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Filtering by Category: Food

10 Non-Touristy Things To Do In NYC During The Holiday Season With Your #Besties

David Ruff

New York City is the sought-after commercialized destination of the holiday season, and I like iceskating under the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center as much as the next person, although constant tourist-pandemonium is inevitable in popular New York City landmarks. And after awhile, the cheesiness is, well... just cheesy.

Whether your BFFs live in New York, or you are all out-of-towners, you want to engage in activities and locations that will provide fond ephemeral memories that will give you all the nostalgic "holiday feels" in chic NYC fashion, without all the tacky commotion that tourist spots tend to emanate. As I impart all the esoteric New Yorker holiday traditions and new hot places to attend; take notes and screenshot away in your #bestie groupchat. 

1. Drunken Dumpling, East Village

What is a bestie-gathering without an Instagrammable brunch spot? Ditch the cold for gargantuan soup dumplings (or regular sized dumplings) in this little-known dumpling shop. This is perfect for getting in your Chinese food fix (and Insta post) without obnoxious lines and stampedes of people in China Town. Be the first people there when it opens at 12pm - it's like it was made for sleeping in! 

2. Yankee Candle Pop-Up, SoHo

Candles make the perfect holiday present, (and the top beauty editors can testify in my one of latest BLOGmas posts, hereand this pop-up let's you take free candles, purchase scents, and so much more! But what really makes this pop-up standout is all of the different fun photo-ops made for memorizing your day on the town. There is a fake forest made out of wood, a mock beach setting, and the coolest of them all... an upside down room! The room is an illusion so you can lay down, make funny faces, and when you rotate your camera it looks like you are falling from the ceiling. Great presents with great pictures make the perfect post-brunch destination.  

3. Facials, Massages, and/or Mani-Pedis at Bliss Spa, SoHo

Bliss Spa is the ideal getaway and relaxation location before resuming your holiday bucket list. I love the Steep-Clean facial, perfect for extracting all skin concerns while feeling luxuriously pampered with a glowing radiant aftermath. Or you and your girl-gang, can get classic mani-pedis and restock on all Bliss skincare essentials. 

4. Gallery Hopping, Chelsea

One of New York's recondite gems are the galleries in Chelsea. While the Whitney and Louis Vuitton exhibit are all the rage, check out some new artist's collections getting on your artistic culture and inspiration, while chomping down on candy canes, of course. 

5. The Shops at Columbus Circle, Upper West Side

With a view of Central Park and all the latest brands, treat yourself or get loved ones the present they always wanted from the popular shoe brand they are obsessed with, or an undiscovered accessories line. Grab a bite at Landmarc for carbs that won't disappoint.

6. Hot Chocolate and Madison Avenue Windows, Upper East Side

As you cross the park to another country (just kidding), step into Sant Ambroeus for the best hot chocolate in New York City. With snow falling from the sky and windows' lights seeming almost iridescent, chatting up a storm with your best friends, while checking out the clothes on Madison Avenue is the ultimate Gossip Girl experience you never knew you could have.

7. iPic Movie Theaters, Fulton Market

As you make your way downtown, end the night with iPic; the ultra-luxe movie experience, with reclining leather chairs and blankets, and you can ORDER your own food to your chairs. Holiday movies, truffle fries, and plush blankets - I think I'm sold... I don't think my friends will need any convincing either.

8. HigherDOSE: 11 Howard, SoHo

The best way to eliminate the sleep coma the following morning, induced by copious amounts of Christmas cookies and carb-loading is to SWEAT! HigherDOSE in 11 Howard hotel is an infrared sauna, which helps promote blood circulation, purify your skin, and lose weight - to name a few. Refreshing your body by eradicating toxins is a great way to start your day.

9. The Mask Bar, Howard Street

After all the detoxifying, hydration is key, and I am not talking about drinking water. Stock up on cheap sheet masks to use later that night while binging on all the Christmas movie classics. Brands like Masque Bar make animal sheet masks, like their reindeer one, or holiday scented (or product based) like their egg nog one!

10. Café Brunching, SoHo

Mini cafés feel the most cozy, so what better way to get your holiday on by feeling right at home? Stumble upon Two Hands for exemplary açai bowls, Bluestone Lane for the best avocado toast in town, or Nickle & Diner for an elevated modern diner experience. Double-check for holiday flavored drinks and snacks!

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!


How and Why Coffee Can Help You Lose Weight

David Ruff

Coffee is probably the most popular beverage amongst Americans. And rightfully so. Many drink coffee for the buzz they need to maintain their focus during a busy day, or for the artificial flavors that so many drool over. When waiting in that obnoxiously long Starbucks line, one never grabs a sizzling hot coffee to curb their metabolism. Coffee surprisingly can help you shave off a couple pounds - but only if you drink it correctly. You are probably thinking how can one drink coffee incorrectly? But there are a ton of different factors to keep in mind such as the time of day in which you drink it, the amount, and what you put in it.

The most obvious rule and widely known rule is NO MILK! My dad always drinks his coffee "black", for nearly twenty years now because of a detox he did at a spa trip. On the other hand, out of all my friends, I am guilty of a serious case of milk obsession. I pour gallons of half and half into my coffee while I eat french fries (probably not the healthiest choice). One of my best friends, Carly, always puts the smallest amount of soy milk in her coffee but not for dietary reasons. Between the two of us the word "diet" is rarely ever used, mainly because we can't talk due to the fact that there is a cheeseburger in our mouths at all times.

So to test this theory of mine, I resorted to research. I read this article on Byrdie all about how coffee can curb your metabolism. The infamous ingredient in our coffee is caffeine, and it helps speed up your metabolism in addition to all its wonderful benefits. A pro tip is to drink your coffee pre-workout for an energy and fat cell breakdown boost. According to dietitian, Dana Godfrey, it helps signal fat cells to break down fat, in doing so it reduces your cravings. Disclaimer - the effects of the caffeine will start to not be as effective if you are an avid drinker of coffee. Dara suggests two to three "black" cups of coffee before 3pm. This means get your caffeine fix in before the afternoon, and stay away from sugar, cream, and milk. The extra sweeteners and ingredients not only add on the weight but increase your hunger. Ditching the yummy stuff is hard, I see that tear rolling down your eye. I know - harsh. 

Now lets get scientific. Integrative physician Ralph Esposito, states that, drinking coffee pre-workout boosts Adiponectin, a hormone in your body, that increases the burning of fats and sugars. When you drink a coffee with a ton of flavor like my favorite, a pumpkin spice latte, it kills the flora (good bacteria) that maintains your metabolism and hunger. 

But there are also cons. If you are regularly bloated or experience weight gain from this change of coffee-drinking, you should probably stop due to the irritation of your intestines causing further bloating. This might not be for everyone, sadly. I would rather change my coffee habits than going on a full blown diet because lets face it, cheeseburgers aren't going anywhere any time soon.

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!

Yummy Açai Bowl Recipes by Talula Dempsey

David Ruff

If you know anything about me, açai bowls are a crucial part of my "food pyramid". For those of you who do not know what açai bowls are, or simply recognize the photogenic dish from countless trendy Instagram posts, it is a custard-like consistency with a myriad of toppings sprinkled on top! Açai is a fruit found in the Amazon, and is very high in antioxidants and fiber, which is essential to curving your metabolism and creating a healthy lifestyle. When you think about it, açai bowls are just like ice cream but only extremely good for you. The meal is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a hearty snack! You can find these smoothie bowls at your local juice joint but I am going to show you how easy it is to make at home!

You do not need to be a talented cook by any means, although, I did get insight from a gal who spends her time cooking up a storm in the kitchen quite frequently. Talula Dempsey of Curious Cravingz, is a food blogger who is always filming how-to's, writing about the coolest places to dine on the West Coast, and also shares a mutual love for açai bowls. Dempsey spills her two styles of her açai bowl recipe, that are so easy to follow, and you will feel like a master chef in no time. The combination is so yummy and addicting! 

Here is how to make it!


1 packet of Açai or Pitaya Super Food Smoothie Packet

1/2 of frozen banana

1/2 strawberries

2-4 ounces of apple juice or coconut milk

Toppings: (Optional - mix and match!)

Granola, hemp and/or flax seeds, coconut shavings, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, dragon fruit, cacao nibs


Blend all of the ingredients listed above in a blender. Depending on your preference of consistency, start with two ounces of your selected liquid. Blend for the length that is appropriate for your desired consistency. Pour the mix into a bowl and decorate with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!

Let me know what you guys think in the comment section down below! Any feedback, suggestions, tips, and more. Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay Ruff!