My upper back muscles have been so sore the past two days, and it’s taken me 48 hours to realize why. It’s not from lifting weights, it’s not from push-ups, it’s actually not from “exercise” at all…it’s from PULLING WEEDS!

I always use to wonder how my mom’s arms looked so good, (before she became a spin/body class groupie) and now I know why — all that yard work! If my mom could live in a garden she would. She loves it. Dirt, worms, thorns…all of it. Gardening is her muse; and she is damn good at it.

She’s also really good at pulling a Tom Sawyer; tricking you into believing it’s way more satisfying than it really is. And for some reason, we (me, little sister and Dad) always fall for it.

To be honest, gardening can kiss my ass. It makes me itch and sneeze, and I’m really not very good at it. But I have a feeling one day I’ll love it, because I am undeniably turning more and more into my mother every day. (HELP!) Just kidding, Mom…you’re actually the shit. And I love you.

So back to why I’m sore…

Pulling weeds. Yep, you guessed it…with my mom. It was hot, I was itchy, but I prevailed. And I couldn’t have cared less what I was doing, because I got to spend time with my mom.

After a full morning of yard work, plus moving half of little sister’s stuff out of the dorm, I introduced Mom to my “Bird Diet”; aaaaand she loved it.

I may not be able to throw together a five-star gourmet lunch with ingredients I can’t even pronounce, but I can damn sure throw together a good plate of “bird food”.

Bird food? Wtf? Why did you feed your mom bird food, you crazy loon?!

Here’s the secret — it’s NOT bird food, but the boyfriend has called it my “bird food” for so long it’s grown on me. And, I kind of like it. It’s catchy.

Nuts, berries, meat and dairy…my favorite snack/lunch ever.

The Bird Diet | Fit is Chic

Those are roasted, unsalted almonds. Sometimes I eat the lightly salted ones; but to avoid too much bloating, I stick to the unsalted option. I buy the Blue Diamond brand, but any brand will do.

I have forever sworn off turkey out of a package, after trying fresh-shaved turkey from the deli. I buy Boar’s Head brand — The Cracked Pepper Mill Smoked Turkey Breast. I usually just buy a half pound (shaved) on Sunday, and it lasts all week. If you’re buying for more than yourself, I’d suggest a pound or a pound and a half. One serving is 60 calories; and it’s LEAN protein. So, eat up!

Unfortunaly, I have yet to find a brand of dried cranberries with ZERO added sugar. So I settle for the Ocean Spray Craisins with 50% less sugar. If you have a favorite brand of dried cranberries, with no added sugar, please fill me in.

And finally, the cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is like my ranch dressing. I eat it with everything. I love it. I just add a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper; and I always buy the low-fat option. If you’re confused by the small curd or large curd option, don’t be. There’s not that big of a difference, but I prefer small curd.

So there ya have it, my Bird Diet.

For a list of my favorite guilt-free salty snacks, click here. And for a list of my favorite guilt-free sweet snacks, click here. Xo

Love, Mattie Claire

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