Energy Diet

Growing Food, Reducing Our Footprint


We are the Schmidt del Rio Family.

We live in Queretaro, a small, beautiful, clean colonial city just two hours north of Mexico City. We moved here six years ago, looking for a place to live that had more or less the same way of life that we had growing up, and we found it.

A little about ourselves:

Matthew: 37 years old, father, green building architect, poker playing enthusiast and fellow foodie.

Michele: that would be me, I’m 36, originally studied Political Sciences but nowadays a chef, very much into homegrown food, yoga and music.

Natalia: at 7 years old, she loves horses, and playing with her friends, she has a natural instinct towards healthy food (swear we didn’t have any thing to do with it!)

Lucía: just turned 4, she has a great dark sense of humor, is very witty and loves anything that has to do with painting, she’s more inclined to everything with large doses of sugar and chocolate!

Benny: 31 years old, just got married and she is the person who has been helping us around the house for the last past five years.

Achiles: just turned 3, is our very much loved, very handsome, if also somewhat of a scaredy-cat, guard-dog boxer

The community where we live is in a suburb, very nice, full of trees with a country life quality about it (there may be some traffic involving a horse or donkey 1 minute from our home). The girls’ school is five minutes away in a car. And my husband has his office above our house. There is a recycling station very near and because we have beautiful weather most of the time, many people walk around the neighborhood.

We are very much involved in our local chapter of Slow Food and grow most of our fruits and vegetables in the garden and do our part in composting and recycling.

Even though we are very conscious of our saving energy, we still get ridiculous electric bills (very common in Mexico) so we are always trying to figure out ways of our home to become more efficient.

We do some carpooling and sometimes ride our bikes to school and other classes.

We love the idea of participating in this Energy Diet, so we can be a little more conscious in the choices we make and educate our children and ourselves in this very important and necessary sustainable way of living.


  1. Pepe Camil
    mexico city
    January 23, 2011, 9:55 pm

    Go Schmidts! We are rooting for you!

  2. Lucila Martinez
    January 23, 2011, 10:02 pm

    Muchas felicidades es muy motivante tener vecinos coo ustedes.
    Gran trabajo!!!

  3. Raquel Voorduin
    January 23, 2011, 10:17 pm

    ¡Muchísimas felicidades! Me parece un proyecto súper interesante, además de ser un excelente ejemplo…Les deseamos mucho éxito y estaremos a la espera de sus sugerencias para nosotros también contribuir un poco!! Un abrazo a todos!

  4. Jeff Lewis
    January 24, 2011, 7:15 pm

    Looking forward to sharing this adventure with you guys…very proud of you all and hope to get some great tips for more green living from you! Abrazos a todos…

  5. The Ostrich
    Ciudad de México
    February 8, 2011, 1:19 am

    Very good endeavour, go Schimdt-Del Rio family! Great initiative from NatGeo.

  6. Gloriana Salgado
    Mexico City
    February 23, 2011, 10:07 pm

    GO GO GO!
    Congratulations we are all happy you are doing this for all of us, good luck for the Schmidt del Rio family.
    I´m sure that the world will love you right back.
    Tu comadre was here.

  7. Chitsumi .
    Querétaro, Qro
    March 21, 2011, 11:13 pm

    Hola Michelle, me gustaría hacer contacto con ustedes para saber más del proyecto que tienen. Me encantó la foto de tu hortaliza “elevada”. Great to see Queretanos in NatGeo Ü !!! Love it !!!