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The Most Challenged Athlete

Bento Box Lunch for Olympic Day
Bento Box Lunch for Olympic Day

When it comes to fitness a lot of people will find some excuse to get out of exercise. Some examples include not enough time, bad knees, hips, feet, etc., maybe even allergies. Those excuses might be legitimate at one time or another but not on a daily basis. A good dose of daily exercise just might prove to be the cure for some of those ailments.

Now consider someone who is blind or visually impaired, a condition that will not get better. Wouldn't that seem to be a good excuse that we all could appreciate? Yet for the group of people who refuse to let the serious challenges of life stop them, there is no excuse. There is a goal. That goal is to be an athlete.

The US Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) promotes abilities from beginner to elite Paralympic levels of athletic competition from children to veterans who are blind and visually impaired. It's true that sports enrich life and for every person with any kind of visual impairment, the USABA offers an opportunity in multiple sports such as track and field, skiing, judo, swimming, powerlifting and more. Independence and confidence are developed through competition as is the ability to share victory and experience defeat. SOURCE

National Olympic Day takes place between June 14th to the 30th. This day will promote the International Olympic Committee's three pillars which are move, learn and discover. This day is celebrated in Utica, New York on Saturday June 21st and hosted by the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI.ORG). The event will inspire kids in Central New York to find their inner athlete and work toward a healthy, active life style.

The schedule of competition and this event is located on the Facebook page for CABVI. Here is a summary:

  • 9:30 am to 11 am Swimming at MVCC pool. Marksmanship at Sitrin Health Center.
  • 11 am to noon: Travel and box lunches. *See below for making a Bento Box Lunch. So good for picnics and these kinds of events.
  • Noon to 1:30 pm: Judo at Brown's School of Judo & Jujitsu. Tandem Biking at the Erie Canal, enter in Whitesboro on Rte 291 heading toward Oriskany.

Pack a lunch and enjoy the event with a Bento Box meal.

What is a Bento Box? Japanese in origin, it is a container which resembles a box (high sides, about 2 1/2 inches) divided into sections for holding individual portions of food. It keeps soft foods away from crispy foods so nothing intermingles until it hits your mouth.

Here's a healthy Bento Box lunch to enjoy while watching the events this Saturday. Use a box with four compartments.

1st Compartment: Half a natural peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread OR Four slices of fresh turkey/chicken with 2 slices of swiss cheese (no bread if gluten free).

2nd Compartment: Fresh fruit slices such as half an apple sliced and sprinkled with a little water/lemon so it doesn't brown OR half an orange segmented OR one slice of watermelon.

3rd Compartment: Apple Cinnamon Wild Rice Salad


  • 1/4 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds or if nut free, use toasted pumpkin seeds
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 TBS apple juice

1. Boil water on stove top, add the rice, cover and reduce to simmer for 40 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
4. Add the rice and mix well.

4th Compartment: 3 Ginger Snap Cookies.*Most ginger snap cookies lower in fat and sugar than other cookies..

Will you support our local visually impaired athletes as they enjoy a day of fun competition?

What other healthy ideas can be included in a Bento Box lunch?

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