Pictures from the cooking demo and nutrition class with Anna last night - on the menu was turkey marinara over zucchini “angel hair” and a side of massaged kale and baby greens with make-your-own vinaigrette! 

Basic dressing recipe:
1/3 cup oil of choice (olive oil, walnut oil, or avocado oil)
2 Tbsp acid of choice (lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, or flavored vinegar)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Emulsifier of choice (greek yogurt, mustard, goat cheese or parmesan, or sour cream)
Optional herb/flavor enhancer (basil, cilantro, onion, berries, pear, or garlic)

Use an emersion blender for a beautifully emulsified dressing that will cling to your greens, making them delicious at the same time of boosting the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins stored in the plants!

Good Protein Sources

Here at Rancho Cortez, we like to focus on Protein as a good source of energy, I found an interesting article by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, Director of Nutrition for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic.

Good Protein Sources

Protein can help you shed those unwanted pounds — and keep your belly full.  But it’s important to eat the right amount and the right kind of protein to get its health benefits.


Seafood is an excellent source of protein because it’s usually low in fat. Fish such as salmon is a little higher in fat, but it is the heart-healthy kind: it has omega-3 fatty acids.

White-Meat Poultry

Stick to the white meat of poultry for excellent, lean protein. Dark meat is a little higher in fat. The skin is loaded with saturated fat, so remove skin before cooking.

Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt

Not only are dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt excellent sources of protein, but they also contain valuable calcium, and many are fortified with vitamin D. Choose skim or low-fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong and help prevent osteoporosis.


Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. The American Heart Association says normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day.


One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as an ounce of broiled steak. Plus, these nutritious nuggets are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.


Next Boot Camp March 16, 2014-March 30, 2014

Our next Boot Camp is scheduled for March 16, 2014-March 30, 2014, check out the Dining Room, Garden and Fire Pit. 

Rancho Cortez Fitness Ranch is an all inclusive ranch-style resort.  That means we offer a full-service, residential weight loss and fitness program that’s all about good nutrition, exercise and motivation for a healthier lifestyle. We host a comprehensive program that includes:

  • All lodging, meals and snacks
  • All scheduled classes, Fitness Test and consultation
  • Fitness Lounge access and Dinner Demonstrations
  • Horseback riding
  • Free Wi-Fi Internet access

We encourage participants to bring a friend, spouse, or the entire family. Many couples find our fitness program to be a unique bonding experience, and families experience a blend of fitness nirvana and dude ranch activities that is equally entertaining for all ages. Additionally, we have seasonal fitness specials and a weight-loss work program that helps you achieve your fitness goals while saving money.

30 /60 Day Weight-Loss Challenge

Weight Loss Work Program

Rancho Cortez is a working ranch, so we need help preparing and serving meals, cleaning up, taking care of the grounds, filing, answering phones, shoveling manure, and much more. Our weight loss work program offers you the same fitness benefits, plus a substantial rate discount, for your commitment of 10 hours per week to help out around the ranch.

If you can commit two months to losing weight and improving your health, this program gives you the opportunity to do so while saving money and helping us improve our program. Work program participants share accommodations (double or triple occupancy) and have access to all exercise classes, horseback riding, and indoor/outdoor ranch facilities.

Contact us at 1-866-797-9339 for more information or to make a reservation.

This is one of our most popular weight loss options on the ranch.  If you are serious about this program, book your reservations today to avoid any waiting time.

Zumba with Irma

While I was at the Ranch, I decided to attend the Zumba taught by Irma.  I was a little nervous.  

With this particular class, I had so much fun.  Irma suggested just focusing on the lower body at first and not to try to do too much at once.  Although I couldn’t keep up she was accommodating and we had lots of laughs.  Watching her teach, I swore I thought she had been dancing professionally her entire life.  She also smiled the entire time.

Conquer one move at a time, and eventually it will all come together.  As I said, I was positive she was a professional dancer turned Zumba teacher, and it turns out she was just like me.  She tried Zumba one day with no experience whatsoever and found that she loved it.  Years later and after much practice, she’s teaching.

The class was a blast.  Irma has such a great spirit and really made the class fun.  Even though most of us didn’t have the steps down, we were smiling and laughing the whole time.  Most of all, I was inspired by her journey to fitness.  

An interview will be coming soon with Irma and how she creates time for health and fitness in her life as a busy mom.  Stay tuned!

Arriving at Rancho Cortez

Congratulations on your choice to learn healthy eating and exercise habits, and on taking control of your health!  We are sure you have lots of questions about what to expect during your stay, and we have tried to address all frequently asked questions here.

Getting settled: Once you’ve checked in, please make yourself comfortable in your accommodation!  The fully-furnished rooms should have everything you will need during your stay, but don’t hesitate to ask any staff member or one of the housekeepers for anything you’re lacking.  Next, you’ll need to get acquainted with the staff, other guests and with the ranch itself, so make yourself at home and check out the map provided.  A short hike around the ranch easily locates everything.

Still Working on those New Year Resolutions?

January Warrior Boot Camp ended, look for our featured success story next week.  You still have time to meet that News Years resolution, next Warrior Boot Camp is February 2, 2014 thru February 16, 2014. 

During our Boot Camp, we have a very active schedule, but don’t let that intimidate you…go at your own pace or attend all classes.  Listen to your body and take the time when you need to rest.   We will encourage you to push yourself to accomplish new things. 

As part of the fitness program, you will be subjected to a variety of fitness classes, nutritional meals and consultations.  During consultations, you will be able to discuss your specific health/weight loss/fitness goals and begin creating a plan for home.  These one-on-one meetings also serve to keep you focused and motivated by addressing not only the physical, but also the non-physical aspects of weight loss and lifestyle change. 

Organically Grown

Throughout the years we’ve been trying to improve our food and menu service.  We started by growing our own garden.  Almost all of our vegetables are picked right here at the Ranch.  The tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs in your salads are still on the vine each day when the chef arrives.

It doesn’t get any fresher than that!

Some of the vegetables you will see on your plate are:

  • Tomatoes — both heirloom and hybrid varieties
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers — green and red bell peppers and banana peppers
  • Squash — both yellow and zucchini
  • Green beans — pole beans
  • Herbs and more herbs
  • Cabbage — for coleslaw

Delivering a great experience is the basis of having a successful Ranch.  We want to continue to improve by serving the freshest ingredients from our own garden.