well, i'm a little bit ashamed to tell you, but i learned this lesson the very hard way. one of my very favorite places to have a latte - a matcha soy latte with agave, to be exact - was using this really great brand of soy. it's called vitasoy, and i had checked out the box, it is a canadian company, non-gmo, organic... it had all the makings of something i could whole-heartedly embrace. so i ordered my drink, and just like every time i was at this particular shop, a few hours later i would start to pay for it. and for days, weeks, and months after that i would pay for it! all of my auto-immune symptoms would flare up - i would be freezing cold for days on end, thanks to raynaud's phenomenon. my belly pains would have me doubled over whenever they chose to strike, thanks to endometriosis. and by far the worst of all, my eyes would flare up which would mark the beginning of a long, steady decline in eye sight and quality of life. foggy brain, exhaustion, bloating, skin sores, and all the rest of the symptoms ensued.
but i just couldn't figure out where this was coming from! it hadn't even crossed my mind that it would be my beloved matcha lattes since it only has 4 ingredients - water, pure matcha, agave & soy milk. the shop put nothing in the frothing machine but soy and cow's milk, so what the heck? what was sneaking into my digestive system without my permission? repeatedly????
it was the soy milk... the one with all the right accolades, also has barley extract in it! all along, it was the darn soy milk. and the kicker is that i would drink this latte and bask in the knowledge of all the good things i was doing for my body - a double shot of straight matcha, loaded in antioxidants, unsweetened soy milk, great protein... oh how wrong i was! well, i was right about the antioxidants and the protein, but all along i was drinking GLUTEN!!!
so please learn from my mistake. my repeated mistake, that is! not only do we need to take a look at the carton of soy milk from every shop we go to, and every time we go there - we never know when they will switch to a different brand, so checking each time is important - we also need to be aware of what else they're making. are they using a frothing machine that is shared with a gluten-containing product? do their syrups contain gluten? if so, you can only imagine how far those remnants could reach in all their stickiness, so be weary of the equipment used to create your masterpiece. first step is to investigate the ingredients they use in the shop, if they're all gluten free then you're golden. if not, everything that will touch your drink needs to be cleaned before your drink is made. this sounds extreme, but we're not asking them to clean their whole shop, just the utensils that will be coming in contact with your drink - ie, blender, frother/steamer, spoon.
if you're concerned that you might be a pain in the butt, ask yourself - what's more important, being an easy customer, or keeping yourself safe from getting sick? and if you're solid that it's not worth getting sick (i can assure you, it's not!), yet you're still a little uneasy about being so bold as to ask for all clean utensils, then pull out the tip card. my favorite line at any eatery is "i am going to be a pain in the butt, and then i'm going to leave you a really good tip" (this pairs well with your best smile). leave a great tip to say thank you, and i betcha the next time you go in you'll have to explain a little less. and after that, a little less. and pretty soon, your new favorite barista might even welcome you with your favorite drink, made safely gluten free!
enjoy my friends, happy monday morning -