I’m still a Blackberry girl which means my app-titude (I can’t help myself) is minimal. So I asked Carolyn to come up with her picks for the best healthy apps of the bunch.
We know, we know, as if you need another app. But there are so many foodie or health-centric apps out there we decided to put ‘em to the test. Our clients regularly mention the apps that they have tried for weight loss and counting calories. While this might seem like a dream come true for nutritionists, we’re not fans of these apps and often encourage clients to press the delete button.
What’s wrong with calorie counting apps?
It’s not a way to live your life. One of the (many) things I love about Foodtrainers is that we rarely talk numbers. Who wants to figure out how many calories were in that splash of half and half while trying to enjoy a cup of coffee? We’re all about being organized when it comes to your food but it’s no fun being (or being around) calorie obsessed people.
So now that we have what we don’t like out of the way, there’s plenty left that we do.
Tired of standing in the grocery aisles, comparing labels to figure out which product is healthier? Let this app do it for you. Scan the barcode of Dannon’s Activia Light yogurt, and you get a Fooducate “Grade” (B) with a list of pros and cons, and a list of “healthier alternatives”. While there is some work to be done (GG Brancrisps got a B+ while Wheat Thins have a B, and the several duplicates of food items), once it works out the kinks this app will be a grocery go-to (just like Market Melissa).
Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (Free)
Fish farming, mercury content, endangered… Can you eat any fish without it weighing on your conscience? With this app, finally yes. Enter the name of the fish you’re about to order and find out the facts. Is it labeled green (go for it) yellow (okay alternative) or red (avoid)? It doesn’t get simpler than that. And there’s a new “Project Fish Map” where you can find and add on to the list of restaurants that use sustainable fishies in your area.
This app is a savior for produce shopping. Did you know skin color of grapefruit doesn’t mean a damn thing when it comes to ripeness? Or that a watermelon should make a hollow sound when you knock on it? Yeah, you’ll be the weirdo knocking on melons but your taste buds will thank you. Harvest gives info on when those kumquats are in season, tips for selecting the cream of the crop, and a scale of pesticide residue.
How To Cook Everything ($4.99)
With a price (and a name) like that, Mark Bittman’s app has a lot to live up to. It includes 2,000 recipes plus tons of variations, a grocery list, built in timer, and 400 how-to illustrations. If you’re anything like me and get totally overwhelmed by Facebook and twitterverse, exploring thousands of recipes plus their variations when you just want dinner sounds like hell. But this is surprisingly basic and user-friendly – it’s full of great lists like “11 ways to Jazz up Simply Cooked Vegetables” to get your stomach growling. Bottom line: it’s the only recipe app you will ever need. Consider it an investment.
Couch to 5K ($2.99)
Now couch potatoes really have no excuses. I’ve had numerous friends and clients tell me about this cool app/program. “C25K” gets users off the couch to running a 5k over the course of two months. It has a really high success rate and great reviews because of its slow but structured style. Now just have to figure out how to casually and inoffensively recommend it to your loved ones...
For the kids:
Fruit Ninja $0.99
Ok this isn’t only for kids… Who knew destroying fruit could be so much fun?
What are your favorite healthy apps? What are your favorite apps in general? What do you think a Foodtrainers' app should/would include?