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Keeping Our Families Healthy

It is no easy task to keep our families healthy, particularly if a family member has special needs like dietary restrictions or a health impairment. With the added stress and work involved with special needs families, it’s paradoxical that parents have less energy and time to manage the most important family concern—promoting and maintaining good health. This article is dedicated to special needs families with the goal of providing helpful health tips for parents. The information is meant to be a resource for all parents to make small changes in their daily lives that will create a positive, healthy impact. The way you feel tomorrow depends on what you do today. Parents will be the focus of this article—how to proactively obtain better health as a mom or dad, and set a high standard of health for yourself and loved ones. Small steps taken on a daily basis can go a long way!

  1. Parent Stress Survival Tip – If your days are laced with stress, try using lavender oil. A dab above your lip or a couple of drops while in the shower can relax you after a stressful day. In addition, do something for yourself or make more alone time, even if it is only ten minutes. My favorite get away is a yoga class to remind me of the importance of relaxing breathing techniques. Finding some balance to the stress is key to surviving stress overload.
  2. Weight Loss Tip – It seems people eat everywhere but the table—on the train, driving in the car, in front of the computer, while on the phone, in bed, on the couch and even while walking. Eating on the go has a direct negative effect on digestion as well as commonly causing people to over eat. Slow down, eat at the table and breathe. I can guarantee eating a sleeve of cookies or an entire bag of potato chips won’t be as inviting when sitting at the table to eat them. Try it, even if it is just for breakfast or lunch everyday for a week—or better yet, try it for all three meals for three days in a row.
  3. Exercise – I recently had a patient tell me, “I have to start the New Year off right. I am starting an exercise program five days a week.” How about starting with three days and gently increasing the days? Even just twelve minutes a day of activity makes a huge difference. Studies have shown interval training and burst training is key to burning fat. Check out Dr. Al Sear’s Real Heart Strength on the web—it can be downloaded.
  4. Heart Health – February is heart health month, a great time to get regularcheck up and check cholesterol levels. To help keep levels in a healthy range, try a good antioxidant such as Q10 which will fight free radical damage associated with aging and cardio vascular disease. As a coenzyme, this nutrient aids in mitochondria (the powerhouses of cells) in the complex process of transforming food into ATP (the energy on which the body runs.) Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient which has been found to help a surprising array of heart related health problems. For more information, log onto under the heart disease sidebar and check out heart health diets and supplements. Look for this article on the Manhasset SEPTA website,, with a new article every few weeks that focuses on keeping our families healthy. Upcoming article topics will include: Negative impacts on children’s health; Easy changes to make for improving the health of the whole family; and New ideas for cooking for optimal health.

About the Author

Ms. Maria Dello is a nutritionist serving the Manhasset area for more than a decade. Located at 75 Plandome Road, Ms. Dello is dedicated to teaching, guiding, and educating every individual who walks in her door or visits her website about the benefits of a salubrious lifestyle and diet. Ms. Dello’s proven combination of the most curative, nutritional advice and the latest state-of-the-art technologies is coupled with one-on-one support and daily guidance in her Manhasset office that yields amazing results for her clients. Affiliated with many leading doctors throughout the North Shore, Ms. Dello serves on the Junior League advisory board, is involved in the Kids 'n Kitchen program, and supports the Little Hearts organization for children who have undergone open heart surgery. In addition, she has given health lectures for organizations all across the North Shore including the Manhasset Breast Cancer Coalition, as well as being published in several health magazines and local newspapers. Ms. Dello’s winning methods convey simple changes in a complex, fast-paced world that any person can easily adapt to in his/her busy life.

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