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?
OOH! I must download the first couple apps! *FREE* and give them a whirl. I love that you said that you don't encourage counting. Calorie counting was the BAIN of my existence for much of my adult life. I am still a bit skeptical of the "not counting" but have actually lost a few lbs since I gave it up. I think the numbers game is such a waste of energy! But again, it's hard to let go once you are ingrained to think…I can only have ___ # of cals today…I only have ___ left!
I like Monterey Bay and How to Cook Everything. I also like the Eating Well, Whole Food recipes and Viaden yoga poses apps. It's the shopping apps that are bad…I shouldn't be able to quietly shop at Barneys during faculty meetings.
I love, love, LOVE the fooducate app! Fooducate also has a very informative blog too, they're such a great resource! Thanks for sharing Lauren 🙂
I am an app addict, but then again, apps play a major role in my work. I'd love to add to the list –
1. Evernote. Why? Because I am not going to print out every recipe I find online and I don't always want to Google either. Plus my laptop does not belong in the kitchen so the Evernote iPad app is fabulous. The Evernote iPhone app is great for being on the the go – you can access your own personal cookbook on the go (and evernote is great for a multitude of other things too). And you can share.
2. The Jamie Oliver app. Not as robust in content as Bittman, but it is an app that truly makes use of the medium. I love it. And for people who are a little afraid of trying new things in the kitchen, Oliver takes you through it step by step – with video, pictures, whatever. Super easy to use and great design too.
3. A non-cooking app (I'm sorry), but I think Foodtrainers everywhere will love. Bergdorf Goodman's Today's Shoe app. One shoe every day. And you can buy straight from the app. Dangerous when you are sitting in meetings for hours. Very dangerous.
These sounds like great apps. I especially love the fooducate app – definitely sounds like something that would be helpful for a lot of people. Unfortunately I have a windows phone, and while there are a lot of apps available, none of the 'big' ones are made for this platform. Maybe someday. I enjoy the weather.com app so I know how to dress for my runs in the morning and can prepare for the conditions. Thanks for the run down!
I would love Harvest. I'll have to think about that one. I have only caloriecount.com and allrecipes.com loaded on my phone. The reason I use caloriecount.com is because I'm always wondering about the nutritional details of the food I'm eating. I'll eat spinach and wonder what's in it. Just a curious person, I think.
I wish I could use these but my iphone broke about a year ago and I couldn't justify spending the money for a new one 🙁 Love fooducate!!
Cracking up about the shopping app comments. Lisa- I hear you I'm not a iphoner yet.
I am a total blackberry snob as well. When my clients ask for good nutrition apps I always have to go off what others say! Thanks for the suggestions!!
Ooh someone else bberry loyal
Some great tips here, thank you. 🙂
Interesting apps. I am not a fan of calorie counting but I do think that for people who are grossly overweight it may provide a baseline for them to measure against. A lot of them really have no concept of how much they are ingesting so the numbers may actually be beneficial for them.
I am still getting into the whole apps world. I love the opentable app to see what restaurants have availabilites and make reservations without any human contact!
I am such a Fruit Ninja fan. It is soooo addictive! My husband and I actually compete with each other!
I love that seafood app. We both have a fear of seafood here, even though we love it (mostly because of the oil spill and recent things we've read. This one seems to take the fear out of eating my favorite protein!
Carrie- while the gulf spill got a lot of attention, fish farming could easily repulse you just as much. Sam, re calorie counting (a whole other can of worms) I think most people do have an idea of what they eat. The why they eat the things they know aren't great can be more important than a count. Ooh I can't start Fruit Ninja or I'll be right there with you with another addiction.
my fav app right now is runkeeper. these are great suggestions though. i will have to check out some of them!
And I don't know runkeeper, have to check that one out.
I think I might download the Harvest app. That sounds like a really useful tool.
I downloaded this cardio one which is a great workout if you want something quick and high intensity.
Passed on the butterfly award to you today =) Look forward to your answers if you haven't done this already <3 Happy Monday
Don't know the butterfly award but thank you! Where are the questions?
I am an iPhone/iPad gal myself….had to use my husbands B-berry this weekend, and took me way to long to figure out how to find someone on his contact list! Perhaps user error :-). I have the Fooducate app (like it but agree some kinks need to be ironed out), and i love the Monterrey Bay seafood app. Definitely want to check out the Harvest apparent and Marc Bittman's app too! Others I like are the Guten-Free Registry app (for locating restaurants with GF offerings near you) and Paprika (for iPad)- it's pricy, but makes your own e-cookbook with recipes from blogs/websites/or your own recipes. It's pretty cool!
Oh, and just for fun and laughs, one of my newest I phone apps is Talking Tom. Must check it out 🙂
ooo I have Food-ucate but I need to get the seafood watch app!
I need that Harvest app! I'm not a big app person, but this seems like a great list.