Part of the challenge, once you’ve left Rancho La Puerta, is “bringing the ranch home”, taking your new healthy wisdom and applying it to your everyday life. This week, I was feeling good about my success – I was drinking more water and less coffee. I was eating healthier – no meat and lots of healthy grains, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. My desserts consisted of freshly baked fruit sprinkled with the Ranch’s granola or one (only one!) of the Ranch’s infamous cookies.
Unfortunately, I had a major relapse last night. Perhaps fueled by the ending of the work-week or maybe just a mental collapse of willpower, last night’s dinner consisted of two (not one, but two) 14 oz. milkshakes made with whole milk and homemade leftover 4th of July nectarine ice cream followed by four thick slices of Costco salami (given to me by a saboteur on July 4th) and a snack of two slices of overly-processed cheese. I was comatose this morning and slept until noon.
Arriving home from the Ranch is a shock to the system. It might as well be on another planet, the atmosphere is so noticeably different from our daily world. We call the transition from ranch to real world “re-entry”.
For a week, you live in a sage, rosemary and jasmine-scented wonderland where the loudest sound is the crows calling out to each other across the valley. Food magically arrives in front of you; just picked fresh fruit and vegetables from the six-acre organic garden and fish that was swimming in the ocean just a few hours earlier – fully of healthy things and delicious. There’s not a car, television or iPhone in sight. Everyone is snug in their beds by 10 p.m. and up before 7. Days are spent between yoga, meditation and luxurious massages – in a haven where everything that happens is for your personal well-being.
I made the mistake of hosting a rollicking 4th of July party on Sunday, just one day after I arrived home. Although I told everyone to come at 4:00, my first guests arrived at noon. Here, in the real world, no one is concerned for my personal well-being. It was ten hours of sheer pandemonium – with kids playing hide-and-seek between house and yard, stereo and TV blaring and more carne asada than should be legal. I spent the entire day cooking, cleaning dishes, cleaning up after other people…and just generally “fetching things” for my guests. Everyone finally cleared out around 10 pm, leaving me with a sink full of dessert dishes, firework “butts” in the front yard and a house full of dirt, crumbs, spilled drinks and wet towels.