Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas

GIGCA on Facebook

GIG on Facebook


Please note - our meeting is on Monday, March 12

March 2012


Table of Contents

·      Calendar – GIG of Central Arkansas

·      Meetings are at the Heart Hospital Annex Building

·      Donations and Thanks

·      Gluten Free 101

·      From the President - Sherri Clay

·      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 Branson and Tri-Lakes

·      New group forming in Harrison

·      News from GIG of North America – Annual event

·      Gluten Alert - Jelly Belly Candy Mix

·      Children’s Corner  

·      GF Easter Candy List

·      Getting to Know You – LaDonna's story

·      Williams Sonoma

·      Whole Foods - coupons

·      Restaurants – we need reviews, Caio

·      GF food - Progresso soups, Pacific soups

·      Recipe Corner – Taco Salad, Sautéed Asparagus

·      Research Study - Family member of persons with CD wanted

·      Articles and Abstracts:

o   Gluten Free and Casein Free diet for Autism

o   B12 Deficiency: A Silent Epidemic



Calendar for GIGCA


Monday, March 19, 6-8pm – Dr. Betsy Hendricks will be speaking. Her topic is  "Wheat is for the birds!  Let’s learn about eating for human health and wellness."  She will talk about how food affects our health and genes, thereby affecting future disease occurrence and the health of our offspring. She will then cover some of the basics when starting a GF lifestyle and how it is an important first step.


Monday April 16th, 6-8pm - Panel of "experts". Board members will answer your questions.


Monday, May 21, 6-8pm - The meeting will be at Dempsey Bakery where there will be a baking demo.


June 18th - TBA


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 following people for their generous donations.

Mary   Evans

Sherri Clay

Victoria Garrett

Gwynn Van Valkenburg

Derrick Van Valkenburg

Mrs. Wayne   Owen

Joel Buckholts

Judy Hairston

Tony Pipken

Sue Stallings

Linda  Sharp

William Cooper

Terrie Pope

Betty   Herron

Barbara Sick

Hope  Massery

Priscilla Howard

LaDonna Brock

Anne   Luther

Terri    Murdoch




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


From Our President – Sherri Clay

Those of you who were at our last meeting heard my story about taking two bites of take-out pizza before my daughter noticed the crust was like her dad's pizza, which was not gluten free.  I immediately started spitting it out and ran to the phone.  Sure enough, no one at the restaurant remembered making a gluten free pizza that night.  When the manager asked what she could do to make it up to me, I suggested she come and hold my hand while I got sick all night!  True, I knew I would survive, but I wanted her to know that it's serious!  


I quickly pulled out Dr. Craig Brown's Personal Survival Kit so I could at least lessen my reaction.  Here is the list of what to have on hand in case you accidentally get glutened!

·      GF Fiber (No Benefiber or Oatbran)

·      Gluten Enzyme-Gluten Digest by Now, or Gluten Ease by Enzymedica are two he recommended

·      Lactaid-no dairy until gut heals which could be three weeks

·      Probiotic-Increase does for emergencies.  (Dr. Fine recommends Udo's Choice Adult Formula)

·      Ibuprofen 400mgs or if you can get a script,  Asacol


When all else fails, do a clear liquid fast for 24hrs., take Fennel Tea capsules and drink Peppermint Tea and sleep!  


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.


March 10th Dr. Wendy Spanos will speak

April 14th Dr. Lisa Hendrix, from Paragould, AR., will be our speaker

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!


Hello all!  I wanted to announce three upcoming dates for the group.  First, however, I would like to say thank you to everyone for a wonderful first meeting!  We had over thirty people attend, and I got great feedback from all of you.  We also have filled the two leadership positions required by our national group, so we are off with a bang!  Shannon Collins will be our treasurer and Kristie Holm will be our secretary.  I want to thank them for volunteering their time for the group.  Now for some important dates...


MARCH 31st from 10am-noon MONTHLY MEETING 

APRIL 7th at 11am Gluten free menu tasting at Mama Fu's in Bentonville FREE FOR ENTIRE GROUP!




News from GIG of Branson-Tri Lakes

Tri Lakes Celiac Support Group is now a branch with GIG and is called GIG of Branson-Tri Lakes.


Our regular meetings are held six times a year in and around Branson, Missouri.  In addition, we have occasional dining out experiences.


See our website and Facebook pages for more information.  Links to both are:


If you are visiting Branson, be sure to check out the page about restaurants.


New Group Forming in Harrison

On March 2 at 1:30, I (Anne Luther) with a delightful group forming in Harrison.  I hope they will decide to join the GIG family.  Let me know if you need more information about this group.


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!



Jelly Belly Recalls Bags of Deluxe Easter Mix Due to Undeclared Wheat

According to the California Department of Public Health, Jelly Belly is recalling its Assortment of seasonal Peter Rabbit Deluxe Easter Mix “Gluten Free” candies because of an Undeclared Allergen – wheat

The recalled products are the 2.7 ounce bags of Peter Rabbit Deluxe Easter Mix Marked “Gluten Free” and have been distributed nation wide:  UPC: 071567992794

Lot Codes:
• 11111
• 111215 or
• 120120

Best Before: January 11, 2013 (Lot Code 111111)
Best Before: February 15, 2013 (Lot Code 111215)
Best Before: March 20, 2013 (Lot Code 120120)

Gluten is present in the collection of candies

Jelly Belly, Customer Service at (800) 323-9380, Monday-Friday 6:00 am to 5:00 pm PST.



Children's Corner by Stephanie

Handling the Gluten-Filled Surprise

Have you had any moments as a parent of a gluten-free child where you felt like a friend, family member, or fellow parent was possibly the most inconsiderate person on the planet? I sure have! How dare they show up unannounced with homemade cookies or donuts as a treat for the entire class! They do know that my child can’t eat that and Tommy or Sue will sit there with nothing while everyone else chows down, right? Or do they?


At the beginning of this school year when my daughter entered kindergarten, I eagerly volunteered to be a room mother, primarily so that I could be in the know on everything in the classroom which would, in turn, make life somewhat easier for me and possibly less disappointing at times for my daughter. I could be a part in the planning of different class events and even steer the menu away from gluten whenever possible. At the least, I would always know what was going on so I would have the opportunity to provide a similar, yet gluten-free alternative for my child. And that is indeed what we want, isn’t it? We just want the opportunity to give our children the same thing as everyone else.  I, by no means, want others to start providing only gluten-free food for the sake of my child. Not only would that really ostracize our family but it’s a safety issue as well. We all know that we didn’t completely understand how to eat gluten-free overnight. It was a lengthy educational process. Therefore I would never expect someone who hasn’t been educated on gluten-free living to whip up something gluten-free. If you throw in another food sensitivity, like my son’s soy, people will really be stumped. Outside of Dempsey Bakery, even purchasing ready-made gluten free items can be confusing. I myself have gotten home with an item from the grocery that I thought was gluten-free only to get home and discover that it’s just organic! It was on a shelf next to an item of the same brand that was gluten free and I just quickly assumed and grabbed it- a novice mistake. So frustrating!


My point in all of this is to say that communication, like so many things in life, really is the key. I thought that if I made the teachers aware of our gluten-free diet, mentioned it to the other parents when the opportunity presented itself, and was involved in the class than I really wouldn’t have any issues. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. The reality is that, unless you deal with a food intolerance daily in your home, what everyone else can or can’t eat just isn’t on your radar. No one purposefully leaves our children out and, no matter what we do to prevent them, those occasional heart-breaking moments are inevitable.


So how do we handle those moments? First of all, next year I plan to be even more direct with my communication to the parents of the class by sending an e-mail to them the first week of school introducing myself and tactfully making them aware of my daughter’s gluten-free diet. In the letter I will tactfully ask them to let me know in advance if they plan to bring a treat for the class so I can bring something similar for my gal. That way everyone will be properly informed.  I will be careful how I word the e-mail to make sure its tone is light, casual, and gracious. I do try to be careful to protect the validity of gluten-free living. If we’re not careful we can come off as a bit of a kook! Secondly, when those sad moments occur and your child has nothing or is eating something quite different than everyone else, put on your poker face! Don’t let Tommy or Sue see your frustration. Praise your child profusely and let them know how proud you are of them for how well they’re handling that situation. Children will look to their parent for how to react in uncomfortable circumstances. If you flip out and go off on somebody for bringing Goldfish when the plan was to bring popcorn, your child will flip out in those circumstances too. And, of course, you can always make it up to them afterwards by a stop at your favorite frozen yogurt bar. And remember, kids are resilient. Nine times out of ten that heart-breaking moment is probably getting to you a lot more than it’s getting to your child. Isn’t it true that we’d much rather hurt ourselves than see someone we love hurting? Hang in there and enjoy the journey!



GF Easter Candy List

My Gluten has posted an extensive candy list for Easter. You will see they have been very busy verifying the GF status of many candies. You can search for your favorites my brand or limit the search to a dedicated GF line or even a dedicated GF facility. My Gluten Facts has other food lists that they make available free from charge.  Click here for Candy List.


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.


LaDonna Brock’s Story

Vice President

In the summer of 1990 I was visiting my family here in Arkansas from South Carolina. My husband was in the Navy at the time and out to sea.  So I would visit my family sometimes while he was gone. My daughter Renee’ was 2 yrs old. I was 28 years old. I started to have digestive problems on my trip. I would barely get my meal eaten when I would suddenly have to go to the bathroom. I had cramps, bloating, gas, stomach pain and diarrhea. I would get really anxious because my diarrhea was so explosive that it was really hard to make it to the bathroom in time. I went to my hometown Dr. who diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He prescribed an anti-spasmodic drug for me and said that I would learn what kinds of foods I could eat and what triggered my attacks. He suggested a fiber supplement called Metamucil and said spicy foods and caffeine might make my condition worse.  The drug did nothing to help my digestive issues. It did however make me very drowsy and gave me a dry mouth. I couldn’t go to sleep because I had a 2 yr old child to care for.  I was going to the bathroom probably 8 to 10 times a day. Everything I ate just seemed to go right through me. I would tell my friends that if I disappeared while we were shopping, that I didn’t have time to tell them I had to get to the bathroom.  It was really hard for me not to being able to control my own body. It just seemed to have a mind of its own. I was determined that I wasn’t going to let my IBS control my life though. When I went anywhere, I knew exactly where all the bathrooms were. I knew at some point I’d have to find one.


When I returned to South Carolina I saw my Dr. there, who prescribed a different anti-spasmodic drug. This one didn’t work any better. So I started to research Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I bought a lot of books over the years and tried a lot of different diets to see if it would help. At one point I tried a low fat diet and lost weight, which I didn’t need to lose. I tried going caffeine free and watched the spicy foods. None of this helped.  I started to wish that I didn’t have to eat at all then I wouldn’t have this problem.  But of course that wasn’t an option since eating is required to live. If I read anything about gluten during all my research I don’t remember it. I did read that wheat could trigger attacks, but I just thought it was the fiber in the wheat. I never suspected it had anything to do with gluten.


In 1994 I started to have yeast infections and pelvic pain with my periods. Finally in January of 1995 I was diagnosed with endometriosis and the yeast infections just wouldn’t seem to go away. I had laser surgery for the endometriosis. 5 years later the pelvic pain returned and I didn’t feel like I had any choice but to have a hysterectomy and remove my uterus and cervix. The pain was so bad I thought it was going to destroy my life. In September 2000 I had my hysterectomy. At least the pain from that was gone. But it didn’t help with my Irritable Bowel Syndrome.


Somewhere between 1990 and 2003 I started to have allergy symptoms. I was diagnosed with hay fever.  And I started to get really tired around 2002. I have such fatigue that it was hard to get out of bed and go to work. All I wanted to do was sleep. I dragged myself through the day. Dr. Betsy Hendricks diagnosed me with hypothyroidism in 2003. The thyroid medicine helped my fatigue. In 2004 I had a mole on my upper right leg that had changed colors and looked strange. I was diagnosed with melanoma. Thankfully the treatment was minor surgery to cut it out. Then in 2005 I had another tiny spot removed on the bottom of my right leg. It was melanoma again.  So they did minor surgery to remove it.


 In September 2004 I started working for Dr. Betsy Hendricks. She had been working with some patients who told her about gluten and she became more aware of the problem. I met Anne Luther during this time and she tried to tell me about gluten but I wasn’t very open to the idea. Dr. Hendricks then suggested that I take the Enterolab stool sample test in late 2005. I put the test off because I thought going gluten free would be really hard to do. But I started to notice that when I ate bread, pasta and gluten products that my digestive system reacted.


I took the Enterolab test in April of 2006 and was pretty sure I knew how it would turn out. I was right. I was Gluten Intolerant. I went on the The Specific Carbohydrate Diet suggested by Dr. Hendricks. She thought it would help my gut heal better than just a gluten free diet. It was pretty hard to stay on it because there were no grains or rice or potatoes on this diet.  I stayed on the diet around 3 months. I had detox symptoms coming off the gluten, sugar and all those processed carbs.  I would feel drunk and spacey at first. But 3 days of being gluten free my gut felt so much better. I was amazed at how much better I felt. After 16 years of all the pain and suffering, someone had finally figured out my problem. Looking back I don’t know how I ever managed to go through all those digestive issues. I just did what I had to do I guess.


This year will be my 6th year of being gluten free. I am so grateful for Gluten Intolerance Group of Central Arkansas and all the help they have given me along the way. I feel that going gluten free has saved my life. I think so many of my health problems were related or cause by gluten.


I am still on a health journey. I recently had all my mercury fillings replaced and am taking a chelating agent to get rid of the barium, lead and mercury in my system. I’ve had menopause and hormone issues recently and am taking bioidentical hormones. I’ve also had chemical sensitivities and low Vitamin D and some osteopenia.  I try to eat real whole foods and not just replace processed gluten foods with processed gluten free foods. I believe we truly will not regain our health unless we eat a really good diet the way we were created to. I take a variety of supplements that I believe help. I love reading about nutrition and health in general.


I am very proud to be on the board of the GIGCA group and serve alongside some wonderful people. I think everyone should be gluten free. I believe there are lots of people out there, who, like me, are suffering and just don’t realize that gluten is causing their issues. My greatest desire is that we can reach other people and educate them about gluten. I wish you all success on your gluten free journey!





Williams Sonoma

Betty wants us to know that Williams Sonoma has a 4-page list of gluten free items in their store.  They are also doing a gluten free cooking lesson on March 24 from 12-1 at the store in Mid Town.  I could not find any information about this demo on their website. If interested, you may want to call them as it looks like reservations are required.  (501) 663-3019


Whole Foods

Do you subscribe to Whole Foods Updates? They will send coupons directly to your email.  There are always some GF items included.




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

Laura says that Caio , located in downtown Little Rock, does not have a printed GF menu but they do offer some GF meals.  Also, you can order a quart of the marinara or alfredo sauce and use it on gluten free pasta at home.


·      Paleo Salmon - Grilled Salmon served on a bed of sautéed green beans and topped with blueberries and walnuts


·      Lean and Trim - Grilled Chicken Breast with mixed sautéed vegetables


·      Salmon Salad - A bed of mixed field greens topped with a filet of grilled salmon and Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


·      Mediterranean Salad - Mixed lettuces, Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives, Red Onion, Tomatoes and Greek Vinaigrette Dressing


·      Shrimp Scampi appetizer


·      Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Fresh Basil



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


Debbie wrote, "I was pleasantly surprised to find Progresso soup now has a couple of soups that are labeled gluten free.  The Potato Broccoli & Cheese Chowder is very good.  I found it at Walmart." You can find a list of the GF Progresso soups here



Do you know there are condensed GF cream soups? Pacific makes a GF Cream of Chicken, Cream of Celery and Cream of Mushroom soup you can use in place of Campbell's cream soups. These soups come in boxes and have seen them in Whole Foods, Drug Emporium and Fresh Market.  Here is the page where you will find a list of all the GF Pacific Soups



Recipe Corner

Please send me your recipes to share.  Thanks LaDonna for sharing these.


Taco Salad

LaDonna Brock


1 head of iceberg lettuce or romaine or other lettuces (for healthier version)

Several tomatoes chopped (add desired amount to taste)

2 or more cups of mozzarella cheese (shredded) to your taste preference

1 lb of cooked hamburger

1 small bottle of zesty Italian dressing

1 packet of dry zesty Italian dressing

1 15 oz bag of Nacho Cheese flavored chips (I used Kettle Brand Tiaz Nacho Cheese flavor found at Kroger) or some other gluten free chips of your choice.


Cook the hamburger and drain the fat and allow hamburger to cool. 


While the hamburger is being prepared, cut up the lettuce and tomatoes in a large bowl. Then add the mozzarella cheese. Add hamburger to the mixture when cooled. Crush up the chips into smaller pieces and add to the mixture.


In another bowl combine bottle of Italian dressing and dry Italian dressing. Pour over the salad when ready to eat (otherwise the chips will be soggy). Combine all ingredients.



Sautéed Asparagus

LaDonna Brock


1bundle of asparagus

1 tablespoon or so of butter

Onion powder

Garlic powder


Cut the bottom end of the asparagus off until you reach the tender part. In a medium size skillet melt butter. When butter is hot add asparagus. Sprinkle on desired amount of onion powder and garlic powder. For me a little goes a long way. Turn heat down to about medium to low & sauté until asparagus is tender crisp.


Research Study - by phone and computer

Research Notice: Family Members of Persons with Celiac Disease Wanted for a Research Study



The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), in collaboration with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, is conducting research on the perceptions of celiac disease among families where a member has been medically diagnosed. This research seeks to uncover the attitudes and beliefs of at-risk family members who have not been tested for the disease.


The study will have two phases: telephone focus groups and personal interviews, and an on-line survey. The telephone focus groups and personal interviews at phase one will impact and define the content of the on-line survey. This notice is for participation in phase 1, the telephone focus groups and personal interviews, which is now open.


All telephone focus group participants will receive a gift pack of coupons and/or healthy mainstream nutritional products with a gluten-free label valued at $15.


Results from the focus groups and personal interviews will guide the development of an online survey. The online survey will not open up until early March 2012, after the first phase of this study is completed.

More information is available at



Articles and Abstracts


Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet Shows Promise for Autism Symptoms


“There are strong connections between the immune system and the brain, which are mediated through multiple physiological symptoms,” Klein said. “A majority of the pain receptors in the body are located in the gut, so by adhering to a gluten-free, casein-free diet, you’re reducing inflammation and discomfort that may alter brain processing, making the body more receptive to ASD therapies.”


Furthermore, when all gluten and casein was removed from the diet, parents reported that a greater number of ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms and social behaviors improved in their children compared to those whose parents did not eliminate all gluten and casein. Also, parents who implemented the diet for six months or less reported that the diet was less effective in reducing ASD behaviors.

Some of the parents had eliminated only gluten or only casein from the diet, but survey results suggested that parents who completely eliminated both gluten and casein reported the most benefit.



B12 deficiency: a silent epidemic with serious consequences by Chris Kresser

You can read the complete article HERE.


What do all of these diseases have in common?

Answer: they can all mimic the signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.