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Fun in the Sun with Diabetes

Published: 6/19/23 1:11 pm
By Paloma Kemak

Woman on paddelboard wearing CGMPaloma Kemak, also known as Glitter Glucose, shares her most practical tips on managing diabetes in summer from outdoor activity tips to device care. Includes a delicious sugar-free popsicle recipe for hot days.

Miss Arizona here. Well, not really. I like to call myself that just because I was born and raised in the Valley of the Sun. 

My name is Paloma Kemak, and I love being outside. I hike, paddleboard, off-road, and do basically anything that allows the sun to shine on me. Because I live somewhere that’s basically summer all year round, I’ve learned some tips for managing diabetes while having fun outdoors.

1. Be aware of how outdoor activities impact how you feel 

Playing out in the sun can lead to sensations similar to that of out-of-range blood sugars. For instance: the feeling of being dehydrated, drenched in sweat, or starving all at times can mimic the symptoms of high or low blood sugars. 

Ask yourself: are you eating enough for the activities that you’re participating in? On the other hand, if you’re less active because you’re laying by the pool, do you need to increase the basal rate on your insulin pump? These are all important considerations to think about when spending extended time outdoors. 

2. A little extra device prep goes a long way

Even for those who don’t live with diabetes, it’s important to come prepared for any prolonged outdoor summer activities (like using sunscreen and wearing sunglasses). For those of us with diabetes, we have additional things to think about. 

Do you wear devices? If so, it’s a good idea to carry replacements. Exposed to sun, sweat, and water, devices are prone to falling off prematurely. If you’re particularly active, you might also consider a different placement for your devices. 

For instance, I try to wear my devices on the upper half of my body if I plan to be in the water so I don’t have them submerged underwater for extended periods of time. Worried about tan lines? Try a site location that’s covered by your swimwear or outdoor clothing. 

3. Find a temperature-sensitive storage solution

Much like our bodies, diabetes supplies can also fall victim to the heat. Insulin, for example, becomes less effective in extreme temperatures – we wouldn’t want to lose our liquid gold to the sun. 

I always make sure to store insulin in an insulated bag or cooler. I also keep my low snack of choice (gummy bears) alongside it as eating one big melted blob of gummies isn’t ideal. Of course, you’ll want something in the cooler to keep things chilly. 

For that, I recommend this fun recipe for low-carb red, white, and blue popsicles that’s perfect for July 4 (my favorite holiday!), but also worthy of enjoying all summer long. 

Sugar-free red, white, and blue popsicles 

Total time: 5 hours, 5 minutes
Makes: 8 popsicles


  • 1 cup strawberries, de-stemmed
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt


  1. In a blender, combine strawberries with 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth. Pour purée into popsicle molds, filling until one-third full. Transfer molds to the freezer and leave until solid, at least an hour. 

  2. Remove popsicle molds from the freezer and add yogurt. Layer molds with yogurt until molds are two-thirds full. Transfer molds to the freezer again and freeze until the yogurt layer is solid, at least an hour. 

  3. In a blender, combine blueberries with 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth. Pour purée into popsicle molds, filling the remainder of the molds until full. Freeze until completely hardened, at least three hours. 

  4. Remove from molds and enjoy!

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About the authors

Paloma Kemak, also known as "Glitter Glucose", is a full-time lifestyle influencer from Scottsdale, AZ. She was diagnosed in April 2013 and created her "Glitter Glucose" persona 2 years later... Read the full bio »