Diary / Wellness / Oct 17, 2022
My First Time: The Ranch 360
Written by: Anjali Kumar
In her new column for Just Bobbi, author, advisor and attorney Anjali Kumar is willing to try anything in the name of wellness (at least once).
The Ranch Malibu. Just the name sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?
It is one of those places that I’ve always wanted to go to. Something about the prospect of being coddled by a staff focused on my health and well-being for an entire week, eating beautiful and delicious plant based food I didn’t have to cook for myself, surrounded by nature, a gentle ocean breeze waking me up in the mornings…well, it is the stuff wellness dreams are made of for this slightly harried lady.
While The Ranch Malibu is designed to let guests unplug from their busy daily life and “recalibrate the mind and body through an immersive, weeklong results-oriented health program, ”finding time to fully unplug from my busy daily life was going to be a challenge. I couldn’t justify getting away from it all for that long. And the price tag was feeling a little out of my budget for what felt more an indulgence than strictly necessary in the current moment. But what if I could get the benefits of The Ranch, all from the comfort of my home?
Enter The Ranch 360—a program designed to foster practices that promote physical and mental well-being while uncovering and addressing the root causes of health concerns, rather than simply treating their symptoms. Over the course of six sessions with Functional Nutritionist and Holistic Health Practitioner Bridgette Becker, who offers more than 25 years of experience, The Ranch 360 takes a complete approach to health and healing promising to help me “gain a deeper understanding of [my] body through diagnostic testing, personal attention and a highly customized, results-oriented program.” Translation? I would do a smattering of tests on various body fluids, and then work with Bridgette over video calls to optimize my health through nutrition and improved daily habits, all from the privacy and convenience of my home.
To get started, after an initial intake session, Bridgette FedEx-ed a box of collection kits to my home: finger prick, poop, urine, hair. My daughter saw "collect urine sample" as a reminder on my calendar and was like “EW MAMA WHAT IS THIS FOR??” but luckily I’m married to a man who is so used to my odd adventures (in the name of research, I swear) that nothing seems to phase him too much, including a smattering of urine samples drying on the window sill (sorry honey).
The purpose of the diagnostic tests is to provide a detailed lay of the land. They are not tests commonly run by most primary care physicians, but the results inform how Bridgette puts together supplements and creates meal plans and lifestyle recommendations. (The Ranch also offers a plan without labs which Bridgette puts together based on the intake session.)
The philosophy of the meal plan is plant forward with a foundation of eliminating inflammatory food/drink intake at the beginning to bring the body to a more clear state. For me this meant a lot of the obvious “avoids,” like gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol. But it also included things I didn’t know I was sensitive to based on my test results, such as garbanzo beans and raspberries.
The accountability and support over the six sessions (and many text messages) are key for most people—and proved to be a critical element for keeping me on track. And since we spread the sessions out to every other week, I was able to make meaningful changes over the course of three months that continue to provide a touchstone for me to return to whenever I find myself veering off track.
Bridgette was a kind and thoughtful partner in this process with a firm but gentle hand. She would listen to all my excuses for why I ate pasta or drank wine one evening, and gently guided me to better consistent choices over time. The critical thing she did was give me permission to show up for myself the way I do for everyone else. Permission I didn’t know I needed. She helped me rethink what it means to be healthy and focus on self care - that it doesn’t make me vain or selfish (which is a long-standing narrative I carry and work hard to overcome).
Two days in, I already felt great. Less bloated, more comfortable in my body. I felt so great that by day five I actually thought, “Oh we should go out for dinner tomorrow—I could use a martini!” I caught myself immediately and instead made a spinach salad with roasted veggies and carrot balancer (a wonderful easy recipe of fresh carrots, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and flakey salt that has become a staple in my house). A little avocado and micro greens thrown in for good measure. And it was perfect and all I needed.
A few weeks in, I happily gave in to my desire for a nice glass of red wine over a meal of eggplant parmigiana when out to dinner with my husband. It was a chilly fall evening that simply called for carbs and Chianti. But I stopped at one glass and gently nudged myself back on track the next morning.
Balance and baby steps, amirite?
For more information and to book The Ranch 360, visit The Ranch Malibu’s website.