By Judith Bratten
“Start slow, start with small steps, and make it fun!” advises Angela Lombardo about developing a healthy lifestyle. And she should know. The owner/manager of Fresh Twist, a plant-centric kitchen established in 2019 in Steubenville, Ohio, Lombardo learned about the value of eating fresh and nutritious foods through her own research and taking classes to become a certified health coach.
“When my daughter was about two, she was diagnosed with a health condition that would require frequent surgeries throughout her life,” Lombardo explains. “That’s what started my search and my interest in preventing lifestyle-related disease through diet. We needed the doctors, but I also knew we could help by changing our eating habits.”
The purpose of Fresh Twist is stated clearly on their menu: Our mission is to provide delicious plant-based food and nutrition education to promote health and wellness within our community. Our recipes provide a synergistic blend of complex carbohydrates, phytonutrients, antioxidants, plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats. Long words to describe dishes that not only feed the body but are also environmentally friendly.
“We make an effort to source our food organically, locally, and sustainably,” Lombardo adds. The more she learned, the more she realized that diet alone wasn’t the key to good health. And the more she learned, the more she wanted to share her knowledge and experience with others.
“But when I did, friends would say ‘I don’t know how to eat healthy’ or ‘I don’t know where to get these foods’ or ‘I don’t know how to cook this way.’ So that’s when we decided to open Fresh Twist, as a way to introduce and encourage people to try a new way of eating and living.”
The eatery is a small but bright space with an open kitchen where customers can order set menu items or create their own salads, bowls, flatbreads, or smoothies. The pandemic hit just as they were growing, but they were able to keep interest up with their take-out menus. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff also draws customers back.
The most popular items? The Taco Bowl, the Taco Salad, and the Buddha Bowl (warm rice, roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, crispy chickpeas, carrots, cabbage, smashed avocado, peanuts, and scallions).
“We’ve had guys get our taco salad and swear they were eating meat – but we create our own meat substitutes with all natural ingredients and no preservatives or additives,” she notes proudly. “And our most popular smoothy is called Purple Rain with blueberries, banana, almond milk, and a peanut butter drizzle.”
Her final advice is to look at eating and living a healthier lifestyle as an adventure. “Trial and error,” Lombardo suggests. “Try new things. Don’t be hard on yourself. Add a few more vegetables to your diet. Drink a few more glasses of water. Spend more time in the produce section rather than among the shelves of processed foods. Aim for the goal of 80% whole foods. Everyone is different with different needs and tastes, so be willing to experiment.”
Take a ride to Steubenville and try Fresh Twist for yourself. Located at 2311 Sunset Blvd., you can check the website www.fresh-twist.com to help you start on your adventure.
Put a Healthy Lifestyle on Your Bucket List