A Note from Sue & Alex


Hello Ranchers,

We hope this finds you healthy and optimistic for the future ahead. There are so many words one can use to describe the last 12+ months –you can fill in your preferred adjective here – but the good news is they are in the past!

If the time we’ve spent over the last year has taught us anything, it is the importance of the present moment. We can’t change the past or predict the future (thank you 2020 for proving that!), but we can choose the quality of our thoughts and actions in the present. In this moment, there is such an incredible opportunity for growth, peace of mind and joy if you can simply embrace it!

With this in mind, at the beginning of the year, The Global Wellness Institute offered its take on the seven most important daily wellness practices. Not only are these core elements of The Ranch program, but they can also help train your mind to live in the present moment and can be practiced virtually anywhere.

1. Spend time in nature daily
2. Spend 30 minutes in daily movement
3. Practice meditation/breathwork
4. Consume healing and nurturing food
5. Get quality sleep
6. Hydrate more than you think
7. Listen to your heart more than your mind

In addition to the list above, we would also add stretching. To help get you started we’ve even included a whole section in this newsletter devoted to stretching. It’s an incredible way to nurture your body and clear your mind at the start or end of every day.

We hope you will use this list as a guide and meet the present moment with your undivided attention!

In health,
~ Sue & Alex


We are thrilled to introduce The Ranch 9.0, a 9-day, 8-night immersion at our Malibu retreat. Featuring 7 full hikes, daily fitness and yoga classes and daily massages, The Ranch 9.0 is offered for both our group and Private programs and ideal for those that wish to maximize results with two additional days devoted to their heath.

Guests of The Ranch 9.0 arrive on Saturday and enjoy a complete schedule of fitness and wellness programming before joining the weeklong group on Sunday afternoon. Following an active and transformative week, the final Saturday includes a 4-hour morning hike, afternoon massage, fitness class, yoga and dinner before Sunday’s departure.

If you are unable to get away for 9 days, weeklong guests can choose to add a Saturday stay before or after their visit. With a full day of elective programming, including fitness and yoga classes, delicious plant-based meals and of course a Ranch massage, guests can jumpstart their wellness journey, reset after a busy day of travel, enhance results and re-enter with ease.

The Ranch 9.0 is priced at $10,700 for the group program and $14,300 as a private experience. A Saturday stay can be added before or after a weeklong visit, starting at a rate of $1250/night.

To learn more or extend your Ranch experience with either The Ranch 9.0 or a Saturday stay, please contact melissan@theranchmalibu.com for additional information.


Maximize your Ranch results, increase longevity, boost recovery time and support your immunity with our new Signature IV Therapy. Created exclusively for The Ranch program by the pharmaceutical team at Mobile IV Medics, formulas are developed to address the specific needs of our guests during their stay. With four options from which to choose, each service offers a custom blend of the highest quality vitamins & minerals, administered by a Registered Nurse in the comfort of your private guest cottage. Contact theranchteam@theranchmalibu.com for more information.


We are thrilled to be nominated for both Travel + Leisure’s 2021 World’s Best Awards and Conde Nast Traveler’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards. Our team would be so grateful if you took a moment to support us in the Destination Spa category of each!


The Ranch Program Guide Hannah Fried

– What are you grateful for? 
I’m grateful for too many things to name, but in particular my health, the health of my family and friends, and that I’m able to wake up every day and have a choice to do what makes me happy.

– What has been your most rewarding moment since joining The Ranch?
Personally, I love seeing so many guests excited about plant-based eating. The chefs do an amazing job of showing that eating healthy doesn’t have to be plain and boring.  It’s awesome to see so many guests eager to try out recipes from The Ranch cookbook or just incorporate more plants in their diet. It’s especially rewarding when alumni return and tell us they’ve been eating plant-based since their last visit. 🙂

– Best/Funniest thing a guest has said to you? 
A guest told me she wanted to set me up with her 16-year-old son. I was 23 at the time.

– Most asked question from guests?  
*pointing to a random big house on a hike* “Who lives there?”

– First thing you do when you wake up?
Hit snooze…3 or 4 times.

– Favorite Ranch Meal? 
Buckwheat noodle bowl with chickpea tofu!

– Go-to snack? 
An apple (with black salt if I’m feeling Ranchy)

– Go-to workout?
Rock climbing

– Favorite indulgence?
Vegan pastries…I have a big sweet tooth

– Your favorite hike/place to walk in Los Angeles?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I like any hike with a view of the ocean. I also like to walk around the beach cities in LA.

– Do you have a personal mantra or favorite quote? 
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

– Last book you read?
Becoming by Michelle Obama

Meet Vinny

A certified personal trainer and lifestyle coach, Vinny Muscarella leads our afternoon fitness classes and is passionate about helping people become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves.  His holistic approach is a perfect fit with our ethos, going beyond physical changes, addressing performance, mindset, motivation, and lifestyle.

While pursuing a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from the University of Hawaii, Vinny’s career as a personal trainer began when he created a weightlifting program for his soccer team. He then started his own business and has since trained and designed programs for athletes, everyday people, and kids with disabilities for the Special Olympics.

In his free time, Vinny can be found with his wife, daughter and two cats or out in nature, enjoying the sunshine, working out, golfing, surfing, or snowboarding.

Please join us in welcoming Vinny to The Ranch on your next visit!

Vinny’s 15-Minute Full Body Stretch

Stretching often goes neglected but it is such an important part of one’s mental and physical health.  Our bodies are meant to move!  Even pre-pandemic we were becoming increasingly sedentary and the last year has only enhanced this.

Each day at The Ranch starts with a stretch and it’s a habit you can easily bring home.  Try the routine below to ease stress, clear the mind, promote flexibility and improve posture.  While we recommend a morning stretch, you can benefit from doing any or all of these exercises at any time of day.

Each pose is meant to be held for up to 2 minutes or at least 20 deep breaths.

Start standing, drop your hands down to your feet into a “Forward Fold” and let your body hang and fall towards the ground.  Gently sway side to side, allowing your hamstrings to stretch and your back to release.

From there, get into “Downward Dog” further stretching your hamstrings and now getting into your back and shoulders. After about a minute and a few deep breaths, drop your hips to the ground, press your arms up and hold “Cobra” stretch, allowing your lower back and hips to release.

Once you feel your lower back start to release, bring your butt and back down to your heels, placing you into “Child’s Pose” and hold for a minute.

Come through on all fours and roll your spine up and down, arching and rounding your back in a “Cat Cow” pose, which allows for mobility into your thoracic spine.

You may add some rotation if you’d like, rotating your shoulder towards the sky and back down towards the ground. Rotate 10 times in each direction.

Once a minute has passed, step one foot forward and stretch through your hip flexors in “Warrior Pose” until you feel a release in your quads and hip flexors. This may take up to 2 minutes on each side.

Next, you’ll bend at the knee and drop your butt to the ground in “Pigeon Pose,” stretching the outside of your hips and glutes. Hold this pose until you feel a release in the muscles, it may take up to 2 minutes on each side.

Lastly, you’ll step your feet back, almost like you’re in downward dog, but your hips are dropped closer to the ground, in between downward dog and plank position. Stretching through your calves, shins and ankles. Hold this until muscles release or 2 minutes is up.

Our Flock is Growing!
Meet the newest members of our team and check out the latest news from the garden!

We are thrilled to welcome a new flock of chirping little chicks to our garden team!  They arrived at The Ranch last month, at the tender age of 3 days old, and have been growing ever since!  Once they reach about 6 months, we will introduce them to our older hens and let them go outside to forage in the garden.

While we are a plant-based program and do not serve eggs, our chickens support our ecosystem in quite a few invaluable ways:

  • They are excellent composters of kitchen scraps.
  • Their poop makes great fertilizer.
  • They are our first line of defense against insect pests.

We are also growing our bee colonies!  Our bees help to pollinate our produce and wildflowers and of course help to make our delicious Wild Honey and Bee’s Milk Facial Scrub.

A few facts about bees:

  • Bees travel up to a 3-5 mile radius from their colony to forage for food and water.
  • It takes 2 million flowers to make just 1 lb of honey! Next time you have a spoonful with your tea, think about all of the hard work those bees put into making that for you.
  • Most honey bees in a colony are female, with only a small portion of the population being male drones. The female “worker bees” clean the hives, nurse bee larvae, and fly into the open world to collect pollen and nectar.  The male bees are there to mate with a virgin queen honey bee to ensure future generations.
  • Bees are not aggressive but they will defend their colony if they feel threatened.  As long as you don’t bother honey bees (whether wild or from a nearby apiary), you will not be stung.

Our new assistants will have plenty of work to do as our garden is as bountiful as ever!  Our greens are thriving, with kale and lettuce taking center stage, and root vegetables including carrots, beets and radishes are still growing strong! We are also preparing for a robust Spring harvest, abundant in peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and more!
Lastly, we have planted blueberry bushes in addition to raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries and look forward to harvesting them soon!  With Spring and Summer as peak berry season, we are featuring delicious berry recipes from our kitchen so that you can enjoy their nutritious benefits in the coming months!

Now reaching peak season, whether they’re black, blue, red or purple, BERRIES are packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C and fiber and low in sugar!

Blueberry Muffins

Makes 10 – 12 muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes or less / Cook time: 30 Minutes or less

For the Dry Ingredients:
1¼ cups gluten-free flour
¾ cup rolled oats
½ cup almond flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar (also known as coconut palm sugar)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder (or use vanilla extract and include it with the wet ingredients)
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt

For the Wet Ingredients:
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (the riper they are, the sweeter and easier they are to mash)
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract (if not using vanilla powder)
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F

Line a 12- cup muffin pan with liners. If you don’t have a muffin pan a cupcake pan will also work. Your muffins will just be smaller and you’ll have more.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Then, fold in the blueberries.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan (you will get 10 – 12 muffins) and fill to at least 3/4 of the way to the top of each cup. These won’t rise like traditional muffins so don’t worry about overfilling them.

Bake for 18 – 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Acai Smoothie Bowl

Makes 2 – 3 bowls
Prep time: 15 minutes or less

2 Tbsp açai powder
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
2 cups almond milk
2 frozen bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
Smidge of maple syrup

Topping Ideas (choose any you like):
Raw pumpkin seeds
Hemp seeds
Desiccated coconut sprinkles
Your favorite granola
( We like our Ranch Granola or the more chocolate-y Go Raw Coco Crunch )

Blend all of the smoothie ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth. Divide into bowls and top with pumpkin and hemp seeds, coconut and granola.

Blueberry Crumble

Makes 4 – 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes or less / Cook time: 45 Minutes or less
For the Filling:

4 cups blueberries
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt

For the Topping:
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup all-purpose, gluten-free flour
1/2 cup rolled or steel cut oats
1/3 cup coconut oil, softened
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Coconut oil (for the pie dish)

Preheat oven to 375°F

To Make the Filling:
Lightly coat a 9- inch pie dish with coconut oil.

Combine all of the filling ingredients, except for the cornstarch, in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Then, add the cornstarch so that it coats the blueberries and set them aside.

To Make the Topping:
Combine all of the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Transfer the blueberry filling to the oiled pie dish and sprinkle on the topping. Place the pie dish onto a sheet pan (in case there is any spillage during baking) and bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy!

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Song of Increase
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