All about Jess + Health Retreats + Healthy Travel + Mexico

Mexico’s Healthy Paradise

24 July 2015
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At the end of my time in the United States earlier this month, I had the opportunity to experience Rancho La Puerta. I’d heard amazing things about this health spa retreat, but to live it myself was beyond what I could have expected. It’s a true gem, and it’s easy to see why Travel and Leisure and Conde Naste Traveler have given it accolades.

The location:

Not far from San Diego, California, the Ranch itself is just across the American border in a little town called Tecate, Mexico.

Rancho La Puerta’s 3,000 acres include 32 acres of gardens, hiking trails, an organic farm, several pools, extensive spa and fitness facilities, a salon, individual casitas for guests, a large dining hall, gift shop, and an intimate library. Incredible!

A typical day (so many options):

Plan each day to be your personal symphony of activity and relaxation: hourly fitness classes balance with spa treatments and meals…or a swing in one of the many hammocks. I loved these! My room was beautiful too, and filled with such colourful art.

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Wake up with a 6am hike around the gorgeous grounds. They offer gentle, medium or hard options. The more gentle option starts at 7am, and it was a must do for me. Such a good workout and start to the day.

Come back and enjoy a wholesome breakfast at around 8-8:30am.


Begin the activities of the day – every 45 minutes there is a different and amazing option to choose from. Mornings sessions are between 9am-12pm.

I would usually do the meditation option at 9am, yoga at 10 and then Pilates or a core class. You spend the morning being super active so you can then relax in the afternoon.

I really loved the hip-hop dance class, yoga, barre classes and meditation – it was great to try some new things combined with some familiar things I enjoy too.

There are many activities to choose from to suit your individual needs, interests and passions– that’s what really stood out to me.

The food:

Philosophy at the ranch: Organic, plant based diet with a little fish and eggs.

No animal protein (i.e. chicken or meat.)

buffetNote: you can tell the Ranch about any special dietary requirements and they will cater to your needs – of course!

Breakfast: A typical breakfast is oatmeal with their amazing homemade granola and fresh papaya or mango – so yum. You can have eggs too, which I often did!

soupLunch: This is served buffet-style with loads of delicious fresh salads with fish or boiled eggs and the best variety of roasted veggies – my fav! There was also different, freshly prepared soup every day for lunch.


Dinner: Dinner is served to you – which is great to help connect with portion control. To start, there is a healthy soup and a fresh salad. Mains were either a vegetarian option (usually Mexican style, so unique!) or grilled fish and veg. I usually asked for an extra side of veg – typical nutritionist!

What I learned:

Something that became very apparent? I have a “doing addiction.” Especially after wrapping up meetings and so much planning while I was in New York and LA, it was very challenging for me to switch over into a calm environment. I was so used to the go go go!

One of the things that helped with this was eating in silence and in a calm environment. It reaffirmed that this act is life changing and so good for your digestion.

Eating a plant based diet is an incredible change of pace for your digestion, too. Eliminating animal protein for a period of time is a simple and healthy way to detox.

Being in nature is, I think, what finally helped me reconnect with myself and slow down again. Hiking is so good for the body and soul, and I loved taking the time to do that every day.

The other thing that I was gently reminded of is the importance of taking time to rest. Remember the JSHealth Switchoff? It was in full force. Giving yourself the opportunity to rest for a bit, especially in the afternoon, will really uplift your health – and your spirit.


There were so many wonderful and truly inspiring aspects of my time at Rancho La Puerta, but these are the things that would keep me coming back – and what I know you’ll experience when you visit!

  • The hikes every morning – try the breakfast garden hike in particular
  • The food – so fresh and tasty
  • The people you meet – everyone is kind, helpful and very peaceful
  • The time to really relax in the afternoon – every day I would read by the pool and simply commit to doing nothing. This is the best thing you can do at a health retreat. It’s what recharging is all about!


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