Okay, so tell me if you’ve been here...You get inspired on a random Tuesday after scrolling endlessly through fitspo (fitness inspiration) on Instagram. Thinking about your own health as well, you decide you’re going to try the whole-30 diet. You head out to the grocery store, stocking up on everything you need to be successful, but then your group chat starts blowing up.

People are going out to dinner.

You have a few options.

1) Ditch the diet and get a big, scrumptious bowl of fettuccine alfredo.

2) Research the menu beforehand (IF your friends have already decided on where they are going) and feel overwhelmed trying to stay on track.

3) Just stay home and committed to your new lifestyle change.

What’s sad about these options is that they are difficult and they take the joy out of eating out as you fight the battle between how you’d like to be eating and sharing a meal with friends.

I’ve recently had the privilege to learn about a new app hitting the market called Heali. Their goal is simple: to make personal dieting easier. By using cutting-edge technology and word recognition through photos, they are revolutionizing the process of choosing your diet and integrating it into your lifestyle, not the other way around.

I talked to Annie Du, the Brand Manager to learn a little bit more about how Heali works and the inspiration behind the app.

How Heali Was Born

Lucy Bedewi

One of the cofounders of Heali, Kyle Dardashti, had dietary restrictions and felt frustrated by the complicated process of ordering out. When out, it took him a long time to choose what he could eat, let alone what he actually wanted to eat. From this experience he knew that he wanted to build an app to ease the process of going out to eat when someone has allergies or dietary restrictions.

How The App Works

Lucy Bedewi

As of right now, the app is gearing all of its features towards the restaurant menu scanning function. To get started, you pick your diet (there are 13 to choose from!) or customize your own choosing to include or exclude certain ingredients. Then you take your phone with you when you go out to eat and take a photo of the menu. In a few seconds, you’ll see ingredients highlighted in red, yellow and green. If it’s green, it means it fits into your diet beautifully. Yellow means it could work, but perhaps would fit better if you made a substitution. Red means that the item does not fit well into the diet that you are following.

Some of the Diets You Can Follow

Lucy Bedewi

As mentioned, there are 13 diets (or infinite if you start customizing), but some of the major ones are vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, whole-30 and lactose free. Another fun feature is that if you are not following any diet but want to just make choices on the healthy side, you can set your diet to just general “healthy” and let the AI-powered nutrition technology go to work.

Where Heali Is Trying To Go

beer, wine
Jessica Peyton

Heali is a start up with some awesome ideas for the future of nutrition. I love getting to hear the inside scoop, so I asked Annie if she could fill us in a bit. She said that the app is a multi-phase process. It is starting with the menu scan, but then hopes to expand into a restaurant search based on diets and product scanning to display nutrition facts. Far down the road they hope to expand into an AI powered nutritionist app that uses health data and a community of others to make personal dieting recommendations to users.

In talking to Annie, I was able to gain insight into just how cool this company is. In a world full of fad diets, great marketing and confusing menu keys, Heali works simply to “make your dieting choice much easier."


Something like this probably sounds like it has stepped out from the future, but you can be one of the first people to start using it. Heali is currently in its beta testing phase. By signing up here you can become a tester in under two minutes and make your personal dieting life far easier. Just remember to put Spoon for question 9.

If this has piqued your interest, social media is always here for you with Heali’s Instagram and Facebook page. (Both are linked.) 

I would like to also offer a thank you to Heali for offering us a first look through some screenshots!