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Epicurus, that good old Greek (who is thought to have lived from around 341 to around 270 B.C.), really seemed to be onto something, believing that “the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear…as well as absence of bodily pain.” (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicureanism). In the spirit of Epicureanism, here are a handful of tools you can use to enjoy food and wine without ballooning up like Dionysus.
Perfect Diet Tracker
Dieting is like budgeting—it’s hard to know where you stand without a consistent record.
Because we’re interface snobs, we were initially prejudiced against the Perfect Diet Tracker because as a cross-platform app (it also runs on Windows and Linux), it doesn’t look or feel quite like a native Mac app should. The software’s utility, however, soon won us over. It was, quite simply, the most reliable and useful calorie-counting application that we tried (and we tried several). The app quickly sets up a user profile based on your height, weight, age, and weight-loss goals, and then sets to the business of tracking how many calories you consume (and burn) each day. Calorie counts for common food items are pulled in automatically from the Web, and calorie losses from exercise are computed automatically based on time and level of exertion. The app keeps a running tally of how many calories you’re free to consume throughout the day, and allows you to take notes on your progress.
Price: $59.95 Requirements: OS 10.2.7 or later
Developer: Byoni Ltd
If you ever wondered what happened to iLife’s recipe app, MacGourmet is for you.
We used to be satisfied keeping recipes organized in an index card holder. MacGourmet 2, however, raises the art of recipe collecting to Olympian (or at least iLife-ian) levels. Recipes can be imported from the Web in a variety of formats, saving a lot of time over entering them manually. Once they’re in your collection, you can search and organize recipes by meal type, keyword tags, ingredients, and ratings, to name only a few of the available criteria. You can plan menus with recipe lists (which are similar to albums in iPhoto or playlists in iTunes) or sort your collection automatically with smart lists. If you like sharing your culinary creations, MacGourmet can publish your recipes as Web pages to .Mac or as entries to a variety of blog platforms. The real challenge with MacGourmet is finding enough recipes to make use of its many features. Time to call Mom.
Price: $24.95 Requirements: OS 10.4 or later
Unlike the guy in Sideways, we’re happy to drink Merlot.
Being less cultured sorts, our wine selections are usually determined by the font used on the label (Times New Roman is popular among midrange bottles of domestic red), but for anyone with a more developed wine palate, we recommend WineXT for cataloguing the contents of your wine cellar. This database app offers a host of built-in countries, regions, vineyards, and grape types for classifying your bottles, and it lets you record tasting notes, food pairings, and any guests who joined you for a bottle’s opening, as well. A serious app for serious collectors, Wine XT expects you to know wine and to enjoy entering every possible detail about your encounters with it. The price seems a bit steep for a catalog app, but we suspect the target audience can afford it. Salud!
Price: $64.50 Requirements: OS 10.3 or later
Developer: Edwin Buhler