Why should you do 도시락?

Hi everyone,

I love food. In fact, I enjoy food and eating so much that my mom calls me "The Very Hungry Catapillar" and my boyfriend fiancé compares me to "Om Nom", the always hungry monster in the game "Cut the Rope".
A while ago, I got tired of my limited lunch options (there aren't that many options right next to my office and I don't want to spend a fortune every day for lunch, either). So I started doing Dosirak (도시락), which means that I started bringing cutely decorated homemade food (mostly Korean, but not limited to) in cute boxes to my office.
So why should you start doing your 도시락? There are a number of reasons:
  • It's healthy, for you decide what goes in there. It's a better alternative to french fries every second day @the burger place right next to the office, anyway. My Korean Grandma and a Korean doctor, a good family friend, taught me that food is actually medicine. When we are sick, we believe that throwing in some pills will do the trick, but ignore what we put into ourselfs on a daily basis? That just can't be right. Why do you eat? Sure, because it's yummy, but also because you're hungry, which means your body needs the food to stay healthy and running. 도시락 is a very pretty way to get your vitamines, fibres, and eat mostly low-fat food (the only oil I use is the occasional sesame oil for the rice and only a tiny tiny bit of sunflower oil when fry s.th., and I think that stuff like avocado and salmon have some natural and healthy way of giving you all the fat you need). I often go for half carbs, one quarter proteins and one quarter veggies and fruitsI really don't believe in these low-carb-hype things - I mean, look at those Asians, they are less obese than people in the Western countries, and they eat rice (carbs!!!) all day. If you are a data person and always need proof/footage, see e.g. here: http://www.thechinastudy.com/. I don't believe in diet either. But see my next point.
  • It gives you a frame for the size of your portions. Seriously, have you looked around you lately, when you go grab a quick lunch? All you can eat everywhere, the portions are so huge you feel so stuffed after eating up that you can't move anymore and have to take a after-lunch nap to digest. See Starbucks (which I actually love, btw), as an example. The smallest cup size is "tall"? Seriously? And I don't know about your upbringing, but my European family always told me to clear my plate, which was reasonable when you are a kid and really don't want to eat veggies ^^. But cleaning up these sizes out there (just out of habit, although you're already full) will just make you fat. And I still like to fit into my cute size S Hollister rompers and sundresses, or in my ballet leotards, thank you very much. So yeah, with a 도시락, you really don't go overboard just because your social group is. I just enjoy my jummy 도시락 (girl sizes can contain about 600 ml, dude sizes about 900 ml). Oh hey, and acutally there is this fun data mining study by that statistician, I forgot who (sorry, if I find that paper again, I'll post it), who showed that fatness and obesity is (psychologically) contagious. How so? Well, for the portion sizes of your peer group is the social norm, and if you want to be in-group, you have to adapt. So set a new trend (next point)! Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in calorie counting, either. But I believe that it's just not good for you if you stuff yourself so much that you cannot walk comfortably afterwards. That's just weird.
  • You're trendy with  도시락. My colleges want one now (but they have to do that themselves, heh ^^).
  • It saves money. Have you ever summed up all the money you spend for treats and quick lunches in a month? It's quite a fortune. And you're spending it for stuff which isn't as yummy as your 도시락 could be and which isn't that great for your health. For two grown-ups, I spend 15 to 20 Euros a week for 10 도시락s (5 working days), which means a maximum of 2 Euros for one of these cute things. Hello, new A&F and Superdry sweater (^.^) 
  • It isn't as time consuming and difficult as you think. For starters, look at these cooking books (below). I'm afraid there aren't any English 도시락 books out there yet, one of the reasons I started this blog (yeah, 도시락 can be quite different from the Japanese Bento - if you say it's the same, it's like saying that there is no difference in cuisine among the European countries). And with this great weekly planner (http://justbento.com/handbook/downloads/weekly-bento-planner) you  can optimize your boxes and prepare and reuse stuff beforehand (which means less food waste - I know, we're quite into that in Germany ^^). And it helps you plan to eat different kinds of veggies, carbs and proteins every day, too, which is good for you. But you should really consider to buy a Korean or Japanese rice cooker, these are real time savers!!!

  • It is FUN. Seriously. If you love crafting stuff like origami, jewelry making etc., you're destined to do 도시락 - the decorater in you will go crazy (@^@). I gonna post my fun gear some time. For me, this "crafting-time" is precious me-time, which I find very relaxing. But even if you don't like crafting, there are so many easy to make yet pretty recipes you'll love.
  • It is soooo pretty!!! Do I have to say more? (Note: On this blog, I'm not talking about the "shake it" Bibimbap-style 도시락 versions like http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal/korean-food-101/kfc-7-dosirak-just-dont-call-it-bento_25/, nonono. In my family, the kids get cute 도시락s with mostly tiny baby-Kimbaps in it, and if it is to be Bibimbap, then it's still pretty!!! Or to put it in German: "Das Auge isst mit", which means you eat with your eyes first!)
  • It is great when you're picky (Well, I'm picky with Western food, that's actually one of the reasons I startet the whole 도시락 thing, for the food variation for possible lunch grabbing options was actually zero).
  • You put love in your food <3. Well, because you decorate it with so much care you really appreciate your food.
  • It's totally environmental friendly. No wrappings or stuff, just your box (and accessories/helpers) which you can clean and reuse. And as I already said, with careful planning, you don't waste food!
Okay, so get your boxes and start right away!

Love, Dosirakgirl