Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas

GIGCA on Facebook

GIG on Facebook


July 2012

No meetings for July and August


Table of Contents

·      Meeting Calendar for GIGCA

·      Meeting Locations

·      News from Our Vice-President – GIG National Meeting

·      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

·      Children’s Corner – GF helps child with behavior problems

·      Getting to Know You – we want to hear your story

·      Dempsey Bakery – where to find Dempsey products around AR

·      Restaurants – Chefs fail basic celiac test

·      GF food – pasta made from bananas?

·      Whole Foods – Julianne’s cooking class

·      Williams-Sonoma – GF cooking demos

·      Recipe Corner – Fig Newtons and some GF baking tips

·      Univ. of Chicago CD Center – gift packages for those newly diagnosed

·      Articles and Abstracts:

o   Blood Pressure Drug causing symptoms of CD

o   CD: Management of persistent symptoms in patients on a GF diet


Meeting Calendar for GIGCA

July and August – No meetings

September – Cynthia Kupper, RD, Executive Director of GIG of North America will be speaking.

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

Dr. Rodney Ford MB MS MD FRACP
He is a Medical doctor, Gastroenterologist, Allergist, Pediatrician, an
Associate Professor (University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine) and Gluten expert from New Zealand.  He will present you with 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 October meeting with Dr. Rodney Ford will be at St Vincent’s Hospital in the auditorium of the Education Building in the evening. Dempsey Bakery will provide dessert.


Meeting Locations

Most meetings are at the Heart Hospital Annex Building:

Arkansas Heart Hospital

1701 South Shackleford Road

Little Rock, AR 72211

The meeting room is located in a building behind the main Heart 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.

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.

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. 

For questions please contact:

Anne Luther                                                                                                                                      




News from Our Vice-President – GIG National Meeting

By LaDonna Brock


Sherri and I had a wonderful time at the GIG National Conference in Seattle this year. We started out with a two-day leadership training on Thursday June 14th and Friday June 15th. We both learned a lot from the leaders of other groups around the country. We broke up into smaller groups and did some troubleshooting on problems and got some ideas. We are hoping to implement some of these ideas into next year’s activities.

In the past the conferences have only had a 1 day leadership training session. So I thought having this 2 day leadership training was a good idea. Sherri and I are new as leaders so it was helpful.

It was great to be with other people who have gluten intolerance and be able to talk about it and also not worry about the food. We met some new friends from other groups and felt very much supported by them.

The hotel chef had some wonderful meals prepared for the leaders. He came out and took the time to tell us how he prepared a few of the dishes. One favorite was a bean salad and another one was a dessert that he made with gluten free Bisquick or something similar.  He was going to give GIG National the recipes. So hopefully we will be able to share these with our group when they are available.

            Sherri and I got to know one another better. We stayed up late talking. We went to the mall on Thursday night and ate at BJ’s Restaurant, which serves Gluten Free Pizza. The leaders were able to attend the Mariners Baseball game on Friday night and they provided a meal for us there. We didn’t stay for the game because neither of us are really baseball fans. But it’s the first time I’ve been in a stadium so I thought it was pretty interesting to see.

I was really tired when I got back from the two hours time difference and staying up late, but overall it was worth it. I hope that all of you will plan to attend a future event if at all possible. I will type up my notes for July’s newsletter. I didn’t take as many this year with the speakers only having 30 minutes. But I will share what I have.



Donations and Thanks

Your Donation supports our activities including our monthly meetings and outreach to help those newly diagnosed and those newly adopting a GF lifestyle.  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 thank the donors who wish to remain anonymous and the following people for their generous donations.

Jan Robertson

Gayle Cox

Bette Middlebrooks

We would like to thank all of you who have already donated to GIGCA this year.  We stretch your dollars as far as we can to help educate and reach people in Central Arkansas.  No one is paid a salary from our local chapter.  If you haven't contributed yet this year, please consider a tax deductible gift. 



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.

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

Are you familiar with GIG’s website At the top you will find some great links you will want to explore. If you are traveling this summer you may want to see if there is a local group you can contact to find our about the GF resources. Click on “Learn” and find some great brochures about living GF. 



Children's Corner

By Sherri Clay, President of GIGCA

On the airplane coming back from Seattle, I sat next to a psychotherapist.  When I asked her if she had heard about eating gluten free, she told me a story about one of her seven year old patients.  His mother brought him to her because he was throwing temper tantrums and had terrible behavior problems at home and at school.  Thankfully, his smart mother found out that gluten might be affecting his brain, and put him on gluten free diet. Within a manner of days, he was a totally different child!  In my mind, case closed, but the therapist said the little boy likes their sessions together so much that his mother continues to bring him.   (That mom must have more money than I do!)

But kudos to all the moms out there who are willing to try a gluten free diet for their children who have been diagnosed with toddler's diarrhea, ADD or autism!  I know it feels like you are abusing your child when you take away their favorite foods away, but you aren't!  You have their best interest at heart and that's what I call being a good mom.  (And it's getting easier, gluten free goldfish crackers may be coming our way in 2013!)



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.



Dempsey Bakery -

First, the exciting news is that we just delivered breads, treats, and muffins to "The Gathering Place" in the Cancer Institute at UAMS.  We gave them a dedicated toaster for the breads.  They can now make sandwiches.  We hope to provide soups as well. Hopefully, this will take off and become very successful for them so they continue.  Also, it is a great place to start to encourage other hospitals to do the same.


PattiCakes in Conway ( is stocking Dempsey  products and she picked up her first order Saturday.  They own Stobys and in a couple of weeks they will start carrying our bread in their two restaurants which are very close to colleges.  


Dempsey Bakery supplies a dedicated toaster for their products. It is stenciled with their logo and "Gluten Free Only". The places that use this toaster are:  

The Root Café (

Hillcrest Artisan Meats

Cafe 1217, Hot Springs

UAMS "The Gathering Place"  

Stoby's in Conway and Russellville will soon carry products and will have a toaster


The other places that have our products but no dedicated toaster are:  

Jimmies Serious Sandwiches

Dogtown Coffee & Cookery, NLR


The Capital Hotel


You can purchase Dempsey products from

Catering to You


Argenta Market

PattiCakes in Conway.


Now we have product in Hot Springs and Conway.  Very exciting.


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


Dempsey Bakery now has a webpage:




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 let me know.  The restaurant list can be found on our webpage


Although many restaurants now have a gluten free menu, please continue to take precautions and ask questions to best insure that your meal will be truly GF. 


I recently went to a restaurant where all the GF choices were highlighted on the menu. I ordered my meal and told the wait person to be sure the cook was told this meal needed to be completely free of gluten. When the plate came, I was surprised to see what looked like home made potato chips. When I asked the manager/owner about the chips, he said they were not part of the GF menu as they were fried in a shared fryer and a mistake had been made.


I hope they can learn from this error. I think it is great that restaurants are giving us GF options. It was much more difficult to eat out 9 years ago. But they also need to understand that the people involved in making and serving the meals need to have a better understanding of gluten and the possibilities of cross contamination. 


A short quiz given to chefs who offered GF choices at their restaurants revealed a big need for further education

Majority of Restaurateurs and Chefs Fail Basic Celiac Test 07/02/2012 - Dismal results on a simple, four-question quiz show that most chefs and restaurateurs lack the most fundamental knowledge of gluten-free facts and protocols; a reality that could leave many gluten-free diners at risk of gluten contamination.


The quiz was administrated at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), a non-profit organization that promotes awareness of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.


Even though a large number of chefs and restaurateurs said they offered gluten-free options at their restaurants, less than 4 percent responded correctly to the gluten questionnaire.  more


GIG has a program that helps restaurants go over their menu and ingredients and gives training to the staff.  Bonefish Grill, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Mama Fu’s Asian House and TaMolly’s Mexican Restaurant are the ones in Arkansas that are part of this program.


You can email me at



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


Perhaps products made from bananas will be seen on the store shelves in the future.

“People with celiac disease struggle with limited food choices, as their condition makes them unable to tolerate gluten, found in wheat and other grains. Researchers from the University of Brazil have developed a gluten-free pasta product from green banana flour, which tasters found more acceptable than regular whole wheat pasta. The product has less fat and is cheaper to produce than standard pastas.”



Whole Foods

Wednesday, July 25

Julianne’s Special Diets -Cooking Class

Italian theme!

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.





        July 14th at Noon- Frozen Treats- It's time for some summer fun, and we want to show you some of our favorite products to help you cool off!  Come learn about our ice cream  maker and Zoku popsicle makers!


        July 21st at Noon- Gluten Free- Did you know we carry many gluten free items in our store?  Check out this class for a list of products that are gluten free and gluten free cooking tips.


Their site is:

Their store is in:


201 North University Avenue

Little Rock , AR 72205

(501) 663-3019



Recipe Corner

Sherri brought this wonderful recipe back from the GIG meeting in Seattle to share with you. You will find other great recipes on Brittany’s and Iris’ websites. is Iris Higgins’ website is Brittany Angell’s website

Be sure to take the time to look for other recipes, tips and check out their books.


Fig Newton Recipe

*Recipe reprinted with permission from The Essential Gluten-Free Guide to Baking: Part 1 By Brittany Angell and Iris Higgins

Yield: Two dozen fig newtons




2 cups of pitted figs, prunes or other dried fruit

5 tablespoons orange juice

Agave nectar or other liquid sweetener to taste (optional)



262 grams blanched almond flour (2 packed cups)

340 grams potato starch (2 cups)

4 tablespoons butter or softened coconut oil

1/2 cup agave nectar (honey or any other liquid sweetener will work)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt



1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Start by making the filling. In a food processor, combine figs, orange juice, and honey to taste until it becomes a thick paste. Remove and set filling aside. Clean out your food processor bowl to use again for the dough.

3. Combine blanched almond flour, potato starch, butter, agave nectar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt in food processor until they come together to form a smooth dough.

4. Divide dough in half. Roll half out into a narrow long rectangle (6 x 15 inches) on a sheet of parchment paper.

5. Spoon half of the filling down the center strip of dough. Using the parchment paper, gently lift and fold the two sides of dough over the center, overlapping them slightly. Wrap the dough with your parchment and gently use your hands to seal the dough, while maintaining the shape of the dough. This will help keep the filling intact and give the fig newtons perfect uniform shape.

6. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 cookies. Place each cookie on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Repeat with second half of dough.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze for later use.


Gluten-Free Baking 101

Some Quick Tips for Gluten-Free Baking



                         1 cup any flour (e.g. white rice flour)

                        + 1 cup any other flour (e.g. teff flour)

                        + 1 cup starch (e.g. tapioca starch)

                        = 3 cups all-purpose flour





More tips and in-depth answers to your questions can be found in The Essential Gluten-Free Baking Guides: Parts 1 & 2.



University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease through biopsy in the past 12 months, you are eligible to receive a package of gluten free products from The University of Chicago. For more information about this program go to

While you are there be sure to sign up for their newsletter.



Articles and Abstracts


Article 1:

Blood pressure drug linked to symptoms similar to those of celiac disease.

Symptoms mimicking gluten sensitivity (celiac disease) may occur in some patients treated with olmesartan (Benicar), a commonly prescribed angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB).


In a span of 3 years, 22 patients presented to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., with symptoms suggestive of celiac disease, but antibody blood tests did not support that diagnosis, reported Joseph A. Murray, MD, and colleagues in a study published online in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.


The common denominator was olmesartan (Benicar), and when the patients stopped taking the drug, their symptoms improved, Murray said during a press briefing.


Here is the article abstract and reference from PubMed:

Mayo Clin Proc. 2012 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Severe Spruelike Enteropathy Associated With Olmesartan.

Rubio-Tapia A, Herman ML, Ludvigsson JF, Kelly DG, Mangan TF, Wu TT, Murray JA.


Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.



To report the response to discontinuation of olmesartan, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist commonly prescribed for treatment of hypertension, in patients with unexplained severe spruelike enteropathy.


All 22 patients included in this report were seen at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, between August 1, 2008, and August 1, 2011, for evaluation of unexplained chronic diarrhea and enteropathy while taking olmesartan. Celiac disease was ruled out in all cases. To be included in the study, the patients also had to have clinical improvement after suspension of olmesartan.


The 22 patients (13 women) had a median age of 69.5 years (range, 47-81 years). Most patients were taking 40 mg/d of olmesartan (range, 10-40 mg/d). The clinical presentation was of chronic diarrhea and weight loss (median, 18 kg; range, 2.5-57 kg), which required hospitalization in 14 patients (64%). Intestinal biopsies showed both villous atrophy and variable degrees of mucosal inflammation in 15 patients, and marked subepithelial collagen deposition (collagenous sprue) in 7. Tissue transglutaminase antibodies were not detected. A gluten-free diet was not helpful. Collagenous or lymphocytic gastritis was documented in 7 patients, and microscopic colitis was documented in 5 patients. Clinical response, with a mean weight gain of 12.2 kg, was demonstrated in all cases. Histologic recovery or improvement of the duodenum after discontinuation of olmesartan was confirmed in all 18 patients who underwent follow-up biopsies.


Olmesartan may be associated with a severe form of spruelike enteropathy. Clinical response and histologic recovery are expected after suspension of the drug.



Article 2:

This small study found that the main reason people did not get better when following a gluten free diet is that they were not truly gluten free. It is most important to strive to be 100% GF 100% of the time to reach optimal health.


World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Mar 28; 18(12):1348-56.

Celiac disease: management of persistent symptoms in patients on a gluten-free diet.

Dewar DH, Donnelly SC, McLaughlin SD, Johnson MW, Ellis HJ, Ciclitira PJ.


Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Gastroenterology, King's College London, The Rayne Institute, St Thomas' Hospital, London SE1 7EH, United Kingdom.



To investigate all patients referred to our center with non-responsive celiac disease (NRCD), to establish a cause for their continued symptoms.


We assessed all patients referred to our center with non-responsive celiac disease over an 18-mo period. These individuals were investigated to establish the eitiology of their continued symptoms. The patients were first seen in clinic where a thorough history and examination were performed with routine blood work including tissue transglutaminase antibody measurement. They were also referred to a specialist gastroenterology dietician to try to identift any lapses in the diet and sources of hidden gluten ingestion. A repeat small intestinal biopsy was also performed and compared to biopsies from the referring hospital where possible. Colonoscopy, lactulose hydrogen breath testing, pancreolauryl testing and computed tomography scan of the abdomen were undertaken if the symptoms persisted. Their clinical progress was followed over a minimum of 2 years.


One hundred and twelve consecutive patients were referred with NRCD. Twelve were found not to have celiac disease (CD). Of the remaining 100 patients, 45% were not adequately adhering to a strict gluten-free diet, with 24 (53%) found to be inadvertently ingesting gluten, and 21 (47%) admitting non-compliance. Microscopic colitis was diagnosed in 12% and small bowel bacterial overgrowth in 9%. Refractory CD was diagnosed in 9%. Three of these were diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma. After 2 years, 78 patients remained well, eight had continuing symptoms, and four had died.


In individuals with NRCD, a remediable cause can be found in 90%: with continued gluten ingestion as the leading cause. We propose an algorithm for investigation.