Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas

GIGCA on Facebook

GIG on Facebook


Our next meeting is on Monday, May 21 at Dempsey Bakery

323 Cross Street

Little Rock, 72201


April 2012


Table of Contents

·      Calendar – GIG of Central Arkansas

·      Meetings are at the Heart Hospital Annex Building

·      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  - will return next month

·      Getting to Know You –  Sherri's interview with Sync

·      NFCA live web panel on May 3

·      Dempsey Bakery

·      Restaurants – PF Changs has new GF choices

·      GF food - Hidden Valley, Hershey's

·      Whole Foods - GF tasting April 28

·      Recipe Corner – Fish Almandine, Recipes using Udi's bread,

·      Articles and Abstracts:

o   Patients with coeliac disease are increasingly overweight or obese on presentation



Calendar for GIGCA



Monday, May 21, 6-8pm - We will meet at Dempsey's Bakery for a light dinner and cooking demo.  GIG will pay for the ingredients.


Monday, June 18th, 608pm - Julianne Bitely will be speaking. She is a health and nutrition counselor. Topic to be announced. Her website is


July and August – No meetings


September – To be announced


Thursday October 4th, 6:pm - 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. Desserts will be provided by Dempsey Bakery. 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                                                                                                                                      




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.

Beaura Cavalier

Nancy Cranford

Patricia Bowles

Rita Reynolds

Mildred Buddenberg

Patricia Coon

Christie Stobaugh

Heather Denay Hawk

Debra Gordon

Amanda Rogers


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.


April 14, 2012-- speakers:  Dana Jo Dunkerson and Sarah Dunkerson (owners of new gluten free bakery in Northeast Arkansas)

 May 12, 2012-- speaker:  Dr. Lisa Hendrix

 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.  We will have more information coming very soon!



Children's Corner

This will return next month           



Getting to Know You

Each month we will feature one story from a member of our group. In order for you to get to know us better, we will start with the board members. I know that everyone has a story to tell. 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.


This month we have been given permission from Sync to reprint their interview with Sherri Clay.


A link to the story is here:


Good without gluten

As the popularity of gluten-free dining grows, local restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon.

by sync editor Melissa Tucker


The gluten-free trend has taken off in recent years, with wheat-free versions of snacks, breads and even condiments now lining the shelves of grocery stores. The gluten-free movement has even extended to restaurant chains such as Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse and On the Border. Urbanspoon has created a gluten-free friendly subcategory for its restaurant listings.


But what does gluten-free mean? 


In essence, it’s a diet without the protein found in wheat known as gluten. It’s also found in barley, rye and malts, but those are less often found in foods, and more likely to be in beer. 


In gluten-free foods, the wheat is often replaced with other less-offensive grains, nut flours or nothing at all. Those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease must drop all traces of wheat or suffer consequences, such as an immune system response to the wheat proteins that damages the small intestine, according to But some without an official word from a doctor call themselves gluten-intolerant, and cut out gluten largely by choice.


Sherri Clay, president of the central Arkansas branch of the Gluten Intolerance Group, suggests that those who think they have gluten sensitivities should try to get an official diagnosis, but she acknowledges that the awareness of celiac disease is only now becoming more widespread. 


“I feel it’s so underdiagnosed. Of course, any time something gets popular and on television, there’s going to be some sensationalism. There’s so many people that are thinking ‘Ah, maybe that’s what’s causing my problem.’ But you can go to doctors for a lot of years and nobody ever thinks to check that,” she said.


This explains the growing interest in gluten-free foods, even though the celiac community in the United States is relatively small.


Clay was diagnosed with celiac sprue when she was born in Canada more than 50 years go. 


“But my mother didn’t really believe it, so I had a lot of health problems, but one day I got something in the mail that said, ‘If you have symptoms of [irritable bowel syndrome], try giving up wheat.’”


And that’s how her gluten-free journey began. 


She’s been president of the local group since January, but became a member as soon as she figured out gluten was the source of her health problems. 


“I joined the group almost immediately after I figured it out. I got the support because it’s hard to do on your own,” she said. 


The Group, which meets once a month, oversees the distribution of a newsletter with updates in the local celiac community as well as listings of local restaurants that have gluten-free menus. The main concern for those with celiac disease when dining out is cross-contamination. When french fries are cooked in the same oil as chicken tenders or when meat is sautéed on the same griddle as pancakes or biscuits, crumbs could come into contact with the food, and it’s no longer safe for gluten-free diners, Clay says. 


Other worries might be if the seasonings have gluten fillers or if wheat flour is used to thicken things like sauces or dips. 


“I usually eat in the same places that I’ve talked to before. I typically ask workers to change their gloves before fixing my food, and I ask if there’s a dedicated fryer for french fries,” she said. 


“And sometimes they change the menu on you. At Chili’s, they had some gluten-free tortillas, and they changed the manufacturer, and they weren’t gluten-free anymore,” she said. 


“So, it’s always important to ask and keep asking.”


Gluten-free by cuisine:

When dining out in central Arkansas, it’s possible to get gluten-free items in nearly every type of cuisine. The local Gluten Intolerance Group president, Sherri Clay, gives a few tips for each type of establishment. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point for those looking for gluten-free dining in central Arkansas. Many of these restaurants came from the Gluten Intolerance Group’s list of restaurants with gluten-free menus. 



The trick here is to avoid anything with a flour tortilla. Ask to substitute corn tortillas with your meals. Clay also says to watch out for the chips. 


“Typically when you get your salsa and tortilla chips, those have been heated in oil that probably would not be safe. You would probably need to take your own chips in,” she said. 


“Usually the white cheese dip at most restaurants is safe, but it could be that they do thicken it with flour.”


Mexican/Brazilian restaurants with gluten-free dishes: Cantina Laredo, On the Border, Chipotle, Cozymel’s, Cafe Bossa Nova (the bakery has some gluten-free items as well).



Local pizza places, ZaZa, U.S. Pizza, Boston’s and American Pie offer pizza with gluten-free crusts and usually take steps to avoid cross-contamination. Clay suggests calling the establishments to double check whenever possible. 


“If you’re going to go to a restaurant, try to call at a time that’s not a really busy time, and ask to speak to the manager. Ask questions like, ‘Do they have any gluten-free options?’ and ‘Are they aware of cross contamination?’” she said. 


Italian restaurants with gluten-free items: American Pie, Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, ZaZa, U.S. Pizza, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Carino’s, Olive Garden, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, YaYa’s Euro Bistro.



Clay says local Asian restaurants Pei Wei and P.F. Chang’s have made a concerted effort to avoid cross contamination when it comes to serving gluten-free items. Clay suggests bringing in your own soy sauce, as ones on most restaurant tables have wheat fillers. 


Asian restaurants with gluten-free menus: Pei Wei, P.F. Chang’s, Lilly’s DimSum Thensome. Also many sushi restaurants, like Mt. Fuji, will point out which items are safe for gluten-free diners.



It’s sometimes surprisingly easy to make simple modifications to dishes and make them gluten-free, assuming there’s no chance of cross-contamination. Clay says she has had success with the barbecue at Whole Hog outlets. 


“I order the pulled pork and ask them to change their gloves before preparing my food, and I know I can have the slaw and the chips,” she said. 


But she says education of employees about celiac disease is key for most restaurants as the gluten-free menus become more popular.


“I hope that they don’t just say that they have gluten-free foods without realizing what they need to do to make sure it’s safe, and that they do continuing education as they get new employees.” 


Chains and other restaurants with gluten-free dishes: Bonefish Grill, Chili’s, Dempsey Bakery, Izzy’s, Lone Star Steakhouse, Outback Steakhouse, Red Mango, Shorty Small’s, The Pantry.


State of the Union: A live Chat with Experts on Gluten-Related Disorders

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will kick off Celiac Awareness Month with a live hour-long broadcast featuring gluten-free experts Alessio Fasano, MD, Stefano Guandalini, MD, and Cynthia Kupper, RD, CD. Moderated by Alice Bast, NFCA Founder and President, the panelists will provide a “State of the Union” on celiac disease and the new kid on the block, non-celiac gluten sensitivity.


With a special focus on patient-provider communication, the panelists will explore the following:


Patients and providers alike will benefit from this lively 60-minute discussion!

When: Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time: 1 PM Central time

Information on how to submit questions and register for this event can be found at - register



Dempsey Bakery

Paula is happy to announce that bakery products are now available at Argenta Market in NLR and Cafe 1217 in Hot Springs.


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


PF Chang's will be adding 7 new GF options to their menu. 


I do not see the new items on their online menu. I have not heard when this will be coming to Little Rock.


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


The makers of Hidden Valley Salad Dressings have added a “Gluten Free” logo to bottles and dry packets of its signature Original Ranch® dressing as well as much of its Farmhouse Originals product line. Packages with the new logo should appear on store shelves this summer.  To read more


Hershey's now has a list of their GF candies. They do caution that the list does not take the place of reading labels.


Whole Foods

Whole Foods will be having a gluten-free tasting on Saturday, April 28 from 11 am-2pm. They will also have a gluten-free tour at 1:30pm with our team member, Charlotte Hall.


Recipe Corner

Please send me your recipes to share. 


Fish Amandine

Modified by Terri from Heart Health & You


1 T plus 1 ½ teaspoons pastured butter; divided

1 T pastured butter

¼ cup sliced almonds

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

½ cup So Delicious Coconut Milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup almond flour or meal

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pound fish, cut into four portions - any mild white fish.  Works well with catfish.

2 T lemon juice, or juice of one lemon

1 T chopped fresh parsley


Heat 1 T of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add almonds and garlic and cook until both are just beginning to brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Set aside.


Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine almond flour or meal, salt, and cayenne. Dip fish in the milk mixture, then in the flour/meal mixture; shake off any excess flour/meal.


Heat the remaining butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fish and cook until lightly browned and opaque in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side.


Return the almond-garlic sauce to the stove over medium heat. Add lemon juice and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the fish and sprinkle with parsley.



If you like Udi's bread, be sure to check out their website for recipes.  You will find recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks.



Articles and Abstracts

It was once thought that all those with celiac disease would be losing weight or underweight. This small study shows that a significant number of patients diagnosed with CD were overweight and some were obese.


J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2012 Mar;21(1):11-5.

Patients with coeliac disease are increasingly overweight or obese on presentation. Pub Med Abstract



Historically weight loss is a classic symptom of Coeliac Disease (CD). Recent studies suggest CD sufferers are significantly more likely to be obese or underweight at the time of presentation. This study aimed to establish the frequency of obesity in newly diagnosed Coeliac Disease (CD).



Dietetic records of CD patients were reviewed and patient demographics, initial assessment date, and Body Mass Index (BMI) recorded and statistically analysed.



out of 187 CD patients diagnosed between 1999 and 2009, 127 patients were female (68%) and 60 male (32%) (ratio 2:1). Overall median age was 54 years (range 18 to 87). Median BMI was 23.6, inter-quartile range (IQR) 21.5 - 28.1. Male median BMI was 23.9, IQR 21.8 - 27.3. Female median BMI was 23.2, IQR 21.4 - 28.6. Overall 83 patients (44%) had a BMI of 25 or above. No significant difference was found in the proportion of patients with a BMI of 25 or above when compared according to gender, age or year of referral. Twenty-five patients (13 %) had a BMI of 30 or above. Twenty were female with a median age of 56 years (range 18 - 71). The proportion of females with a BMI of 30 or more was 11% compared with only 3% males (ratio 5:1). Only 5 patients (3%) had a BMI less than 18.5.



A significant proportion of CD patients (close to half of patients) were diagnosed with a BMI of 25 or over. Compared to males, females have a wider range of BMI and more likely to be obese (BMI of 30 or more).