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Help! Why Am I Still Hungry?

Nutrition Simplified, Hormone Healthy Foods and Weight Management on The Healthiest You: Episode 30

Help! Why Am I Still Hungry?

Are you the queen of snacks? Have you tried several diets that left you feeling hungry and defeated? Maybe you struggle with turning those “hunger hormones” off or often find yourself in “hangry” situations. Getting back to the basics of eating healthy whole foods is the place to start.

Listen to the latest episode of The Healthiest You podcast, where we talk about simplifying nutrition and weight management for women with Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas, registered dietitian with LVPG Bariatric Medicine–1243 Cedar Crest and Angela Magdaleno, DO, with LVPG Bariatric Medicine–1243 Cedar Crest and LVPG Endocrinology–Laurel Blvd.

Why am I hungry shortly after eating a meal? How do nutritional needs change throughout a woman’s life? Is the 30-30-30 weight-loss rule effective? Should you avoid seed oils? What can you do to curb your cravings? We answer these questions and more on The Healthiest You podcast this month.

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About the podcast

The Healthiest You podcast is hosted by Amanda Newman with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). In each episode, she interviews clinicians and experts across LVHN to learn practical health tips for everyday life – to empower you to be the healthiest you. While you’re balancing all the responsibilities – work, mom life (kids, dogs, cats and chickens included), family, friends and the never-ending to-do list – you deserve to take a moment of time to focus on your health.


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Podcast Transcript

Amanda Newman (00:00:00):

What unique nutritional needs do women have? Why am I hungry shortly after eating a meal? How can I curb junk-food cravings? All that and more on this episode of The Healthiest You.


As women, we’re always balancing a lot on our plates, but how about what’s actually on our meal plate? Finding the right foods to fuel our body without depriving ourselves of the occasional treat doesn’t have to be as complicated as diet culture tells us it is. We are focusing on women’s health and wellness on The Healthiest You podcast. Whether you’re on your way to work or enjoying a cup of coffee, take this time to focus on your health. Here to talk about simplifying nutrition and weight management for women is Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas, registered dietitian with LVPG Bariatric Medicine, and Dr. Angela Magdaleno with LVPG Bariatric Medicine and LVPG Endocrinology. Cheryl and Dr. Magdaleno, welcome to the show.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:01:01):

Thank you so much for having us.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:01:02):

Thank you.

Amanda Newman (00:01:03):

What we eat can really make a difference in how we feel each day. So let’s start off by talking about what women need to nourish their bodies and really feel their best. So do women have specific nutritional needs, and if so, what are they?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:01:19):

Everyone has specific nutritional needs. Women aren’t any different. Depending on their life cycle and where they’re at, they could need more of certain nutrients, especially during adolescence and then during pregnancy, lactation. Our needs will change based on our life cycle.

Amanda Newman (00:01:38):

Folate is really important if you’re preparing for …

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:01:41):

If you’re preparing for having a child, yes. If you’re preparing for a baby, yes, you want to get a prenatal vitamin that’ll have enough folic acid to prevent deficiencies.

Amanda Newman (00:01:50):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:01:50):

And vitamin D, that’s not unique to women, most people are deficient in vitamin D.

Amanda Newman (00:01:55):

Yes, I am that. I’ve had this conversation with my doctor. Vitamin D and vitamin B-12 are my things that I try to take every day. It doesn’t always happen.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:02:04):

And vitamin D is a vitamin that gets stored in fat. So you do want to be careful, you can overdo vitamin D. But like we said, I mean it’s individualized, but most people are deficient. But check with your doctor. You can get your level checked. B-12, for most people, if you’re eating meat, usually you’re getting enough, but you can take a multivitamin, it’s kind of a catch-all. And then iron, if you’re eating meat, usually you’re getting enough, but depending on how heavy your cycles are, you could be low. But like Cheryl was saying, depending on the phase of life you’re in, if you’re trying to get pregnant, if you are pregnant, having a baby, growing a baby does take from your nutrient supply. So it’s just an even more important time to focus on whole real foods, getting the right nutrients, nothing super special, kind of a lot of what we say on the day to day, but really prioritizing it even more in that phase of life.

Amanda Newman (00:02:52):

Well, that’s really great, a lot of helpful information. Thank you. So now I know I can’t eat pizza or breadsticks, like I used to when I was in college. My metabolism, it’s clearly a lot different. Times have changed. And I really notice when I’m starting to indulge a bit too much, I see a difference on the scale. So can we talk about how nutritional needs change over the course of a woman’s life and her metabolism as well?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:03:19):

That’s a good question. I think you have a great answer for this one.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:03:22):

Oh, OK. So yes, I mean, I think in our department, our bariatric medicine department, this is the biggest sort of complaint or concern that we get from our patients, is things have changed. What used to work, what I used to eat, I’m seeing has a different impact on my body. So we do know as we age, especially as females, it’s not that our metabolism is changing rapidly, it’s just that due to our life cycle changes, due to our muscle mass that we tend to lose after a certain age and we can get weaker and weaker, our body tends to be better at storing body fat. So we do start to see some of the foods that we choose to eat, pizza, breadsticks, snack foods, crackers, chips, pretzels, the things that we …

Amanda Newman (00:04:06):

Potato chips.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:04:07):

The things that we like to indulge on – salty, crunchy foods – they tend to be very calorically dense, and we tend to store them more especially with lower muscle mass and maybe not moving as much also. As we get older, I think we forget about that. A lot of times we focus only on the diet and go, “Well, wait a second. When I was in college, was I walking five miles a day to classes? Was I also exercising at the gym? Because I just had more time, and now that I’m working eight hours a day and I have a family.”

Amanda Newman (00:04:35)

It’s so much harder.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:04:37):

“I’m not moving as much.” And that really, I think has more of an impact on lower muscle mass and metabolic rate over time.

Amanda Newman (00:04:45):

Yeah. See, when I was in college, I used to dance all the time, I have a minor in dance, so that was something. I was at the dance studio all the time, and I could eat those little pizzas that you just threw in the oven, those cheesy breadsticks, all of that yummy stuff. And now, as an adult, it’s so hard finding that balance between work and family, keeping the house clean. Yeah, it’s just not the same. If only it got a little easier as we got older, but it just gets a little more complicated when it comes to food.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:05:16):

So another thing, what the studies show is that after age 30, every five years, women lose a significant amount of muscle and it just continues to decline, and that starts at age 30. So you can counterbalance that by strength training and of course adding in movement. But like you just said, with time constraints, it’s challenging.

Amanda Newman (00:05:32):

It is.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:05:32):

But we are losing that muscle mass. We are having the desk jobs, we’re less active. So all of that kind of compounds where it gets harder to eat as much of those fun foods.

Amanda Newman (00:05:41):

It does. I really noticed it now. What other nutrient deficiencies are women prone to having?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:05:50):

Yeah, I think that’s a great question. I would definitely recommend everyone see their own doctor and gets their own kind of assessment of symptoms and maybe blood work to see if anything’s needed. As we mentioned, the general population is vitamin D deficient. Another common one could be iron for women, especially if they have heavy menses. And then if you’re vegetarian, it could be iron or B-12, could be common if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

Amanda Newman (00:06:13):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:06:14):

My general recommendation to my patients would be a multivitamin plus folate, folic acid, if you’re in the prenatal range, and maybe biotin, but a multivitamin is a good catch-all. If you had a little extra pizza and didn’t maybe get your whole real food or you skipped your veggies one day, the multivitamin should be able to give you that catch-all without really overdoing anything.

Amanda Newman (00:06:40):

Now I’m curious because this is something I struggle with all the time. I always have ice-cold hands and feet. Is that possibly a sign of an iron deficiency?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:06:52):

It could be. It could also just be your circulation. It could be genetic, it could be environmental. Maybe you’re in a cold room. There are other …

Amanda Newman (00:06:59):

I’m always cold.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:07:00):

Yeah, and certainly there’s other conditions. So I would definitely recommend talking to your family doctor about it because there are other conditions that could be related to that, but some people just run cold. I tend to have cold hands too, but that’s, I think, where the saying comes, “Cold hands, warm heart.”

Amanda Newman (00:07:12):

I love that. That’s so cute. Because every time I go to hold my husband’s hand, he’s like, “Oh, my goodness, your hands are so cold.” They are.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:07:19):

I tell my husband he’s there to warm them up for me. That’s his job then.

Amanda Newman (00:07:24):

I love that. What do you think, Cheryl, about supplements and vitamins?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:07:27):

So I definitely agree with Dr. Magdaleno. I think most of my patients, I do recommend a one-a-day, especially for a female. For somebody over 50, they might not need the extra iron if they have stopped their menses with menopause, so then I would say of women over 50. But I also think it’s important to look at what you are eating, and if you are not getting certain nutrients from your food, those are the ones that are most likely we would want to supplement. So some patients of mine who don’t get a lot of omega fatty acids and fish or nuts or seeds because they have food dislikes, then I might recommend an additional supplement to kind of cross that bridge or meet that need.

Amanda Newman (00:08:05):

Sure. Well, I love salmon. I love scallops, so that’s good. And I love taking my vitamins. I try to. And I’m a huge foodie, which brings me to my next question. So eating a good meal with my husband, trying a new restaurant, it’s totally my thing. I love that. It brings me a lot of joy. So can you walk me through what a day of healthy eating looks like for a woman where we can still go out to eat, still enjoy a meal, but also still be mindful that I got to get my nutrients in or I’m not going to feel my best?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:08:36):

Yeah. I mean, I think we like a balanced approach. And I, of course, like to dine out and …

Amanda Newman (00:08:41):

Yes. Who doesn’t? No dishes.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:08:44):

We’re fun too. We like fun.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:08:46)

Try the newest thing. But I think when it comes to the quality of your diet, I think you want to make sure that you’re hitting certain things. I think, first of all, eating a little bit more structured meals. I think definitely getting three meals in a day, snack as needed, but the quality of the meal is important. So not grabbing something on the way to work and not thinking about it, the convenience type food. But we know that, and the research does support that, starting your day off with at least 30 grams of protein can really help balance your hunger and appetite and satiety longer throughout the day as well.

Amanda Newman (00:09:20):

Oh, I love that you just said that because we’re going to talk about the 30-30-30 weight loss trend, which is that whole concept of having the 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking. So I’m excited.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:09:32):

But I think going off what Cheryl said is balance. So you can live your life and go out. You can do it all. And if you’re going out, choose something with protein. Have some vegetables to start your meal rather than an appetizer. Maybe choose an appetizer or dessert, maybe share the dessert and portion control. When we go out, there’s usually added oils, there’s usually added grease, there’s usually bigger portions. It doesn’t mean you can’t have it, but maybe pick one thing or portion control it, take them home, and really set the rest of your day up for success. So having protein and vegetables at every meal is really what I try to do. Protein, vegetables and fiber. That fiber really makes you feel full and satisfied too. And it feeds your gut microbiome, which is also a huge topic and really important too. So I’m also known as, I give my kids vegetables, like green beans, with breakfast.

My kids think it makes sense, cucumbers with breakfast.

Amanda Newman (00:10:23):

That’s a really good idea.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:10:24):

You say that to people and they think you’re crazy. My kids think it’s normal. They also get treats, don’t come at me, but it’s good. They eat their green beans with their eggs.  ... It’s a balanced meal, and that’s how it should be. In America, we tend to go for the sugary cereals, the sugary yogurt, the waffles, the donuts. If it’s not sugar and carbs, we’re not happy, but that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

Amanda Newman (00:10:45):

It’s ridiculous how much sugar is in things. It’s bad. It’s no wonder we’re sugar happy, really.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:10:51):

Or “hangry.” That’s wherever the hunger comes from.

Amanda Newman (00:10:54):

Oh, my goodness.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:10:55):

It’s the sugar crash.

Amanda Newman (00:10:57):

My husband knows when that’s happening.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:10:58):

And that’s the opposite of what protein and fiber do. Protein and fiber really help to balance hunger, maintain satiety longer, so you don’t have that dramatic sensation of feeling full like sugar and high-carb starch meals do, and then boom, dropping and needing more what? Sugar or caffeine or something else. So I think kind of having that game plan even before you dine out and say, “OK, I’m not eating all day because I’m dining out at this great place.” That’s not always going to be the most fulfilling thing, is to plan ahead and get the protein fiber meals in beforehand, so then you can enjoy a nice relaxed meal.

Amanda Newman (00:11:34):

I love that. And that’s something that we tend to do, especially when we go to the diner because we’re big diner people, and we’ll usually get the pulled pork meal with the side of the fried eggplants, and we’ll go home and we have a meal for the next day. It’s great. And then we don’t have to cook, although I don’t really do a whole lot of cooking; my husband cooks most of the time.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:11:52):

That’s nice though.

Amanda Newman (00:11:54):

Yeah. And I love that you’re incorporating green beans in with your children’s breakfast in the morning. Because I thought I was just the weird one, but I love actual meatloaf or things that you would eat for dinner at breakfast time because I find if I don’t eat something that really is going to sustain me throughout my morning, I’m so hungry by 10 o’clock and then I have to eat again.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:12:19):

And you don’t want to spend all day thinking about food.

Amanda Newman (00:12:21):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:12:21):

You don’t want to be obsessing about food. You really want to eat a satisfying meal with protein, fiber, vegetables that fills you up so you can go about your day, so that you can use your brain, so that you can have the energy. It’s when we start our day with the sugar roller coaster where we get a glucose spike and then a glucose crash that leaves us hungry, leaves us craving, leaves us thinking about the next meal or caffeine or dragging, and that’s where we start feeling not our best. So really setting yourself up for success with protein and vegetables is the way to go.

Amanda Newman (00:12:49):

The way to do it. I love it. So what are macronutrients and their purpose?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:12:52):

So there are three different macronutrients that provide energy to our body, which is a form of calories, which we know that word. There are carbohydrates, protein and fat. So carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our cells. So we eat things that are high in carbohydrates, they get broken down into sugar and into the cell for energy.

Amanda Newman (00:13:11):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:13:11):

We have then protein, which is one of the most important nutrients. It is the building block of all of our cells, our muscle mass. So we want to make sure we get that every day. And then there’s our fats, and our healthy fats are important to have every single day. It’s another strong macronutrient. It really helps with muscle movement. It helps to cushion our organs, which no one talks about, but we need that little benefit in our body.

Amanda Newman (00:13:34):

That’s important. Yeah.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:13:36):

And they’re all responsible for our mechanisms in our body to make our body run and function well.

Amanda Newman (00:13:40):

Let’s talk about protein first. So we know that there’s animal-based protein, there’s plant-based protein, a lot of different options, even powders. So can you talk a bit about what quality proteins you would recommend?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:13:53):

So I recommend all proteins. So animal-based proteins, plant-based proteins and protein powders, we can go through all three. Animal-based proteins are the most complete protein, meaning they have all of the amino acids that our body needs, and so we recommend them. They’re from eggs and chicken and fish, beef, pork, dairy products as well. So when we look at animal products, the thing we might recommend is choosing ones that are a little bit leaner.

Amanda Newman (00:14:19):

OK. Like?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:14:20):

Like you would do with the chicken breast versus the chicken thigh, or just removing the fat from the actual piece of meat before you prepare it because there is that nice healthy marbling of the fat and the meat that we would need, but we don’t necessarily need the excess outside of the protein. Now, plant-based proteins are excellent. They don’t have as much protein as animal source, so they have a little bit less. So you have to really pay attention and make sure you’re getting enough of it if you’re choosing beans and legumes. Quinoa has a good amount of protein, soy-based proteins, so you want to make sure that you’re hitting enough for the day. So the more concentrated proteins would be from animal products.

Amanda Newman (00:14:59):

Now how about venison?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:15:01):

Venison’s fantastic. It’s a really lean protein and it’s very, very high quality. It’s gamey a little bit, but it’s grass-fed natural protein. Sometimes you can get very easily in the wild. Right?

Amanda Newman (00:15:15):

Yes, I know.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:15:18):

So yeah, we recommend that some of those sort of gamier meats, you just have to know how to prepare them. I think a lot of people don’t know how to necessarily tenderize them in a way that makes them a little bit more easily to consume.

Amanda Newman (00:15:28):

Yes, my mom is really good at making venison.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:15:31):


Amanda Newman (00:15:31):

Now, how much protein should women be getting each day?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:15:35):

So the amount of protein that a person needs is actually based on ideal body weight.

Amanda Newman (00:15:38):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:15:39):

I would recommend, I think we agree that a minimum of 65 grams per day would be the goal, which the studies really show that getting about at least 20 grams of protein per meal is when we turn off hunger hormones.

Amanda Newman (00:15:52):

I have those.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:15:53):

Me too.

Amanda Newman (00:15:54):

So bad.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:15:57):

So to feel full and satisfied, if you’re aiming for 20, at least 20 grams of protein per meal, three meals a day, maybe one snack, you’re getting about 65 grams.

Amanda Newman (00:16:07):

One snack?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:16:07):

Are you snacking a lot?

Amanda Newman (00:16:08):

Yes, I am.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:16:09):

But are you getting your 20 grams per meal?

Amanda Newman (00:16:12):

I try. It doesn’t always happen. Sometimes if I’m in a rush. It’s probably why that hunger hormone doesn’t stop talking.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:16:19):

Exactly. So if you upped your protein and your fiber at each meal and you would feel more satisfied, you should be able to go four hours between each meal. When we get too much snacking, that’s when we end up on the blood-sugar roller coaster. That’s when we’re spiking our insulin a little more often. That’s when our body’s constantly digesting food. It’s not getting time to rest and recover and work on other functions. So really, I recommend trying to stick to three meals a day.

Amanda Newman (00:16:42):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:16:43):

If you’re truly hungry, have a snack, and maybe the next day try to eat a little more at those meals of protein and fiber to reduce the need for snacking.

Amanda Newman (00:16:50):

I have some work to do. Everyone, my family knows, my colleagues know Amanda loves her snacks. She has a snack drawer, she’s got snack jars, so I got to work on that.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:17:01):

What kind of snacks are you eating?

Amanda Newman (00:17:03):

I like to have an apple with peanut butter.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:17:05):


Amanda Newman (00:17:06):

I’m really into cashews right now. Also, because I’m doing a fast right now, I’m big into eating dates with peanut butter, things like that, but I do like a bag of chips here and there.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:17:18):

Yeah, no, and those snacks are complex snacks. There’s some fiber, some protein. The nuts, they’re a little higher in fat, a little less than the protein, but they are complex. And you’re pairing your carbs with healthy fats, so that’s good.

Amanda Newman (00:17:30):

All right. Thank you. You’re making me feel better. Progress. Now, what about protein powders? Like I said, I’ve bought so many different types of protein powder, plant protein, whey protein. I tried whey protein for a little bit, and I felt like it was a little too harsh on my stomach, so I went back to plants, plant protein, specifically like pea protein. Is protein powder an essential part of your diet? Is it something helpful?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:17:57):

Absolutely not essential.

Amanda Newman (00:17:59):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:18:00):

So if you’re getting enough protein, eating meat and eggs and yogurt and cottage cheese and legumes and nuts, and you’re getting your protein, that’s the best. I mean, whole real unprocessed foods, getting the protein in. That’s awesome. Protein powders are a convenience product. They’re highly processed, but they are a healthier kind of convenient way to get protein in if it’s needed. So I use them sometimes. I definitely think that they’re for certain people who need to get that protein in, and I definitely will recommend them to patients. But are they essential? No. And if you can eat real food, I think that’s better.

Amanda Newman (00:18:36):

Good, because sometimes I get tired of using the shaker cup.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:18:42):


Amanda Newman (00:18:42):

Now, you mentioned cottage cheese. So that’s something I enjoy, especially I tend to put everything-bagel seasoning on, sometimes I’ll put it on toast. But, it made me think of that viral cottage cheese trend where you blend it up, you put some cacao powder in, and make a mousse. Have you done that?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:01):


Amanda Newman (00:19:01):

Is it good?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:02):

It was OK.

Amanda Newman (00:19:04):

Because they make it look so good. So to be honest, I attempted to try it and it didn’t go very well. I ended up leaving it in the freezer, and it’s just kind of hard as a rock. It wasn’t really good.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:17):

Yeah. Sometimes if you get the craving, you should just have the chocolate and leave that …

Amanda Newman (00:19:21):

It just doesn’t hit the same as ice cream.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:23):

So what I did do with cottage cheese that was fun was, I blended it and it kind of became a liquid cheese sauce. I added a little Parmesan, a little milk, little spices, and I put that over some Banza protein pasta, and I made my own healthier Alfredo.

Amanda Newman (00:19:37):

I love the Banza protein pasta.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:38):

So that was really good because you were keeping the cottage cheese in its own category of a cheesy sauce.

Amanda Newman (00:19:43):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:44):

When you branch out to use it to desserts, it’s kind of like maybe just have a small piece of chocolate and move on.

Amanda Newman (00:19:49):

I agree. Yeah. So it tastes how it should, chocolate.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:52):

Yeah, exactly.

Amanda Newman (00:19:53):

How does adequate protein intake impact hormonal health in women?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:19:58):

So when it comes to hunger and fullness, protein is what helps turn off hunger and fullness. So we have true hunger cues and fullness cues in our body. And hunger comes on ravenously, as we all know. In order to turn off hunger, we actually have a protein signal that can get sent to the brain. So eating enough protein. The other thing that turns off hunger is the stretch of our stomach, so eating enough volume, eating enough fiber. We all want to feel physically full, and we do that by eating enough protein as well as the stretch of the stomach. So starting your meal with some vegetables, eating a salad starter, really expanding the volume without necessarily expanding the calories or the density. So that’s why being careful of processed foods are very calorie dense and you don’t stretch your stomach. A protein bar these days can be 150 up to 350 calories, but you’re not stretching your stomach. You’re not feeling physically satisfied. So really trying to turn off hunger and fullness hormones by eating enough protein – protein really helps balance those.

Amanda Newman (00:20:57):

That’s a really good point. As far as that volume eating, I think that’s something helpful, especially with our mind when we’re looking at food, because like you said, the little protein bar, there’s not much to it, but if you have a nice big plate of salad with leafy greens and red beets, it helps.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:21:16):

It kind of goes back to the saying too, like eat with your eyes. So our eyes, our brain, it’s very smart. We are animals, we’re trained. We want to see colors. We want to see textures. We want to feel textures. We want to see the different shapes. We want a large volume of food. So you want to eat the rainbow. You want to have a lot of vegetables. You want less calorie-dense food and more whole real foods to really feel satisfied.

Amanda Newman (00:21:38):

Have you ever had a poke bowl?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:21:39):

I have, yes.

Amanda Newman (00:21:40):

Me too. I love them. And I think that goes back to that volume eating because there’s so much in that. There’s edamame, there’s salmon, all the things, and I really …

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:21:50):

Yeah, absolutely. Even like a burrito bowl. If you get the lettuce on the bottom and then throw the stuff on top, it looks bigger.

Amanda Newman (00:21:56):

Yes, and it’s good for the mind because you’re like, “Oh, I’m actually eating a lot more food and I’m going to feel fuller.”

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:22:02):

Yeah. And even thinking about how some people use protein shakes as a meal replacement or a quick easy breakfast on the go, and I recommend to patients. Some patients use those absolutely. Some people really don’t feel full unless they’re chewing.

Amanda Newman (00:22:14):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:22:15):

So there is another nature kind of hormone, kind of the body anticipating that we should be chewing. So drinking liquid calories, I really don’t recommend drinking liquid calories. I do recommend protein shakes, but maybe you munch on a cucumber with it or have something with it to chew. But drinking liquid calories, so soda, juice, it doesn’t turn off hunger, doesn’t make you feel full and satisfied. It’s kind of empty liquid calories, gives you that sugar roller coaster. So really trying to stick to water and coffee. Coffee’s good. Water and coffee, watch what you’re putting in the coffee. And then protein shakes. But depending on the type of person you are. So I like the flavor of protein shakes. Sometimes I really need to chew with my food though.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:22:56):

And I think it’s really important to know what really makes you feel full. A lot of people need the volume, some people don’t. I have patients who I say, maybe try to eat the protein first since it’s the most calorically dense food. So it kind of holds you a little bit. And then get the volume of the vegetables to kind of fill up with this space. So really kind of playing around with how you eat, not necessarily what is on your plate, could really impact how satisfied you feel … an hour or two later.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:23:26):

And that’s a great tip and trick we use with a lot of patients. So even if you’re thinking just a balanced plate, half the plate should be non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of the plate is protein, and the other quarter should be complex carbs. You should try to eat your protein and your vegetables first. That’s getting into your stomach.

Amanda Newman (00:23:43):

Protein and veggies first. OK, got it.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:23:44):

It gets in, it’s being digested. It’s stretching your stomach. It’s sending the signal to your brain. I have protein. I’m starting to feel full. And then by the time you’re chewing and chewing and you get to that complex carb, you’re starting to feel a little more full anyway.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:23:57):

And then sometimes you are actually full enough that you slow down a little bit and actually enjoy it. So sometimes if we’re still working on that, if we’re fast eaters, we have a tendency to just eat really quickly and not really taste and don’t really have a really clear indication of when we feel full. So by trying to eat the protein and vegetables first, you’re given that fullness receptor to be felt and saying, “OK, so now I have my little starch, I’m going to enjoy this.” Since it’s, mostly for us, one of our favorite things to eat, then you’re actually tasting it.

Amanda Newman (00:24:28):

And not missing out on the good flavor too, because that’s really what it’s about.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:24:32):


Amanda Newman (00:24:34):

That’s really interesting though. I didn’t know that for some people, and maybe that’s part of my problem. I guess I’m not alone in this. I do like protein shakes, and I’ve been doing them a lot lately, and that’s kind of what my breakfast consists of. So maybe I do need to chew on a cucumber or something else because perhaps that’s something.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:24:52):

Yeah, maybe you just want to chew or have some of that volume, get the fiber and get the veggies in. Absolutely. I’ve been known to just walk around with carrots or a whole bell pepper and eat the whole, you can just chew it, eat it.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:25:01):

A whole bell pepper during our meetings.

Amanda Newman (00:25:04):

Oh my gosh, it’s basically an apple.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:25:04):

It’s fascinating. It’s fascinating.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:25:04):

I don’t have time to cut it. I’m a busy working mom. So I wash it and I eat it. Grab some carrots. Right? Don’t judge me.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:25:12):

She does. It’s fascinating.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:25:13):

You can do it with a cucumber. You can do it with a tomato, right? It keeps the doctor away, but it really is. You got to get your veggies in. You got to get your fiber. I’m eating the rainbow. I don’t have time to cut it. My kids get it cut. Don’t worry.

Amanda Newman (00:25:26):

Hey, you know what? As long as the kids have cut peppers, and mom’s got a pepper. Everyone’s happy.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:25:30):

We’re all OK.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:25:31):

That’s so cute.

Amanda Newman (00:25:34):

All right. Let’s talk about a crowd favorite: the macronutrient carbs. So what are the healthiest carbs to include in your diet?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:25:43):

Well, the complex carbs. So we have the simple carbohydrates and the complex. The complex carbohydrates are the ones that have fiber, which we’ve been talking about. So those are the whole grains. A complex carb should have roughly around three grams of fiber for those of you who look at food labels. You’re not going to feel a lot of satiety if it doesn’t have at least three grams of fiber per serving.

Amanda Newman (00:26:03):

OK, three grams.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:26:04):

The more, the better. So I like to see six, seven, eight, sometimes 10 grams of fiber per serving, then you really know that that fullness factor is going to really be in play there. But you’ll notice white crackers, chips, pretzels, those have less than three grams, sometimes less than one gram of fiber. They’re not filling food. So those would be classified more as your simple carbs, things that are broken down super easy in our stomach and into our bloodstream really quickly, not really giving us the benefit of eating what we call a natural carb.

Amanda Newman (00:26:34):

What about sourdough bread? I’m really curious because I’ve gotten into feeding sourdough. My husband got me the sourdough starter kit, and it’s been a lot of fun, it’s like a nice little activity. I feel like I’m in my bread-making era right now, and I feel like a lot of people are.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:26:51):

A lot of people. I have not yet, but I’m hearing a ton about that.

Amanda Newman (00:26:54):

It is so much fun. It’s so satisfying to take something. So it’s this dehydrated powder basically. And then you put it in and you fill it up with some water and some flour, and you watch it grow throughout the week. We’ve made bagels so far. We’ve made sourdough loaves. I mean, we’re very amateur.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:27:11):

No, that sounds great. I wish you brought some.

Amanda Newman (00:27:14):

But I’m curious because I’ve heard things that it’s better for your gut, eating sourdough bread, plus there’s not as many preservatives. There’s not all those bad ingredients that you would get typically at a grocery store. So I guess maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to eat more bread, but curious what you think.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:27:31):

So my response would be, everything in balance. It’s still bread, right?

Amanda Newman (00:27:36):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:27:37):

But I did hear a quote somewhere and it said, “If you’re going to eat something, if you make it at home, it’s a thousand times better.” So just the fact that you’re making it at home, it’s already better for you. It’s still bread, right? It’s still not going to be protein dense and everything.

Amanda Newman (00:27:50):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:27:51):

But yeah, it’s way better for you that you made it, that you know how fresh it is, that you put the ingredients in and the love in. If you go to the time to make it, I think anything you want to eat, if you’re going to make it at home, that’s better. You want a donut? Instead of going through the drive-in, make it at home.

Amanda Newman (00:28:03):

I have a donut maker too.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:28:05):

If you’re going to make it at home, it’s already better. It’s already better. Just the fact that you put the ingredients in. So I’m a big proponent of if you want a treat, if you want something special, make it at home, put the love and effort in, and then enjoy it.

Amanda Newman (00:28:17):

So as far as carbs, about how much is OK for women?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:28:22):

So I would say that’s really individualized. So that is something we do in our practice. We talk to a patient, assess their activities, levels, what they’ve been eating, and we will give certain kind of macronutrient, carb recommendations. But for just generalizing, I don’t think there’s a specific carb ratio because it is individualized. Someone who runs every day and is very active and in their 20s or 30s versus someone who’s older and isn’t as active, it would change. So I think just focusing on more complex, whole real unprocessed foods, adding that fiber in, eating the rainbow, that’s kind of a better way to think of it than a specific number.

Amanda Newman (00:28:58):

Sure. Eating the rainbow. I love that. I think that’s a good thing to think about. It’s so satisfying too when you have a beautiful meal and you see all these different colors. Going back to the poke bowls, I love adding the mango and the salsa and just all of the things. It just tastes so good. It looks good, so it tastes good.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:29:16):

Again, to normalize it, I mean, we joked about it, but I am a busy working mom. I don’t have time to chop and prep 14 vegetables to eat the rainbow at lunch, and I don’t get an hour to enjoy my lunch. Right? I’m in a meeting, munching on a red pepper and a cucumber and telling them what to do. So you kind of roll with the punches. And I think eating the rainbow doesn’t always mean this picture-perfect salad that you got to sit and enjoy for an hour.

Amanda Newman (00:29:38):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:29:39):

I think we should all try to be mindful while eating.

Amanda Newman (00:29:41):

It’s great when it happens.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:29:42):

It’s great when it happens.

Amanda Newman (00:29:42):

But realistically, it doesn’t.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:29:44):

But realistically, I’m running around with a whole pepper, and that’s OK too. So I think making that OK.

Amanda Newman (00:29:49):

I love it.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:29:50):

You can still get the colors in.

Amanda Newman (00:29:53):

Now, we know the importance of fiber to keep things moving and grooving. How much fiber should women be getting each day?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:30:01):

So women need at least 25 grams of fiber per day. So you want to make sure you’re getting that from whole foods, which come from your fruits, your vegetables, your whole grains. You can get some from seeds, you can get some from a little bit of the nuts, have a little bit of fiber. Any plant-based food.

Amanda Newman (00:30:18):

OK. What kind of seeds would you …

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:30:20):

Any seeds that you like to eat.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:30:22):

Chia seeds.

Amanda Newman (00:30:22):

Sunflower seeds, chia.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:30:22):

Chia seeds, have you ever had chia seeds?

Amanda Newman (00:30:25):

Yes, I’ve done the chia seed pudding.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:30:26):

That’s what I’ve been eating for breakfast a lot.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:30:28):

And I always like to tell my patients too, chia seed is beautiful because it really shows you what fiber does in the gut. So if you put a chia seed into any fluid, what does it do? It kind of just soaks it …

Amanda Newman (00:30:39):

Soaks it all up like a sponge.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:30:41):

Right. So that’s what’s really kind of that impactful thing of, “Oh, why do I feel fuller when I eat this food? It’s really taking up the volume in the space.” We know that fiber is really beneficial for our gut and our gut microbiome. We see more and more research that supports that we’re not getting enough. I think when we have patients look at their nutrition plan, protein might be low, but fiber is hard to come by and we think we’re getting enough, but really when we look at it, we’re not meeting those recommendations. And those recommendations of over 25 grams of fiber per day have not changed in decades.

Amanda Newman (00:31:14):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:31:15):

We’re just not meeting them. And I think …

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:31:15):

Yeah, we’re not.

Amanda Newman (00:31:15):

And that’s so pretty low.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:31:15):

It’s a pretty low bar.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:31:19):

Bare minimum, and most people don’t hit it.

Amanda Newman (00:31:21):

And that’s probably why we’re feeling kind of, “Eh.” You know?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:31:24):

Yeah, yeah.

Amanda Newman (00:31:24):

Because there’s a difference if you’re not going to the bathroom.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:31:28):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:31:28):

And the gut microbiome, the gut-brain connection, there’s a lot more data about it. Feeding the gut microbiome is really important.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:31:34):

It’s really important.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:31:35):

But chia seeds are great.

Amanda Newman (00:31:38):

Good. I have a little jar of chia seeds in my fridge.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:31:41):

Good. They’re great. Yeah.

Amanda Newman (00:31:43):

Now, which dietary fats are OK, and which ones should be avoided?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:31:47):

So there are saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are found in animal products mainly, like your whole fat dairy products, your meats, as well as some plants such as coconut and palm. So they’re actually, they’re solid at room temperature, which is kind of a give for what that saturated fat looks like.

Amanda Newman (00:32:09):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:32:09):

More commonly, you’d see unsaturated fats as an oil, they’re plant-based. They’re either mono or polyunsaturated fats, and that’s based on their omega fatty acid distribution. So how many omega-3s versus omega-6 fatty acids they would have.

Amanda Newman (00:32:23):

Now, how about some healthy fats?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:32:26):

So unsaturated fats are probably the main source of fats in our diet, I would say, that we should be getting. They can be from whole foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, or our plant-based oils. Olive oil is a popular one that we recommend a lot.

Amanda Newman (00:32:40):

Yes, that’s what I cook with.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:32:41):

Avocado oil is becoming more and more popular as well. So those are where we would recommend getting a lot of that. And you can’t forget about some of our oily fish that gives us a lot of omega fatty acids.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:32:51):

Absolutely. Yeah.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:32:52):

So the salmon, things like that. So you want to kind of have a wide distribution of fats than anything in your diet. We talked about having the rainbow of fiber. We want to have the rainbow of fat, I guess, in a way.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:33:03):

That’s very true. Yeah.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:33:04):

So that you’re getting a good amount of both omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:33:08):

But not trans.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:33:09):

They work the best. Yeah, not trans fats. Trans fats should not be consumed. They should be out of most of our packaged foods at this point. That was a recommendation. They were supposed to act as a saturated fat, however, they’ve actually done more damage in our body than natural saturated fats. So they should be eliminated.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:33:28):

And then I would like to say about fats. I think starting in the 1990s, there was this fear of fat developed, that fat makes us fat. And that’s when the low-fat craze came in, and they started taking the fats out of food. And when they took out the fat to add flavor, they would add sugar. So one I always think of is peanut butter. Peanuts are healthy, they have healthy fat, but when you look at a jar of peanut butter, if you get the low-fat option, they’re taking out fat and they’re pouring in sugar. So sugar is really the problem with processed food and the blood-sugar roller coaster and insulin resistance and diabetes. So really, we don’t need to fear fat. I think adding in healthy natural fats, eating the salmon, eating the nuts, adding the olive oil, that we don’t need to fear fat. I work with my patients a lot on that. I think there’s a lot of fear around fat.

Amanda Newman (00:34:14):

I agree. I mean, even myself. That’s a good point. We don’t need to fear the fat. We embrace the right kinds of fat.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:34:20):

And fat helps with satiety. It helps you feel fuller longer. It helps with that sensation in our body. And it’s also really important to make hormones in our body. We need fat. So don’t fear fat. You need it, and it makes you feel fuller longer.

Amanda Newman (00:34:34):

That brings me to my next question. How do fats impact female hormones?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:34:39):

So they’re part of the building process to make the hormones. So if a woman is not getting enough fat, if she keeps her diet so low-fat, then she’ll actually have trouble making female hormones or any hormones. They’re part of the building blocks.

Amanda Newman (00:34:53):

I’ve never been someone to count calories or macros, but I’m realizing with age, I really have to be more proactive when it comes to health and to fitness. It’s not like when I was in college. I’m working eight hours a day, I’m at a desk typically. So I’m not getting that physical fitness, which leads me to wonder, do I need to start counting macros? Do I need to start doing something a little more in-depth to maintain a healthy weight?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:35:23):

So yeah, I think the old adage of counting calories, it still has an importance to make sure you are eating enough. And for those who are interested in weight loss, that they’re slightly getting a little bit less than what they need. But what we found in the current research is that where those calories come from are the most important thing.

Amanda Newman (00:35:42):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:35:43):

So going back to what we’ve been talking about, making sure you’re hitting a protein goal, at least 65 grams a day or more.

Amanda Newman (00:35:49):

So aim for that protein.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:35:51):

Yeah, and that could be higher. I mean, I have my patients consuming much more if I know that they’re more into fitness and if they’re strength training and if they’re trying to build muscle. And I think it’s important to say, what are your goals? I mean, 65 grams of protein for a female is kind of, I call a basement level in that that’s going to be good for good health. But if you’re looking to actually build muscle, research supports that females need a lot more to be able to build on that.

Amanda Newman (00:36:17):

So, like 120?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:36:18):

So it depends, right? It depends on how tall you are, what your current weight is, what’s your current fitness level.

Amanda Newman (00:36:24):

I’m pretty short.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:36:24):

So unfortunately, there’s no adage of “this is what you should be consuming,” but that’s where you would come to see a professional like us and kind of saying, “OK, this is what my day-to-day looks like. These are my goals, my health goals, my fitness goals, how much should I be getting?" I think if you’re going to be tracking what you’re eating, the protein is going to be key, the fiber is going to be key as well. And then like we said, where those carb levels lie, I think if you have metabolic disease where you have to watch your carb levels, maybe somebody who has insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome], that might be something we would take a stronger look at the carb level. For a general healthy female, I think looking at her activity level would be the thing that we would kind of focus on more.

Amanda Newman (00:37:08):

Yeah. There are so many factors that can influence a lot of things.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:37:11):

And I think thinking about where your food’s coming from, like we said. It’s really hard to overeat salad, right?

Amanda Newman (00:37:17):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:37:18):

That goes back to volume food. If you’re really eating your fruits and your vegetables and getting the fiber in and getting those real whole foods, it’s really easy to overeat protein bars, protein shakes, McDonald’s.

Amanda Newman (00:37:28):

Because of the convenience.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:37:29):

It’s convenient, it’s dense. The processed foods are calorically dense and delicious. They’re easy to overconsume. So thinking about hormones again, we have hormones that signal cravings, signal happiness and make us addicted to sugar. So there are actually food scientists, it’s their whole job. They sit in a lab, and they taste foods, and they think about how to make us all crave and want these foods more. There’s actually a ratio of fat, salt and sugar that they add to these foods to make them crave-able. So when you think about Pringles, you eat one, you don’t eat one, right?

Amanda Newman (00:38:05):

You eat the whole thing.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:38:06):

Once you pop, the fun don’t stop. Now we’ve all eaten all the Pringles, right?

Amanda Newman (00:38:10):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:38:11):

Even if you weren’t hungry, maybe you were craving it or maybe you had one and you couldn’t stop. But when’s the last time you over-ate hard-boiled eggs and ate a whole dozen by accident?

Amanda Newman (00:38:19):

Oh, never.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:38:20):


Amanda Newman (00:38:20):

I’m good at two hard-boiled eggs. And I’m like, “OK, I’ll eat eggs another day.”

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:38:24):

And it’s a whole, real, unprocessed food. If you ate three of those for breakfast, you’d probably be full till lunch. But if you start your day with a donut? You’re crashing two hours later wondering what to eat, and the amount of calories in the donut was way more than the eggs. So that’s where it’s kind of like, not so much that everyone needs to jump into macro counting, but really take it back. And are you eating real foods? Our bodies know what to do with real foods. We don’t crave eggs for a reason, right?

Amanda Newman (00:38:48):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:38:49):

Unless we’re truly hungry. It will satisfy hunger. So going back to real foods I think is important.

Amanda Newman (00:38:53):

It’s that sugar content, that’s what we’re craving.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:38:55):


Amanda Newman (00:38:56):

So there’s a lot of mixed information when it comes to dieting, whether we want to lose weight or maintain your current weight. Is a low-carb, low-fat diet the way to go for women? Or is it a recipe for a hormone disaster? And I think that’s what it’s going to be.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:39:11):

Disaster. I don’t know how you could do low-carb, low-fat? What are you eating?

Amanda Newman (00:39:15):

But we’re marketed, like that is the answer.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:39:19):


Amanda Newman (00:39:19):

And it’s not.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:39:20):

No, it’s definitely not. I think there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. And I think the diet industry will attach themselves to these kind of headlines.

Amanda Newman (00:39:30):

Yes, that’s how they get you.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:39:31):

The quick fix. And we’re here to say, if there was a quick fix, we’d be millionaires. Right? I mean, I always say that. If I had a magic wand, I would tell you, I wouldn’t keep it a secret. The reality is, is going back to whole foods and really meeting the demands of what your body needs and not going too low on carbs and not going too low on fats or protein. You’re going to end up being hungry. You’re going to end up feeling tired and fatigued. Then there’s this whole cycle of cravings. So we know the No. 1 thing that causes cravings usually is not eating enough or being undernourished because your body’s signaling you to get nourishment. We feel that in salt or sugar; we don’t feel it in eggs.

Amanda Newman (00:40:18)

If only.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:40:19):

Or chicken, or fish. Right?

And partly because those signals will require our body to get quick food. Our body’s kind of interesting in our homeostasis, right? So if you’re craving things, it knows, “Oh, I’m not nourished enough. If I crave sugar, those are calorie-dense foods, and I will feel energy.”

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:40:41):

Food is energy. Food is energy, right?

Amanda Newman (00:40:42):

Right away.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:40:43):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:40:43):

Your body wants quick energy.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:40:45):

So we find that that is the biggest kind of predictor of actually that yo-yo cycling, that yo-yo dieting.

Amanda Newman (00:40:51):

That’s exactly what it is.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:40:52):

I’ve tried every diet and I failed every diet. Well, the diet industry failed you.

Amanda Newman (00:40:57):

They really have.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:40:58):

Because it’s not teaching you exactly what you need to know about your body and teaching you exactly how your body works and what your body needs.

Amanda Newman (00:41:04):

Well, thank goodness for wonderful people like you that can teach us the right things that we need to know that are actually going to help us. And I think it starts with making those small daily choices that are better, healthier options.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:41:17):

And I think even when you said, what do you think of that diet? So diet, to me, implies short-term, quick-fix failure. Even if you succeeded in the diet, when you stop, the weight comes back. So nobody has a really great diet-success story, right?

Amanda Newman (00:41:30):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:41:31):

It’s the people who make a lifestyle change with the small, daily healthy habits and slowly add them in. And where they’re feeling good, they’re feeling better to keep eating a certain way, that fuels their body.

Amanda Newman (00:41:41):

All adds up.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:41:41):


Amanda Newman (00:41:43):

Now, what about the 30-30-30 weight-loss rule? So the idea of you get 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking, and then you do 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise. I am a big YouTube person. I love to watch videos of different people. And a lot of people talk about this, the 30-30-30. Does it work or is it just too good to be true?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:42:04):

Never heard of it.

Amanda Newman (00:42:06):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:42:06):

No. But what I would say is, I agree with 30 grams of protein. That’s what we’ve been talking about for breakfast, right? Break your fast with some protein. I don’t think that has to be immediately within 30 minutes. I think 30 minutes of movement in the morning is great. Get your body going. But I don’t think it has to be this 30-30-30 timeframe or bust. Right? I think movement’s good.

Amanda Newman (00:42:23):

It’s a little pressure.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:42:24):

Protein’s good. It feels a little like, “OK, we’re busy working professionals. What if I can’t do it in 30-30?” I think that’s too much pressure. But yes, I think we’ve already talked about the 20 to 30 grams of protein to break your fast. That’s great. And movement in the morning. I like to move in the morning, otherwise it won’t happen. So yeah, I think that’s great.

Amanda Newman (00:42:39):

All right. Get that movement in the morning.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:42:40):

Yeah. And I think there is some benefit to some time-restricted eating for some patients for metabolic health. And I think to say you have to eat within 30 minutes of waking up is not always the added rule that we have to follow. It’s very individual based on your personal needs too.

Amanda Newman (00:42:54):

Sure. It’s different for every person, just like movement too.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:42:56):


Amanda Newman (00:42:58):

So I’m pretty sure I’m already doing this, the three-hour diet. Can we talk about this?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:04):

Let’s break it down.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:43:05):

What is that?

Amanda Newman (00:43:07):

I eat every three hours.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:43:11):

Oh, yes.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:11):

So tell me, my biggest question for you, what are you eating the very first thing? What’s your breakfast? What are you breaking the fast with?

Amanda Newman (00:43:16):

Right now, I’ve been doing a lot of oatmeal.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:19):

OK. Just straight oatmeal with what?

Amanda Newman (00:43:21):

Oatmeal and bananas.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:22):

Is it old-fashioned oats? Is it instant oats? Is it brown sugar, cinnamon oatmeal?

Amanda Newman (00:43:27):

It’s not brown sugar.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:28):


Amanda Newman (00:43:28):

Because as I mentioned earlier, I’m doing a fast right now. So, no sugar at all right now, but this is not typical.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:34):

So it’s oats and a banana?

Amanda Newman (00:43:36):

Yes, oats and a banana

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:37):

With milk.

Amanda Newman (00:43:38):

I’ll put maybe just a dash of pea-protein milk.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:41):

And that’s all that’s in it?

Amanda Newman (00:43:43):

That’s it.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:43:44):

And then you’re hungry three hours later, or you’re used to eating every three hours and you’re looking forward to the snack? You’re ready to eat because you’re used to eating a snack or your stomach’s growling and you’re truly hungry? Or it’s just, “Oh, it’s 11 o’clock, this is my snack time?”

Amanda Newman (00:44:00):

I think it’s because I’m used to eating. There will be some hunger pangs, but it’s not always there. And I think it’s just a habit that I reach for that snack because I’m like, “OK, it’s snack time.”

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:44:10):

And that definitely happens. So our bodies get into cycles where we’re used to it. So if every day my lunch break’s at noon, it’s like, “Oh, it starts growling. That’s lunch break.” But maybe you add a bigger breakfast, maybe you’re not really hungry. So a few things. No. 1, oatmeal is mostly carbs, but bananas, all carbs. So you are not getting anywhere near 20 to 30 grams of protein in that. If it’s old-fashioned oats, steel-cut oats, maybe you’re getting five grams of protein, depending on the serving. There’s a little bit of fiber. Zero, zero protein. Really, really low. So you’re not hitting, you’re not turning that off. I love oatmeal. I’m not against oatmeal. But where, instead of the banana, could you throw some chia seeds in? Could you throw some nuts? Could you use milk? Could you add a scoop of protein powder if you wanted to? Could you add an egg on the side? Right? They even make egg-white oatmeal. Could you throw some egg whites in there?

Amanda Newman (00:44:58):

I’ve not had eggs in oatmeal. I don’t know, that might be a bit of stretch for me.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:45:01):

Or maybe you cut your oatmeal in half and you have some Greek yogurt on the side. Maybe you have cottage cheese on them. But adding that protein, you can get it in any form, adding that, that’ll elongate. And you won’t need the snack. But there will be some hunger pain memory where maybe your body’s like, "Oh, we usually have a snack right now." The other thing to think about is boredom, right? Not saying that you’re bored. I know you’re busy.

Amanda Newman (00:45:23):

I’m definitely not bored. I think it’s just more so a habit. And I feel like I’m not the only one in this case. You open the pantry and you’re like, “I think I should have a snack now to inspire me for my next project that I’m about to work on.”

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:45:35):

But I would say it’s not necessarily boredom. I would think it’s that you need a mental break. I think sometimes you get the email, you’re like, “I can’t touch that yet.” And it’s like that commercial break on the TV show, it just all of a sudden kind of stimulates. So it’s not like we’re not using our brain energy and that we’re bored and have nothing to do. I don’t know many adults who have nothing to do.

Amanda Newman (00:45:54):

There’s always something to do. So whenever I hear someone say they’re bored, I’m like, “Have you looked around? There is so much you could be doing.”

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:46:00):

So you could almost say it’s time for a dopamine hit.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:46:03):


Amanda Newman (00:46:03):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:46:04):

Yes. Or I need more energy. And I think Dr. Magdaleno was right. The energy you’re getting from your breakfast isn’t hitting all of that. You’re probably getting a surge of that energy. And then you’re plummeting, right?

Amanda Newman (00:46:18):

That’s exactly it.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:46:19):

Because those natural carbs and sugars, you’re feeling really good. Maybe an hour, maybe even 90 minutes. And then you’re starting to ... without that protein, because that protein’s the bridge.

Amanda Newman (00:46:27):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:46:27):

And even healthy fats. Throw a scoop of nut butter, get rid of the banana, throw some nut butter in there. So that’s that having everything. Having protein, fat, fiber and a little bit of carb, whereas that’s all carb.

Amanda Newman (00:46:37):

Three-hour diet, not a good idea, right?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:46:40):

Correct. No.

Amanda Newman (00:46:40):

OK. Are there ways to avoid the afternoon slump? So I love a good cup of coffee in the morning. I froth the milk, add a little maple syrup, and … it’s so good. It’s next level. And I also think, in a sense, it’s kind of healthier than just cane sugar. At least that’s what I tell myself. I don’t know. Is it actually healthier?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:47:01):

I don’t know if she wants us to comment on that.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:47:02):

It’s less processed.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:47:02):

It’s OK. She enjoys her coffee.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:47:07):

It’s less processed than cane sugar.

Amanda Newman (00:47:04):

Please don’t break my heart.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:47:07):

It’s less processed than cane sugar.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:47:07):

Let her have it.

Amanda Newman (00:47:09):

All right. So I can still have it.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:47:12):

Let her have it.

Amanda Newman (00:47:12):

I’ll keep the maple syrup – sweet. And sometimes I do find myself reaching for that second cup in the afternoon. Obviously, I’m typically at work, so I can’t make my beautiful coffee that I do in the morning. But when I do that, I do kind of regret it because around midnight I’m wired and ready to clean the house and I need to be asleep. So what are some good energy-boosting snacks that out rule the second cup of coffee?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:47:41):

Yeah. I mean, I think it’s exactly what we’ve been saying, is getting whole foods, getting energy from protein, getting a little bit of a healthy carb with that. You were saying that you’d like a snack of apple and peanut butter. An afternoon snack of that can give you a little bit of the sugar, a little bit of the healthy fats and a little bit of protein, all three. You hit three boxes in that. And that can kind of give you that little bit of lift that you’re looking for with a little bit of sweetness. And I think people like their coffee because it has a little bit of a flavor and it has a sweetness and it hits that note a little bit.

Amanda Newman (00:48:11):

A little sweet-tooth in the morning.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:48:12):

Yeah, without the effects of the caffeine.

Amanda Newman (00:48:14):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:48:15):

The other thing too is, why are you having that slump? Is it from stress? Is it because you didn’t sleep enough the night before?

Amanda Newman (00:48:22):

I think it’s both, stress and not sleeping. Lately I have been waking up every night around 3 or 4 in the morning and I’m like wide awake. And that’s even sometimes without having that second cup of coffee. So I don’t know if something’s a little off. Maybe it is stress, maybe not getting enough of the right foods possibly.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:48:42):

So I do recommend to my patients, everyone needs good quality and good quantity sleep. So you want seven to eight hours of sleep. That’s the quantity. And then quality is sleeping through the night, getting enough deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep. So having a wind-down routine, having a dark, cold, quiet room. Don’t let the dog sleep in your bed. Keep the kids out if you can. Right?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:49:02):

I’m doing my best there.

Amanda Newman (00:49:03):

I have the dark, quiet room, I have the air purifier, and all of that, but I still have a tendency to wake up. And I’m sure I’m not the only person.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:49:11):

No, absolutely. So I think patients come in all the time, “I’m tired.” And I think that doctors jump into “Let’s check blood work. What could it be? Why do you have low energy?” But my first question is, how are you sleeping? And they’re like, “Terrible.” I’m like, “That’s why you’re tired.” So how do we go back to fixing our sleep? Sleep is critical. Being a newer mom, I have a 4-year-old and a 16-month-old, I very much know the newborn days. Knock on wood, they’re pretty good sleepers right now. They do wake me up at least once a week. And we’ve all been there. But when I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I was a totally different person, stressed, more emotional, more grumpy, more hangry. I craved sugar more. I craved coffee more.

Amanda Newman (00:49:50):

I’m all those things.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:49:51):

Sleep is critical, right? When your body’s really well-rested and you truly are getting enough sleep, you’re a totally different person. So I do recommend looking at your sleep, trying to figure it out. They have sleep medicine doctors. There are sleep studies. There’s seeing your family doctor to talk about different things. Doing a wind-down routine, maybe melatonin is right for you. So it’s different for everyone. Everyone has their different reasons of why they’re having trouble. But when someone says, “I have an afternoon slump,” the first thought is like Cheryl was saying, was your lunch appropriate enough? Are you eating those three meals? Are you fueling your body right? And then the second question is, are you stressed? Are you not sleeping well? And then water, did you drink enough water? Our cells run on water too.

Amanda Newman (00:50:27):

That’s true. How often do we forget to drink water? Even though we have these big 40-ounce jugs of water that we carry around the office.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:50:33):

Yeah. So if you’re not drinking enough, then you’re also going to be tired.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:50:37):

Also, exercise. I think when I feel a slump, I like to get up and move. I think we think we need to fuel, but I think we know that lack of movement makes you feel more tired than actual movement.

Amanda Newman (00:50:48):

That’s a good point.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:50:49):

And you sleep better when you actually have burned some energy throughout the day. So thinking about that time, it’s not always necessarily nutrition related. What if it’s like, “I’ve been just stuck in this chair for eight hours?”

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:51:02):

Sitting in a desk all day.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:51:03):

Yeah. I need to break out.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:51:04):

Even just going outside on your lunch break. It doesn’t have to be 30 minutes, but just seeing the sunshine can improve your mood and your overall health.

Amanda Newman (00:51:11):

Yeah, that circadian rhythm.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:51:13):


Amanda Newman (00:51:14):

So important. So speaking of sleep, this is a debate that my husband and I continue to have, is it better to go to bed a bit hungry or have a bedtime snack? I’m the one who’s like, “Yes, I have to have a snack.” We’ll eat dinner and I’m still hungry again. And I usually do …

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:51:28):

You’re that three-hour girly.

Amanda Newman (00:51:29):

It is. I am that three-hour girly, that’s exactly who I am. Where are my three-hour girlies? So?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:51:35):

Neither. You shouldn’t be hungry, but you shouldn’t eat within two to three hours of bedtime.

Amanda Newman (00:51:44):

Oh, man.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:51:45):


Amanda Newman (00:51:45):

So we do ballroom dancing.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:51:49):

Oh, cool.

Amanda Newman (00:51:49):

And it’s a lot of fun. And where I’m going with this is, sometimes after class, I’m obviously famished, and that kind of goes back to my roots of growing up and doing dance and coming home, and I would eat lots of food and then I just go burn it off the next day. Not the same anymore. So sometimes dinner doesn’t happen until 8 o’clock for us when we get back from class, and I try to go to bed by 10. So it’s kind of a double-edged sword there. Working through that.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:52:12):

It’s definitely tricky. And if that’s once a week, it’s once a week, right? You got to live your life.

Amanda Newman (00:52:15):

Just once a week.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:52:16):

You got to enjoy your dancing. You got to live your life. But all the studies and research really show that if you eat before bed or overnight, you are more insulin-resistant later in the day.

Amanda Newman (00:52:25):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:52:26)

And when your body’s focusing on digestion, it affects your heart rate while you’re sleeping. It affects the stages of your sleep. So you actually have a worse quality of sleep if you’re eating late at night before bed or overnight. So I really recommend eating with the sun. We don’t have to call it fasting, we don’t have to feel restricted, but the goal would be that we eat when the sun’s up and we stop eating when the sun’s down. That’s a very normal …

Amanda Newman (00:52:48):

That is a good goal.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:52:50):

Of course, some people are night workers; everybody’s different. But I think for the average person, that would be the goal.

Amanda Newman (00:52:55):

I got to strive for that because I’m not quite there.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:52:57):

I mean, I’m not there either. I’m not always there either. You get the kids to bed, you want that piece of chocolate?

Amanda Newman (00:53:02):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:53:02):

I’m there too.

Amanda Newman (00:53:03):

Or a nice glass of milk with a chocolate.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:53:06):

I thought you were going to say wine. But yeah, milk.

Amanda Newman (00:53:07):

I mean, hey, wine’s good too.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:53:07):


Amanda Newman (00:53:12):

I’m really into milk right now and a brownie. There’s something about the chocolate and then the creaminess of the milk. Oh, it’s just so good.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:53:20):

It’s also important to eat that kind of sweet, beneficial, right after a meal, and not wait that obligatory one, two hours for your metabolic health. If you have something sweet but it’s piggybacked right after a meal, when you’ve had that protein, carbs and fats, it doesn’t get the same rise as it would into your blood and sugar and it can actually be beneficial.

Amanda Newman (00:53:42):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:53:44):

So eating your sweets right with your meal. Don’t wait.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:53:47):

Don’t wait.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:53:47):

Don’t be like, “I’ll have dessert two hours later.”

Amanda Newman (00:53:49):

OK, good. Then I can go home and I can tell my husband, “Hey, we have the right to dessert. No waiting for that chocolate cake.”

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:53:56):

If you’re going to have it, that’s the best way to have it.

Amanda Newman (00:54:01):

I love that. So which is healthier, plant-based milk or cow’s milk?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:54:06):

So I think it depends on the person. I think they’re all healthy and they all have their benefits.

Amanda Newman (00:54:09):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:54:10):

Cow’s milk has the most protein naturally than any of the alternative milks. You can get an almond milk that has extra protein added. So if you’re not interested in consuming dairy, or if dairy doesn’t agree with you, then an almond milk is absolutely fine, soy as well. They have a little bit less protein than the cow’s milk, but are a little bit better than the almond. Oat milk that comes from an actual carb is probably my least recommended.

Amanda Newman (00:54:38):

And it doesn’t have much protein at all. That’s why I’m into the pea milk.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:54:42):

Just oats.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:54:43):

Oat milk doesn’t have a lot. And if you’re doing an alternative milk, I always say look for the ones that have added protein in it, so they’ve processed them in a way that has extra protein added and that could be beneficial.

Amanda Newman (00:54:54):

OK. Is milk actually good for you or should you focus on eating other calcium-rich foods instead of beverages?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:55:04):

So cheese is made from milk, drinking whole milk, yogurts. In our American diet, that’s where we get most of our calcium from. Now, yes, you can get it from some other plants that have a little bit, but I would say dairy right now is from a whole-foods approach where you would get it the most.

Amanda Newman (00:55:21):

All right. Now, another hot topic is seed oils. There’s a lot of claims online that they’re inflammatory, cause weight gain, even infertility. Is any of this actually true?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:55:32):

So yes and no.

Amanda Newman (00:55:34):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:55:34):

So seed oils inherently have omega fatty acids. And what the research has shown is that if you have an unequal balance of omega-6s versus omega-3s, that some of the omega-6s can produce a little bit of inflammatory effect on the body. But that is seen in research and very high levels and not necessarily in day-to-day life. What we see is that seed oils are cheap and they are put in a lot of processed food. So these studies aren’t shown by itself that seed oils are bad, but that inherently what they’re in is also packaged with a lot of processed ingredients that are very low on that nutritional profile that probably are more likely to create inflammation in the body in general.

Amanda Newman (00:56:23):

OK So probably olive oil, avocado oil, those are the best ones to bake or cook with?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:56:29):

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I think most of us are using olive oils and extra virgin olive oils. And the safflower oils that you’ll see in a potato chip are not something that most people are gravitating toward on the market to cook your chicken in, and that’s what they’re looking at. So that safflower oil is part of the seed family.

Amanda Newman (00:56:55):

Get rid of that canola oil. I can still see, especially I think in college, that was often what people would go for just because it was so inexpensive.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:57:03):

Yeah. I mean, it doesn’t have the best profile, but I think it’s important to consume, like I said, the rainbows of fats. So who’s just eating omega-6s and not getting the omega-3? You want to get all of that so that they kind of connect together and create the fatty acid distribution that your body needs.

Amanda Newman (00:57:20):

Yeah. So do both of you like to bake?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:57:23):

I love to.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:57:23):

She’s more of the baker.

Amanda Newman (00:57:25):

All right. What’s your favorite thing to bake?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:57:27):

Oh, gosh. Put me on the spot. I make everything.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:57:30):

She makes a lot of great things.

Amanda Newman (00:57:31):

Well, we’re talking about the best oils to cook or bake with.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:57:34):

Oh, gosh.

Amanda Newman (00:57:35):

So what’s the best treat?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:57:37):

So it depends if you’re asking my healthy self or my super-fun self, because I do both for the office and for my family. So I love …

Amanda Newman (00:57:43):

Tell the listeners, both.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:57:45):

So I love, if I’m making my protein brownies or my “health-ified” banana bread with almond flour, I use olive oil in those. I do. That’s extra virgin olive oils. It’s good for you. It’s Mediterranean diet.

Amanda Newman (00:57:56):

I love banana bread.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:57:56):

Oh, and I have a good one.

Amanda Newman (00:57:57):

Yes. OK.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:57:58):

So good.

Amanda Newman (00:57:58):

You’ll have to share it with me because my husband, he loves to bake. I can’t say I’m much of a baker, but when he bakes banana bread, the whole house smells so good. And it’s just, I just love it.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:58:09):

It’s so good.

Amanda Newman (00:58:10):

It’s so delicious. Which brings me to probably one of my biggest cravings, is that sugar craving. So I’m curious, what are the most common cravings among women?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:58:22):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:58:22):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:58:22):

For everyone.

Amanda Newman (00:58:22):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:58:24):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:58:25):

Sugar and salt.

Amanda Newman (00:58:25):

Sugar and salt.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:58:27):

And it goes back to the hormones, so the cravings in our brain.

Amanda Newman (00:58:31):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:58:32):

We get memories around certain foods. “Oh, my mom used to cook this.” It’s a memory.

Amanda Newman (00:58:37):

Yes, it’s so nostalgic.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:58:37):

Yeah. So you get this craving for the memory, but there’s also the craving for the sugar. Sugar is a dopamine hit. It really is. Sugar is addictive. We are all addicted to sugar to different degrees, but we all get that same dopamine and serotonin and then that surge where we crave it.

Amanda Newman (00:58:53):

Is it possible that these cravings are maybe a sign of an underlying deficiency in something? Because I know for some of us, when we have our period, we really want that chocolate. Is it because we’re low in magnesium at that time?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:59:06):

So to an extreme, there are some cravings, to an extreme, where it may be something. But I would say the average American having cravings, it’s really just that craving for that dopamine hit. Whether it’s stress, emotional, whatever, you just kind of, “Ooh, I remember this. It’ll feel good.” Maybe you didn’t feel right that day. Maybe you’re thirsty. But there are some very extreme craving, ice craving, eating weird foods that it could be like iron deficiency.

Amanda Newman (00:59:29):

That’s a whole thing.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:59:29):

Yes. But I would say …

Amanda Newman (00:59:29):

That’s a whole another episode.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (00:59:33):

Exactly. The average person having a craving, no, you’re just craving the chocolate.

Amanda Newman (00:59:37):

OK. Do you have any tips for kind of curbing those cravings?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (00:59:41):

Yeah. Well, I think first starting off with making sure you’re well-nourished and getting enough protein and making sure that these cravings are happening not because you’re actually physically hungry. Yeah, I think I always like peanut butter. I think it’s a gateway to a little bit of sweet, a little bit of salt, a little bit of protein and healthy fats. And combining that with a whole food like a vegetable or fruit is a nice balance if we’re talking about whole foods. I, again ... I agree, Dr. Magdaleno, protein bars aren’t really sustainable.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:00:10):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:00:11):

They look like they’re chocolate and they taste like they’re chocolate for a minute, but then they’re really …

Amanda Newman (01:00:16):

They’re deceiving, especially with that packaging.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:00:17):

Yeah. But they’re really not sustainable. Now, if that works for somebody, great. If it’s a convenience thing and you have to take your kids to all the practices that I have to take my kids to and you’re in the car and you’re driving and you’ve got to get something, then you can’t do it, then it’s a definite opportunity. You know what I mean? To get something in.

Amanda Newman (01:00:34):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:00:34):

But I think there’s a ton of opportunity to kind of think about what you are actually craving and why. How often does this occur? That’s what I look at. I mean, if it’s a daily craving, well then maybe I’m not eating properly every day. If it happens, like you said, menstrual cycle-wise, when we know those hormones are changing and we know we’re more susceptible, and that’s the fact …

Amanda Newman (01:00:55):

So many ways.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:00:56):

Yeah. There’s a fact, right? So would I have a little bit of chocolate during that because that hits that mark? Then potentially. But that’s not every single day, every single 3 o’clock in the afternoon I’m having a bar.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:01:09):

And also balancing, right? Did you drink enough water? Sometimes our cravings are just thirst. Did you get enough sleep? How are you feeling, stress, emotionally? And then also, 80% of the time striving for protein, fiber, real foods; 20% having fun. Right? Do we eat processed foods? Yeah. Do we go out to eat? Yeah. Do we have wine and chocolate? Sure. It’s life. And what’s life without those things?

Amanda Newman (01:01:27):

Yeah, it brings you joy.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:01:28):


Amanda Newman (01:01:29):

Food’s enjoyed when with friends – foods, drinks.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:01:31):

Absolutely. And something too I talk to my patients about sometimes is, having a craving, not letting the craving win or feel guilty about it. Kind of taking control and like, “OK, I want chocolate, so I’m going to choose to have this chocolate.” You’re making the decision and if you decide to, no guilt around it, but also portion controlling. Right? So what’s one little Dove chocolate going to do? It’s fine. One little Dove chocolate after your meal. You controlled it, right? Yeah. A whole bar, four bars of chocolate? All right, maybe that’s a problem. So it’s more about really portion-controlling it too. And treats can be definitely included in a healthy life.

Amanda Newman (01:02:04):

Good. All good things. We like our treats around here.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:02:08):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:02:09):


Amanda Newman (01:02:09):

You mentioned, Cheryl, something about physical hunger. How can you tell the difference between that physical hunger and that emotional hunger? Because I find when I’m stressed or when I just want to avoid something, I go for the food. But I don’t know, when is it emotional? When is it physical?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:02:28):

Yeah, I mean, physical hunger should be felt, right? There should be an emptiness or a hollowness in the stomach. You could feel headache, you could feel fatigue. You’ll physically feel that you don’t have a craving. So if you’re physically hungry, you would eat anything. You’re not going, “Oh, I’m going to the pantry.” And I’m like, “Well, I don’t feel like that. I don’t really feel like that.” Go back to the fridge.

Amanda Newman (01:02:49):

It’s that selective choice, searching out for that.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:02:51):

Yes. That’s a mental, I call that acting like a shark in your own kitchen. You’re like, you’re looking for prey. What am I going to …

Amanda Newman (01:02:59):

That is me to a “T.”

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:03:00):

What am I getting? Anytime I find myself doing that, or my family, it’s like, “What are you looking for? You’re not hungry.” If you’re hungry, you come home and you’re like, cheese, nuts, seeds. You’ll not care what you’re eating, right? You’re really hungry and you need to get that food in.

Amanda Newman (01:03:15):

Just need to get it in my belly. Yes.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:03:16):

Correct. Or think about a certain food. Would I eat eggs and broccoli right now?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:03:20):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:03:20):

No, those don’t sound good. Chocolate sounds good. That’s a craving.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:03:24):

That’s a craving.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:03:24):

Yeah. That’s a head hunger.

Amanda Newman (01:03:24):

So earlier we talked about that “hanger” and I am 100% guilty of being that hangry person, that hangry wife, that hangry colleague. What is the scoop with hunger? Does hunger really impact our mood?

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:03:41):

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, when you don’t feel satisfied or you feel physically hungry, you a lot of times can experience lower blood sugar that’s giving your body the sensation that you need to eat. Mood and food are so interconnected, whether people say it’s hangry or it’s just that I’m tired. I mean, you see it in children. What happens when they start to react negatively to certain situations? You’re like, “Oh, I think it’s time for something to eat.” Right?

Amanda Newman (01:04:11):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:04:12):

So we know that even from an innate stage, that this is occurring. So how to prevent it is making sure …

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:04:19):


Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:04:20):

Making sure you’re not waiting too long to eat. And understanding that how long does that meal get you and having snacks on board so that you’re not grabbing a convenience food just to kind of hit the spot.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:04:34):

So the way is to get enough protein at each meal. Have enough fiber that you’ll make it to the next meal rather than the every-three-hours constant snacks. So the hanger is, what you’re feeling is kind of the blood sugar change. So let’s …

Amanda Newman (01:04:46):

That drop.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:04:47):

Yes, a drop. So let’s say you’re having oatmeal and a banana. So your blood sugar in your body went up from let’s say 80 to 130, and now it’s coming back down. It’s coming back down quick because there was no protein, there was no healthy fat. So you’re dropping, you’re dropping. You’re not having a low blood sugar, you’re feeling the change in blood sugar. You’re feeling the drop from high as it’s coming down, and your body’s saying, “I’m running out of that quick sugar. What are we going to do? Well, I’m feeling a little moody. I’m feeling a little jittery, feeling a little nervous. Grab a snack.” That’s what your body’s saying. If instead you rounded out that oatmeal banana with some protein and some healthy fats, you don’t get the blood sugar spike, and your mood and your blood sugar, who go hand in hand, stay steady.

Amanda Newman (01:05:26):

Yes. And everything stays happy.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:05:27):

And you have this long energy. Protein and healthy fat give you the long-game energy. Carbs are the quick energy, the quick fuel. Carbs are quick.

Amanda Newman (01:05:36):

So that’s probably why too, that after I eat dinner, if I’m lacking something in that meal, I’m hungry 30 minutes to an hour later. And this is something that happens fairly regularly. So I probably didn’t have enough protein or enough carbs, the correct balance. And again, it’s veggies and protein first, right?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:05:55):

Yes. And it’s volume. So those veggies are like, “Wow.” So I have a salad, I have half my plate of broccoli, then I have my protein, and then some complex carbs. So it’s all the volume too.

Amanda Newman (01:06:05):

Well, we have learned so much today. It has been absolutely wonderful having you both here. Thank you so much. To wrap things up, what would you say is your best advice for making nutrition a priority and still work for your lifestyle?

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:06:20):

Definitely having a plan. So as we’ve said, we’re very busy working moms, right?

Amanda Newman (01:06:26):


Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:06:26):

We have a lot going on. I always have a plan. That does not mean that I’m spending my entire Sunday meal planning, because I have two young kids, I don’t get time for meal planning either.

Amanda Newman (01:06:35):

It doesn’t happen.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:06:37):

It doesn’t happen. But I do always have a plan. So I have a routine. I have my go-tos. I have things that I know work, things that I know ways to get the veggies in. So having a general plan for the week. I eat the same breakfast and lunch every day. And I have it planned. And then dinner, I have two or three to go and I use my leftovers. Having that plan for the week is how you set yourself up for success. That’s what I would say.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:06:58):

I would absolutely agree with that. I think we walk the walk. Knowing what you’re going to have, being prepared for the day is important. Having options for the day. I think we can attest that we don’t always get time to eat, even lunches. Sometimes we’re getting very busy, very backed up. So saying, “OK, I have this that I can eat very quickly,” versus this that’s a little bit easier to eat versus this that I have to heat up. So we can’t say that I’m just not going to eat lunch, because we know that that fuel is so important for us. So that is having some quick options in there.

Amanda Newman (01:07:33):

Yeah. So it all goes back to that balance and still having flexibility to adapt throughout the day because there are so many things that come our way. How many times do we get interrupted with lunch? And sometimes it just doesn’t happen. We eat half of the pepper maybe.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:07:47):

Yeah, exactly.

Amanda Newman (01:07:48):

You never get back to the other half.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:07:51):

Exactly. Exactly. And that’s where you know convenience products like protein bars and things like that do come into play. We do use them, but I do try to eat the whole real foods when I can, and when I can, I have a backup for sure.

Amanda Newman (01:07:59):

Love it. Yeah. Excellent advice. Thank you both so much. Cheryl, Dr. Magdaleno, thank you so much for being here today.

Angela Magdaleno, DO (01:08:05):

Thank you for having us.

Cheryl Jesuit Rutkauskas (01:08:06):

Thank you.

Amanda Newman (01:08:08):

To learn more health tips, visit Remember to subscribe or follow The Healthiest You wherever you get your podcasts so you never miss an episode. And remember, be safe, be smart and be the healthiest you.

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