Fitness Month: Windows Phone for vegans and vegetarians

Over the past few years, as consumers have become more concerned with how and what they eat, the number of people choosing to lead a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle has increased dramatically.  And while being vegetarian has become much easier since I first started over 13 years ago, it can still be a challenging road to navigate, be it grocery shopping, traveling, or just trying to keep things new and different when cooking at home.  Thankfully, with Windows Phone it's that much easier, whether you are a seasoned veggie veteran or just starting out.  With February being Fitness Month here at WPCentral and Mobile Nations, we thought we take a look at several vegetarian apps.


The basic gist of not eating meat, poultry and fish is pretty straight-forward; however, in this day of cryptically-named, multi-syllabic ingredients, it can be difficult to determine if even everyday foods contain animal products.  With the Ingredients Guide app by the Vegetarian Resource Group, this task becomes much simpler.  Ingredients Guide is a free app that contains a pretty comprehensive list of common ingredients and explains their derivations, uses, and common aliases.  Unsure if something fits your lifestyle?  Look it up, and even save it as a Favorite.  You can also look up foods by category: vegetarian, vegan, non-vegetarian, etc.  Ingredients Guide offers up a user-friendly interface that is a great resource everyone for the beginner looking to learn the vegetarian ropes to the long-timer who is a little fuzzy on the details. 

You can get it here for free.


Now that you've gotten your groceries, it's time to make something tasty.  If you're like me, you sometimes get stuck in a rut of making your favorite recipes over and over again.  With Windows Phone, you can break out of your routine and discover some new favorites.  The Marketplace has some great food apps for everyone, like AllRecipes and Epicurious, but there are also some that cater specifically to vegetarians and vegans.  One such app, is Bimby Recipes - Main Dishes Vegetarian.  This is a free app that features recipes posted by different people, which gets updated from time to time.  The list is fairly limited, but, hey, it's free.  There is also a collection of veggie-friendly eBooks by Digi-Apps-Media for $.99 each: New Vegetarian Dishes, The Healthy Life Cook Book, Cassell's Vegetarian Cookery, and The Allinson Vegetarian Cookery Book.

However, my favorite find is definitely VGRecipes.  This $2.99 app compiles vegan recipes from various blogs.  The best part is that it is regularly updated, so the content is ever-changing.  You can search category, like Appetizers, Breads, Desserts, etc., though sadly, there is no Main Course section, so you will have to figure that one out for yourself.  The recipes are well-detailed and accompanied by pictures, so failure is not an option.

Dining Out:

If you are traveling, or just don't feel like cooking, it's nice to know that you can count on Windows Phone to find a place that suits your lifestyle.  You can surely use WP's built-in Bing search or apps like Yelp to find some veggie vittles, but I recommend checking out Happy Cow.  Happy Cow is a location-based app, brought to you by the website of the same name, that will seek out vegan and vegetarian restaurants and stores using options you set.  Once places are found, Happy Cow will show you distance, average rating, and price rates.  You can also select each location for detailed business information and customer reviews, then map it right from the app.  This is a must-have travel app for the wandering veggie-lover.  The app cost $2.99 in the Marketplace and is worth every penny.

As you can see, Windows Phone offers a wide variety of tools to accommodate a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, whether you're looking to make the jump,  been doing it for years, or are just plain curious.

Seth Brodeur