App Review: 2nd Edition

So here I am again, as promised – reviewing another round of nutrition/health/fitness related apps.  As I said before – I am speaking from my personal use with these apps, and I am in no way affiliated with these apps/their creators.

1) Gym Pact

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Compatibility: Apple (iPhone), Android

Cost: free to download

GymPact or “Pact”, as it has recently been rebranded is an app that aids in helping people achieve their exercise and health goals.  Here is what you do: you go into the app, and you make a “pact”, you can make a pact for fitness, for fruit/vegetable intake, and/or for food logging.  You can make a pact for all three, one of three etc.

I personally only use it for the fitness component.  So you set up your account and your payment/rewards info (i.e. paypal), and you set up your pact your pact – is you saying I’m going to work out 3 days a week.  If you work out three days a week – you get rewarded.  If you do not meet your pact you are fined.

You can tweak everything from your pacts (doing multiple pacts, how many days week or fruit/veggie entries), to your stakes (meaning how much you will be penalized if you miss a day).

When you complete your pact you are given a reward – in the form of money.  According to the makers – the money comes from people who don’t meet their pact, then the money is divided out to the all the folks who made their pact.

And yes folks – there are ways to VERIFY you are completing your pacts – you sync it with other apps for running/walking, or check in at the gym, or use the motion tracker, for fruits and veggies – you upload photos, but they use the data in photos to assure you aren’t uploading photos that are over like 5-7 days old.

This app can be synced with other fitness apps like Moves, Map my run, Run Keeper etc

HALF RD SCORE: 5/5 >>  So this app is something I have been using for a year now.  It’s free, and its easy.  At first I was worried how legit it was – meaning? I was worried then when I went to withdraw my rewards – if they would actually come through or not- and they did.  This app has gone through a lot of upgrades to better assure that people aren’t cheating the system, and the bottom line is this app rewards you for meeting your health goals.

2) The Dirty Dozen

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Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, Android

Cost: Free

This app is brought to you by the Environmental Working Group – the app is free, and the list can also be accessed on the EWG’s website.  Each year the EWG puts out the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list.  The dirty dozen are the 12-15 produce items that have the greatest likelihood of being contaminated by pesticides.  The clean fifteen is, as the name implies, the 15 produce itemsthat have the least amount of likelihood of being contaminated by pesticides.

This list also serves as a helpful tool in trying to decide what foods to purchase as organic versus conventional.

Half RD Score: 3.5/5 >> You can use the app or you can use the list – this app does not have bells or whistles – it is essentially a break down of two lists for foods.  No recipes etc

3) Organic Diet Buddy

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Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows

Cost Free

Organic diet buddy is brought to you by Saagara, Saagara is an online health and wellness company.  Their apps really center around overall health – yoga, breathing, exercise, and this app the Organic Diet Buddy.

This app is kind of an extension of the Clean 15/Dirty 12 – as this app uses a “stop light system”.  Red means buy organic (so it’s on the “dirtier” side”, yellow means use caution, green means “safe” to buy either conventional or organic.

What I like about this app is that it uses that stoplight system, and you can click on the different fruits and veggies to get more info about them in terms of their nutrient content, how to best select and prepare them.

The only thing I dislike – is not even about this app at all – it is about the nutrition information posted on Saagara’s website.  There are a few general statements made about “healthy eating” that are incorrect – or could be taken out of context (it says if you buy food in a box, bag, or bottle it is likely unhealthy) – I can think of plenty of foods that are healthy that come in that type of packaging (frozen veggies/fruits, whole grains, dried beans).

HalfRD Score: 4.5/5  I like that this app gives you a bit more information to work with than that of the dirty dozen/clean fifteen.  I specifically like that it gives you more information about the different produce items as well.

4) Tone It Up

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Cost: Free

Compatibility: iPhone

If you frequent my blog – you know I make reference to TIU quite a bit.  I use them A LOT for workouts, and recipe ideas.  Their app is MUCH better now than it used to be.  Now it’s easily broken down into recipes, workouts, lifestyle etc.

Half RD Score: 4/5 >> I think I am being pretty generous with this score – the main reason I am being so generous is because I really like their workouts, I also like their recipes.  What I don’t like – is many times they give very a very sensationalized type of nutrition advice.  For instance they are really fond of the term “fat burning”, and recommend things like coconut oil for this (never gonna happen).

I like this app for using for recipe and workout ideas, but a lot of their nutrition recommendations are not evidence based – they are Dr Oz – esque sensationalized recs.

5) Nike+ Running

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Compatibility: iPhone/iPod, & Android

Cost: Free

In terms of my running software I am a Nike gal.  I have used other apps in the past, (run keeper, map my run etc), and hands down, I like Nike + running the most.  I have noticed it is one of the more accurate phone apps, you can add runs/activity (distance, time) you can also use it interactively with other people (a lot of the people in my run club use it), or you can just use it without being “friends” with people.

One of the benefits of “adding friends” on Nike plus is that you can participate in “challenges” with other people – which can be nice if you are trying to push yourself to increase your mileage.

Additionally, there is the option for the “coach” feature, what coach does – you select a distance you’re training for, the date of the race, and Nike gives you a program, a start date, and a schedule to follow.  I am currently slated to use this to train for the Chicago Marathon – I’m not certain I’m going to use their program, but it’s a nice option to have to keep me motivated.

I also like how easily my runs on my phone sync with my Nike + watch when I plug it into my computer.

6) Nike Training Club (NTC)

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Cost: Free

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android

I love Nike’s apps, love them.  These workouts are killer cray cray too.  The NTC stands for Nike Training Club – so it is essentially Nike’s crossing training app.  This app let’s you pick your “fitness level” at either beginner/intermediate/advanced, then further select a workout that you want.  Glutes, strength, cardio etc.

You can pull up a workout and go.  You can download workouts you want, as well as customize them.  It also tells you approximately how many calories you will burn (which is nice).  It also lets you create a program for yourself – to either “get lean”, “get toned” or “get strong”.

I like that when you create a program – you can follow it as much or as little as you like (for me personally – I use this as a supplement to my running), and it lists all the moves in a work out -AND will show you how to do a move in a quick tutorial video if you’re not sure how to do it.

Half RD Score: 5/5 >> This is a great fitness app, it is a great way to get workout ideas!

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