Banded Booty Circuit

Complete this as a circuit doing each movement for 10 reps ( a total of 20 when it is unilateral based). Then repeat 3 more times for a total of 4. Do this 3-5 times a week alone or with another workout for a burner. You could also switch it up and complete it as a pyramid. For example, do 1 banded squat jump, then 1 wall sit banded abduction, 1 banded leg kick back on each leg, 1 banded reverse lunge on each leg, 1 cossack squat per side (bring band up high), 1 banded kneeling abduction (fire hydrant) per side, 1 banded clam shell per side, 1 kneeling leg lift per side (again bring the band up high), and 1 seated banded abduction (really focusing on your breathing especially during this one, breath in and your belly expands fully as your legs are together, breath out and pull your core to your spine, belly caving into your back and tightening as your legs spread apart). Then repeat the whole circuit this time 2 reps of each move, then 3 reps, then 4, so on and so on. This could also be a good HIIT training focusing on each movement for 20-30 seconds doing as many reps as you can before resting for a short period of time (10-15 seconds) and then doing it over again for a few more rounds and then moving on to the next move. I do challenge you to do it at least once a week really focusing on the movement and your breathing. Holding the bottom portion for a total of 3 seconds before coming back to start and doing it again. Have fun and let those glutes burn!!!!

XOXO

Erica

Deities of Health

Deitiesofhealth@gmail.com

http://www.deitiesofhealth.com

http://www.instagram.com/fitamerica55

Acorn Squash Bowl

This was so delish that I couldn’t wait to post it. This is what I made for dinner tonight, and it was actually pretty quick. It can be customizable of course but here is what you will need:

An acorn squash (or more if you are feeding more than 1-2)

Barley (about a cup)

Half a chopped onion

1 roma tomato chopped

1 big celery stalk chopped (or two smaller ones)

1/4 C of sunflower seeds

Handful of dried cranberries

1Tbs of chia seeds

Garlic powder, thyme, parsley, Italian seasoning

Vegan butter

Cut your squash in half and then place in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes or until soft. I literally popped my in my air fryer for 10 minutes and it was perfect. While that is going, put your chopped onions and celery in a pan with oil and your seasonings. I would have your water for the barley start to boil while you are pre-heating your oven, and also chop the onions, celery, and tomato while you are waiting for the oven to pre-heat and water to boil. Get your barley going and then add the sunflower seeds and cranberries to the onion and celery. When you have a minute or two left for the squash, go ahead and add your tomatoes to the pan. Drain your barley and then put about a tablespoon of the vegan butter and mix until melted. Add some of the seasoning to your barley and then add your onion mixture. Spoon into your acorn squash bowls and prepare to be in tastebud heaven!

XOXO

Erica

Week 4 Vegan Life

Ooooookayyy! Week 4 of my vegan lifestyle and I am feeling damn good! I even hit a PR today with my cleans and I did it for 6 reps! Obviously my muscles aren’t lacking! I went two days without any deodorant and I didn’t stink, my energy level is way up! I even did a full 3 days without coffee and felt fine, but I just love my coffee. That wasn’t by choice, but it was nice to know that I could survive without it! I am slowly trying to remove any animal products in my house. Most of you that have been following me since day 1 know that I use essential oils, though I don’t have a lot of time to make my own products all the time, I am out and looking for good ones that are vegan. I will continue to share them when I do find them. I have found that nut cheezes are my favorite! Daiya makes some good ones. The cheddar block is not my favorite from them, but the shredded mozzarella is really good. I found one that is absolutely amazing ( I finished it in two days) but forgot to take a picture of the it. Yea I know…but when I go buy it again, I will for sure share! Love you all!

Erica

XOXO

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!

IMG_0896IMG_9142IMG_9321IMG_5561IMG_6224IMG_2991IMG_7507IMG_7826IMG_7101

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.

 

Stair Circuit

Do this circuit as many times through for 15 minutes. If you have more time, try to go for 30 minutes. Each exercise will be performed for a set of 20 unless you are moving up/down the stairs. Try to do with little to no rest. Once you have completed all moves, repeat until time runs out.

Start by running up the stairs and then back down (You will do this in between each exercise).

Incline Push-Ups- 20 reps  (keep back straight and core tight)

Run Up/Down Stairs

Squat Hops- 20 reps (start on floor, squat down (keeping chest up and back straight) and then hop up to the first step and squat. Hop down to start, that is one rep).

Run Up/Down Stairs

Decline Push-Ups- 20 reps

Run Up/Down Stairs

Walking Lunge with kickback- Climb for reps (do walking lunges up the stairs and as your straightening to switch legs, kick your leg back. On the way down do normal lunges, keeping your core stable for better balance (hold wall or rail if needed, and if you need to modify or don’t feel comfortable lunging up or down just do lunges off the first step).

Run Up/Down Stairs

Dips- 20 reps (keep elbows close to body and back straight

Run Up/Down Stairs

Calf raises off step- 20 reps

Run Up/Down Stairs

Jumping Lunge- 20 reps (starting on floor place your right leg on the first step and lunge, on your way up explode and switch to land on your left leg).

Run Up/Down Stairs

Diamond Incline Push-Ups- 20 reps (perform pushups but with hands close and make a diamond or triangle shape).

Run Up/Down Stairs

Narrow Pulse Squat Hop- 20 reps (start on floor feet together, squat low and pulse for 3, explode up to the first step and land in a squat and then pulse for 3, explode up and land at start. That is one rep).

Decline Diamond Push-Ups- 20 reps

Run Up/Down Stairs

Side Squat Walk Right Side- Up/Down Stairs (standing sideways step up the stair with your right foot and squat, keep working your way up (having a stair in between each leg) until you reach the top, and then go down facing the same way).

Run Up/Down Stairs

Side Squat Walk Left Side- Up/Down Stairs

Run Up/Down Stairs

Mountain Climbers-  20 Reps off of steps

Now repeat the whole circuit!

Family Fitness

It’s days like these that I love. I try hard to instill the importance of health with my kids daily. So the days I really don’t want to work out, I push myself to do it. The days I want to reach for the cookies, I reach for the fruit instead (yes I do reward myself occasionally and that is good for them to see as well). So the other day when I saw my son working out on his own, it was a proud moment for me and I had to capture it! While my daughter and I were doing our yoga posing, my son took it upon himself to do some push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks on his own. Proud mommy moment for sure!

 

Hold Pose

I love to do isometric training when I work out from time to time. I usually like to do it on my last set of a workout. For example if I am doing bicep curls, I will slowly bring the weight up and hold it for 3-5 seconds, then slowly lower it back down. When I do these holds, I can really feel the contraction in my muscle that I am working. These always leave me feeling extra sore the next day which I love, isometric training is keeping the muscle in the same place, no movement and helps stretch and strengthen the muscles. So my daughter and I decided we would start doing yoga poses and hold them. We started this weekend and our goal is to do the move every day for a month until we perfect it, and then move on to another move.
I figured this would be a great way to bond and have fun, as well as build our strength, flexibility, and mentality all at the same time. Each day I can feel my muscular endurance improve as well as my flexibility as I fight through the tightness and tension. Lol I wish I could find a way to show my live photo of me falling flat on my face, because it was hilarious! My daughter and I were literally rolling on the floor laughing! My grunts and noises as I came down were just icing on the cake. My little gymnast got the move down by her second try! Me…not so much. It took a few times after planting a kiss to the ground, and then I finally got it. It is not to where it needs to be, but thats okay. You build your strength from what you have and keep growing from there.