As a breastfeeding mama, I try to keep an eye on my diet as best as possible. I try to limit caffeine, cut down on sugar, eat lots of fruits and vegetables because I know that whatever I eat, my son will receive. Fish contains vital nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals such as iron. Those nutrients help to foster healthy development. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that women who are pregnant or nursing eat 8 to 12 ounces a week of a variety of low-mercury seafood.

Tuna is higher in Omega-3s and nutrients that most other fish, but the FDA advises no more than 6 ounces of canned albacore (“white” tuna) a week due to mercury concerns (canned light tuna is okay though). The American Pregnancy Associate recommends the “Safe Catch” brand of tuna as the company undergoes rigorous testing – they screen each wild tuna for their mercury levels.

I never had canned tuna growing up. To be honest, before I started breastfeeding, the most exposure I had to canned tuna was when my mom would buy it as a treat for the cats. Living on the coast and being the granddaughter of a fisherman, our seafood was always freshly caught and prepared. Spoiled, I know. But I’ve learned to enjoy canned tuna over the past few months.

Another company that I use on a regular basis for my salmon and tuna is Vital Choice. They preserve the freshness of their sustainable harvested Alaskan salmon and northwest Pacific seafood by cleaning and flash-freezing it within hours of harvest. The fisheries are certified sustainable by either MSC or the State of Alaska. Vital Choice is also a “B Corp” meaning that they have to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Use this link and enter “LEANCHOICE” at checkout for 10% off your order!

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration on using canned tuna, you are in luck! I’ve compiled 12 ways to use canned tuna below from some of my favorite bloggers.

Ashley over at Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen has a super simple TABLET Sandwich (Tuna, Avocado, Bacon, Lettuce, Egg, Tomato) that she says even her 6 year old enjoys!

Looking for a healthy, gluten free dinner recipe? Check out Sharon’s Roasted Zucchini Tuna Melts at The Honour System.

As a mom of three young children, I know that Samantha of My Kitchen Love understands the need for a quick meal. Her Sustainably Caught – Spicy Tuna Tostadas are a fresh way to use canned tuna.

Denise of My Life Cookbook has an amazing and vibrant Low Carb Tuna Spring Roll Salad that is a great way to fit a rainbow of foods in your diet.

I fell in love with Amy’s Tuna and Potato Cakes. She runs Healthy Little Foodies and so many of her recipes are perfect for baby-led weaning but the whole-family can enjoy them as well.

Artichokes are rich in antioxidants which assist in detoxifying the body and helps to aid constipation and indigestion. I love artichokes but rarely include them in my diet. Patty at The PKP Way has a great way to use canned tuna and artichokes! Check out her Tuna Stuffed Grilled Artichokes.

Craving something with a bit of spice? Jenny at Honey and Birch has a recipe for Jalapeno Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes that is simple to make!

Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen has a Tomato Salad with Avocado, Tuna, Cilantro and Lime that is dairy-free, gluten-free, low-glycemic, Paleo, Whole 30, and South Beach Diet friendly (whew)!

I love Mediterranean flavors. Heidy at McCallum’s Shamrock Patch recently shared a Tuna and Orzo Salad that is packed with great ingredients!

Linda and Christina are a mother and daughter team that run 2 Cookin’ Mamas. They posted a Easy Hot Tuna Dip that would be a perfect recipe when you are looking for something creamy, cheesy, and a little naughty.

This recipe roundup wouldn’t get complete with a recipe for a tuna burger or a tuna noodle casserole, now would it?

Patti from Hearth & Vine has a Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe that is made with a homemade sauce!

Also, make sure you check out Rosemary at An Italian in my Kitchen’s recipe for Healthy Delicious Best Ever Tuna Burgers.

So let’s say that you don’t like fish or are vegan. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids for vegans include:

  • flaxseed oil
  • rapeseed oil
  • soya oil and soya-based foods (like tofu)
  • WALNUTS (my personal favorite)

What is your favorite way to get those omega-3s?

Fire cider, master tonic – whatever you call it, you need to make yourself a batch today. Seriously. Don’t wait until you are already starting to feel a bit peckish as fire cider needs a bit of time for all the ingredients to come together.

So what is fire cider really? Fire cider is basically an apple cider vinegar based health tonic that includes a bunch of ingredients with immune-boosting effects. Fire cider is also great for digestion so it’ll help keep you at your best during cold and flu season. You can buy it online but I like to make my own so I can have a better control of what goes into it (and plus, it is so super easy to make). Fire cider has a wonderful (and potent) sweet and tart taste to it that can be a little off-putting the first time you try it.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Emily Rena Elliott, CPD (CBI) (@emielli5) on

Fire cider includes some of my favorite ingredients to help with colds:

  • Ginger – Ginger is great for nausea, bloating, gas and a whole host of other digestive issues. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant. Plus, it is simply delicious!
  • Garlic – I love garlic. Garlic helps to strengthen the immune system and is full of antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
  • Onions – Onions are naturally high in sulfur and contain antibacterial benefits along with prebiotics that help feed the existing healthy bacteria in the colon!
  • Turmeric – The health benefits of turmeric include an improved ability to digest fats, reduce gas and bloating, decreased congestion, and improved skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne (another one of my favorite ways to use turmeric is in golden milk).

I think that fire cider might have a little too much of a kick to it for a lot of younger children so I recommend you check out my elderberry oxymel as an alternative. Also, if you don’t want to take fire cider straight, a delicious way to make sure you are getting your dose is by making it into a salad dressing! Simply mix 1 tablespoon of your prepared fire cider with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon mustard and a dash of salt and pepper. Pour over your salad and enjoy!

Print Recipe
Fire Cider
This isn't so much of a recipe as a melding of ingredients. It does require a little bit of time to sit so start making it now!
Course Herbal
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh ginger*
  • 1/2 c. peeled and diced fresh horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 head garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced lengthwise**
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 organic lemon, sliced
  • 1 organic orange, sliced
  • 4 c, raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. raw local honey
Course Herbal
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh ginger*
  • 1/2 c. peeled and diced fresh horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 head garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced lengthwise**
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 organic lemon, sliced
  • 1 organic orange, sliced
  • 4 c, raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. raw local honey
Instructions
  1. In a clean 1/2 gallon glass jar, layer your ginger and horseradish at the bottom. Add your garlic, rosemary sprigs, jalapenos, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, onion, and turmeric powder on top. Then place your orange and lemon slices.
  2. Using a clean spatula, press firmly on all of your ingredients to pack them down. Add your apple cider vinegar, making sure that you fully submerge your ingredients. Seal and give it a quick shake.
  3. Store your jar in a cool, dark place making sure to give it a shake every day or so. After about 6 weeks, strain out your liquid and stir in your honey.
  4. You can store your finished fire cider in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 6 months. For adults, take one or two spoonful's a day during cold/flu season to help ward off illness or when you start feeling under the weather.
Recipe Notes

* If you are using organic ginger or ginger that is harvest from the ground, then you can leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel the ginger using a spoon to scrape the skin off.

** I like to remove some of the seeds/membranes of my jalapenos. It is completely up to you if you want to remove them or leave them in for an extra bite.

Share this Recipe
 

I haven’t done just a general update on Caleb in a long time and I’ve had quite a few people asking me for one. Even though Caleb doesn’t turn 10 months officially for about 3 more days, I’m calling this his 10-month update.

It amazes me how quickly Caleb’s first year has been going by. In just a few short months, I’ll have a one-year old on my hands! Caleb started walking not long before he turned 9 months and since he figured out how to step those short little steps, there has been no stopping him. He has been walking here, there, everywhere around the house. It amazed the ladies at daycare how quickly he started walking and how well he walks. I think I have a determined – headstrong – little boy on my hands.

Just about three weeks ago, I felt Caleb’s first tooth poking through his bottom gums. A week later, another bottom tooth poked through. Then this past Friday, an upper tooth popped though! So it seems like he is averaging one tooth a week.

Most nights he sleeps through, or maybe will wake up once during the night. He’s easy to put back to sleep though for the most part with just a few minutes of nursing. His biggest issue is that some mornings, he will start tossing and turning at about 5-5:30 a.m. Once he starts to toss and turn, I find myself wide awake. I recently switched out one of his bottles that I send to daycare with some food and he is loving it. My goal is to offer breast milk to him as long as he wants but I’m not putting the pressure on myself to maintain a rigorous pumping and feeding schedule. It is less stress on my end.

Caleb loves to eat. Anything and everything. I try mostly to stick with whole foods – green beans, blueberries, and cucumbers are his favorite. I try to give him very little items with processed sugar simply because I don’t want him addicted to those kind of sweet treats. He loves it but just because you love something doesn’t mean you should have it!

This past weekend, we all went to a local farm festival. We went to the same festival last year when I was 29 weeks pregnant.

29 Weeks Pregnant

As long as we are in the area, I think we are going to try and continue the tradition of having our photo taken in front of this piece of farm equipment!

The farm festival, along with a trip on Saturday to a craft show and farmer’s market up in Wanchese, served as sort of my birthday adventure. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Caleb made quick friends with a little pig, though he didn’t seem very impressed by his new friendship. Or with any of it really. 😀 I will say that he did love getting the opportunity to sample the food inside of the market!



I haven’t posted much lately – but I have a new post coming up soon! In the meantime, check out this video I posted on YouTube of our Hurricane Florence experience.

I fell in love with the art of herbalism completely by accident. After I moved back in with my mom, she allowed me space in her garden. I started buying your typical herbs found at area “big box” stores but that wasn’t enough for me. I began looking online for more unique herbs to grow. Eventually my mom told me that I either needed to calm down my spending habits or else find a use for the herbs. So I choose the later option, taking that as the initiative to start my own business. I now sell mostly online and at events local to my area but one product has always remained a favorite of my customers – my handcrafted herbal tinctures.

For the rest of this post, join me over at Minnesota Country Girl where I have the privilege of guest posting for Homestead Winter Prep: A Series of Harvesting & Preserving!