This month we welcome Jill Kemerer who talks about her go-to recipes when she needs a little #EnergyFood.
As I shift in my office chair, I can actually feel my bottom growing bigger. Sure, I get up every hour or two to stretch my legs. I exercise regularly. But when I grab any old thing for lunch and snacks, I drag through the day. The fuel we put in our bodies definitely makes a difference! Earlier this year—February to be exact—I got serious about losing the extra fifteen pounds I’d put on. I started tracking my calories using an app on my phone (MyFitnessPal if you’re interested), and I made it my goal to eat more protein and less sugar.
Sugar is my downfall. I love M&Ms, creamy coffee, donuts, cake, and pretty much anything full of fat and sugar. In my quest to fit into my clothes again, I reduced my sugar intake, and to my surprise, it wasn’t that difficult. I refuse to give up entire food groups so my recipes and nutrition plan might not fit your needs, but here are two super-simple recipes I make at least three days a week.
Sweet and Satisfying Smoothie
This smoothie has 5 ingredients, takes less than two minutes to whip up, and makes about 16 ounces. You can split it with a friend, or, if you’re like me, drink the whole thing yourself. The entire smoothie contains roughly 175 calories. It’s high in calcium, vitamin C and protein. The only special tool you’ll need is a blender. It’s really yummy!
1 individual container (6 oz.) of vanilla yogurt (I use Kroger Carbmaster)
1 cup strawberries, rinsed and cut in half
1 clementine orange, peeled (feel free to substitute a banana, blueberries or any fruit)
½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you can use regular milk, just adjust the calorie count)
1 cup of ice
1. Layer the yogurt first, both fruits, and finally the almond milk in the blender.
2. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
3. Add ice with the blender off.
4. Blend for another 30 seconds or until all ice is crushed.
5. Pour into a large glass and enjoy!
This recipe requires no additional sugar. The fruits and vanilla yogurt add enough sweetness. Enjoy!
Black Bean Quesadillas
The next recipe is another quick and easy one. I regularly make Black Bean Quesadillas for lunch. They’re a good source of protein, and the black beans have plenty of fiber as well as iron. This recipe serves one person and has about 425 calories total.
(2) flour tortillas, taco size (look for a calorie count of roughly 100 calories/tortilla)
½ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons salsa
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. butter
1. Drain the can of black beans and rinse them. Pour ½ cup into a medium bowl. Add the salsa and mash with a potato masher, leaving chunks of beans.
2. Heat a medium-sized skillet on medium-high heat.
3. Melt the butter in the skillet.
4. Layer the quesadilla in the pan. Place one flour tortilla onto the melted butter, sprinkle half the cheese on the tortilla. Spread the black bean mixture (approximately ½ cup) over both. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the beans mixture. Cover with the second tortilla.
5. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, flipping with a spatula, until both sides are crispy.
6. Transfer to a plate. Using a pizza slicer, cut into 4 sections.
*You can mash the entire can of beans with ½ cup of salsa and refrigerate the unused portion.*
Jill's latest release, Hometown Hero's Redemption, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.