New Healthy Eating App Promises To Help New Yorkers Eat Right
11/28/13 9:48AM EST BY Katherine Pilnick
A new app is promising to help New Yorkers make better decisions regarding their food. Green Hopping is a map-based app which gives information about nearby healthy food.
While its predominant use is to find juice bars, it also tells users about local restaurants and stores. Each listing tells users of various offerings, including organic, vegan, raw and gluten-free options. For juice bars, users can easily identify if the juice and smoothies are bottled or freshly made.
And the app isn’t just for health nuts, according the Catherine Cuello, the apps creator. “The app’s purpose is to raise awareness – health is accessible and essential,” she told Wall Street Insanity. “Green Hopping’s mission is to let people know that it’s possible to have a clean diet, not filled with artificial flavorings, pesticides or preservatives.”
About the App
Green Hopping looks clean and inviting, and it provides users with more than a simple map. With the help of Google Maps, the app can give directions between a user’s location and any store or restaurant in the Green Hopping database.
It includes basic information about each eatery, such as website, phone number and whether it’s currently open. It also has a picture and a short blurb describing the place.
The app has a social media aspect to it, as well. Users are invited to share their locations and photos of their food and drink.
And there’s a blog section, which gives user a daily tip. This can be general diet information, basic cooking tips or even information about specific foods. For example: “Antioxidants help to stop or slow down oxidative damage. Get yours from berries, leafy greens and even raw dark chocolate. Yum.”
The app’s purpose is, in part, to educate people about their food. “It is extremely important to know what we’re eating,” Cuello said. “We have a right to chose what we put in our bodies.”
The app has surprisingly little man-power behind it. Cuello has just two people helping her: Yamil Alburquerque of the Dominican Republic does the coding, while Harry Garcia of New York helps with theapps design.
Behind the Scenes
Green Hopping is an extension of Cuello’s own lifestyle. She maintains a completely organic and raw vegan diet.
Cuello, who has lived in four different countries, wasn’t always so strict with what she ate. Her own dietary changes came just last year after a devastating medical issue made her realize just how important fuel sources are for a healthy body.
Cuello underwent an emergency eight-hour surgery in the summer of 2012 to remove malignant and potentially dangerous ovarian cysts. The surgery left her with just one ovary and a seven-inch incision. The experience marked a turning point in her life that made her a more thoughtful and conscious person, she said. “Not only about what I ate, but also about what I thought and said.”
She changed her life “literally overnight,” which is how she explains a successful and speedy recovery. Following the advice of her role model, health and wellness guru Kriss Carr, Cuello learned how to utilize a “raw vegan diet to… cure and strengthen the immune system.” Today, her diet includes natural ingredients like quinoa, raw oatmeal and flax seeds, in addition to plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. What it doesn’t include is anything processed or packaged.
Her personal changes, combined with the current trend of healthier lifestyles, inspired her to help others live similarly healthy lives. That’s where Green Hopping comes in. “The application is designed for health conscious eaters to maintain an organic and healthy diet in the city, and looks to inspire non-healthy eaters to reevaluate their food choices.”
Cuello hopes to improve her app by adding more features and eateries.
The database currently includes more than 300 places throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Cuello hopes to grow this number in part by having users submit additional places.
She also wants to expand from New York City. A Miami version will be available by the end of 2013, followed in 2014 by Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas.
And she’s already started creating those databases. Miami is second on the list because Cuello lived there for a year and already knows what the city has to offer food-wise. As for the rest, she plans to visit each city individually and try the food out for herself; she already has a list of can’t-miss places. Some of the preliminary research for each city will be completed via contests and surveys of the local eateries.
Green Hopping will be available for $0.99 in the iPhone App Store starting Friday. The app will be free for the first 250 downloaders.