Asian Shrimp and Noodle Salad with a Side of Fitness Inspiration

You want to improve your health. But you feel less than motivated. Here are a few random thoughts and links we've found helpful.

All it takes is 20 minutes a day. Studies have shown just 20 minutes of exercise a day can help you live healthier, live longer, get stronger, and even boost your mood. So pick an activity, like walking, and push aside the excuses. Anyone can do 20 minutes, right? Read more here.

Give it 100. You may have seen some of the inspirational videos available at Practice something -- like taking better care of youself -- for 100 days and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish. For a start, check out this amazing mother/daughter duo who lost 74 pounds in 100 days.

Find a plan and get support from a community. You'll find an endless array of fitness ideas online in places like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Don't have a lot of time? Start with one of the top 10 fitness memes on Twitter: #Plankaday. Try doing 1 plank every day to build your core strength. Maybe you'll plank for only 5 seconds when you begin. That's okay. You can make a goal to add 5 seconds every day. If you need motivation, tweet about your daily planks with hashtag #plankaday. You can get a virtual pat on the back (and you'll be surprised how much it helps) or even keep yourself accountable. Learn more about the benefits of planking and #plankaday here.

Looking for more ideas? How about the Buzzfeed 27-Day Squat Challenge? You can start this challenge whenever you like. By the time you finish, you'll be able to do 100 squats and improve the strength of your glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips, and even abs. You start with 10 squats on day one and add 5 squats every day, resting on every sixth day.

Eat right. Of course, a big part of taking better care of yourself is eating right. And again, you'll find tons of inspiration online with blogs, on Facebook and Pinterest for instance. Whether you are gluten-free, diabetic, or eating to lose weight and improve your health overall, you can find blogs, posts, and pins to inspire healthy eating. Case in point, this mouth-watering recipe from, Asian Shrimp & Noodle Salad made with low carb, low calorie Skinny Noodles. Who says eating right has to be anything but delicious?

The bottom line is: Get started. Dr. Martin Luther King said, "You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step." Baby steps lead to better health... and big dreams!

Skinny Burrito Cups

We like to think of Cinco de Mayo as the best excuse ever to eat Mexican food ever. Meaning "Fifth of May" in Spanish, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated (appropriately) on May 5 primarily in the United States and Mexico. It marks the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Americans often confuse it with Mexican Independence Day (September 16) -- an important national holiday in Mexico. If you're looking for a way to indulge in your love of Mexican-style food without breaking the carb or calorie bank, we have a secret "cheat" to share: Shirataki Rice. With 0 calories and 3 grams of carbs per serving, shirataki rice actually isn't rice at all. Like shirataki noodles, shirataki rice is made from a fibrous Asian root called konnyaku or konjac, then molded into the shape of rice grains or rice "pearls."

It's easy to use shirataki rice in place of regular white rice in your favorite Mexican recipes. Open the package, rinse and drain shirataki rice well in colander. Toss shirataki rice into bowl, add 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar, mix gently, and set aside 1-2 minutes. The vinegar will neutralize the alkaline scent. Rinse and drain well again. Then use shirataki rice in place of all or half of the rice (to cut carbs and calories in half) called for in recipes. Shirataki rice is a healthy alternative to white rice not only in Mexican dishes and Asian dishes, but also in soups. Once you try it, you'll find many uses for shirataki rice. And since it's a good source of fiber like shirataki noodles, shirataki rice fills you up and helps you feel satisfied without extra carbs or calories.

Bonus Tips:
1) Like shirataki noodles, you can use shirataki rice in the slow cooker. Just add in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Because of its fiber content, shirataki rice won't get mushy.
2) To cut carbs and calories, you can substitute shirataki rice for part of the white rice in a rice cooker. Add just enough water to cook the white rice only. You don't need to add any extra water for the shirataki rice you put in the rice cooker.

These Skinny Burrito Cups are a fun way to enjoy Cinco de Mayo or a light spring/summer meal -- with only 250 calories each. ¡Que delicioso!

Skinny Burrito Cups
2 8 oz packages Skinny Rice Shirataki
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 C shredded cheese (if desired)
1 C chunky salsa of choice
1 avocado, diced
Cilantro to garnish

Rinse Skinny Rice Shirataki, drain well and set aside. In a medium skillet, pan fry Skinny Rice for 2-3 minutes. Assemble burrito cups by layering black beans, Skinny Rice, cheese (if desired), salsa, and avocado. Top with fresh cilantro. Omit cheese to make dairy-free. Makes 4 servings.

Per Serving (cheese included): 250 calories, 11g fat, 17mg cholesterol, 30g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 12g protein

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