WHY GO THERE
Post awards season and the Oscars, many A-listers have had to put in the extra blood, sweat and tears to make sure their bodies are in tip-top red carpet condition. Being close to Los Angeles, The Ranch Malibu is the perfect place for celebrities to be put through their paces and OK! learned that Lea Michele, Rebel Wilson, Nicole Scherzinger and Mandy Moore are all fans. In fact, Rebel posted about her stay, saying it was “challenging but very rewarding”. She also said she’d “lost eight pounds from marathon hiking” over her four-day stay.
WHERE TO STAY
The Ranch has two venues, the Malibu centre and the Four Seasons Westlake Village – both in the Santa Monica Mountains national park. The 18 guests on the seven-day programme will stay in cottages at the Malibu centre, complete with organic garden, open-air kitchen, outdoor pool and a massage, yoga and meditation village. For the time-poor, like OK!, opt for the four-night intensive programme at the Westlake Village, just a 40-minute drive from West Hollywood. Temptations such as coffee makers are removed from the room and the mini bars are locked!
The programmes at The Ranch are not all about weight loss. Its ethos is all about offering a holistic approach to health, fitness and nutrition – one that will help kick-start a healthier lifestyle and motivate you long after you’ve left the retreat. The Ranch 4.0 fitness programme that OK! chose involved a 5.30am wake-up call, a stretching class and breakfast before a four-hour hike in the Santa Monica Mountains. After one morning’s strenuous exercise, we were rewarded with lunch on Malibu’s famous Point Dume Beach where we spotted dolphins and pelicans in the Pacific Ocean. Afternoons back at The Ranch saw aerobic and conditioning classes or a dip in the outdoor pool followed by a yoga class and a relaxing massage. The programmes, in partnership with the California Health and Longevity Institute, also include cholesterol testing and body fat analysis so staff can design a personalised diet and lifestyle plan for you.
While at the retreat, guests follow a 1,400-calorie a day organic vegan diet that excludes alcohol, caffeine, dairy, sugar and wheat. Before our detox, OK! worried about what we would eat, but luckily the meals were as delicious as they were nutritious, which was a relief as we were very hungry after all that exercise!
Despite the strict daily calorie count, menu highlights included a mushroom stroganoff on polenta mash, lentil burgers with crispy kale chips and a cauliflower-crust pizza with basil pesto and macadamia nut cheese.
Chef Meredith revealed her secrets on the final day by giving us a cooking lesson, plus recipes to take home so we had no excuse not to keep up the good work!