March 2013
GIGCA on Facebook
GIG on Facebook
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.
**March 11th:
Gluten-free dinners at Dempsey Bakery.
April 15th:
Dr. Betsy Hendricks
"Health Restoration"
Dates marked with ** are on a day other than the 3rd Monday of the month.
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* Please feel free to bring in home baked 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:     (501) 749-9328
We would like to thank those donors who wish to remain anonymous and the following people for their generous donations:
   Nikki Duncan
   Pamela Duncan
   Victoria Garrett
   Gina Harmon
   Amanda Rodgers
   Jim & Mary Helen Sick
   Dan & Debbie Turner
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:
   In This Issue:
   ~ News from Our President, Sherri Clay
   ~ Upcoming Meeting Info
   ~ Congratulations to Dempsey Bakery!
   ~ Restaurants: Gigi's Cupcakes, A.W.Lin's Asian Cuisine, P.F.Chang's, Yayas
   ~ YOUR Opinions
   ~ News from Other GIG Groups
   ~ Children's Corner
   ~ Recipe Corner: Crockpot Chicken, Niki's Spaghetti Sauce,
Cornbread, Apple Pie, Birthday Chicken
   ~ Research Update
          * Dog Food Cross-Contamination
          * Who Has the Guts for Gluten?
          * The Human Food Project
News from Our President, Sherri Clay
One day recently, it occurred to me that I was healthier now than I was ten years ago.  I remember the day the dermatologist said I no longer needed to see him.  Those rashes on my face just went away after I went gluten-free.  My IBS symptoms also disappeared.  Even more miraculous,  I no longer feel deprived.  I have a new normal, and you will too!
 Upcoming Meeting Info
Monday, March 11th, 6-8pm: This meeting will be held at Dempsey Bakery in downtown Little Rock.  Click HERE for directions.
Our friend, Paula Dempsey, is at it again creating gluten free t.v. dinners! These meals are gluten, dairy, egg, soy, and nut free.  Think of the possibilities: hospital stays, nursing home meals, or meals for those of us who just don't want to cook!  Come hear about Paula's new endeavor while enjoying one of these new dinners.
There will be a $5 charge to cover the cost of the ingredients.  (But we will need a head count to make sure she has a dinner for you! I hope you have sent in your RSVP to
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 to make sure we have enough chairs for everyone. She can be contacted by email at or by phone (501) 733-9026.
 Congratulations to Dempsey Bakery!
Dempsey Bakery was chosen as the winner of the "Gluten Free" category and runner-up in the "Bakery" category in the Arkansas Times Readers Choice Awards, 2013 Best Restaurants!
Also, Dempsey Bakery is mentioned in the magazine Delight Gluten Free on the pages of Best Bakeries America!  The article mentions 22 exclusively gluten-free bakeries from across the country.
Be sure to "like" Dempsey Bakery on Facebook to stay up to date on new items.  Dempsey Bakery webpage:
Sherri said: “At our last meeting, we were excited to sample the delicious cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. They will be hosting Gluten-Free Fridays in all their locations throughout the country. The gluten-free cupcakes are baked first thing in the morning in pans with liners to prevent cross-contamination.” There are two locations in Little Rock.
A.W. Lin's Asian Cuisine recently opened. It is located in the Promenade at Chenal. There is an online menu and a good number of the choices are marked “gluten-free.”  We would love for you to send in a review.
P.F. Chang's has added new items to its gluten free menu. 
Posted on our Facebook page from Jennifer: "While lunching at YaYas yesterday...saw on the bottom of the menu....gluten-free pasta and pizza substitutions available!!!!!! Yay! And, I think they have a small private dining area."
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
Sherri said, “I found something new at Krogers today in the health food freezers - Blake's Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie.  Since I grew up eating Banquet pot pies, I'm sure it will taste good to me!  Still looking for the gluten-free Tyson Nuggets!”
Each month, Drug Emporium generously donates foods for us to sample.  Be on the lookout for these new items:  Domata Flour,  Udi's Very Vanilla Muffins, Udi's French Baguetters, and Glutino Gluten Free Snack Crackers.  (At our last meeting, we sampled the Rosemary and Olive Oil ones.)  If you see something at Drug Emporium you would like to try, let us know! 
Thank you for sending us your thoughts!!!
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  (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  (870) 935-4515
Gale Pierce   (870) 203-9068
News from GIG of Northwest Arkansas - Fayetteville
Contact Josie Upson 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
Our webpage can be found by going to or go to GIG’s website and open the tab for “Local Branches.”
 Children's Corner
Niki Thompson gave a great talk at our last meeting about feeding children a GF diet. She also shared some of her child friendly recipes. You will find those recipes in the Recipe Corner.
Gluten Free Easily recently had a giveaway of books for gluten-free children. Although this message is too late for the giveaway, there is a terrific list of books for kids. Go HERE to check out the books.
 Recipe Corner
Crockpot Chicken  
from Niki Thompson
4-6 chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)
1 can Black Beans
Large jar of Kroger Salsa
Put chicken in crockpot.  Cover with salsa and beans.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.  Serve with corn tortillas and any toppings you like (cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, etc.) EASY and delicious!!
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Niki’s Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb. Ground Beef
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
1 can (14 oz.) Diced Tomatoes
1 can (14 oz.) Tomato Sauce
1 cup Red Cooking Wine
Sprinkle beef with Onion and Garlic Powders, then brown. Drain grease, then add tomatoes, sauce, and red wine. Simmer for 30 min and serve over pasta of choice.
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from Niki Thompson
1 c. Flour
1 c. Yellow Cornmeal
2/3 c. white sugar, less if desired
1 tsp. Salt
3 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
1 egg
1 c. Milk
1/3 c. oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray or grease 8 or 9 inch pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and oil until well combined.  Pour batter into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
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Apple Pie
from Niki Thompson
6-8 Small Granny Smith Apples
½ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ cup sugar
¾ cup flour
1/3 cup butter
I use GF Pantry Pie Crust Mix.  Peel and slice apples.  Add to sugar/cinnamon mixture. Spoon into pie crust without juice.
Mix together softened butter, sugar and flour until crumbly. Cover top of pie with mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
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Birthday Chicken
from Niki Thompson
8 chicken breasts
1 jar Dried Beef
Bacon or Turkey Bacon
1 Block Cream Cheese
1 16 oz. carton Sour Cream
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup*
Pound chicken breast until flat enough to fold in half.  In a 9x13 casserole dish, fold each breast, wrap with piece of bacon, and set on piece of dried beef.  In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup. Pour over chicken and cover with foil.  Bake at 325 for 2½ hours.  Uncover and
bake for 30 more minutes. Serve over rice.
  * Health Valley Cream of Chicken Soup – make sure it says “gluten free” on the label.
    Gluten Free Café Cream of Chicken Soup
    Pacific Cream of Chicken Soup – this comes in a small box
 Research Update
Dog Food Cross-Contamination
This was recently posted by the University of Chicago Celiac Center on their Facebook page:
“Cross-contamination can occur if feeding the dog gluten-containing food and eating shortly thereafter without washing your hands.  Also, if the dog licks someone it can place gluten around the face or hands that could be accidentally ingested.”
Comment by Anne: Cross contamination is a big issue and needs to be taken very seriously. To avoid this problem you may want to feed your dog and cat a grain free food. There are many on the market that say “grain free” and some that say “gluten free.” 
There is also concern that a diet full of grains is not healthy for our dogs. I have met two breeders who always recommend grain free food. I have talked with two rescue groups and they both recommend the same.
My dog nearly died from neuromuscular problems that were related to gluten. At 12, she was having difficulty walking, painful joints, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and she urinated in her sleep. Within three days of removing gluten she showed remarkable recovery. She lived two more happy years before a driveway accident took her life.
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An excellent article from the New York Times. Our health may be dependent upon the bacteria in our digestive tracks.
Who Has the Guts for Gluten?
By Moises Velasquez-Manoff
We know that the proteins called gluten, found in wheat and other grains, provoke celiac disease.  And we know how to treat the illness: a gluten-free diet. But the rapidly increasing prevalence of celiac disease, which has quadrupled in the United States in just 50 years, is still mystifying.
Scientists are pursuing some intriguing possibilities.  One is that breast-feeding may protect against the disease.  Another is that we have neglected the teeming ecosystem of microbes in the gut — bacteria that may determine whether the immune system treats gluten as food or as a deadly invader.
Go HERE to continue reading.
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The Human Food Project is mapping the microbial diversity of America and the world.  This is being done by open source, community driven effort.  Phase I is complete and Phase II has just finished funding.  It will be interesting to read what they find out about the microbes that live on and in us.  We could not survive without them.  An interesting fact is that there are more microbes in our guts than number of cells in our bodies.
Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas (GIGCA)