Strongest Hearts Extra; Meal Prep with Figure Competitor Ashlee Harrison

Ashlee Harrison is a vegan figure competitor- a type of bodybuilder- but she’s also extremely busy. How does she balance healthy eating, training, working, sleeping and spending time with her partner? By preparing a week’s worth of meals on the weekend! Sound crazy? It’s not and here we show you why. And how you can improve your diet and make your life easier.



Isn’t Ashlee an inspiration? For us mortals who don’t have such a strict training and diet regime we can easily apply some of what she does. Having a solid plan makes executing it that much easier.


Protein- make your own at home

Wheat gluten, seitan, wheat meat- whatever you want to call it- is a high protein meat substitute with a history that goes back hundreds (thousands?) of years to Chinese Buddhist monks. It has been eaten in the US for over 100 years as well (the wiki page on gluten is actually very good too).  You can buy it readily at health food stores and Asian markets or you can make your own at home for much, much cheaper!

This is a recipe that Ashlee got from her Plantbuilt coach and has since modified. Gluten is primarily protein- but unfortunately its digestibility is very low. It can be part of a vegan diet but it shouldn’t be your main source of protein. For more on protein see this great interactive page by our friend and Registered Dietitian Anya Todd.


Home-made Wheat Gluten

2c vital wheat gluten
1c nutritional yeast
1.5c broth
2T tomato paste
1/4c maple syrup
1tsp maple extract
1.5tsp liquid smoke
1T garlic powder
1T onion powder
1/4tsp black pepper
1/4tsp chipotle powder
Few dashes cinnamon
1/2tsp smoked salt (or sub truffle salt!)
1/2tsp rosemary leaves (optional)
1/2tsp chopped fennel seeds (optional)
Few dashes ground clove (optional)

Mix wheat gluten and yeast in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine all other ingredients and mix until combined. Pour wet into dry and stir together until you can’t really “stir” any longer.

Then, knead the dough for about 2 minutes.

Bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes in a greased foil lined pan, and covered with greased foil.

Take off foil and continue baking at 325 degrees for an additional 10 minutes.

Let rest. Can be stored in the freezer.


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