Author Archives: Brandi Koskie

About Brandi Koskie

Brandi is a health journalist who enjoys the task of keeping DietsInReview running like a well-oiled machine. She's also a health-conscious mom who loves to cook without recipes.

Eat Like the Royals: 7 Ballpark Recipes Celebrating the Kansas City Royals’ World Series Run

Last night, my social channels bled blue as the Kansas City Royals clenched their first playoff bid since 1985. Chants of going all the way were deafening and will no doubt silence any time soon. It’s a moment these Midwest baseball fans have waited, in some cases, all their lives for. There are a lot of long games ahead for these fans, as many as seven if things go their way, which means a lot of tailgate-inspired eating is on the horizon.

How does one eat like a Royal? There’s no pinkies out around here like those other royals. This is both KC Missouri and Kansas — around here, it’s all about the meat!

Here’s how to eat like a Royals fan — we’ll even show you a few ways to trim down these ballgame faves so you don’t need to up-size your new champions T-shirt!

CLEAN CARAMEL CORN

clean caramel corn laurenslatestimage credit laurenslatest.com

No ballgame is complete without Cracker Jacks, but they’re kind of terrible for you. We love this recipe from LaurensLatest.com that uses coconut oil, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla to craft a treat as indulgent as the classic. Popcorn is naturally gluten-free, if that’s your thing. This recipe is also vegan and without adding processed sugars.

beef meatball kabobsimage credit Kacy Meinecke/DietsInReview.com

JALAPENO CHEDDAR BURGER BITE KABOBS

Grilling a batch of big, juicy burgers  these parts. But there are ways to teach these old dogs new tricks! Treat the burger as a side or appetizer with this tiny meatball kabobs. They’ve got big flavor, as we stuffed all-natural beef with jalapeno and cheddar cheese. (more…)

WIN an Applegate Half Time Prize Pack — Enjoy the Best Lunch Kit Ever

half-time-turkey

We love the new Applegate Half Time lunch kits so much that we want to share the awesome lunchtime joy with everyone! Seriously, you’ve gotta try these! And two of our DietsInReview readers are going to do just that — on us!

Lunch has never been easier, tastier, or smarter. Take it from me, these bad boys have effortlessly gotten both me and my four-year-old through our mid-day meals since this summer.

How to Win!

Comment on this Facebook Post! Tell us how Half Time is just the break you need from junky, boring lunches!

What You Win!

  • All three varieties of HALF TIME: Turkey & Cheese, Ham & Cheese, and Bologna & Cheese
  • A draw-your-own lunch bag
  • A set of permanent markers
  • Coupons
  • Activity book
  • DietsInReview T-Shirt

The total value of the kit is $50. (more…)

Monica Geller’s Weight Loss Transformation Inspires 20 Years Later

monica geller weight loss

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Friends — what I’ll be bold enough to call the quintessential TV show of the ’90s and early ’00s. I still quote it regularly and find ways to insert the nuisances of one of the best television comedies into my daily life. The fact that this anniversary is such a big deal proves I’m not alone!

“Fat Monica,” played by Courtney Cox, was the character brought to life to illustrate Monica Geller’s back story. Once an overweight teen with a serious junk food affection, present-day Monica was a fit and trim chef who found a different way to love food. So today, 20 years after this TV darling clapped its hands into our lives, we celebrate one of the most entertaining #TransformationTuesday successes around. (more…)

Treat Your Workout with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls

chocolate pretzel protein balls

Three words for you… Treat. Yo. Self. If you know Parks and Rec, you know the reference. Only we believe in treating yourself all the time, not just one day a year. Especially after a workout!

When you’re on a run, crushing the weights, or sweating through a cycling class it’s easy to get tunnel vision and feel like there is no light at the end. These little Chocolate Covered Pretzel Protein Balls are that light. Finish the grind, then treat. yo. self.

chocolate protein ball

We love making these because they’re ridiculously easy. We also love making these because they’re ridiculously delicious. Just five ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your well-stocked pantry, and five minutes of prep is all you need for yummy, indulgent, homemade copycat Larabars. (more…)

Instagram Feeds Hamburglarized by McDonald’s and Nobody is Lovin’ It

McD Instagram

Hey McDonald’s! Get Your Garbage Food Out of My Instagram Feed!

We’ve known they were coming, but sponsored posts have finally landed right smack dab in the middle of what may be my favorite social media channel.

“It’s quiet over there” I wrote of Instagram recently, when a friend was questioning the medium’s purpose.

That’s been disrupted. Our site gets its bread and butter from ads, so we’re not hating on Instagram for making some dough. But, Instagram… McDonald’s… know your audience! We, along with thousands of others, are raging against the cheap hamburger machine because no amount of food styling is good enough to make that FrankenFood desirable.

Instagram, you’ve got highly capable technology holding up that back end. You know what I post. A lot of food? Yes. I post a lot of food. Has it once ever been of a fast food burger?

Not a hamburger-flippin’ chance. (more…)

21 Recipes and Ways to Clean Out the Summer Garden Surplus in Your Backyard

The summer growing season may be nearing its end, but your garden is probably just hitting its peak production! You can only personally eat so many tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and zucchini. Your neighbors and co-workers will only allow you to share so many. And really, it seems a total waste to let them go. So don’t!

Belly up to your kitchen counter, pull out a few handy appliances, and make finished food items you can eat through the winter and your neighbors and co-workers are far more glad to take off of your hands now!

homemade pickles jar

HOMEMADE SWEET AND SPICY ENGLISH CUCUMBER PICKLES

Does your neighbor want 10 cucumbers? No! Does your neighbor want an adorable jar full of homemade pickles? Heck yes! Use any garden variety cuc to make these shockingly easy pickles. You’ll never want store-bought again. And in our experience, a generous batch will last you all the way to spring!

melon ball soup

TWO INGREDIENT MELON BALL SOUP

When the watermelon and cantaloupe runneth over, runneth it through the blender! Combine your favorite melons, add your choice of fresh herbs, and top with a goat or feta cheese to make the simplest chilled soup ever! We love ours at brunch. (more…)

Simple Homemade Rhubarb Iced Tea is as Refreshing as a Summer Breeze

Rhubarb Iced Tea mint

Raise your hand if you’re not looking for something refreshing to drink right now? Cruising in to the hottest weeks of summer, “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” should be the motto of every one of us. Yes, even a couch potato dehydrates in these hot temps, and if you’re actually prone to moving your body and regular bouts of exercise, then a water glass should always be raised to your mouth.

But water’s boring and bland and blah, blah blah. I feel ‘ya. Iced tea is my go-to drink in the summer. Yes, it counts as water. However, the caffeine can be counterproductive as it’s a diuretic.

This Rhubarb Iced Tea is as easy as a summer breeze, hydrates as well as any plain ‘ole glass of water, and is naturally caffeine free. You’re saying ahhhhhh! before the first sip, right? (more…)

Announcing the Launch of Our Guest Editor Series with Fitness Personality Dempsey Marks

dempsey-homepage-banner-v3-600px-saved-for-web
The Inspiring Fitness Expert and Yoga Instructor Will Share Tips, Workouts, Recipes And Motivational Content Every Week In August

Today we announce the kick off of a brand new guest editor series with brand new, exclusive content through the month of August from rising fitness star and yoga instructor Dempsey Marks, of DempseyFIT.com. Each week, Dempsey will deliver her spirited expertise to our readers, sharing her passion for healthy living in a way only she can.

Every Monday, Marks will provide simple, effective, informative ways to incorporate more activity into your life. Be it fun new ideas for the coziest of couch potatoes or a new workout to free you from a boring routine, Dempsey’s got you covered. With her passion for a healthy lifestyle, her healthy addiction to endorphins and her realistic approach to fitness, Dempsey is just what more Americans need in their lives, and DietsinReview.com is the ideal platform for her to share her message.

“We’re really excited to kick off our guest editor series with Dempsey,” said Brandi Koskie, managing editor for DietsinReview.com. “She has an incredible, inspiring personal story and is a great fit for us.  We know our loyal readers have a lot to gain from her unique blend of personal experience, credentialed expertise and vibrant personality.” (more…)

The 9 Tastiest Ways to Enjoy an Avocado Every Day

avocado a day

Avocados have become almost as synonymous with summer as berries and watermelon, but at least those seem to have a definitive season. Perennial varieties of avocados, like Haas, mean we get our favorite fruit all year long, and we’re not mad about that!

Yes, avocados are a fruit, and they can be categorized as a super food for all the dense nutritional benefit they hold. They have more potassium than the notorious banana, barely any sodium, make a rich, satisfying source of fiber, a touch of protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals. Some balk at the calories and fat, but those aren’t empty like you’d find in french fries, there’s some real nutritional value in every bite.

Maybe the moniker should change to eating an avocado a day keeps the doctor away!

We do actually try to eat an avocado a day, and to mix it up, we keep these nine recipes in the rotation. What’s your favorite way to eat the “alligator pear”?

guacamole

CHUNKY GUACAMOLE WITH SERRANO PEPPERS

avocado pasta

AVOCADO PASTA (more…)

To Die For Goat Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas for Summer Vegetarian Grilling

I’ve been craving goat cheese lately. I can’t get enough! If someone will put it on a salad, sandwich, or just scoop it directly in my mouth, I’m gonna eat it.

Goat cheese is such a great cheese for summer — light, sweet, and flowery. On those nights it’s just too hot to cook, it can be the center piece of a charcuterie and cheese board dinner alongside fresh berries, honey, olives, salami, and a really nice bread.

goat cheese black bean enchiladas

When a recent craving for Mexican was hard to ignore in the face of my on-going need for as much goat cheese as possible, these Goat Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas were born. I knew they’d be good, but OH MY!! I ooohed and ahhed through our entire meal. They were absolutely to die for!

I started by adding some great smokey flavor with the serrano pepper and corn tortillas. I fire toasted both of them over the open flame on my grill (this works over a gas stove burner too). Either way, be careful! The serrano blackened and sizzled in a couple of short minutes. I love this pepper because it’s warm with great flavor without torching your mouth, especially after removing the seeds. I typically put a couple in my homemade guacamole and even my toddler daughter isn’t alarmed by their presence. (more…)