Vegan Life Week 3

Hello beauties! This day I am starting the third week of being Vegan, and life is great! After an amazing 100 percent vegan Thanksgiving, I am still feeling good, even though some of the food wasn’t all that healthy. My skin is looking better, and I even went without deodorant for a day, and I didn’t smell bad! The Aztec Secret clay I recommended last week is AMAZING!!! I got my whole family to try it out with me and they all loved it as well. I am not into energy drinks, but I found a vegan one that I love, just for the extra boost on the days you didn’t get an efficient amount of sleep (I posted the picture of it below). I will continue to keep everyone updated and looped into my life. Right now we are rushing off to gymnastics! I hope everyone had an amazing holiday and blessed weekend! See y’all next week!

XOXO

Erica

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Vegan Life Week 2

So week 2 as 100% Vegan has started today! I am still feeling great and super energized. So far nothing negative on how I feel inside is happening. I have lost weight, I was 105 and now I am 99. I am only 4’11 so this is normal weight for me. I have not felt any alter in my strength, I am still lifting as heavy as I was, actually I have been increasing in my weight since mostly going vegetarian, and I feel like my stamina has greatly improved since going vegan. Again vegan is not consuming any animal products, so no meat, fish, or dairy.

For the ladies out there…this week was the perfect opportunity to see how going vegan would effect me on my cycle…the good news is it has actually helped! My cramps and back pain was reduced greatly! I usually can’t get out of my bed one or two days during the week on my cycle and I had no problem moving around. The bloating aspect of it, I still felt happened, but looking at the pictures I took this morning, and how my clothes fit this week, it was way less than normal. Usually on my cycle I do gain 3-5lbs, this time it was not as significant.

My skin seems to be clearing up gradually. Another great thing is inflammation. I had shoulder issues and this past week the pain was reduced and I could actually lift weight I couldn’t before without pain. So plus in that department. The only negative so far is that you can definitely can eat bad being vegan! LOL so watch out for that! Chips and and dairy free ice-cream!!! HAHAHA Please keep on following and adding any feedback, I am loving it! Please excuse the video…I may seem a little preoccupied and I was LOL can’t help but hear and see the kiddos singing and dancing in my peripheral lol!

Love y’all!

xoxo

Erica

Ratatouille

I have always wanted to make this dish! Especially after watching the movie Ratatouille! This dish is really not that hard to make, and every chop is well worth it when you get to finally eat it. If you have a mandolin slicer or an attachment on your food processor, I would use that to get nice thin, even slices of all the veggies. If you don’t no worries. I was in a rush and didn’t feel like washing extra dishes so I chopped all my veggies (not so pretty or thin) by hand.

You will need an eggplant (2 smaller eggplants will work better to make for smaller coin sized chops),2 zucchini, 2 squash, 4 big tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, tomato sauce (I like to make my own), garlic(cloves or powder, olive oil, salt and pepper, parsley, sage, basil, thyme. Yes I know the song Greensleeves (it was the second song I learned to play on my recorder, after “Hot Crossed Buns” in elementary school lol) “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme…” but I am not a big rosemary person, so I like to use basil instead. Anywho, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and chop up your bell pepper and garlic clove if your using that instead of powder. Place your pepper and garlic in a pan of oil and put on low to med heat.

While that is going, get to chopping up all your veggies and tomatoes into coined shapes. You are wanting to go as thin as you can and making each cut as even as you can. No worries if you can’t get them all to look exact or if you can’t slice super thin, it will still turn out great. My slices were thick and not even, it just looks prettier when they are done thin and the same size. After your done cutting everything up, add your tomato sauce to your bell pepper and garlic on the stove. Put to a simmer/low heat and make sure to stir every so often. While that is still warming, mix in a bowl all of your seasoning with about 4Tbs of olive oil. Once you have done that, pour your tomato sauce mixture into a circular pan (cast iron makes great for this, but as mine is square I used a cake pan) and spread evenly all over the bottom of the pan. Now it is time to add all coins you chopped up. Layer the coined shaped veggies in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping each other. Be sure to mix it up, eggplant, squash, tomato, zucchini, eggplant, squash, tomato, zucchini….and so on until you have covered the whole pan in a spiral pattern.

Now take the olive oil and seasoning mix and evenly pour over the top of the veggies. Cover with tinfoil and then place in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. The aroma that will fill your house is amazing! This is now one of my fave dishes and I plan on making it often. Let me know how yours turns out!!!

XOXO,

Erica

Vegan Living Week 1

Okay, so those of you that follow me on Instagram ( @fitamerica55 ) know that I have just started the journey of being 100 percent vegan. I decided that I would document my journey to share with the world. I promise to be completely raw and unfiltered on this journey and will answer any questions that I can. My hope is to educate myself and others. I have a lot of friends who are intrigued by being a vegan so they are living through me for now =) I have never been the type of person to judge anyone based on their color, religious or political views, what they like or what they don’t like, what they do for a living, what they look like….we all bleed the same color blood, and as long as your nice to me, I will always show you respect. Even those people whom have been rude to me, I always choose the higher road. That being said, I know not everyone was raised like that, and I will lose friends over the choice of how I get my protein (pretty silly but true). So if you don’t agree with me, thats fine. I am prepared to be ridiculed and I am okay with that.

I am sharing my journey in hopes to inspire others ( though I would never push anyone into something they didn’t want), and to keep myself accountable. I hope you enjoy sliding through my journey with me! I will post new photos and videos here every Monday. I will also continue to post any workouts and recipes like I usually do. I welcome any feedback or questions. I am an open book. Welcome to the life of me!

*Note the first three pictures I was flexed. The rest of the pictures I was relaxed. Amazing the difference a little change of pose and muscle tightening can do!

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Sautéed Tempeh

Our household has been eating pretty much vegetarian for the last month or so. We eat fish and eggs, but have not really been eating meat. Occasionally we will indulge in a nice steak or some yummy bison, but for the most part, we are herbivore status. One of my favorite forms of protein has been tempeh. The texture to me is far better than that of tofu (I still love tofu, but tempeh reigns), it is packed in protein…I mean packed! Its got some good fats and it is also fermented, which is a healthier option.

So the other day I sautéed some up and it was so yummy I had to share. All you have to do is cut your tempeh into thin strips (I cut mine in half, and then cut each half into half to make the width of the slices more narrow and then I cut those into slices). Add some oil to a pan and sauté for about 3-5 minutes on each side. I just seasoned with a little bit of salt and pepper because I knew I wanted to put pesto and mushrooms on top ( to make a very simple pesto just grind together basil, garlic, and olive oil). Before I got my tempeh out of the fridge I pre-heated my oven to 350, thinly sliced some zucchini and seasoned with a splash of olive oil, some garlic, salt and pepper, and some slivered almonds and put them on a pan and popped in the oven while I was preparing and cooking the tempeh.

By the time I was done with my tempeh, my zucchini salad was all good and ready. Plate your tempeh and pour over your basil and mushrooms (which I also sautéed for a few minutes) on top, plate your salad and enjoy. Simple. Healthy. Delicious.