Blended Salty Watermelon Mocktail

Blended Salty Watermelon Mocktail

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie
With just 4 simple ingredients and 3 minutes of your time, you can transport yourself to a paradise of flavor and wellness with our revitalizing Blended Salty Watermelon Mocktail.

Imagine the refreshing taste of coconut water mingling with the juicy sweetness of seedless watermelon, accentuated by the zingy burst of lime juice and a subtle hint of sea salt. Each sip is not just a treat for your taste buds but also a nourishing boost for your body.

This mocktail isn’t just a beverage; it’s an experience—a moment of pure indulgence that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, hosting a backyard barbecue, or simply seeking a midday refreshment, this mocktail is the perfect companion. Plus, with its array of health benefits, including hydration, antioxidants, vitamin C, and electrolyte replenishment, you can feel good about sipping on this guilt-free delight.

So why not elevate your beverage game and add this Blended Salty Watermelon Mocktail to your recipe repertoire? It’s a simple yet sensational way to elevate any occasion, leaving you craving more with each delicious sip. Cheers to your health and happiness!

Blended Salty Watermelon Mocktail

Savor a refreshing Blended Salty Watermelon Mocktail: blend coconut water, seedless watermelon, lime juice, and a hint of sea salt. Cheers in 3 mins!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Servings 1


  • 1/2 cup Coconut Water
  • 1/4 Seedless Watermelon (small, chopped)
  • 2 tbsps Lime Juice
  • 1/16 tsp Sea Salt


Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Unraveling the Relationship Between Glutamates and Amines in Oppositional Defiant Behavior (ODD)

Unraveling the Relationship Between Glutamates and Amines in Oppositional Defiant Behavior (ODD)

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a challenging behavioral condition characterized by a recurrent pattern of defiance, hostility, and disobedience towards their teachers, parents and authority figures. While the precise causes of ODD remain elusive, emerging research suggests a potential link between neurotransmitter imbalances, particularly involving glutamates and amines, and the manifestation of oppositional defiant behaviors. These are found in many common foods.

Most parents have never noticed an effect of food. A few children ‘go ballistic’ soon after eating food colours but for most families, the effects of food chemicals creep up, unnoticed. What most people see is this:

  • Food chemicals can build up gradually, resulting in good days and bad days with no obvious cause
  • When a child eats fast food or spaghetti, he or she might be irritable or have a bad day at school the next day or the day after.
  • Not everyone reacts to the same food chemicals.
  • Some natural “healthy” foods can be a problem.
  • Some families are more sensitive than others.

Understanding Glutamates and Amines:

Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, playing a pivotal role in various cognitive functions, including learning, memory, and emotional regulation. On the other hand, amines, such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, are neurotransmitters known for their roles in mood regulation, reward processing, and impulse control.

The Neurochemical Imbalance Hypothesis:

Recent studies have proposed the neurochemical imbalance hypothesis, suggesting that disruptions in glutamate and amine signaling pathways may contribute to the development and persistence of oppositional defiant behaviors. Dysregulation of glutamatergic transmission has been implicated in impulsive aggression and emotional dysregulation, which are hallmark features of ODD.

Furthermore, alterations in amine neurotransmitter systems, particularly serotonin and dopamine, have been associated with deficits in inhibitory control, emotional instability, and reward processing abnormalities—all of which are commonly observed in individuals with ODD.

The Role of Glutamates in ODD:

Glutamate dysregulation has been linked to various psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and impulse control disorders. In the context of ODD, aberrant glutamatergic neurotransmission may disrupt the balance between excitatory and inhibitory signaling pathways, leading to heightened reactivity to perceived threats, reduced impulse control, and impaired emotional regulation.

Moreover, alterations in glutamate receptor expression and function, particularly within brain regions implicated in emotional processing and impulse control, may underlie the persistent defiance and aggression observed in individuals with ODD.

Glutamate can also cause other health problems such as high blood pressure, headaches, obesity, diabetes, fertility problems and even cancer.

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid and is a common food additive. MSG is made from fermented starch or sugar and is used to enhance the flavor of savory sauces, salad dressings, and soups.

Both natural glutamate and monosodium glutamate are metabolized in the body using the same processes. Even though glutamate exists naturally in the body and in healthy foods, if a child has ODD this will need to be explored further and avoiding foods that could exacerbate or trigger ODD type behaviors.

Foods highest in glutatame include the following:

Cheese You will find the highest levels of glutamate in parmesan and Roquefort cheeses. 

Asian Sauces Soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce all have very high levels of glutamate. Soy is naturally high in glutamate, and soy-based sauces will have concentrated levels of the compound. 

Nuts Walnuts, cashews and peanuts contain high amounts of glutamate compared to other nuts

Processed Meats Cured ham, either canned, frozen, or at the deli counter, should be avoided if you are worried about glutamate. 

Tomatoes Fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, tomato soup, and tomato-based dishes as well. 

Grape Juice Grape juice contains moderate levels of glutamate. 

Seafood Some fish, like anchovies, have moderate amounts of glutamate and scallops and oysters also contain glutamate.

Mushrooms Dried shiitake mushrooms are very high in glutamate and white button mushrooms contain much less, but those trying to eliminate glutamate from their diets should skip the mushrooms altogether.

Peas Compared to most other vegetables, peas contain more glutamate. If you must indulge, keep your portion size small to avoid overconsumption of glutamate.

Starchy Vegetables Corn and potatoes contain relatively low amounts of glutamate, but may be problematic for some people. 

Processed foods such as Pringles, Chinese foods, instant noodles and canned soups. So check the labels when purchasing

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame is high in glutamate


The Influence of Amines on ODD:

Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine play crucial roles in modulating mood, behavior, and cognitive functions. Dysregulation of these amine neurotransmitter systems has been implicated in various psychiatric disorders characterized by impulsive and aggressive behaviors, including ODD.

Serotonin, often referred to as the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, regulates mood, impulsivity, and aggression. Reduced serotonin levels or dysfunction in serotonin receptors have been associated with increased aggression and irritability, traits commonly observed in individuals with ODD.

Dopamine, known for its role in reward processing and motivation, has also been implicated in ODD. Dysregulated dopamine signaling may contribute to deficits in reward processing, leading individuals with ODD to seek gratification through oppositional and defiant behaviors.

Norepinephrine, regulates arousal, attention, and stress responses. Dysregulation of norepinephrine levels or signaling pathways may exacerbate emotional dysregulation and impulsive aggression in individuals with ODD.

Foods high in amines include: aged cheeses (e.g., cheddar, parmesan), processed or cured meats (e.g., salami, pepperoni), soy sauce, tomato-based products (e.g., tomato sauce, ketchup), spinach, avocado, eggplant, canned or smoked fish (e.g., tuna, mackerel), fermented foods (e.g., sauerkraut, kimchi), yeast extract (e.g., Marmite, Vegemite), vinegar and vinegar-containing foods (e.g., pickles), chocolate, strawberries, pineapples and certain nuts (e.g., walnuts, peanuts)

What’s more, browning, grilling, charring and overcooking food can also increase amine levels

Implications for Treatment and Future Directions:

Understanding the neurochemical underpinnings of ODD, particularly involving glutamates and amines, holds promise for the development of targeted interventions. 

In conclusion, the interplay between glutamates and amines in the pathophysiology of oppositional defiant behavior represents a complex yet promising avenue for research and therapeutic development. By unraveling the neurochemical underpinnings of ODD, we may pave the way for more effective interventions and improved outcomes for individuals affected by this challenging disorder.

The SAG diet has been developed to address Oppositional Defiant behavior and this includes a combination of low salicylates, amines and glutamates. For more information on this please check out this article.

For more information on nutrition strategies to help manage  your child’s aggressive behavior check out our other article on 4 nutrition strategies to manage Oppositional Defiant Behavior.

If you would like to book a consult with one of her clinicians with training in SAG diet and ODD please click here.




A variety of protein powder and shakes.


As the name implies, these diets remove salicylates, amines and glutamates for the die . It is common for people with compromised biochemistry function (particularly a detoxification pathway called sulfation) to have food intolerances to salicylates, amines and glutamates. Conditions associated with poor sulfation include ADHD, autism, microbiome imbalance, or autoimmune conditions such as lupus. As the name implies, this diet remove salicylates, amines and glutamates for the diet.

BioIndividual Nutrition Institute created the Low Salicylate, Amine and Glutamate (Low SAG) Diet based an amalgamation of multiple diets, research, and clinical experience. These diets remove the natural food chemicals that overwhelm certain people’s systems and cause symptoms.


A low SAG diet may assist children that have Autism that experience these common symptoms:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Red cheeks and ears
  • Irritability
  • Defiant behavior
  • Self injury
  • Aggression
  • Sleeping issues – night waking or terrors
  • Skin rashes
  • Respiratory issues
  • Diarrhea
  • Cries easily
  • Bedwetting
  • Urinary urge/ incontinence
  • Other indications for this diet include cravings for high salicylate, amine, or glutamate foods, or reactions to these foods

Poor sulfation causes difficulties metabolizing and detoxifying these natural food chemicals and can result in a variety of physical, neurological and behavioral symptoms. This diet removes/minimizes foods that are most difficult for a person with these biochemical imbalances to process. It reduces the burden on the body and decreases, and often eliminates, symptoms.

When nutrients are replenished and other contributors like microbiome are balanced, the food tolerances often improve. Working with a practitioner can help address supplementation and lifestyle factors.


To implement a low SAG diet, certain foods are eliminated (or limited), typically short term for 3-6 weeks, then tested back. During the elimination phase, observe and record any change or improvement in symptoms, until ready to start testing back foods, by category, to determine tolerance or intolerance.

Testing back phases can vary. Some strategies add multiple servings of very high foods per day for one week, adding large amounts to make a reaction more obvious. Others use a more subtle approach, as they are highly sensitive and/or suspect these food intolerances, and are attempting to determine personal threshold. Even if quite restrictive at the start, it is not intended to stay that way, unless someone is truly sensitive. The objective is to re-introduce as many foods as possible back to ensure a balanced and healthy diet. Work with a nutrition practitioner for help.

If you want to explore implementing this diet with you child please give us a call we would love to help in the meantime if you want a SAG meal option check out our Cashew Butter Pancakes or our Banana Coconut Ice Cream

At Koru the best clinicians to book an appointment to explore implementing the SAG diet would be Thera Ip and Kylie James (both have experience in working with children on the spectrum).

Kylie James is a registered OT and a certified nutritionist as well as completed her Individual nutrition training in the states. Thera Ip is not only a nutritionist but also is a homeopath which provides a gentle motality that can help kids on the spectrum. Thera also has a child on the spectrum.

To book with one of them please go to our online booking page.

Banana Coconut Ice Cream

Banana Coconut Ice Cream

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie
In the realm of nutrition, certain foods stand out not only for their delicious taste but also for their remarkable health-promoting properties. Two such ingredients, coconut milk and bananas, have been revered for centuries for their nourishing qualities and are celebrated in culinary traditions worldwide. Let’s delve into the myriad health benefits offered by these natural wonders.

A great way to include these foods together is in ice cream. This is a great 2 ingredient recipe that provide a dairy free options for people and especially kids that can not manage the protein casein found in dairy products.

This refreshing dessert or after school treat is not only gluten free and dairy free but comes with a whole host of benefits.

  1. Nutrient-Rich Coconut Milk:

Derived from the flesh of mature coconuts, coconut milk is a creamy, flavorful liquid that boasts an impressive nutritional profile:

  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs): Coconut milk is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, particularly lauric acid, which is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. MCTs are also readily absorbed by the body and serve as a quick source of energy.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Coconut milk contains essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C, E, and B-complex vitamins, contributing to overall health and vitality.
  • Antioxidants: Loaded with antioxidants like phenolic compounds and flavonoids, coconut milk helps combat oxidative stress and inflammation, thereby supporting immune function and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
  1. The Versatile Banana:

Bananas are one of the most beloved fruits worldwide, and for good reason—they’re not only delicious but also packed with health benefits:

  • Rich in Potassium: Bananas are renowned for their high potassium content, a vital mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining heart health, regulating blood pressure, and supporting proper muscle function.
  • Dietary Fiber: A single banana contains a significant amount of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health, regulating bowel movements, and aiding in weight management by promoting feelings of fullness.
  • Vitamins and Antioxidants: Bananas are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and various antioxidants like dopamine and catechins, which help combat free radical damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Health Benefits of Coconut Milk and Bananas:

  1. Heart Health: Both coconut milk and bananas contribute to heart health by supporting healthy blood pressure levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The potassium content in bananas and the MCTs in coconut milk play pivotal roles in maintaining optimal heart function.
  2. Digestive Wellness: The fiber content in bananas promotes regularity and aids in digestive health, while the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk possess antimicrobial properties that support gut health and may help prevent digestive disorders.
  3. Energy Boost: Thanks to their nutrient-rich composition, coconut milk and bananas provide a natural source of sustained energy, making them ideal choices for pre- or post-workout snacks or as ingredients in smoothies and energy bars.
  4. Immune Support: The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in coconut milk and bananas bolster the immune system, helping the body defend against infections and illnesses.

Banana Coconut Ice Cream

A great way to include these foods together is in ice cream. This is a great 2 ingredient recipe that provide a dairy free options for people and especially kids that can not manage the protein casein found in dairy products. This refreshing dessert or after school treat is not only gluten free and dairy free but comes with a whole host of benefits.
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 + 1/2 cups Canned Coconut Milk (full fat)
  • 5 Banana (sliced and frozen)


  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Occasionally turn the blender off and scrape down the sides if needed.
  2. Scoop into bowls and enjoy immediately as soft serve or for firmer ice cream, transfer to a baking pan and freeze for at least 1.5 hours before scooping.

Cashew Nut Butter Pancake

Cashew Nut Butter Pancake

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

In recent years, the culinary world has witnessed a delightful fusion of flavors and health consciousness. One such innovation is the cashew egg pancake, a delightful amalgamation of the nutritional powerhouses, cashews, and eggs.

Beyond its delectable taste, this pancake offers a myriad of health benefits, owing to the rich nutritional profiles of its key ingredients. Let’s delve into the health benefits of cashews and eggs and understand how they contribute to the goodness of this dish.

Cashews: Nature’s Nutrient Treasure Cashews are not just a delicious snack; they are packed with essential nutrients that promote overall well-being. Here are some of the health benefits they offer:

  1. Heart Health: Cashews are abundant in monounsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol levels (HDL).
  2. Rich in Minerals: Cashews are an excellent source of essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. These minerals play vital roles in various bodily functions, including bone health, immune system support, and energy metabolism.
  3. Antioxidant Properties: Cashews contain antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium, which help combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases by neutralizing free radicals in the body.

Eggs: Nature’s Protein Powerhouse Eggs are renowned for being a complete source of protein, but their nutritional benefits extend far beyond just protein content:

  1. High-Quality Protein: Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, satiety, and overall body function.
  2. Choline-Rich: Eggs are one of the best dietary sources of choline, a nutrient crucial for brain health, liver function, and fetal development during pregnancy as well as help to support memory.
  3. Nutrient Dense: Eggs are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron, and selenium, which are vital for various bodily functions such as vision, immunity, and energy production

The Synergy of Cashew Egg Pancake: When combined in a cashew egg pancake, these two nutritional powerhouses create a synergistic effect, enhancing the overall nutritional value of the dish. The pancake becomes not only a delicious treat but also a wholesome meal that nourishes the body from within.

Moreover, the versatility of cashew egg pancakes allows for endless customization. Whether sweet or savory, adding fruits, vegetables, or spices further boosts its nutritional profile, making it an ideal choice for any meal of the day. This pancake is gluten free, dairy free, salicylate free, compatible for the GAPS diet and great for individuals that have gluten and dairy issues. If a problem with nuts then switch the cashew butter out ofr sunflower butter

Conclusion: Incorporating cashew egg pancakes into your diet can be a delicious way to reap the numerous health benefits of cashews and eggs. From supporting heart health and boosting immunity to providing essential nutrients for overall well-being, this fusion dish offers a tasty and nutritious option for individuals looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So, why not indulge in a stack of cashew egg pancakes and savor the goodness they bring to your plate and your health!

Cashew Nut Butter Pancake

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, salicylate free, compatible for the GAPS diet. You can make it nut-free by switching our cashew butter with sunflower seed butter.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1 tbsp  Cashew nut butter 
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • Ghee for Pan


  1. In a bowl, beat egg well with a fork. 
  2. Add nut/seed butter and baking soda and mix by hand until well blended. 
  3. Heat pan, then add ghee to coat pan. 
  4. Scoop batter into pan and cook as you would any pancake. Make sure heat is not too high (medium/low) so pancake has a chance to cook and set before turning (and burning). Flip pancake, and cook second side. 
  5. Can be topped with maple syrup.