Okay, so maybe we haven't yet reached the point where we are in the Matrix, but it is amazing to think how much technology has evolved into our lives on a day-to-day basis. Am I the only one here that remembers having to print at a Kinkos at 2:30 in the morning?
Fear not -- all these microprocessors, bytes and [insert tech-savvy term here] can help with your ability to get and stay healthy. Now I know what you are thinking, that I am taking about the apps that count every step and calculate every calorie eaten. Sorry folks, those apps are a bit too obsessive for me and I don't really want to spend that much on a plastic bracelet that's always telling me how I am not living up it its expectations. That being said, if used appropriately, technology can be a great asset to take advantage of in the fight to stay fit.
Here are three tech-y things that you can use today to get healthy with just the click of a button (or the swipe of a finger):
Starbucks App. It is true that Americans drink more calories than they eat, but that's not really Starbucks fault, it's yours. Your beverage choices matter because they contain calories in the form of carbs, fats and protein -- just like food. Having the new Starbucks mobile ordering app can give you easy access to nutritional information before you order, and make that crazy long order much easier to translate to the baristas. Lots of my nutrition patients tell me it's embarrassing or intimidating for them to ask for low-fat, sugar-free or half pumps, but with the new app you can click in private and not slow down the line with your healthy ways. Another major plus: you don't have to wait in the line and hear the girl behind you humble-bragging about how she has to go to Europe next week for work and "It's sooooo tiring."
Peapod. The academic journal Psychoneuroendocrinology illustrates the idea that weight and stress are connected. Luckily, you can relax right now and have all of your groceries delivered to your door from a local supermarket. I already know what you're saying, "Gina I don't have time and I am so busy with work -- I have to go to Europe next week!" Peapod will help you collect only the food you want, without you having to spend time in lines and without the temptation of the soda/candy/chip aisle. Health is a choice and you must use the resources available to you to get it done ASAP.
Photo Apps. This is a core project of mine. I like food photo journals. Whether you're Instagramming, Tweeting, Facebooking or just storing images on your phone, a food photo journal gives you an objective look at what you really eat. Do you eat repetitively? Skip meals every Tuesday? Is all of your food a pale brown? The ability to capture, store and quickly review an image of your menus can help with future nutrition planning so you can reach your medical goals and maintain a healthy weight. It's easy, free and you can start at your next meal.
So, in a world filled with dancing cat videos and remixes of "Gangnam Style," let's use our technology power for good and get the most out of our devices for the most important machine we own, our body.
Be Fearless, Be Full!