Holiday Challenge: Lame Excuses Not To Work Out

Lame Excuses Not To Work Out: Holiday Challenge

The holidays are hectic but that is no reason to make lame excuses not to work out. Exercise reduces stress and gives you a little more wiggle room for high calorie treats. It’s important not to get out of the habit of exercising. It’s always easier to stick with a plan than to build up your motivation and endurance again. You know I’m right. Continue reading “Holiday Challenge: Lame Excuses Not To Work Out”

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddar Cheesecakes, #LowCarb

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddra Cheesecakes, #LowCarb

Holiday Challenge Party Tip:

Bring your own appetizer or entree to the party. 

These savory low-fat vegetarian rosemary cheddar cheesecakes are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Feel free to substitute full fat cheeses if you can’t find reduced fat options.

Serving suggestion: As an entrée, plate 1-2 cheesecakes over arugula and thinly sliced red and green apples. Drizzle with a citrus or cranberry vinaigrette. These cakes would pair well with oranges, grapes, pears, spinach, kale, whole cranberry sauce or orange marmalade.

Serve them as a warm or room temperature appetizer or as the star of a fruit and cheese tray.

More appetizer ideas:

 Jalapeño poppers
Killer Salsa, bring with baked tortilla chips.
Easy Sushi Towers

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddra Cheesecakes, #LowCarb

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheesecakes

Savory cheddar and cream cheese cheesecakes for a vegetarian main meal or appetizer. Reduced fat makes them a healthy low carb choice for everyone. 

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 Cheesecakes
Author TraceyDelaplain


  • 3/4 Cup Toasted panko bread crumbs May substitute gluten free crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Cheesecake filling

  • 8 Oz Reduced fat cream cheese
  • 4 Oz Reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese May substitute any sharp cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh chopped rosemary 1 tsp dried
  • 1 Clove Minced garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Spray 12 muffin tin with olive oil mist and set aside.

    Lightly toast the walnuts and the bread crumbs separately in a sautéed pan. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Place the bread crumbs, walnuts and butter in a food processor and process until combined. Press crumb mixture into the bottoms of the muffin cups to make a crust. Bake 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely.

    Beat the cheddar and cream cheese in a food processor or with a mixer until smooth. Add the eggs , garlic, salt and pepper and mix until blended. Add the rosemary and combine. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake until set, golden and puffed, but not loose in the center, about 20 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature. You can serve these chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Omit bread crumbs and substitute coconut flour to make this a Keto diet recipe.

Pin this recipe for later. You might like my Pinterest Mexican Appetizer Board for more Ideas.

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddar Cheesecakes, #LowCarb

What’s the Real Cost of Eating Out in Mexico? Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge

Holiday challenge/

Let’s be honest about the real cost of eating out!

It is so inexpensive to not cook at home in Mexico but what’s the real cost of eating out? I cook at home every day because it helps me meet my personal fitness and nutrition goals.

The “holiday season” in the U.S. begins with Halloween candy and ends with champagne and regrets on New Years Day. For many it’s a downward spiral of poor eating and drinking choices that results in an average weight gain of seven pounds during the holidays.

7 Pounds! Let that sink in!

Continue reading “What’s the Real Cost of Eating Out in Mexico? Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge”

Holiday Wellness Challenge

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds/


Uncover your eyes and

stop crying over holiday weight gain.

It is not inevitable.

Today’s Challenge:  Weigh yourself and find a wellness buddy and be accountable to each other.

Take the holiday wellness challenge with me. Commit to maintaining your weight and fitness level.  Stay tuned for posts with simple wellness ideas and affirmations that will help you stay on track.

My readers are a mixture of rural Mexican expats and North Americans living in more traditional cities so the advice might involve exercising while dodging the crowds at the mall or walking in solitude at the beach.  We all have the same goal in mind so if the shoe or flip flop fits, wear it.
Continue reading “Holiday Wellness Challenge”

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Feeling stuffed after Thanksgiving weekend? Try this Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan recipe for a healthy protein rich Chinese “take out” inspired #Meatless Monday meal to cleanse your palate.

My inspiration came from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Lemon Cauliflower. I added cashews, soy sauce and fresh ginger. Hang out awhile on Katie’s site and savor her healthy delicious recipes. She is truly inspirational.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

This delicious vegan meal gets high marks for the crispy texture of the cauliflower, a protein boost from cashews and the rich sweet and sour sticky lemon sauce.

Try this crispy roasted cauliflower with Italian spices and parmesan or spicy it up with cumin and cilantro and serve with poblano cream for a Mexican twist. The possibilities are endless now that you’ve found crispy cauliflower!

You’re welcome.

Watch for more crispy cauliflower recipes.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Lemons are sometimes difficult to find in rural Mexico so substitute orange juice and reduce the syrup by half. You can be the first on the block to make Orange Sticky Cashew Cauliflower. Let me know how it turns out.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Special diets:

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable full of anti-oxidants and vitamins C and K. Cashews are a good source of vegetarian protein, vitamins E, K, and B6, and provides minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium.

Vegans and vegetarians:

Enjoy this recipe was made for you and it is loaded with healthy fats and protein.

Paleo and gluten free diets:

Substitute almond or chic pea flour for the wheat flour and serve without rice. Reduce the baking time because almond flour will burn and leave an unpleasant bitter taste. I haven’t tried this with almond or chic pea flour.

Weight Watchers:

A small portion fits perfectly into a weight reduction plan and you’ll save calories by not stopping for “take out”. A small portion of brown rice or quinoa will give you a fiber boost.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Roasted crispy cauliflower and cashews in a sweet sticky lemon sauce. Healthy, Asian style protein rich vegan main dish. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Author TraceyDelaplain


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup almond, soy or coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs substitute any unflavored bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, divided save 2 tablespoons for corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice juice from about 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup or honey for non-vegans
  • 1 tablespoon mined garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups cooked rice or quinoa


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash cauliflower and cup into 2 inch pieces. Mince garlic and ginger root. 

    Combine flour, oil and almond milk. Toss in cauliflower and dredge in bread crumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes until cauliflower is crispy and browned on the edges. 

    Make sauce while the cauliflower roasts. Salute garlic and ginger in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add broth, syrup, lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar and cashews, simmer on low heat. When cauliflower is ready, add corn starch to 2 tablespoons of broth. Slowly add corn starch to sauce. It will thicken fairly quickly. 

    Combine crispy cauliflower with the lemon cashew sauce. Serve immediately over rice or quinoa. 

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Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Easy Heathy Vegan

Check out my Best Vegetable Side Dishes Pinterest Board.

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds and Expats, Traveling With Your Pet to Mexico

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds and Expats, Traveling With Your Pets to Mexico

Traveling with your pet to Mexico requires advanced planning especially if you fly.  

All of the regulations apply to land and air entries but when you drive, often times there is no one around to check your pet’s papers. I’ll tell you why I comply anyway.

Pets, moscatos, for the purpose of this discussion includes cats and dogs.  You will have to research further for regulars on chickens, rodents, birds and etc. 

This is my beach dog, Biscuit.

We use the term beach dog loosely because he hates water, sand, sea creatures, especially crabs, birds, feathers, seashells, and getting his paws dirty. He refuses to kayak or paddle board. But you can see that he is a very enthusiastic packer.

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds and Expats, Traveling With Your Pet to Mexico /


Biscuit rides down the Baja in an elevated and secure car seat. I wanted to comfortably protect him from injury in the event of sudden stops and potential rollovers while traveling. This seat helps prevent car sickness also because he can see out of the windows. I bought a soft harness and attached it to the lead that holds him in the seat. He weighs 25 pounds and this jumbo seat gives him just enough space to move around. A larger dog would not fit.
Here are affiliate links to Amazon. I can highly recommend this seat for long car trips.


Be prepared for traveling with your pet to Mexico

If you are not prepared, you could encounter delays at the border and even have to call a vet in Mexico to certify your pet’s health and the pet could be treated for external and internal parasites again if you can’t prove that your vet treated them. I have never had to show Biscuit’s papers at the Tecate crossing but one of my neighbors had to show his this year. Be prepared when taking your pet into Mexico, its your legal and moral obligation. In my opinion you should see your vet once a year anyway and make sure that your pet is safe to travel.

Here’s a link to Baja Bound Mexican Insurance which has done a good job of discussing traveling with your pet, under “before you go”. This is an affiliate link so feel free to look around and buy Mexican auto insurance for your road trip. I get a small commission if you buy insurance but it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

The benefit of complying with the regulations includes, avoiding delays and hassle but more importantly you have a chance to discuss your pet’s health with his personal vet, in English, before you leave the U.S.

Everyone has a story about how they never comply with the pet certificates when driving into Mexico but that doesn’t means it’s ethical or wise for your pet’s sack.

Comply with Mexican Law. You’re a visitor, as is your pet.

Important issues to discuss with your vet before traveling with your pet to Mexico

  1. Vaccinations for rabies and distemper must be up to date and be given at the latest 15 days before entering Mexico. There are special rules for puppies so read the guidelines. Consider waiting until your puppy can be vaccinated before they travel.
  2. Does your dog need to be tested for heart worm and started on heart worm prevention? Heart worm is carried by mosquitos and you may not need it in some northern locals in the U.S. and Canada but it is present in Mexico. You would treat your dog year round if you travel every year to endemic areas of heart worm.
  3. Ask about flea and tick protection. We give Biscuit prescription oral medication while we are in Mexico but there are topical preparations and collars that can be purchased over the counter. Ask you vet about the risks and benefits of treatment.
  4. Discuss your individual pet’s tolerance for travel and ask if there is anything you can do to help your pet travel stress free.
  5. Ask you vet to certify that your pet has been treated for external and internal parasites on official letter head with his name, signature, license number and details about vaccinations and parasite treatments. It should be specific and list the names of the drugs that were used to treat your pet. They must not use any abbreviations.
  6. The International Pet Passport or Health Certificate templates can be found online by you and/or your vet. Baja Bound has a link to the Health Certificate. Always verify resources for the most up to date information. This does not mean ask your friends or random strangers for legal advice on Facebook.

Translation directly from the Mexican government concerning transportation  of your pets to Mexico at  SAGARPA-SENASICA.

To import a pet you must have a certificate issued by an official veterinarian of the competent authority or if it is private, on letterhead, with the printed professional identification number or photocopy of it (or its equivalent). Name and address of the exporter (in the country of origin or origin) and the importer (address of destination in Mexico). Date of application of the vaccine against rabies and its validity (animals under 3 months of age are exempt). That in the pre-trip inspection, the animal or animals were clinically healthy. That the animal or animals have been internally and externally dewormed, within the previous six months
and are free of ectoparasites. If you do not comply with the above, you must contact a Veterinarian (of your choice and by your account
in Mexico), who will issue the health certificate and apply the corresponding treatment.

Specifics for flying your pet into Mexico

Inspection and handling your pets at the airport seems to be fairly consistent where as when driving, you literally can’t find the inspection office at many small border crossings and the border agents usually ignore your pets. But be prepared anyway when traveling with your pet in Mexico.

Your pet must enter in container (kennel), clean, without bedding, without implements or accessories (toys, treats, prizes or other objects, made with ingredients of ruminant origin), otherwise, they will be removed for destruction. The conveyor or container will receive preventive treatment by spraying by the official personnel of SAGARPA-SENASICA; you can enter with your necklace, strap, etc. You can enter the ration of the day of balanced food in bulk. We remind you that in Mexico there is a type of food that has the Registration and Authorization of SAGARPA-SENASICA. My understanding is that you can’t bring raw meat or large quantities of pet food into Mexico.

Upon returning with your pet to the U.S., the regulations are simpler. Your pet must appear to be in good health and not carrying any disease. You need proof that the rabies vaccination is current.

Pin this for later and find more Snowbird/Expat Advice on my Pinterest boards.

Advice for Mexican #Snowbirds and #Expats, Trvaeking with your pet to Mexico

Traveling Mailbox

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Advice For Mexican Snowbirds: Securing Your Home For Extended Travel

Securing Your Home for Extended Travel

Nothing ruins your beach day faster than a call from a neighbor in the north that you have water running our of your basement or there’s an unfamiliar moving van parked in your driveway.

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds/
True story; my husband once received a call from his father’s neighbor  that there were icicles inside the house. A pipe had burst in the ceiling and it was so cold that icicles formed inside the house.
Burrrrr ❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

Planning is everything!

You must make plans for securing your home for extended travel if you plan to keep a home in two countries. Many Mexican Snowbirds spend their summers in the north and their fall and winters in the south. Cold northern winters put your northern home at particularly risk for freezing pipes and other weather related damage.

Every unoccupied home is vulnerable to theft and vandalism. You can’t plan for every contingency but this list might help you avoid a disaster.

Securing your home for extended travel. Advice for Snowbirds and Expats.

Continue reading “Advice For Mexican Snowbirds: Securing Your Home For Extended Travel”

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds, Dealing With Mail

Advice for Mexican Snowbirds, Dealing with Mail /

For Mexican Snowbirds, dealing with mail can be so frustrating,

but deal you must.

In the U.S. we take snail mail for granted. We walk out to our box or stop at the post office and there is mail. We don’t even have to think about how to get or send mail.

This post contains a helpful affiliate link to Traveling Mail, an attractive online mail solution for travelers. Go there first if you have already tried other mail solutions and want a full service solution.

When you fly south, the mail keeps coming, but you can’t rely on Mexican mail service and you can’t forward your mail directly to Mexico. Advance planning is essential.

Here are a few tips for Mexican Snowbirds, dealing with mail.

1) Reduce your snail mail immediately by requesting online statements for everything. Bank statements, utilities, physician bills, insurance bills. Every time a paper copy comes to your US mailbox change it to an online account or call the company and advice them to stop sending you paper catalogs or free magazines and etc. Stop all junk mail or anything that will fill your mail box unnecessarily while you are away unless someone is picking up you mail on a regular basis. Apparently you can’t stop the USPS from putting advertisements in your mailbox but we tape over our mail slot so junk can’t be placed there and stop or forward the important mail to a PO Box while we are away. This is a good idea for everyone to reduce the chance of someone stealing your mail from your mailbox. A locked mailbox is imperative if you can’t check your mail daily.

2) Decide on a plan to have access to your mail. Here are a few options. The plan you choose will depend on who you trust to pick up your mail, how much mail you receive and how urgently you need access to your mail.

  • Have a close neighbor or family member get your mail and email important documents to you. You need someone you trust. Remember that email is not secure so don’t forward account numbers, social security numbers, passwords and etc.
  • Have a neighbor box all of your mail, leave them prepaid shipping boxes and labels. When full the box of mail can be mailed to a reputable U.S. shipping company that then ships the box to Mexico. Send me an email if you want a company in San Diego for the Baja. This could delay your mail retrieval for 4-6 weeks.
  • Have your mail held at the post office for up to 30 days, which is a short term solution at best, if you don’t have important mail. Believe me, you will have something important come in the mail that you didn’t anticipate and you will regret not having someone check your mail.
  • Open a post office box and change all of mail to the PO Box and temporarily forward your mail to the PO Box for up to 6 months. If you are gone longer than 6 months then expect your mail to go to “never never land”. This happened to us and it took months to find all of the returned and lost in limbo mail.  Highly undesirable option unless you know that you will return within 6 months.
  • Open a PO Box and permanently receive all of your mail there. A good option if you travel throughout the year and plan to be out of the country for longer than 6 months. The USPS has an option to send a photo of all envelopes that come to a PO Box called Informed Delivery, which will give you an idea of what needs to be dealt with but not what’s inside the envelope. Expect some surprises that you didn’t anticipate and save the contact information for any company that might send you important mail so you can call and ask, “Hey, what did you send me?”
  • In my opinion the best option is to pay a mail service company to deal securely with your mail. Traveling Mail has a good reputation with expats and is inexpensive. They give you a physical address in the location of your choosing. I like this full service solution the best because you can see a scanned envelope and then decide if you want the contents security emailed to you or deposited if it’s a check or shredded. There’s no surprises and no need to burden a friend or family member with retrieving your mail. This is an affiliate link but doesn’t cost you any additional fees.

Traveling Mailbox

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Advice for Mexican Snowbirds, Dealing with Mail /

Easy Low Carb FatHead Pizza, Gluten Free

Easy Low Carb Fathead Pizza/ Gluten Free

Let me start by saying I object to calling anything or anyone FatHead but this pizza crust made with cheese and almond flour is a low carb replacement for high carb pizza crust and the name has stuck, recognizing the original creator, despite many variations.

I rarely eat pizza but this Easy Low Carb Arugula, Sun Dried Tomato FatHead Pizza crust can be part of a lower carbohydrate diet despite the high saturated fats from cheese.

What could be wrong with an all topping pizza? The crust is made with mozzarella and cream cheese so the crust is a topping too.

I adapted my son’s FatHead crust recipe and mixed everything in the food processor which was much easier than microwaving the cheese and mixing the egg in by hand, which I found tedious.

You’ll need parchment paper or silicone baking mats and a rolling pin.

The ingredients are easy to find.

Mozzarella, cream cheese, 1 egg, almond flour and spices of your choice. I used oglio olio e peperoncino (garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes) spice mix.  Any combination of Italian spices would be fine and use them liberally. You can grind your own almonds to make almond flour just don’t over do it or you’ll have almond butter. Coconut flour would work too.

I promise to update this recipe with an adaptation for readily available Mexican cheeses but I think Chihuahua cheese would work. Baja amigas, if you try a Mexican cheese let me know.   

The crust is easy to roll out on parchment paper. Make sure you poke holes in the crust to add even cooking and to prevent huge puffy bubbles.

Easy Low Carb Fathead Pizza/ Gluten Free

The naked crust cooks and browns quickly in a 425 degree oven for 12 minutes before you add the toppings. Make sure all meats are fully cooked and the vegetables are thinly sliced because the pizza crust goes back in the oven for a scant 5 minutes to heat the toppings.

Easy Low Carb Fathead Pizza/ Gluten Free

Choose flavorful toppings and cut into thin slices. I used arugula, onion, sun dried tomatoes, bacon and olives on my Easy Low Carb FatHead Pizza crust. Try bell pepper, mushrooms, jalapeño, or cooked chorizo for a Mexican twist.

Easy Low Carb Fathead Pizza/ Gluten Free

Special diets:

Low carb, Keto diets? This is your pizza fix without bread.

Gluten free? Yes

Paleo, sorry cheese isn’t allowed. Try a cauliflower pizza crust instead.

Weight Watchers? Sure. You will use  a lot of points to eat this high fat pizza but it is so rich that one piece would be satisfying. Serve it with a huge low calorie green salad. It’s no worse than high carb,high fat pizza on regular crust. This is just all toppings.

Vegetarian?  Skip the bacon, it isn’t necessary.

Easy Low Carb Fathead Pizza/ Gluten Free

Easy Low Carb FatHead Pizza, Arugula, Bacon, and Sun Dried Tomatoes

An easy low carb, Keto diet, gluten free pizza crust made with mozzerella, cream cheese and almond flour with Italian spices, arugula, bacon and sun dried tomatoes. On the table in 30 minutes. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4
Author TraceyDelaplain


  • 1 Cup Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Ounces Cream cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Almond flour May substitute coconut flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic powder


  • 1 Cup Fresh arugula
  • 1/2 Cup Thinly slices onions
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced olives
  • 1/4 Cup Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 2 Slice, Bacon, crumbled


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Combine cheeses, spices and egg in a food processor until a sticky dough forms. If you mix the crust by hand, microwave the cheeses for 20-30 seconds until softened and warm and then mix egg and spices into cheese until combined. This takes a few minutes before the egg will mix into the cheese. 

    Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper to desired thickness. Remove top parchment sheet and use a fork to poke multiple overlapping holes. 

    Transfer the parchment paper with the prepared crust to a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until browned.

    Arrange toppings over crust, meats must be fully cooked. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes until toppings are hot. 

    Easy Low Carb Fathead Pizza/ Gluten Free

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Check out my Low Carb Pinterest Board
Easy Low Carb FatHeda Pizza, GF, Keto

Jalapeño Poppers Deconstructed, Easy Low Carb Appetizers

Jalapeño Poppers Deconstructed, Easy Low Carb Appetizer

Jalapeño Poppers Deconstructed, Easy Low Carb Appetizers are easy to make with none of the fuss of traditional jalapeño poppers but all of the flavor.

Mmmmm, cheese, bacon, jalapeño, and olives.

Oh my!
Caution food porn ahead.

Jalapeño Poppers Deconstructed, #Easy, #Low Carb Appetizer

I love every type of jalapeño popper, bacon wrapped, chorizo flavored, low-fat sun dried tomato vegetarian, deep fried, baked, grilled Panko crispy….. you get the idea. I make them once a week.

But these Jalapeño Poppers Deconstructed, Easy Low Carb Appetizers are easier, no need for gloves and you can make and bake them in 15 minutes. Continue reading “Jalapeño Poppers Deconstructed, Easy Low Carb Appetizers”