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Episode 3: Building A Confident, Flexible, Badass with Ashleigh VanHouten

podcast Mar 25, 2020

Ashleigh VanHouten (@themusclemaven), (


Ashleigh is a health and fitness podcaster, writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed muscle nerd. She has been a writer for Paleo Magazine for seven years, and she hosts the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, interviewing some of the leading minds in exercise and nutrition methodology and ancestral health and wellness. Ashleigh also co-hosts with Ben Pakulski on his popular life optimization podcast, Muscle Intelligence.

Ashleigh is a nationally ranked natural figure competitor and also dabbles in Strongman, powerlifting, arm wrestling and BJJ, although her biggest hobby is trying to convince people to eat organ meat – she’s writing a cookbook about it that will be out sometime next year!

GIVEAWAY for today’s episode is brought to you by Butcher Box

3 winners will receive their own Custom Box + FREE Bacon and Ribeye’s! ($200 value). Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and wild caught seafood right to your door.

To enter:

  • Subscribe to the MetFlex & Chill podcast
  • Leave a rating and a review mentioning something you learned or took away from this episode.
  • *Note: If you have already left a rating and review for a previous episode, you can still enter this giveaway by taking a screenshot of the episode, posting it in your Instagram story, and tagging @rachelgregory.cns for a chance to win!

In this episode we talk about Ashleigh VanHouten’s personal journey, bodybuilding, women and lifting, and metabolic flexibility > 24/7 ketosis!

“More than ever, we are attaching so much morality and so much identity to the way we eat, so that we are not allowing ourselves to have flexibility. We need to be able to be okay with things changing and adapting throughout our lives.” Ashleigh VanHouten

Episode Top Takeaways:

  • The importance of finding something that fulfills you in your work and life.
  • Weightlifting does not create a “bulky” physique in women.
  • The importance of building competence AND confidence.
  • “Metabolic flexibility should be the overarching goal for 99% of us…”

Show Notes:

  • [3:15] Ashleigh left her corporate 9-5 job to pursue writing and consulting. “How can I apply the things I’m good at… to offer something to the world and do something that fulfills me.”
  • [5:20] Ashleigh writes and podcasts for Paleo Magazine
  • [6:40] Rachel first met Ashleigh at KetoCon.
  • [8:25] Ashleigh explored different fitness trends including Crossfit, the Zone Diet, and Paleo
  • [16:00] Women are learning that lifting is important! 
  • [16:41] “There’s still a ton of misinformation around eating healthy dietary fat.”
  • [18:20] Weightlifting does not create a “bulky” physique in women
  • [23:00] For Ashleigh’s perspective on her experience with competitive female bodybuilding go to VanHoughten’s Instagram @themusclemaven
  • [32:00] “We need to approach this fitness world… from the functionality and the competence that we can build through physical endeavors, rather than just how it makes us look.”
  • [37:30] Interview with female MMA fighter Jody Esquibel 
  • [38:40] “Metabolic flexibility should be the overarching goal for 99% of us…”
  • [42:30] “We should eat real food that is recognizable as real food… that makes sense.”
  • [43:00] Ashleigh switched the Ketogenic diet in favor of a carnivore diet
  • [48:30] Dealing with “fat phobia” and “carb phobia”
  • [56:10] Ashleigh is the next Tony Robbins
  • [57:00] Hot seat questions
  • [59:00] Recommended books: Free to Focus and Digital Minimalism
  • [1:08:10] Listen to podcast Muscle Intelligence with Ben Pakulski 

Listen to the full episode HERE. 


Join the FREE MetFLex Life Course:

Rachel Gregory (@rachelgregory.cns) is a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Author of the best-selling book, 21-Day Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Challenge. She received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from James Madison University and Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Miami.

Rachel helps her clients transform their lives by starting with the physical (body), realizing the power of the mental (mindset), and ultimately gaining massive confidence that bleeds into every aspect of their lives (family, relationships, work, etc.).


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