Eating & Exercise: Staying Healthy So Far In Mexico

We’ve enjoyed avocado toast on whole grain bread with fresh pico de Gallo for breakfast and lunch.

After nearly two weeks in San Miguel de Allende, I think I would give our attempts to eat healthy meals and get enough exercise every day a grade of B-. We have been on a fairly steep learning curve when it comes to dining, for a variety of reasons, and the amount of exercise we’re getting remains hindered by both high temperatures here since we arrived (thankfully without humidity) and the altitude.

We’re fortunate that healthy/vegetarian/vegan foods have been easy to find, things like tofu, oat milk, whole grain breads and such, and are extremely affordable as well. We have good access to a large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (which we soak in a special disinfectant and rinsed if they will be eaten raw). We drink a lot of (bottled) water, are careful about the produce we eat, and so far have suffered no ill effects.

Meals have been sort of weird though, to be honest and we’ve had a few days where we just didn’t feel like eating, or eating much. We do eat breakfast every day and have enjoyed things like avocado toast, banana bread with peanut butter, huevos rancheros, but we mostly have our favorite, a bowl of cereal with fruit and oat milk. Lunches have been hit or miss – some days we’re out and skip lunch completely, maybe only stopping for a snack or a cup of coffee, but we usually try to pull together a few things out of the refrigerator and convince ourselves it’s a meal.

One of our “weird” (but delicious) dinners: fried potatoes with onion and garlic, and a fresh fruit salad.

Dinners have been hit or miss as well. We’ve had meals from pasta with tomato-basil sauce and roasted vegetables to just a bowl of potato salad. Evenings are usually still quite warm and since I don’t relish standing over a hot stove I’ll often just pull a few things from the fridge and put together a cold dinner from whatever I can find (cheese and crackers with fruit, for example).

Brett and I shared this little mini blueberry pie for dessert one evening

We still enjoy a small dessert most evenings, like sharing a mini pie or having a slice of banana bread from the organic store. Things are less sweet here than they are in the U.S., and we like that.

We carry water when we walk, but if we start feeling too hot we stop for a cool drink and a rest. The above is a chilled lavender latte – it was very refreshing!

I think eventually we may have to be very careful not to overeat, but so far we’ve been able to keep our portions under control. I continue to record my calories each day and have yet to go over my daily allotment. When we’ve eaten a big calorie meal, like our brunch last week, we cut back the rest of the day and we plan to do the same in the future.

We also continue to walk every day and have so far gotten in at least two miles each day, sometimes more. The route into Centro from our apartment complex is downhill, but that means we have a climb when we come back. It’s exhausting, but good for our legs and hearts. On the hotter days, or if we’ve had to carry several shopping bags, we’ve taken a taxi home and those have been worth every peso spent (cost ranges from $3-$4 USD).

I love the colors of San Miguel de Allende

The altitude seems to affect me more than Brett – a downhill walk into Centro this past week left me gasping for breath, for example. But, I get a little better each day and can go further without getting weak so hope to be fully acclimated by next week. Most streets here have sidewalks, although they’re narrow, and the only place we really struggle with the cobblestones is right outside our gate – they are very uneven and there is no easy way of getting over or around them. Every walk we take, no matter where we go though is a visual delight, with loads of interesting things to see, discover, and ponder, so we try to take a slightly different route each time if we can to keep it interesting.

13 thoughts on “Eating & Exercise: Staying Healthy So Far In Mexico

  1. Lovely place. Seems very quiet from the photos.
    One thing we learned in Flagstaff was being careful that we took iron and zinc supplements. I don’t remember if you eat eggs- but they will provide the zinc. We ate a ton of spinach. Your body needs to make more blood to carry oxygen to the body at a higher altitude.
    You also might want to adopt a desert day…out early in the morning, lunch at noon, sleep for two to three hours, out again close to sundown. In Saudi we did all our shopping between 7-10 pm. Dinner was often at 9 pm.

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    1. It really is a lovely place, and I can see why so many Americans move here. The altitude remains a problem, but is getting better. The heat seems to be the real problem though – it just wipes me out. We try to only go out in the morning and be home by 1:00. Any later than that and we’re wiped out.

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  2. Altitude is an odd feeling. Hoping you continue to improve daily. I’m sure the heat doesn’t help. We once did a bike ride at altitude while at a friend’s wedding in Lake Tahoe. It gave me new appreciation for people with asthma.

    Would not have thought of disinfecting produce, but it makes total sense. I notice a lot of our produce comes from Mexico, and I’m probably not as careful about washing it as I could be. Water rinse is probably not cutting it. 😂

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    1. The altitude remains a problem but is slowly improving; as I wrote below it’s the heat that seems to be my real nemesis. It just wipes me out. Thank goodness it’s as dry as it is here or I’d never go out! My mom lived in Denver, and I remember it taking several days to acclimate whenever we visited.

      This disinfectant we use comes in a small bottle, a drop is added to each liter and then the produce soaks for 10 minutes. So far so good though. I cook most vegetables here though, but wash all the fruit, tomatoes, etc. and skip the lettuce.

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  3. Everything looks so gorgeous there, the apartment, the food, the colorful decor and flowers… so beautiful!

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    1. We are happy to be here, and happy too that there’s so much to discover here, whether that’s shops, restaurants, art, or just some of the streets in different neighborhoods. The flowers are mostly bougainvillea – I never get tired of seeing them, and they blend perfectly with with the colors and and architecture here.

      The apartment was a real find – great location, lovely setting and neighbors, and very comfortable.

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  4. Looks a lovely place. Avocado toast isn’t fattening – full of healthy fats and fibre, though very little protein – so you shouldn’t feel guilty about such a wonderful pleasure!

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    1. Avocado toast is healthy fattening, meaning I have no problems with it except that I have to balance the calories elsewhere throughout the day or get more exercise. But, it’s worth it! Currently getting enough protein has become a bit of an issue but I’m working on it!

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  5. So happy to see you in such a beautiful place. Enjoy! Your meals look very tasty to me, always inspirational.

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    1. We’re thankful we’ve been able to find such healthy food here at such an affordable price. We’re also happy to be able to dine out now and again as well without breaking the bank.

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