This past weekend I headed down to The Nursery by Southwinds in Orange County, Calif. for an immersive weekend at AMPLIFY Retreat. The purpose of the retreat was to grow our minds and perspectives with positivity and empowerment, nourish our bodies with healthy foods and connect with others in the influencer space.
AMPLIFY Retreat was hosted by Jasmine ‘Jazzy’ Schmalhaus of JazzyThings, a healthy eating and living resource, and sponsored in partnership with Kroger. The 2-day retreat consisted of several workshops, healthy meals and a chance to network with other like-minded women.
Keep reading to get the low-down on the retreat and workshops. Plus, I’m sharing a quick & easy recipe for nutty protein balls– the perfect healthy snack to take on-the-go!
The AMPLIFY Retreat started early Friday morning with coffee (must-have!) and Jazzy’s Protein Pancakes that were absolutely delicious! They were made with bananas, Quest banana protein powder, oat flour, eggs, cinnamon and salt. SO simple and so tasty– they actually tasted like banana nut muffins. She offered a bar of toppings– nutella, pears, granola, nuts, and syrup. I can’t wait to make these for myself… I might even be able to get Steve to try them!
During breakfast, I sat at a table with an array of influencers— some focused on food, others on parenting and general lifestyle. It was neat meeting everyone and discovering what their niche was… and discovering what we had in common!
After breakfast, we headed to a cozy outdoor area filled with blankets, umbrellas and ottomans for a goal-setting workshop. Jazzy first had us think about what our perfect day realistically looked like– right down to the flavor of our favorite toothpaste. We then pulled one thing from our perfect day that we want to prioritize and do every single day for the next 30 days. My goal is to take 30 minutes for an at-home pilates workout. I loved hearing what goals others’ had in my group- some were along the same lines to work out more, take more self-care, spend more time with their kids, etc.
I really liked Jazzy’s perspective on goals and breaking it down into something that makes sense for your life and something that you can immediately take steps to achieve on a daily basis.
Read more about my 2018 goals and tips for goal-setting.
Lunch was a yummy Mediterranean-inspired spread from Triscuit. Jazzy paired her delicious chicken salad recipe with a variety of Triscuits, cheeses, olives, meats and more. I love a good snack plate so I was in heaven. It was a perfect light lunch to re-energize the group before the afternoon activities. I loved the roasted garlic Triscuit crackers so much that I had to stop by my local Ralph’s and pick up my own box this weekend!
After lunch, we then headed to an area under olive trees to create vision boards. Yes, as in the boards you probably created in school using magazine cutouts. I used to love making vision and mood boards but hadn’t done one for SO long. It was fun to flip through the magazines and pull out images that made me happy and things that I wanted in my life.
One of my dreams is to someday own my own business and another is to go to Hawaii for a true vacation. Steve jokes around that I never seem to relax so some R&R is definitely needed. I pulled a few quotes as well– one of them reminding me that things don’t always need to be perfect and that you need to take risks to succeed.
I put my vision board above my desk in my home office to keep myself reminded of these dreams and life goals every morning.
Romper | Booties | Sunglasses | Bracelet
It was a hot SoCal day at the retreat so the afternoon Tazo tea bar was the perfect refresher! Tazo offered an array of yummy teas, including my new fave Iced Blushberry Black tea… it was so good! Tazo already makes some of my favorite teas (any other PTL addicts out there?) so I loved seeing them as an event sponsor.
Kroger hooked it up with a tasty… and healthy!… dinner featuring vegetarian stuffed peppers and sheet pan chicken fajitas. The white corn guacamole was out of this world yummy– I never thought to add fresh corn to guacamole but will be now, it was SO good and gave it a nice texture. The table setting was beautiful and it was so nice to eat outside next to the nursery’s beautiful fountain. The perfect ending to day number one!
The next day started with another healthy breakfast of mini quiches and make-your-own protein balls (recipe below!). I kept mine fairly simple with peanut butter, chocolate chips, oats and granola, but it was so fun to see everyone elses’ creations. These bite-sized balls are super filling– I could only eat 4 out of the 5 I had made!
After breakfast Jazzy led a workshop on the topic of gratitude. In our gratitude journals, we made a list of all the things we were grateful for that day and then shared within our groups. Doing this exercise made me realize that I should take the time to think about and appreciate the small things each day.
For lunch, Kroger hosted a BYO burger bar with Morning Star Farms veggie burgers. I had one that was filled with all kinds of veggie yuminess- peppers, mushrooms and more. They were super tasty (and paired well with Jazzy’s out-of-this-world garlic aioli!) and hit the spot for lunch. If you’re looking for a healthier option for your next BBQ, I recommend trying these veggie burgers out. Or, skip the bread and cut up the patty to add to some greens for a tasty veggie burger salad!
After lunch we settled in on our final retreat workshop focusing on motivation. Jazzy wanted each one of us to create a momento to help jumpstart our motivation to make bigger things happen. Using different colored embroidery threads we created bracelets/key chains that we could wear to remember our time at the retreat, the goals we had created, the vision boards we had designs and to find that motivation to move forward make those dreams come alive.
Once we finished making bracelets, we were invited to try a variety of Snapple drinks, which was perfect for the hot day. I choose a a kiwi-strawberry flavor that was super yummy… and instantly refreshing! Snapple always brings me back to my awkward pre-teen years wearing braces- I wasn’t able to drink soda so Snapple became my go-to drink. I love when certain products or flavors can bring back good memories.
Dress | Straw Bag | Sunglasses
The retreat ended with a few closing thoughts from Jazzy and with each attendee sharing a word that came to mind to encapsulate our time at the retreat. My word was ‘fulfill’ as a reminder to make choices and decisions that will lead me closer to fulfilling my life goals and dreams. This word has a second meaning as it also meant how fulfilled I felt after attending the retreat. Lately I have been feeling that something is missing from my life and I’ve been giving some thought as to what I can do to feel more fulfilled. This retreat helped to solidify those needs, made me realize what is truly important to me and helped me formulate some important goals that I would like to achieve in the coming year.
Overall I was happy that I attended AMPLIFY Retreat. I was able to connect with so many like-minded women and gained new perspective on my life and the goals that I have for myself and my future. Thank you to JazzyThings for the invite (and the scrumptious peanut butter cookies and brownies she gave as parting gifts!) and to Kroger for sponsoring such a fab retreat!
- - Protein Powder
- - Oat Flour
- - Nut Butter
- - Almond Milk
- - Honey (or natural sweetener)
- - Oats (Rolled)
- - Chopped Nuts
- - Dried Fruit
- - Granola
- - Chocolate Chips
- - Cacao Nibs
- - Shredded Coconut
- This recipe is unique in that it doesn't require any measurements and you can customize your balls to your taste! In a mixing bowl add a couple spoonfuls of protein powder to start-- you can using any of your favorite kind (whey, soy, hemp, vegan, they all work although I would recommend a vanilla flavor). You can also add a spoonful of oat flour as well or use in place of the protein powder. Next, add in a couple spoonfuls of your favorite nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, or even a mix) and a squeeze of honey or other natural sweetener (such as coconut nectar or agave sweetener); stir to combine. Your mixture should be very thick at this point so you'll need to add in a splash of almond milk. The mixture should now have some moisture, but still firm enough that you can form into solid balls. If you added to much milk, simply add in extra powder. Next, mix in some oats (you may need to add a touch more almond milk) and then start adding in your mix-ins, such as chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.), dried fruits, granola, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, shredded coconut... whatever you have laying around!
- Stir and combine all ingredients. Using your hands (feel free to use gloves) start molding your 'dough' into balls. You can eat these as is or, spread your 'dough' on a sheet pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to harden in order to cut into pieces. Store leftover balls in the refrigerator for easy snacking.