Toronto Chef | Blogger | Television Food Expert

Toronto Chef | Blogger | Television Food Expert

The Great Beverage Breakdown

If you know me well, or follow me on Instagram, then you are very much aware that I love beverages- the tame and the not so tame kind. But I get HEAPS of people sliding into my DM’s asking me about the myriad of beverages I drink.

  • Is juice bad for me?

  • Coffee of tea?

  • What on earth is bulletproof coffee?

  • Are all rose wines destined to give me a hangover?

So buckle up baby, because this is the GREAT BEVERAGE BREAKDOWN.

NOTE my product faves are listed below each category!


The amount of questions I get about juice is staggering, and I get it; people are out here saying juice can cure cancer, while some are saying juice will kill you, so what is it?

When talking about juice, quality matters. An orange juice by Tropicana ain’t got shit on a juice from a spot like The Village Juicery , so remember that when sourcing your sips.

You’ll also hear people talk about juice in two different categories, Raw and Pasteurized– if people are being shady they call it cooked.

Raw is just that, raw and unpasteurized; pasteurization is a high heat process that kills any potential bacteria and allows for shelf stability. While pasteurization is a great thing, when we are talking about juice, beneficial enzymes are far more “powerful” when alive; pasteurization effectively kills the juice.  DON’T WORRY if most of the juice you purchase in mass markets and grocery stores has been pasteurized, I believe when given the choice between a fully loaded yet pasteurized green juice  (by a reputable company) or pop / conventional juice, the green juice is always the better choice.

After a night of imbibing on many a cocktail, green juice- raw or cooked- is often just what the doctor ordered!

NOTE ON JUICE if you have diabetes or any type of metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance etc.) juice is not a great option for you because fibre is what helps to moderate our blood sugar levels, juice is free of fibre. Smoothies are a better choice for you.

HONOURABLE MENTION juice is a VERY wasteful business, having run a business that created custom cold pressed juices I know of what I speak; so our little juice habits can leave a fairly big carbon footprint. But this company closes the LOOP on juicing, making it a guilt free indulgence, check out LOOP Juice and their mission!


There was a moment where kombucha was THE beverage on everybody’s lips- ultimate hangover cure, liver cleansing dynamo, and gut health wunderkind- and whether you believe the hype or not, Kombucha is pretty boss.

BUT there are a few caveats when considering Kombucha.

Sugar content is VERY important. Many kombucha brands on the market have a loads of sugar in them, it’s what makes them taste so yum; that said, you want to watch sugar content, especially if you plan to make this a daily habit. I aim for 5g of sugar or less.

Lately I only have time for Brew Dr. Kombucha, from the Herbal Uplift to the Citrus Hops and most flavours in between, most of their flavours clock in at 5g of sugar AND they taste delicious. One piece of feedback, screw tops. The stubby bottles are cute, but not practical for those of use who enjoy a leisurely sip.

With ALL OF THIS SAID, as I write this I have 1.4L of a kombucha brand with more than 5g of sugar per serving (it has 7g), but can you really fault a woman who loves a sale?!


Smoothies are amazing. I have one every single day- save for a lapse in inventory control. That said, not all smoothies are created equal. If you’re blending fruit and water or juice and calling it a smoothie, you could very well be doing more harm than good.

Blood sugar is always a concern, especially for women, because blood sugar imbalances can cause hormonal imbalances and you want NOTHING to do with that.

So here’s what EVERY smoothie must have in order to be considered “complete”.

Fibre– there are many ways to add fibre to your smoothie. Nuts and seeds, like hemp. Vegetables like kale and spinach. Fruits such as berries, where the whole fruit- including seeds- is consumed. This is what will help your body moderate how sugar is regulated in the body after we eat.

Healthy Fats– these are what’s going to keep you feeling full and satisfied, without them your smoothies will feel thin from a texture perspective- trust me on this one. Healthy fats can be added via coconut oil, nuts and seeds (LOVE when ingredients can do double duty), coconut cream or coconut manna- the options are many. I prefer coconut manna or oil because it adds a nice flavour.

Protein– the other element that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. The reason why most smoothies fail to satisfy and properly nourish is because they lack the right amount of protein to keep you feeling full. Protein can be added with the use of protein powders- vegan, whey, whatever suits your fancy- or seeds like hemp that offer almost 11g of protein per 3g serving. 

A NOTE ON SMOOTHIES if you consume your smoothie and you get bloated, change ONE THING about the smoothie and notice if anything changes. Sometimes it’s the seed you used, sometimes it’s your choice of protein; don’t just power through with uncomfortable bloating, customize to what your body is telling you.

Brand Favourites

PROTEIN: Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins

HEALTHY FATS: Nutiva Coconut Manna (creamiest smoothies EVER!)

Coffee + Matcha

I get the “coffee is bad for me right?” question weekly and the answer is simple, for some people it’s fine, and for others it’s not. No diet is one size fits all, it truly comes down to listening to your body.

My mouth loves coffee, my body runs hot and cold with it. I used to get super jittery and restless when I drank coffee, so I gave it up. But I missed it, and I will never cosign living life without the full realm of my personal pleasures, so I did some customizing. 

Here are a few modifications to help your coffee love you back!

JITTERS– one word, bulletproof. Bulletproof coffee is all the rage because it’s amazing; and it’s simply adding fat to coffee- butter or coconut oil are the most common. There are many benefits to Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT oil) especially when it comes to brain health; however, it’s also amazing for relieving coffee jitters. Not gonna lie, I’m not sure why adding fat to coffee works scientifically- I know it helps balance the acidity- but I’m not asking any questions…pass me my java 😉

BLOATING– for some people bloating is a common response to coffee, but it may not actually be the coffee, it could be what your adding to your coffee.

Check your milk boo, might be time to go non dairy (soy, hemp, almond, cashew) OR it could be the sweetener you are using.

So, candida, which is yeast overgrowth, can cause all kinds of problems in your body, but the acidity of coffee mixed with the candida feeding sugar you are sweetening with could be causing you to bloat. 

Try Monkfruit extract or Stevia blended with Vanilla (I make my own mix) which won’t feed the the baddies aka candida.

Brand Favourites

Monkfruit in the Raw


The newest wunderkind food. 4x the antioxidants of regular green tea and full of fibre because the whole leaf is consumed and green- because we love green! Matcha is everything it claims to be, but it takes some doing to make it palatable.

CREAMY MILK– matcha is bitter, a creamy and rich milk (table cream, cashew milk etc.) will help to bring roundness to beverage.

VANILLA– vanilla is the unsung hero of the kitchen, as it creates a depth of flavour in sweet applications that simply cannot be replicated- I tried! ALWAYS have vanilla on hand if you plan on drinking matcha.

SWEETENER– unless you are truly a taste bud gangster, you will likely need to sweeten your matcha. Now don’t go wild, we wouldn’t want the benefits to be out shadowed by all the sugar, but add a little to make it palatable. I like date syrup, coconut sugar, or monkfruit sweetener.

What is amazing about matcha is that it’s a clean energy, meaning no crash and burn, which is nice; so if you struggle with coffee, maybe it’s time to give matcha a try!

Brand Favourite

Matcha Ninja

WIIIINE (proclaimed like Oprah giving away vehicles)

Wining and dining is my favourite pass time on the planet. Granted I do what I love for work, so it feels like a hobby, so wining and dining is my hobby- not cheap, but still great!

Wine is lauded and loathed, often in the same breath.

  • Full of antioxidants.
  • Liver killer.
  • Leads to prolonged life.
  • Fertility killer.

Well, wine is all of these things. Which is why the consumption of wine, especially for women, should be considered, depending on where you are in your life. If you’re trying to conceive, REAL TALK from your online girlfriend, stop drinking boo, the hormonal imbalances that are the result of lots of drinking is going to dampen your conception efforts; again, I’m no MD but this is advice given almost universally. Want da bebe? Put down da wine 😉

But if you’re out here trying to live it up, here are some tips.

SUGAR CONTENT– hangovers are a direct result of sugar content. And since we are DEEP into Rose season, here’s what you should know. Anything less than 5g is perfect; and it’s not a white vs. red debate, it’s a dry vs. sweet debate. Pinot on both sides (Grigio + Noir) are the lowest sugar content wines. Spritz with La Croix to moderate the sugar content; this also happens to be the move if you are trying to day drink all day #Maturity. 

Look, we’ve all been in a pinch when the liquor store only has cheap, sweet wine, so do what you’ve got to do.

LIVER HEALTH– the liver is tasked with detoxifying our bodies from meds, booze, environmental chemicals- everything; so if we can help our livers during the most trying time (read: summer) then we should.

Lemon + water in the am is my daily move; it’s THE daily move. Lemons help cleanse the liver naturally. But this MUST be a daily habit, or else it’s kind of useless.

Liver Detox Pill– now these are the BIG guns, but if you’re going for it this summer, these can only stand to help you. DISCLAIMER I’m no doctor, so take this info for what it’s worth, EDUCATIONAL purposes 😉

HANGOVER- simple, eat before bed, something carby if you can; and have a huge glass of water. It’s called maturity, and it’s quite nice!

Brand Favourites

Nature’s Way Milk Thistle- helps detox the liver and cannot be overdosed on!

Whew…we made it. And now you’re ready to sip like you mean it!

What’s your favourite beverage of the moment?

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