My smart phone has definitely become a necessity to my gluten-free lifestyle. I am able to eat out a lot more often and more easily because of it. I can’t imagine life without it. I write this post to help those who are new to the gluten-free journey. There are many new smart phone applications available that it can be confusing. When I ran a recent search preparing for this article, over 300 GF apps populated on my screen. Everything to ingredient checking, restaurant finders, recipe listings and even bowel movement trackers (which includes an option to check whether you’ve consumed gluten that day). I’ve listed below some of the apps I am aware of and think are useful. Please post and share if you know of any others. I have used most of these but have only found a few to be truly essential. They are the GF dining apps. I’ve listed my top three choices. The others, I’ve listed by category.
GF Dining Apps
I have found that different GF dining apps work better in certain areas. Locally, I like Gluten-Free Registry, Yelp and Find Me Gluten Free. I found in Southern California that Find Me Gluten Free listed more choices. Of course, these apps are quickly changing. I would buy a couple so you can experiment with them in different areas, especially if you travel.
MY TOP THREE CHOICES
Find Me Gluten Free
GF Find Me Gluten Free – “Find Me Gluten Free” offers several options for searching – Around Me, Popular Chains and By Address. It offers a “dining card’ that briefly explains gluten intolerance and lists ingredients that contain gluten. It can be used to show restaurant staff. It allows for ratings and reviews. You can also upload photos with comments. If this app allows you to follow someone’s reviews, I haven’t figured out yet. You can search through the comments to see if there are any submitted by me.
Gluten Free Registry
Gluten Free Registry
This app allows you to look up gluten free restaurants wherever you are located. I have found this app to be comprehensive and offers accurate information. It will find the restaurant on your map and list directions. The app also allows you to call the restaurant by simply pressing an icon, look at reviews, view the menu and you can even share info about the restaurant with your friends.
Yelp – I love this app. You are already aware of it, I’m sure, but did you know you can do a gluten free search? Don’t forget to sign up for my GF restaurant views while you’re logged in. I love that fact that you can follow people’s restaurant reviews and you can see all my reviews in one place. Follow me at: coachkim.yelp.com
Other GF Restaurant Finders
iEatOut Gluten and Allergen Free
iEatOut Gluten and Allergen Free – This app allows you to indicate your food allergies/intolerances and then will generate a list of foods you can eat organized by ethnic category. I do not find this app useful.
Alex’s Gluten Free Spots
Alex’s Gluten Free Spots – This is an app to find GF restaurants but I could not get my downloaded version to work properly.
GF Disney – I have not been to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida but I understand that if you go this app is extremely helpful and that they now have lots of GF dining options there.
Gluten Free Fast Food
Gluten Free Fast Food – I’m not an advocate of fast food but these apps will list out the menu items in fast food restaurants that do not contain dairy or gluten. It does however warn you that you have to be aware of cross contamination issues.
Gluten Free Restaurant Items
Gluten Free Restaurant Items – This is a very simple app that lists restaurants including fast food chains and the menu items at each place that do not contain gluten.
Gluten Free Finder
Gluten Free Finder – This app will find gluten free resources in your area and generate a map. It works very fast but the list was not very thorough. It only listed PF Chang’s, Outback Steakhouse and Chipotle for my area (Pleasanton, California).
Gluten Free Eating Directory
Gluten-Free Eating Directory – I have not used this app.
Gluten Freed – Gluten Free Dining
GF – This is a very basic GF restaurant finder. It does not offer many features.
Is that Gluten-Free? Dining Out
Is that Gluten-Free? Dining Out – This is a brother app to the Is that Gluten-Free? ingredient finder listed below.
Dine Gluten Free
Dine GF – I have not used this app either.
Gluten Free and Allergy Free Traveler
Gluten Free and Allergy Free Traveler – For those who travel more often.
You can find many recipes on these various databases. I have yet to figure out how to use the features of these apps. I do not want to have my iPhone or iPad in the kitchen to avoid moisture issues. One of the apps did offer an email option so you can email the recipe to yourself. This I found useful. “Cook It Allergy Free” allows you to indicate which ingredients you need to avoid and then generates recipes based on that criteria. It also allows you to email yourself a shopping list.
Cook It Allergy Free
So Simple GF
These apps allow you to look up ingredients to see if they’re gluten free. These apps are nice for those who are just starting out on a gluten free diet.
Gluten Free Shopping Scanner
Is that Gluten Free?
Gluten Free Ingredients
Gluten Free Grocery Guide
Gluten Free Alcoholic Drinks
These two apps above are pretty elementary. I was hoping the alcohol app would tell me what brands of vodka are gluten-free but no luck.
Other useful apps for special diets and lifestyle apps…
Bowel Movement Pro – If you are one of my clients, you know how I preach about the importance of daily bowel movements. It’s imperative to gut health. This app allows you to track your daily bowel movements or that of your child. It also has an area to track water consumption. Water is crucial to regular bowel movements. There is another feature that allows you to indicate whether you’ve had gluten that day. It’s a great way to connect the dots between gluten and what’s happening with your intestines. Keep in mind, gluten can cause symptoms immediately and even days later. Check it out!
G-Free Foodie – The app provides locations of U.S. Gluten Free Restaurants near the user’s location via GPS and Search Features, and offers hundreds of Gluten Free and GFCF Recipes, many with photos or video. This is a new app for me and I have not used it much. Give me your feed back if you buy and like it.
Gluten Free Daily – This app offers a wide variety of options. A database of recipes, information on how to follow a gluten free diet, weight loss tips, fitness clips to view, a grocery list, daily tracking of your food intake and your diet success. You can sign up for a free month trial. I did not sign up because they require you to enter your credit card info for the free trial. Let me know if you try it out.
Gluten Free Travel Translation Cards
Gluten Free Restaurant Cards
Allergy & Gluten Free Diet Tracker
As far as I can detect, currently there are only two of the gluten free magazines have an app available: Delight and Gluten-Free Living. Simply Gluten-Free magazine does offer some free e-books and GF Magazine has a e-magazine you can view on your smart phone or iPad.
I hope you find an app that may be useful to your gluten-free lifestyle…happy downloading!