5 Apps to Kick Start a Healthy Lifestyle

by Annalise Stromsta

Making strides to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle can be overwhelming. With so much literature, methodologies, and perspectives on nutrition, it can be difficult to get started. Luckily, there are several smartphone and tablet apps related to health and nutrition that are straightforward and easy to use. Any of these apps could be downloaded today and have you well on your way to pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Below, you’ll find five of my favorite apps designed to help you with your healthy endeavors. Is there an app you love that I haven’t listed? Tell me about them in the comments section below.

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 9.50.23 AM1. Harvest

Being a self-proclaimed “foodie,” I’m often embarrassed when standing at the produce section in the grocery story unsure of what to look for when selecting avocados that are guacamole-worthy. To me, there is nothing more frustrating than making it all the way home with my newly-purchased avocados only to find that they are rock hard and unusable.

Well, there’s an app for that. It’s called Harvest: the all-around guide for cleverly selecting ripe fruits and vegetables. Harvest has an extensive library, and can tell you the best approach for choosing over 120 produce items. Interested in what produce is in-season and local? Harvest has you covered. The app even denotes which produce is susceptible to high pesticide levels, and provides guidance on the best storage methods for different fruits and vegetables to prolong shelf life and reduce waste.

Price $1.99

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 9.54.33 AM2. Food Tripping

Before we know it, we will be planning our summer vacations and road trips. There are many joys of traveling, but the eating options en route are less than desirable. We are often stuck with greasy fast food and pre-packaged snacks.

Well, there’s an app for that. Food Tripping is a GPS-based app that searches the closest healthy eating options to you, no matter your location. Instead of settling for fast-food every meal, Food Tripping allows you to search for farmers markets, juice joints, healthy food markets, and the like while in an unfamiliar city or location. The app even allows you to track the places you have visited and save them so you can visit them next time you’re in the area.

Price: Free

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 9.55.00 AM3. Eat Slower

Over the past few years, there has been plentiful research on the benefits of taking the time to eat meals at a slower pace. Easier said and done, especially during a hectic work day when a quick meal is all you really have time for.

Well, there’s an app for that. Eat Slower encourages you to take the time to enjoy your meals and eat at a healthy rate. The app includes an adjustable timer which you use to pace yourself while you eat. Each time the timer elapses, you are allowed another delicious bite of your meal. Having used this app myself, I can attest to the fact that I am more full and satisfied at the end of my meal when using this app than going about it on my own. Intimidated? Try it with a buddy!

Price: Free

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 9.55.26 AM4. Substitutions

It happens every month: I’ll get the urge to bake and find myself halfway through a recipe only to discover that I am out of a particular ingredient. I’m then in a predicament: do I make a quick run to the store or simply give up on my endeavor?

Well, there’s an app for that. Substitutions is a straightforward app that allows you to search for a substitute for almost any ingredient when in need. The app is easy to sort through – you can search by name or by category to find what you need.  It even allows you to search for low fat, vegan, and gluten-free substitutions so that you can cater your recipe to fit any dietary needs. Start creating your own healthy recipes by getting creative with substitutions!

Price: $0.99

Screen shot 2014-03-12 at 9.56.10 AM5. Fooducate

Eating better has been my new years resolution for as long as I can remember. Sometimes, making the healthier choice is less straight forward than we would like it to be. Which low-fat yogurt is better? Which has less sugar? With so many options, how can I be sure that I’m making the right choice?

Well, there’s an app for that. Fooducate is a versatile app that allows you to track what you eat, offers guidance on which products to buy, and even teaches you to eat for your health. The app includes a barcode scanner, which you can use to scan products at the grocery store to get detailed info paired with a letter grade for the product – making it simple to see which options are the best. No more guessing about which products are actually healthy, this app will make your choices easy and straight-forward.

Price: Free

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Annalise Stromsta is the Communications Coordinator & Project Administrator at Elder Law of Michigan. As Communications Coordinator & Project Administrator, she is working to expand communication capabilities reaching out to clients who need various services and educating them about the programs that will assist them in moving toward economic security. She also acts as Elder Law of Michigan’s social media manager, and is making strides to engage the organization using social media outlets. Additionally, Annalise works as a Project Administrator on the CERA project.

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