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Energy Seeker

Portuguese Wedding Shower

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I am getting married next summer and my MIL-to-be wants to throw me a wedding shower. I have only been gluten-free for 6 weeks, I have not been diagnosed with celiac disease but plan on staying gluten free diet, for life.

She has decided that she loves this portuguese take-out food. She nor I am familiar with portuguese cooking and she can not confirm if it is gluten-free or not since the owners of the place speak very poor english. She ordered it for me before and I didn't like it, and it made me sick (possibly because it was ultra-greasy). She knows this and said she'll make other things that I can eat.

I find this very upsetting. Whenever work orders-in lunch for the office pizza/sub etc I always feel alienated from the group. I don't want to feel alienated from my own wedding shower. I've told her I don't like it but she won't take no for an answer. The problem is she doesn't want to cook an entire meal for 25 people, but since they are traveling so far (2-3 hours) she feels like she needs to feed them. She also insists on having chicken because one of her nieces doesn't eat red meat. My fiance said if I can suggest another place she can get a meal for 25 people complete with chicken that I can eat she has no reason to provide that.

Is there anyone that knows about portuguese food and can help me determine if it is gluten-free?

Does anyone have an idea of where I could get a take-away meal for 25 people?

Does anyone else every feel alienated when they can not eat at group meals?

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Welcome to the forum. :)

First of all....the alienation feeling really does go away, over time. but in the beginning, one is distinctly and painfully aware of it....life has so much to do wtih food and when food changes so dramatically, you just can't help but feel really strange and different about things. But take heart, that gets better.

Is your MIL Portuguese? It seems odd that she's dead set on this, but, that's another story. I don't know where you live but I am sure all kinds of restaurants could do a meal for 25 people. If you could find out what the ingredients are of these dishes, we could get a better idea...however there is still the strong possibility you might get sick from cross-contamination, since it's so difficult to communicate with the restaurant owners - you just can't be sure what's in the food, even if they prepare something separately for you....it could be cross-contaminated.

Might she consider Mexican food? There are things one can usually eat safely.

But - there is a distinct reality that you may have to take your own food to the shower, to be 100% safe....I took all of my food for the first year after diagnosis to family gatherings, but now they make almost everything gluten-free (I am very fortunate in that respect).

You can definitely make gluten-free cake or desert and share in that.

BTW I don't have an MIL - - so I'm sure people can offer better suggestions than I about how to handle that. :)


Diagnosed January 2006

"I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells." ~Dr. Seuss

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I so feel for you.

My MIL pulled the same stunt at my wedding reception. I had everything planned and set up milk free. She contacted the people behind my back, changed everything and the only thing I could eat at my own wedding was broccoli. Even the blooming cake had milk in it!! :angry: It was horrible!!

My advice would be is to stand your ground. Let her know that (1) you don't like it (2) it has made you sick before PERIOD. That place is out. Plus, why is she putting someone meat preference over your dietary NEED?!?!?! Not cool IMO. This is your shower and your needs must come over any picky habits.

Is there anyplace there that you eat at and like?? There is really no reason to feed everyone a full meal unless you just want to. If they want a meal afterwards give them suggestions. I would think veggie/fruit trays and safe lunch meats should be fine.

Shellfish free since 1980

Milk free (all forms) since 1991

Feingold in 2003

First gluten-free round 2007

Now entering full time Gluten free, egg free, almond/peanut free

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OK, just cause my mother taught me how and its fun sometimes to play the big bad mean person......

She also insists on having chicken because one of her nieces doesn't eat red meat.

this bothered me greatly, not so much that the neice doesn't eat red meat but because the MIL is pandering to the neice but not the bride!!!!!!!!!!!

Stand your ground and tell the MIL just who butters the gluten-free bread! If she can accomidate her family then by dang she should be able to accomidate YOU its your party not hers











OK all safe... rant is over..... but I still would like to give that MIL a piece of my mind

Just my .00000002 cents worth

If I knew what I was doing years ago I would have half a clue today!

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my MIL is not portuguese, her son's (including my finace) nanny, now housekeeper/family friend is.

She tries really hard to accept my gluten-free lifestyle. She went to the grocery store and stocked up on gluten-free products so I have something to eat at their family meals.

I've already talked her out of serving the food for the reception dinner (with the aid of my fiance and father-in-law)

She's been looking forward to this party before I went gluten-free and is convinced I can eat the rice which is yellow (most likely from saffron/safflower/tumeric but she couldn't get a clear answer from the cook) and peas.

I will try the mexican approach and let you know the result.

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What is it with MIL's? lol, My MIL tried to pull the same kind of thing for my baby shower. I threw a FIT. It's YOUR DAY. People are not doing you some gigantic favor by accomodating your medical needs. My MIL was insisting we have my baby shower in a traditional Italian restaurant (they are not italian) where I could eat nothing. I called my husband in tears and he dealt with her. We are now having my baby shower at my moms. The food is still an uphill battle and i will probably wind up making all of it myself to ensure that it is gluten-free.

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In time you will not feel alienated not eating the same food as everyone else. If I am cooking the food is gluten free otherwise I bring my own food and let whoever is providing the food do as they please. This is what works for me but I know other people use different solutions.

A possible comprimise for the wedding shower would be to have the Portuguese food another selection that is Gluten Free for everyone. Possibly something simple and filling that can be made in the crock pot like Beef Stew. You may need to volunteer to make it.

Hope this works out for you.


Gluten Free - 30 years

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Oh heavens, if she can accomodate a NIECE who doesn't eat red meat, why on earth can't she try and accomodate YOU.

Tell her she can go ahead and throw the shower, you just won't be there. Seriously, all that gluten floating around and nothing for you to eat, what's the point in you going and getting sick before your wedding? The shower is supposed to be for you, but it might make you sick? Where's the fun in that for you?

Or a more moderate approach :huh: would be to take a big bowl of carrot and celery sticks with you and when anyone asks why you're not eating explain it to them.

Okay, that propbably wasn't moderate. That was probably more of the "Rub it in the MIL's face" approach.

Moderate approach, take food you can eat and guard it from the gluten and enjoy the event as best you can. The important thing is for you not to be sick or overly stressed on your wedding day. If you can shrug off the MIL and take your own food and be fine with that, go for it. But personally I still think it's pretty crumby to serve food the bride to be can't eat at a shower to honor her.


"My mother always told me, it's okay to play with a man's mind

as long as you put it back where you got it when you're done with it."

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I agree this is a pretty lousy situation. I also think you should stick up for yourself now. If you don't, she will learn she can push you around on this or other issues. So it isn't just a question of this one party, but your entire future with her as your MIL.

Here is a card in Portuguese explaining the gluten free diet:


You also might try googling on "Portuguese gluten-free recipes" and find something that sounds good to you.

If you don't trust this restaurant, though, or don't like the food, I'm sure there are plenty of restaurants and caterers in your area. Google on "celiac" and your location and get in touch with your local support group. Most will be able to tell you about good restaurants or caterers in your area that "get it".

McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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As well as many of you know I am not celiac, but my husband is....so I have to say that even without celiac I cannot digest spicy foods so even for non celiac guests, a Portuguese menu might not be the best choice.

I learned this many years ago when we were invited to a wedding (pre celiac diagnosis for my husband). It was buffet: husband could not eat spicy food either - we took one look at the buffet choices and realized that we could not eat anything there. We sat at table and ate the bread and wedding cake.

It's difficult for guests and unreasonable on the part of the host to have a "food theme" for an event like a shower or wedding or any party with guests bringing food sensitivities or allergies. For example, Thai or Asian food uses peanut oils, Italian has dairy, Tex-Mex is spicy, etc. Any accomodation planner will tell you to have a main selection of "plain" selections with perhaps a couple of side dishes of something "unusual."

Now being that the bride is gluten free, well it should go without saying that the event should be comprised mainly of gluten free food.

Husband has Celiac Disease and

Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -

The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis

Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,

most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as

being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."

Serious Depressive state ensued

Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003

Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.

Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle

Developed neuropathy in 2005

Now has lymphadema 2006It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

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