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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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Sep 7, 2021

You may not be aware that many of our culinary herbs and spices started out as medicine. I asked chemist and plant expert (and product developer for Medicine Man Plant Co) to do a deep dive on a spice everyone knows, but many may not know the benefits of: black pepper. Yes, it tastes great with salt on french fries, but it also works with other healthy compounds to enable them to work better: things like turmeric and cayenne pepper, for example, by helping your body absorb more of those healthy compounds. Find out more about how black pepper works in this episode, and check out the previous episode with Mark all about another common pantry item: sage.

Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, Ph.D. grew up in the wilds of Minnesota where his parents and grandparents utilized the amazing wild foods and medicinal plants found in local woods, fields, and lakes. He received a BS in professional chemistry from South Dakota State University followed by a MS in medicinal chemistry and a PH.D. in physical organic chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technical university in the US.

After graduation a strange twist of fate set him traveling the world as a petroleum chemist rather than in pharmaceuticals. However, his knowledge of natural products blessed him with the ability to tap natural compounds to replace traditionally hazardous oilfield chemicals. During this career he earned fourteen chemical patents that made the petroleum industry safer for all. After 20 years of that he moved on to the position of R&D Manager for a consumer chemical product company. Here Dr. Vorderbruggen reinvented their line of construction chemical products, safely and effectively replacing the dangerous compounds the industry had been using. He also spearheaded the company’s R&D efforts for a whole new line of personal care products designed to protect people from the toxins they encounter daily. Mark wrote Idiot’s Guide Foraging and The Medicinal Plants of Texas (to be published 2022).

To learn more about Medicine Man Plant Co’s products and the ingredients they use, click here and use the code MUSCLEMAVEN for a 20% discount on anything you purchase.

Please check out our newest show Sponsor, Palleovalley - they make my new favorite healthy snacks, 100% grassfed and fermented beef sticks and Superfood bars made with bone broth protein and packed with plant-based superfoods (while still managing to taste like a delicious, chocolatey treat). This company doesn’t cut corners, they combine the best that plants and animals have to offer for our health, and it shows - learn more at paleovalley.com and use the code MMR to save 15% on anything you buy!

Learn more about Ashleigh, suggest an idea for the podcast, or sign up for one of her health coaching programs at ashleighvanhouten.com

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