Tips For Making A Perfect Morning Smoothie

Tips For Making A Perfect Morning Smoothie

Take advantage of all the fresh fruit and vegetables during the summer season for a fresh addition to your smoothies

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Smoothies are one of my favorite things to make for breakfast because they are quick and easy to take on the go in the morning on my way to work. Although I love smoothies in the morning, they're great after workouts any time of the day as well.

When making a smoothie for breakfast, try to keep it healthy! It can be tempting to add in some chocolate to that strawberry banana smoothie to make it a bit sweeter, or some whipped cream, but that makes it like a dessert. If you're craving something chocolate in your smoothie, add a little cocoa power or a drop of vanilla.

The base of your smoothie can sweeten your smoothie too. I frequently use coconut milk in my smoothies which is low in calories and adds a sweetness to green smoothies. Almond milk is another great base and also dairy free.

Speaking of green smoothies, don't be afraid to try them! I was so suspicious of the thought of spinach or kale ever in my smoothie and it took a while for me to finally try it. A smoothie place was serving samples of their green smoothie and I braved the jump to try it, and I loved it.

I have started to make some of my own green smoothies at home. One of my favorite combinations is mango, pineapple, spinach, and coconut milk. It also creates this amazing green color that also tastes amazing.

While it's the summer months, take advantage of local produce but frozen fruit is also a great option for some fruit that you can't always find, such as mango. Frozen fruit helps to make your smoothies the perfect cold temperature too.

Don't be afraid to switch up your smoothie combinations and test out your own recipes so you don't get tired of the same smoothie every day.

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Seven Tasty Coffee Drinks Without The Coffee Taste

I'm pretty sure my body is 90% coffee and soon, yours will be too.
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Though I don’t understand it, there are a lot of people who don’t like coffee. Many people still want to have the coffee to wake them up, learn to like coffee, or want to hop on the bandwagon of enjoying a coffee treat from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, or Wawa (the overall best). So, here’s a list of seven drinks that include coffee, but don’t taste like it, to help you transition from a non-coffee drinker to an active one.


1. Coolattas from Dunkin Donuts

A Coolatta is basically a frozen flavored drink. Most of them contain coffee, so getting that boost of caffeine without the coffee taste is easy with this treat. It comes in caramel, vanilla bean, mocha, Oreo, and more.

2. Any kind of Mocha Coffee (or caffe mocha)

A mocha coffee tastes like subtly coffee flavored hot chocolate. One of my favorite mocha drinks around the holidays is a peppermint mocha, because it tastes like a chocolate dipped candy cane, which is perfect to get anyone (even a Jewish girl like me) into the Christmas spirit. If you like hot chocolate, a mocha is a good way to transition into drinking regular coffee.

3. Vanilla Latte

A vanilla latte is one of my personal favorites. They can come hot or iced, and though they contain a good amount of coffee, it tastes like you dipped a sugar cookie into coffee.

4. Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha

After going to Starbucks with a friend, she forced me to try this when she ordered it, and it was fabulous. She described it to me as a drink for people who don’t like rich chocolate. It’s a really creamy drink that tastes kind of like white hot chocolate.

5.Starbucks Frappuccino

Don’t even get me started on Frapps. The amount of flavors they have is amazing, and it’s basically one of the best beverages ever. My favorite is the double chocolate chip, because you get a rich chocolate flavor with crunchy chocolate chips inside. SO good. They also have caramel, vanilla, strawberry, cinnamon, green tea, and pumpkin spice and toasted graham cracker during the fall season (just to list a few).

6. Chai Latte

A chai latte tastes like tea with milk, infused with spices. It is definitely something people either love or hate, but if you like that spiced flavor, I would recommend it.

7. Caramel Macchiato

I have never tried one of these, but people LOVE them (not to mention the drink is beautiful). In simple terms, it is steamed milk topped with foam, topped with espresso to create a luscious, caramel, layered coffee drink.

So to those crazy people out there who don't enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning, or a mid-day iced coffee in the summer, try these drinks and soon you'll wake up craving a cup of coffee like me.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdales/

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A Tribute To The RTS Bus

As New York prepares to retire its longest-running and most unique transit buses, it's worth taking a look at how they have become icons of the city.

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Later this year or early next year, NYC will say goodbye to one of its most recognizable transportation icons. Although few New Yorkers know them by name, almost every New Yorker has seen and rode on one of them. Since they debuted in 1981, the classic Rapid Transit Series (RTS) buses have transported New Yorkers over 2 billion miles on almost every bus route in the city. With their distinctive design and legendary reliability, they have become not just an icon, but a symbol, of the MTA and NYC in general.

A RTS bus in service in Manhattan during rush hour.Greg Huang

If you're a typical transit rider, you probably take bus riding and buses in general for granted. Virtually all of my friends see a bus as a bus and not much else. I hate to say this, but in the 21st century, they actually have a point. Go to any American city and most of the buses you'll find are literally boxes on wheels. Styling is sacrificed for economics. Ride comfort is sacrificed for accessibility. A bus could literally bring a sense of guilt to its occupants—it's as if they have no other choice but to ride in that flavorless, boring box.

Many modern transit buses are boxes on wheels, with minimal styling.Greg Huang

However, the RTS is anything but a box on wheels. It was born in the 1970s, when the USDOT was pushing bus manufacturers to design a "bus of the future". Back then, public transit was not frowned upon like the way it is today, and the futurism of the space age was a recent memory. Out of this environment, General Motors designed a bus that was groundbreaking yet controversial, and futuristic yet practical. And with that, the RTS made its debut to the world in 1977.

The RTS was revolutionary when it debuted in 1977. i1.wp.com

With its sloped front end, curved side windows, smooth bodywork, and modular design, the RTS was quite unlike anything else on the road at the time. Its styling was so radical, in fact, that GM had to offer the more utilitarian Classic alongside it. In addition to its futuristic styling, the RTS also boasted state-of-the-art amenities, including a "kneeling" feature, automatic temperature control, and an optional wheelchair lift.

In addition to the sleek design, the RTS came with multiple state-of-the-art features. farm8.static.flickr.com

In the four decades since, the RTS has served almost every city across America. But in New York, it not only fulfilled its mission, but it did so with flying colors. Between 1981 and 1999, the MTA ordered over 4,000 RTS buses, and at its peak, the RTS made up almost 90% of NYC's bus fleet. The RTS stood out not only to commuters, but also to the MTA itself. Among buses purchased in the same year, the RTS was always the last to be retired. Many individual RTS buses ran for over 20 years in service, when the average transit bus lifespan is 12 to 16 years. And two decades of carrying passengers in NYC is no walk in the park. For two decades, these buses transported New Yorkers in stop-and-go traffic and on long and fast express routes, and through freezing cold and scorching heat, through rain, snow and sleet, and everything in between. Frank Sinatra said that if you could make it in New York, you could make it anywhere. The RTS not only made it in New York, it found its home here.

A 1996 RTS bus, still running strong in 2018 after 22 years of service. Greg Huang

Four decades later, the RTS has largely been replaced by newer "low floor" buses, both in New York and elsewhere. In New York, the once 4,000 strong fleet is now down to about 200 buses. However, the design is still unmistakable. The unique curved side windows give the illusion of flying in an airplane, and make the bus feel open and airy. The once-futuristic bodywork is the perfect antithesis of the modern boxes on wheels, and the once state-of-the-art amenities have become standard. While modern transit buses emphasize practicality over style, GM amazingly integrated both within the same bus. Today, the RTS bus is not just classic, it's iconic. It represents an era when bus transportation was more glorious. It represents the future as seen from the past.

New York will never be the same without the RTS. It is to NYC as the Routemaster double-decker bus is to London. In other words, they are inseparable. And before NYC and the RTS separate for good, may New Yorkers and visitors to New York appreciate and admire these remarkable buses one final time.

The RTS is truly an icon of NYCGreg Huang

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