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Tech Review: These apps can help you get back on a healthy diet

Round 1 of the annual, year-end overeating marathon is over, except for the leftover turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and gravy beckoning from the refrigerator. But in the short break before the Christmas cakes, cookies and eggnog appear, these apps can help you get back on a healthy diet.

Healthy Recipes

(iOS, Android; free)

There are several similarly named apps, but this one from SparkRecipes offers a comprehensive database of appealing meal ideas that won't bust your calorie budget. You can filter recipes for specific needs, such as gluten-free or low-carb. You can also filter results by preparation time, a nice feature when you want to eat healthy but don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

Whole Foods Market Recipes

(iOS; free)

The high-end supermarket chain is known for its extensive selection of organic and natural foods, and this app gives you the tools to prepare nutritious meals using the best ingredients. The number of recipes is relatively small -- about 3,000 -- but most are easy to prepare. The app also includes a link to specials at Whole Foods stores, including the three on Long Island.

Calorie Counter -- MyFitnessPal

(iOS, Android; free)

Yes, you know a slice of apple pie has more calories than an apple, but when you see the numbers in black and white (411 vs. 80), you may make a wiser choice. Add in the extra information the app offers on numerous categories such as fat and sodium, and you can understand why your pants are feeling tight. The app lets you choose three goals: Lose weight, maintain weight or gain weight. This time of year, you probably don't need help with the third category.

Is It Vegan?

(iOS, Android; free)

For those who are permanent vegetarians or those who want to temporarily try a diet free of animal products, this app is extremely useful, especially when shopping in the supermarket. Scan a bar code or enter in a product's name, and the app searches its database to see if the item is vegetarian or vegan. The scanner can be problematic with some high-end Android phones and can cause crashes.

 

Tech bytes

 

Vapor trail

The technological reboot of a centuries-old product has spawned Oxford Dictionaries' 2014 Word of the Year. "Vape," defined as "to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette," beat out several contenders, including "slacktivism," which Oxford defines as "actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement." -- PETER KING

iPad shipments decline

Apple's iPad will see its first-ever year-over-year decline in shipments in 2014, according to research firm IDC. The decline is part of what IDC calls "a massive deceleration" in shipments of all tablets. IDC says consumers, who used to replace their tablets every two to three years, are holding on to their tablets longer and are in no rush to replace the devices with new models. -- PETER KING

Recharging the charger

Tel Aviv-based StoreDot says it has developed a battery that can charge a mobile phone in a few seconds and an electric car in minutes. While the prototype is too bulky for a mobile phone, the company believes it will market a slim battery by 2016 that can deliver a day's power for a smartphone in 30 seconds. - Reuters

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