Healthy Living at the Rancho Cortez
Rancho Cortez is a dude ranch and fitness ranch nestled in Bandara, Texas, considered to be the cowboy capital of the world. At the ranch, owner Mary Cortez and her staff help their clients get into the best shape of their lives through a rigorous program filled with healthy food, exercise, and learning how to make a healthy lifestyle last well after their time at the ranch is done.
Mary Cortez has lived on-site at Rancho Cortez since 2004, when she and her family first fell in love with the Texas Hill Country. A former bridge designer and engineer, Mary uses her analytical mind to pick up on people’s weak spots and works to build strength and control in their place. According to Mary, her holistic work is just like any engineering job: she uses science and art to self-correct and strengthen both the mind and the body.
A common factor for most people who come to Rancho Cortez is the desire to get away from their ordinary lives and change their health for the better. For many, this is focused around losing weight in a healthy way. Rancho Cortez sees a variety of clients, from members of military branches looking to get in better shape for their jobs to college students who want to look their best after graduation. While many guests are American, the ranch has seen some international business from Isreal, Spain, South America, Australia, France, New Zealand, and England.
When it comes to nutrition, Mary believes in a natural approach. Her views on food have most recently been influenced by Dr. Andre Kulisz, who claims that there is nothing should be off-limits as long as it is from organic sources and is not processed. This is reflected in the food and nutrition program at Rancho Cortez, which centers around whole, natural foods.
In addition to natural foods, the concept of moderation is vital at Rancho Cortez. Mary and her staff believe if clients wish to make long-term changes for the better, enjoying a proper balance of healthful and delicious foods is important. She states it is silly to say that a person should never eat dessert again (fortunately!); however, she stresses homemade items are much better than storebought.
Mary is a certified hypnotherapist who offers sessions at the ranch. When she first went to a meeting years ago, she did not understand the therapy or how it would play a role in Rancho Cortez’s future. She quickly came to love the sessions with her clients as well as the therapist on staff at the time. She is now certified and considers it a gift to be able to bring peace to her clients.
Finally, exercise is key to the program at Rancho Cortez. According to Mary there must be three components of activity in any successful exercise program: cardio, strength training, and flexibility. Clients at the ranch practice cardio at least once or twice a week to get the heart pounding. Strength training with weights or whole-body exercises stresses bones and muscles in a healthy way to stabilize and strengthen them. As for flexibility, Mary says it’s important to be able to move your joints in every direction, making daily flexibility work essential. She adds everyone should exercise in nature because communing with nature and is fantastic for both the body and the spirit.
Rancho Cortez is a place meant to relax and rehabilitate its clients as much as it is to make them healthier. Mary encourages clients and others always to de-stress, whether by meditation, exercise, hypnosis, or whatever works for you.