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Paleo and your Smartphone: A Guide to Useful Apps

The potential health dangers of smartphones are old news by now. They keep us up at night staring at blue screens full of stressful work emails when we’re supposed to be winding down. They destroy our circadian rhythms and keep us glued to our screens instead of making actual human connections with the people around us. Okay, okay. We all know, already.

But even though we’ve all read the concerned editorials, almost nobody is actually willing to give up their phone! Maybe it’s because we actually do need them for work; maybe it’s because on the balance they do more good than harm. Maybe we really are all addicts in denial. But in any case, we have work with technology, not insist on giving it up and retreating back to the 90s.

That’s not necessarily a problem, though. Technology is a tool. It can absolutely help you get healthier – but you have to use it, not the other way around! So here are some Paleo and Paleo-friendly smartphone apps that might help you use your phone for good, not for evil.

None of these are affiliate links, and Paleo Leap isn’t associated with any of these app developers. The apps were chosen only because they seemed helpful, and the links are just there for your convenience.

Apps to Help With…Sleep

The most common complaint about smartphones is how great they are at disrupting normal sleep cycles with late-night bluescreen time and constant, snooze-disrupting notificaitons. That’s true, but they don’t have to be! You can also use your phone to help you sleep better. Even without a bracelet or any other kind of wearable tracker, there are plenty of apps to help you figure out your own sleep schedule and pick the best times to wake up for optimum rest. Some possibilities:

And don’t forget something like Twilight (Android, iOS), which dims your screen to reduce blue light and eyestrain if you have to use the phone late at night!

Apps to Help With…Workouts

Bringing your phone to the gym isn’t always a good idea – if it’s going to distract you or take the focus off your workout, leave it at home. Nobody wants to be the person “working out” on the stationary bike by turning the pedals once every 5 minutes because she’s too busy flicking between Facebook and Instagram.

On the other hand, there are also too many apps to mention that help you stay on top of your workouts, track your progress, get motivated to go to the gym, and learn correct form for the exercises you’re trying to do. Just a couple suggestions that you might find interesting:

Levels of physical activityApps to Help With…Food Tracking

Food tracking is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s great to have a food diary right in your pocket: it can help you stay motivated and keep yourself on track. But on the other hand, it’s very easy to go overboard with food tracking. If tracking everything you eat is stressing you out or making you afraid of food, it’s not helping – especially if you’re counting calories (which you shouldn’t be).

For some people, that means that food tracking is completely out; it’s just not worth the stress. But other people do just fine with it, and if that’s you, here are some suggestions:

Apps to Help With…Shopping and Cooking

Quick, what’s the best grocery list? It’s the one you won’t forget! You can have the most perfectly organized plan, but if you leave it at home and have to run on memory, you won’t be going very far.

That makes smartphones the ideal tool for meal planning, because we’re all in the habit of bringing them everywhere. We do it automatically: most people wouldn’t leave the house without their phone any more than they’d leave without their shoes. So smartphones have a built-in advantage for meal planning because they take away the pain of learning and remembering a new system for doing it. So here’s a breakdown of all kinds of Paleo-oriented shopping and meal planning apps.

“Is it Paleo?” apps

Recipe apps

The Wellness Mama app (iPhone only) and PaleoPlate (Android, iOS) have tons of recipes. And that’s just the start – there are way too many Paleo recipe apps to go through them all. And if you’ve got an iPad and not just an iPhone, you could also try the Nom Nom Paleo iPad app.

Other grocery shopping apps

Apps to Help With…Eating Out

Eating out can be a huge challenge, especially if you’re going somewhere on the spur of the moment and don’t have the time or the inclination to look up nutrition information first. But having the right app can make it a lot easier:

What other apps do you use to help stay on track with Paleo? Let us know on Facebook or Google+ and we’ll add them to the list!