The lockdown has also been tough on Snezana, who has been separated from her family in Western Australia.
“Snez is an absolute machine, but she’s really a bit homesick missing Perth and her family,” Sam says.
“It’s a bit of a fortress over there, I don’t blame them … Snez’s brother and sister in law just had a little baby two months ago, so she’s desperate to get over there and meet her.
“It seems like it’ll be a little way off yet,” he ponders.
However, Sam is keeping perspective by managing what he can control, and as the owner of a fitness business, this means a lot of exercise and paying particular attention to food.
“Obviously 28 being a home workout, it’s never been handier from our own personal point of view, and obviously has the capability to help lots of other people,” he says of his business, the fitness program 28 by Sam Wood.
“I know things are really tough from a mental and physical perspective at the moment, but I think it’s undeniable that it [exercise] will help.”
“I’m a huge fan of moving in the morning – I think if you can get your body moving … even for 10 or 15 minutes, you get your endorphins pumping, you boost your mood, you boost your energy, you tend to be more positive, more productive, there really is only upsides,” he explained.
“It’s great to see so many people out walking, bike-riding with families and stuff, but home workouts that help your strength, and your core, and your muscle tone can really compliment those, that’s for sure,” he added.
Sam’s focus has also been on food, and specifically his interest in plant-based meals, which he is bringing in to the family’s weekly cooking rotation.
With five mouths to be fed every day in the Wood-Markoski household, Sam says planning ahead is key if people want to make the switch and eat more plant-based meals.
“We’ve always had meat-free Monday on the 28 program.
“It’s really interesting because the 28ers don’t even notice … you put a delicious vegetarian meal in there that’s got a simple swap where there’d normally be meat … and it’s amazing how it either goes completely unnoticed or is gets really well-received,” he noted.
“From a personal perspective, we’ve also got little Evie, who’s 16, and she’s a bit of an on-again, off-again vegetarian. She’s sort of finding herself, and trying different things, so that’s opened our eyes to some more creative recipes and some wonderful [plant-based] alternatives,” Sam reflected.
“It’s been awesome to work with Birds Eye … launching their new Plant Based Range,” he added.
“I was a little bit sceptical at first, I’ve changed a lot over the last couple of years probably with my attitude towards this kind of stuff as I’ve become more educated and tried more products … it’s a really simple swap, we just try and integrate it once a week through the family dinners.
“You still get your protein, still tastes the same ... It ticks all the boxes … we typically don’t eat enough protein, eat too many carbs, and don’t eat enough vegetables, and I think anything that can solve all of those things in one hit can only be a good thing.”
He encourages those who are curious to look into making the switch, explaining that it isn’t as challenging as some might think.
“I think a lot of people are a bit turned off by these plant-based alternatives because they think it’s a really difficult thing to do,” Sam says.
“They don’t realise you can just pick these meals up in your frozen food aisles at Coles. So, I think once people have that realisation and it becomes part of the weekly shopping habit and the weekly food-prep habit, it’s quite simple.”
However, Sam and his family are just as susceptible to the ups and downs of trying to plan ahead when it comes to feeding kids.
“We’re normally a three-day-ahead kind of family … kids are a bit unpredictable,” he admitted.
“We’ll typically plan out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday … then on Friday we might get fish and chips or something. We try to keep it pretty real,” he says with a laugh.