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10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

Planning your meals is one of the best ways to save money and eat healthy at the same time. When you make a meal plan before you shop, you are not only making for a less stressful week, but you are giving yourself a chance to eat a healthier diet. Planned meals allow you to not mindlessly eat and stay in control of your caloric intake. Let’s take a look at 10 iPhone and Android meal planning apps that will place you on the road to healthier eating for this summer.

Pepperplate

Cooking Planner

    Pepperplate hopes to make meal planning easier through various ways. Firstly, attacking the indecision that comes with coming up with meal choices, Pepperplate allows individuals to organize the recipes they find on the application as well as those they add themselves to their personal Pepperplate account. It works as a grocery list companion as well. From there, Pepperplate walks you through recipe instructions to prepare meals in a snap. With planning meals ahead of time, days or even weeks in advance, you can ensure that recipes are made-to-order according to what ever occasion it is for.

    (AppleAndroid) – Free

    Paprika

    Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.47.59 PM

      Paprika works by making its way into every part of your digital life. From your computer as both an application and website, Paprika also finds itself on multiple mobile platforms as well. This allows you to grab recipes you find just about anywhere and have them added to your list. This is, of course, with all of the features that we come to expect from meal planning applications, including advanced grocery lists, the ability to plan meals well in advance, and adjusted recipes.

      (AppleAndroid) – $4.99

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      Food on the Table

      Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.50.05 PM

        Food on the Table doesn’t force you to have to choose the recipes you want to cook. Instead, the application delivers recipes to your application every week for you to cook, all based on the preferences and dietary restrictions that you set. When accurately done, this makes meal planning even less stressful than the other applications we mentioned before. In addition to a grocery list and recipe instructions that come with the app, you are able to find deals based on location to save money on your meals.

        (AppleAndroid) – Free

        Ziplist

        Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.55.18 PM

          Along with weekly meal plans, individuals are able to also get coupons to ensure that they are continuously saving money while also saving the stress of coming up with creative meals. From food sites, you constantly have a curation of unique as well as tasty meals to choose from. The web recipe clipper that can be found on the ZipList website allows you to constantly add new recipes to the application that you are making use of. Finally, ZipList, similar to the other websites and applications we featured, allows individuals to share recipes too. This is a great way to get input on the dinner selection for the night.

          (Apple, Android) – Free

          AllRecipes Dinner Spinner

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          allrecipes

            Using various categories, from cuisine to dietary restrictions and issues and even cooking time, you are able to make the weekly meal plan to alleviate the stress that comes with making a plan of what to eat. As a great way to remember your meal plans, the web component of Allrecipes’s meal planning tool allows you to also print the plan for the week. This is great to put on your refrigerator or elsewhere in the kitchen, to not forget the plans you came up with. Videos are even available to ensure that you aren’t lost in the recipe instructions.

            (Apple, Android) – Free

            MealBoard

            Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.59.36 PM

              When we grocery shop, we don’t use our whole supply of purchases on one meal. We usually have some left over that can be used to create new meals. MealBoard makes use of these leftover ingredients in the recommendation of new meals from the application. By looking at the old meals you have included in your meal plans, you are able to use to the leftover coriander or cauliflower from older recipes you had that week. Along with this, you have the other obvious features, like shopping lists and sharing. You can also make constant adjustments to your meal plans when cravings change.

              (Apple) – $2.99

              Love Food Hate Waste

              Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.58.47 PM

                Similar to how the previous application, MealBoard, allows you to make use of leftover ingredients for meal planning, Love Food Hate Waste makes use of leftover meals to give you new suggestions. Along with being cost conscious and health conscious, this application is also environmentally conscious in reducing the amount of waste that comes with planning and cooking a new meal every single night.

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                This is a great option for business professionals who may not also have the to cook a new meal every night. All meals come with step-by-step instructions, and even portion control is a focus of this application as well, to ensure you’re on your way to a road of healthy eating.

                (Apple, Android) – Free

                Menu Planner

                Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.58.11 PM

                  Another application with many of the features we come to expect. There’s also the feature of ingredient shopping based on cost and the store in your town. The UI is very navigable and allows you to split your meals based on breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. You can create meals based on ingredients already in your pantry or make use of the convenient shopping list to go to the store to prepare new meals.

                  (Apple) – $2.99

                  Cook Smarts

                  Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.57.29 PM

                    Cook Smarts is the most advanced out of all the meal planning programs that we mentioned today. Instead of being simply an application, Cook Smarts is a regimen that not only offers general meal recommendations, but meal plan recommendations based on your preferences and dietary restrictions. All while emphasizing the use of natural ingredients, Cook Smarts presents videos and other resources to make healthy eating easier and more approachable. Not simply in how to prepare it, but also how to take care of and the upkeep of produce. Unlike the applications mentioned, Cook Smarts doesn’t just offer the meals to you or even just the step-by-step ingredients, the program gives you tools to carry these tips on for life.

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                    (Website) – $21 for 3 months

                    Evernote Food

                    Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 4.56.10 PM

                      Evernote, the largely popular note-taking application, would be a good application for those looking to plan meals. However, it’s easier to have an application geared toward such a feat, rather than working around one not specified for it. Because of this, Evernote created Evernote Food, which allows you to not only collect recipes, but also pictures of some of the food you encounter, to save and try to create in your own home. Unlike the other programs, Evernote food understands that you won’t find yourself cooking 365 days a year, and so the integration of restaurants is a great way of ensuring you can eat out with friends and family and still keep your healthy eating track.

                      (Apple, Android) – Free

                      Featured photo credit: Health Level Up via healthlevelup.com

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                      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                      Joe’s Goals

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                        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                        Daytum

                          Daytum

                          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                          Excel or Numbers

                            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                            Evernote

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                              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                              Access or Bento

                                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                Conclusion

                                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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