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“I Survived Adult Fat Camp” – Fitness Magazine features Mountain Trek

Mountain-Trek-Program-at-Rancho-La-Puerta

The headline may be a bit sensational but we enjoyed reading Juno DeMelo’s first-person story of her time spent experiencing the Mountain Trek program at Rancho La Puerta that recently ran on fitnessmagazine.com.

The reason Juno decided to take part in the Mountain Trek program is because, “I’m not fat or out of shape, but I’ve put on a few pounds over the last three years. And though I hate the idea of dieting, I like a challenge. I also figured that not having constant access to food would help me separate real hunger from the fake kind that tends to pop up when I’m bored or stressed. So, I packed my bags…with the hope of gaining energy and losing weight.”

The article then details what Juno experienced day-to-day while enrolled in the program, from morning yoga classes to day hikes to after-dinner workouts. She also spent a large part of the story talking about food.


Fitness Magazine features Mountain Trek


“I never felt stuffed, but I felt full for a couple of hours after each meal,” Juno writes. “By the third hour, it was time to have a snack, which usually – and surprisingly – held me over to dinner. By day five my appetite downshifted and…I felt satiated. The hikes started to feel more doable (and) I stopped fantasizing about cheesecake…”

By the seventh day it was time for the weigh out and Juno learned she had lost 5.2 pounds. “I was elated.” she writes. She then goes on to describe one of the best parts of the Mountain Trek program, namely the post-retreat support plan. “They say that if I keep this up, I should be able to maintain my weight loss and maybe even continue to drop 1/2 to 1 pound a week until by body hits its happy point…I now know I’m strong enough, mentally and physically, to hike for eight miles a day, six days in a row. That I can be a little bit hungry without the world crashing down. And that while food is still one of the great loves of my life, I’ve probably been over-romancing it.”

To see Juno’s story in its entirety, log on to the Fitness Magazine website and read, “I Survived Adult Fat Camp.”

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Kirkland’s Gift Guide + Tips for Relieving Holiday Stress

[wps_social_buttons] Wellness Stocking Gifts Guide

Kirkland’s Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide for Wellness

There’s nothing more enjoyable than giving a gift to someone who absolutely loves it. However, this can be tough if we’re looking for smaller items for stocking stuffers or are limited to a “Secret Santa” budget at the office or have dozens of friends we want to surprise. Especially in this day and age when we’re surrounded by so many consumables that it’s difficult to get a gift that is not only thoughtful but also promotes vitality and wellness. (In other words, the opposite of a box of Turtles.) We sat down with Mountain Trek manager and head guide Kirkland Shave to ask him what stocking stuffers he plans on giving this holiday season and what he is hoping to receive.

#1. Homemade gift certificates

These are by far some of the most popular (and least expensive) gifts of all time. Present your friends with a coupon for a “free night of babysitting” so they can get away and enjoy each other’s company. Or offer your spouse a booklet filled with different certificates for such things as a foot massage, homemade dinner and back rub. Or your elderly neighbour a free driveway shovelling session. Anything is possible with some paper, pens and a lot of empathy and imagination.

#2. F.lux Software

Just download the free F.lux software to your partner’s phone, tablet and computer and it will make the colour of their screen adapt to the time of day – warm at night and like sunlight during the day. No more eerie, bright blue light stimulating cortisol levels at 9:30 pm! Their sleep patterns will improve and their eyes will thank them (and you) for it.

#3. Spa voucher

Everyone loves a trip to the local spa for a relaxing massage or detoxifying Infra red sauna. Even if the voucher isn’t for the entire cost of the treatment, it will still be greatly appreciated and will help go towards the receiver’s stress relief and well-being.

#4. Home-cooked food

And by food we don’t mean cookies filled with butter, sugar and chocolate. Instead we’re talking about items that a person can store away and then bring out when they’re strapped for time to make something of their own. (Or they could always eat them on the spot, too.) For example: frozen soups, dips and dressings (like our Afterglow Almond Butter Dressing), or beautiful tins filled with mixed nuts and fruit you dehydrated yourself. Remember to keep the food offerings healthy and convenient and the receiver will be grateful the next time they’re hungry and go to the cupboard and fridge and find your healthy food gift there for them.

#5. Aromatherapy and healing salts

One of the best ways to wind down after a hard day is an a bathtub full of relaxing lavender oil and Himalayan healing salts. Or sitting in a comfortable chair, eyes closed and breathing deeply the aroma of sandalwood or mandarin. By gifting these essential oils and salts, you help the receiver  de-stress from their day and get ready for a restful night’s sleep.

#6. Schedule a day outside just for them

This is similar to the homemade gift certificates idea but in this case you’re setting aside at least one full day during the holidays to spend with your loved ones doing something fun outside. Perhaps it will be going skiing with the kids or snowshoeing with friends or a sleigh ride with entire family. The best gift is the gift of our time and by spending it outdoors, everyone wins.

#7, A good book

There are so many fantastic novels out there that are both entertaining and inspirational. Take Paulo Cohelo’s “The Alchemist” for example or “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce. Or even “Oh The Places You’ll Go” by Dr Seuss for the children in your life. So called “self-help books” don’t have to be boring dialogues about what to do when; they can be uplifting tales of characters who experience challenges and in so doing, change their lives for the better.

#8. Socks

This may seem an odd gift for this type of list but we’re not talking about black dress socks or bundles of cheap tube socks from a big box store. Rather, we’re suggesting you gift one pair (or a few pairs) of excellent quality athletic socks that breathe, support and just might encourage the receiver to go out for a walk with you. In our experience, Darn Tough in Vermont make some of the best socks on earth. (They’re guaranteed for life!)

#9. A One-Week Permission Slip

One of the things we hear most from our clients is that it’s so hard for them to take a week or two away from their busy lives in order to reboot their vitality. This is where you can come in: you can either hand-write a coupon or just tell your loved one that it’s okay for them to take time away in order to take care of their own health – you offer to look after things while they’re away and not to worry and they, in turn, can come and join us at Mountain Trek where they’ll reignite their vitality and return back to you a reenergized person. Really, it’s a gift for you both!

For more gift ideas, check our Mountain Trek’s holiday gift guide for yourself and six gifts to support a healthy lifestyle.

Tips for Relieving Holiday Stress

Tips for Relieving Holiday Stress

This time of year can be difficult for people’s stress levels, given the number of potential stressors out there: planning family dinners, buying the right gifts and attending numerous parties all contribute to a busy and stressful time. However, there are easy ways to relieve that stress as outlined below.

#1. Digital Detox

Make a plan to detox from your digital devices for a set time each day. Even if it’s just a matter of turning off your TV, phone and computer at 9pm each night the result will be less distraction, better sleep and less stress.

#2. Massage

Enjoy an evening massage regularly. It will help relieve sore muscles, release toxins and, ultimately, relax you. Plus it’s something to look forward to after your busy days.

#3. Exercise

Even just a little. Follow these tips to help beat sedentarism and remember that in order to keep your metabolism up, your weight down, and your stress levels low, your body has to move for at least 40 minutes a day, even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block.

#4. Go for a soak

Whether it’s a hot spring, hot tub, or your tub at home, a good, long soak in warm water invigorates circulation and, ultimately relaxes you.

#5. Eat Well

We know this can be difficult around the holidays what with the plethora of sweets, alcohol and processed food available, but eating healthy foods puts your body in a better state of equilibrium. That’s not to say we don’t encourage the occasional treat, but remember to do so in moderation. At the very least remember to drink lots of water a day. That will help flush toxins from your body.

#6. Be With Friends

Spend time with friends and loved ones who are relaxing to be with. Often we hear from our clients that the holidays are stressful because they’re obligated to hang out with family members who cause them stress. If this sounds familiar, then be sure to book equal amounts of time with individuals who help you to feel the opposite of stressed. Have to do dinner with the in-laws who are regularly argumentative? Then book a breakfast date with a friend who will listen and laugh as you debrief about it all.

#7. Don’t be so hard on yourself

So what if the turkey burned or the place settings aren’t perfect or you didn’t have time to get all the gifts on your list? Your family and friends love you and the most important thing for them is to know that you’re happy. They do not want you to feel overwhelmed at their expense. Breathe deep. Think of the ones you love. Remember how lucky you are. Breathe some more. Relax.

#8. Book a stay with Mountain Trek

Our Winter Retreat program from Dec 27-Jan 3 exists to allow people a chance to escape their busy lives and stay in a beautiful mountain lodge with every amenity from hot tub to infrared sauna, and to enjoy having a professional chef do all the cooking. Imagine escaping everything this holiday and curling up beside a warm fire with a good book while the snow falls gently outside. Talk about stress relieving!

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Squash and Turkey Soup Recipe

Captain Ainsworth’s  Squash & Turkey Soup

This recipe will make between 7-8 cups of soup and will taste excellent after those fun, active days outdoors.

Ingredients:

16 oz turkey breast – cubed
1 1/2 tbs oil
1 cup onions – diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 jalapeño pepper – seeded and minced
4 cups veggie or chicken stock
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cups butternut squash – cubed
1 cup yam – diced
2 1/2 cups kale or chard – finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk

Directions:

In a heavy pan brown turkey in 1 tbs of oil. Deglaze pan with a little stock or wine and set aside. (Keep this liquid for soup.) Put the remaining oil into pan and sauté onions, garlic, jalapeño pepper. Add stock, allspice, squash, and yam and cook until tender. Puree until smooth. Add kale or chard, coconut and turkey and season with salt to taste. Simmer lightly.

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Snow or Sand This Holiday Season?

Some of us look forward to the clean, crisp days of winter when we can play in the snow and then rest by a warm fire with our loved ones in the evenings. Others prefer to travel to warmer climes and soak in the daytime warmth while wearing shorts and T-shirts. There are benefits to each style of vacation that we’ll list here but keep in mind Mountain Trek offers both styles.

Our Winter Retreat from December 27-January 3 at the beautiful BC Lodge features fun snowshoe treks, delicious food cooked for you by our professional chefs, massages, sauna, steam room, and a hot tub in a winter wonderland. On the other hand, our Rancho La Puerta retreats from Feb 7-14 and 14-21, showcase the best of Baja, Mexico, with sandy trails winding through Eucalyptus and organic gardens in a warm, desert-like environment.

Join us for our Winter Program

The Benefits of Snow (Winter Retreat)

  1. There’s nothing more beautiful than a pristine, white landscape.
  2. It’s easier and faster to get a great workout in the snow because there’s natural resistance when snowshoeing through it.
  3. People tend to congregate more when the weather is cooler – it’s human nature to want to be with friends and family this time of year.
  4. It’s invigorating stepping out into a cooler environment – it makes you feel alive!
  5. On sunny days it’s awe-inspiring seeing the light glint off icicles and snowflakes.
  6. It’s easier to spot wildlife when the trees are bare of their leaves.
  7. It’s a wonderful thing to spend time outdoors and then come in to a warm fire and a hot drink.
  8. One of life’s greatest pleasures is sitting in a hot tub feeling snow flakes fall on your face.
  9. In the case of Mountain Trek’s Winter Program, our professional cooks will do all the cooking for you, leaving you more time to lounge by the fire or in the spa.
  10. A cool day outdoors followed by a massage in a warm room = heaven.

Join us in February in Rancho La Puerta

The Benefits of Sand (Rancho La Puerta)

  1. It’s warm!
  2. Warmer temperatures make it easier to get outside.
  3. In the case of Rancho La Puerta, you’re guaranteed sunshine (there’s over 325 days of it per year).
  4. It’s easy to relax outdoors.
  5. Your body is more limber in a warm environment so workouts don’t require as long a warm-up.
  6. Enjoy gardens, landscaped grounds, flowing streams and miles of meadows.
  7. Vitamin D is easy to come by.
  8. You don’t have to wear a lot of clothing.
  9. You can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities from dance to tai chi to tennis.
  10. You can go swimming.

10+ Tips to Keep Well and Active as the Cold Weather Approaches

Autumn Hiking at Mountain Trek

Summer is officially over in many parts of the world and the cooler weather is upon us. The days are getting shorter, the thermometer is dropping and our bodies are entering into what was, traditionally, a time of dormancy. Before the industrial revolution, we humans would spend the winter months in a state of quiescence – there was very little farming, hunting or gathering to be done so we’d slow down and conserve our fat stores. These days, our bodies are still programmed to a certain amount of inaction during the colder months but, unlike the past, we now have plenty of fatty and processed foods to snack on during that time.

Here are some tips to help you avoid a lot of unhealthy snacking and remain well and active as winter rolls in.

#1. Avoid Drinking More Coffee

Morning Ginger Tea

With cooler temperatures comes the desire to drink hot drinks and the most prevalent, especially in the Western world, is coffee. However comforting that cup of Joe is on a cool day, however, one must remember the harmful effects of caffeine. There is a proven relationship between caffeine and weight gain. Continuous consumption of it leads to prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream, which has a negative effect on metabolism, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Instead of drinking more coffee, consider other hot drink alternatives such as a detoxifying and energizing morning ginger tea.

#2. Avoid More Alcohol

Avoid Alcohol

As we enter months where the nights are longer, we as a species are driven to socialize more in the evenings. And in our modern world, that typically means there is more alcohol on offer. We at Mountain Trek are not abolitionists by any stretch but we think it’s important to stress alcohol’s relationship to weight gain. All alcohol has calories (even the ones marketed as being free of carbs) and so by consuming more, you’re adding to your fat stores. In the case of alcohol this is doubly taxing because it stresses your liver and impairs its ability to flush toxins. Imbibe in the occasional drink but considering capping of the evening with a nightcap of #3.

#3. Drink More Water

Drink More Water

Last year we wrote a post about water versus soda pop and one of the most interesting facts about lack of water was that it is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. As we enter the longer, colder months, our bodies tend to want to slow down and lethargy is more prevalent – drinking a few glasses of water easily rectifies that. Plus it helps you flush toxins and curb hunger pangs.

#4. Get a Good Nights Sleep

Get a Good Night's Sleep

As the night’s get longer our bodies respond by desiring a bit more shut-eye. Although our bodies require between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, there are many sleep problems that are preventing some of us from getting that. The good news is there are easy things you can do to ensure a good night’s rest. In this post we list seven tricks but the most important is to make your bedroom a work-free and gadget-free zone. Leave all electronic devices outside the bedroom and enjoy some shut-eye unhampered by bells, lights and agendas.

#5. Go For a Soak

Go for a Soak

This one is easy, especially as the colder months set in: find yourself a bathtub, hot tub or hot spring and just lie there. That’s it. There are many therapeutic benefits to a good soak but the main one is relaxation; the power of de-stressing is not to be underestimated, especially because balanced hormones lead to balanced health.

#6. Get Massaged

Massage

As with #5, this one isn’t that difficult either. There are reasons most cultures on earth have offered some form of massage for thousands of years: not only is it relaxing, it’s also good for your health. In fact, an evening massage is one of the best ways to relax after the day’s activities. It will help prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.

#7. Enlist the Help of a Friend

Enlist the help of a friend

In another blog post we listed seven reasons why you should work out with a friend and these apply that much more in the cooler months when it’s easy for us to justify sitting in front of the TV under a blanket instead of getting up and moving. A friend will help keep you accountable but will also make fitness that much more fun.

#8. Exercise – Even Just a Little

Exercise

It goes without saying that we here at Mountain Trek are big fans of exercise, no matter what time of year it is. We also appreciate, however, that when the cooler weather sets in, it can be harder to get motivated. That’s why we’ve compiled some tips to help beat sedentarism some of which are as easy as doing stretches in your office doorway. Remember, though, that to keep your metabolism up and your weight down, your body has to move for at least 40 minutes a day, even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block.

#9. Show Yourself Some Love

Show Yourself Some Love

There are many ways to pamper yourself but the best is to do something you enjoy. It seems like such a simple thing and yet many of us work so hard, by the end of the day we only have energy to sit in front of the TV. Take time in the coming months to do something that recharges your batteries: read a good book by the fire, indulge in a hobby or attend a class. You’ll find you’ll be happier and have more energy to face the cooler weather and shorter days.

#10. Book a Stay with Mountain Trek

Book your stay at Mountain Trek

The best way to pamper yourself is to dedicate a vacation to you and your health. Join us at Rancho La Puerta in the beautiful Baja in November or February to revel in the sunshine. Or come out for a fun-filled time of winter activity at our gorgeous lodge in British Columbia where you’ll enjoy the pristine snowy environment and hang out with like-minded friends by the fire, in the natural hot springs or in our new spa.


How to Top up on Vitamin D Now That the Days are Shorter

Vitamin D

Now that the days are getting shorter, are you feeling a little low on energy? Could be that you’ve come to your ‘D-day’, a time in the year when Vitamin D gets scarcer. But the good news is it’s easy to top up with some delicious nutrient-rich foods and, of course, a visit to sunny Rancho La Puerta in the Baja with Mountain Trek!

In addition to being absolutely necessary for bone growth and repair, Vitamin D also aids calcium absorption in the gut, is responsible for the modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune system function, and reduction of inflammation. It also helps with depression prevention! There’s no question this Vitamin’s role is crucial to our body’s functioning health and there are two natural ways to get it: by the sun’s UV rays, and through our diet. Yet, in the months when the days get shorter, the sun is low in the sky and usually cloud covered and most of us aren’t getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. By the time spring rolls around, many of us are Vitamin D deficient. To help us stay topped up on this important player in the body’s functioning health, we’ve taken a look at two solutions: a sunny, healthy vacation and eating foods rich is this necessary nutrient.

Where Do I get my Vitamin D?

When UV rays from sunlight touch the skin, this triggers Vitamin D synthesis. But when sun exposure is at a minimum during the winter months, we can turn to diet to help with our vitamin D intake. Unfortunately, very few foods are high in Vitamin D naturally, and so it is not possible to get all the Vitamin D you need from diet alone. In conjunction with a high quality multi-vitamin, here are some of the best food sources of Vitamin D:

Fatty fish: So very nutritious for you for so many reasons, fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, and even seafood such as oysters, contain some of the highest concentrations of Vitamin D in food.

Eggs: Not only high in protein and so many other nutrients (Vitamin B12), the sunshine yellow of egg yolks do contain a hearty helping of Vitamin D.

Beef liver: Not everyone’s favorite, but when mom said ‘eat up!’ to those liver and onions, she knew what she was talking about as far as Vitamin D’s concerned.

Mushrooms: Certain varieties of mushrooms, like white button, can provide Vitamin D among other nutrients (Vitamin B5) when lightly cooked.

Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D for the simple reason that we don’t get enough in our diet, or in general. Almost all milk (and baby formula) in the U.S. and Canada is fortified with Vitamin D as are some orange juices, soy products and cereals. But please use caution and check labels, as many of these products can contain refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, and other undesirables.

What About Sunny Vacations?

Sunny Vacations

Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing trip to a more sunny clime during the cooler fall and winter months? It’s important, though, to moderate your solar intake while on vacation. So many of us rush to the beach and neglect proper sun care in the quest for the perfect tan. This is definitely more harmful than not having any sun at all. Instead, stay out of the sun when it’s at its peak or cover up with loose-fitting, SPF-rated clothing, hat and sunglasses. In fact, the best way to monitor your sun intake while staying healthy is to join Mountain Trek on a retreat to the beautiful Rancho La Puerta property in Baja, Mexico, just a one-hour drive south of San Diego. Our guides will help you take care of your sunscreen needs while keeping you physically active outdoors. It’s the perfect way to get both a Vitamin D infusion and a health reboot at the same time. If a sun-filled, exercise-fueled vacation in the Baja sounds like something you’d be interested in, be sure to contact us soon as both the November and February spots are filling up!

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Featured Cool Weather Recipe

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Q&A with client Markeeta Brown

The Mountain Trek crew from this past May. Markeeta is front and centre in the black jacket

The Mountain Trek crew from this past May. Markeeta is front and centre in the black jacket

Welcome to the fourth installment of our Q&A series, which features guests who have visited Mountain Trek. Each person came to our fitness retreat and health spa for their own reasons and they all had different experiences. In this piece we speak with Markeeta Brown, a resident of Dallas, Texas, who works in real estate. She’s visited Mountain Trek’s BC lodge every year since 2010 as well as joined us for our programs at Rancho La Puerta in California. Markeeta says she’s been making the journey to Mountain Trek the past three years because it’s helped her work around a number of life changes she’s been going through recently. Here is Markeeta’s story.

Hi Markeeta. Thank you so much for speaking with us today. Firstly, how did you find out about Mountain Trek?

I’ve been going to Rancho La Puerta (RLP) off and on for about 30 years. It was kind of my summer camp but after I made the decision to separate from my husband I knew I had to go to the ranch and do some extended hiking. I went for two weeks in November 2010 and did the Mountain Trek program. I loved its structure and since then I’ve returned three times to the BC lodge and three times to Rancho.

Tell us about your expectations?

BC is a different type of hiking than the milder terrain at RLP but Mountain Trek’s overall program at both places is the same. I know I’ll always go home with much more energy and focus. The thing that keeps drawing me back is it’s a challenge but it’s not overwhelming or stressful. The after-effects are much more lasting that anything I can do on my own. I also like that (head guide) Kirkland emphasizes to try and take on only two new habits when we return home to keep things manageable, rather than try and alter everything about our lives. It’s a challenge but it’s doable.

What are some of the highlights of your time at Mountain Trek?

Anybody who attends Mountain Trek will take home about 18 things you can do to supercharge your energy. But the program emphasizes that you only concentrate on two things and overlay those good habits over your bad ones. For me it was about only eating three meals and two snacks max a day and doing cardio a minimum of four times a week.

RLP Group, Nov. 10-17

The Mountain Trek program at Rancho La Puerta last November. Markeeta is on the far right.

What’s a lowlight from your experiences at Mountain Trek?

They seem to be putting a lot more emphasis on using foam rollers in the stretch class and that’s challenging for me. (laughs) But between the yoga and stretching in the morning and the massages in the evening I don’t experience a lot of physical discomfort.

What’s it like every time you return home after visiting Mountain Trek?

People notice. They say, “Wow you look great and you must feel great.” And I do. I think it’s important though to clear the deck a week or two after you return. You need to come home with a plan and have a bit of time when your life isn’t totally crazy so you can incorporate some of the things you’ve learned.

So what draws you back to Mountain Trek every year?

Lately I’ve had one major life challenge after another and Mountain Trek allows me to focus – it gives me a better chance to continue with my momentum. Plus I like being active and I like the feeling I get when my metabolism is running at the rate of someone who is much younger.

What would be your advice to someone who is thinking about coming to Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek plays a really key role in getting through your life challenges: whether it’s dying parents, caring for elderly relatives, divorce…all that together can be so stressful and Mountain Trek gives you a way to fight some of the physical and emotional damage and helps you keep your head straight. Because, ultimately, it doesn’t matter how well you do when your life is going swimmingly; it’s how you do when challenges are thrown at you. You have to have a plan to go through those periods of your life and Kirkland and Cathy and the Mountain Trek program definitely helps with that.

Anything else you want to tell our readers about the Mountain Trek experience?

To me there’s no better self-intervention than taking yourself to Mountain Trek. It’s absolutely worth the money, especially when you take to heart what Kirkland says and when you land on the tarmac at home you can incorporate a simple plan to make it all work out.

Hills, Hikes and Health in Baja

The Grounds at Rancho La PuertaMountain Trek Heads to Rancho la Puerta

When you think boot camp, do you think about suffering for your own well being and improved health and fitness? Well boot camp at Rancho La Puerta á la Mountain Trek, that couldn’t be further from the truth when we head south of the border for two weeks in November.

What To Expect

Oh you’ll still sweat, after all, that means your heart rate is performing and detox is happening. But folded into a day of vigorous hiking and workouts is the spiritual, physical and emotional renewal for which the Ranch has become world famous. Replacing the old growth forests and alpine ridge tops of British Columbia, are birds, rabbits and quail scurrying about the lavender and rosemary scented gardens that make up the Ranch’s landscape. The Ranch has been named one of the worlds top destination spas, a reputation it rightly deserves with it’s luxury spa amenities and accommodations.

Hiking weight lossAs the vibrant colours of fall pass into the grey skies of winter in the north, the sun is shining south of the border. Rancho is nestled in a sheltered valley only an hour’s drive from San Diego and known for it’s beautiful climate, with sunshine over 325 days a year.

When asked, Kirk Shave, Program Director at Mountain Trek, said that the biggest difference between the program in BC and the one they run in Baja is the smorgasbord of exceptional classes that the Ranch delivers. “There’s everything from feldenkrais, to sculpt and fit, to hydro-fit in ozone pools to Tibetan bowl chanting. And they’re top notch.” While Mountain Trek’s program in BC is restricted to boot camp, guests at the Ranch will have two hours each afternoon to pick and choose from the myriad of offerings. The Ranch runs six or seven classes every hour. “The quality of their programs are exceptional and add an exciting lift to our boot camp,” says Kirkland. “But when classes stop at 5pm at the Ranch, we keep going with our evening fitness activity.”

Hiking directly from the lodge means there’s no travel time. So after morning yoga at dawn and breakfast, trekkers head to the hills for three to four hours of hiking amid a labyrinth of trails in the Chaparral country.

Fresh ProduceHow is the Ranch Different?

There’s almost no experience like this. All the fitness, weight loss and nutrition of Mountain Trek at a world famous luxury retreat. “We feel so good about taking our guests to The Ranch every year,” Kirk adds. “For one, it allows us to continue to offer our program through the winter months, for another, is the top notch facilities and staff that the Ranch provide. It really is an oasis.”

If this sounds like just the break your looking for, call Michelle at the Mountain Trek office to inquire about dates and rates. 1.800.661.5161. Or visit our Rancho La Puerta page.

Tales from The Ranch

This past November I had the pleasure of leading the Mountain Trek Program with Jeff at Rancho La Puerta in the sunny Baja. Let me sum it up: it’s hard to be motivated to “move” here in the cold, dark, north! 

If you’re thinking of joining our upcoming Winter Program at Rancho La Puerta, here’s a taste of what you’ll experience…

Imagine waking up to bird song and walking along a cobble stone path from your cozy casita to catch sunrise Yoga. The smell of blooming lavender is in the air, quail and rabbits scurry through the gardens.  After breakfast you begin your four hour hike (with no driving) through enormous wind sculptured boulder art. The warm sun on your skin, a welcome change from the cold winter back home. You’ll refuel with a delicious,organic salad with vegetables grown in the garden and local, fresh caught prawns.
Next it’s time to choose from an amazing selection of classes, like a knee friendly, water aerobics class in the outdoor pool, or a postural alignment class. With 2-3 hours of different class choices daily, there’s something for everyone!  After a vitality packed dinner you finish your day of “moving” with a salsa, spin, Nia, or circuit class.
If you like moving your body in the sun (in the winter!) I highly recommend spending one or two weeks at Rancho La Puerta from January 29 – February 5, and February 5 – February 12. More info check out the Rates & Dates page.

Why Mountain Trek loves Rancho La Puerta

It’s exciting for us at Mountain Trek to be able to set up our hiking weight loss program at the oldest fitness and health spa in North America, Rancho La Puerta. It’s the best of both worlds. For many of our guests who make decisions day in and day out, it’s a welcome break to drop into our program which is highly structured- the reason we call it a boot camp. We make the decisions for you.

It’s a pretty tight schedule. The beauty about coming to RLP is to take advantage of what they shine at – fitness classes.  With five gyms and three pools,  it’s more than fitness- it’s about discovering how good it feels to move our bodies.  That’s why we are setting up base camp there for the second year. Plus we found out the last two years when we were in North Carolina during US Thanksgiving (we were full both years), that people were looking to spend the holidays in a different way. A more active, healthy way. It’s another reason to find us at RLP, we want to offer an opportunity to start a new trend for the holidays, become a fat burner, not a fat storer.

That way when the annual writing of  New Year’s resolution rolls around, “eat better and exercise more” are already well under way.

Hot news straight from the hills of Rancho La Puerta

Kirk here. I’ve been hiking in the Chaparral country of Baja California which is the area surrounding Ranch La Puerta, the next base camp of MT. In all my guiding and hiking experiences, I find this area uniquely spectacular. My senses have been stimulated … seeing eon eroded boulder sculptures, touching and feeling the yucca and eucalyptus plants, listening to the beckoning birdsong while I hike and enjoying the feel of a cool breeze. This is nice.

On the look out for undulating trails and good elevation gains suited for the MT program (one of the reasons I was here), I’m happy to report that there is plenty of opportunity to get one’s heart rate in that sweet spot! Ahh…just what we want, great hiking, great fat burning, and a place to completely destress.

And I can’t say enough about the facilities, simply first rate! And the food, I’m looking forward to how Jeff (our dietician/guide) and the kitchen here at Rancho La Puerta recreate our delicious spa cuisine. They have their own organic farm and support the local farms which one of the beauties of this particular spa…local and organic food.

Mountain Trek…Baja/Mexico style…hope to see you there in February!

Kirk out.

(Kirk – MT’s program director/guide)

The Skinny on Mountain Trek in Mexico

Mountain Trek in Mexico….. oh-so-nice! I don’t know where to start, or even harder, where to stop in my ravings of Mountain Trek at the Ranch:)

Kirk and I are here at Rancho La Puerta running a new Mountain Trek program. It’s a unique experience to dovetail our program inside another – one we’ve not had the pleasure of enjoying before. The usual routines of yoga, 4 1/2 hour daily hikes and an exercise class after dinner still exist, with some additions. Rancho La Puerta is so well-equiped with various gyms, therapists and renowned fitness instructors that guests can (and do) supplement their daily routines with up to 3 more hours of various classes of their own choosing. Everything from yoga to fitness to art classes are offered daily at great times.

And whilst the Ranch focuses on a la carte fitness classes, our style of hiking and our meal program are certainly new to then Ranch. The result has been as-ever exceptional weight loss, with our Mountain Trek group being reverred as the ‘hard-core’ hikers losing all the weight!

Stay tuned for more from down south………