With over a million smart phone application out there, it seems that most of us have found at least a couple of apps we just can't live without. Whether they keep us entertained, help us with work and school or help keep us organized, apps are definitely here to stay. One of my favorite category of apps has to be the food category, which contains apps for recipes, grocery stores, coupons, etc. In the last two years of eating a vegan diet, I have come across five apps worth sharing that have made my life, at least when it comes to food, much easier.
Much like Yelp, HappyCow is like a search engine for restaurants, but unlike Yelp, this app was made specifically for vegetarians. The user can filter their search by veg-type ranging from specifically vegan to veg-friendly places. The app uses the user's location to find nearby vegetarian restaurants and stores. Each location gives the user the option to add or look at reviews and photos while also giving a price range so you know exactly what to expect if you end up going. Another convenient feature is the Trips tab, which lets you enter a location which you plan to visit and see what options are available there, making planning trips much less stressful.
2. Is It Vegan?
This app is especially great for those who are new to eating vegan because it lets you know whether food products are vegan or not. One can use the search bar to search for a product by name or the extremely convenient barcode scanner. Once searched or scanned, the app shows the ingredient list of the product and tells you whether the item is vegan or not. If it's not, it tells which ingredients make it so, which is great for newbies who may not know ingredients like gelatin aren't vegan (look it up). The app also gives the user the option to make sugar turn up as a non-vegan ingredient if they are trying to avoid it, which is crazy in my opinion, but to each his own I guess.
As a college student, this app has become a life saver for eating out with friends. Obviously, most of my friends aren't vegan, meaning we go out to non-vegan places quite often. Not a problem with this app, as it has vegan menu guides for most chain restaurants ranging from Mcdondald's and Taco Bell to Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen! It also includes an extensive list of vegan candy, snacks, and packaged foods, as well as a list of vegan alcohol.
This app is essentially an online diary for your diet. Once you make an account, you can add any food you eat throughout the day to make sure you are getting in enough calories and nutrients throughout the day, an essential for anyone, vegan or not. Aside from adding food, the app also has an exercise diary. Each user can completely customize the app to include the amount of nutrients they specifically need, if different from the recommended amount, and what their weight goal is whether it be to lose, gain, or maintain. If you don't want to buy the app, you can also use the web version for free on their website.
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy Instagram, but I don't post pictures of food for many reasons. I'm pretty sure no one on there cares about what I'm eating on a day to day basis, and I would rather use Instagram to keep up with friends and photographers, not food reviews. Dysh is great because it is essentially Instagram, but dedicated to food! Each post includes the location as well as a rating to let your followers know how much you liked or disliked whatever it was you ate. You can also search for local dyshers to keep up with what locals around you are eating, allowing for a potential discovering of restaurants you didn't even know were around you. This is great for vegans and non-vegans alike, but I really enjoy following vegetarian accounts as well as using the hashtags to find good looking food because who doesn't like looking at good food every once and a while?