MP Patrick Brown
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Few people could survive the rigorous schedule of federal Conservative MP Patrick Brown, who spends half his time in the nation's capital and the other half with his constituents in Barrie. When he's on home turf, rarely does a night go by when he doesn't have an event to attend. For insight into how he manages his schedule and the energy that keeps him moving from one event to the next, we asked him for a few of his essential day-to-day ingredients. 

1. Morning Jolt
I never have time for a normal schedule or for a traditional breakfast, so every day I have the exact same thing: a Red Bull, PowerBar, and a Fibre Bar. It's literally breakfast in ten seconds. When I'm in Ottawa, I'll often have a 7 a.m. regional caucus meeting or an 8 a.m. committee meeting, and I'd rather take the half hour sleep instead of breakfast. I need a caffeine kick and a quick source of energy.

2. Daily Fix
I function best with an hour of exercise every day, whether it's jogging, hockey or tennis. Even if I have to go out at 11 p.m., I find it's really relaxing and de-stressing.  Once I started running, Stockwell Day suggested I try marathons. I did my first marathon on the Great Wall of China in 31°C heat, uphill with 10 percent inclines with broken steps throughout. It was 40 kilometres of complete hell, but when I was done I was hooked. I've probably done 12 marathons since. Now, whenever I travel I check for marathons close by. It's a great way to see whatever country you're in.

3. National Pastime
I'm a hockey addict. I play twice per week in Ottawa, and play at the NTR on Sunday nights. I grew up watching Ron [MacLean] and Don [Cherry] every Saturday, night and as a child I was a [Toronto Maple] Leafs fan. I still am, and I live with the pain. I follow hockey closely and recently, when I was in Taiwan, I was able to watch a Barrie Colts game on my iPad while I did my morning jog at 6 a.m.

4. Blackberry, Blackberry, Blackberry
I use my Blackberry religiously wherever I am. It‘s so helpful in everything I do. I don't know how Parliament functioned 20 years ago. If there's a snap vote we all get emails [to let us know]. It's the first place I go to see my schedule, to keep in touch with staff, plus stay on top of all the social media feeds.

5. Family Connections
I grew up having Sunday dinners with my grandparents on Wellington Street in Barrie. Normally my grandfather, Joe Tascona Sr., would cook me a steak every Sunday. About nine years ago, when he started getting older, I started bringing Thai food from Chaopaya Thai. I'm very fortunate for my grandparents to have lived so long and to have known them so well.

6. Weekly Connections
When I first started as an MP in Ottawa, many of the people [I was working with] were twice my age. To stay in touch with the people I grew up with, I started a tradition of going out every Saturday night with friends. to have some balance. We'd play cards then go downtown to a local watering hole. It's still going on today.

7. Catch it When You Can
I rarely have an evening with nothing scheduled, so the only chance I really get time to read or watch movies is during long flights. I like Richard North Patterson and historical books where I can read up on important battles and historical events. I liked the show Lost when it was out, and Entourage. I like 30 Rock and True Blood, though I'm usually watching them after the fact on my iPad.

8. When I was 15 years old the
Progressive Conservatives won only two seats in parliament, with Jean Charest being one of them. He was my aunt's neighbour in North Hatley, Quebec and shortly after the election I knocked on his door to tell him I had really liked his leadership speech at an earlier convention. He thought it was great that even after the results, I still thought he was a rock star. He told me to get involved. We became close when I was youth president for him when he was leader. He always encouraged me to run for politics when I was young and not to wait.

I could live on wild blueberries alone. Every week [in the summer] I go to Hewitt's produce stand near my office and buy a big basket of blueberries. I don't want to know how much money I spend on wild blueberries.


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