I’ve seen a bunch of folks “attending” the 30-Day Ab Challenge Event (or whatever it’s called) on Facebook. And I would totally do it (kudos to accepting the challenge, peeps!), but after having four babies (the two oldest so close together — 16 months — along with the two younger littles just about as close), I’ve discovered I suffer from Diastisis Recti.

Do you know what that is? It’s a separation of your lower abdomen muscles, which results in a gap that can vary in size. It turns out that one out of three women who have been pregnant suffer from this. I can’t find the page where I originally read this exact statistic, but I did come across a blog that references it.

When I first discovered it I didn’t know what it was, just that I would sometimes have a shooting pain after I did crunches or when I bent over to tie my shoes or pick something up and that when I sat at a certain angle, there was a protrusion up the middle of my stomach, and at another angle a gap into which I can fit my fingers. When I showed the hubs he told me to ask my OB about it. She didn’t diagnose me. Only said if it caused me enough pain we could operate (thinking it might be a hernia, which, by the way, if you don’t take care of/improve the Diastisis Recti, you could end up getting). I thought that was a bit extreme and decided just to deal with it. But she also didn’t tell me how crunches, planks, and certain yoga and pilates moves can make the condition WORSE.

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Olas & Chanclas | Giant Chocolate-Toffee Cookies I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet, but I’m a no-nuts-in-my-desserts person. I just so happen to be married to the same kind of person (thank goodness!!), so whenever a recipe calls for any type of nut (pecan, walnut, peanut), I omit it and just add extra of something else so the consistency stays the same.

Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE nuts in general (um … OK, OK, keep your mind out of the gutter, folks, you know what I mean), just not in my baked goods (I adore them in salads, actually) or ice cream. So that’s my disclaimer to anyone looking for a dessert containing nuts on this blog. It ain’t gonna happen. I take that back. I’ll let ya know they’re part of the ingredient list, but I’ll always leave them out.

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Olas & Chanclas | (Asian-Inspired) Flank Steak: 2 WaysYup, that’s two flank steaks (about 1.5 pounds a piece) — one for the adults (front) and one for the kiddos (back). You guessed it: spicy and on the sweet side, respectively. We love picking up the two-pack flank steak at Costco because we can ensure our meat is as spicy as we want it and then the kids have a great meal for at least three to four different nights during the busy work/school week. Read More