On Making Excuses for Eating Unhealthy Food

“I can’t because …” is the perfect way to start an excuse. And it’s exactly how I told Amber Reile – a coach with Pump and Shred, a program that helps people prep food and eat better – that I would be traveling and eating unhealthy food for the next week-ish. I let “busy” get the best of me and I got called out.

That’s the element of having a coach or an accountability buddy that makes quitting so hard. You can’t quit because they won’t accept your excuses. Can’t eat well because you’re traveling? Bullshit. You know better than that. A simple google search knows better than that. Nice try, blonde lady.

I chose to work with Amber because I know that cooking is the best way to know exactly what you’re eating. More importantly, I chose to work with Amber because what you put into your body is directly related to how impactful your workouts are and your energy level. So why, when I hopped on a plane, did that choice go out the window? Because it was hard.

So after explaining my circumstance and properly setting up my excuse, this is how I concluded my message to Amber, “So what I’m saying is that I’m busy!”

Amber responded with, “I understand that life gets crazy, but you can totally plan for those moments. I travel a ton for work and so do some of my other clients.” Translation: Bullshit. If I can do it, if others can do it, so can you.

And like a good coach, Amber followed that up with some solid recommendations that you can benefit from too. Traveling, busy or just strapped for time, these tips can be the difference between falling off track and keeping your life on the rails.

To Bring:
Quest Bars

Amber said that these provide a good source of protein and carb and are sweetened by stevia, which is a natural sweetener source. Amber recommended cutting them up and putting them in Greek yogurt with a half a scoop of protein and some PB2.


My favorite is Jay Robb’s egg white protein – it doesn’t upset my stomach the way that Whey does. Amber recommended bringing enough for two scoops a day just in case – although I do have visions of airport security scratching their heads at this. Amber said that a scoop of protein in water will keep me full for about an hour. Pairing this with a banana or apple and peanut butter or some nuts definitely will stave off hunger.


This is an easy breakfast that you can make right in your hotel room. Amber said that you can “use the crappy coffee makers that are usually in the hotel room and just make hot water. Add the water to the oatmeal.” Optional add-ins include a scoop of protein, bananas, berries, stevia, PB2 or peanut butter.


She recommended salt-free nuts – dealer’s choice. I’m a fan of toasted almonds or pistachios, so I’ll be packing those. Pro tip: Enjoy your nuts with a piece of fruit to keep hunger at bay.  She said, “Eating just a piece of fruit will spike insulin levels making you hungry faster, the nuts help to balance that spike.”

Shaker Bottle

Carry this shaker bottle with you when you’re out and about with a scoop of protein in it. If you are hungry and don’t have a healthy option this is your backup plan. You can pick one up at GNC, Vitamin Shoppe or Target.

A Meal and a snack for the Plane

There are limited options in an airport, I usually opt for the veggie and hummus box at Starbucks, hold the pita, but that’s not always an option. What I learned from my nutritional smack in the face is that preparing – even if just a little bit – is better than not preparing. Amber recommended packing some hard boiled eggs, chicken, salad, whatever you want for the plane to keep you feeling satisfied when on the plane and in the airport. She said, “Sometimes I try to bring as much prepped food as possible to at least get me through the first couple days in case I can’t get to a store.”

To Buy: Amber said, “I seek out a grocery store upon arriving in my destination city. This will help to keep you prepared when you don’t have time to get out and pick up something healthy.” I love grocery shopping in different cities – Portland was my favorite city to grocery shop in – so this is a welcome addition to the itinerary.

She recommended picking up:

  • Bananas/Other Fruit
  • Peanut Butter
  • Hard Boiled Eggs at stores where you can pick up healthy premade meals or a the salad bar.
  • Veggies: Anything that you like to snack on. Pair some celery with peanut butter and its a great mid day snack.

Ok, we can do this.

asweatlife_On Making Excuses for Eating Unhealthy Food

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About Jeana Anderson Cohen

Jeana Anderson Cohen is the founder and CEO of asweatlife.com a premiere wellness media destination that creates content and community to help womxn live better lives and achieve their goals. Before founding health-focused companies Jeana earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison - and fresh out of college she worked on the '08 Obama campaign in Michigan. From there, she created and executed social media strategies for brands. aSweatLife fuses her experience in building community and her passion for wellness. You can find Jeana leading the team at aSweatLife, trying to join a book club, and walking her dog Maverick.

1 thought on “On Making Excuses for Eating Unhealthy Food

  1. Good tips! I always pack treats like a squirrel when I travel because I get paranoid about there not being enough options for me. I’m the one with a giant bag of goodies whenever my husband asks me for a snack. Who knows, maybe the world is ending!

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