Thank you to the Fresh Air Retreat for hosting me for this retreat and to all of the amazing sponsors who made the retreat happen!

The fresh air retreat in Miami was hands down the most fun, informative, and productive food blogger retreat I’ve had the pleasure of attending! Plus, the food was out of this world. Here’s the recap!

I’ve been blogging here on Unbound Wellness for almost a decade (which is wild!), and it’s the best job in the world. However, working from home and mostly by yourself can get lonely. We all crave comradere and to form friendships with those who get what we’re going through. Last fall, I saw a few of my other food blogger friends attend the Fresh Air Retreat in Austin and I got major FOMO. I knew I had to apply, and 6 months later, I was off to Miami for my own retreat!

What is the Fresh Air Retreat?

The Fresh Air Retreat is a high-level retreat for food bloggers to come together and learn from each other and our hosts, meet some amazing brands, and enjoy a really restorative but energizing week! 

Who were the Other Attendees?

  • Crowded Kitchen. Lexi runs her food blog with her mom, and I’m drawn to her style. Her visuals are beautiful, and her recipes are just so fun.
  • Cooking with Cocktail Rings. Kylie is a blogger I’ve been familiar with for a while, and she’s just as lovely in person! She lives in New York and shares her own recipes and adventures in NYC.
  • Aleka’s Get Together. Aleka and I were roommates and she brought a sound machine, so she was immediately my favorite person 🤣 She has an entertaining blog and shares fun tips and recipes for hosting!
  • Fit Slow Cooker Queen. I learned about Shannon’s blog from the Whole30 community, and her recipes are always so easy. She truly has the most fun personality; she is so fun and funny, and I loved getting to spend time with her in person!
  • Food With Feeling. I’ve followed Brita for years, and I was really excited when I saw she was attending the retreat! She’s a pro at recipe videos, and I loved getting to hang out with her more.
  • Grilled Cheese Social. I’ve followed MacKenzie for a while, and her comfort food recipes are just the most fun and imaginative. 
  • Kims Cravings. Kim is another DFW local blogger like myself, and she’s an OG! Her blog is legit, and she knows her stuff!

Who were our lovely hosts that put this retreat on?

  • Liz at The Lemon Bowl. Liz is a food blogger herself at the Lemon Bowl and the most amazing host! She’s run several of these retreats, and it was just amazing. 
  • Lauren at The Curious Plate. Lauren is based in Denver (my fav) and is another amazing blogger and host! Her recipe are absolutely beautiful and fun!
  • Chef Trimell. Trimell Hawkins is such an incredibly talented and thoughtful chef, and I felt blessed to be able to enjoy his food all week.

Day One Recap

I flew from Dallas to Miami and arrived at the retreat house in the late afternoon. Every year, the retreat is hosted in a new city in a beautiful rental home, and this house was incredible. With a huge pool and a beach view, I truly felt like I was at a resort.

Our welcome happy hour was sponsored by  Flor De Cana, a maker of sustainable rum. What was really amazing about Flor De Cana is that it had no artificial ingredients or added sugar, and it’s sustainably made. They were recently named Best Sustainable Rum Distillery by The Ultimate Awards 2023, so my interest was definitely piqued. Even though I don’t drink, I do use alcohol to cook so I was excited to try dishes made with rum. 

My favorite appetizer was hands down the pork belly with a rum glaze and orange. I literally told my husband, Daniel, about it over the phone later.

Then, for dessert, Chef Trimmel prepared bananas with rum over dairy-free ice cream. This was a classic that was still much yummier than any other version I’d ever tried.

The main theme of this retreat is that we were extremely well-fed, so we actually still had dinner that night after all of that yummy food. I really enjoyed the chicken skewers, grilled veggies, quinoa, and white fish!

Day Two Recap

We woke up bright and early to do yoga at the retreat house, and even though it was pouring rain that morning, we still managed to get in a great yoga class inside.

Breakfast was sponsored by Grocers List, which is a software solution that automates Instagram DM’s so all you have to do is comment on a post, and the link is sent straight to your inbox. I immediately got on a call with Ben from Grocers List when I got back to Dallas, and I’m already happily using it. It meets a huge need for me as a blogger and is far easier to use than the alternatives, and I can’t recommend it enough!


After breakfast, we went out to the beach to do a quick fire round of each of our current pain points in blogging. One blogger presented something they were struggling with, and all of the other bloggers imparted their wisdom. I left each one of these sessions with a huge list of solutions and ideas… even if I did get a little sidetracked by the ducks that wanted to be part of it 🤣

Lunch was with Minute Rice, and it was right up my alley. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see I rice bowls for lunch all of the time, and that’s exactly what we had with Minute Rice! I tend to make rice from scratch often, but minute rice is ready in just 60 seconds! Their containers are BPA-free, and you can just pop it in the microwave and serve it however you’d like. I loved this meal and the convenience.

After some free time, we got ready to an Happy Hour and Dinner. We started out at The Social Club on Collins Ave in Miami and I had a great mocktail.

From there, we walked over to Sérêvène, where the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted us for one of the best meals of my life. The dinner was nine courses, and the food was sweet enough to accommodate many of my allergies and intolerances. I think my favorite dish was a beet noodle dish with fruit and herbs… so subtle but absolutely perfect.

Day Three Recap

Day three kicked off with another gorgeous breakfast from Chef Trimmel of cloud eggs, which are whipped egg whites that are baked and topped with the egg yolk. Seriously, how cute and fun is this?!

From there, we spent the rest of the day poolside with more quick-fire Q&As and a game of Jenga, where we answered even more questions and shared our personal tips about blogging. I also got to grab a few cute photos while we were chilling out by the pool!

Dinner was hosted by Current, which honestly blew me away. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that grills intimidate me a bit! Maybe because I live in Texas, where it’s always so hot, and I’m not excited about doing all of the extra work that comes along with a grill. But Current is a fully electric grill! It’s so easy to set up, clean, and cook with. I got the opportunity to test it out, and I thoroughly preferred using this to a traditional grill.

We ended out the night with another delicious dinner, s’mores by the fire, and I went to bed with such a full heart, and SO many ideas to bring home to make Unbound Wellness even better!

My Key Takeaways from the Fresh Air Retreat

  • I need to put myself out there more in terms of eating out! First and foremost, my blog is made for those of us with food intolerances. With gluten and nightshades being my biggest intolerances, it can be really hard to eat out. A lot of the time, I’m cooking everything from scratch at home. But for this retreat, I put myself out there more and trusted that my amazing hosts and the restaurants we dined at could accommodate, and wow… I was able to eat out the entire retreat and went home feeling good. It definitely inspired me to try to eat out more!
  • Becoming a Grocers List customer. I can’t tell you how much time and frustration Grocers List has saved me. It helps direct my readers to my recipes on my site from Instagram, and it’s so much more user-friendly than what I was using before.
  • Connection is everything! Connection with other bloggers, brands that I get the privilege to work with, connection with all of y’all amazing readers… with everyone! We get so siloed on the internet, and it’s so important to make real human connection a priority.

How you can apply

If you’re a food blogger, I cannot recommend this retreat enough. The next retreat is this October in PALM SPRINGS (I’m already jealous) and you can apply for the experience of a lifetime here!