Calming Tea

Calming Tea

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

Sipping a warm cup of herbal tea can help tame stress or lull you into a restful sleep.

Having a bedtime routine that nourishes you mind, body, and spirit is essential to managing stress, reducing anxiety, and promoting good quality sleep

This Calming Tea is not just beneficial in the evenings, though. Try the Calming Tea recipe below the next time your mind and body need a break.

There are 5 herbs included in our Calming Tea recipe:

Passion flower has traditionally been used to reduce anxiety and insomnia. Some studies indicate that passionflower increases GABA production in the brain, leading to a relaxed feeling (1). GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that is also increased by mindfulness practices like yoga or meditation.

Lemon balm has traditionally been used to boost mood, reduce stress, and even to improve cognitive function (2). Studies have shown that lemon balm is not only effective for managing stress, but also for reducing restlessness and improving sleep quality (3). Outside of the therapeutic benefits, lemon balm’s light and citrusy scent adds such a pleasant flavour to this tea blend as well!

Lavender is one of the most well-known herbs world-wide. It is renown for its calming qualities! While lavender has dozens of traditional uses, most applicable to this Calming Tea is lavender’s affinity to reduce anxiety, improve mood, induce sleep, and improve stress tolerance (4). Plus, it smells amazing!

Chamomile is almost synonymous with Calming Tea! Many of our grandparents swore by the calming properties of chamomile. With a little scientific research, we now know that chamomile has some other exciting benefits including protection against certain cancers and improving heart health (5). Specific to this Calming Tea blend, however, we’ve included chamomile not only for the calming effects but for it’s ability to help balance blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are imbalanced, this causes stress within the body and can make us feel off kilter. So, rebalancing blood sugar levels can help us feel centred again.

Because the plants are related, for those with ragweed allergies, it may be best to omit the chamomile from this recipe.

Hibiscus is a packed with antioxidants that give it a gorgeous deep pinky-red colour. Antioxidants can help reduce stress on a cellular level in the human body. Hibiscus is tart and floral and ties together the other flavours of this tea in a beautiful way. The addition of hibiscus makes this Calming Tea truly enjoyable to sip!

We hope you can make this Calming Tea a regular part of your self-care routine. Enjoy!


Calming Tea

A cup of this warm and soothing Calming Tea is an excellent way to begin a wind-down routine in the evening.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 serving


  • 2 parts Passion Flower
  • 2 parts Lemon Balm
  • 1 part Lavender Blossoms
  • 1 part Chamomile
  • 2 parts Hibiscus Flowers


  • In a glass container with an airtight lid, combine the herbs together. You can make the batch as small or as large as you would like.
  • Boil water and pour it into a mug. Place 1 teaspoon of your blend in a tea ball or bag and place it in the mug.
  • Allow to steep, covered, for 5-7 minutes for maximum benefits.
  • Take a few deep breaths, and enjoy!

Ashwagandha Moon Milk

Ashwagandha Moon Milk

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

Looking for a calming bedtime beverage?

Ashwagandha Moon Milk is ideally sipped daily before bedtime.

Moon milk contains a blend of adaptogenic herbs and spices, including Ashwagandha, to help inspire a restful night’s rest.

Adaptogens are herbs that help us be more resilient to stressors. Ashwagandha specifically can help balance blood sugar levels, reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, and reduce pain and inflammation. If you’re interested in the health benefits of Ashwagandha, we’ve written about it in more detail here.

The addition of warming herbs and spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg compliments the bitter and pungent flavours of Ashwagandha perfectly. These spices aren’t without their own health benefits, however! Warming spices are known to benefit circulatory health, help control blood sugar levels, and promote digestive health. Plus, these warming spices have a comforting aroma, and a calming, nourishing effect.


Consume 1 teaspoon Ashwagandha powder (equivalent to 1-gram or 1,000-milligram extract) per day. As with many herbal remedies, it can take,6 to 12 weeks to observe the full effects. Dosages used in studies range from 250mg per day up to 600mg per day.

Ashwagandha Moon Milk

Ashwagandha Moon Milk is ideally sipped daily before bedtime. Moon milk contains a blend of adaptogenic herbs and spices to help inspire a restful night’s rest.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 serving


  • 1 cup Milk of Choice whole, almond, coconut, etc.
  • ½ tsp Ground Ashwagandha Powder
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground Ginger
  • pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey or Maple Syrup


  • Bring the milk to a low simmer, but don't let it boil.
  • Once the milk is hot, whisk in the Ashwagandha, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Gently simmer for 5 mins.
  • Stir in the coconut oil, and pour the moon milk into a cup. Sweeten with honey or maple syrup, if desired. Enjoy!


Nutritional information per serving:
Calories - 104
Sugar - 8g
Fiber - 1.5g
Carbs - 10.5g
Fat - 7g
Protein - 1g

10 Christmas Survival Tips

10 Christmas Survival Tips

Mental Health Gut Article

Stringing the lights on our houses and decorating our Christmas trees while watching the snow fall… it really is a magical time of the year. But, with all the Christmas wonder and excitement, this is the time that we tend to over indulge in food and beverages – which leads to struggle with putting on a few extra pounds.

This year will be different with social gatherings limited due to COVID, so it may seem like there’s not much else to do other than eat! At Koru, we want to make sure you can enjoy your Christmas festivities and food delights without over-indulging and feeling just as stuffed as your stuffed turkey! We just might be able to help you avoid that food coma…

So, let’s look at some ways to help you not feel stuffed like your turkey!

Here are 10 Christmas Survival tips: 

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Are you hungry or thirsty? Dehydration caused by not drinking enough water can be easily mistaken for hunger cues, which can be dangerous when you have a big meal ahead of you. Drinking water can fill you up and help to keep your portion sizes under control.
  2. Lighten up! Try making your traditional recipes a little lighter by using low-sodium chicken broth in the gravy and to baste the turkey. Try plain Greek yogurt in the mashed potatoes, dips and casseroles to benefit from the good bacterial cultures. Use sugar substitutes such as swerve, xylitol and pureed fruit in place of sugar in baked goods.
  3. Use a smaller plate. Recent research suggests that we consume around 3,000 calories in our Christmas dinner – more than the entire recommended daily intake for a grown man! So, pay attention to your plating. Use a smaller plate because larger plates lead to larger food intake. Consider limiting yourself to one serving only. Besides, second helpings always taste better as leftovers the next day. Try dividing your plate into: 25% protein, 25% starches/grains, and 50% non-starchy vegetables.
  4. Let the body and brain connection catch up. Once dinner is done, it is suggested to wait 20 minutes until you indulge in anything else, such as second helpings and/or dessert. This will allow your brain to recognize how full you really are and hopefully avoid over-indulging and the potential food coma!
  5. Walk it off! How about instead of taking a nap after the feast, go for a walk around the block? Breathing in some fresh air and getting the blood pumping can help your digestion. This is also a great opportunity to get out of the house and avoid ongoing nibbling of food.
  6. Look at staggering your meal throughout the day. Maybe have appetizers at 11:00am, dinner at 2:00pm and dessert at 5:00pm. That way you space out your 3 course meal over the day and get to enjoy your dinner with a lot more time to relax and chill out afterwards.
  7. Focus on non starchy vegetables for dinner. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and green beans are all wonderful traditional Christmas options. Plus, you can switch out mashed potatoes for Mashed Cauliflower
  8. Fit in fitness this Christmas! Whether you are busy or bored, your fitness routine normally takes a major dip this time of year. We recommend completely changing your fitness routine during the holidays so that you force your body to adapt to something new, stay enthusiastic about fitness, and keep burning off that eggnog.
  9. Many of us consume more alcohol at Christmastime. At the very least, steer clear of sweet cocktails and creamy liqueurs. Have a glass of water after every alcoholic drink to keep down the calorie count – it also has the benefit of leaving you with a clearer head the next morning.
  10. Be mindful! Christmas is a time of plenty, and with nuts, chocolates, mince pies and cheese straws wherever you look, it would be rather Scrooge-like to suggest that you don’t eat any treats over the festive period! But rather than mindlessly popping whatever is in front of you into your mouth, spend a moment thinking about whether you really want it, or are just eating it because it’s there. Prioritize where you want to “indulge” and where other temptations can be avoided without much regret. Then truly savour those foods you choose to indulge in. Enjoy every bite!

Wishing you a happy, and healthy, holiday season from all of us at Koru Nutrition!

    6 Ways Your Diet May Be Impacting Your Sleep

    6 Ways Your Diet May Be Impacting Your Sleep

    Mental Health Gut Article

    Sleeping problems are on the rise and for a number of reasons. When we don’t get enough sleep not only do we feel tired and grumpy the next day but, we often tend to gravitate to stimulants such as coffee, sugar or carbs to help keep us going. When we don’t get appropriate sleep quality or quantity, our body does not have the chance to do all the amazing activities and tasks that kick in when we are asleep. As a result ongoing sleep issues can lead to numerous health problems.

    A study conducted by Dr. Charles M. Morin at Université Laval revealed that 40% of Canadians had experienced one or more symptoms of insomnia at least three times a week and only 13% said they had consulted their doctor about it.

    In addition to the information below, we’ve written more about sleep in our articles 12 Nutrition “Hacks” For Better Sleep and Top 5 Foods To Support Sleep.

    The most effective way to deal with insomnia is identifying the underlying cause of it and then apply the appropriate recommendations. The most common causes of insomnia are depression, anxiety and stress, but your insomnia can also be due to hormonal imbalances, calorie restricting/eating disorders, food allergies, blood sugar imbalances, toxic build up and nutrient deficiencies. 

    So, let’s explore a few of these…

    1. Consuming Stimulants Such As Coffee and Alcohol

    People often think having that one or two glasses of wine or beer a night can help them to relax, take the edge off and get a better night sleep but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Although alcohol can help you feel relaxed, it actually interferes with sleep. Alcohol can reduce overall sleep time, and cause shorter, lighter, and less restful sleep. Alcohol also impairs the transport of tryptophan into the brain which is important in making melatonin to help us sleep.

    As much as we love our cup of coffee it can hinder us getting a good night’s sleep and believe it or not even 1 to 2 cups a day can be problematic. That’s because caffeine can remain in our bodies for up to 20 hours so even sipping on your morning cup of joe can inhibit your sleep at night. As we know coffee gives us a pick me up; that is because it produces stimulating hormones such as adrenaline, norepephrine and cortisol which help us to feel alert and energized. Caffeine has been associated with insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and periodic leg movement. Remember caffeine is also found in hot chocolate, chocolate and some teas, so if you are not a big coffee drinker you might still be having a problem with the caffeine in these foods and beverages.

    Both caffeine and alcohol can also decrease the absorption of nutrients essential for sleep such as B vitamins, magnesium and calcium. They are also a natural diuretic so can cause you to have to wake up during the night to use the washroom.

    Monitor you intake of these beverages and see if you notice a difference when you consume them and when you don’t.

    1. Food Allergies

    Believe it or not food allergies can be a common culprit of insomnia. Food allergies can cause difficulties falling asleep and cause frequent awakenings. Foods that are high on the allergenic profile include wheat, corn, milk, chocolate, nuts, egg whites, seafood, red and yellow dyes and yeast, but basically it can be any food. The problem with food intolerances and sensitivities is that it can be hard to detect as there can be up to a 3 day delay in a response to a specific food that you ate. Imagine something you ate on Monday and having insomnia problems on the Wednesday. The other issue is that you may consume that problematic food on a daily basis and subsequently have sleeping problems every single night. Food intolerances can also cause the release of histamine which can also disrupt the brain chemistry and lead to sleep disturbances.

    Although you can do blood work for food allergy testing, the best way to determine if you have an issue is complete the food elimination diet for 2 weeks and then reintroduce one food type back into the diet for 3 days and monitor symptoms. If there is no change in sleeping patterns then this food is not the culprit and you repeat this procedure until you identify the problem food or foods.

    1. Blood Sugar Imbalances

    Consuming too much sugar and skipping meals can contribute to unbalanced blood sugars which can induce nighttime hypoglycemia. When blood sugars drop the body releases hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol that stimulate the brain and indicate that it is time to eat. This can awaken you or prevent you from entering into deep sleep.

    1. Smoking

    Nicotine is a stimulant and as a result many smokers have difficulties with sleeping problems. In a poll conduced by the National Sleep foundation 46% of smokers reported experiencing sleep insomnia a few nights a week as compared to 35% of non-smokers. Similar to alcohol and caffeine, the nicotine found in cigarettes stimulates the release of adrenaline and norepinephrine, which are hormones that activate the body, increase heart rate, and elevate blood pressure as well as keep us awake.

    1. Dieting

    Anorexia, losing weight, food restriction, or dieting can contribute to poor sleep with many experiencing frequent waking at the second half of the night. Both animal and human research has shown that starvation-level calorie restriction leads to sleep interruptions and a reduction in slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep (1).

    In another small study of 10 young women, four weeks of dieting led to greater difficulty falling asleep and a decrease in the amount of time spent in deep sleep (2). Feeling as though you are too hungry to fall asleep or waking up hungry are major signs that you’re not getting enough to eat.

    1. Nutrient Deficiencies

    There are a number of nutrients that help us to get to sleep and maintain sleep throughout the night and deficiencies in these nutrients can cause us to experience difficulty falling asleep and having restful sleep. Vitamin and minerals deficiencies related to sleep quality include B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, and vitamin E.

    Deficiencies in copper and iron have ben linked to greater difficulties in getting to sleep and decreased sleep quality. Studies indicate that low levels of iron correlated with an increased incidence of restless leg syndrome. Vitamin E deficiency may also be a factor in restless leg syndrome (3).

    Although B vitamins are good for energy they are also important for sleep. Deficiencies in folate have been linked to insomnia and restless leg syndrome. Plus, your body needs vitamin B6 to help convert tryptophan into melatonin which is our sleep hormone (4).

    Calcium and magnesium are natural calming sedatives to the central nervous system. Magnesium is a natural muscle and nervous system relaxant so also important if sleeping issues are related to pain but also for stress, anxiety and irritability.

    If you find you need a little more sleep support, you could consider taking some natural supplements:

    • Magnesium deficiency is so common nowadays, boosting your intake with a supplement could do wonders for you. Try taking 400mg of magnesium glycinate before going to bed. This is best for people that struggle with sleep due to stress, anxiety, pain or difficulty relaxing.
    • Melatonin is the most popular natural aid for sleep and can be very effective for those suffering from insomnia. Try taking 1-3mg before bedtime for a few weeks to help reset your sleep/wake cycle. Some people find they do not absorb melatonin in a pill form and require a liquid form. This is best for people struggling with jet lag or have disruptions in their sleep wake cycle. 

    As with all supplements, it is best to check with a qualified health care provider such as a nutritionist or naturopathic doctor, before getting started! 





    3 Arthur C, Guyton, MD and John E Hall PhD Textbook of medical physiology 9th edition (Philadelphia)

    4 Kennedy, Tighe, Brow. “Melatonin and Cortisol switches during mania, depression and Eythmia” Depressed Nocturnal plasma melatonin levels” Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 1777:5 (1989), 300-303

    Chia Oat Parfait with Kiwi

    Chia Oat Parfait with Kiwi

    Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast

    This Chia Oats with Kiwi can not only be a great breakfast, but also a great dessert, or bedtime snack to promote healthy sleep.

    This is a great recipe to meal prep in advance. If you aren’t yet convinced, another bonus is… it only takes 10 minutes to make! This recipe is easy and delicious.

    Believe it or not kiwis can help with sleep. In a 4-week study, 24 adults consumed two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed each night. At the end of the study, participants fell asleep 42% more quickly than when they didn’t eat the fruit before bedtime. Additionally, their ability to sleep through the night without waking improved by 5%, while their total sleep time increased by 13% (1).

    The sleep-promoting effects of kiwis might be attributed to serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that helps regulate your sleep cycle (1,2,3). It has also been suggested that the anti-inflammatory antioxidants in kiwis, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, may also be partly responsible for their sleep-promoting effects (1,4).

    Chia seeds for their little size chia seeds pack a big nutritional punch. A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains: 11 grams of fibre, 4 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat 5 of which are those healthy anti-inflammatory omega 3’s. They are loaded with antioxidants to help neutralize free radicals. It also contains 18% of RDI for calcium and 30% of RDI for magnesium which are also important minerals to reduce anxiety, stress and promote sleep. The word “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.”

    Oatmeal is high in fibre and has been reported to induce drowsiness when consumed before bed. Additionally, oats are a known source of melatonin (5).

    Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days. For best results, reheat with additional liquid over the stove or in the microwave.




    Chia Oats Parfait With Kiwi

    This Chia Oats with Kiwi can not only be a great breakfast, but also a great dessert, or bedtime snack to promote healthy sleep.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Setting Time 3 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
    Servings 4 servings


    • 1 cup Almond Milk
    • ½ cup Chia Seeds
    • 1 cup Oats rolled
    • ½ cup Almonds chopped
    • 1 tsp Cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
    • 2 Kiwi chopped


    • Combine almond milk and chia seeds in a mason jar, or a bowl, cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
    • In a dry pan, over medium heat, add oats and almonds. Stir frequently until fragrant, approximately 5-7 minutes. Add cinnamon and maple syrup, and stir for another 1-2 minutes. This step can be made ahead, or in the morning. If making ahead, allow to cool, then store covered at room temperature.
    • In serving dish, layer the granola, chia pudding, then top with kiwi. Enjoy!


    Nutritional information per serving:
    Calories: 312
    Carbs: 35g
    Fibre: 12g
    Sugar: 8g
    Protein: 10g
    Fat: 16g