The Art of Senior Living
The healthy guide by a Mexican lady
By Carmen Rioja
I must confess that when I wake up every morning, health issues or plans to conquer the top of a mountain, swim in open water, or climb to the top of a pyramid do not come to me. To build my dreams for the rest of the day or the week, I first need a good coffee and some fruit. I need a few minutes before being a person again and being able to speak. So, a good day starts with a healthy breakfast.
When you want to go out into the country and exercise on an adventure excursion, one of the most surprising cultural destinations is located 15 minutes from San Miguel de Allende, 9.5 km away. These are the pyramids of Cañada de la Virgen, an archaeological site that was opened to the public for the first time not many years ago and where I had the honor of working with the team of restorers for 6 years. Today you can take a tour around the pyramidal bases, after a country walk of a few kilometers to access the site, since the entry of private vehicles is not allowed, you can even climb the main staircase and see the remains of the mural of the Red Temple. But this was not always possible. It took more than a decade of careful excavations and studies thanks to the efforts of many institutions, archaeologists, researchers, day laborers, and civil society so that the most important structures could be rescued from the undergrowth and consolidated. During the process, more than 100 pieces including ceramic vessels, bone objects or worked stone were classified and cataloged forming the collection that today makes up an extensive collection of objects dating from the times of occupation of the site, this time has been calculated between the 600 AD to 900 AD and is associated with the ñañú culture. However, some funerary remains, as in the case of the Great Hierarch, have been cataloged with much earlier dates, between 770 and 440 BC. which no one suspected but indicates that the inhabitants of this sacred city preserved the memory of their ancestors. The finds showed offerings and funeral arrangements in context with mother-of-pearl shell pectorals, textiles, necklaces, and lithic bead headdresses. To the collection that has survived to this day, the results of interdisciplinary studies of the context are indispensable for its interpretation, as is the case of astronomical observations and their relationship with the agricultural calendar of the northern border. There is also a management plan for its preservation and the modulation of the number of visitors, since it is necessary to avoid a negative ecological and sociocultural impact that affects the authenticity of the site and to ensure that this cultural heritage lasts over time as a legacy of cultural heritage.
If you are planning to visit this wonderful place, my best recommendation is that you have a good breakfast and bring a bottle of water.
Very soon I learned that having a juice and a coffee for breakfast was not enough if you plan to go climbing pyramids, carry buckets of earth or wash sherds under the sunbeam of the arid Guanajuato plains. At first, I was hazing and I forgot my sunscreen or my hat!
With time and the example of my elders, I learned that a small fruit and a couple of quesadillas were my perfect combo.
There is no scientific evidence that drinking the juices extracted from fruits and vegetables is healthier than eating the fruit or vegetable in its natural state, that is, the complete edible parts without loss of its constituent fiber. We have to be careful with juices because they can be too high an intake of fructose in too short a time for what would be natural in the human body. A small glass can be an adequate serving if it is accompanied with other foods that contain protein or whole grains and legumes.
Although I’m not going to lie to you, my favorite brunch for being full of energy is chilaquiles with a smashed egg on top. The best in Zenteno coffee or in Lolita, departure to Celaya, so the battery lasts until 3 or 4 in the afternoon.
Call to check the hours it will be open and there will be guides. It is better to go early before the sun is very intense. Bring water and a snack such as nuts or muesli, if you have difficulty walking this is not a recommended expedition. Since you have to walk uphill, almost always under a very strong sun 1.5 kilometers to get there. The most important thing is to bring water, a hat, slip-resistant shoes and be willing to travel to the distant past.
Carmen Rioja, Mexican artist who specialized in art restoration, and creative workshops. She likes to write stories and poems and throw them in imaginary bottles into the sea. Carmen has published the books La Muerte Niña and Rojo 43.