Jumpstarting 2014: A Recap from The Ranch R4.0

Hiking - Copy

Right before Thanksgiving, I blogged about how I was about to embark on a 4-day fitness/wellness retreat with The Ranch R4.0.  It’s been about a week since I’ve been back and, guys, I’m still all reved up with energy and enthusiasm which, for me, is pretty amazing.  If you read my pre-trip post, you know that I was extremely nervous about going, mainly because I didn’t exactly follow the month-long “preparation” that The Ranch instructs everyone to do (oops) which mainly consists of daily hikes/work outs, cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, animal protein, etc.  I knew that I’d have NO problem with the food, since I don’t drink caffeine anyway, and if I can’t go four days with out a drink…well, that would mean I should be going to a different kind of retreat, but I digress.

Our days started at 5:30am (yep, not a fan of that) and went straight through until about 8…it was intense, yet, a truly amazing experience.  Here’s a sample day at the retreat:

  • 5:30am: wake up call
  • 6:00am: morning stretch/yoga
  • 7:00am: breakfast
  • 7:30am: departure for hike
  • 7:45: hike begins
  • 12:30: hike ends
  • 1:00pm: lunch
  • 1:30pm: break
  • 2:00pm: class at fitness center (yoga)
  • 3:00pm: class at fitness center (core)
  • 4:00pm: class at fitness center (strength training)
  • 5:00pm: massage
  • 6:00pm: break
  • 7:00pm: dinner

I learned so much that I barely even know where to start.  I think my biggest takeaways were these:

the ranch food

  • Treat your body well// What you put into your body matters.  I always knew this and, honestly, I eat fairly well most of the time…but I learned that I can actually live (and be full) on MUCH less food than I thought.  Sure, I was hungry the first two (ok, three) days of this retreat but by the fourth day I found myself satisfied with about a 1/2 cup of granola and a sip of a veggie smoothie. What?!  I’m the girl who ALWAYS finishes her plate, even if the plate is full of healthy food…I finish it. I never minded vegan food but now I actually like it; I even made a vegan lunch yesterday and was almost full after 😉

the ranch hotel room

  • Push yourself physically, but listen when your body says to stop// The hikes were really challenging…I mean like REALLY hard and I pushed myself physically because I wanted…no, I needed to finish them.  By the end of the second day, I realized that at some point I had pulled my right groin muscle and could barely lift my leg.  I sat in my hotel room, leg elevated, watching Full House, and cried a little about the fact that I hurt myself and might not be able to do any more hiking.  Then I thought about it…I’m pretty sure that I pulled my groin the first day and I STILL hiked about 9 miles after that which, HELLO, is pretty amazing.  I DO push myself…and I’m proud of that.  I took a break and didn’t do the 3rd hike and then, on the 4th day, I did a moderated version of the hike that didn’t include such steep inclines.  I did what I could with what I had going and that’s something I’m proud of.

the ranch simple things

  • Enjoy the simple things// It’s funny what becomes “normal” to you when you’re out of your comfort zone.  I learned to love my nightly ritual of no-caffeine tea (with fresh mint and lemon) and I would actually get excited to drink it.  I also learned to love the fact that the only makeup I wore on my face (for FOUR ENTIRE DAYS) was mineral foundation and a dab of concealer…that’s IT.

malibu view

  • Make sure you take time to enjoy the view// So often we just go through life not truly paying attention to what’s going on around us (Hi, if you’re from New York especially).  I made sure STOP and LOOK around…the views are amazing when you take a minute to breath.

good things take time

  • Good things take time// I’ve never been a particularly patient person but I’m trying to be better.  Whether it’s a fitness goal, a career goal or even something small, it’s important to remember these words.  Good things take time.




Jumpstarting 2014: The Ranch R4.0

the ranch malibu

Ahhhh, fitness retreats. I’ve never actually done one, mostly because I’m lazy, but when the opportunity presented itself at The Ranch Malibu, I really had no excuse to say no.  Starting on Thanksgiving (YES, I am skipping Thanksgiving), I’ll be spending the next four days at The Four Seasons in Westlake Village (about 30 miles from Hollywood).  The best part about this is that I’m going to be “roughing it” outside for hours upon hours, only to come back to a massage and delicious meal at one of the nicest hotels in the country. It’s a rough life, let me tell you.  My dad, being the avid hiker/camper that he is, originally gave me a few tips:

Dad: You only really need two pairs of socks…


Dad: (laughing) Well…it’s called roughing it, Jamie.

Me: I don’t know what you’re talking about…I’m staying at The Four Seasons.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 11.54.09 PM

Does Troop Beverly Hills come to mind? It certainly did for me.  Beverly Hills, what a thrill.  This is pretty much how I picture this process, at least in my dreams…

Ok, awesome 90s movies aside, 4.0 is a four day version of The Ranch’s acclaimed weeklong program, The Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu. The program runs from Thursday to Monday, and is designed for guests desiring a jump-start to a healthier lifestyle who are unable to be away from home or work for a full week, and who desire to maintain more connectivity during their program immersion.

Just like at The Ranch, guests of R4.0 will take part in 8-10 hours per day of rigorous exercise including four hours of morning mountain hiking, afternoon exercise classes and stretching, delicious organic vegetarian cuisine, massages (Friday – Sunday) and a cooking demonstration. In conjunction with California Health and Longevity Institute, R4.0 also includes medical diagnostic testing (VO2 Metabolic Testing and Body Composition).

Now, on to the important things…like what I’ll be wearing.

fabletics- kate hudson

This is totallllly how I’m gonna look, riding a bike, next to cactus…in a sports bra. Right.  In all seriousness, I actually had to get some pretty intense gear for this little outing: a Camelback, hiking shoes and, most important (at least in my mind), sweat/moisture-wicking clothing so that I don’t walk around in wet clothes all day.  After nearly an hour of internet searching, I honestly just refused to spend $85 on ONE pair of stretch pants (especially after the Lululemon debacle)- sorry I’m not sorry, so thankfully the lovely team at Fabletics hooked me up with tons of sweat-wicking workout clothes and they’re REALLY, REALLY good, guys.  Honestly, they fit really well, feel awesome and are made from the same quality materials as their competitors, at half the price.  My new workout gear has actually made me slightly more excited to work out for 8-10 hours a day…slightly.

I’ll be on Instagram and Twitter through out my four days, so make sure to follow me to see what our group is doing.  Wish me luck…sigh, I’m nervous.