This time of year is always one of the busiest, and it can be a real struggle to keep our energy levels up — especially once the holiday party circuit is in full swing! With all of these extra activities, our bodies need a little extra TLC and motivation to hit our end of year goals and to avoid coming down with a seasonal cold. Today our friend Erin O’Leary Stewart, Co-Founder of DEFINE body & mind, is outlining 7 easy hacks to help us increase our energy levels this holiday season. Read on below for her tips!

Also, if you’re based in Houston, don’t miss Erin’s “Healthy Through the Holidays” cooking class tomorrow evening at Central Market!

Hold The Morning Joe

Start your day with lemon water. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself to alkaline your body and set your digestion up for success. Enjoy warm or room temperature and give yourself a mindful minute prior to reaching for your cup of joe. You will be surprised what you will start craving after starting your day on this note.

Jump on the Matcha Train

For an afternoon pick-me-up, try swapping your coffee a few times a week for Matcha. Matcha is finely ground green tea that is packed with antioxidants, boosts metabolism, detoxifies the body, calms the mind, is rich in chlorophyll, enhances mood and aids in concentration.  To jump on the matcha train, try making a Matcha Latte by frothing 1 tsp matcha powder with 1 cup warmed almond milk and top with a drizzle of local honey. You will never turn back to plain old coffee!

Blend It Up

An energizing smoothie is a perfect boost. Blending simple ingredients like kale, ginger, banana, almond milk is the fastest and easiest way to incorporate the most beneficial foods and superfoods into your diet. Try this easy recipe and note your mood and energy before and after.


1 cup kale, chopped and packed

1 cup nut milk

1-inch piece fresh ginger, skinned and chopped

½ frozen banana, chopped

½ cup frozen fruit (blueberries, pineapple)

Optional: 1 tbsp nut butter, coconut oil or 1 tsp Spirulina


Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Find Your Om

Every day our energy is demanded for so many things, so channel it when you can so that you have it when you need it. This can be done by taking an hour for a yoga class or 30 minutes to meditate which reset your mind and allow for space to refocus. Connecting breath with movement is a meditative practice that slows the mind and clears your inner clutter so you can think clearly and establish a new outlook on your day. 

Continuously Fuel Your Body 

If you’re looking for sustained energy throughout your day, you have to continuously fuel your body. Try eating smaller meals during the day to help with both your physical and mental energy. Choosing the right foods and when to eat them is a science, and it’s different for all of us. Skipping meals isn’t good for anyone, and it can cause metabolism to slow down, leading to weight gain and making it more difficult to lose weight. When you skip a meal or go a long time without eating, your body goes into survival mode. This causes your cells and body to crave food which leads you to eat a lot, which is followed by sugar crashes and energy drops.

Check Your Sweet Tooth

When the sugar cravings come on, don’t ignore them — choose wisely. When reaching for sweets, choose low glycemic sweeteners. Coconut palm sugar, maple and raw honey are all good choices and can be easily swapped for refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which give you the big spikes and drops, resulting in ‘sugar highs and lows’.

For a sweet treat made with all the best ingredients, try these Double Chocolate Chip Muffins!


1 cup spelt flour, or gluten-free flour blend

1 cup all-purpose flour, or gluten-free flour blend

½ cup unsweetened cocoa

½ cup organic coconut palm sugar

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup olive, coconut or canola oil

1 cup pure maple syrup

2 cups vanilla soy milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup (dairy-free) chocolate chips

Optional topping: cacao nibs, flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Oil the bottom and sides of 1 muffin pan to make 12 muffins, or set with paper liners.

Sift together over a medium bowl the spelt flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine.

In another medium bowl, whisk the oil, maple syrup, soy milk, vanilla, and vinegar until well blended. Pour into the dry mix and stir until the batter is smooth.

Stir the chocolate chips into the remaining batter and pour into the muffin tins. Bake on the center rack in the oven for about 15- 20 minutes, or until the tops are set, and a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Top with cacao nibs and flaky sea salt, if desired.


Water is vital for almost every function in the body. Staying hydrated will help you to improve physical performance, help to lose excess weight, boost your mood, boost your brain power, and prevent headaches and disease. What’s the daily recommended intake? Studies show that women should drink at least two liters per day and men should drink three, so keep filled water bottles on hand! Staying hydrated is really the best thing you can do for yourself and your energy levels.

Do you have any follow up questions for Erin about increasing your energy levels? Leave them in the comments below!

Today’s post is by HoH contributor Erin O’Leary Stewart, Co-Owner of DEFINE body & mind. DEFINE body & mind is a contemporary, body-mind concept leading the market in movement, meditation and mindfulness. Erin joined the company in 2011 as co-owner, playing a vital role in expanding the brand with its third location, developing new class programs and products, as well as creating DEFINE foods; a program dedicated to educating on the importance of whole foods health with a product line of next-level snacks, juices and tea. Erin’s background in the movement arts, kinesiology and dance profession with extensive teaching experience in Pilates, barre, dance and fitness classes coupled with a culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, perfectly aligns with her role in and contribution to the success of DEFINE. In 2013, Erin transitioned to work on the implementation of the franchise program, with the ultimate goal of bringing DEFINE to every viable community, and she continues to instruct movement and culinary classes changing the way the world sees health and wellbeing. Consultations are available