A local branch of Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America providing support for
people with all types of gluten intolerances, in order to live healthy, productive lives.
Meeting Calendar
We meet on the Third (3rd) Monday of each month from 6-8pm in the Annex Building behind the Arkansas Heart Hospital (1701 South Shackleford Rd - click for map) in Little Rock.
April 15th:
Dr. Betsy Hendricks
"Health Restoration"
May 20th:
Cooking2Thrive - cooking demo and dinner (at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral)
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* Please feel free to bring in home baked (with recipe) or store bought foods you would like to share with the group.
* Drug Emporium kindly donates GF food for us to try at our meetings.
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For more information, contact:
Sherri Clay, President
(501) 821-0111
& Thanks
Every year, we ask our supporters to donate money to help us continue to spread the word about gluten intolerance. As you know, Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas (GIGCA) is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. Would you consider helping us by making a tax deductible gift of $20 or more?
You can bring your donation to the next GIGCA meeting or mail it to:
     Beaura Cavalier
     GIGCA Treasurer
     4 Willow Oak Cove
     Maumelle, AR 72113
(If you mail your donation, please indicate if you would like to be mailed a tax receipt in return, and if we have your permission to list your name in our newsletter as a donor, or if you would like to remain anonymous.)
If you have any questions, you can contact Beaura at:
beauracavalier@gmail.com     (501) 749-9328
We would like to thank those donors who wish to remain anonymous and the following people for their generous donations:
   Sharyon Beck
   LaDonna Brock
   Pam Collar
   Kathleen Devilbiss
   Marci Hall
   Sharon Lashbrook
   Bette Middlebrooks
Gluten Free 101
If you would like more details on living gluten free, please contact Anne or LaDonna to arrange a personal “Gluten-Free 101” session.
Little Rock Area
Anne Luther
(501) 681-5544
Hot Springs Area
LaDonna Brock
(501) 733-9026
 We Want to Hear
from You!
We need your input to make this newsletter great! 
Send in your:
* favorite GF recipies
* GF product reviews
* restaurant reviews
* GF book reviews
* Children's Corner story
* your personal GF story
or anything else you would like to share with the group.(Please indicate whether you want to be anonymous or have your first or last name used.)
Please write it up and send it to: aluther@comcast.net.
Gluten Alert !
If you have been using Glutenzyme by Pharmax be warned that this now contains wheat.  It makes no sense to me why they changed the formula to include wheat.
                     ~ Anne     
 In This Issue:
  ~ News from Our President, Sherri Clay
  ~ Upcoming Meeting Info
  ~ Dempsey Bakery
  ~ Restaurants:
       Taziki's Cafe, David's Burgers, Big Orange, Gigi's
  ~ YOUR Opinions
  ~ News from Other GIG Groups
  ~ Children's Corner: Sleepover Survival Guide
  ~ Recipe Corner: GF/CF Samoa Cookies
  ~ Research Update:
     * Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet
     * Is Leaky Gut Fatal?
     * Free Webinar from NFCA
News from Our President, Sherri Clay
We took a trip to see old friends over Spring Break.  The last time we saw them, the wife was still walking, despite being diagnosed with MS.  Now she is barely able to pull herself onto a powered wheel chair.  Her outings are limited to places where her husband can accompany her to the bathroom.  My question as to whether she had considered a gluten free diet brought an adamant response, her doctor had not suggested it.  You might have thought I was suggesting bee stings, not just a different way of eating.
But if I'm honest, it is still hard to believe that simply eliminating gluten can have such a profound impact on our health.  I know it's true from personal experience, and from your stories, but how is our culture still duped into thinking that 100% whole wheat is beneficial? And while I'm sure that going gluten free isn't the answer to every health problem, I can't help but wonder, what would she have to lose?
 Upcoming Meeting Info
Monday, April 15th, 6-8pm:  Dr. Betsy Hendricks will be speaking on “Health Restoration: Does it take more than a Gluten Free Diet.” If you are planning to attend this meeting, please contact LaDonna (ladonnakbrock@yahoo.com or 501-733-9026) to make sure we have enough chairs for everyone.
Be sure and have dinner before you come to hear Dr. Hendricks, but save a little room for dessert.  We will provide GiGi's mini cupcakes and coffee. 
Monday, May 20th, 6-8pm:  Cooking2Thrive has invited us for a GF cooking demo/feast at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 310 W. 17th, Little Rock, in Morrison Hall. The menu will be: Tarragon Gorgonzola Fried Chicken Tenders, Southern Style Green Beans, Gouda Muffins, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies. The cost for ingredients will be $6 per person at the door.
Dempsey Bakery
Thank you Dempsey Bakery, and Paula Dempsey, for hosting our last GIGCA meeting!  We loved hearing about your new frozen GF dinners, and even more...eating them!  They tasted great and will be so convenient.
Be sure to "like" Dempsey Bakery on Facebook to stay up to date on new items.  Dempsey Bakery webpage: www.dempseybakery.com
Taziki’s Cafe update from Sherri:
Taziki's Feasts, Salads, and Starters are gluten-free.  As with any menu, order without kaiser bun, flour tortilla, pita, or pita chips.  I was told that the following are all gluten-free: both dressings (original Greek dressing & homemade balsamic vinagrette), all sides (except pitas & pasta salads), Taziki Dip, and Hummus.  There are two locations in Little Rock and one in Conway.
From Sherri on our Facebook page:  We tried David's Burgers in NLR because they have a dedicated fryer. The hamburger, minus the bun of course, was delicious and fries are all you can eat!
From Anne on our Facebook page:  Big Orange (in Promenade Mall on Chenal) has Dempsey buns available for the hamburgers. Their fries are not gluten free as they are fried in a shared fryer.
We will again be enjoying GF cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes at our April meeting. They come in 3 flavors and are available on Fridays. There are two locations where you can buy these in Little Rock. They are  $3.25/ GFcupcake, $18 dozen minis.
If you find a restaurant that is not on our list of restaurants with GF menus on our website, please let us know.
YOUR Opinions
From Sherri: For children of all ages!  I just bought a box of Van's Say Cheese crackers. (They remind me of Cheese-It's.) The box says they are crispy whole grain baked crackers. They are yummy!
From Beaura: We tried Goldbaum's GF ice cream cones (found at Drug Emporium) and they are delicious.  The sugar cones are small, so that helps with portion control for my kids (and me).  Also, my new favorite GF/CF ice cream is Purely Decadent's "Mocha Almond Fudge" and "Turtle Trails" found at Whole Foods and Kroger.  Purely Decadent is soy-based.
Please send us your thoughts!!!
We would love to hear from you about GF recipies, restaurants, GF products, etc.  Just send an e-mail to Anne aluther@comcast.net or make a comment on our Facebook page.
News from Other GIG Groups
News from GIG of Harrison
Meetings are on the first Monday of each month in the Ginny Hammerschmidt Room in the Durand Center.
For more information contact:
Terrie Martindale  tmusicus@yahoo.com  (870) 741-7240.
News From GIG of Northeast Arkansas - Jonesboro
Meetings are on the second Saturday of each month at Mt. Carmel Methodist Church, 4000 Southwest Drive, in Jonesboro from 10am - noon.  Find them on Facebook. 
Barbara Feeser  barbfeeser@att.net  (870) 935-4515
Gale Pierce  agpierce@suddenlink.net   (870) 203-9068
News from GIG of Northwest Arkansas - Fayetteville
Contact Josie Upson gig.nwar@gmail.com to get on the e-mail list and for more information.  Find them on Facebook.
News from GIG of North America
The new website is up and running. Check it out at www.gluten.net.
Did you get your copy of GIG's quarterly magazine, "Celebrate Gluten Free"?  It has some great recipes and several articles, including one about autoimmune disease, how to make your kitchen safe, and "Grieving the Loss of Gluten."  A subscription to this journal comes with your membership to GIG.  (Donating to our local branch, GIG of Central Arkansas, is separate from becoming a member of GIG.)
Our webpage can be found by going to GIG’s website and open the tab for “Local Branches,” or go to www.centralarkansasgig.org.
 Children's Corner
A Sleepover Survival Guide
Part 1 of 3: The Parent
Written by Amy Macklin RD, LDN
Does the thought of your child asking if s/he can stay over at so-and-so’s house totally stress you out?  Sleepovers can be quite nerve racking when you have a child on a special diet, but don’t let that stop you from letting your child experience such a fun and exciting occasion.  Kids love to hangout with their friends.  They’re most likely more concerned with what they will be doing than what they will be eating, so keep the focus on the experience not the food.
With the right planning and preparation, your child can enjoy this time and most importantly you will be able to get a good night’s sleep. There are preparatory steps for you, your child, and the host of the sleepover.  This post will focus on the seven simple steps you need to take to make sure your child will have a safe and enjoyable time away from home.
Click  HERE to continue reading.
 Recipe Corner
Gluten and Casein Free Samoa Cookies
Reprinted here with permission from Jamie Eppenauer. You will want to visit her website to see the wonderful pictures of these cookies. Thank you Jamie!
Longing for a Girl Scout Samoa Cookie?  My family gives this recipe five stars! 
Cookie Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 325 F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed for 5 minutes.  The mixture will become light in color and very soft and fluffy.
Fold in the flour by hand.  (It may not seem like it, but just keep folding it in and it will all stick together.)
Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and flatten with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar to prevent the dough from sticking.  If you want the cookies to look just like the Girl Scout ones, cut out the middle of the cookies with an apple corer. 
Bake for 18 minutes until they are a very pale golden color.  Yields about 4 dozen cookies.  They tasted fantastic as this point, so you may want to save some like this to eat.
For the Chocolate Bottoms
  • 1 cup melted chocolate (Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips are both gluten and casein free)
Melt in the microwave on 50% stopping to stir every 30 seconds.  These do not take long to melt.  Flip the cookies over and coat the bottom with a layer of chocolate.  We found it easiest to do this with a spatula.  Put in the refrigerator or the freezer to set the chocolate.  
For the Topping
  • 6 T butter (Earth Balance for CF)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk (or 1/4 cup almond milk for CF)
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups toasted coconut
Preheat the oven to 300 F.  Spread coconut evenly on a cookie sheet and toast for 12 minutes or until it is golden brown.  Check to make sure it does not burn.
In a 2 quart saucepan over medium low heat, combine the butter, sugar and corn syrup. Stirring constantly, heat to a full boil.  Boil 3 minutes.
Continuing to constantly stir, add either the condensed milk or the almond milk. Cook over low heat until candy thermometer reaches 220 F. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Beat with an electric mixer for 4 minutes, then stir in the toasted coconut and mix well. Top the cookies with the mixture.  We used a butter knife.  The mixture sets fast so if it gets hard, warm in the microwave or keep it in a warming drawer.
The Grand Finale
  • 1 cup melted chocolate (Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips are both gluten and casein free)
Melt in the microwave on 50% stopping to stir every 30 seconds.  Use a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag with a small whole cut in the corner and add the signature chocolate swirl across the top of the cookies.  Store in the refrigerator.
This recipe takes quite a commitment, but it was worth it for my daughter who had not eaten Samoa’s in three years.  You can cut the work in half by not cutting out the round center.  Not only was it time consuming to cut out the centers, but the donut shape made it a lot harder to add the chocolate on the bottom and coat the tops of the cookies.
 Research Update
Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet 
Hollon, J. R., Cureton, P. A., Martin, M. L., Puppa, E. L. L., & Fasano, A. (2013). Trace gluten contamination may play a role in mucosal and clinical recovery in a subgroup of diet-adherent non-responsive celiac disease patients. BMC gastroenterology, 13(1), 1-9.
Patients with persistent symptoms and/or villous atrophy despite strict adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) have non-responsive celiac disease (NRCD). A subset of these patients has refractory celiac disease (RCD), yet some NRCD patients may simply be reacting to gluten cross-contamination. Here we describe the effects of a 3 - 6 month diet of whole, unprocessed foods, termed the Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet (GCED), on NRCD. We aim to demonstrate that this diet reclassifies the majority of patients thought to have RCD type 1 (RCD1).
This was a small study of 17 people with CD who were not responding well to a GF diet. They had checked for possible cross-contamination, but none was to be found. They were placed on 3 - 6 month Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet, removing all grains (but rice) and all processed foods.  Of the 17 patients, 14 responded positively to the Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet (GCED).  Most patients who responded to the 3 - 6 month course of GCED were then able to return to a traditional GFD without return of symptoms.
The conclusion was a GCED might be an effective therapeutic option for those who are adhering to a strict GF diet, but are not fully healing. 
You can read the complete article HERE.
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Is Leaky Gut Fatal?
Rera, M., Clark, R. I., & Walker, D. W. (2012). Intestinal barrier dysfunction links metabolic and inflammatory markers of aging to death in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences109(52), 21528-21533.
Aging is characterized by a growing risk of disease and death, yet the underlying pathophysiology is poorly understood. Indeed, little is known about how the functional decline of individual organ systems relates to the integrative physiology of aging and probability of death of the organism. Here we show that intestinal barrier dysfunction is correlated with lifespan across a range of Drosophila genotypes and environmental conditions, including mitochondrial dysfunction and dietary restriction. Regardless of chronological age, intestinal barrier dysfunction predicts impending death in individual flies. Activation of inflammatory pathways has been linked to aging and age-related diseases in humans, and an age-related increase in immunity-related gene expression has been reported in Drosophila. We show that the age-related increase in expression of antimicrobial peptides is tightly linked to intestinal barrier dysfunction. Indeed, increased antimicrobial peptide expression during aging can be used to identify individual flies exhibiting intestinal barrier dysfunction. Similarly, intestinal barrier dysfunction is more accurate than chronological age in identifying individual flies with systemic metabolic defects previously linked to aging, including impaired insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling, as evidenced by a reduction in Akt activation and up-regulation of dFOXO target genes. Thus, the age-dependent loss of intestinal integrity is associated with altered metabolic and immune signaling and, critically, is a harbinger of death. Our findings suggest that intestinal barrier dysfunction may be an important factor in the pathophysiology of aging in other species as well, including humans.
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Free Webinar from the NFCA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness)
Tuesday, April 9, starting at 7:30pm Central Time.
“Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity, and Neuropsychiatric Disease”
Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas (GIGCA)