Hello and Welcome to Amazing Foodie! In case you don’t know me, my name is Mariel. I was born and raised in Quito-Ecuador and now I live in Boise-Idaho. Big change! I am married to the most wonderful and inspiring man on the planet; he helped me develop this fun blog (thanks babe!) and he is my inspiration to become a better cook and baker. Making him say “wow, this is amazing” makes every second in the kitchen worth it! I am very passionate about staying in shape and eating the healthiest I can. The perfect combination of a workout program and smart eating habits can make anyone feel and look incredible. Genetics don’t really matter here…it is ALL about smart choices and a strong commitment to stay healthy. Let me tell you my story… My first year in Idaho, I was overwhelmed by stress. College stress, new-culture stress, missing my family/friends from Ecuador stress, boy stress….you name it...I had it! I was a very pressured young lady! I decided that going to the gym would release some of that tension and it would bring quiet time for myself, to re-focus and to clear my mind. I was right. “So, what did I do at the gym?” you might ask. Well, I frequented cycle and Pi-Yo (a combination of yoga and pilates) classes. I did cycle 3 times a week for 45 minutes per session, and Pi-Yo 2 days a week for 45 minutes per session. See, I always thought girls could only accomplish the best physiques with cardio. Oh, how mistaken I was! I did not take any supplements, hardly ever had coffee, and I thought I had a decent diet that would help me stay healthy and fit. I ate healthy and worked out A LOT. There was only one discouraging problem, I could not see positive changes when it came to my body shape. It stayed the same, no matter how hard I "worked out". &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;A HREF="http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_mfw&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#038;ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#038;MarketPlace=US&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#038;ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Famazpale-20%2F8001%2F4dcb6bab-7acf-4435-b998-0d9c5f4e7250&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#038;Operation=NoScript"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Amazon.com Widgets&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/A&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; After I graduated from college I got engaged, and after a few months, I married my best friend in the Ecuadorian Andes (dream come true). My husband had started working for Bodybuidling.com right before our wedding, and that is when my life took a 180 degree change. To get ready for our wedding and honeymoon, my husband decided to put himself through a free online trainer program his work offered. I could not believe the results he had! Not only did he build a ton of muscle but he also lost a good amount of body fat. Let me tell you, his body looked fantastic! After seeing his results I skeptically decided to follow a training program as well. I followed the Jaime Eason 12 week trainer program. It was my very first time lifting weights…ever. I was definitely intimidated by them and had no clue how any of the machines worked. Plus, the gym I was going to had the weights area completely swamped by men, and men alone. I was singled out and looked really goofy trying to figure out how in the world a leg press or a cable fly exercise was supposed to go. Nonetheless, I learned! My body leaned out, my arms became more toned and strong, my abs started showing, my legs had a better muscular tone to them…I was one happy cat! I had discovered the secret to a balanced and strong physique! I am constantly switching up my workouts (variety is the spice of life); I lift 2-3 times a week, do vinyasa yoga 2 times a week, and train for half-marathons on a weekly basis. I truly LOVE keeping active. Now to one of the most important parts -- changing the way you eat. I have discovered, through personal experience, that it is true what they say: more than 70% of your positive results come from what you eat. Eat your proteins, eat your veggies, and eat your healthy fats! This will keep your body and mind healthy. Try to listen to your body and eat what it's telling you it needs; you should eat a well balanced and nutritious diet in order to keep healthy and happy. I am very excited to share my passion for cooking with you, and I hope you enjoy trying my recipes. Thank you for stopping by, I look forward to your comments and suggestions for the blog!