Summer 2019 Newsletter

A note from Sue & Alex


Hello Ranchers!

We love Emerson’s quote as it truly embodies the Summer and our Ranch Values.

“Live in Sunshine” = be in nature

“Swim in the Sea” = move your body

“Drink the Wild Air” = not to mention “Water Water Water”

Three simple statements that, if practiced regularly, have the power to transform your life on a daily basis. We tend to make things more complicated than they need to be, overstimulating our minds and tiring our bodies trying to ‘get everything done.’ Summer is the perfect time to shift this energy into appreciating the present moment and focusing on what truly ‘needs’ your attention and what you want to do with your time.

Emerson’s words are a wonderful reminder of the freedom that comes from connecting with nature and yourself in a way that doesn’t require the outside world to get involved. As we hit the halfway mark of 2019, challenge yourself to revisit the goals you set for the year and offer a new dedication to yourself to keep what is working, let go of what isn’t and stop to find peace in the quiet moments along the way.

Happy Summer!

In health,

~ Sue & Alex

News & Notes

Last Chance to Join Us in Italy

Our Italian pop-up program is almost completely full! With just a few spots left the weeks of 9/8 and 9/22, you’ll want to book now. Don’t miss the chance to hike one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges, while staying in the ultimate fairy tale setting at Hotel Rosa Alpina. Get healthy, lose pounds and inches, clear your mind and reset your body!

Staying Domestic?

The Ranch 4.0 and The Ranch Malibu are booking through the Summer! Treat yourself to a week or long weekend in California and beat the heat as we switch to our Summer schedule. You’ll get out on trails earlier and even have a bit more downtime after dinner.

At The Ranch, you’ll enjoy more classes in the pool, and have the option of cold therapy in our cold plunge pool and cryotherapy sauna which maximizes recovery and results, all while cooling you down!

Both retreats are the perfect reset for parents whose kids are off in camp, or if you have older children, try one of our programs as a family for an unforgettable bonding experience.

Last Weekend to Support The Ranch!

We are thrilled to be nominated for both a Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award, along with an American Airlines’ 2019 Celebrated Living Platinum List Award. We would be honored if you took a moment to share your love for The Ranch by casting a vote for us in these two annual awards before the end of the month.

Staff Chat

Jim Baird
Program Guide, The Ranch Malibu

Born and raised in the “Great State of Maine,” Jim fell in love with Southern California after his first run in the Santa Monica Mountains and relocated here from New York nearly 35 years ago. Now following his dream to live the life of a “full-time” ultra-trail runner, we are so lucky that he is a part of our team! Each week he shares his lifelong passion for health and fitness and his deep respect for nature as he educates guests on the many ways they can protect and preserve our special planet.

Learn more about Jim!


What are you grateful for?
– I’m grateful for family and friends, a lifetime of good health, the amazing ultrarunning community and the opportunity to help people unplug, experience the physical world and reconnect with the planet.

What has been your most rewarding moment since joining The Ranch?
– Seeing the guests respond to The Ranch Values and how they use the tools acquired during their visit to either begin or continue their healthy transformation.

What brought you to The Ranch?
– I wanted to be a part of a team of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts, dedicated to helping people realize their health and fitness goals and protecting the planet. Spending my days in the Santa Monica Mountains and helping guests connect with and gain a deeper appreciation for the physical world is my dream job.

Best/funniest thing a guest has said to you?
– “Jim, your trail shoes look like ‘clown shoes.’ I’m all about fashion and simply can’t wear anything so hideous!” We’ve been laughing about this for the past three years upon each visit. The guest now wears the “clown shoes.” Comfort and fitness took the lead over fashion.

Most asked question from guests?
– What do you think about when you’re running a 100-mile trail race?

First thing you do when you wake up?
– Have a cup of warm water, vinegar and chia seeds followed by meditation.

Go-to snack?
– On a long trail run I love to indulge in a tortilla or flatbread with date paste, almond butter, banana and hemp hearts.

Where can we find you when you aren’t at The Ranch?
– Spending time with family and friends, running in the Santa Mountains and throughout Southern California and helping people register to vote.

Your favorite hike/place to walk in Los Angeles?
– I always say … the run/hike that I’m currently on. Although, I do have a strong spiritual and place connection with Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa; Boney Mountain and the Backbone Trail.

Do you have a personal mantra or favorite quote?
– Apache Blessing:

May the sun bring you new energy by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away your worries,
May the breeze blow new strength into your being,
May you walk gently through the world and
Know it’s beauty all the days of your life.

Last book you read?
– Tracks Along the Left Coast, Jaime de Angulo & Pacific Coast Culture – Andrew Schelling

From the Garden

A cool, refreshing foot bath does not need to be something you only enjoy post-hike at The Ranch. You can easily make a treat for your feet at home using the same healing and aromatherapeutic flowers and herbs from the garden, along with soothing Epsom salts.

Learn how to make the perfect foot bath for a healing dip after a tough workout, long walk or hot day throughout the summer!

Why do we use foot baths at The Ranch?

– Like cryotherapy and our cold plunge pools, foot baths are another one of our healing modalities. We use these tools to help our guests heal from vigorous activity and speed up their recovery, so that they can thrive throughout the week.

They are particularly helpful after the long hike to reduce swelling and soothe tired muscles and feet. When you expose your feet to cold temperatures, it helps to constrict the blood vessels and muscle fibers, which eases swelling soreness.

How do you make your own cooling foot bath?

– What’s great about this practice is that it’s one you can do at home when your feet are in need of a little TLC.

You can use cold therapy to help constrict the blood vessels and muscle fibers, which reduces swelling and eases soreness. To do this you’ll want to prepare an ice bath, by adding enough water to a container to submerge your feet in, then add ice until the temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let them soak for about 5 – 8 minutes but don’t stay longer than 10.

What about using warmer water?

– A warmer bath can relieve muscle aches and stiffness, reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Adding Epsom salt to the water can also prevent congestion in the joints and treat any wounds on the feet.

Simply put 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in a basin of warm water. Relax and soak your feet for 20 minutes.

Epsom salt is particularly good at irrigating and cleansing wounds to prevent infection – which is especially useful in our treatment of blisters. It also helps to reduce pain symptoms and promote healing, while eliminating odor.

What about flowers and herbs?

– With medicinal benefits that have been used for centuries, adding certain herbs and flowers to your foot bath can offer anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and aromatherapeutic benefits to make your soak a complete sensory experience.

If using fresh herbs or flowers, simply cut a few leaves and crush them before dropping them in your warm Epsom soak. Using warm water allows for their healing benefits and scents to be more easily released and because it’s more pleasant to soak in, you can better absorb the minerals and therapeutic qualities they offer. If you really want to go for a full body experience, try adding any of these to your next full body bath!

Here are a few of our favorites:

Lavender/ Lavender Oila natural pain reliever, optimal for sore muscles and joints

Calendula / Calendula Oilsoothes and calms skin, making it great for insect bites, while also quickening the healing time of cuts and blisters with antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties

Rosemary / Rosemary Oilhelps soothe tired muscles, improve memory and cognitive function, reduce stress and offers antiseptic properties

Sage / Sage Oilboosts your mood and attentiveness, also a potent antiseptic with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are particularly effective in calming skin conditions

Basilanti-inflammatory & antimicrobial, while helping to combat stress

Mexican Tarragonwith an incredibly calming fragrance, it also works as an antibacterial herb, we are currently pairing it with sage for the ultimate summer solstice bath

With the Band

Changing up your fitness routine throughout the year keeps your muscles and your mind sharp. We love training with resistance bands, especially while on the go! They are highly portable and compactable, lightweight and functional for almost any environment. The Ranch Fitness Instructor Davey Fisher loves this exercise tool because you can create substantial resistance without the added “weight bearing” effects of standard weight training.

Get Davey’s super-efficient, full body, resistance band workout here!

Before you start each exercise, test the resistance by walking closer to or further away from the band, choking up on the straps or widening or narrowing your feet if you are stepping on the band. You want to make sure you find a spot that challenges you!

Perform 20 – 30 seconds of repetitions and do three to five rounds from start to finish!

Squatting row:
With the band looped on something secure in front of you, hold a squat position and pull the band towards the chest as elbows retract backward.  Your palms will face the floor the entire time. Perform repetitions fairly quickly.

Squat to press:
Step on the band, feet shoulder-width apart and hold the top of the band across the top of the chest, palms facing away from you. If you are using a band with handles, simply center the band under your feet and grab the handles. Drop into a squat, keeping the weight in the hips and heels, while keeping the back flat. Stand tall and press the band straight up with arms wider than shoulder width.

Reverse lunge to row:
With the band looped on something secure in front of you, take the band in your hands, palms facing down towards the floor and step back with one leg into a lunge position. Next, step up with the same leg, bringing the knee up towards the chest as you simultaneously pull the band in towards the chest and fully retract the shoulders and elbows.

Squat to pull apart:
Drop into a squat position with the hips back, holding the band in front of the chest; arms should be fully extended with the palms facing the floor. Keep the band tight and pull it out, towards the sternum, while maintaining a full extension in the arms as you return to a standing position.

Bent Over Row:
Keep your torso hinged towards the floor with weight in the hips. Stepping on the band and twisting it into an “x” position, palms facing you,  pull the band towards the chest with elbows back and shoulder blades squeezed together. Release and repeat.

Chef’s Corner

With so many freshly harvested ingredients coming from the garden right now, choosing just three recipes was not easy! This season, try something sweet, something savory and a refreshing gazpacho to cool you down in the coming months…

Carrot Cake Donuts with Lemon Cashew Frosting

For the Donuts

1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 flax eggs
(2 Tbsp flax meal mixed w/ 6 Tbsp water)
1/3 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 cup finely grated carrots

For the Cashew Cream Frosting

1/2 cup raw cashews,
soaked at least 1 hour, or overnight
3-4 Tbsp water
Pinch salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla powder

To Make the Donuts:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl make the flax eggs by combining the flax with the water. Set aside.

Combine the oat flour, rice flour, almond meal, coconut sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the almond milk, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and flax eggs together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Fold in the grated carrots.

Spoon the batter into mini donut molds, filling to just below the top of the mold. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed and lightly golden brown. Let cool completely.

Once cool, dip the tops of the donuts in the frosting.

To Make the Cashew Cream Frosting:

Drain the cashews and blend on high speed with the rest of the ingredients until fully combined and creamy, adding a bit more water if needed to get the correct consistency.

Vegetable Thai Curry

1 cup black rice or quinoa, rinsed
2 tsp avocado oil
1 onion, diced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled & minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of Salt
½ bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed and sliced into 2-inch long pieces
2 carrots, peeled & sliced on the diagonal
1 cup sugar snap peas
2 Tbsp Thai green curry paste (either store-bought or homemade,
recipe follows)
1 can (14 ounces) organic lite coconut milk
½ cup water
Handful of chopped fresh cilantro

To cook the quinoa or rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed grain and continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and return to the pot. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Warm a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the oil. Cook the onion, ginger and garlic with a sprinkle of salt for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the asparagus, carrots, and sugar snap peas and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Pour the coconut milk into the pan, along with ½ cup water. Bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat as necessary to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender and cooked through – about 5 to 10 minutes.

Remove the curry from heat and season if needed. Divide the quinoa or rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Homemade Green Curry Paste
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp coconut aminos
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until a paste is formed.

Saute onion, carrot, garlic and celery until softened.

Add the red pepper flakes, paprika &cumin and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Add the oregano, bay leaf, tomatoes, aminos, vegetable stock, tomato paste, and vinegar, then bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the beans and simmer 15 minutes longer to heat through and blend flavors.

Add more stock if necessary, or cook longer to reach desired consistency.

Remove the bay leaf and serve!

Avocado Cucumber Gazpacho

2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, pitted
¼ cup cilantro or basil, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 scallion, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 cup water
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional Garnishes:
Cherry tomatoes, diced
Watermelon, diced
Toasted Sunflower Seeds

Puree all of the ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Garnish as desired.