Pumpkin Almond Cookies & Diastasis Recti
Not only do I have an easy pumpkin raw cookie recipe featuring a yummy vegan Squarebar added in (or protein bar of your choice), I also have a little diastasis recti info for you from my experience as a twin mom, NOT an expert. But here is what's working for me in the hopes that it works for you, too! There are some great programs like the MuTu system that has seen great results and has many wonderful reviews, but if you'd rather work on your own or can't quite spring for a program, here's a few moves. Either way, if your insurance covers it, I recommend seeing a physical therapist in addition to either. (I asked my OB for a referral to a local PT with experience in this area). I won't explain DR (diastasis recti) here; there's a bunch of great explanations and diagrams online. Once you've determined you have it (and most women have a little separation from pregnancy, and especially if you gained a lot of weight or have been pregnant with multiples, you're very likely to have it). You can also have it for several other known or unknown reasons, and even if you have not been pregnant.
Below are the links to the exercises I have been doing almost since the doctor gave the okay to resume activity. I wish I had stumbled across them right at 6 weeks and avoided planks like I should have (thanks for that advice, doc--he said "planks are great!" and I did them waay too much, too soon). But these exercises are gentle and beneficial and though they may seem boring, I recommend performing them often to slowly build back your strength and hopefully help close your abdominal gap either a little or a lot.
Also, see if your doctor or OB will recommend a physical therapist. My PT performs an ultrasound with stem, massages my belly, then uses electro therapy on it, and recent has begun to show me how to tape it up for a little support. I'm not sure if time, the exercises, PT or all three are the reason, but I'm slowly seeing my belly firm up (a little) though I still have the rounded, looseness that I have come to abhor. BUT it is getting better, and progress is exactly what Im looking for, though perfection of course would be preferable.
Here's how the therapist taped it (and yes, don't judge: it's not very fun to post a baby belly picture on line, but the taping IS helpful!): make 2 kinesthetic tape strips that are 5.5" long, and place them vertically on either side of your belly button (as shown). Then take two 7.7" strips and make an "X" across the other two, as seen above. Lastly, take a 9.5" long "anchor" strip across the middle of the whole thing, at your lower abs. With this tape, you can wear it for a couple days and shower with it (just pat dry). And give your skin a few hours of breathing room before reapplying the tape.
Also, eating. Sigh. I wish I could tell you sweet treats are great for DR, but honestly the more vegetables and lean protein you pack, the better. That said, I'm not a fan of deprivation, especially if you are ALREADY sleep-deprived and your world now revolves around a tiny being (or two). So, enjoy a sweet treat every now and then in moderation. Oh hey, like these easy cookies below! Or any other treat on my blog. Try first to drink lots of water and eat healthy, and then whenever you need a little love, try something nice for you whether it's a bath, few minutes of reading, or a couple cookies inhaled while rocking a fussy baby. Just try to show yourself a little appreciation every day, and you'll magically find that your body doesn't look so bad. In fact, it is pretty amazing, because you produced at least one whole human being in your belly. So really, in the grand scheme of things, unrealistic expectations of your former taut tummy is a little, shall we say, ridiculous.
OK, now for the recipe...
Pumpkin Almond Raw Cookies
8 to 10 dates
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter or almond butter
3/4 cup almond flour or gluten-free oat flour
1/2 teapsoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teapsoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1 Chocolate Coated Almond Spice Squarebar, pulsed in or chocolate chips
1. Food-process the dates and nondairy milk to form a "date paste."
2. Add the puree, sun butter and spices. Then mix in the flour of choice.
3. Pulse in or fold in a chopped vegan protein bar like an Almond Spice Squarebar or chocolate chips. Roll into balls and keep chilled to pop for a post-run or barre snack!