(WBIR-Maryville) Gluten free is not just a term for a certain diet. It's also a lifestyle that makes life better for people with Celiac disease.
Amy Moore and her son Josh navigated the aisles of the Kroger in Maryville, checking items off their grocery list.
"Today we're shopping for some gluten free pretzels, some gluten free English muffins that I really like, some macaroni and cheese..." Josh read from the list.
They were shopping for food that's gluten free because they both have Celiac disease. They react to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Eating gluten triggers inflammation in the intestines and causes stomach pain, especially after eating.
"I always had a stomach ache and whenever I ate something I'm not supposed to it hurts really bad then once I started eating gluten free I could play a lot better and I had more energy," 11 year old Josh said.
Josh and Amy were diagnosed about three years ago and started avoiding gluten. And that means reading labels.
"Most of the symptoms go away with a gluten free diet," Amy said.
Josh explained, "When I read the label and it says contains wheat then I know that I can't eat that so I look at something else and it says contains no wheat and I know I can eat that."
Amy said, "Fruits and vegetables and meats are fine but when you've got kids you know you've got to have snack food, you eat carbs for energy, pizza and macaroni and cheese are their favorite foods."
They've been to Knoxville's Gluten Free Vendor Fair before and they plan to attend again tomorrow, Saturday, May 31. It a great resource for families coping with this condition.
"To be able to go to one place where all of these vendors and companies have come out with gluten free products," Amy said. "To have one place in Knoxville this week to go to is wonderful."
It's wonderful to feel better and to enjoy more gluten free options at grocery stores,specialty stores, and even online.
Amy's happy to see Josh making healthy decisions.
"He does make good choices even when I'm not there.Like he'll go out to eat with someone else and he will make sure he tells them I can have a grilled chicken this or that but I can't have chicken strips or chicken nuggets," she said.
Josh said, "There is the gluten free macaroni and cheese that I really like."
Just like any other 11 year old but this one eats gluten free.
The Gluten Free Vendor Fair is tomorrow at the Knoxville Expo Center from 10:00 to 4:00.