Inside the $7K a week LA health retreat where you hike for 10 miles a day and have to adhere to a strict vegan diet of 1,400 calories – which A-list celebrities visit to help achieve their red carpet bodies
- The Ranch in Malibu boasts celebrity clients such Nicole Scherzinger, Selma Blair, Rebel Wilson and Lindsay Lohan
- Ranchers must adhere to their vegan 1,400 calories a day diet which involves no caffeine, dairy, soy or gluten
- The day starts at 5.30am and hike for 10 – 12 miles in the Malibu hills, before two hours of fitness classes in the afternoon
- Femail writer Sarah spent four days at the health retreat on its reset weekend
Supermodels and celebrities don’t get their enviable figures without hard work when it comes to their fitness regimes and diets.
While one LA retreat called the Ranch is more than happy to help them look their best and boasts clients such Nicole Scherzinger, Selma Blair, Rebel Wilson and Lindsay Lohan on their 4 day and week long retreats in the Malibu hills.
However a celebrity body doesn’t come cheap – fitness fanatics pay thousands of dollars, around $7,000 (£5,700) for a week, to adhere to The Ranch’s strict vegan diet and fitness motivation – which sees them hike for several hours each day and attend three daily fitness classes.
The 1,400-calorie-a-day vegan diet also means no alcohol, and ranchers are advised against consuming caffeine or eating any dairy, soy or gluten.
Femail’s Sarah Finley signed up to find out if it really was as tough as it sounded….
Femail’s Sarah Finley spent four days at the Ranch in Malibu and loved the hikes, but admits they were tough
Sarah climbed mountains for 4 hours a day – completing around 35 miles of walking over the weekend
’30 days before I even get on a plane I’m sent a pre-itinerary that includes detoxing beforehand, which means cutting back on items like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine to prepare.
‘They also recommend that you should increase your walking to 15,000 steps a day and do as much exercise as possible – to prepare you body for when you get there. But it’s hard to fit in around a full time job – and the nearer I get to my stay the more panicked I feel.
‘Opening in 2010 the health retreat puts on week long stays at their Malibu locations. So successful they also opened their 6 week Italian retreat in the Dolomites. I’m at their residency, based in the Four Season’s WestLake village for a four day reset retreat.
‘Started by Sue and Alex Glasscock, they employ a handful of people to look after us for the weekend, greeting us as we get there, looking after us for the weekend and waking us with door knocks at 5.30am. Yep – it’s an early wake up call.
‘The day then starts with stretches at 6am, to prepare us for the four hours of hiking. A healthy breakfast is next, before we set off for our hike, taking to different mountain routes every day.
‘In order to reset and shape up residents are also on a strict 1400 calorie a day diet too – eating a vegan menu of fruit, veg, grains and nuts.’
A celebrity body doesn’t come cheap – stars pay thousands of dollars, around $7K for a week, to adhere to The Ranch’s strict vegan diet and fitness motivation
The day starts with stretches at 6am, to prepare you for the four hours of hiking (pictured), a healthy breakfast is next then you then set off for a hike, taking to different mountain routes every day, in order to mix it up – with different inclines and trails
Living in London you don’t get many opportunities to hike up mountains, neither would you have time to climb up them for 4 hours a day – so Sarah (pictured) found the experience enlightening
Saturdays climb was one of the hardest – based at the Rancho Sierra Vista in the Santa Monica mountains, it had steep inclines for miles
‘Living in London you don’t get many opportunities to hike up mountains, neither would you have time to climb up them for four hours a day – so as I arrive at my first climb I’m excited to get going and experience the feeling of being out in nature.
‘I’m relatively fit and do around 3-4 classes a week at the gym but I quickly find that these mountains are a killer – before long I’m out of breath and looking at the steep inclines ahead of me hoping they don’t last long.
‘Saturdays climb is one of the hardest – based at the Rancho Sierra Vista in the Santa Monica mountains, it has steep inclines for miles. In my head I assumed we’d all be hiking along together, chatting away, but I quickly find that most people are very competitive and steam on ahead.
‘The trainers put down orange flags as we walk, to mark our route, but I’m quickly left on my own and regularly wonder if I missed a flag along the way – getting lost on a LA mountain wouldn’t be a great story to go home with. So whenever I see one I sigh with relief.
Sarah hiked up one of the most toughest mountains in Malibu and was given six almonds and black salt to hike back down
Singer and X-Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger joined the hikes at the Ranch last year, while other celebs such as Selma Blair have been spotted at the retreat
‘They also give us walkie talkies, mainly for safety reasons, which they use to direct us round the hills and remind us every 10 minutes to drink ‘water, water, water’ as we sip from our hydration backpacks.
‘Instead of distance they do the climbs in time, so after two hours whether you’ve hiked 5 or 7 miles it’s time to head back on the route you’ve just walked. Most days I manage 10 miles or more and feel pretty smug when I check my steps for the day – 30,000 – I barely get to do 5,000 when at home.
‘Saturdays climb was so hard and when I wake up the next day my legs are in so much pain that I can barely get out of bed. Thankfully as part of the retreat you’re also given a 45 minute massage every day, where they pound out any knots in your legs and rest of your body.
Visiting different mountains every day – they were all in and around the Malibu area which was an hour from Hollywood
One of the breakfasts that Sarah was given while she was at the Ranch – berries with home made granola
‘The views are well worth the pain though – lakes, beaches and stunning scenery for miles makes me remember that I’ve come here to reset not just my body but my mind too, and for celebrities it’s probably a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood just an hour away.
‘The exercise, however, didn’t stop there – after lunch we also have access to three 45 minute classes, focusing on abs, glutes and arms – making sure we work our whole bodies over the four days.
‘I’m not going to lie, as they aren’t compulsory I swap a few of the classes for the pool and spa time.’
In order to reset and shape up residents are also on a strictly 1400 calorie a day diet too – eating a vegan menu of fruit, veg, grains and nuts
All the meals were vegan based and Sarah was taught how to make vegetable burger (pictured) and kale crisps before she left
‘I’m eating a forbidden apple which I took from the spa! After two days of eating 1,400 calories I’m starving and feeling guilty for eating an apple – which I know sounds ridiculous.
‘It’s not that the food here isn’t great, in fact it has actually far exceeding my expectations – I’m just not used to eating a vegan diet and giving up so much.
‘I’m not a massive meat eater, but I do love my roast chicken, a nice glass of white wine and my morning coffee, so giving all that up, especially on a weekend, is tough.
‘I also have some friends who are vegans and aren’t exactly adventurous with their diet – so I was scared I’d either be starving or just eating salad all week. So imagine my horror when the first meal I got was a bowl of salad.
‘Thankfully it was just the starter.
One of the breakfasts at the Ranch was Chickpea Frittata’s with roasted vegetables – other breakfasts included Cranberry and walnut breakfast balls
‘As part of the fee the Ranch also has a private chef who makes vegan food actually taste amazing – meals such as Lentil veggie burgers and Chickpea frittata’s are perfectly flavoured and cooked.
‘We start the day with simple things like home made granola, berries and almond milk, or overnight oatmeal.
‘They also give us snacks to eat on the hike – the most laughable one being six almonds and some black salt after two hours of climbing. When they accidentally poured me seven almonds I almost danced with excitement.
‘Lunch is always well received after a four hour hike, and included veggie hummus wraps and a kale and chickpea salad. Meanwhile for dinner, just before bedtime at 8pm, we eat Eggplant Bolognese with courgetti and cauliflower based veggie pizza’s.
‘But I did get hungry at times – especially after all the exercise, while others suffered from withdrawal headaches and bloating.’
Sarah stayed at the The Ranch’s residency, based in the Four Season’s WestLake village, which had beautiful views of the mountains
Hollywood actresses Hilary Duff (left) and Malin Akerman (right) has spent time at the retreat
‘At the end of the four days I feel amazing – my body feels as though like it’s been reset, my legs and glutes feel stronger, my tummy feels flatter and I’ve even lost a couple of pounds. Most of all I feel so rested, even though I’ve had to endure 5.30am wake up calls all weekend.
‘I’m not saying it was easy – anything where you want to see change in your body and mind can be tough. Be prepared to ache, sweat and probably experience a few hunger pains. However, I was also ready for a glass of wine and a good calorie laden meal by the end.
‘Of course the price is a sticking point too – not everyone can afford over a $1,000 a day to technically be told not to eat bad things and be guided round a mountain. But these guys are pros and if you want a body like a celebrity then you have to work hard for it.’
LA travel information
The Ranch’s different retreat packages can be booked via their website at theranchmalibu.com
Virgin Atlantic fly direct to Los Angeles from £400
BlackLane’s private chauffered cars are available to book in LA and across the world at blacklane.com
Visit California can also provide you with more information about LA and its surroundings at visitcalifornia.com
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