If you haven’t met her, today is your day.  We are so lucky to encounter the people we do.  However it happens, we truly believe that these great individuals pop into the PN world for the right reasons.  Amanda Gilles is at the helm of our blog today talking stress.    

Take it away Amanda!



Dreadful Stress.

We have all been victims of too much stress in our lives. Let’s face it, we’re busy, busy people. We all have tons going on: work, careers, deadlines, carpools, family, kids, and social commitments. Yikes! I feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it all.

During demanding and overwhelming situations our body uses certain nutrients at a faster rate as it tries to combat the effects of stress.  If we aren’t ramping up our intake of those nutrients, chances are pretty good we could end up deficient.  Once this occurs, we will be more vulnerable to stressors as they arise, which, of course, ADDS TO YOUR STRESS! You can see how easy it can be to get stuck in a state of chronic stress.

To help prevent falling into this vicious cycle, it is particularly important to be choosing nutrient dense foods. This will ensure you aren’t skimping on beneficial nutrients that will help you cope better during stressful times.  The following nutrients are some that get used up more quickly when the body perceives stress. So long story-short: Load up on these when feeling stressed!


These little energy Buster Bites contain the nutrients the body uses depletes the most of when under stress. Oats and almond butter contain immune boosting zinc. Dried fruit contains Vitamin C which helps reduce cortisol. Pumpkin seeds, cacao, and quinoa contain tension taming magnesium. Plus you will be getting a mix of the B vitamins to boost mood and concentration. These bites may be little, but they are jam-packed full of good-for-you nutrients!

Big presentation at work? Looming deadline? 3 places to be at one time? Pop one of these energy bites for a quick snack to help combat stress!

Buster Bites


  • 1 cup old fashioned or quick-cooking oats, dry
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, dry + 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ¼ cup flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup dried goji berries (or dried blueberries, cranberries, raisins, dates, figs…etc.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2-3 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/3 cup honey



Using a fine mesh strainer (or regular strainer lined with cheese cloth), rinse the quinoa very well, or even soak in water for a few hours or up to overnight and then strain. Let the quinoa drain well, and then add to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 12 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff and scoop quinoa into a large mixing bowl.

Add oats, coconut, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, dried fruit, and cinnamon to cooked quinoa and mix well. Bring honey to a simmer on the stove then stir in the almond butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt.  Pour on top of the oat/quinoa mix. Mix until well combined. Chill dough in fridge for an hour.

Roll mixture into 1 inch balls. Place balls on a plate and chill for at least two hours until firm. Once chilled you are all set to start reducing stress! These bites also freeze well, but they probably won’t last too long because they are so darn delicious.

It’s like an army of energy fighters

Put your own twist on Buster Bites! Other add ins that would be delicious: sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, chopped brazil nuts, chopped walnuts, chia seeds, various dried fruit, different nut butters..etc Get Creative!