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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Leisure Time

While walking to school through the massive snowstorm yesterday, Big A described the weather as "a big pile of dog poo." Although we discussed how lucky we are that we just got snow and are not dealing with the aftermath of a major earthquake, tsunami or flood, like other not as fortunate people around the world, I still have to agree. This weather is a big pile of dog poo.

I am also puzzled with the city's new way of dealing with snow on our street: don't plow it away, simply compress it down so that the road becomes one big, treacherous piece of ice. Mmm, way to go City of Toronto, brilliant idea!

There is no better way to take your mind off of natural disasters and crappy weather than a little R&R. What do you do with your spare time? I am sure almost all of you probably said, "What spare time?"

Yes, life is hectic and complicated, but taking time out for leisure activities is very important for both mind and body health. No matter what, I take time out of each day to do 3 things:

(1) Exercise at the crack of dawn before the girls are up,
(2) Spend an hour with Adam cuddling on the couch watching one of our favorite t.v. shows after the girls have gone to bed, and
(3) Reading in bed before I shut out the light.

I share my favorite exercise tips often, but I thought I would share a few more of my favorite books, shows, etc. that you may enjoy in your "spare" time.

Books
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million (Daniel Mendelsohn)
This is a true story about how this American Journalist uncovered the details of how his relatives perished during the Holocaust. I admit, this is not light reading - some details about how Jews were tortured by the Nazis, and I had already read lots about the Holocaust, werer so disturbing I was upset for days - but well worth it.

The Elegence of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery)
This was an enjoyable, quick read...very hard to describe. It starts off a bit slow but gets much more interesting after that.

The Kellerman mysteries (Faye and Jonathan Kellerman)
I have been reading the mysteries written by this husband and wife team for years. They each have their own series and they have written a few together. Apparently two of their children are also published authors now. I have tried reading many other mysteries, aside from the Stieg Larsson series, and never like them as much. These are great when you need something to read that will help you relax and take your mind off of everything else.

Steig Larsson series - I have now read the whole trilogy and found them very entertaining and enjoyable. Like the Kellermans, good books for when you don't want to think too much.

Television
Adam and I watch a lot of shows, but tape everything and only watch an hour a day (besides what we watch while doing our morning cardio workouts), so we tend to be several weeks behind on all of them. Our favorites are Flashpoint, CSI (LV), Criminal Minds, House, Law & Order SVU, The Mentalist and The Good Wife.

This season we have added a few new ones and eliminated a few:

The Defenders - Legal show with Jim Belushi, who is surprisingly good, and Jerry O'Connell.

Blue Bloods - Cop/Legal drama with Tom Selleck. This is a good show, but I get irritated by how unrealistic it is. There must be, what, thousands of ADAs, cops and detectives in NYC, and, yet, the ADA, beat cop and detective in this one family all end up working the same cases?

Criminal Minds Suspect Behaviour - Gotta love Forrest Whitaker and janeane garofalo, but I'm not sold on this one yet.

Law & Order LA - This one is okay but they need to develop the characters a bit more.

Nutrition/Consumer Education - A few good blogs
http://www.weightymatters.ca/

http://www.fooducate.com/blog/

http://www.raisehealthyeaters.com/

http://smallbites.andybellatti.com/

Of course, if you are really short on time, I always vote for making exercise a priority. It is so good for both body and mind. And you can always combine exercise with another leisure activity like tv, reading, or listening to music.

I also find baking and cooking incredibly therapeutic and the nice thing is, you gotta eat, so it's a very productive past-time!

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