Healthy Food Choices for The Ohio Valley


Staff Writer

MARTINS FERRY — Living a healthy lifestyle can have many benefits, and registered dietitian Stephanie Fogle said healthy eating will give you a better sense of well-being and improve your physical health.

Decreasing your intake of foods such as margarine, gravy, red meat and anything deep fried can improve your diet significantly, Fogle said. These foods can be high in calories and have few nutrients. Unhealthy foods with no nutritional value can cause health problems and weight gain.

“You can feel it in your waist,” said Fogle, who works at East Ohio Regional Hospital. “It can also start to creep up to your heart and lungs, making it harder to breathe.”

Fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods are essential components of a balanced diet, partly because they are high in vitamins and minerals. But the fluids you put in your body can help your health as well. Fogle said everyone should drink 6 to 8 cups of water a day and, if someone is always active, they should have up to 10 cups.

Focusing on trendy, fast-acting diets is not something that will improve health in the long run. For example, Fogle said low- to no-carbohydrate diets are not the way to go, because it is easy for people to revert back to their old habits and regain lost weight. Water weight is mostly what is lost in low-carb diets, she said, and that can be easily gained back. Carbohydrates are actually important for blood cells and brain health, she noted.

So how can people be motivated and keep up with living healthy? Fogle said it is important to go into it with a positive attitude. Feeling restricted is what makes most people fail with their diets, so it is best to find balance and eat certain foods moderation.

“We should try not to look at a diet as temporary,” Fogle said. “It should be something permanent and obtainable.”

Healthy food can be accessible to everyone, but where can residents of the Ohio Valley go to get it?

Jebbia’s is a market in Wheeling focuses on fresh produce. It offers an assortment of fruits such as pineapples, apples, lemons, grapes, kiwi, bananas, berries, and oranges. Vegetables include eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, kale, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and more. Olive oil, vinegar, dressings, and pasta sauce can be found at Jebbia’s as well. Jebbia’s also features a deli and an olive bar. The olive bar consists of jumbo Sicilian style cracked olives, pitted seasoned jumbo calamata, seasoned oil cured olives, stuffed grape leaves, fresh garlic with spices, sweet piguante peppers, and more. Jebbia’s is located at 2600 Chapline St. in Wheeling. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Soup Shack is small business with many loyal customers. It is known for its soup, but it has a lot of other healthy foods on the menu for those who choose to dine away from home. The shack’s veggie burger, for example, is filled with healthy ingredients such as millet seed, sunflower seeds, cornmeal, and veggies. Customers can also top their food off with various vegetables and condiments. The Soup Shack is inside of the main Centre Market building and is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Later Alligator is another restaurant on Market Street in Wheeling, and its menu features a large variety of healthy items. For an appetizer, there is a hummus plate with grilled flatbread and a choice to add vegetables. For the main course, wraps and crepes filled with fresh vegetables, salmon and other healthy ingredients are among the menu choices, along with a large assortment of salads and healthy sides. Later Alligator’s hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The Ohio Valley Farmers’ Market provides healthy seasonal fare and is open June through October. The market has two locations — one from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays at 32nd Street in Bellaire and one from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Ohio Valley Mall parking lot in St. Clairsville.