More than two years after having surgery to remove a golf ball-sized tumor from her brain, TV host and Medford native Maria Menounos is busier than ever.
She’s been working on a podcast called “Better Together” that brings health experts and celebrities together to discuss life improvement tips. She’s been expanding her online broadcast network AfterBuzz TV, opening a news division and branching out into international markets. She’s been in partnership with digital health company Rally Health, which will bring her to City Hall Plaza this Saturday for the Boston Social Fitness Festival. In between, she recently found time to visit her parents in Connecticut, where the family celebrated her mother Litsa’s 65th birthday more than three years after Litsa was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.
In a chat with the Globe this week, Menounos discussed everything from her favorite quick fitness tips to her plans to start a family with husband Keven Undergaro.
Q: I saw that you recently celebrated your mother’s 65th birthday, which must have been a huge milestone after the health issues both of you faced. How are both of you doing?
A: We’re doing well. My mom is a miracle. Celebrating her 65th birthday three years after her brain cancer diagnosis is such a gift. We’re just so grateful. She gets better and better every day. She’s doing physical therapy now. We just started her at Tom Brady’s facility, TB12, for a chemo brain program, so we can activate her brain in different spots. I’ve always called myself her Tom Brady because I’ve been completely quarterbacking her care. It’s a lot to be in charge of, but luckily she’s requiring less and less. It was super-intense in the beginning, like 100 pills a day, and now it’s just a few. So she’s doing incredible.
Q: On top of everything else happening in your life, you also got married — twice, as a matter of fact. You’ve been with Keven for a long, long time now, but is there anything that seems different now that you’ve officially tied the knot?
A: You wouldn’t think there would be a difference, but there was, especially in the beginning. It was really special and exciting. We were being showered with so much love. Now that we’ve moved more into thoughts about children, we’re definitely even tighter, if that’s even possible.
Q: That’s exciting. When might that happen?
A: I think I’m really going to be regaining traction once I get back from this trip. We’re going to put some things into action. I have to get a surrogate because I can’t carry with my brain tumor. But there are so many amazing surrogates out there that we’ll be looking for the perfect one for us. We’re excited that’s an option.
Q: You’ll be back in town this weekend doing an outdoor fitness event as part of a partnership with Rally Health. What led you to work with them?
A: I’m so proud of my partnership with Rally Health, because our goals and values are so aligned with wanting people to live a healthier life. With Rally on the Road, we’ve been all over the country this summer. We’ve done workouts in the park where people are doing their first workouts, believe it or not. That’s so exciting for me. Now we’ll be in Boston spreading the message of health as we always do. But of course, in Boston it’s extra special for me because it’s my home.
Q: Are there any little tricks that you use to stay healthy?
A: We’re always trying to promote healthier habits, especially those that don’t require a lot of work. I have a little band that I put around my legs and I do side lunges and bridges on the ground in my hotel room, and you can easily do squats wherever you are. In my book, “The Everygirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness,” I had all these workouts that I showed pictures of for hotel room workouts, and workouts in bed. If you want to do the lazy girl workout, you can just do it in bed.
Q: Setting aside the health talk for a minute, when you’re back home, are there any restaurants that you just have to visit?
A: We always like to go to Al’s on State Street for a good steak and cheese sub. We love Pizzeria Regina in Medford. We definitely have our spots that we love to hit. Last time we even went to Tiki Island [in Medford] for some good Chinese. Boston Chinese food is different than anywhere else, and I love it.
KEVIN SLANE, Boston.com
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. Kevin Slane can be reached at email@example.com