Muscle Maven Radio

Hosted by health coach, writer, and food and fitness adventurer Ashleigh VanHouten (aka The Muscle Maven), Muscle Maven Radio aims to expand our knowledge and competence around wellness, fitness and living a happy, healthy life. It’s all about taking our health into our own hands through research, experimentation, and curiosity, learning with an open mind and avoiding dogma and quick fixes. Through Muscle Maven Radio, we aim to approach the health journey as a fun and exciting experience, rather than a daunting and overwhelming chore. Join Ashleigh as she interviews athletes, coaches, doctors, nutritionists, and experts in all areas of health and wellness, and have fun with your health journey!
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May 19, 2020

Discovering the intricacy of the female body is a beautiful process. Our delicate hormonal balance affects all aspects of our health and wellbeing, from the condition of our skin to the quality of our sleep and sex lives. In this episode, I interview Dr. Anna Cabeca who is board certified in genealogy and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine and who is also an authoritative voice in the realm of functional medicine, menopause, and women’s sexual health. Dr. Cabeca unpacks the three major hormones and how an increase or decrease in their levels affect us and explains how they can be managed and even optimized for healing. We get into the variables that affect the efficacy of oxytocin supplementation, the use of exogenous hormones such as melatonin, and the relationship between adiponectin and weight loss resistance. Turning our attention to her newly released book Keto-Green 16, Dr. Cabeca explains how her approach to the ketogenic diet differs from the mainstream understanding, highlighting her views on alkalizing foods, the need for digestive enzymes, consuming greens versus proteins, intermittent fasting, and much more. 

Want to connect, ask questions for the podcast, or offer feedback? Drop me a note on Instagram @themusclemaven, send me an email at, and sign up for my weekly newsletter at

Check out our show sponsor Sweet Apricity and use the code MUSCLEMAVEN for 15% off. Get a digital subscription to Paleo Magazine for as low as $1.25 a month!


Key Points From This Episode:

  • How Dr. Cabeca’s personal experience informed her approach to her OB-GYN practice.
  • Three major hormones—insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin—and how the levels change with age.
  • The impact of the stress hormone (cortisol) on other hormones and our health in general.
  • An explanation of the role of oxytocin in the body and how it can be optimized for healing.
  • The dangerous cortisol-oxytocin disconnect that occurs amid prolonged stress and trauma.
  • Suggestions for the lifestyle practices that can help you regulate oxytocin and cortisol levels.    
  • The variables that can affect our physiological response to oxytocin supplementation.
  • Advice about the correct use of exogenous melatonin: dosage, timing, and more.
  • The relationship between adiponectin levels and weight gain in menopausal women.
  • The four key markers that women need to pay attention to when it comes to their hormones.
  • How Dr. Cabeca’s approach to the ketogenic diet differs from the traditional view.
  • Distinguishing between foods that have an alkalizing effect versus those that are alkaline.
  • The importance of increasing your digestive enzymes and not diluting them with liquids. 
  • The ideal amounts of protein versus greens in Dr. Cabeca’s approach to the keto-green diet.
  • Guidelines around the best times to eat, intermittent fasting, and stabilizing your blood sugar.
  • Caloric restriction versus fasting and how each affects our basal metabolic rate.
  • Using metrics and tracking in a way that is non-dogmatic and serves your goals.



“It takes more than hormones to fix our hormones. That’s where lifestyle medicine becomes really powerful.” — @AnnaCabeca [0:05:18]

“We really need to look at the major hormones and for me, those are insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin. Those three hormones are the most powerful hormones in our body, with oxytocin being the crowing hormone.” — @AnnaCabeca [0:05:57]

“It is our own activities and our perceptions and our lifestyle practices that increase our own natural oxytocin. We manage cortisol and do practices that increase oxytocin.” — @AnnaCabeca [0:18:25]

“Increasing your digestive enzymes is one of the key things that we need to do and focus on, especially as we get older.” — @AnnaCabeca [0:43:06]

“These low-calorie days that we have, destroy our metabolism. We are better to fast than eat small meals.” — @AnnaCabeca [0:59:42]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca on Twitter

Dr. Anna Cabeca on Instagram

Keto-Green Community on Facebook

Keto-Green 16

The Hormone Fix

Macro Calculator

Dr. Gabrielle Lyon

Ashleigh VanHouten

Ashleigh VanHouten Email

Ashleigh vanHouten on Instagram

May 12, 2020

A lot has happened since the last time I published a podcast episode, so I want to thank all of you for sticking around despite all the chaos in the world right now. I hope that you guys missed me as much as I missed talking to you. Today I’m introducing you to the new name and brand of the show and explain to listeners the reasons for all these changes.

In short, Paleo Magazine is undergoing some big transformations and part of their restructuring resulted in much uncertainty about the future of the podcast. But loving this show and the community we’ve created, I jumped in and purchased the podcast, and decided to rebrand it as Muscle Maven Radio! This is an exciting journey that I hope to take all the current listeners on with me and hopefully gain a whole lot more as we continue building out the community. In this episode, I walk you through the aspects that will stay the same, and those that—I’m certain—will be even better than before! 


Key Points From This Episode:

  • The exciting news: I purchased the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast!
  • Hear about Paleo Magazine’s transformation and what they decided about the podcast.
  • Rest assured: You will still be getting the same quality, high-value content as before.
  • Why I feel so strongly about the podcast and the community we’ve built together.
  • Find out which elements of the show will remain the same and which will change.
  • The perks of a new brand—we can talk much more broadly about health and wellness.
  • I need all of you to help me make the podcast a viable and helpful resource!
  • What I’m currently envisioning for the show in terms of its structure and featured guests. 
  • Let me know which topics you’d like to see covered and any other suggestions you have.
  • Monthly giveaways, special offers, and more for those actively participating in the show!



“I have purchased the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast and I have rebranded it under my own name aka the Muscle Maven, which is my nickname.” — Ashleigh VanHouten [0:01:01]

“All I knew was that putting the podcast on hold or permanently getting rid of it was just too sad for me to bear.” — Ashleigh VanHouten [0:01:58]

“I wanted to make a space that is for everybody who is a health and fitness and food nerd and just likes to learn.” — Ashleigh VanHouten [0:04:26]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Ashleigh VanHouten

Ashleigh VanHouten Email

Ashleigh vanHouten on Instagram