A whole new way of looking at food

Eat the rainbow, see the rainbow

 

It has been an extraordinary 48 hours.

Monday saw Just Routine pass Apple review – yesterday saw it available globally in the App store.

Check it out here – http://justroutineapp.com/

If you have an Iphone or Ipad I hope you are curious enough to download it to experiment.

Four years in the making, Just Routine is a Real Food app based on a whole new way of looking at food, with a claim to being the world’s first Food Book. But at its heart what it’s really about is eating simply, simply eating.

The Just Routine journey

It required a new way of looking at food, developing a formula to point foods on the basis of the quality of their nutrition, designing graphics to make information clear and easy to understand, acquiring a team with the technical expertise to build the application programming interfaces (APIs) within a secure and robust operating environment, and finally a group of Test Pilots to navigate our way through Testflight. This article is dedicated to them all.

How did it begin?

Research continues to discover the incredible health benefits of eating real food, while also confirming diets high in processed products contribute to obesity and related chronic disease.

This is why almost four years ago I made a decision to develop a new way of looking at food to:

  • help improve our health through better food choices
  • so increase our capacity to exercise
  • to better achieve wellness through food and exercise contributing to better rest

No Targets Just Routine has aimed to contribute insights and information to achieve these goals, but Just Routine has been developed to make it easy to derive the benefits of the food research, allowing the knowledge to be applied without having to immerse and memorise the body of work.

It’s all about what we eat

Calorie counting is unsatisfactory when it comes to evaluating food. What we needed was to calculate nutrition, and so this was the key foundation of the project. Our resident Master Trainer accepted the challenge, examining the problem of condensing the wide variety of nutritional aspects of food into a core value system. In the process he came to appreciate the incredible gulf between real food and processed food, particularly the nutrient-dense quality of real food compared to the energy-dense, nutrient-poor quality of processed and highly processed food.

It made sense that placing Real Food at the core of a diet – food with minimal processing and refining, maximising nutrition from natural ingredients rather than artificial substances – is the foundation of healthy eating. Consuming foods that help protect the body rather than foods that risk damaging it. He also came to appreciate the incredible fitness benefits that might accrue by making such a nutritional system the foundation of a training programme.

Incorporating his research into his meal planning, his new real food choices quickly produced results that served to spur him on in his mammoth data building task, but having started out thinking that avoiding too much ‘junk food’ was as much as he needed to consider, he came to appreciate how variety and balance in the consumption of Real Foods produced extraordinary benefits.

Six key food groups made up the critical constituents: protein, carbohydrates, legumes, vegetables, fruits and fats. And all had a role to play to avoid cutting out any of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) while this approach also ensured other important nutrients were not excluded. By cutting out the large we also cut out the little: micronutrients.

Why little is important

Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, trace elements and phytonutrients, which are found alongside macronutrients. These are the key building blocks in the foundation of good health. They boost the immune system, aid metabolism, remove free radicals, aid in repairing damaged cells, slow down aging, even determine the quality of skin, hair and nails – indeed their impact on our bodies, health and quality of life is almost impossible to quantify. Significant cumulative positive benefits accrue from even very small changes in an individual’s nutritional composition that comes from the adoption and inclusion of a wide variety of macro + micro nutrients in weekly food consumption.

What eventually resulted was a way of pointing foods that should be eaten regularly on the basis of the energy and quality of their nutrition, while also being able to compare them with foods that should either be eaten rarely or better avoided.

But figuring out a way to point foods on the basis of their nutrition was only the beginning.

The Incredible Italian

A brilliant Italian mathematician, highly respected as a quantitative analyst who normally specialized in the application of mathematical and statistical methods in financial risk, was the man who helped me next. Being of Mediterranean origin he was also passionate about food and keen to help. Intrigued to have a look at the formulae, it gave him an excuse to take a break from his day job which normally encompassed statistical arbitrage and quantitative investment management. He developed the initial calculator, applying the ratios between the food categories that were to be applied as a guide for food intake.

The Awesome Aussie

Meanwhile, when attending a wedding in Sydney, we met an avid reader of No Targets who was also a graphic designer. His understanding of nutrition and its impact on health proved invaluable in his subsequent ideas.

Key design issues

Food has become such an overly complex subject our aim was to create a system that tamed the complexity, delivering an easy to understand message. As a picture is worth a thousand words great graphics had to offer the best solution.

What was also essential was an accurate record of real food consumption for the user, if the information was to generate a valuable insight to improve eating habits. This had to be linked to the Real Food data base. In the case of junk food, the same level of accuracy simply wasn’t necessary. Denuded of nutrition and energy dense, all that was needed was to record a generic level of consumption – the brand didn’t matter.

We at No Targets also believe in the ability to eat well for less, achieving health without wealth.  With processed food we do not know what we are eating, and are certainly not always eating what we think we are eating. The Just Routine app design had to help people consider making better choices and make it easy for them to see their progress. And to achieve this came the biggest test of all – finding a team to build it!

The Tech Dream Team

We commissioned Worldflow to work with us on the build, dividing the project into a number of phases, with a rolling trial and feedback process to include further design enhancements as we progressed. The initial development phase focused on building the database and creating the food diary and planner. The second major phase was about the addition of recipes, favourite meals and the ability to save and share, including images of what we cook and create. Their work, topped off by the sterling efforts of the Testflight Test Pilots have delivered the app anyone with a Iphone or Ipad can now download.

Go on – take a first step to give it a try by clicking here – http://justroutineapp.com/

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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

 

Do you know how much real food you eat versus processed?

Do you want to cook more real food meals, but don’t know how?

No Targets has developed Just Routine App to help.

A foodbook & diary for planning, cooking, viewing, saving and sharing real food, it’s for anyone concerned about what they eat, confused by food labels or just keen to cut down on processed foods and additives.

A food planner and tracker, thanks to a unique points system that evaluates real food by condensing its macro- and micro-nutrient values, it highlights what we should eat regularly, as well as products we should eat rarely.

It’s eating simply, simply eating, helping to deliver the health benefits real food can bring.

To find out more or download the App, go to:

http://justroutineapp.com/

 

Do you know how much real food you eat versus processed?

Do you want to cook more real food meals, but don’t know how?

No Targets has developed Just Routine App to help.

A foodbook & diary for planning, cooking, viewing, saving and sharing real food, it’s for anyone concerned about what they eat, confused by food labels or just keen to cut down on processed foods and additives.

A food planner and tracker, thanks to a unique points system that evaluates real food by condensing its macro- and micro-nutrient values, it highlights what we should eat regularly, as well as products we should eat rarely.

It’s eating simply, simply eating, helping to deliver the health benefits real food can bring.

To find out more or download the App, go to:

http://justroutineapp.com/

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