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Arun Kristian Das
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Writer, talker, thinker, reader, runner.
Writer, talker, thinker, reader, runner.

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Monte Hot Toddy

2 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz honey
Tea, freshly brewed
1 lemon wheel
1 dried clove
1 piece orange peel
1 cinnamon stick

Mix amaro, lemon juice, and honey in a mug. Top with freshly brewed tea. Garnish with lemon wheel, clove, orange peel, and cinnamon stick.

More here: http://www.fox5ny.com/news/224750287-story
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I am super excited to share my latest "5 questions for..." column after a long hiatus. I have followed Jen Miller's work for a few years and was really interested in talking to her about her memoir. Here is a link to the full interview and some bonus Q&A below.

BONUS

What scares you the most about writing about yourself?

JEN: I had a series of stress dreams and nightmares about this book before it came out. I had a nightmare that a whole bunch of runners in fluorescent clothing came into my bedroom and started stabbing me. There is always the fear of being sued. There was a lawyer who read this and did the legal edit, which was excruciating. They basically they tell you, "Here's all the reasons you could get sued for." Not to say that they would win, but you can be sued for just about anything.

Quick ones:

Favorite shoe? Mizuno Wave Rider
Favorite race? New Jersey Marathon
Favorite distance? 10 miles
Favorite place to run? Collingswood
Favorite Jersey Shore bar? Langosta in Asbury Park
Favorite memoir? "Drinking: A Love Story" by Caroline Knapp
Favorite author? Caroline Knapp
Favorite running book? "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall
Running hero? Bobbi Gibb
Advice for newbies? Go to an independent running store and get your feet fit and take your time.


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What a cool way to spend a morning. Recently, I talked to Christopher McDougall, the author of the bestseller "Born to Run" and the just-published "Natural Born Heroes." I interviewed him for about 10 minutes. We then walked up Flatbush Avenue for a few blocks and continued the conversation. I had a hard time deciding which five questions to include in the published column because he had a lot of interesting things to say. Here are his answers to bonus questions.
 
6. In the book you write about human movement and parkour, fat adaptation, and nutrition. How has learning about those things changed your life?
 
CHRISTOPHER: The first thing was becoming mindful of what you're doing and what you're eating. The first thing I do in the morning is put something in my mouth, the last thing I do is put something in my mouth — I'm always eating things. How often do we actually pause and wonder what is the effect of the stuff we're putting down our throats? And that was the real, to me, benefit of looking at the Cretan hero diet and also fat adaptation. These things actually have a consequence immediately. And such a simple way of assessing what you're doing. It's not necessarily modifying — just assessing. So parkour — very simple thing, too. If you just understand how your body moves a little bit, can you do a full squat? Can you balance yourself on your hands? By assessing these things, then you sort of see the changes you're going to want to make. Not that you have to make — you're going to want to make these changes.
 
7. "Born to Run" is credited with popularizing the barefoot/minimalist running movement. What are your thoughts about the apparent decline of minimalist shoes and the rise of "maximalist" shoes?
 
CHRISTOPHER: It's just kind of a downer that it's always about the product, always about the shoe. It's never about what your body does. It's easy to sell things — people get excited about it. But shoes come and go. And what's really important is changing form. So, again, I wish the conversation were about what are you doing with your body as opposed to what are you covering your body with. Shoes are fine. But your starting point is what is your body is doing and then you add protection as necessary.  
 
8. "Born to Run" was influential not just with barefoot running but with running, period. Do you feel that way, too?
 
CHRISTOPHER: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that was really due to the influence of people like Jen [Shelton], Billy [Barnett] and Scott [Jurek]. We were seeing a different aspect of running than we usually see. Running is often depicted as painful. You know, "no pain, no gain," you know, "get to the finish." And these are people who don't care about times, who don't care about winning things — they're out having fun. As Barefoot Ted likes to say: "I practice pleasure, I don't practice pain." Most people are practicing pain. He goes out and has a good time. And people picked up on that message. That was the beauty of the way the Tarahumara run: very joyfully. Because the whole objective of the Tarahumara is you don't want to run like an animal that's trying to die. You know, that something's running itself to death. You want to run smarter than that. They have a whole process of surge and recover. And that whole recover part is what we've removed. That's the fun part.

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What a cool way to spend a morning. Recently, I talked to Christopher McDougall, the author of the bestseller "Born to Run" and the just-published "Natural Born Heroes." I interviewed him for about 10 minutes. We then walked up Flatbush Avenue for a few blocks and continued the conversation. I had a hard time deciding which five questions to include in the published column because he had a lot of interesting things to say. Here are his answers to bonus questions.
 
6. In the book you write about human movement and parkour, fat adaptation, and nutrition. How has learning about those things changed your life?
 
CHRISTOPHER: The first thing was becoming mindful of what you're doing and what you're eating. The first thing I do in the morning is put something in my mouth, the last thing I do is put something in my mouth — I'm always eating things. How often do we actually pause and wonder what is the effect of the stuff we're putting down our throats? And that was the real, to me, benefit of looking at the Cretan hero diet and also fat adaptation. These things actually have a consequence immediately. And such a simple way of assessing what you're doing. It's not necessarily modifying — just assessing. So parkour — very simple thing, too. If you just understand how your body moves a little bit, can you do a full squat? Can you balance yourself on your hands? By assessing these things, then you sort of see the changes you're going to want to make. Not that you have to make — you're going to want to make these changes.
 
7. "Born to Run" is credited with popularizing the barefoot/minimalist running movement. What are your thoughts about the apparent decline of minimalist shoes and the rise of "maximalist" shoes?
 
CHRISTOPHER: It's just kind of a downer that it's always about the product, always about the shoe. It's never about what your body does. It's easy to sell things — people get excited about it. But shoes come and go. And what's really important is changing form. So, again, I wish the conversation were about what are you doing with your body as opposed to what are you covering your body with. Shoes are fine. But your starting point is what is your body is doing and then you add protection as necessary.  
 
8. "Born to Run" was influential not just with barefoot running but with running, period. Do you feel that way, too?
 
CHRISTOPHER: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that was really due to the influence of people like Jen [Shelton], Billy [Barnett] and Scott [Jurek]. We were seeing a different aspect of running than we usually see. Running is often depicted as painful. You know, "no pain, no gain," you know, "get to the finish." And these are people who don't care about times, who don't care about winning things — they're out having fun. As Barefoot Ted likes to say: "I practice pleasure, I don't practice pain." Most people are practicing pain. He goes out and has a good time. And people picked up on that message. That was the beauty of the way the Tarahumara run: very joyfully. Because the whole objective of the Tarahumara is you don't want to run like an animal that's trying to die. You know, that something's running itself to death. You want to run smarter than that. They have a whole process of surge and recover. And that whole recover part is what we've removed. That's the fun part.

I had such a great time chatting with whiskey expert Heather Greene -- so much so that I had way more than 5 questions. Maybe this sets a bad precedent, but here are 3 BONUS QUESTIONS. #whiskey #spirits #booze  

6. Do you have a favorite New York distillery?

HEATHER: I have a couple of distilleries that I really have an affinity for. It's hard for me to separate because I love the people behind it as well as the liquid they make. I will always be friends with Brian [Lee] and Ralph [Erenzo] up at Tuthilltown Spirits [in Gardiner, Ulster County]. I'm doing a booze and books tasting with them on Feb 25th. We're doing a whole whiskey pairing dinner at their new mill restaurant. I'm huge fan of Nicole Austin and Kings County Distilling [in Red Hook, Brooklyn]. I think they make really lush, very rich, interesting whiskeys. Alan Katz and his team in Williamsburg at New York Distilling -- I think they're great. I've tasted a lot of their stuff, I support what they're doing. Whatever I can to support local distilleries I'm all for.

7. What do you like most about what you do?

HEATHER: What I like most and what terrifies me most are two sides of the same coin. I climbed Kilimanjaro four years ago -- it was the most exciting thing and the scariest thing. And that's sometimes how I feel about this career because there aren't a lot of people who do what I do, which is this free-agent of "whiskey love" and meeting people and talking about whiskey and writing about it and teaching. I feel like the opportunities are wide open and the possibilities are endless. I don't really know what's next I have to build it.

8. Your book has suggestions for whiskey tasting/sampling as well as whiskey cocktail recipes. Do you have a favorite cocktail right now and why?

HEATHER: I like to do a nice, simple old fashioned. They're very cliché now and everyone's doing it but the reason why I like it so much is if [it's] done well you see the mark of a great bartender. It's kind of like scrambled eggs or an omelet -- they seem like they should be easy, but chefs train for years to make a perfect omelet. I see an old fashioned that way. I do like a big, spicy, herbaceous rye in an old fashioned. And I keep going back to angostura bitters. For me, that brings up cinnamon spices that I like in the rye. It pairs well. It's a classic.

http://www.fox5ny.com/news/1442402-story

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