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What’s for Lunch? Bento Box

Do you grab your lunch on the run? Wondering how healthy or unhealthy your favorite lunch choice is?  Or maybe you are stuck on the same old turkey sandwich or salad with grilled chicken and are looking for new lunch ideas.

I’ve decided instead of always bringing lunch from home (‘m such a good nutritionist!), I’d start buying more lunches from the outside so I could investigate the nutritional content. Ok – so I’ll deal with the ridiculous prices for a lunch bought in midtown NYC for the sake of research. In the privacy of my office, I’ll dissect my take-out lunch by weighing and measuring the ingredients. Keep in mind that my reported calorie and fat grams will be only estimations as I don’t know exactly how the food is prepared.

So today, I decided to order the Lunch Bento Box Special for $11(from Ginza, NYC ). Here is what arrived:

– salmon teriyaki (3 oz – tiny portion – 180/15 gm fat),
– small california roll (175 cal/3 gm fat) 
– 3 pieces of a steamed vegetable (~ 15 cal/0 gm fat)
– 2 cups miso soup (100 cal/3 gm fat) salad with 4 T. (2 oz ) of orange Japanese salad dressing (200 cal, 20 gm fat)
– 2 shumai dumplings (60 calories)
– 1 cup rice (170 cal/0 gm fat) 

Total calories if you eat the entire meal: 900 calories / 45 gm fat.

Tips to improve this meal:
– omit the side portion of rice
– use only 1/2 of the salad dressing
– eat only the soup or salad

New and improved lunch: 550 calories and 25-31 gm fat.

My comments on this lunch: While the Bento Box appears very healthy, it is deceptively high in calories if you eat the whole thing! It is also a bit on the pricey side for lunch. The salmon teriyaki was dried out and the vegetable portion was very small. On the positive side – I like the fact that you get several different kinds of food in this “box”. It makes lunch more interesting.

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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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