I love that Summer Tomato’s latest post opens with the phrase, “Geeks, this one’s for you.”  I was instantly tuned in!  David Harfield from iPhoneappcafe.com shares his top-ten healthy living iPhone apps, some of which I had previously downloaded, and some of which I acquired within minutes of reading his post. 

Let’s face it.  There is an unholy number of apps available, and it is virtually (get it?  virtually… ??) impossible to know which ones are worth the time, let alone the money. So I am grateful to the people who share the apps that work for them.  And when they share a list of apps that all generally feed into the same inherent line of thinking and lifestyle that parallels my own, I become a downloading MA-CHINE!

Now, please note that I am not sharing all ten apps Mr. Harfield mentions because I will only attest to that which I have tried, and I’m too cheap to try apps that aren’t free unless I feel quite certain that I am going to get some serious bang for my buck, or at least a hefty supply of iTunes gift cards for my birthday. 

So, here goes my litany of support for Mr. Harfield’s selections, narrowed down to the apps that pertain directly to our foods:

  1. Food Additives 2 ($1.99 for full version, or there is a limited FREE version, which I am currently falling in love with, and which will likely compel me to purchase the former.)  From this app, you can look up over 450 ingredient names to learn about their origin, side effects, common uses and safety levels.  (Plus see the ones that are banned in other countries, yet still available in American products.) Waaaaayyy cool!!  The free app gives you information on 50 common ingredients.  I’ll be upgrading very soon, I’m sure. 
  2. Fooducate (FREE) While I haven’t had much time to really delve into this app, I am intrigued by the information and functionality it seems to offer.  You can scan a barcode of any product (say, cookies you find at WalMart) and it will give you a snapshot detail of the product – calories, pros, cons, suitable alternatives, and the skinny on particular ingredients.  You have the ability to “like” or “dislike” a product, and also to compare it to another product by barcode.  There is also an internal link to the Fooducate blog, which seems to have some handy articles for educating ourselves on what we eat.  (Um, you kinda figured that out already, didn’t you?  Wisenheimer!)
  3. Good Food Near You (FREE)  The accuracy of its location determiner astounded me.  I allowed it to “find” me and it did – right down to the Zip+4 of the building I was in!  The purpose of this app is to tell you what restaurants nearby offer healthy food options.  But wait, it doesn’t just tell you the restaurant, it tells you what to order,  although it only lists one food item – the healthiest item – per location.  I had serious doubts about the app when I saw McDonald’s pop up on the list, but then I saw that it listed “Garden Salad” as my option at McDonalds.  So, the app does not discriminate against restaurants that also sell non-healthy foods, as I tend to do.  Cons for this app are the single item availability and the fact that it only focuses on nutritional content rather than ingredients. 
  4. Whole Foods Recipes (FREE) I have had this app on my phone for a while now, and was pleased to see it on Mr. Harfield’s list.  You can narrow searches by various dietary restrictions/preferences and see complete nutritional information of the recipe.  Plus, you can search for recipes containing ingredients you already have, which makes it handy for last-minute meal planning.  Oh, and it also tells you where the nearest Whole Foods is, which just gets me all riled up because our nearest one is SEVERAL hours away. Grrrrrrr…   That being said, it’s an awesome app!

Not mentioned on Mr. Harfield’s list, but one of my general go-to apps for dining out is the Eat This, Not That restaurant app, based on the best-selling books that grade restaurants and menu items based on the health-quality of their foods.  So, if you know you’re headed to Olive Garden, for instance, you can scroll through their menu items sorted either by overall grade, calories, fat, etc. to predetermine your menu selection. Please note that I’ve had this app for a while now, and I just realized it’s $7.99 in the app store.  I think it was around $4 when I bought it. But if you’re okay with spending money on apps, I have to say this is worth it. 

And please don’t forget the Dirty Dozen list which is a simple reminder of which produce really serves you better as organic, and which are harmless in non-organic form.  It’s free, and nice to have with you at the grocery store. 

 So get busy downloading, and let me know how you geek out.  🙂