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Posted By - Kate Spencer On March 04, 2015

KALE ME MAYBE

A week at The Ranch at Live Oak is a complete wellness journey that recalibrates you inside and out. The week starts with the requisite weigh in and measurement taking, but it also included a moment in the “Bod Pod” to calculate fat versus lean muscle mass and a cholesterol screening that would later show astounding results from a week of vegan, healthy meals.

The Ranch boasts an impressive organic garden, with head gardener Tricia Mazure providing a “tasting” tour of the garden during your stay at the ranch. You haven’t lived until you’ve hiked for 4 hours and are handed an orange picked from the tree. We were almost crying it was so delicious. If The Ranch doesn’t grow it, it is sourced from within a 10-mile radius of the property – truly farm to table.

But the orange wasn’t the only delicious thing we ate. Every single meal is carefully prepared and wonderfully flavorful. In fact the best part about The Ranch at Live Oak is that the culinary program is at the core of everything that they do. As much as you are learning about your body - - and it’s limits - - on the 10-13 mile hikes each day followed by 3 hours of TRX, core, upper body and yoga, it is impossible to spend a week at The Ranch and not walk away with an appreciation for the power of food.

Chef Alexx Guevara is nothing short of a nutritional alchemist and his passion for the subject matter never wanes. Nina Curtis, the Sous Chef, started at The Ranch 6 months ago and has had a 17 year journey with a vegan lifestyle – raw and not.

Nina’s background includes a classically trained chef father who was not entirely convinced of the merits of her culinary pursuit into the healing power of food. Cut to the raves Nina received as she served 400 Live Vegan Tacos at the 2013 Los Angeles Food & Wine festival, with her father by her side grinning with pride.

Nina is also the Chef at The Springs, a smoothie, juice, raw food restaurant, wine bar with yoga/pilates studios and holistic treatment rooms in downtown LA.

With years of experience in food as well as skincare - and a calm, spiritual demeanor that is simultaneously electrifying - Nina will soon embark on her newest venture @beautybeets in April. She will also be creating her amazing living food menu at an April pop-up dinner with The Dining Room LA, a membership-only one-night-only dining experience.

16 guests sequestered for a week in the most beautiful setting. COOKGIRL left with a great sense of accomplishment and some HOT TIPS and RECIPES, including a sneak preview copy of the new The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook, complete with my 3-week menu planner for continued detoxification. Cook On!

Top 10 Hot Tips from The Ranch at Live Oak

  1. 1. Chewing your food is great exercise for the facial muscles, like a mini face-lift.
  2. 2. Cauliflower is one of the best detox vegetables available.
  3. 3. To clean a carrot without peeling away the outer layer chock-a-block full of phytonutrients, use a rough scrub pad.
  4. 4. Eggplants have an antioxidant that protects brain cells.
  5. 5. Fennel is the perfect ingredient to calm your digestive system.
  6. 6. Garlic increases physical strength and endurance.
  7. 7. Fresh turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory.
  8. 8. Jicama has loads of vitamin C and is great for your skin.
  9. 9. White Vinegar in boiling water with orange & purple vegetables brings out both the color and locks in the beta-carotene.
  10. 10. Kale. Not universally loved but a trusted protein builder with more calcium than milk. Delicious preparation is purple kale over heat, add sea salt, add vinegar, lemon and garlic to break down astringency. Don’t overcook it.
  11. 11. Nutritional Yeast ground and mixed with Hemp Seeds = Parmesan Cheese. Seriously.
  12. 12. Kelp Seaweed Noodles are a great substitute for pasta.
  13. 13. Cannellini Beans are a terrific carb blocker. Try this: roast some garlic and put in a food processor with cannellini beans and nutritional yeast/hemp seed “parmesan”. Rub it on your French bread. Yep. The French bread you weren’t going to eat. Voila, block those carbs.





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