Eating Healthy During the Holidays: Erin O'Leary Stewarts' Best Tips!

Today I have the wonderful Erin O'Leary Stewart from DEFINE Body & Mind and DEFINE Foods to share with us her expert tips on how to stay on track with healthier eating during the holidays.  

The Holidays are upon us, and so is the late night drinking, party noshing and over-indulging. While this may not be the time of year for detox, dieting and watching the scale every day, you can definitely enjoy yourself, have your piece of that traditional Holiday dessert and still feel great. It's about being mindful. There is a difference between savoring that well-deserved treat and spiraling down the slippery slope to stomach aches and hangovers. As we are all in recovery mode post Thanksgiving weekend, here's your chance to get back on track with your health and fitness goals. Follow these 8 steps to keep the rest of your Holiday season healthy.

1. Keep the Holi 'days' to a Minimum
There are only a few days that the Holidays are actually intended for. Don't make an excuse to overeat the entire two remaining months of the year. Treat non-Holiday days in December as days you would any other week. Don't throw in the towel and wait for New Year's resolutions quite yet!

2. Visit the People, Not the Food
Remember that you're celebrating and visiting with family and friends during this time of year. Find the talkers at the party and hang with them, not the ones moseying around the food table.

3.Tune In
Ask yourself how hungry you really are before indulging. Then ask yourself the same question half-way through clearing your plate. Do the same with your second glass of wine. And then again if you get to your third. 

4. Slow Down
Enjoy conversation and put your fork down occasionally. Take your time when eating and nurse your drinks!  

5. Eat This, Not That
Keep your plate mostly veggies and savor your favorite indulgent items with just a few bites. Better yet, take matters into your own hands by offering to bring your favorite healthy dish! Consider roasted butternut squash instead of mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie over cookies and cakes. 

6. Skip the Sugary Drinks
Avoid the eggnog and the peppermint-flavored cocktail. Enjoy a glass or two of wine, not a whole bottle. When you binge drink, your body may not be able to metabolize fat for up to 72 hours while your liver is dealing with the alcohol. So that great morning-after workout won't even be that effective in this area! 

7. Get Movin'
Be as active as possible. Whether it's a yoga class, a bike ride or a family football game, just get up a go. Food cravings are often anxiety-related. When the cravings come on, go for a walk. The calming practice of mindful movement can be very beneficial. Take a DEFINE body, revolution or mind class if you're in the Houston area!

8. Hit Restart
If (or when) you do over eat or drink one night, remember tomorrow is a new day. Don't beat yourself up. Get back on track! Start with a big glass of water with lots of lemon and a green juice before consuming your first meal of the day. This will help your body focus on detoxing, rather than on breaking down complex foods. 

Here are some of my favorite recipes to get you through your Holidays Season. Hope you can join me in the kitchen for our premier DEFINE foods workshop at DEFINE west university! Saturday, December 15th. 12:00pm. Learn new moves and recipes to keep you Healthy Through the Holidays! Sign up HERE!
  1. Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
  2. Miso-Maple Brussels Sprouts & Tofu
  3. Spinach & Quinoa Salad w Pears, Chickpeas and Cranberries
  4. Farro Salad with Roasted Grapes & Pomegranate
  5. Olive Oil Cake with Sauternes Roasted Pears
  6. Double Chocolate Crumb Cake
Major thanks to Erin for this great contribution! The holidays are definitely a time to indulge a little---but it's important to keep everything in moderation :)  If you have a question for Erin, please leave it in the comments below!


  1. thank you so much for these tips. this will definitely help me not let myself go this christmas season. LOL. :D


  2. Great ideas :) It is always hard to keep a healthy diet during the holidays. However, these ideas will definitely help!


  3. Great tips! I always try and bring a healthy dish to our holiday gatherings so I know there will be something healthy for me to eat. That spinach and quinoa salad looks amazing!


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