Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas

GIGCA on Facebook

GIG on Facebook


June 2012

Our next meeting is Monday, June 18, 6-8pm in the Annex Building behind the Heart Hospital


Table of Contents

·      Calendar – GIG of Central Arkansas

·      Meetings are at the Heart Hospital Annex Building

·      Message from the President

·      Donations and Thanks

·      Gluten Free 101

·      Sharing information: please send recipes, reviews and more*

·      News from GIG of Northeast Arkansas – Jonesboro

·      News from GIG of Northwest Arkansas – Fayetteville

·      News from GIG of North America – Annual event

·      Children’s Corner  - Feeding my family a GF/CF diet and recipe

·      GF Connect

·      Dempsey Bakery - great review

·      Restaurants – The Catfish Hole; Le Pops; Star of India

·      GF food - FritoLay

·      Whole Foods - GF cooking class with Julianne June 26

·      Recipe Corner – Herb Soaked Crackers, GF Easily

·      Books - Gluten Brains, The Energy Effect

·      Articles and Abstracts:

o   Amber designtion dropped by NFCA

o   Gluten Dependent Antibodies in Horses with Inflammatory Small Bowel Disease



Calendar for GIGCA




Monday, June 18th, 6-8pm - Julianne Bitely will be speaking. She is a health and nutrition counselor. Topic will be "Is it truly gluten free? Shopping smart for food allergies & health". Her website is


July and August – No meetings


September – To be announced


Thursday October 4th, 6pm - This is a very exciting event you will not want to miss. We are proud to announce that GIGCA is hosting

Dr (Professor) Rodney Ford MB MS MD FRACP
Medical doctor, Gastroenterologist, Allergist, Pediatrician, and Gluten expert
from New Zealand.  He will present you with the evidence that everyone, including your family, should now be avoiding gluten. You may read more about this on Gluten: ZERO Global and read an article he wrote recently "Gluten: bad for us all"


This meeting will be at St Vincent’s Hospital in the auditorium of the Education Building in the evening. Dempsey Bakery will provide dessert. Admission is $5.00




Meetings are usually at the Heart Hospital Annex Building

Please feel free to bring in home baked or store bought foods you would like to share with the group.


Each month Drug Emporium is kindly donating GF food for us to try. 


This room is located in a building behind the main hospital. When you drive in from the stoplight, you will be facing the hospital. Go to the right. When you come to the stop sign, go left.  This takes you behind the hospital.  The building with the Fireplace Room will be on the right with a sign that says ANNEX. There is convenient parking in front of the building and we can ignore the HR ONLY parking signs as it is after hours.


Arkansas Heart Hospital

1701 South Shackleford Road

Little Rock, AR 72211


Going south on I-430, take exit 5 and turn right onto Shackleford. Hospital is on the right.


Going north on I-430, take exit 5 and turn left onto Shackleford. Hospital is on the right.


For questions contact

Anne Luther                                                                                                                                      



Message from out President

Maybe it's the teacher in me that wants people to know that gluten could be making them sick.  Or maybe it's compassion that gives me the desire to shake people and beg them to at least try the gluten free diet.  But whatever it is, I am still amazed that anyone who suffers with IBS, migraine headaches or Crohn's disease (just to name a few)  wouldn't be thrilled to have someone tell them about a non-surgical option, without side effects, that could change their life.   Which is exactly why we invited Dr. Ford to come from New Zealand  Oct. 4th.  If his talk doesn't cause people to consider that cheerios and cheese-it crackers might be the culprit to their poor health, then I'm going to shut my mouth!    



Make checks payable to GIGCA. Please send donations to our GIGCA treasurer, Terri Murdoch. You can call or email Terri if you have any questions.


Terri Murdoch

11 Berwyn Dr

Little Rock, AR 72227  

Phone: 501-312-1689


We want to thank the donors who wish to remain anonymous and the following people for their generous donations.

Susan Holmes

Pat Whiting






Gluten Free 101

Gluten Free 101 (GF101) classes are held on demand. For more information on classes in Little Rock contact Anne Luther at 501-681-5544. 


LaDonna Brock is available for GF 101 in Hot Springs. She can be contacted by email at or by phone 501-262-4299


Sharing information

We would love to hear from you. The newsletter is much more interesting with your input.  Here are some subjects that would be of interest:

1) Recipes

2) Product reviews

3) Restaurant reviews

4) Information on GF traveling

5) Your story

6) Anything you would like to share with the group


News From GIG of Northeast Arkansas (Jonesboro)

The Gluten Intolerance Group of Northeast Arkansas meets at the Mt Carmel Methodist Church, 4000 Southwest Drive, Jonesboro.  Find them on Facebook.


 June 9, 2012-- Kristin Addison-Brown, Clinical Neuropsychologist with NEA Baptist Clinic in Jonesboro Topic:  "The Neurological Effects of Celiac Disease"

July 14, 2012-- to be announced

 August 11, 2012-- Anne Luther from The GIG of Central Arkansas


All meetings are on the second Saturday of each month at Mt. Carmel Methodist Church in Jonesboro from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon. 

 For more information contact:

Barbara Feeser (Group Leader) (870)935-4515

Gale Pierce (Secretary/Treasurer) (870) 203-9068


News from GIG of Northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville)

Contact Info:  Dana Ward

Please email Dana to get on the email list and for more information!

You can find them on Facebook  too!



News from GIG of North America

GIG's Annual Event is now the Health & Wellness Experience


Come explore the various activities we offer during this event.  Find out about living a healthy, balanced, positive, gluten-free life. Visit all of our health screening booths, hands on activities and our presenter areas.  If you are following a gluten-free diet, or want to know more about it - this event is for you


Learn about your BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, bone density, blood sugar and more.  Also learn practical tips for living gluten-free and balancing your life for better health. Explore the exhibit hall, and network with others living the gluten-free lifestyle.  Join in the Path to Health Game through the hall and enter to win prizes.


The Health & Wellness Experience will be held in Seattle at the Sea-Tac Doubletree Hotel on June 16, 2012.





Children's Corner

Feeding My Family a Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet

By Beaura Cavalier


I used to think that feeding my kids was hard.  Now that we are Gluten-Free and Casein-Free (GFCF)…it is really, really hard.  No more adding cheese to the top of a vegetable to make it more appealing, or buying crackers and yogurt in the grocery store.  No more bakeries, or fast food options, or good Mexican food (with flour tortillas, cheese and sour cream).  No more pizza.


I was focused on all of the things my family couldn’t eat.  I was mourning the convenience of food that was already partially made for me.


Only recently have I changed my attitude about our restrictions.  I have finally accepted that I am going to have to cook more “from scratch.”  And I have realized that I am not as restricted as I thought.  We are eating vegetables, fruit, meat, non-gluten containing grains (rice, quinoa, grits), nuts, beans, etc.  For special occasions, now we have Dempsey Bakery to go to and we have found a couple of restaurants that can provide us with “safe” food.


Here are a few things that have helped me make it through the past year.


1.  Make a list of things that your family will eat so you can refer to it when you feel like they won’t eat anything.  And don’t be afraid to use the same meals they like over and over.  I get so excited when I find a new main dish that they like!


2.  Use the freezer.

 -- I freeze ground meat by placing one pound in a ziptop sandwich bag and press it flat for easy storage and faster thawing.

 -- I freeze GFCF cookie dough by dividing one homemade batch into four ziptop sandwich bags, press flat and freeze.  (Each bag makes just enough cookies for a day.  Just cut off the sandwich bag, cut the frozen dough in squares, and immediately bake at 350 F for 10-15 min. or until done to your liking.)

 -- I make extra French Toast (using GFCF Rudi’s bread, eggs, almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla) and freeze the cooled French Toast in a gallon ziptop bag.  To eat it later, take out a couple frozen, microwave them for 30 seconds or so and serve with a topping.

 -- I also make extra and then freeze: pancakes, biscuits, and especially muffins.  They all reheat very well in a microwave or toaster oven or combination of both.


3.  Hide good stuff in the kid’s food.

 -- Muffins are my favorite place to hide stuff.  You can make muffins with grated carrot, zucchini, or squash, or canned pumpkin.  You can replace some of the GF flour mix with almond flour to increase protein.  You can add ground flax seed in the flour mix to add Omega-3s and fiber.  You can add dried cranberries, mini GFCF chocolate chips, toasted coconut, chopped canned pineapple, chopped apples, fresh blueberries, etc.  (The delicious muffins I made last week were carrot muffins with some almond flour, ground flax seed, dried cranberries, and chopped canned pineapple.)  The combinations are numerous and fun to experiment with.  One time I tried decreasing the sugar a little too much in a recipe, but we just ate the muffins with honey.  Another time I doubled the grated carrots from 1 cup to 2 cups and the muffins held together and tasted great.

 -- I tried pureeing spinach and adding it to spaghetti sauce, and my kids ate it!

 -- I have added chopped carrots and spinach to fruit smoothies with success.  (I have a pretty powerful blender that makes it all smooth.)  Adding blueberries to the mix hid the green color of the spinach.


4.  Check out from the library “Getting Your Kid on a Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet” by Susan Lord.  It is simply written and very helpful.



Here is the Carrot Muffin recipe I love.  It is adapted from the recipe in “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” by Annalise G. Roberts.  I usually double this recipe to make 24 muffins and have a little batter left over that I cook in whatever oven-worthy vessel I find that fits well.


1.  Preheat oven to 350 F and line tin with paper muffin cups or rub with oil.


2.  Mix in large bowl:

2 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix *(see flour ingredients at end of muffin recipe)

2/3 cup white sugar

1 T baking powder

1 t baking soda

¾ t xanthan gum

2 t cinnamon

¼ t nutmeg

¼ t salt

Optional: 1 T ground flax seeds


3.  Add to large bowl and stir to coat evenly:

2 cups shredded carrot

Any combination of:  ½ cup chopped nuts, ½ cup chopped canned pineapple, ½ cup dried cranberries, ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut or unsweetened shredded coconut toasted in pan, ½ cup raisins, ½ cup chopped apples, etc.


4.  Mix liquids in small bowl:

2 eggs (beaten)

½ cup milk (almond - unsweetened)

½ cup canola oil

1 t vanilla


5.  Add liquids to large bowl and stir just until blended.


6.  Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until top of muffin springs back when pressed with your finger.  Remove muffins from pan and cool on rack.


7.  Freeze muffins in a large ziptop bag as soon as they are cool.  Eat the frozen muffins within two weeks.



*Brown Rice Flour Mix

2 cups brown rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch (not potato flour)

1/3 cup tapioca flour


Whisk these ingredients together and store in a container (ziptop gallon bag or airtight plastic container) in the refrigerator.  (I always triple the batch to 6 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups potato starch, and 1 cup tapioca flour and then have it on hand to use in my recipes.)  Bob’s Red Mill makes all of these ingredients and they are reasonably priced at Drug Emporium.  (Don’t forget you will need Xanthan Gum for almost any recipe you use this flour mix in.  It is expensive, but will last a very long time.)


Getting to Know You

We would love to hear your story. I know that everyone has a story to share. Please write it up and send it to Please let me know if you want to be anonymous or if your want to have your first or last name used.



GFREE CONNECT reviewd by Tony Pipkin, RD

This is a new a reasonably priced program that aspires to bring the Celiac Community different gluten free sample products as well as a coupon program that helps to offset the expense of a GF diet.






Review by Tony Pipkin, Registered Dietitian

            This is an interesting concept to help the Celiac Community learn about many new GF products without the burden of buying complete packages of many products only to find the quality is not what they desired.  The pricing is designed to provide you with products and coupons that exceed the quarterly cost, which at $19.99 plus shipping and handling the first quarter, $29.99 plus S/H after that, is reasonable considering the cost of many GF foods.  A real bonus is that you can opt out of the program at any time.   After you learn the diet and have a comfortable idea of foods you will buy (and eat) you may decide to cancel.

            Happy ‘safe’ eating!



Dempsey Bakery

Review of Dempsey Bakery

She is an artist and she lives on the beach in the Caribbean. The other week she made a whirlwind of a trip to Arkansas and she says "she can’t stop thinking of the most wonderful Bakery. Most friendly. Most delicious. Most knowledgeable. MOST WONDERFUL! Yup, she is talking about Dempsey Bakery."


Please go to the above link for her blog post and some mouthwatering pictures.


Be sure to "like" Dempsey Bakery on Facebook to stay up to date on new items.


Dempsey Bakery now has a webpage too.




Please send in your restaurant reviews to share. If you find a restaurant that is not on our list of restaurants with GF menus, please le me know.  The restaurant list can be found on our webpage


You can email me at


Gale wrote that she recently ate at The Catfish Hole in North Little Rock. "It was gf and fantastic!!! Their breading for the fish is gf and is fried in a cooker just for fish. The fries are also fried in a separate cooker. It is under new management and the food was absolutely wonderful. Big pieces of fish with no fat! Please let the support group know about this. I just made sure that they wrote at the top of the ticket.... "NO HUSHPUPPIES!" :D"



Susan wants us to know that  Le Pops in the River Market has delicious frozen treats many of which are gluten free.  They are great folks and eager to help - they even changed their coconut so that the coconut ice pops are now gf and they are delicious!



Jennifer posted this on the Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas Facebook page.


“Talked with the owner of Star of India...he informed me that ALL the food is Gluten-free except the Naan that they serve. Everything else is made from chick-pea flour. He said he and his family grew up gluten-free and he believes in the health benefits! My friend is also dairy-free and he makes dishes specifically to her needs when she orders! Please check this place out! It has been my favorite for 10+ years and now that we are GF, our family can continue to eat there and especially to try the buffet knowing all of it is safe!!!!!!”



GF food
Have you found a new favorite GF food? We would love to hear about it.


FritoLay is now testing foods for gluten. They are then labling those with <20ppm gluten as "GF"  GoFrito-Lay, one of the largest snack makers in the world, has launched an initiative that will see qualifying products carry a gluten-free label.

Read more: Here

 FritoLay's GF list.


Whole Foods

Tuesday, June 26th

Julianne’s Special Diets -Cooking Class

6:30 PM | FREE!

Many people are new to the gluten free lifestyle and for people with celiac the only answer is a lifelong avoidance of gluten. We will prepare tasty gluten free recipes to show you how easy it is to cook tasty gluten free dishes and answer the question of how to convert some of your favorite recipes. Please RSVP via e-mail at Space is limited.


Recipe Corner

Herb Soaked Crackers

Original recipe form:  July 2006

Former Food Editor, Irene Wassell, of the Democrat-Gazette

Modification by Preston Brown

A large jar will be required to mix the crackers below with the seasoned oil.  If available, a large plastic jar formerly containing Utz cheese-balls or pork rinds would be perfect.


1 (1 lb.)  box of unseasoned GF crackers.

1  1/3  cups  vegetable oil (canola, olive oil, safflower, etc.)

1  envelope   Dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (0.4 oz)

Note:  equivalent to 3 tsp of the bulk powder.

1         tsp     cayenne pepper, ground

1         tsp     garlic powder

1         tsp     onion powder

1         tsp     dill weed



Put the crackers in the big jar.

In a medium bowl, mix the ranch dressing with the oil.  Add the other four seasonings to this mixture and blend well.


Pour this seasoned oil mixture over the crackers in the jar and toss gently to coat the crackers with the oil.


Tighten lid on the jar and turn jar on its side.  Tumble gently two or three times a day for two or three days (three is better.) to complete the distribution of the oil to the crackers.  The sides of the jar will slowly dry up as the oil soaks completely into the crackers.


Notes by Preston Brown:

When I first tried these, I was sure they had been additionally baked because of their crispness.  Not so:  it’s the oil in the cracker that causes that crispness.  Just think:  this is a treat you can fix during the summer without firing up the oven.  Cool, huh?

Here are some variations encountered over the years:

1.     More dill weed.  One recipe had a whole tablespoonful.

2.     Addition of crushed red pepper – 2 tablespoonfuls.  This seems like a lot, but it totally depends on your desire for heat.

One pound of crackers is a big bunch of crackers.  so it seems to me that a 1/4th recipe would be in order.  So here goes:

4        oz    (1 sleeve) of crackers

3        oz    olive oil (or whichever oil you’ve got)

    3/4  tsp   Dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing

    1/4  tsp   cayenne pepper, ground

    1/4  tsp   garlic powder

    1/4  tsp   onion powder

    1/2  tsp   dill weed (could be 1/4 to 3/4 tsp)

    1/2  tsp   red pepper flakes (if you dare!)

(this could be 1/4  tsp to 1 tsp)


Note that I added more dill weed and red pepper flakes.  That’s the nice thing about the 1/4th recipe:  if this is too much, then add more crackers. 


If mixing for a large group of people, it’s always safer to tone down the heat.


The jar for this can also be smaller.  I’ve got an old large Claussen pickle jar that will to the job, but a Mixed nuts jar would probably do as well.


Notice that I’ve just given you an excuse to buy Utz cheese balls, Utz pork rinds, Claussen pickles and mixed nuts.  Not bad huh?


To be diet-conscious, however, I really should add that the addition of oil to the cracker makes them about 30 calories per cracker as far as I can tell.  So eat a bunch, but then go run around the house a few times.


Taste observation:  These crackers are good enough to eat alone, but if you want to try them with cheese, I noticed that if the cheese is sharp or has an intense flavor, the taste of the herbs in the cracker is somewhat obliterated.  However, a bland cheese or even just plain cream cheese works wonderfully.  Also, potato soup, clam chowder, or avocado/guacamole fits in well with this idea.  I’ve got to stop now – I’m getting hungry.


This recipe has not been tested on GF crackers as the original recipe used wheat crackers. If you make this, I would love to hear how well it turned out. ~ Anne


I did not get any other recipes to share this month. You may want to go to Gluten Free Easily and check out Shirley’s recipes.  Her latest is Black Magic Bars(Black Walnut Chocolate Chip Oat Bars) Click on the Recipe tab for more.


Books by Dr. Ford

Dr. Rodney Ford, who will be our special guest and speaker for October, has recently published an ebook "Gluten Brains". His hypothesis is that all the damage from gluten can be explained by the damage gluten does to the brains and nerves. Gluten related disorders are a primarily a neurological problem. This book can be ordered from Smashwords


"The Energy Effect", Just published this week.  Dr. Ford says "(It is)about living healthy until you die. It has been said that life is a terminal disease! If you are going to have a life - make it a happy healthy one."


You can follow Dr. Ford on Facebook  at Gluten Free Planet and on his


Articles and Abstracts

NFCA to Suspend Use of Amber Designation after Domino's Controversy 05/23/2012 - In April 2012, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness debuted its Tiered Credentialing system, whereby restaurants can be awarded varying levels of a gluten-free designation. The system has spawned much controversy, as many sufferers of celiac disease argue that there should be no flexibility with the gluten-free term. Many argue that a food either contains gluten, or it does not: leading people to believe gluten-contaminated products are gluten-free could be harmful to celiacs.


Click Here for the rest of this article.




Many of us have found that when we stop feeding gluten to our dogs and cats their health greatly improves. Grains nearly killed my Cairn Terrior. This makes sense as dogs and cats are carnivores. But what about horses?


Horses can get small bowel inflammatory  disease.  The researchers found one horse with antibodies to gluten.  They placed that horse on a gluten free diet and his antibodies to gluten dropped and the small bowel improved.  They conclude that further investigation is needed.


Vet Q. 2012 Apr 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Gluten-dependent antibodies in horses with inflammatory small bowel disease (ISBD).


a Department of Equine Sciences, Medicine Section, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine , University of Utrecht , Utrecht , the Netherlands.


Background: Equine inflammatory small bowel disease (ISBD) is an idiopathic pathologic condition seeming to increase in prevalence. Objective: To investigate the potential role of gluten in equine ISBD. Animals & Methods: Antibodies known to be important in the diagnosis of human coeliac disease (CD): IgA antibodies to human recombinant and guinea pig tissue-transglutaminase (TGA), native gliadin (AGA), deamidated-gliadin-peptides (DGPA), and primate and equine endomysium (EMA) were assessed in blood samples from three different groups of horses: ISBD affected (n=12) on a gluten-rich diet and controls either on gluten-rich (n=22) or gluten-poor (n=25) diets. Significant differences (p<0.05) between groups were assessed using the Wilcoxon test. Results: Both ISBD-affected horses and gluten-rich controls had significantly (p<0.0004) higher hrTGA titers than gluten-poor controls. However, ISBD horses did not show significantly increased levels of any of the CD related antibodies when compared to gluten-rich controls. Nevertheless, markedly increased antibody levels (TGA, EMA and DGPA) were found in one of the ISBD horses. The introduction of a gluten-free ration in this 14-year-old warmblood stallion resulted after 6 months in the reduction of antibody levels and clinical recovery associated with improved duodenal histopathology. Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study assessing gluten-related antibodies in horses and results suggest a potential pathogenic role of gluten in at least some cases of equine ISBD. Clinical importance and impact for human medicine: Given serology and concurrent clinical findings, this study warrants further investigations into the immunologic basis of possible gluten-sensitive enteropathy in horses and analogy with human disease.



[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]