In 2017, an online business study carried out in the U.S, surveyed who would use e-health apps on a smartphone or tablet. Out of 962 respondents, 45% of the male population voted they could imagine themselves using them, while 34% of the female population voted the same.
Fast forward to today and the e-health app market is expected to reach an estimated $102.35 billion dollars by 2023. Food Sense Guide has ranked fifth place in the iTunes Food and Drinks category, and is an app that helps users with food sensitivities. It is a comprehensive searchable catalogue of over 300 foods for their levels of 11 potentially problematic compounds commonly found in foods.
While many may think just another tech startup company created this app, the surprising source is actually Melanie Avalon. The SAG-AFTRA actress has played in films such as comedy blockbuster Neighbors, action TV movie Sharknado 2, and musical TV show Glee.
In this exclusive interview, we sat down with her to talk about the popular app and her upcoming projects.
How did you come up with the Food Sense Guide app?
“I personally tend to react to a lot of compounds found in foods, such as FODMAPs, histamine, gluten, lectins, oxalates, and nightshades, and I was frustrated that I couldn’t find any single source comparing all the compounds together in one place, for all foods. I originally created an online chart to synthesize the information, and it was so overwhelmingly popular, that I knew an app was the next much needed step in its evolution! I worked with an extremely talented team to produce the app, and I find app development extremely gratifying. I love creating things, and app creation yields an actual tool which benefits not just myself, but others!”
How did you feel when your app first became successful?
“It was surreal to see my app topping the iTunes chart: to see the actualization of an idea I mulled over for years, finally coming to fruition! Mostly, I was grateful to know I wasn’t alone in my food sensitivity struggles, and was thrilled my app was helping others in my community to take charge of their own reactions to food.”
Do you have any upcoming projects for film or TV?
“I’m currently developing one of my top ITunes shows – The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast – into a TV show format. I’m thrilled to blend my passions of the creative aspects of film, with my ‘scholarly’ love of science, all with the goal of helping and inspiring others in their health and wellness journey.”
Can you tell us more about your biohacking podcast?
“The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast features top doctors, authors, and researchers in the health, wellness, and ‘biohacking’ sphere, such as David Sinclair, Robb Wolf, Wim Hof, Dave Asprey, Dr. Daniel Amen, James Nestor, Dr. David Perlmutter, Dr. Alan Christianson, and many more. I am so grateful that I am able to interview the world’s top experts on health and wellness topics, and share their findings with my audience. Every day, I receive emails from listeners thanking me for creating content on my platforms, which extend beyond the podcasts to include blogs, instagram, and my rapidly growing Facebook group community. My heart glows with gratitude when they tell me how my work has personally changed their own health journeys for the better.”
When you’re not working hard on your podcast, what do you get up to in your own time?
“I love wine tasting! There’s something creative and romantic in sensing the delicate nuances of a fine wine. And while they say there’s no “right or wrong” answer, I love carefully choosing wine-related adjectives, and seeing how close I get to the “official” descriptions. I often say my heart is won not through chocolate, but through a nice Pinot Noir. I took the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) course, and it was such a fun and enlightening experience! I also love taking time to disconnect from social media completely, for a sensible scrapbooking session!”
Melanie Avalon is represented by top literary agent Celeste Fine at Park & Fine, and is the author of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine (W.W. Norton, 2018). She is the host of the top iTunes podcasts, The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast and The Intermittent Fasting Podcast with NYT best seller Gin Stephens (Fast Feast Repeat), and also the creator of two Facebook groups netting over 10,000 followers: IF Biohackers: Intermittent Fasting + Real Foods + Life and Lumen, Biosense & CGMs: Carbs, Fat, Ketones & Blood Sugar (Melanie Avalon).