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ShopGirl: Easy ways to keep up with fashion and healthier foods

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Fooducate is a free app that scans food barcodes and gives you the lowdown on the product before you buy it.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Fooducate is a free app that scans food barcodes and gives you the lowdown on the product before you buy it.

The streets of New York have been full of people even more sharply dressed than usual this past week, as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week brought editors, photographers and celebrity fashionistas together in the name of hot new clothing.

Scoring a seat at Michael Kors’ show is impossible for most of us, but staying informed and entertained by what’s getting sent down the runways is totally within our grasp.

Tumblr, a blogosphere with an already-heavy fashion presence, has a page (tumblr.com/nyfw) devoted to a constant stream of NYFW images, video and commentary.

New York Magazine’s fashion blog The Cut (nymag.com/daily/fashion) has steady updates with slideshows, whispers of who was on the front row of what show, and perspectives from popular stylists on how to incorporate fashion week themes into your own wardrobe.

WHAT’S TRENDY

It’s finally over. Florists, jewelers and department stores can breathe a sigh of relief now that Feb. 14 is in the past for one more year, but you’re probably left with a pile of chocolate and paper valentines.

Candy shouldn’t be that difficult to get rid of. Freeze chocolate for when you have a random craving, or melt it in the microwave to dip fruit or cookies. And those sweetheart conversation hearts? I heard the other day that they work as a substitute for sidewalk chalk. (Do you still want to eat them?)

I am not a saver, but I know it’s hard for some people to not hold on to every greeting card and valentine they receive. Instead of just having boxes of paper, decoupage your cards and valentines from this year onto a cardboard or styrofoam heart to pull out next year as seasonal decor.

WHAT’S AFFORDABLE

The cold, wet weather we have been having recently makes it harder to motivate yourself to work out and eat healthy foods, and easier to curl up on the couch and eat junk food while you watch a movie.

One alternative is to hire a personal trainer and nutritionist, but the smartphone world in which we live gives us more affordable, convenient options. Fooducate is a free app I found that scans food barcodes and gives you the lowdown on the product before you buy it. It assigns a letter grade to the food and lists what kind of nutritional “bewares” come with the product. If it succeeds in convincing you the food isn’t worth it, you can look at the healthier alternatives it lists and buy one of those instead.

Food­ucate has been highlighted by a long list of big publications including Shape magazine, and it was listed by Apple as one of its top Health & Fitness app dowloads for 2011.


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