Guest Blogger Vicki: Keys to a Healthier, Fit Lifestyle


Meet Vicki – personal trainer, friend of Buckle, and IFPA pro fitness competitor. Today, she’s agreed to be our very own fitness guru and answer our questions about fitness, nutrition, and even a little shopping.


For someone trying to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, where would you recommend they start? 
First and foremost, eat breakfast! It truly is the most important part of your day. After sleeping all night, our bodies are running on empty and without fuel (food!) our bodies cannot run efficiently. Make sure your first meal contains a complete protein source and a complex carbohydrate.
Eat enough. I constantly see people, especially women, under eating and then eventually binging. It’s actually better to start your calories off higher and then decrease them when you feel you’ve hit a plateau. Be patient, you didn’t gain this weight over a course of a month, you are not going to loose it over a course of a month.  It could take months, if not years, to obtain to your dream body.
Eat intentionally. Don’t wait until you are hungry (or even starving) to eat. Eat every two to three hours to keep yourself full and to keep your blood sugar and insulin from spiking. So yes, this means you should have five or six small meals a day.

Have a plan. Have plenty of healthy foods in your fridge at all times and have a plan for supper each night so you are not tempted to get carry-out pizza at the last minute.  Don’t be afraid to pack a cooler (there are so many fashionable ones out there!) when you leave the house if you are going to be gone for more than two to three hours.

Drink plenty of water on a daily basis:  Skip the soda and other sugary drinks and grab water instead. Your body with thank you for it!
Include fresh salads and green vegetables in your daily meals. In our current society the green vegetable has been traded for greasy fries and I’ve heard more than one person say they don’t like vegetables. I’m telling you – you can re-train yourself to love them, it just takes time and consistency.  Experiment with new recipes and vegetables until you find ones you like. Hide veggies in dishes from your kids (and even yourself) if you need to.
Maintain a food journal or a diary. It’s so easy to ‘forget’ that you ate half a bag of M&M’s. Write everything down and you’ll be less tempted to veer off your healthy eating plan.
Cardio Queen or Iron Maiden? Is it one or the other, or a mix of both?
You know, I don’t mind a good cardio session, I’d rather do a quick circuit of bodyweight exercises and plyometrics or some quick sprints versus getting on a piece of cardio equipment for hours. With that being said, I would say I prefer weights any day. It’s so much more interesting to me and keeps you thinking and pushing yourself harder each workout.
Shorts season is upon us, and we all want to look great with so much skin exposed. What is the best way for someone to determine how many calories they should consume on a daily basis if they want to lose fat? 
There are a lot of online calculators that allow you to input your stats/measurements, then they give a recommended caloric suggestion. One that comes to mind off-hand is the calculator on Of course, this is only going to be a starting point. You should add or subtract calories as needed. I would suggest trying something for two to four weeks, then assess your results at that point. There is no perfect macro ratio or calorie range calculator, it’s a lot of trial and error and keeping detailed records of what you are doing.

How important is nutrition to getting results from a workout?
Very, very important. You just aren’t going to see the results if you aren’t properly fueling your body.
You have about 45 minutes to get a healthy meal together, what is it?  
A quick meal we love is a healthy pizza. It’s so fast and versatile, and curbs your pizza craving.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Gather the following ingredients:
     2.5 oz chicken or lean ground beef, Canadian bacon (or omit)
     1 whole wheat tortilla – I used La Tortilla Smart & Delicious Low Carb Tortillas, Large 9-inch Whole 
        Wheat Tortillas (or a similar type of flat-bread).
     1/2 cup of canned spaghetti sauce – I used Hunts with no sugar added.
     1/2 cup fresh mushrooms
     1 oz onion chopped
     1 serving of fat-free mozzarella cheese
Lay tin foil down on a cookie sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Lay the tortilla down. Top evenly with the spaghetti sauce, then add the meat and veggies of your choice.  Finally, top with the fat free cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

We know that you aren’t working out/training 24/7, and we’re sure that with three daughters there may be a little shopping that goes on in the Ahlstrom household.  Do you ladies have some favorite brands that are top on your list from Buckle?

Oh, hard question. My three daughters and I love Buckle. I would have to say Miss Me and Big Star are our favorite brands.
To shop Vicki’s favorites and to jump-start a healthy lifestyle in style, check out our activewear and athletic shoes! And, don’t forget to share your favorite healthy living tips with us below.
Photos courtesy of Sarah Love Photography and Diestler Photography