And welcome to iFoodReal.
My name is Olena Osipov. I’m a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex, and soon-to-be Certified Nutrition Coach and Cornell University Healthy Living program graduate. Welcome to our easy healthy recipes blog.
I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. Many healthy dinner ideas are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.
I now live on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. On that below.
How I learned to cook
In 2012, I ended up at home with 2 small kids, unemployed and a wee bit chubby. I started this blog thanks to Alex’s mad web design skills and in hopes to be able to work from home. Fast forward to 2022, I could have never imagined iFOODreal would grow into a business it is today! More on that below.
My food philosophy in short is – eat real food, move daily and enjoy all good things in life in moderation. I don’t believe in diets (including Whole30 and Keto – yes, those are diets!). I tried them. Diets ruin healthy relationship with food because they are unsustainable in a long-term and short-term is not the solution.
Nor do I think we were born to eat. This website reflects my healthy relationship with food to which took a while to arrive via diets.
Nutrition and Education
I just have successfully completed Nutrition and Healthy Living certificate program with Cornell University and got my certificate! Yay!!!
It was so interesting and rewarding to learn about human body, what nourishes and damages it, and generally to answer all the questions I have been asking myself all my life.
But more importantly to understand what is a myth and what is true in today’s world when we are bombarded with so much info daily. And seems like we don’t know what to eat anymore!
But at same time it was hard to study at my age. Now I will be sharing my knowledge with all of you in a form of healthy cupcakes.
Next is Certified Nutrition Coach course with national Academy of Sports Medicine. Oh, boy!
What You Will Find Here
- Easy healthy recipes with simple ingredients.
- I share mostly healthy dinner recipes because “What’s for Dinner?” is never going away.
- We are absolutely obsessed with healthy Instant Pot recipes – it makes weeknight dinner situation so much more bearable!
- Like to prep ahead? Check out our zero pre-cooking healthy freezer meals.
- Nutritional information with every recipe as a guideline – I don’t count calories.
- Also healthy desserts (of course!), healthy salad recipes and healthy breakfast ideas.
- More importantly, I want to be upfront about my understanding of “family friendly” recipes. My kids eat “everything” thanks to my authority as a parent. Raised in Europe, I do believe that North American diet is out of control, especially kids’. Mainly thanks to adults. What every kid eats is completely up to his/her parent – 5 ways to make kids eat healthy.
So, there is that. Can we be friends?
A Little More About Us
In my “previous life” I received a Business Degree, had a short career in accounting, and then a bit longer career in real estate.
In “a life even before that” I was raised by a single mom and grandma in Kiev, Ukraine until I came to Canada at the age of 19. We had little (very little) but we ate way healthier than majority of North America eats now with access to real food.
That’s why I believe anyone can eat healthy! I believe anyone can find money for a bag of potatoes, a head of cabbage and soup bones (and make borscht 🙂 ). I believe anyone can learn to cook, even the ones who don’t like it. Cooking is a life skill, not a choice. Eating healthy is all about choices. Anyone makes that decision every day with every $ they spent.
Our Home and Business
We spent 2 years completely gutting and rebuilding the house. Which was a very painful experience and I say I would never do it again. But it was worth it because our over an acre backyard backs onto Pacific ocean. It is a dream!
Above the garage we have iFOODreal studio. It is my office and that’s where I test and cook recipes for the blog.
Studio was one of the main reasons why we moved from mainland to the island. To be able to have that line between life and work. Balance. And it has been one of the best decisions ever!
Tearful, sweaty and painful but it is worth 100% to follow your dreams. Life is truly short and I know I’m too young to say that. But remember, I’m from Ukraine.:)
You can listen to my full interview on Dreaming Big with Bjork Ostrom of Food Blogger Pro.
Life on Vancouver Island
We are asked all the time “How is it to live on the island?”. Magical!
I had my reservations when moving but now 2 years later I am absolutely in awe of this nature’s paradise. Of course, island consists of 800,000 residents and has a few major cities like Victoria and Nanaimo. However, we live in a small rural community with Costco and Home Depot within a 15 minute drive.
Sky is loaded with stars and you can see a Milky Way. Ocean is breathtaking and swimmable May through September. Eagles, orcas, owls, sea lions, seals, humpback whales and a lot-a lot of deer, like a lot! 🙂 Mountains, lakes, beaches, woods, more islands, storm watching… it never ends!
But more importantly life is simple! It feels like a time machine – living in the 80s. Outdoor lifestyle prevails among majority of residents year round – mountain biking, hiking, skiing, fishing, water sports etc. Unlike in Vancouver where we lived, majority of people are not in a rush and cook their own food at home. We now completely understand the term “island time”.
We are more mindful. We devote time to our inner spirit, happiness and health. We are less stressed and calm. We are more happy and grateful for what we have!
It is always exciting to see my recipes featured by other publications.
- MSN featuring my Korean Ground Beef Rice Bowls.
- Fox News featuring my Boneless Turkey Breast Roast.
- BuzzFeed featuring my Thai salmon.
- The Guardian featuring my Avocado Salad.
- The EveryGirl featuring my Zucchini Noodles with Cilantro Lime Chicken.
- Huffington Post featuring my Quinoa Bake.
- Glamour featuring my Crustless Zucchini Quiche.
- Forbes featuring my Turkey Stuffed Acorn Squash.
- Delish featuring my Balsamic Grilled Vegetables.
- Insider featuring my Healthy Blueberry Muffins.
- Daily Burn featuring my Coconut Protein Balls.
- BuzzFeed featuring my Chicken Wild Rice Soup.
- Women’s Health featuring my Protein Pancakes.