Fix-It Friday: Helpful Websites Edition

It’s cold and wet and as generally unpleasant today here as it was lovely yesterday.

It’s also Fix-It Friday, but I haven’t done a cooking project with the Small Person this week so far, and probably won’t. I have summer pants to fit into, shortly. Cookies are incompatible with that goal, and I am assuming you all know how to steam broccoli.

Instead, I am going to tell you about some websites that I find helpful.

If you need a recipe, the best thing you can do for yourself is visit Epicurious. It’s a massive database of recipes and cooking information. The site has a glossary for those of really starting from scratch, and articles for those of you needing inspiration.

My favorite feature by far, however, is the advanced recipe search. The search allows you to look for recipes not just via the obvious keywords, but by setting parameters like gluten-free (which is helpful if you would like to not poison your celiac friends), vegetarian, or low-cal, as well as what cuisine, occasion or even preparation method you’d prefer.

They have reader reviews, which frequently suggest interesting variations, and if you decide you really like a recipe or would like to file it for future reference, you can set up a recipe box. My favorite pork dish, 2 kinds of cake and a rice pudding with chai spices are all part of my repertoire thanks to Epicurious.

On the other side of the coin is Fitday. It is a food and exercise tracker. If you’ve done Weight Watchers, this is not unlike the online version of that program, only it’s free.

I use it for tune-ups. I try to follow the gospel of vegetables and low-processed food, but when I’m stressed or there have been a lot of special occasions going on, my cheese-to-vegetable ratio gets out of whack. Tracking what I eat helps me get back in the habit of moderation, and reminds me about portion sizes, which is my downfall in terms of unhealthy eating.

You can also track how many calories you burn with exercise, which I find is a good motivator. My father-in-law once observed that when he started working out and realized how hard he had to work to burn off a mere 300 calories, he got a lot stingier with his ice cream portions. So true.

If you have a tendency toward eating disorders, you may not want to use this site — it does couch things in terms of diet.

And finally, there’s Map My Run. This is pure exercise geekery. If you go out for a run and you want to know how far you ran — or if you want to map out a run in advance — you go there and plot it out on the map and it’ll give you the distance. You can save the run with notes about terrain, scenery, etc. If you want to get really wonk-ish, you can use the site to track your training, and it seems they’re even integrated with Garmin, now, if you have one of those wrist GPS systems. You can also track hikes and bikes, and see other people’s suggestions for routes in your area.

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64 Responses to Fix-It Friday: Helpful Websites Edition

  1. Meredith says:

    Hey AM – remember when you bought environmentally friendly water bottles online and blogged about it? Can you send me the link to the shop you got them from? Thanks for the links this week, I am going to check them all out?

  2. elizasmom says:

    Meredith — stocks a variety of reusable bottles and other tree-hugger products, and they were very prompt about filling my order.

  3. Meredith says:

    Thanks! I found a coupon code on for 20% off of my order at – so I am adding to your helpful links today. I also meant my first comment to end in an exclamation point not a question mark. Sorry!

  4. sarah k. says:

    I take exception to the accusations of wonkish geekery. Although, methinks some Lewis Carrollish praxion has just becouthed us. (Sorry, my borogoves are all mimsy today) I have been using mapmyrun for a few months for every single dingle run/walk/ride. I’ve even tracked my yoga. It’s especially handy for long runs. I map out a perfect 7 miles from my door, back to my door. That is, when I was running 7 miles, of course.

    It seems that you are also afflicted with the lose weight disease. I was at your house not long ago, and I’ve seen you. I’m pretty sure you don’t need to lose any weight.

  5. Jo in Utah says:

    cheese to vegetable ratio? Love it. You are all kinds of good for so many people. Eating better, exercising, being more enviromentally aware.
    Thanks again for participating in Fix it friday. You are an inspiration!

  6. sarah k. says:

    (Also, FYI, I just found out there’s a 4th book in the Twilight series. I feel a little cheated. I thought it was a trilogy, and that it was over, and everybody was where they were supposed to be.)

    (And, I hope the above comment wasn’t misconstrued to mean “loose weight disease.” I just reread that comment and realized how it would seem if you read is as loose instead of lose. Me, I’ve got enough loose weight, and am therefore afflicted with the “lose weight disease” as well.)

  7. elizasmom says:

    Meredith — Cool. I like your helpful link. I’m clearly going to have to check that out in more detail!

    Sarah — That may be my favorite comment of the week. My tove is totally gyred. In the wabe. And I am not losing weight so much as I am “tightening” (see Kristen Wiig, Knocked Up). I have to say,r.e. Twilight, I was glad to see there was a fourth book planned — I was disappointed in the conclusion of the series until I found out it wasn’t a conclusion at all.

    Jo — The cheese-to-vegetable ratio is a VERY important measure of culinary health!

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