Amy’s T1D Adventure: Mexico City (Part 2)

@vegamy mexico city food

[Here’s a guest post series 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 travel into 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.]

Mexico City with a local!

Saturday morning couldn’t start off better than a morning run followed by an Acai Bowl at Ojo Del Agua. Yes, they are totally addictive! The only downside is they always make my blood glucose levels rise. Either I am way underestimating the carbs or they have hidden sugars inside. Probably both.

My friend had made some plans for the day so I joyfully followed along! We jumped in a taxi to an organic vegan market Coyoacán area – I was in heaven. I could’ve spent all day there walking in circles sampling the salads, sweets, raw vegan cakes, nuts, teas, and organic coffee. After I stuffed myself and snuck a raw vegan mini cheesecake, we headed to another market which was all about the art. Window shopping was fun and it would have been dangerous if I had room in my backpack.

That evening we headed back to Coyoacán to experience a local dinner at a Mercado. My vegan options were limited so I had some corn while my friend enjoyed the meat on offer.

Amy McK T1D travels. Mexico City restaurant.Feeling stuffed, we headed to a local Cantina (traditionally a place for men to gather, drink, and play games) to watch a boxing match on the big screen with a Mexican fighter. He lost.

T1D Rollercoaster

Sunday was a sleep-in followed by a homemade banana, mango and date smoothie, topped with some local Mamey! So good! A frustrating trend of high blood glucose levels in the morning has got me angry. The culprit was likely due to steering off my low fat, high carb diet. Cooked foods (in oil) and tortillas has got my numbers on a roller coaster ride. Not letting my frustrations with T1D get in my way of enjoying Mexico City, we head to Mercado Jamaica, the biggest flower market in the City. Wow! The flowers and traditional Mexican Christmas piñatas were stunning.

Amy McK T1D travels. Vegan smoothie.

From the markets, I picked up some freshly ground turmeric, dried Jamaica flowers to make tea, and sampled some fruit. Next stop was a flea market. I wanted to see a side of Mexico City tourists didn’t frequent. In a little, slightly dodgy-looking neighborhood we dove right into a swarm of stalls filled with the oddest bits, including old books, records, jewelry, furniture and art. My only purchase was some fresh coconut water to rehydrate.

Before becoming too exhausted we managed to sneak in a visit to Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, an incredibly beautiful building inside and out.

We ended our long day of walking with a siesta and homemade salad!

Amy McK T1D travels. At the market.

The Sun and Moon

Monday came so quickly which meant it was time for me to venture out solo again without the knowledge and Spanish skills of a local. I headed to Teotihuacán, the famous pyramids an hour outside of Mexico City. OMG! The energy was so powerful and just what I needed. The town and three huge pyramids were hand-built around 200 BC. My favorites were Pirámide del Sol and Pirámide de la Luna – the pyramids of the sun and moon. It’s hard to grasp the size of these but hopefully some pictures can give you a little insight.

Amy McK T1D travels. Visits pyramids.The city had ancient traditions of worshipping the gods of the sun and moon and the people would gather in squares around the pyramids for specific ceremonies and traditions. The Main Street in the town was called Avenida de los Muertos – Avenue of the dead. With the low clouds and fog in the air, it definitely lived up to its name.

I made it back to the city for a lunch of persimmon and Mamey and regretfully headed out for a run too soon after eating. Bloating and cramps forced me to stop at mile 3 and I actually had to catch a taxi back to the apartment. Not an ideal run.


Amy McK T1D travels. Fruit plate.My food, running and overall feelings in Mexico City were sluggish. I didn’t have good energy and I wasn’t looking after myself. I needed to do something to try and get my body to feel better – ironic since I was putting bad food in and expecting good results. I decided to start my Tuesday morning with a 90 minute bikram yoga class. Damn it felt good sweating out all the toxins in my body! I needed that badly. Although it didn’t cure my pattern of high BGLs in the morning. By noon it was time to head south to check out some more museums – if I haven’t seen enough already.

Museo Jumex has some contemporary exhibitions which was just to my liking. Fun, bright, quirky art. The next museum was right next door and known for its more classical art with pieces from famous Mexican artists Rufino Tamayo and Diego Riveria and even a few from Monet and Picasso. The exterior was definitely the most eye-catching.

Amy McK T1D travels. Visits art museums.
I took a leisurely walk to a taco place for lunch through the very posh suburb of Polanco – think Madison Ave in New York. Filled with mushroom tacos, I walked through Bosque De Chapultepec. A nice way to end the afternoon before spending the evening watching the latest subtitled James Bond movie.

Last Day: Salad to the Rescue

My last day in Mexico City had to start off in a way that made me feel good, so I headed back for another bikram yoga class. To combat my morning highs I changed things up and had a beautiful bright salad for breakfast. It worked better than usual with a 1-hour post meal BGL reading of 180! A lot better than 300.

Today I wanted to take it easy and not rush around the city so I took the time and headed to a local cafe to sit, enjoy an organic Americano, the warm breeze, and reply to some long overdue emails.

Adios La Ciudad de Mexico, Hola Oaxaca

After checking in online, I wandered to the Roma neighborhood and silently said goodbye to Mexico City. I had a lot to reflect on from the week. I had felt uneasy most of the time and wasn’t doing what I felt was right for my mind and body. I was looking forward to tomorrow’s bus ride to Oaxaca which I felt was calling me for some positive change.

I grabbed a quick bite of vegan tacos for dinner and headed back to my friend’s apartment where we sat for a few hours talking about my adventures, plans, feelings and answers I was hoping to seek from this journey. He had taken a similar path a few years back and told me at the end of my trip there would be more questions than answers but that was a good thing. He told me Oaxaca had good energy and I would like it there. I was looking forward to that.

Mexico City is an incredible place – so much art, culture and history and a buzz that many Latin American cities are missing. But I have the feeling it’s not the place for me. At least not right now.

Low carb breakfast recipe



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.