There are a few left-of-center people out there who – despite surfing the internet infinite times each day and being bona fide social networking junkies – still haven’t quite jumped on the smartphone application train. And then there are the rest of us who can’t imagine willing breaking from the alluring tractor beam of our impossibly neatola hand-held toys… ’scuse me… organizational lifestyle devices.
Why? Because techie goodies are fun. In the case of smartphones, they’re essentially miniature hand held computers that liberate us from our desk shackles, all the while connecting us to crucial information as we actually get on with the business of living our lives — yeee-haaaawww! Where would we be without life-changing apps such as the vegan-friendly booze guide, the equally essential dog whistler or the portable hand heater? That’s right… bored out of our noggins, or heaven forbid, reading an encyclopedia.
Fortunately, smartphone users also have access to a hefty collection of legitimately valuable lifestyle tools, many of which are entirely free of cost. If you lean toward the healthier side of the spectrum, find a nice place to relax because you’re going to want to give this list your undivided attention. (So chill out on the tweeting for just a minute or two, okay?)
You don’t need to be a hardcore vegan or vegetarian to reap the benefits of this practical smartphone application – you merely just have to recognize that from a health standpoint, a steady diet of animal-based edibles does not make the human body a happy camper. This tool lets you sniff out the secret animal ingredients camouflaged in oodles of groceries and personal care products so you can make wiser purchasing decisions. (Available for Apple & Android phones.)
Fans of FatSecret.com rely on the helpful website to help them stick to their personal weight loss, nutrition and fitness goals. This free ‘companion’ Android app enables users to enter all their stats on their handheld device and — voila! – the data will instantly sync up with their website profile. Heck to the yeah…nice-n-easy, just the way we likey. (Available for Android phones.)
Don’t Eat That
Much like the Animal Free app mentioned above, this resource arms consumers with the inside scoop on 1,500+ typical food ingredients and additives. If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, then you’ll likely find this app to provide an invaluable source of info regarding whether the munchies you’re about to consume are harboring genetically modified organisms, allergy-triggering ingredients, carcinogenic compounds or other crummy stuff. (Available for Apple phones.)
Farmers Market Finder
We all know by now that plowing through a rainbow of veggies on a daily basis makes the body hum… and scientific studies repeatedly confirm that the naturally occurring antioxidant compounds keep countless illnesses at bay. So, get to a farmers market stat! Supporting local agriculture is automatically eco-friendly and your chances of being exposed to petroleum-based pesticide residues will drop significantly (but wash your produce bounty with a homemade vinegar-baking soda rinse just to play it safe). This app makes finding a farmer’s market easy-breezy, wherever you reside. (Available for Apple phones.)
Food Nutrition Pictorial Book
Appealing to the visual learner, this miniature database of common foods and their nutritional benefits earns brownie points for its accompanying photos which offer a magazine-like experience. You’ll certainly glean a fair amount of information from this freebie, and while it’s not the superstar in the bunch, it has its merits. Um, did I mention that it’s also free?!? (Available for Android phones.)
This fantastic website – which continually does a bang-up-job of sharing real world food-based information with the public at large – has entered app territory, and thank goodness for that. You owe it to yourself to load this nutritional puppy on your gadget of choice. What you’ll get in return is a reliable source of information on tons of grocery store brands, including calorie count, nutritional ratings, product comparisons and so much more (all with a quickie barcode scan). (Available for Apple phones and – soon — Android phones.)
My Fitness Pal
Healthy lifestyle enthusiasts simply loooove this calorie-counting app since it acts like an accountability tool, ensuring that you maintain a healthy weight through wiser dietary decisions, regular exercise and a progress-tracking diary. You’ll love it too, if only for the barcode scanning feature that tells you the calorie count of the foods you plan to eat. Ultimately, it serves as a handy reminder that in order to lose weight successfully, you have to keep an eye on the fuel that you put into your body. (Available for Android, Apple & Blackberry phones.)
Genetically modified foods – often referred to as frankenfoods – are engineered to resist viruses, pesticides, herbicides and impossibly hungry insects, which in turn ensures higher crop yields. While proponents claim that the technology is necessary to feed an increasingly growing global population, there are legitimate questions surrounding how such crops affect the environment… and the human body. In both cases, formal GMO testing has never actually been conducted, which earns a ‘yikes’ in concerned circles. If you’re just a wee bit wary like so many others out there, then this shopping app’s for you! (Available for Apple phones.)
For more juicy green goodness, follow Elizah via Twitter: @elizahleigh