Michael Martin and his family break old habits to focus on finances, fitness and family

As a Digital Marketing Coordinator at SD Pros, I spend a great deal of time on social media, writing content and interacting with people in our clients’ channels. Social media interaction is a huge part of my day-to-day life. Thankfully, the majority of the work that I do can easily be done from anywhere, just as long as I have a computer with internet access (and plenty of coffee)! When it became necessary for us to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the difficult part was losing the offline human interaction that normally provides a balance to my digital life.

After work, I would normally visit the gym for an hour for some “me time” before heading home to my husband and two dogs. I’ve ended up making some good friends at the local gym, and weightlifting is a healthy hobby that I’ve found really puts me in a great mood and helps me de-stress! After the gym, I’d head home and freshen up before heading back out again to meet up with friends for dinner. When the stay-at-home order took effect, though, gyms were closed, restaurants were closed, and I had to find the silver lining of this “new normal.”

Creating Healthier Habits During Quarantine

Instead of focusing on the negative, I decided to use quarantine as an opportunity to work on changes that, as a family, we’ve talked about doing but never have started.

Our two dogs, a Yorkie and a Shi-tsu, are 10 and 13 years old, respectively. They are well-loved, pampered, but very lazy! All they do is eat and sleep all day. We’ve always talked about how much we really should give them more exercise, but life has always gotten in the way. Now, we’ve taken this quarantine time as an opportunity to take our dogs on nightly walks around the neighborhood, and it’s been a great way to spend time together as a family while keeping our dogs happy and healthy.

SD Pros Michael Martin- Home Gym During Quarantine

For my own health, I was afraid that when the gym closed I would lose all of my progress in my weightlifting routine. Luckily, I was able to make room in my garage for a weight bench and barbell set! This has been my saving grace during this pandemic. I still get my “me time” while continuing to work towards my weightlifting goals.

Dining out with friends had become an expensive habit that we had always “tried” to break, but the social aspect has always made it a struggle for us to turn down any opportunity to go out. During the quarantine period, we’ve managed to finally start a new habit of cooking at home, saving money while making healthier choices. While I love to cook up complicated recipes from time to time, I don’t always enjoy spending a lot of time cooking when there are other things I could be doing. One way I’ve found to save time is by cooking up a large batch of grilled chicken and steamed rice to use throughout the week, but utilize a variety of toppings to make it a little bit different with each meal.

Life After Quarantine

Even though a lot of our normal conveniences are starting to reopen in the area, I’m hoping to continue these healthier habits that we’ve started as a family. Cooking at home has saved us so much money! Walking the dogs every evening has made them happier, while giving us all a little bit of extra exercise. And, who knows? Maybe I’ll keep my home gym setup even after the pandemic, it might come in handy.

Three Variations on Chicken and Rice

Start with your meal-prepped grilled chicken and rice, then add a variety of toppings and veggies to make each meal unique!

SD Pros Michael Martin- Chicken and Rice Meal Prep Ideas

Asian Style

Topping ideas:
Teriyaki Sauce
Shredded Coleslaw Veggies

SD Pros Michael Martin- Chicken and Rice Meal Prep Ideas

Mexican Style

Topping ideas:
Queso
Salsa
Lime
Tortilla Chips

SD Pros Michael Martin- Chicken and Rice Meal Prep Ideas

Buffalo Style

Topping ideas:
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
Mozzarella or Blue Cheese
Broccoli

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