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The #1 Must-Have Healthy Holiday Gift

By Hayley Gurriell, Skinny Gene Intern

In search of a holiday gift that will have its recipient tearing the box open to try it out right away? No, it’s not the iPhone 6 plus, although it can be used in conjunction with one! This nifty gadget takes living a healthier lifestyle to a whole new level with its customized set-up and feedback, aesthetically pleasing visuals, easy portability, and unique features.  This item revolutionizes eating healthier, staying fit, and reaching personal goals. The best thing about this product is that you only need one to benefit your entire family! What is it? The Prep Pad by The Orange Chef Co. is essentially, a smart food scale that links to your apple device through Bluetooth using an app called Countertop. It identifies the nutritional density of a food item or meal according to its weight.


Photo by : WIlliams-Sonoma

Photo by : WIlliams-Sonoma


What does it do?

Objectively, the Prep Pad:

  • Provides you with a customized nutrition label for a specific food item or meal based on its weight
  • Displays a pie chart that is divided into carbs, proteins, fats and overall calories
  • Upon placing an item on the scale and identifying what it is using the smart search, it will tell you the nutritional information for the specific item (including micro-nutrients/vitamins)
  • Upon placing an entire meal on the scale, and identifying each item individually, it will tell you the nutritional balance of your meal in accordance to your personal health goals, height, age, weight, gender, and activity level
  • Tracks your food intake and saves it to the Countertop app so that you can review, and refer back to it for certain meals or recipes

Subjectively, the Prep Pad:

  • Makes you more self-aware and conscious of exactly what you’re putting into your body
  • Helps prevent overeating by teaching you proper portion sizes
  • Educates you to recognize how much a portion is by the size of an item (also a good way to teach kids how much an ounce is, etc.)
  • Helps raise and promote overall awareness of nutrition and what you’re eating
  • Makes you mindful of your eating habits
  • Will make an awesome holiday gift for someone special!

What else can it do?

 – It can save your meals or individual food items to your “favorites” for future reference and easy access to frequently eaten foods so you don’t have to re-enter or re-weigh it

-It can level out bowls and other containers for bigger items that won’t fit on top of the Prep Pad or for foods with messy consistencies such as sour cream so that they’re not accounted for in the weighing of a food item

– It provides you access to review your nutritional intake at any time (by meal, day, week, etc.)

– It has the option to divide meals into serving sizes by selecting the number of people who will be eating it

– It keeps track of your calorie intake and provides you with a “balance score” (out of 100, with 100 being completely balanced), based on your nutritional health goals along with your height, weight, age, gender, and activity level to help you create balanced meals and stay on track with your goals

– Has a barcode scanner for items that are not in the more than 300,000 item search library

-Has the ability to have multiple different items on it at once and still provide their individual nutrition info, as well as the overall nutrition info for the entire meal by providing the option to change the item as soon as there is a change in weight on the scale. For example, if I put a handful a blueberries on the scale, enter blueberries, and am presented with its weight and nutritional information, I could then put a handful of almonds on the scale and enter almonds, it will give me the nutritional information of the almonds according to the added weight (difference in weight before and after the almonds were added)

– Allows you to share recipes or meals on social media easily or through email/messaging

– Can be used in conjunction with the “Jawbone UP” activity trackers to sync your exercise and suggest meals and recipes for you to replenish your body after a workout based on your health goals

I downloaded the Countertop app on my iPhone and created an account using my email account (you can also use Facebook for convenience or if you plan to share a lot of stuff on social media). After creating my account it then asked me a few questions in three separate categories, and this is what it looked like: “About Me”

  1. What’s your name?
  2. What’s your height?
  3. Are you male or female?
  4. What is your birthdate?
  5. What is your current weight?
  6. What is your weight goal? (lose/gain/maintain)

In the next section, “Activity” it asks you to rate your activity level on a scale of 1 to 5, and here’s how they described the levels

  1. Sedentary- No purposeful(or intentional) exercise
  2. Light- Exercise equivalent to 4,000 steps a day
  3. Moderate- Moderate exercise 3-5 days a week (included activities like Yoga)
  4. Heavy- Moderate or more vigorous exercise most days of the week (sports)
  5. Exceptional- Intensive training (extreme athletes training for marathons, triathlons, etc.)

The last section titled “Calorie Goal” provides you with a daily calorie goal to follow recommended by USDA based on the information you provided in the previous two sections. It also provides you with the recommended balance pie chart from the USDA that states a balanced meal consists of 50% carbs, 30% fats, and 20% proteins. There is an option to customize your pie chart percentages as well. When I entered my information (Hayley, 5’3, Female, June 18th 1992 (22 years old), 130lbs, I want to maintain my weight. I do heavy activity), the USDA recommended my daily calorie intake to be 2,505 calories per day. Everyone’s recommended calorie intake is going to be different, depending on the personalized info they entered. Overall this product does a fantastic job promoting a healthier lifestyle. It’s educational, portable, and easy to use. Everyone has something to gain by having a Prep Pad, and it would be a perfect holiday gift for

  • Your health conscious friend
  • A person you know that is trying to become more health conscious
  • Someone you care about that YOU want to become more health conscious
  • Visual learners
  • Technology hoarders
  • Your calorie counting friend
  • Athletes
  • That one person you know that’s always on a diet
  • People with diet restrictions

The Prep Pad is a perfect holiday gift to give right before the start of the New Year when everyone is making strides towards living a healthier lifestyle. It truly is a gift that keeps on giving.

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