July 21, 2021
As the co-host of Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show, Danielle Monaro is known for her infectious laugh and upbeat radio personality. But at home, she’s better known as a supportive sports mom of two teen boys and home chef who works hard to keep her active family healthy, happy and fed. The Maywood, New Jersey resident is also a cancer survivor—having beaten thyroid cancer several years ago—who prioritizes her own health, so she can continue to be there for her husband and sons.
We spoke with Danielle, who is also a health ambassador for Hackensack Meridian Health, about how she maintains her physical and emotional health amid a very busy life.
What’s a typical day like for you?
If I’m going into the studio, I’m up around 3 or 4 a.m. Before we go on air, I’ll do some show prep and chat with our team about what we did the night before, which hasn’t been very interesting during the times of COVID! “What show did you binge watch last night?”
After the show is done, I might have an appointment or need to record a commercial spot. I’m typically done with my work day by the time my kids get home from school. After that, I divvy up the work with my husband to get the kids to their sports practices or events. At some point during the day, I squeeze in some exercise, too. Depending on the kids’ schedules, we might have to split up dinner, so some of us eat early and some of us eat later.
After dinner, I always try to fit in a TV show with my husband to wind down. I’m typically in bed by 10 or 11 p.m. Some days I have to fit in a nap!
What are your go-to meals and snacks to stay healthy?
Tacos are our favorite dinner, and we have them at least once a week. I also always have pasta on hand, so I make that a few different ways to please different family members. I try to top it with broccoli or grilled chicken. I try to get in fruits and veggies for my kids whenever I can. For snacks on the go, we love granola bars and fresh fruit, like apples.
I recently started time-restricted eating and only eat between noon and 8 p.m. I don’t know if it’s helped me with any weight loss, but it definitely helps with my sleep patterns.
What do you do to stay active?
I feel better when I exercise, both physically and emotionally. So I make sure to walk three miles five days a week, even in the cold and snow. I’ll fit that in whenever I can, whether it’s over lunch or in the evening. I also rely on my bike and treadmill at home.
What do you like to do in the summer to enjoy the nice weather and stay healthy?
We have a backyard pool, so that’s been really nice, especially last summer during the pandemic. My best friend has a home in Lavallette, New Jersey, so we like to rent a house there in the summers. We also go to Wildwood, New Jersey every summer and enjoy the beach, boardwalk and rides. My kids are also involved in summer sports, so we’re always enjoying the outdoors at games and practices.
How has cancer impacted your health?
I had thyroid cancer years ago, so I need to make sure everything is still OK. I also have a higher risk of breast cancer, so I get checked out twice a year by a breast specialist at the Betty Torricelli Breast Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. I make sure to set my yearly mammogram appointment, too!
I know there’s been a decline in people getting important screenings because of the pandemic. I personally received care during the pandemic and felt very safe. The team made sure to clean and sanitize and ensured patients were kept at a safe distance. I encourage everyone to not put off regular appointments or screenings. They are so vital to your overall health!
What advice would you give women on prioritizing their health?
It’s so important for women to stay on top of their health. You can’t take care of those around you if you don’t first take care of yourself. Not only do you want to be around for your kids or spouse in the long haul, but you can also set an example for them to take care of their own health.
If you’re afraid to see a specialist or get screening, don’t be. The screening won’t give you the cancer—the screening can help find the concern when you can do something about it.
Rapid Fire with Danielle Monaro
Coffee: black or with cream?
Black, so it doesn’t become something I want all the time
Ice cream: chocolate or vanilla?
Salty or sweet?
A mix of both, which drives my husband crazy—I’m known to top my fried eggs with syrup
Walking or biking?
“Marcella,” “Stranger Things,” “Ozark” and any crime drama
Next Steps & Resources:
- Take control of your health. Locate a doctor near you.
- Find tips for staying active.
- Find ideas for healthy eating.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.