Olena’s Story Olena’s Story
February 22, 2019
by Olena

Olena’s Story

Hi! And welcome to iFOODreal.

I’m Olena and this is my healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I now live on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia. On that below.

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 2019, I never could have imagined iFOODreal would grow into a business it is today! More on that below.

My food philosophy in short is – I don’t believe in diets (including Whole30 and Paleo – yes, those are diets!). That’s me, yay, and I’m brave enough to say it because that’s how I feel and because I tried them. They ruin healthy relationship with food because diets are unsustainable in long-term and short-term is not the solution. But you decide for yourself.

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.

What You Will Find on iFOODreal

  • Easy healthy recipes with simple ingredients.
  • I post mostly dinner recipes because “What’s for Dinner?” is never going away.
  • I recently got obsessed with zero pre-cooking healthy freezer meals.
  • I do quite like my Instant Pot and if you were to get one I would advise on 8 quart.
  • Nutritional information with every recipe as a guideline – I don’t count calories.
  • Many video recipes – Thanks to Alex.
  • Family friendly recipes – My kids eat almost 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.

A Little More About Me and Family

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’m so passionate about reducing food waste and eliminating food snobbism as a whole.

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 chicken soup bones. 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

In 2018 we took a leap of faith, sold our Vancouver suburban home and purchased an oceanfront fixer-upper on Vancouver Island. It is a true diamond in the rough and needs about 2 years of “polishing” a.k.a patience and money. But it’s OK. My over an acre backyard backs onto Pacific ocean. It is a dream!

Above the garage we just finished iFOODreal studio. It is my office and that’s where I test and cook recipes for the blog. From here we will be giving a breath of fresh air into our Youtube channel => Subscribe. You can read all about our renovation process and virtually visit the studio here.

Studio was one of the main reasons why we moved from mainland to the island. To be able to have a separate space for our business. 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.

Stay in Touch

I reply to every single comment on the blog. You gotta be nice though. By all means, Instagram is my favourite social media channel. Or send me an email.

Also, I currently don’t work with brands but thank you for thinking of me.:)


About Olena

Hi, I’m Olena and this is my healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I now live on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I’m here to help you with “What’s for dinner?”.

Made a recipe? Tag @ifoodreal or #ifoodreal on Instagram. I would love to share in the “Look what you made” stories.

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226 comments on “Olena’s Story

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  1. Thank you for the heads up about Disney “Dole Whip” ingredients- I’ll be sure to skip those during my family’s first trip to Disneyland next month. I’m looking forward to using your recipes to make some satisfying and nutritious meals for my family.

    1. Well, I just thought it was pathetic. Disney is hard. I recommend to bring your own food otherwise there is nothing to eat for those who are money and health savvy lol. Sad truth not sure why I’m laughing. Through tears. Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment on recipe you try. Would love to hear your thoughts!!!

  2. Hello Olena! Came across your blog and wonderfull recipes. We are so proud of you and outstanding job you are doing! Your blog is one of the best I came across through my journey of healthy cooking. We came to Canada (Vancouver) 25 year ago with 2 small daughters from Siberia, but all my realtives from my dad’s side are from Ukraine and we consider ourselves as proud Ukranians an Russians, despite the modern day political climate. I do find your story very moving and personal. This really make your blog to stand out from many others. And of course your beautifull and tasty recepies are simply the best! We wish you all the best in your business and will be looking forward to many of your ideas and your delicious recepies! With love from Toronto! Elena K and family.

    1. Hello Lena. Thank you so much! Well, I naturally have advantage over other blogs by surviving on potatoes and eggs until 19 haha. Pretty unique diet. Kidding, we ate more than that. Pickles and canned meat haha. Let me know what you make. Would love to hear your comment. xoxo

  3. What an interesting story. I tried whole30 and I liked the journey but I’m not traditionally a meat eater so in the long run it wasn’t for me. I’ve been a Weight Watchers member for 2 years and I lost 15 pounds eating what I like. I’m a life time member now at WW because I reached my goal. I like your recipes so far, they do not have a lot of “points” so I’m all in. Looking forward to using your site, starting with califlower pizza and then Zucchini chicken recipe. People have lost the ability to cook, work schedules don’t help. Glad you’re re-inventing what is truly most important, learning how to cook. It is a life skill NOT A CHOICE !

  4. I. Found this ad by mistaken but I am interested in your recipes . I am going to try your Bananas muffins. Will let you know who they turn out. . I was born and rise on vancouver Inland a.very beautiful place to live. Wish you all the best. Sandra

  5. Hi Olena

    Congrats on a great website, I just found it a week ago and already it is the first place I look for any new ideas. Besides delicious foods, most (all?) of the recipes that I plan to try are good for low carb that I started about a month ago. I love(d) bread and potatoes, and you have many tasty alternatives.


  6. Yesterday I made the kid-friendly chicken broccoli, it was delicious! Tonight my husband made the beef and broccoli. It was a surprise to add maple syrup, but gave it just the right amount of sweetness. Th ginger/garlic combination was just right as well, it had a bright, fresh flavor!. We are SO impressed! It is absolutely wonderful! Even my 4 and 7 year old girls ate it, and said it was good. Thank you for posting awesome recipes! I certainly plan to try more of them.

    I enjoyed reading about your story! Congrats on your success! I am looking forward to more tasty food from your recipes!

    1. Hi Annie. That’s so awesome!!! ANd thank you for your sweet comment.
      I use maple syrup in place of sugar. believe it or not when I started cooking I was surprised too that dinner recipes call for some sugar. It offsets acidity and does wonders in many sauces. Like salt + sugar is a genius combo. Hope to hear more from you on recipes you tried and loved. Be healthy, wishing to all your family!

  7. Hello Olena,

    I would like to try your recipe for Instant Pot Butter Chicken but I do not have an Instant Pot.

    Could I make this recipe in a crockpot and if so would there be any change in your recipe.

    Thanks, Denise

  8. Just joined. Your recipes look delicious & not complicated for me. Do you have any low salt recipes for my son. Thanks & have a blessed day.

    1. 🙂 I personally leave websites with pop ups and slides from everywhere. So wouldn’t like this experience on my website. I still need to run ads though to feed my kids and pay the mortgage LOL. But there are lots of free recipes thanks to ads. Yay! Enjoy the blog!

  9. Tonight I made your Instant Pot Chicken and Rice from YouTube October 22, 2018.
    I got a 6 quart Instant Pot for Christmas and this was my first go at any kind of a recipe other than some simple reheating or potatoes and vegetables.
    Followed your instructions precisely and am blown away how great it turned out. What a fantastic recipe!
    I used the brown rice from Costco that is grown in Australia and it sometimes requires a little more cook time. I just let it sit for about 10 minutes after the 22 minute cook cycle.
    Thank you for the precise instructions.
    I am of Eastern European ancestry having my Great Grandfather emigrate from Humenne, Slovakia, while it was still referred to as Austral Hungary, in the 1870’s or 80’s. My Grandmother’s family came from Poland and I have many family members of Ukrainian descent. I grew up in a household with the wonderful foods of the Polish and Ukrainian cultures.
    Thank you for your wonderful story; I read it while the Instant Pot was doing it’s work…lol…
    My family obviously had no part of experiencing the communist era but nevertheless came from agricultural roots and experienced life in a time of subsistence and hardship. They thrived and appreciated every gift bestowed from our creator.
    I live in BC interior and have many relatives on the Island in Nanaimo and Victoria. I will share your site with them.
    Now subscribed and following. Will share on Facebook and wish you well in your success.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Todd! Great job on tackling the Instant Pot and thanks for sharing your story. BC is beautiful all around.:) I am getting settled on the island more and more and truly enjoy the simplicity of life. Had beach fire last night after a crazy weekend of driving kids around the island for hockey. Please let me know what other recipes you try in your new toy. Olena

  10. Me and my mom just started eating more healthy. I can tell that your blog will us. Thank you for making this blog. You are taking time away from your family to help people like me and my mom.

  11. Tried you cauliflower crust pizza recipe the other day – FANTASTIC version of pizza for my new Keto nutritional plan. Beautiful view too. I can totally see why you moved. Congrats for all you have built for yourself and your family!

  12. I love your recipes! Thank you so much for providing various cooking methods (slow cook, instant pot, freeze…). I just tried your lentil curry and my family loved it! I’m planning to be away from home for three weeks and was worried what to prepare/freeze for my husband and three boys to have tasty dinners while I’m away. I came across your your page and I am here to stay! Thank you so much! By the way, happy Ukrainian Christmas! I’m Ukrainian too! Христос Народився!

    1. Yay! 4 men to feed is a full-time job! I can’t keep up with my 3 cause everyone plays sports and works out. So happy I could be of help and Merry Christmas! xoxo

  13. Hi Olena. Fantastic site! I wanted to make the lazy cabbage rolls recipe for Ukrainian Christmas Eve, but obviously we don’t eat meat on that day. Can I just omit the ground turkey, or do I have to add other ingredients to make it tasty and meatless?

  14. Hi Olena,

    I recently purchased an Instant Pot and I found your site when searching for healthy IP recipes. So far I’ve tried and loved the IP Beef Stew, Pea Soup, Butternut Squash Soup and my favorite favorite favorite, IP Cabbage Rolls. I googled Instant Pot frozen chicken and guess what? I landed on your site again! So now I’ve subscribed and look forward to trying a lot more of your recipes. Chicken and Rice tonight! Thanks very much for sharing your philosophy and recipes.

    PS I’m single and cooking for myself so I resisted getting an Instant Pot. I took the plunge and now my freezer is full of healthy, yummy meals to fill my lunch box!

  15. There are far too many ads on your website. Your recipes enticed me, however I don’t want to sift through all the advertising:(

    1. These kind of comments make me smile. That’s “the price” to pay for free recipes. Otherwise there are many cookbooks you can buy. Nothing is for free in this world. I have a mortgage to pay and kids to feed like anyone else. Hopefully you can overcome that and enjoy healthy delicious recipes for free. No miracles. Just hard work. 😉

  16. Going to try the instantpot beef stew tonight. Sounds so easy. So glad you’re enjoying life on the Island. We’ve been here for 16 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Life is sweet.

  17. I just made the beef and broccoli recipe and absolutely loved it! The flavor of the ginger and garlic in the broccoli was amazing, and tasted so fresh. Thank you for the recipe!

  18. Good Morning 🙂

    I just found your site, read your story and have decided to subscribe. In need of a healthy banana bread recipe, I found yours and will be making this hopefully today! I was wondering if I can add pecans to the recipe and if so, do I need to adjust / add any ingredients? Many thanks. and Happy Sunday!!

  19. Hoy Olena, I came across your site whilst trying to find a simple but tasty summer salad and have settled for your Lettuce
    salad with cucumber , tomatoes with that home made toasted Sesame dressing.Thank you very much!

    BTW; came also across that photo of you and family in front of that outlandish futuristic looking flying machine, did it ever
    get off the ground 🙂 ? Cheers……Roy.

  20. Just popped into your interesting blog! We have visited V. Island a number of times. Love Sooke Harbour House…great food. Have rented a vaca house on San Juan de Fuca (sp?) and watched the whales from the hot tub on the deck.
    Also hosted a teacher once from Murmansk. I am looking forward to becoming one of your subscribers and delving into your recipes! Good luck from the Northern Rockies (N Idaho)!

  21. There are definitely some things about your life that I can really identify with! I am also a busy Mom with two boys and a love of food! So it’s so refreshing to find a woman who cares alot about the basics of eating wonderfully but healthy too!!! I absolutely love your recipes and blog! Keep up the great work! Looking forward to your newsletters!😊💕

  22. I was very impressed with the salmon and sweet chili recipe. So simple and delicious. And I like that you focus on healthy meals.

    I look forward to trying your other recipes.

  23. Hi Olena, I just found your site while looking for a recipe for chicken and zucchini. I’ll be adding garlic and corn for our lunch today and already know it will be a weekly regular. I read your story and agree totally with your philosophy on food. My question: Do you garden for your own fresh, organic vegetables?

    1. Hi Ruth. Welcome, I’m so glad you found me.:) I didn’t because we didn’t have space. But we just sold our house and moving into new property and there I will for sure next spring.

  24. I made you chicken and rice last night and it was very delicious. Are used in brown and wild rice mixture from the the local food coop and Increased your herbs by about a half more. The increase was because I was lazy about measuring but it turned out really well because you could really taste them in the finish dish. Thanks so much for posting this delicious meal. Pam

  25. I work for an insurance firm that sends a monthly newsletter to our clients. In that newsletter, we like to include a healthy real-food recipe each month. I ran across your Chicken Zuccini Casserole recipe on the myFitnessPal website, and wondered if you would allow your recipe, with reference back to your website, to be used in such a way.

  26. Hi,Olena.Hope you and family are fine.I was searching for food recipe for fat burning.I clicked on link provided by google ,so, i visited your website.It’s a great website.Apart from fat burning,It provides many delicious recipes i ever have.I am pleased to visit your website.Please,keep uploading more delicious recipies.

    Olena,you have cute kids.You have lovely family.May God bless you and your family.Stay bless,happy and updated.


    Zohaib Khan Babar


  27. Hi Olena, I came across your blog via clean eating recipes in Pinterest and I’m hooked! I’m from Finland but we live in the Amazon basin in Brazil. I work as a teacher and have three kids so it gets busy most of the time. I really appreciate your recipes – my meal planning includes several of them for next week! Thanks!

  28. Olena, I ran across your website when I search for lemon water recipe. I really love what you said. I am a mom of two sons work as architect. I am constantly struggle between work and cooking for kids. My younger one has allergy to a lot of food especially processed food, so I have to cook at home mostly, which takes a lot of time. But it should be healthy for everyone. The older one eats a lot and love processed food. I am working on how to cook healthy with limited time and still make something they like to eat. I am glad to see your web site. I will learn a lot from it I believe. We live in Seattle. We go to Whistler to ski every year, we love Vancouver. It’s beautiful place.

    1. Hi Geng, my neighbour.:) I totally get it. We are working hard now on new website redesign which main focus will be “feeding your family healthy”. I think it will help you!
      From personal experience of a mom of two boys, I can tell you they eat a lot, they are two different human beings, so it’s a juggling act for sure (not to mention husband who eats like 3 boys). But isn’t life a juggling act overall?! Just the way boys are built – they eat, so it’s never ending flow of food, processed or home cooked. Our lives revolve around food, I wish we had to eat once a day, I know. Hopefully you find what you like here, look for slow cooker meals, soups and one pot meals. And some nights it is whole wheat spaghetti with organic ketchup, or organic cereal lower in sugar with organic milk – it’s possible to do our best to eat healthy by using common sense, there is really no diet or bible for it out there. Main reason why I do not follow diets and bash single real food ingredients – it’s unrealistic and unnecessary, confuses already confused people, and wastes money.
      And about junk food, I hear from my 6 year old all the time, how all his friends eat it, how it’s tasty, but he knows it’s unhealthy, but he says he loves it. Oh well, he is still eating what I give him, he can talk all he wants but he is not leaving the table until plate is empty. And he is fine, he listens while still complaining but eats my food (most of which he likes), he just loves to talk about his junk food he gets to taste sometimes LOL. So you know, let it affect you less. Here, in America, kids’ wishes are considered way too much, they don’t know what they need in many instances, and our job as parents is to guide them. xoxo

  29. Wow!! I am a recipe junkie. Most afternoons I troll for great recipes to make for dinner. Well the other day I had a craving for salmon and your recipe for honey garlic salmon. It was seriously. My husband and daughter devoured it. Perhaps the best we have had. And we make a lot of salmon. So today I went back in search of another dinner idea. I made the mango curry. Holy cow!! Another spectacular dish. You are my new go to. Thank you, thanks you!!

  30. Hi Olena, So, aside from a quick trip advisor rating I have never commented on a website. It’s Saturday morning, overslept for my 6 mile run (it’s already almost 90 degrees) and am sucking down my coffee looking at your chicken and peppers recipe. What a joy and inspiration to read your blog. And from the amount of comments I’m not the only one. You go girl! Love it and will continue to enjoy- I’m inspired because I love food, running, wine and family. You’re my hero!

    1. Awe, thank you, Stephanie! The fact that you can sip on coffee being kind of OK oversleeping for a run, makes us online friends.:) My husband did the same past weekend – lazy mornings are just too good to pause.:)

  31. Hi Olena! A few weeks ago I decided to start eating clean. I normally eat well but I noticed I ate a lot of processed sugar. I stumbled upon your website when looking for recipes and the fact that I am Ukrainian as well helped me keep coming back to this site! I loved the quinoa chicken pot pie. I am going to make some peanut butter chocolate cookies today and can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the great blog.

    1. Thank you, Adya, and please feel free to let me know what recipe you like or don’t. Hopefully now with all fresh berries and fruit popping up, you will be able to reduce your sugar consumption. And balance is totally fine.:) Welcome!

    1. That is a part in our virtual friendship where we would have to agree on our differences. I suck at gardening, I just don’t love the soil, bugs and worms. I feel like it is out of my control with weather and too much to know lol. Thank goodness for farmers market.

  32. So, basically I feel like we could be really great friends! So happy I found your blog… eating clean, local, in season, and organic where possible are my goals in life! My second child is 7 months old and I am working on fitting into my clothes pre baby! Eating healthier is huge for me right now… it’s not so much about the pounds, I just want to be a healthier person! Thanks for the inspiration! Will be sharing your double chocolate muffins at playgroup tomorrow!

    1. We could be!:) You will get there. After 2nd baby it takes a few years for everything to settle down in your body – skin, hormones, sleep etc. You will arrive to happy you self. Eating healthy is the key, weight will fall off eventually. I wish I didn’t do crazy diets but oh well. Thank you for sharing my recipes with other moms. There are many moms who need help to feed their families better.:)

  33. Hi Olena,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story on your blog. I have just popped my fudge into the freezer from your recipe I found on Pinterest using only 3 ingredients! I cannot wait to try it in 3 hours 🙂

    South Africa

  34. Olena, I just stumbled upon your blog while searching for healthy breakfasts on pinterest. I plan to make your vanilla Chia pudding for tomorrow morning.

    I’m a 28 yr old student, just went back to school for Dental Assisting. Going back to school as an adult has been so difficult and I’ve completely stopped taking care of myself. I really want to get back on track because I feel awful and have developed a very soft muffin top . However, I’m struggling because I’m so tired and busy ALL the time. If I’m not at school, I’m doing homework, cleaning my house, walking my dog or cooking for my hubby. Also, I’m on a major budget so have started to shop at no frills and they don’t have organic. Anyway, I’m going to start following your blog for inspiration because I do have a passion for nutrition and fitnes (I used to be obsessed with Tosca Reno’s eating clean books) I just need some motivation. PS my Jillian Michael’s DVDs at home are the best workouts I’ve ever had!

    1. Oh and I forgot to mention that I wrote that comment while indulgjng in my fave pizza from Costco and a glass of white wine.

      Like I said, I’m lacking motivation haha

    2. Hi Jody. You need to make large batches of soups, stews etc., that last 2-3 days. You can’t make chicken nuggets, burgers or tacos because that is one time meal without any leftovers. You need food ready sitting in a fridge waiting to be reheated. That is all you need. Good old grandma’s cooking. Try that, I have many recipes for one pot meals etc. Buy not organic but buy real food, organic will come after school. Good luck, you can do it!!!

  35. Hi Olena,
    I was just browsing the web looking for some pesto pasta recipes, and found one here. And then suddenly I noticed that you are Olena from Ukraine, and so am I 🙂 Normally I only look at the recipe and don’t bother reading the blog, bot not in this case as I was really excited to find a girl with the same name from my home country who also cooks healthy and tasty food. Will be following you from now on!
    Olena from Toronto

  36. Olena, I’ve stumbled on your blog a few times over the years and even pinned some recipes. But this January, I have (finally!) committed to a cleaner lifestyle and rediscovered your blog. Today, I’ve already spent a few hours going through your recipes and posts. I love your honestly in your new weekend series (I am also an unapologetic wine drinker) and your posts on your immigration are inspiring. I have a very good friend in Ohio who is also from Ukraine. You and she are “good people.” I will be making a few or your recipes this week. – Tracy

    1. Hi Tracy. Oh haha, I have learnt a few new things about myself – “an apologetic wine drinker” and “good people”. Interesting to hear an outside view on yourself. Good for you! You can do it! Let me know if you need any help and WIAW series will resume next Monday. In the meanwhile, you might find a post about balance and how not being afraid to eat useful.

  37. Hi,

    Just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your recipes and have made the zucchini lasagna and I’m going to be making a few others this weekend and they’re just great!! I was wondering for the 2 ingredient crackers with rolled oats and mashed bananas could steel cut oats be a substitute for the rolled oats? I have a ton of them and figured it’d be convenient to just use those.

    I can’t wait to continue to try out your recipes:) i have recommended your site to family and friends because it encompasses the healthy eating we are striving for.

    1. Hi Rebecca. Thank you so much for everything!!!
      No, steel cut oats wouldn’t work as they haven’t been pre-cooked. Use the search bar on my blog and look what other recipes you can use them for. Or they make the best breakfast oatmeal.:)

  38. I read your about and “my home workout space”. They are both very good reads! Nicely said. And you look awesome. Embrace the mama pouch! You earned it. I also eat pretty clean and im trying to get my boyfriend on board. It is very difficult for him to stay on course when he is away from me. When i feed him, he eats well tho. How did you get Alex to be pro-whole foods with you?? I need that advice!!

    1. Hi Christy. Thank you so much! Yep, since I wrote those 2 posts I have kinda embraced my mama pouch. Almost there. I mean I realized that it ain’t going anywhere unless I remove it surgically which is not an option for me. Most women have a mama pouch, no matter how skinny they are. The skinnier, the bigger the mama pouch haha. It blends in with more belly fat. Mine does. At the end of the day I realized if taking into consideration average population and not Hollywood stars I look good. I can feel my biceps and barely have cellulite. Thank you for the reminder! And I have 2 kids which were worth any pouch.
      With Alex embracing eating what I eat was a simple process. We came back from a 2 week all inclusive trip to Jamaica and he happened to have pre-scheduled general exam at GP. His cholesterol was so high his doctor put him on Crestor. He took 3 pills and said “F*** it” and started running. Then joined me eating clean. Plus Alex can’t cook so he kinda has to eat what I eat LOL. Now Alex eats healthier than me LOL. He just kinda got scared and his personality is a go getter. He won’t be looking for excuses for sure. Plus he is competitive so he wants to be as healthy as me. He even orders food in a restaurant what I order haha. Then once you eat healthy for a while it is hard to eat junk when eating out. That is what we find. I hope you get him on board. Usually wisdom comes with age too for many men. How old is he? I found kids made us really change ourselves.
      Good luck to you both! He will come around.:)

  39. Shout out from a fellow Ukrainian with a same name and a same life situation 😀 I live in Copenhagen, Denmark now and blog about traveling. Enjoyed your website with Ukrainian – North American recipes. Good job, Olenka!

  40. Bonjour,

    I have been looking your blog for about a week now and I have to tell you that I LOVE IT! Recipes are easy and don’t require stuff that I never heard of! I too gained 55 lbs during pregnancy and working hard to loose that! Have to say love that you live in Canada, that simplifes ingredients/measurements and all! And you use sirop d’érable!!!!!!!! Finally I can mix flavor, good sugar and fun at the same time! Never stop doing what you do because you really make a difference in many home kitchen! Trust me, I recommend your website to EVERYONE! Thank you, thank you and a thousand times thank you!

    Maude, Robert et Constance!

    1. Hi Maude. Awe, thank you so much! You are very welcome!!! I won’t stop.:) Life is too short to eat crap and yet too short to diet. People ought to know that so we will keep fighting Skippy PB and Fruit Loops.

  41. I am just starting on the quest of “clean eating.” I’ve been doing cross fit for a while, but have not lost a lot. I like you am not eating fast food, but I got plantar fasciitis last year and it caused me to gain 25 pounds. I was not active and all i did was eat. I’m looking forward to making the garlic chicken and corn. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    1. Hi Amanda. Sorry to hear that.:( I learnt it is mostly about food. You can work out like crazy but food gotta be right to see results. I used to eat way more protein and was leaner. Now with more healthy but carbs I have gained weight but still look proportionate. Just more meat on me. And I work out but can’t get to super lean because of food. But I don’t want to eat too much protein because it is unhealthy.

  42. Hello Olena, my niece’s name was Elena but she was Irish and Greek mostly. I’m trying to get healthier, but it’s challenging at my age of fifty eight and living with chronic pain for over ten years . But hoping if I lose weight maybe it might help my pain. So I’m going to try some of your recipes hoping my husband will like them, he’s a diabetic, and so will I. I’m a creator of habit with my cooking so it will be a challenge for me, but it’s time for my husband and I both. Looking forward to trying you recipes. Thanks for giving me a ray of hope!

    1. Hi Trish. Elena is Greek goddess’s name I believe. In Russian, my full name is Elena, short Lena and in Ukrainian it is Olena.:)
      I won’t lie that any habits are harder to break as we get older. BUT it is a habit that still can be changed at any age, especially if you are in pain.
      One of my readers, Kit, has done just that. She is in her 60s. Look around my posts for her comments (she writes a lot which makes me love her even more) where she shares her experience. She was very sick. Now she eats very healthy.
      Good luck!

  43. Hi Olena, just came to your blog today from a link from BudgetBytes for your Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. Maple syrup is my sweetener of choice, so was thrilled to see your recipe and will be making it soon! Was reading through the comments to this post and noticed that you asked why someone would choose a gluten-free diet. I eat gluten-free, not because I have an intolerance to gluten, but because my doctor suggested that going to a gluten-free diet might alleviate some of the inflammation/pain I was experiencing due to an orthopedic issue. I’ve since had surgery and no longer have any pain associated with that condition; however I have chosen to continue eating gluten-free because it just makes my digestive system feel better. And I feel good too, because I know that I’m eating healthier, even though not totally organic or clean-eating, because most of my food is fresh and not refined or processed. I have absolutely no desire or cravings to return to a diet that includes gluten. Hope this makes sense! And now I’ll be checking out other posts on your blog!

    1. Hi Georgia! Congratulations on your recovery and choosing to eat clean. That is awesome!:) You will love this sauce!
      Over the years I have learnt that everybody has their own understanding of eating healthy. For me gluten is not a culprit but rather conventionally raised and processed food is a big NO. So you can eat gluten and not eat gluten, it also matters what else you eat that makes you healthy or unhealthy. The bottom line is it is not gluten, meat, dairy etc. that are absolute evils. It is a combination of various factors. I question why would someone eat gluten free without medical condition. I am not from here, I am from Europe where food is taken by people absolutely differently than in North America. And Europe is much healthier. That is why you won’t see me going gluten free, paleo, vegan etc.

      1. I completely agree with you. I also do not understand how people can think that just eating gluten-free is healthier. When I started on my new “diet”, I compared a lot of the processed foods that are “gluten-free” and found that actually they can contain more calories and fat plus unhealthy chemical ingredients. That is why I concentrate on eating fresh and clean whenever possible and even though I have no medical reasons to continue on a gluten-free diet, I’m used to eating that way and so that’s my personal choice. Avoiding gluten doesn’t automatically make my diet healthy, it’s avoiding foods (with out without gluten) that are unhealthy that make me feel my diet is healthy. By the way – I worked at a university with a graduate student named Olena – but she went by the name of Helen. She was from Ukraine. You are not her, are you???

        1. That is correct. A few generations of North Americans are SO confused what to eat as a result of marketing. It is all about money here and everyone is trying to make a few bucks anywhere they can. So, if people go for fads why not throw more of them at them and make more $$$?! And people go for it because human nature is lazy! Sad truth. I’m not sure it will get better to be honest. I do feel terrified who my healthy children will marry and how healthy their kids will be. Sometimes I question whether living in America is better health wise to be honest. But where to go??? Yes we have more than we need but look how many people are sick and dying?!
          I used to go by Helen when I first moved here. I went to university but was undergrad.

          1. Olena, I just made your Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and licked the pan! It’s delicious! I will be making a simple stir fry of chicken, cabbage, carrots and onion and serving rice on the side. Will drizzle the sauce on top. Kind of like an unstuffed eggroll 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

          2. See, awesome!!! I like your dinner. This is how we eat too. It is a balance of lots of veggies, healthy fats and a bit of meat and seafood. If you eat like that naturally you do not eat much gluten. The gluten problem comes from processed crap mostly. So, eating whole wheat pizza or wrap I wouldn’t say no. My men eat way more bread than me because they are men and still there are no issues. However, I have to say if we eat out and I eat for example non organic wrap or pasta I DO feel a bit of bloating. But at home with organic stuff I don’t. I just thought to add to our conversation.:)

  44. Hi, Olena! I’m Oksana, and I’m from Ukraine as well, so I just couldn’t walk by without saying hi, found out we’re fellow countrywomen 😉
    I’ve just cooked cauliflower based pizza following your recipe, and it tasted amazing! Thanks for that. I’m also into clean and healthy eating and can’t understand HOW I haven’t come across your blog earlier… Anyway, now I’ll be your frequent visitor.
    Have a nice day 🙂

    1. Hi Oksana. Awe, you are welcome. Well there are so many blogs right now, it is easy to get lost. I checked out your blog and it looks lovely.:) I admire your writing ,especially in Russian.;)

  45. I just want you to know how much I appreciate and love your blog and recipes. I found your blog and delicious recipes on pinterest over the summer and have been hooked ever since. I too started my kids early eating healthy and am proud to say that there are not many vegetables that they won’t eat. My family loves your recipes. Keep up the good work and I will continue to scour your blog for new and exciting recipes to try on my willing family.

    1. Awe, thank you! Merry Christmas, Elizabeth!!! Now I’m pumped to keep producing.:) Definitely starting kids early in veggies is a huge advantage. I honestly do not know how to switch them later. I mean I do not have advice in that since my kids pretty much anything. Lately even stuffed eggplant was a hit!!!

  46. Olena, thank you for your great recipes! I just made the cauliflower pizza crust today and I immediately had to make another one because my boys finished it and demanded more! My younger son is gluten free, so this was great! Also, both my grandparents are from Odessa and immigrated as children to Brooklyn.

    1. Awesome, Randi! Yes I make two at a time otherwise it is not enough. I wonder if you grandparents were Jewish?! There was a lot of Russian speaking Jews in Odessa back then. Not many Ukrainians, more Russians and Jews. My husband is Jewish with a Russian last name.

  47. Hi Olena! I just wanted to say that reading your “about” page really touched me! Thanks for being so real! I just found your site but am thankful that you have nutrition info on your recipe so please keep that up! I have tried one and will try more and possibly buy your book. Thanks for your hard work!
    Blessed in all you do!

  48. Dear Oleana, You might be a minority as you said, yet I truly think that lots of people would prefer to consume organic foods only if only the cost of both basic ingredients like veggies and fruits and condiments etc’ would be lower or cheaper and if other ingredients from around the world, like whole fat coconut milk or young coonut etc’ would be available everywhere around the world all year round (for a reasonable price). The reality is not like that and people who consume organic food whether in the U.S where I used to live or in Israel where I live now and I am sure it is mostly the same every where around the world, are people who make a very good living and they can certainly afford those high cost foods.
    Indeed many people would suffice with ready made foods, but many others could only dream to consume some organic items and integrate them in their daily diet as I have been trying doing.

    Anyway, thank you for your recipes, I will look into them and I will also appreciate if you could develop some that do not include sugars like honey, maple syrop and similar ingredients only, but maybe you could also give sweetener alternatives like stevia powder, coconut sugar, Agave syrop, etc’.

    Thank you for your time and for sharing your experience and flavors. Oree.

    1. Hi Oree. Yes, I mean people who can afford food. In fact, once you stop buying processed food and stick only to real food eating organic IS NOT much more expensive in North America for sure. That is such a huge misconception that drives me crazy in conversations with friends. I do not mean to buy frozen organic pizza that costs an arm and a leg. Instead, I mean have boiled potatoes with kale salad and avocado for dinner. Takes 30 minutes to make. Majority of people just don’t care, could care less to find out more about food they eat or what harm to the environment they do by buying GMOS and processed food. That is until they get sick and if they are smart enough not to jump onto unnecessary pills and find excuses. Our society is so screwed up these days mostly thankfully to huge money making corporations and human nature – laziness. Life is too easy and comfortable, don’t have to hunt and fish for fish with a stick. Plus GMOs make food so cheap. Blunt but it is true.
      Agave used to be known good for you until recently it has been declared as bad as high fructose corn syrup. 100% pure maple syrup and raw honey are MUCH healthier and better for us. Coconut sugar is OK too but still honey rules. So, I recommend to stick to those.

      1. Hi, Olena, I am so happy to have found your website. I love the Overnight Mango Chia seeds Pudding! I try to eat mostly vegetarian foods and I try to avoid dairy products from cow’s milk, I also try to avoid sugary foods, so this makes it very difficult for me to find any good deserts! This one is perfect for me, as I always have a big jar of chia seeds at home and I love mango and coconut milk. By the way, I was born in Russia but lived in the US for almost 25 years, and I have a 14 year old daughter who I adopted from Ukraine back in 2011 (she was 10 years old then).
        It is funny because my daughter used to be “meat and potato” person and used to love sugary foods and she thought that my food was weird and won’t even touch it, but now she has changed her eating habits and she is cooking delicious foods for me sometimes. She just recently made the best vegetarian Ukrainian borsh (борщ) I have ever tasted. Thank you again for your blog and your recipes! Lana

        1. Hi Lana. Oh, then you eat like me.:) I bake with honey and maple syrup but mostly for my boys.
          Ukrainian girls are amazing in the kitchen, I know LOL. That is so wonderful what you did! I have seen Ukrainian foster homes and it is so sad…You gave her a big chance in life! I was lucky to immigrate as a teenager and feel like I have won a lottery and a second chance in life. Blessings to you and your family!!!

  49. I just discovered your blog and have already added a couple recipes to my files to make very soon. I am a mature woman of 60, have raised 4 children and never carried extra weight until I hit menopause. Now I am looking for ways to shed pounds and I have already removed all while products from my pantry, cook all my own foods and desserts, use only coconut sugar but not all my purchases are organic. We live on a very small budget so I buy the best I can with my what I have. I need more exercise, but you have given me hope that more effort on my part will help me rid the muffin top I carry around now. Thanks

    1. Hi Shelly! Koodos to you for raising 4 kids! But organic as much as you can. Or Non GMO Project verified at least. Also buy organic produce on Dirty Dozen list and save money on Clean Fifteen. Just do your best. Google those lists, I’m on my phone so hard to insert links. Also limited sugar, clean eating and moderate exercise will keep you in shape. I feel extra sugar right away lol. Good luck and let me know recipes you try!!!

  50. I’m cracking up, Olena! You are too darn cute. I’m 59, raised two daughters and one daughter has twins in the hopper! I just discovered you through Yummly and your chia pudding. I agree with everything you have to say about eating habits. I already eat pretty much as you suggest but still carry 10lbs more than I’d like, which arrived after menopause as with Shelly above. I look forward to reading your blog and trying your recipes. I love your attitude! I have the same feelings about exercise. I have a gym membership with mold on it. I’m an outdoor gal with a horse and a mule and my husband and golf. I’ll look at your suggested DVDs for home workouts.
    You look absolutely awesome! Thank you for sharing your lovely family as well! Happy cooking!

    1. Hi Lisa! Thank you! Hormones are responsible for so many functions in our body. Your attitude is absolutely spot on. America is so hung up on gyms and exercises, how boring! Just get outdoors, get moving, enjoy it and stop eating crap! The last 10 lbs are the hardest and usually it’s too much sugar and not enough vegetables.:) I’m sure you can do it. I yo-yo sometimes too, even with honey and maple syrup extra lbs can add up fast. I love to work out in my clean home when I feel like it. Good luck with your grand babies, tell your kids to eat like you and raise healthy children! Let me know which recipes you try.:) P.S. You originally left me a comment on my old About Me page I have removed now but you can see the list of DVDs there if you would like.

  51. Hello!

    I am from Germany. I am interested in Clean Eating, because I love food, I love to cook and after gaining some weight in the last years (because I am an emotional eater when I am stressed) I decided that I want to start over again with good food. In the last days I tried three of your recipies and it was very delicious, easy to cook and my husband was very happy about the good tasting food. I really like your website and I am looking forward to try more of your tipps and recipies! Greetings from Germany 🙂 Severine

  52. Olena! Oh girl, I feel you about this weight gain post pregnancy. I am a few months short of a year since I gave birth and haven’t made much progress in the weight loss department. But this mean sweet tooth awoke after birth that I’ve never seen the likes of. So I am trying to tackle that issue and get back into the healthy, organic, natural choices that I know and have made in the past.

    I, too, need to loose 20 pounds or so and I start my Walking for Losers on Monday (going to rain next few days and I’ll be walking with the baby) so I am hoping with that and some of your yum recipes I can fit into the bags of clothes that lay around useless at the moment.

    I love your creativity, your meticulous lay out of the site, and the seemingly beautiful ebooks. It truly shows you love what you do here and I look forward (with your permission, of course) to sharing you with my readers. I have a feeling they will love you as much as I do.

    1. Thank you so much! If you are breastfeeding sweet tooth is normal. But overall exercise and more importantly whole foods is the key to weight loss. Sugar is number one enemy!!! I would be honoured if you shared my ️recipes! More healthy people is good for all of us!!!

  53. Your site is very inspiring…I am a culinary arts graduate and have been “rewriting” my collection of recipes to use whole grains (that I mill at home) no refined sugar, no unhealthy fats and oil, etc. Looking forward to trying out some of your recipes!

  54. Hi Olena!
    It’s funny how things work. I’m just about to start on a weight loss plan and I literally stumbled onto your blog through Pinterest! I love your sincerity and your story! I’m sure your recipes will help me (: Thank you!

  55. Olena, I stumbled upon your site looking for a good chia pudding site, and couldn’t believe when I saw your photo! Do you remember me from eva.ru forum? Lena from Colorado :). You look amazing, and I’ll give your recipe a try. Hope everyone is well!

    1. OMG, this is unbelievable!!! Of course I do! Funny enough I was thinking about you the other day LOL. I will drop you an email.:) I still can’t believe it…What a small world. Thank you, Pinterest!

  56. Absolutely love your site. Especially am appreciative of all the advice for new bloggers. THANK YOU. THANK YOU!!… I too am from Ukraine and starting in the world of blogging..:)

  57. Hi Olena, your website looks perfect for my new journey into clean and lean eating. I saw some on your recipes posted on Pininterest and they looked exactly what I was looking for. Thank you and I look forward to learning from your journey.

  58. HI Olena,

    I am from Australia, and I have just started Clean Eating, and stumbled upon your website when trying to find recipes. I am very excited to try some of the things you have posted, Can’t wait to start cooking 🙂

  59. Hello, just wanted to mention how I am enjoying reading your content. Your recipes look so appetizing and the blogging information is right up my alley as a new blogger. Thanks for sharing the knowledge, Lisa

  60. Hi!!!!
    I`m from Belarus, and currently am living in the USA (studying at college in south jersey).
    I`ve just started a fitness blog, where I write about living a healthy lifestyle on a budget. I know exactly what you mean by abundance of food in America. In my first year or so here, I just ate everything processed. How can you not eat a snickers/reeses/nutella sundae?? I grew up in post-soviet Belarus, so tried a lot of American foods… but this…
    So yeah, now that I finally tried just about everything unhealthy, I`m trying to eat as clean as possible. 🙂 As a broke college student sometimes I struggle with staying within my budget when eating healthy, and I know that many people do. So hence my Fit, Not Broke blog 🙂
    I`m so excited to find a Slavic fitness blogger 🙂
    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Nadya. That’s true, there are not many Slavic fit bloggers.:) In fact, I never met any Slavic person interested in fitness or clean eating.;) Anyways, good luck with your studies and blog. I will be checking it out for some tips.:)

  61. I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing all your recipes!!! It definitely makes clean eating easier and more enjoyable. My family loves it when I make your Turkey Quinoa Spinach recipe. I will definitely be cooking more of your recipes. So glad I found your website!!!!

  62. I just want to say that I am new to your blog and am loving it! I’m mostly reading many of your blogging tips and and income reports. They are the most helpful tips I have come across. I also have recently learned about clean eating and am starting a “no sugar challenge” to jump start myself to being aware what’s in my food. Can’t wait to start digging into your recipes!

  63. Hi Olena! I’m so glad I found your website 🙂 I have also Ukrainian heritage and just recently started my blog.

    I love your positivity and drive to move forward. And the fact that you share income, traffic and tips is really valuable to the blogging community and I think if more people do this, it would change the secretive nature of this industry 🙂 Keep it uP!!!!!

  64. Your writing is a joy to read; your photos, beautiful. Best of all is your positive attitude and determination. Love it! Thank you for introducing me to the cauliflower breadsticks and marinara tried-and-true recipes. You actually changed my mood back to good today! 🙂

    1. Oh, thank you, Caroline! The world and life is beautiful. What not to like, right?! We all make our own. Happy I could put a smile in your face today.:)

  65. Dear Olena,

    I follow your blog for a while! I really admire the progress you made with your food photography! Can you get me any advice? What equipment and lighting do you use!

    Keep yor fabulous work!


    1. Hi Vera. Thank you for your kind words. You can see my equipment on a Blogger Resources page. I use only natural light. Advice? Shoot on manual mode, figure the light in your house, do not shoot in direct sun, use tripod if too dark of a room, white dishes are best for props but main focus is your food – make it tasty and beautiful. And keep shooting. Practice is the only way to learn. Good luck.:)

  66. Enjoyed all your cooking experience. I am sorry your countrypeople are having such a hard time now. Your husband and kids are luck they have a super mom. You are another attractive woman from Ukraine. Why so many beautiful women? Must be the good food.

    1. Haha, thank you, Michael. Just lucky genes and good food, that’s true. It is really heart breaking what’s going on in my homeland. Heart goes out to all those wonderful Ukrainian people. Truly amazing people. Just unfortunate the situation right now.

  67. Hi Olena,
    Wow! I am sooooooooo happy that my sister found you! When she did, she told me that this was a must blog that I should follow. Lol 🙂 and I agree with her. I am so excited to try out your recipes. I am always on the verge of trying out new recipes that are 100%organic, from scratch, healthy and delicious! I love that you are so straight forward about everything. I actually took the time and read “about me” part and I love love love how you said “•I do not believe in diets.
    •I do not count calories.
    •My kids eat the same food as me.”
    I am with you on that. I want to make food for the whole familiy not just myself. So , this is a good resource of ideas . Even though I am a full time working mamma, when I get home…I LOVE LOVE to cook from scratch and something delicious. I will be posting feedbacks on whatever I do try from your list of recipes. Thanks again for taking your time and sharing your passion here with us. Bon Appetite 🙂

    1. You and your sister are so sweet! Thank you for your kind words! I see both of you on Instagram a lot and sometimes we chat. Now I know who is who.:)

  68. Dear Olena,

    I have discovered your blog yesterday and since then I keep reading and reading. 🙂 I found it very inspiring – like you, i love to cook/bake, I am preoccupied with healthy food (even I have a sweet tooth!) and I prefer to workout at home rather then going to a fitness room. Thank you for sharing the info on how to create your own blog – maybe this will give me real bust to start mine as well. By the way, I am writing you from a place close to your home country, Ukraine – I live in the “old Europe”, in Romania. Keep up the good work, you have gained a new follower! 🙂

  69. Hi Olena! I found you through your clean chili recipe on Pinterest. I’m going to make it really soon…just got to hunt down some organic ground turkey. I too live in the mainland, was a realtor and my grandparents immigrated from the Ukraine! I’m a Grandmother in her early 50’s who lost 35 pounds last year using Jenny Craig and working my ass off at the gym. I still want to lose another 20 pounds and am looking to go it alone. You told us what you are “not” but can you specifically tell me what “clean” eating is? Is it basically, not cooking with pre packaged junk, as organic as possible and low fat? I am thinking this might just be the way for me to proceed. Your weight loss and fitness is VERY impressive. I have to battle age, crappy knees, menopause and hypothyroidism but I’m half way there so I look forward to reading more of your recipes and getting more inspired for this next phase of my journey to health!

    1. Hi Lesly! So you are basically a version of me, just a tiny bit older.:) Good for you! That’s amazing what you are doing! Congrats on New You! Clean eating is eating food as close to it’s natural state as possible. Here you can read more. I love Clean Eating magazine btw! Yes, no processed foods, preferably organic and healthy fats, also lots of water.
      Thank you for your sweet words.:)
      Costco in Bellingham carries affordable organic meat, including ground turkey. I usually stock up. Also once in a while I buy regular ground turkey. It’s life.:) Enjoy the sunshine!xxx

  70. So what if I want to copy-paste your photo/recipe disclaimer?? 😉 Kidding but seriously there is such a problem with people thinking that just because it’s on the internet, it’s a free-for-all! Drives me nuts seeing all of the recipes copy-pasted onto Facebook!!

    Found your blog through Lee at Fit Foodie Finds and am adding you to bloglovin’! 🙂

      1. So glad I found you on Pinterest, Olena! I love your recipes and appreciate your outlook towards food, dieting, exercise and life in general. I don’t post recipes to FB, but re-pin on Pinterest, as well as share with friends and family via email. I hope to be compliant about reposting and will gracefully receive correction if necessary. May God bless you with many years of creative, healthy recipes, and wisdom you share with others!

        1. Hi Nancy. I should update my refreshed outlook on life. It changes as I get older LOL. Thank you and I’m sure your sharing is fine and thank you again!!!

  71. Olena, so glad to find your blog or should I say your recipes on Pinterest. I have a lot of interests in Vegatarian & Gluten free meals so you are just what I needed. I am going to purchase your ebook, it looks great. Since I just retired, I plan on making supper for my wife and I, Very Healthy. Thank you for your great recipes and sharing.

    1. Congratulations on your retirement, David! I’ve been cooking a lot of vegetarian meals lately as well. Enjoy and thank you for your kind words.:)

  72. Hi Olena, I finally found the time to post a comment on your blog. I came across your website by accident while searching for healthy recipes online. I’m so glad I did! I love your recipes, ideas, and your positive attitude. I’m already sharing your blog with friends and family. I tried a few of your recipes and they’re great! My life is as hectic as yours and I totally identify with your story. I’m also a stay at home mom of two with a part time job on the side, trying to do it all but most of all live healthy and feed my family as healthy as possible. Congrats on the success of your blog! Can’t wait to try all the recipes.

    1. Hi, Patricia. Life of a work from home mom is like nothing else.:) It’s fabulous and mind blowing at same time. Right now, I’m sitting on a couch working, with a sick child on iPhone next to me, pot of soup simmering on a stove, and laundry piled up upstairs. And I have to work out some time today.
      Thank you so much for all your sweet words and please come back.:) I used to be in real estate as well.:) All the best to you!

  73. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my
    blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite
    some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with
    something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    1. Thank you, Terrie! I honestly don’t know of any. I used one long time ago but don’t remember which one. Have you tried looking in WordPress plugins? Any with good reviews and at least 4 stars?

      1. My husband’s name is Kris… But my younger son’s name is Alex:) I live in Saskatchewan province, just moved here in the beginning of December from Chicago.

  74. Hi Olena,
    I discovered your website via Facebook post of another food blogger and i must say i love it! 🙂 Your recipes and complimenting photography is amazing. I am also into healthy lifestyle and always on the look for new cooking ideas. I am a newlywed- my hubby is Serbian and I am Russian so we try to balance cleat eating and occasional splurges from Eastern European cuisines 🙂 Which is not always easy but i can’t give up good ol’ family dishes! Anyways, thanks for sharing your passion and looking forward to new recipes!

    1. Thank you, Margarita! You must have found me through My Whole Food Life. Occasional splurges are fine. I must say we barely ever eat Eastern European dishes but when we do it’s mostly soups and some treats. No mayo salads though.:) I tried to find out where in Canada you are located. Cool story you got there and congrats on your marriage!

  75. You know what’s funny, my story almost sounds identical to yours. MY hubby proposed t o me only after a month of knowing me. I have two boys and gained over 60lb at pregnancy 🙂 I dont eat as clean as you do but try to stick to portion control. My weakness is bylochki and other carbs 🙂

  76. Hi Olena,

    Just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on this website. I first heard about from my co-worker Kellie who met your husband on the West Coast Express and tried some of your granola. I also live in Maple Ridge and am a single mother of two little, wonderful, crazy boys. I work downtown almost full time and but love all the stuff that you are about in my spare time. Just wanted to thank you for this site, wonderful ideas and yummy recipes. I haven’t tried any of them yet but will. Keep up the good work and if I see you anywhere in Maple Ridge I’ll come and say hi!

    1. Hi, Zuzana. Thank you so much! Oh, Alex, Alex. He is feeding commuters with my food and then tells the whole world about my blog. What if people don’t like my food?!:) Yes, he told me about Kellie. So niiiice you stopped by. How old are your boys? Definitely say “Hi” when you see me. You can usually find me in grocery stores, Langley Farm Market, Value Village and Homesense. LOL.
      And koodos to you, single mom of 2 boys. No idea how amazing women do it?! No idea! Respect.

  77. Hi Olena, Thanks for your simple & delicious
    recipes. I’m currently back in school and trying to eat healthy on
    a budget, so your real food recipes with no crazy ingredients are a
    great help! All the best to you and your family, -Mari

  78. I want to start a Indian Recipe Blog on indeliciousway.com , I’m new and just starting this, may I ask for some of tips from you how can I earn good with this blog ? waiting for your response. Thanks Pankaj Giri

      1. Hi Olena, Thank you so much for your lovely support, And I will do follow the mentioned things… also I want your favour when I will setup these all things….. Hope you will help mine…. 🙂 Thanks again

  79. Olena,
    Your blog is godsent- you are Ukrainian like me and are all about clean eating! I am at that point in my life where I feel like I need to make a change and do it now. Like you, with each pregnancy I gain 50+ pounds, and it seems like after this one (my 3rd) it is much harder to drop the weight. Of course it doesn’t help that at most of out Ukrainian functions the food is delicious, but not always health concious 🙂 Thank you for you r recipes and your story!


    1. Haha. Yeah, Ukrainian food is far away from clean eating although has many tasty dishes. Well, I’m glad I could offer you some dinner ideas.:) I hope you are reading Clean Eating Magazine. They have many great recipes. Or Tosca Reno books are awesome too! Our children are precious, I know.:) It’s harder to lose weight with each kid but totally up to you. I look better now than before kids. More toned and lean. So good luck!

  80. I have just started to get into this kind of cooking – mostly baking so far – I have lost weight (about 20 lbs) and feel great too – now 122lbs and 5′ 3″ – I will definately try some of your recipes for main meals (I have four kids). We are not vegetarian/vegan or anything but I was getting bored with my old recipes and fancied trying new things so I thought it might as well be a healthy change. Your photos are really great, I know how hard/time consuming it is as I have a blog too but mine is less focused and not as slick! – knitting/crochet, travel and baking – are my three loves. I will check in when I need inspiration. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Jakki. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words and I always could use a fellow’s blogger appreciation.:) Your proportions sound great!!! 4 kids, wow!!! You must be busy!!! I can only handle 2!!! I will check out your blog! Cheers and see you soon! Olena.

  81. I think I just feel in love with your blog! I love following healthy cooking blogs! I have a blog with some healthy dishes on it but I really enjoy seeing the creativity that people with very healthy lifestyle create. I too feel bad about the cruelty done towards animals and I am leaning toward no meat all. I get more affirmed in that everyday. Slowly but surely my desire, if its there, for meat just keeps going away. I love meatless based companies like Boca and Gardein because they make it easier for me to get away from meat, but I also heard that Whole Foods meat isn’t from animal cruelty and it contains no antibodies or hormones that us humans don’t need. Anyway, I will continue to browse your blog for new recipes. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Hi Nicole. Thank you very much for your kind words. You are welcome and glad to hear more and more people are trying to maintain a sustainable lifestyle. It’s not easy but possible. Ideally, I would love to eat meat only twice a week. I was always questioning the ingredients in Gardein and alike products because of GMO soy and other additives but never really looked into it. Have you?

  82. Hi Olena,

    Just found you today while searching for some chia seed recipes and so glad I did. I look forward to trying to make your Protein Chia Coconut Macaroons. Any thoughts or suggestions on a substitution for the almonds though? My husband has a severe tree nut allergy so we have to avoid them in our house. But he can have peanuts, so I was thinking maybe that would work? Would love to hear what you think.
    Love the blog and and can’t wait to explore your site even further. Thanks.

    1. Hi Kathy. Glad you found me.:) I’m looking for friends too.:) Yep, you can easily substitute almond meal with coarsely ground peanuts (do not over process because they will turn into peanut butter) or coconut flour. Anything reasonable would work as long as your dough reaches the consistency in photos. You can even try to substitute almond with equivalent or more of coconut flakes. Let me know and come back please.:) Cheers, Olena.

  83. Hi Olena,
    I love your blog, the content and the pictures! I like mostly your energy and candidness in expressing how hard things were for you losing baby weight and taking the pictures (I know for real11).
    My idea of food is just like yours: I am not vegan, vegetarian, etc. I like to eat healthy and now I am moving slowly to gluten free because I need it for some health reasons.
    Wishing you and your family the best!!

    1. Hi Sara. Thank you very much for your kind words and wishes.:) Means a lot to me that women actually read my story and can relate. Means I’m not alone in my struggles. I’m quite blunt and a straight shooter when it comes to weightloss and body. Unless you have a health condition that is not caused by what you put in your body, then you are solely responsible for the way you look and there is no excuses.
      I was always wondering what makes people to switch to gluten free diet?! Just curiosity. Thank you for stopping by and see you soon!

  84. Hi Olena,
    I found your blog through NatashasKitchen, and just wanted to stop by and say hello! I too strive to live a healthy lifestyle, so I’m excited to try out some of your recipes and tips. Keep up the great posts! 🙂

    1. Hi again.:) Thank you very much for your kind words. Nice to meet you too. Stop by more often for a chat, blogging can be lonely sometimes.:) Nice to see fellow Eastern Europeans appreciating healthy cooking. Cheers.:)

  85. I was thinking of buying BioTrustprotein cookies because they sent one with my protein powder. However, looking at the price figured I could do some of my own and while searching stumbled upon your recipes. Needless to say I printed them off and after my TOPS (Take off pounds sensibly) class tomorrow I’m going to bake. Thanks and I love your site!

  86. Thank you for being here when I needed to find you today! You sound wonderful and I am starting with you and your receips! My boyfriend and I are going to do the 5-2 new fasting plan and all yor receips are exactly what we need!
    Thank you so much!

  87. Hi Olena!

    I just made the protein bars, they are delish! I just needed to say hello to a fellow health Momma AND you have the same name as my grandma, Ive never heard or seen any one else with that name 🙂 She is Icelandic, so we are fellow blue eyed blondies. I too workout at home, and live in Northwestern Ontario, very snowy here. anyways, have a great day and I look forward to following you on here, feel free to follow me on Pinterest, @ Julishka30 and im on instagram too take care

    1. Hi Julia. Glad you liked my protein bars.:) OMG, what a coincidence?! Was your grandmother Ukrainian? My name is a Ukrainian version of a very common slavic name Elena.
      We used to live in Calgary and had super long winters too, so I know what you mean about ON. Hang in there, it’s almost over! Here, in Vancouver, spring is in a full swing and it’s +15 today.
      Koodos to you for being healthy and working out at home. It’s challenging at times. Talk to you later and thanks for taking time to leave a positive comment.:)

      1. Duje dyakyu for the awesome site, Olena! Just made your blueberry muffins! My mom and I are looking forward to more of your recipes!