Day one of additional ab work, and I learned something very important about my body. I laied down to do some crunches, something i have not attempted since my days before pregnancy, and noticed that as I rolled up, my abdomen formed a mountain ridge down the center- weird to say the least ! I continued my planned work and felt around on my abdomen while I was working and noticed a weird separation feeling with my hands. Not painful, but weird in the fact that I had not seen this on other people doing ab exercises. So after I finished I started nosing around sites with anatomy discussions and such , and finally came upon a description of what was happening , why it happened in the first place and some possible solutions.
It seems that I have an abdominis rectus separation- it happens with abdominal surgeries( I had two major ones in the span of a year) and pregnancies where the mother has weak abdominal muscles- like me with pregnancy squeezed between the two surgeries. In the case of this separation, traditional ab work will never repair the damage, but other isometric type exercises can improve the condition. Often time surgery is required to reconnect the muscles. Instead of feeling defeated when I read this, I am taking it as a red flag. Someone says I can't do this on my own- consider it done ! I WILL do it, just to prove to the person pronouncing it that they are wrong. So I made notes of what exercises have been proven to help and I am going to work with them. Last night after all the days work was done I was a little sore , but I noticed that I seemed to have more "stability" for lack of a better word. I also seemed to have greater bladder control ( something that has become a very big issue, and I believe is linked to this muscle tone issue as well). I will continue and see how this improves.
Last night for dinner I tried a new to me recipe, Polenta Vegetable Casserole. Think of a cross between a Shepard's pie and a lasagna but minus the meat and a whole lot less cheese. It was pretty okay- meaning it was tasty, but a little too fiddly for my tastes. I served it with a salad made from romaine, watercress, baby spinach, arugula, dried cranberries and sliced almonds
Polenta Vegetable Casserole
2 cups fresh organic baby spinach
1 cup zucchini -- chopped
1cup broccoli -- chopped
1 cup red pepper -- chopped
1 cup green pepper -- chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes -- chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms -- chopped
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1 cloves garlic -- chopped
1 tablespoon Mrs Dash
1/8 cup water
1 jar pasta sauce -- no or low salt
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes -- soaked overnight & cut into small pieces
4 cloves garlic -- minced
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup mozzarella cheese -- grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute' vegetables, herbs and seasonings in
water for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender, adding more water
if needed to prevent sticking. Mix in pasta sauce, reserving 1/4 cup.
Meanwhile, bring 6 cups of water, sun-dried tomatoes and minced garlic
to a boil.Then slowly add cornmeal, stirring constantly on low heat for
5 minutes until the cornmeal thickens.
Spread 1/4 cup pasta sauce over bottom of 8 X 11 baking pan, then spread
a layer of polenta over the sauce. Place a layer of the vegetable/sauce
mixture on the polenta and then another layer of polenta
and vegetable/sauce mixture. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Bake in oven
for 20 minutes until heated through. Serves 8.