Meet the Chef:* DEFINE Your FoodBY Contributor // 10.29.14
We all love the idea of eating healthy, but when it comes down to it, some of us just aren’t willing to sacrifice the taste. Enter DEFINE food‘s Erin O’ Leary Stewart, giving you the best of both worlds. Erin, co-owner of DEFINE body & mind and the director of DEFINE foods, brought her New York health and culinary certification to Texas, where she focuses on building the DEFINE food brand around natural, seasonal ingredients that create a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Earlier this month, Erin graciously welcomed me into her kitchen where she taught this doesn’t really know her way around a kitchen girl a thing or two. And get this: her food is out of this world. With the holidays upon us, Erin is offering up some healthy food-spiration for this usually glutenous month.
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR JUICES AND GRANOLA.
We’ve recently launched our line of juices and granola! Interesting, seasonal combinations along with best taste was my focus when creating our juices, which are raw, cold-pressed, unpasteurized and made with organic produce.
Our Strength and Balance granola blends are made with nutrient-rich, superfood and ancient grain ingredients, including cacao, maca, quinoa flakes, chia seeds, hemp and amaranth, all for flavor and function. They are gluten-free, vegan, mildly sweetened with coconut palm sugar (the low-glycemic, nutrient-rich sweetener), and they are free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or GMO’s. Pure and simple ingredients from my natural foods pantry. We’ve partnered with like-minded local companies to help us roll these out. Our juices are produced and bottled at Crushed Juicery and our granola creations are a collaboration with Gray Gardens Pantry Provisions. Our goal is to provide healthier, better-tasting foods that are innovative and nutrient-rich to help redefine the standards of your foods.
WHY LAUNCH THEM NOW?
Developing our signature products was the next logic step for the DEFINE brand. Up until this point, our DEFINE foods program was solely focused on educating clients on the importance of whole foods health with lectures, recipe development and cooking demonstrations. Having access to the tools and knowledge is an essential step to living a life of optimal wellness. I am constantly researching and developing new ways to teach the importance of working in seasonal whole foods and superfood ingredients into our daily meals and continue to do so with monthly cooking demonstration workshops, blog posts and guest instructors, but you can’t beat being able to physically hand clients a product that truly fits their exact needs. It was important to me to be able to offer real food with real-deal benefits to help take the guesswork out of eating healthy.
Right now I am craving soups with the change of season and there is nothing easier than this blender curry soup with carrots and winter squash. Simply steaming butternut squash and blending in our DEFINE foods GLOW Juice with a few other spices gives you another way to enjoy and reap all of the benefits this juice has to offer. Turmeric has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s warming, supports blood health, and its yellow pigment, curcumin, makes it one of the highest known sources of beta-carotene. Orange cleanses the blood and the liver and carrots nourish almost all systems of the body, acting as an anticarcinogen, dispelling toxins out of the body. Together with ginger and carrots, these ingredients add anti-inflammatory, immune system and digestion boosting elements to your average fall soup. (See below for the full recipe to her current fave fall dish).
WHAT’S WITH THE OVERALL DEFINE ADDICTION?
We combine the best of wellness, from our signature movement classes to our specialty programs and then giving back to the community. Whether your day or phase of life is craving strength, cardio or mindfulness, we offer body, rev and yoga classes. Our DEFINE foods program gives you that extra boost of knowledge to compliment our movement classes so you are well-equipped to make smart choices when nourishing and fueling. We strive to create an atmosphere that is inviting and fresh with retail offerings that are on trend so you not only look, but you feel your absolute best. Honestly, it’s the people that come through our doors each day that make us all want to come back! The response to DEFINE has been so positive over the years that we continue to expand and now have nine locations and a handful more in the pipeline. I am so lucky to be able to call DEFINE my place of ‘work’.
IF YOU HAVE TO INDULGE, WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO GUILTY PLEASURE?
Decadent dark chocolate (must have sea salt involved) and red wine!
ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE THE READER TO KNOW?
New fall DEFINE foods Juice flavors are launching this month! Come into your local DEFINE studio to taste for yourself. For a limited of time only, treat yourself this season with Restore (your grown up apple cider) and Nurture (your go-to sweet potato pie fix).
You can now purchase DEFINE foods Superfood Granola online! Get the nutrient-rich, intelligently created blends delivered directly to your door. Offered in convenient grab-and-go 3 oz mini packs, both flavors, Strength and Balance, can now be found online.