Amy’s T1D Adventure: Into Tulum

[Here’s a guest post from Amy McKinnon, a One Drop user and 27-year-old ex-advertising executive who recently swapped her NYC apartment for an oversized backpack to explore the streets of Latin America for six months. Amy has lived with type 1 diabetes for 15 years and tries her best to balance blood glucose levels, marathon training and a high-carb raw-vegan diet. Now she has thrown in travel to the mix. EDITOR’S NOTE: Amy is a performance athlete and consumes a high carb diet. At One Drop, we believe that a low carb approach to food reduces the risk of hypo and hyper glycemic incidents and can effectively reduce blood sugars. However, we want to share a variety of personal experiences so we can all learn how other people live their lives with diabetes. Always consult your doctor before making changes to a prescribed regimen.]


A marathon, impromptu meetings, vegan food overload, an array of familiar faces combined with lots of finger pricks. This sums up my week in NYC before embarking on my six-month adventure Amy McK T1 yogato Latin America. I arrived at JFK sad to leave my favorite city but excited for what lies ahead!

First stop – Tulum, Mexico!

My blood glucose levels (BGL) were a little rough today, a combination of nerves and admittedly not the best eating habits. I arrive at my gate with a few hours to spare with a BGL of 110 and grab a fresh fruit salad and apple to pair with my stash of dried fruits (dates, figs, mango, banana & raisins) for an early dinner.
I’ve learnt my lesson from traveling often to always bring snacks – airports are expensive and more often than not have very little fresh fruit and vegetables!

Amy McK screen 03 300px widthFlight was a success! Quick overnight stop in Cancun before jumping on a Monday morning bus to Tulum! First impressions of the region is hot, sweaty and sunny! Fresh fruit for breakfast and a few dried figs = 77 post-meal BGL! Off to a good start.

Arrived in Tulum at noon in the heat of the day and lunched on a fresh fruit smoothie and some guacamole!

Hired a bike, bought some local fruit and vegetables and spent the afternoon getting in a cheeky body resistance workout (traveling always makes me feel lazy) and soaking in the last rays of light in a hammock by the pool!




Day 2 – rise with the sun so you can shine together.

Woke up at sunrise and went for a very sweaty 8-mile run, soaking in some rays and beach air before my day officially started.

BGL was a little high pre-run due to over treating a midnight low, but finished on a BGL of 113. Very happy with that!

Early afternoon on my way to La Playa I made a detour to check out Piramide Del Pensamiento Positive – The Pyramid of Positive Thoughts.

I reflected for a few moments on how I can be more positive and share that
energy with others.

The beach was beautiful when I finally arrived! Soaking in the sun and splashing about in the water, lucky enough to see a double rainbow as the thunderstorms struck in the distance. DOUBLE RAINBOW!


Day 3 – morning run and Ruins.

Hit the road again at 7am for a six-mile run. Sweat-drenched and a BGL of 80, I refueled with a gourmet breakfast consisting of
papaya, banana, cactus pear, zapote, pineapple & mango I was ready to take on the Tulum RuinAmy McK image_18

What a site! Both the ocean and the remains of once beautiful temples. Post tourist adventures, beach again with a BGL of 75
and some dried mango to tide me over til lunch.

Last day in Tulum

After another exotic breakfast, the beach was calling and then the rain gods called even louder, getting absolutely drenched! Luckily I had left my insulin pump at the apartment and switched to pens for the day! 6 units of lantus in the morning covered my basal needs and maybe was a little too much with a couple of lows in the 50s.

Spent Amy McK image_20 lantusthe afternoon with an ex-work colleague and his three year old son who coincidentally was also in Tulum

By 7pm I was ready for bed, but first devoured over a rare cooked meal of white rice, refried beans, salad and some corn chips and guacamole! 230gms of carbs and a post-meal BGL of 115 I was very satisfied!

I can officially say my travels have gotten off to a good start. I’ll see you on Isla Holbox!

Beach, bikinis, bananas and back to pens (insulin pens) for the next week! I’ll keep you posted on all of the above.

Plants, pumps and peace – Amy




Amy McKinnon
Amy McKinnon

Amy McKinnon is a One Drop user, marathoner, ex-advertising executive, and has lived with type 1 diabetes for 15 years. Amy is currently exploring the streets of Latin America for six months.