As many of you know by now, eating and running are two of my biggest passions. But I’ve also become a pretty big Apple guy over the past couple of years. In my family, we own/use no less than 7 different Apple devices on a fairly regular basis. What I love is how over the past year, these Apple devices have helped me get more enjoyment out of my passions for food and running. Most notably, I’m talking about the many apps that are on both my iPhone and iPad. If you don’t use an iPhone or iPad, many of these apps are also available on most Blackberry devices and also Droid phones. If you want to go one step further, most even have their own website that have the same information found on the app, without having to use a mobile phone to access the information.
There are several outstanding apps that help me find new restaurants and new recipes, make dinner reservations, decide what type of food to eat, or share my food experiences with other “foodies”
In order to keep from fixing the same meals over and over, which is a big challenge for many families, I use the AllRecipes app on a regular basis for coming up with new meal ideas. This app has a great DinnerSpinnerPro feature that lets you select the type of meal you want (main dish,side, salad, dessert, etc), the type of main ingredient (fish, pork, beef, cheese, etc), and then cooking method (slow cooker, 20 min or less, etc). Once you select all 3 criteria, it finds all the recipes in their database that match your criteria.
Another great recipe app for the summer grilling season is the Weber On The Grill app. All of the 300-plus recipes on this app are broken into categories such as Starters, Red Meat, Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Sides, Dessert, etc. And yes, the dessert category has some awesome ideas on how to do dessert on a grill. But this app also has some cool features like How-To videos, a Grill Timer, a Grill Guide, and a Grocery list. I once went an entire week this summer using this app for every dinner and dessert. It was some of the best eatin’ I did all year!
For fans of seafood, the Seafood Watch app is a must-have. This app lets you find “sustainable” seafood that is both good for you and great for the environment. I’ll be honest, before I got this app on a recommendation from my friend Sean, I had no idea what “sustainable” seafood meant. Now that I’m a little wiser, it’s definitely helped me make smarter choices when we go to the store or a restaurant when I eat seafood.
Beyond recipes for eating at home, there are also some food apps to help when I want to eat out. The ones I use most often to find new and unique restaurants are the Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor apps. Both apps let me search for restaurants by cost, type of cuisine, location, and customer reviews. The Urbanspoon app even has a Shake feature similar to the spinner feature I mentioned on the AllRecipes app. I simply choose my neighborhood, type of cuisine, and cost and it will crank out recommendations based on my criteria. Both apps are great for finding new local places to eat but are also huge helps when traveling to other cities.
Finally, one app that I’ve just recently started to use to share my food experiences with fellow foodies is the Foodspotting app. This app lets me take photos of some of the meals I eat at various restaurants and then post them to my Foodspotting account. This lets other foodies see the food that I’ve posted instead of just reading a written review. The visual aspect of this app is what makes it so different from simply writing a review on Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor.
Last year when I decided to try to get back into shape, the app I used most often was the Tap&Track app. This app is kind of a cross between a food app and a fitness app. I started by entering my starting weight and my target weight. Then it gave me a daily calorie, fat, and carb limit to follow to reach my goal weight. My job was to then enter everything I ate into the database to track my food intake. I also entered in any and all exercise I did and the app would automatically adjust my allowance for that day. The more I exercised, the more allowance it would give me. For anyone wanting to lose weight, I found this app to be very helpful.
When it comes to strictly running, the two I have used with success are the iRun app and the RunKeeper app. I used the iRun app last spring as I was training for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in May. Recently, I’ve switched over to using the RunKeeper app to track my daily runs. Both apps have some good qualities. The biggest reason I like the RunKeeper app is that is automatically sends all my information to their website and saves all my runs. Then, it knows all my PR’s, mileage goals, and weekly logs and tracks them for me.
By no means am I claiming to be a know-it-all when it comes to technology (or eating and running, for that matter). I just know that these apps have really helped fuel my passions for eating and running. In fact, I’m sure many of you could give me some good recommendations on apps I should be using. But if any of you are looking for ways to use some easy and fun technology to enhance your eating and running, then maybe some of these apps can help you as much as they helped me.