These apps will help you find food in your area

If you’re like me you have dozens of apps on your phone but there are only a handful you use frequently. For me, the apps I use most often are the ones to organize dinners, chose a happy hour place or simply find a healthy lunch spot that’s nearby. I didn’t list the obvious ones, like Yelp (which I use almost daily) and the Google app because I figure if you own a smartphone you probably have these must-have apps. Here are the others that get a lot of play on my phone:

AroundMe: The AroundMe app is one I’ve been using since I bought my first iPhone. It’s simple and does exactly what you think it would — finds places near your location. Launch the app and you can see it has a bunch of categories to chose from — coffee, bar, restaurant are the ones I use most often. The app shows you the distance between you and that location. Click on one of the destinations and it takes you to a map where you can see the walking or driving route. Add your favorite destinations to the app to quickly access them. You can also find the nearest gas station, parking lot, supermarket or movie theatre, too. AroundMe is free and available for iOS and Android.

LocalEatsThis lovely app is similar to AroundMe but focuses just on restaurants and has beautiful photos to help make your decision of where to dine easier. Search by location to find what’s near to you or use a map to scour your city for a particular eatery. You can buy it in the App Store for 99 cents.

OpenTable: I love the convenience this free app offers. True, it’s easy to pick-up the phone and make a reservation but it’s even simpler to make a reservation with this app — just a couple touches and done. I included OpenTable in this list because it’s also great for when you’re feeling indecisive about where to eat or maybe craving a specific cuisine. You can browse the restaurants near you or in a certain location and see how expensive each one is according to dollar signs listed (one to four), and also see the times the restaurant has tables available. Check OpenTable’s website here to see if the app is available for your city. The app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPadAndroid and BlackBerry.

SupperKing: You need to be a bit adventurous to try this app. With SupperKing you crash people’s dinner parties. The person throwing the dinner party can chose to sell you tickets for a price or offer the meal for free. Yes, you eat food cooked by complete strangers in their own home! I’ll admit I haven’t mustered-up the courage to use it yet.  I might try it out for this blog, though, so stayed tuned! The community is a great idea, and I wrote about it for Mashable when I first heard about it. I can really see it taking off in Europe and maybe in small college towns (Chico?!) but for the average city-living individual I would feel nervous eating food a stranger cooked. Although the founder Kai told me in-home dinner parties are a great way to really connect with people (I agree!), so it may be worth a shot. It’s definitely a new idea.


Your living room makes a great gym

In the past few years the ways we can get a good workout at home have grown. Even gym-goers like myself have been persuaded to workout at home more frequently. 

There are a ton of fun ways to sweat using a game console paired with a device like the Wii Fit or Nike Kinect. You dance or do sports moves (essentially things like air golf), while burning calories. Even traditional workout videos now have corresponding multimedia tools like online forums to find additional motivation. I’ve found some great videos on YouTube just by searching for trainers I read about in magazines — I just connect my laptop to my television in my living room and can browse from all sorts of fitness content. And you can bet if you’re trying a new fitness routine that there are dozens (maybe hundreds) of videos on YouTube from people who’ve already tried it and are offering their reviews. 

The latest workout I’m doing at home is the Tracy Anderson Perfect Design Series I-III workout. And before my recent vacation to Thailand I learned a short Tracy Anderson routine by watching a YouTube video. The routine was short enough to remember the moves and was a good way to start the day before drinking Chang beer and eating delicious Thai curries.

It’s easy to get comfortable at home (as you should be!) but don’t let that stop you from breaking a sweat in your living room. It opens up so much more time in the day when your “gym” is in your home.