A note from Sue & Alex


We all make so many decisions every day. Sometimes we are so quickly multitasking our way through them, we forget how they impact all aspects of our lives. As the days grow shorter nature encourages us all to slow down. It is the perfect time to reflect on ourselves and how we impact the world around us. Our decisions big and small have a ripple effect. It is said that when we make many decisions they are like a stone thrown into the pond affecting at least 7 other people.

Alex and I are grateful this month (and every day) that we decided to follow our dream and found The Ranch 8 years ago. Happy Birthday to The Ranch and all those that make it possible. You touch our lives making it richer, fuller and healthier!!!!

Speaking of important decisions, don’t forget to vote!

Sending big healthy hugs and gratitude,

– Sue and Alex


It’s hard to believe that just 8 years ago The Ranch opened its gates to our first guests. Since 2010 we’ve looked for ways to enhance the experience, including expanding to offer 4 and 10 day programs, taking The Ranch to Italy, growing The Ranch campus with the Romper Room and Buddha Barn for afternoon fitness classes and introducing more medical services and cutting edge treatments like cryotherapy into our programming.

Even more incredible are the amazing accomplishments we have achieved together!

Thank you for inspiring us each week with your astonishing results!

There are more than 8,000 Ranch Alums with almost 10,000 total visits!

You’ve enjoyed 157,032 plant-based meals which means together we’ve saved:
– 1.1 million lbs of CO2 Emissions
– Almost 61 million gallons of water
– Tens of thousands of animals

You’ve hiked 436,530 total miles!
– That’s more than 17.5 times around the world and by the end of this month, our guests will have hiked to the moon and back!

You’ve lost:
– 54,939 pounds
– 78,906 inches


Congratulations Ranch Program Guide Ann Ongena!

We are so proud of Ranch Program Guide Ann Ongena! At 54 years old and following recovery from a stress fracture in her hip, amazing Ann competed in Ultra Tour de Mont Blanc, placing 7th in her age bracket! As the most prestigious trail running competition in the world, this 107 mile race features a total elevation gain of 33,000 feet – for reference Mt. Everest is about 29,000 feet high – and goes through France, Italy and Switzerland.

“To be able to run this race, you need qualifying points you earn through running other major races. Once you have the points you have to go through a lottery. So it’s very special to get to run this. I’m very thankful I’m still healthy and fit enough so I can do this. ( Yes on a 99% vegan diet! )”

With 2560 competitors (only 9% of which were women!) just 1778 completed the 3 day race. Ann finished in 42 hours and 14 minutes – 2 sunsets, 2 sunrises and no sleep – with a smile on her face the entire time!

The 4.0 and 10.0 Return to California!

After 6 wonderful weeks in the Italian Dolomites, we were thrilled to welcome our Ranch 4.0 team back to California earlier this month! Book your post-summer reset or pre-holiday jumpstart now to enjoy 4 days of hiking, fitness classes, massages and delicious healthy cuisine to finish 2018 at optimal health. For those wishing to stay longer our signature 7 day stay in Malibu is always available or kick it up a notch and try The Ranch 10.0!

For availability please contact inquiry@theranchmalibu.com

Shipping’s on Us!

We’re excited to announce complimentary shipping on all orders from The Ranch Store over $100! Shop now and stock up on your favorite treats such as Granola, Greens or Energy Bites or pamper your skin with our new Bee’s Milk Facial Scrub, Sun Soaked Sage Face & Body Mist or signature Plant Bars. When you spend $100 or more at the store during your visit or online, shipping is now included!



Stories from our alums about the incredible lifestyle changes
they have made since a visit to The Ranch!

Monica Maslia
Atlanta, GA
43 years old

I went to The Ranch 4.0 in March of 2018 with my bestie who was asking me about a trip she could take to lose weight. We were super scared because it was completely out of our comfort zones. I don’t think I ever hiked in my life. I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to do it, but I learned it wasn’t about how many miles we hiked or how fast we walked. It was about focusing on how I would feel my best, and doing this with one of my best friends was super fun! When I returned home, my results were made of metrics I didn’t even think I would care about. Now, they’re my focus. Weight loss isn’t even in my vocabulary anymore. Strong is the new skinny…

What I learned about most was what my body liked and didn’t like. I never knew before because my body was so accustomed to the “bad” stuff I was consuming – like a daily venti carmel macchiato. Little by little, I re-introduced the foods and products that we cut out (like dairy, alcohol, fish) but not all of them simply because I didn’t want them.

To this day, I don’t consume refined sugars or flours, or meats (I do eat wild caught fish). I read EVERY label I come across at the grocery store. If it’s not “real” I don’t buy it. I am selective in the oils I use, the cheese I buy and actually love vegetables. I crave water now. My body was soaking up so much coffee and soda in years’ past that it kept wanting more. And that was the case with cookies and cakes, too. Haven’t had a cookie or piece of cake either but I also haven’t wanted it.

You may be asking why do I care so much about the ingredients we consume. Didn’t you go to lose weight? I don’t even get on the scale anymore unless I am at a doctor’s appointment and then I don’t even want to know what it is because it doesn’t matter. My size 6 dresses fit me now not because of weight I’ve lost but because of what I am eating and avoiding as well as 60 minutes of Orange Theory three times a week. It’s because I lost almost 20 inches overall. But the best part? I FEEL better than I ever have before.

Learning my “real age” was something I loved about the program. Going into the program at 43 and being told my body was really age 48 after a test they administered did not sit well with me. How could I have lost five years of my life by not exercising as much as I should, and consuming “chemicals” and junk. Knowing this age of 48, it makes me work harder because I can earn it back. That’s five less years with my husband and kids. That’s five less years traveling the world. That’s five less years with my future grandchildren. This has been my motivation and has kept me going.

The Ranch 4.0 truly changed my life. I tell my kids, it’s a lifestyle, not a diet when they ask why I look at food labels, or only buy wild-caught fish and grass fed meats for them. And I am loving this new lifestyle!

Lauren LaCour
Naples, FL
42 years old

I attended the The Ranch 4.0 in September 2016. A lifelong athlete, my time at The Ranch changed my perspective on fitness and altered my daily routine. I spent 18 years working in the financial services industry and often sought out wellness programs for much needed de-stressing and recharging of the mind, body & soul.

What I liked about The Ranch was the 30-day preparation program to help you get in the mindset. Also the body metrics testing (Vo2 and body composition) results were eye opening. I remember thinking I was in shape until I came to The Ranch…I could kayak 15 miles or run 5 miles, but had no strength to lift weights and hiking the inclines of the Santa Monica mountains was intense!

The Ranch also opened my mind on nutrition, for me the most resounding impact was in regards to what snacks I needed for energy when exercising. 6 almonds with pink Himalayan salt seemed shockingly little during our morning hike but it did the trick. I’m an outdoors person and used to dread going to the gym. My time with the personal trainers at The Ranch gave me a new approach to strength training and I’ve hit gyms all around the world every other day these past two years.

I loved the practical tips provided which I could take on the road as I travel frequently. Within 6 months after the program, I lost weight, dropped several sizes and dramatically improved my body composition results. I am forever grateful for my experience, the staff’s knowledge & insight and of course, the time spent hiking in the beautiful Santa Monica mountains. I’m tremendously passionate about The Ranch. 4 short days has made a lasting impact.

If you’d like to share your 6 Almonds Later story in our Winter Newsletter please email Melissaa@threranchmalibu.com

You can also follow us on Instagram to see more or share yours using the hashtag #sixalmondslater for a chance to be featured on our feed!



Mel Caradine
The Ranch Malibu Program Guide

With a kind presence and endless knowledge of the Southern California landscape, Mel is always the first to share a fun fact about the terrain and vegetation on morning hikes. Prior to joining The Ranch, Mel worked as an engineer for 33 years with an aerospace company that made rocket engines (mainly for NASA). During this time he also started to volunteer with the National Park Service in the Santa Monica Mountains where he developed a passion for learning about the mountains. His love of hiking and the environment, along with the care he gives to each guest, makes for the perfect hiking buddy during the 4 hour morning treks and one of our most loved staff members.

Check out this Q&A to learn more about our resident naturalist.

What are you grateful for?
– Good health and the ability to be active.

What has been your most rewarding moment since joining The Ranch?
– Seeing the growth in confidence from Sunday through Friday, of the guests in their ability to complete the program each week.

Best/Funniest thing a guest has said to you?
– I was hiking with the group one day and one guest asked with an expression of indignation (we were climbing a hill at the time) why we make the hikes so difficult. I explained that to improve your fitness you have to push your physical limits. I stifled a laugh because this didn’t event rank as one of our tough hikes. I also explained that if laying around, being inactive improved your fitness then the whole world would be healthy.

Most asked question from guests?
– How much time is left in the hike?

First thing you do when you wake up?
– Turn on the TV to get the local weather report since we hike 365 days a year, rain or shine.

Favorite Ranch Meal or Snack?
– Kale Chips – I love them!

Where can we find you when you aren’t at The Ranch?
– Working on home projects, volunteering with the National Park Service in the Santa Monica Mountains and other volunteer activities.

Your favorite hike/place to walk in Los Angeles?
– Stunt High Trail (the views at the top of Saddle Peak are spectacular on a clear day)

Do you have a personal mantra or favorite quote?
– “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean” – Isaac Newton

Last book you read?
– Chumash Ethnobotany: Plant Knowledge Among the Chumash People of Southern California by Jam Timbrook.


Did you know the US tosses approximately 40% of our food in the trash, which then ends up in a landfill? Because it can’t decompose, greenhouse gas (methane) is created and emitted into the atmosphere. The amount is equal to 35 million automobiles on the road. At The Ranch the health of our planet comes first and so we practice a closed system, in which our food waste from the kitchen is fed to our chickens and goats, which then gets turned into compost for our soil.

While you may not have chickens or goats to help with composting, there are several ways you can apply the principles of composting and organic farming to your own garden for healthier harvests and a healthier planet.

Read on for tips from our garden.


It can be as easy as digging a hole in your yard, and burying your scraps – think natural waste like fruit and vegetable peels and leftovers, coffee grounds, eggshells, yard trimmings, etc. In about 4 weeks you will notice soft, dark soil when you scratch the surface. If you don’t want to bury scraps in the ground, get a compost bin.

Make sure to add leaves & wood chips (carbon) to your organic matter, otherwise it can get smelly. This means anaerobic conditions have occurred and there’s not enough of an air to water ratio. By adding wood fiber (carbon) and some soil, you create the perfect balance.


Fall is here which means shorter days and cooler temps. This is the perfect time to look at water saving tips. Add straw to the topsoil. It keeps moisture in while protecting onions, garlic and shallots for your fall planting.

Compost is another way to keep your soil moist. Adding it to the top of your soil will lock in the moisture while giving your soil needed nutrients as well as beneficial-microbes.

Try a drip system. They are easy and much cheaper on your water bill. Did you know that you can loose up to 50% water to evaporation when you over water? Try adding some drip tape to your garden. You will be pleased and so will your plants.


Fall is the time when pests are not as abundant due to the colder conditions. However, if you do find some problems, simple organic solutions are your best bet for the health of your plants and soil. Biodegradable soap is best. I like Dr. Bronner’s castile soap mixed with oil to help rid a variety of pests. Aphids can be simply sprayed off with a strong blast of water from the hose nozzle.

By keeping your plants healthy with organic matter/compost and healthy soil that is teaming with beneficial microbes, your plants will have a better chance fighting off pests and disease.


The soul of the garden. Most veggies prefer a sandy loam soil. Depending on your area, you may have to add different components to your soil to make it just right. The basic rule is this:

Dig down about 6 inches in your soil. Make sure it’s moist. Take a handful and squeeze it together like dough. It should be held together but not like a clump of clay. Then crumble it. If it crumbles like the consistency of cake flour you have the perfect sandy loam soil. If it stays together you have more of a clay soil. And if it falls apart like sand in an hourglass you have sandy soil.

If you need help on balancing your soil check out this link from The Rodale Institute, which is the best when it comes to science and organics. https://rodaleinstitute.org/the-latest-dirt-on-soil/