There are a few basic tenets of health that we like to encourage: Go to bed early, eat healthfully, exercise regularly, unplug from your gadgets, cut back on sugar, and spend some time in nature. Last week I did exactly all of these—every day, all day—taking to the mountains of Malibu for what I’m going to call a “fitness retreat” at The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu.
The Ranch, as it’s fondly called by its staff and guests is a kind of vacation hybrid: It’s one part boot camp and one part luxury retreat, with some gourmet vegetarian food (much of which is grown onsite), and daily massages thrown in for good measure. It is as amazing as it is challenging. The exercise—which includes hiking, yoga, and strength training for up to ten hours a day—is extremely rigorous, and there is no caffeine, sugar, meat or alcohol allowed on the premises.
The Ranch is a place to take a complete, cell-phone-free timeout from life. For anyone looking to lose a few pounds, reset their inner clock, reassess their health, their patterns or, you know, their whole damn life, this could very well be the place. Unfortunately, its higher price point means it’s reserved for the wealthier set. If you are among them, wonderful: I highly recommend you explore it as an option if you’re looking to seriously reboot. If you are not, click through the slideshow to read about some of the lessons I gleaned from my week on Ranch time.