I muster up enough energy to walk to the bathroom, my blistered feet painfully indicating I’m still alive. I make it to the in-room carafe of filtered water and chug it along with my usual Nordic Naturals
Omegas and some Solgar Phenylalanine (which I learn is great to take for caffeine withdrawal and might be the reason why I’m not suffering from headaches). How in hell am I going to hike 11 miles today?
As I slowly make my way up the steep hill to breakfast, I start to think of excuses that would get me out of the hike. Stomach virus? The flu? Maybe they won’t notice if I simply don’t show up? But as I get myself to the top, the warmer my legs get and the less painful they feel. It’s an almond milk, coconut meat, berry smoothie for breakfast. I’m so famished I’m scraping the sides of the glass with my fingers.
Today’s hike is a long one. After 10 miles of rigorous hiking, you burn about 1,000 calories, so the idea here is that the morning hike creates a deficit. A typical day at The Ranch, you consume about 1,400 calories. So, when you add in activities to what your body normally metabolizes in a day, it all adds up to body fat weight loss.
Every hike is beautiful, but today’s vista looks like an Anthropologie catalog come to life: golden prairies, fog and dusty trails. And just as I thought it couldn’t get more idyllic, a black horse struts out of nowhere and starts to chew on my Camelbak nozzle, apparently looking for a sip of water. I can’t tell if this is real or I’m hallucinating.
Lunch: massaged kale with chickpeas. It’s an abundance of food, but it’s part of The Ranch trickery. Your mind sees a giant pile of salad, so it’s visually satisfied. It’s raw, so it forces you to slow down and actually eat it. Nina the chef says the key is to chew, chew, chew” to get at all the phytonutrients and to work the muscles in your face for a natural glow. And it uses fresh, thoughtful ingredients, so it just tastes good. After lunch, I have a chance to sit down with Alex Glasscock, founder of The Ranch at Live Oak.
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