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Featured on Aug 08, 2011

Derek Flanzraich

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson"


I'm a builder of things that last & make a difference, ceo & founder of Greatist, a health & fitness media startup dedicated to inspiring and informing the world to make one healthier choice per week, and a fan of theme bars + theme parks. More about me can be found at my personal blog or in the documentary movie based loosely on the story of my life entitled Gladiator.

Greatist has tons of information about fitness, nutrition, and general health. What’s your personal workout and diet system?

For the past 6-7 years, I've been trying all kinds of different things health & fitness-related. Ultimately, it's taken a while (and there are still better days than others), but I've more or less found a rhythm that keeps me happy and feeling my best. I typically "work out" 5-6 times a week, mixing interval training/cardio with weight training, different kinds of classes (love TRX, yoga with weights, and whatever else people are trying), and playing sports with friends-- love basketball (and recently have taken up soccer here in the city, even though I'm particularly bad at). I'm a big believer in that the key to exercise is finding the things you enjoy most and constantly discovering new things. I also do it for me, which I think is super important, too. After working out, I'm more stress-free and happy, I feel great and creative, I work much more efficiently, and it's a chance to get away from it all, push myself, and think without any other distractions. When it comes to my "diet," I eat relatively healthy most days, mainly focusing on vegetables, lean protein (chicken and turkey), coffee with some extra coffee, and my epic morning egg scramble. For dinner, give me a rotisserie chicken, some broccoli, and quinoa and I couldn't be happier. Sundays are my cheat day, though, and I eat anything & everything I want all day. And I mean everything. So let's grab drinks then?

Your bio on Greatist lists ice cream as one of your weaknesses. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? When you cave in, where do you go to grab some ice cream in NYC?

Being new to NYC, I haven't found THE place yet. But though it's technically not ice cream, I've fallen in love with the Shake Shack Hopscotch concrete. It's unbelievable. Like a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but made of sugar magic. I've also recently stumbled across Popbar on 6th and Carmine, which is basically popsicles made out of gelato. Imagine coffee gelato dipped in dark chocolate and covered in almonds... on a stick! Typically, though, I love mint chocolate chip anything from anywhere. Basically, if it's fun to eat and different, count me in.

What’s your favorite theme park memory?

Have so many. I'm a big believer of manufactured entertainment (don't get me started on the brilliance of Medieval Times) for some reason, so there are tons that come to mind. Wrote a long post on my personal blog ( not too long about about the experiences my brother and I had growing up through our yearly treks to Orlando's Islands of Adventures from our home in Miami. My first time at Disneyland in California with an ex-girlfriend was also particularly magical. I'm a big believer in the power of theme parks not being in escapism, but reassurance (as an imagineer John Hench once suggested)-- the reassurance that we never really grow up and that that's okay. At least that's my excuse. :)

Several of your recent tweets are about Harry Potter. Which Harry Potter movie/book was your favorite and why? Which Hogwarts house would you be in?

Oof. Now we're getting to the really important stuff. I was 11 when the first Harry Potter book came out in the US, which was the same age as Harry in the novel. So grew up with him, basically. Some of my closest friends today stem from that shared interest so long ago. It's often tough to explain the value of the books (and the movies for that matter) to people unfamiliar with them-- but, of course, I'm going to try anyway. Experience aside, think it's meaningful because of the surprisingly profound, thought-provoking ideas on the importance of friendship, courage, loyalty, taking risks, family, and life. Plus it's funny and the relatable, tangible world JK Rowling created out of a genre that had been around forever is basically brilliant. That all being said, my favorite book & movie of the series are both The Order of the Phoenix, though I'm not entirely sure why. And it's unclear what Hogwarts house I'd be placed in, honestly-- but I'm sure one day I'll figure it out.