills of Calaveras County and relocated to Santa Cruz in 2004.  She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies.  In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, running, camping, and spending time with her family and friends. Jamie has come up to speed quickly and is ready to answer any and all questions that come her way!
WEB SITE NEWS: Our Web site has a fresh new look! We hope you’ll take a moment to check it out at
FLAT-RATE SHIPPING: We are currently offering FLAT RATE SHIPPING on all orders shipped via FedEx Ground within the continental US. No coupon code required!

HOT OFF THE PRESS: Placing an order at this back-to-school season? Don’t be surprised if you receive a FREE E-BOOK with your purchase. It’s entitled Grab N Go Bento: 101 Lunchbox Menus for Busy People – a $9.99 value!

JULY CHALLENGE: Did we mention we were nervous about last month's challenge? Well, we were, and for good reason! Relying solely on foods grown no more than 100 miles from your dinner table is truly a challenge, and we all agree that this was the most difficult challenge we’ve taken on so far. However, the food tasted great and knowing that we were supporting our local economy during this challenge was another plus. If you took on this challenge with us, or if you already eat a locavore diet, please share any tips you may have at

AUGUST CHALLENGE: This next challenge sounds easy compared to last month’s – cutting out sweets – for more energy and long-term satisfaction. Around the office, especially during the busy season, chocolate and baked goods are a welcome treat. (We love to bake, and we have several wonderful bakeries near our office here in Santa Cruz!) Instead of eyeing the candy and cookies when we need a break this month, we’ll be reaching into the fruit bowl instead. If you want to challenge yourself to cutting out sweets, then join us this for this months’ challenge!


From Your Kitchen to Ours

"I am a working mom with three kiddos and two jobs.The Laptop Lunches Bento System is the only tool I need to make healthy and waste-free lunches every day for my children. I have had teachers and lunchroom ladies stop me and comment on what nutritious lunches my kiddos have. They assume that it takes a lot of time to put them together. However, I always tell them Laptop Lunches® make it simple!"

    -- Amy Barrett, Orlando, FL

Food for Thought: Sunflower Seeds

Photo by: Melissa Braun

Sunflower Seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which protects cells and the heart from the harmful effects of free radicals. Sunflower seeds act as an anti-inflammatory, helping to relieve the pain of inflammation and supporting those with osteoporosis and arthritis and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. Their magnesium content helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the discomfort of headaches and migraines.

Sunflower seeds are so easy to eat as a snack, right out of the shell. They can be roasted, sprouted or turned into oil. They add nutrition to salads, smoothies, baked goods, stir fries, granola and protein bars. Try some on a pizza for a new and nutty experience.

To learn more about the health benefits of sunflower seeds, visit: For snack recipes with sunflower seeds, visit:


  • Excellent Source of Vitamin E
  • Great Source of B Complex Vitamins
  • High in Magnesium
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  • Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Helps Lower Cholesterol
  • Good Source of Selenium

Photo by: Melissa Braun

Quick and Easy Snack Bentos

Snack Bento #1



Snack Bento #2

  • Tomato Basil Hummus Sandwich on
    Whole Grain Sunflower Seed Bread



Snack Bento #3


In the Spotlight - Interview With Kathy Freston

Healthy Living, Conscious Eating: An Interview with Kathy Freston

Kathy Freston is a New York Times best-selling author with a concentration on healthy living and conscious eating. She promotes a body/mind/spirit approach to health and happiness that includes a concentration on healthy diet, emotional introspection, spiritual practice, and loving relationships, among other tenets. Her work is focused on providing guidance for conscious and healthy living in our increasingly busy world.

Kathy has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen, Dr. Oz, The View, Good Morning America, and CBS's The Early Show. Her work has been featured notably in Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, W, and Fitness. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

1. Why did you decide to change to a vegan diet? I was playing with my beloved dog one day, and it suddenly dawned on me that she was no different from the other animals I ate for meals! The only difference was that I spent time with her and knew her (and therefore loved her), and I didn’t know that chicken or lamb or cow. The idea of my dog going through what farmed animals endure as they become food slapped me into awareness. I hated the thought that I was contributing to a business that hurt animals. I wanted to live closer to my basic principles of kindness and mercy.

2. What health benefits have you noticed since changing your diet? What I learned soon after the ethical awakening was that eating vegan would seriously decrease my chances of getting cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (by 40, 50, and 60% respectively). And I would lose weight and keep it off by eating vegan. I have more energy now than I ever did, my skin is clear and glowing, and I haven’t had so much as a cold in the 7 years I’ve been vegan.

3. How did/do you deal with resistance from family members to a vegan diet? I just make sure that I have delicious food that they will enjoy! No sprouts or super plain food in my house… I have traditional favorites like chili, pizza, lentil soup, chickn and mashed potatoes, burgers… all of the great foods we all grew up loving, but just healthier versions of them without the animals!

4. What are the most important first steps for people who are interested in becoming vegan? 1. Educate yourself by watching videos (Google these 3 words: Factory. Farm. Video.) so that you know why you are changing the way you eat. 2. Substitute your favorite foods with vegan versions: spaghetti with meatless meatballs, tacos with beans rather than beef, and pizza with nondairy cheese (I like Daiya) and veggie sausage, for instance. 3. Don’t try to do it all overnight. Lean into it. Find some yummy vegan food you love, and slowly keep replacing the animal food. You won’t miss anything this way, and the shift will be gradual and easy.

5. What physical effects will a new “veganist” notice when they first begin the diet? A new veganist will feel lighter and more energetic than they’ve likely felt in a long time. Most will lose the acid indigestion and sluggishness. Skin will clear up. Weight will begin to drop off in the first week; blood pressure and blood sugar will drop within 2 weeks; cholesterol will drop significantly within the third week.

6. What is the best way to get enough protein while on a vegan diet? You don’t need as much protein as you think you do; most Americans get twice as much as they need, and that’s not good for the body. Protein is in just about everything, even broccoli! More concentrated protein is in beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan (wheat protein), quinoa, and high protein meat alternatives like vegan chicken or veggie dogs.

7. What is your advice for eating out as a vegan? Choose restaurants that offer plant-based fare, like Japanese, Mexican (beans, tortillas, guacamole) or any place that has a few options that will make you happy. Let your local spots know that you (and a growing number of your friends) are vegan and ask them to consider adding items to the menu.

8. What tips do you have for a busy cook who has only a little time to prepare vegan meals? Cook a large pot of soup or chili and eat it throughout the week. Take half of it and freeze it for the week or so after. Brown rice made in a rice cooker is super easy and makes any meal heftier and more nutritious (I make it twice a week and keep a big bowl in the fridge… I use it for breakfast and as a side dish for meals. I even have it as a dessert with vanilla soy creamer heated and poured atop with raisins sprinkled over). Try some convenience foods like Gardein, Field Roast, and Amy’s.

9. What’s your favorite lunch? A hearty bowl of soup (lentil, black bean, or almost anything!) and some cheese toast. I sprinkle nondairy cheese on a piece of bread and toast it. A side of organic salad made of whatever looks fresh and colorful. This interview has made me hungry!

In Veganist, Kathy shows how to gradually shift towards a vegan diet and discusses the profound changes that can be achieved through that gentle switch in food choices. The book is filled with compelling facts, stories of people who have improved their weight and health conditions as a result of making the switch, and Q&As with the leading medical researchers, Veganist concludes with a step-by-step practical guide to becoming a veganist…easily and gradually.

To learn more about Kathy, visit her Web site at: To learn more about Veganist, as well as Kathy's other books, visit

In the News


The Professional Way To Pack Your Lunch

With the cost of food rising at popular lunch locations, members of the workforce are getting back to basics and packing their own lunches. Amy Hemmert, co-founder and president of Laptop Lunches, said many people are changing their ways because they can no longer afford their old habits.

"It's expensive to eat lunch out every day and it's also expensive to do takeout." A recent survey concluded, one in two Americans eat homemade lunches during the workweek. Those who packed their lunches reported saving an average of $79 per month. Professionals who carry their lunches are looking for convenient ways to transport their food that fits their lifestyle. To read the full article, visit page 5 of the June issue, at:

Best Be Well

Secrets to Getting Kids to Eat Home-Prepared Lunches

If you’re like me, making lunch every morning is well, rushed, to say the least. Slap a sandwich together, throw in chips, fruit, water and they’re off to school.

But after repeating this mundane process day after day, it quickly becomes clear that kids, too, will eventually find lunch boring and end up ditching their so-called home-made lunch and instead, file into the school lunch line or trade snacks with their friends. So, how can we keep them interested in home-prepared lunches?

All it takes is tapping into the mind of the child, some creativity, and a concentrated emphasis on variety.

To read more, visit:

Faith In Food

Green to Go: Laptop Lunch Review

The great people over at Laptop Lunches® sent me the Dual Compartment Bento Kit 2.0 to try out since I’m constantly on the go with my snacks and reusing containers in an effort to be eco-friendly. I have to say, this thing was like a gift from the gods.

The bottom portion of the bag held the bento kit that can be arranged in various ways to fit fruits, veggies, sandwiches, entrees, and even has a little cup for dressing so your salad won’t get soggy, as well as silverware that is simple to wash and clean. All of the containers are BPA free and made with recycled content!

To read the full article, visit:

Green Opportunities

EASY GREEN: FAST SUMMER PROJECTS – Summer's not over yet and there's still time for some green summer projects. Here's a Web article with easy project ideas that can make your home more energy efficient and save money too. Visit: to learn more.

TOP 10 GREEN GADGETS FOR 2011 – Are you a green geek? Do you love learning about new green gadgets? has created a list of ten cool green technological gadgets. To find out more, visit:

TAPPED: THE MOVIE – Tapped is a film that examines the role of the bottled water industry and its effects on our health, climate change, pollution, and our reliance on oil. To learn more and to watch the trailer, visit:

Featured Web Site: Green Living Project

Green Living Project is the leading media production and marketing company focused on documenting, promoting, and supporting unique, cutting-edge models of sustainability from around the world.

Their mission is to educate and inspire individuals and communities to live a more sustainable lifestyle through stories focused on unique and diverse examples of sustainability from around the world.

To find out more, visit

On This Site:
  • Video of Latest Film
  • Green Living Projects
  • Student Film Project
  • Education Programs
  • Membership Program
  • Premiere Events
  • Mobile Tour Calendar and Blog
  • Dispatches of Project Summaries

Contact Us

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© August 2011 Obentec, Inc.

500 Chestnut Street, Suite 250
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


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