Olena’s Story Olena’s Story
December 30, 2019
by Olena

Olena’s Story


And welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I’m a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family 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 recipes are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

I now live on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. On that below.

olena osipov in her studio

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.

Diets ruin healthy relationship with food because they 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.

healthy turkey burger

What You Will Find Here

  • Easy healthy recipes with simple ingredients.
  • I share mostly dinners 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. Honestly – obsessed! See next bullet point…
  • Instant Pot video recipes on our Youtube channel – Thanks to my husband, Alex. And me. 🙂
  • Nutritional information with every recipe as a guideline – I don’t count calories.

More importantly, I want to be upfront about my understanding of “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.

So, there is that. Can we be friends?

olena osipov and her family

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’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!

ifoodreal studio

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.

Featured In:

It is always exciting to see my recipes featured by other publications.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Comments and Stay in Touch

I reply to every single comment on the blog. Or send me an email. You gotta be nice though. 🙂

I delete without reading and do not engage with negative, rude and inappropriate comments. We have a software installed that automatically detects and deletes negativity. You will be wasting your time if you are planning to unload your bad day or life on me. Life is too short and that is why I live on the island. 🙂

I welcome constructive criticism. Before you leave a comment, please re-read it and if it sounds like something you would be OK to hear, then hit “Post Comment”. I am a human just like you.

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


Olena Osipov

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420 comments on “Olena’s Story

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  1. I soo enjoyed your video with the roast & potatoes & carrots..I need a henry…I’m so glad I found you..I love cooking & ready to learn how to cook healthy & eat healthy. I’m wanting to loss at least 60 pds this year ..Happy New Year to you & your family

    1. Hi Rose. Thank you! Totally doable! Food is medicine, not diets. Just nutritious food. You can get Henry on Amazon https://amzn.to/2mu2TOu . I need to buy Donald. 🙂 Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

  2. That was great reading Olena, I’m about to embark on a healthy eating journey as I have high cholesterol and blood pressure.
    Purchased a bag of black chia seeds while buying my fruit an veg for making healthy juices. Searched for recipes and your chia pudding came up and it sounds yum, so here I go with my first healthy eating journey recipe. 🤞

    1. I am eating chocolate pudding while reading your comment. Funny. Enjoy and please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

  3. Please subscribe me; I am not sure I found the correct link.
    Looking forward to trying several of your recipes. I am new to the Instant Pot but I think it will be great for my busy family.
    Have a great day!

    1. Hi Vicki. Welcome and will subscribe you. 🙂 Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

  4. Olena,
    I have 2 fabulous grown daughters and 2 amazing teenage sons; wife to my best friend in the whole world. It is so refreshing to read your introductory note. Thank you for experimenting, polishing and publishing successful recipes. I am still getting acquainted with my Instant Pot. I realize that my Instant Pot holds a myriad of possibilities. I am a perfectionist by heart and enjoy successful results when preparing meals for my family. Your blog gives me a plethora of ideas to try. Thank you.
    Laurel B.

    1. Hi Laurel and welcome. I am a perfectionist myself which hurts me more than helps sometimes. Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week! 🙂

  5. This is the best culinary blog. Cant wait to try your recipes. thank you. i am Ukrainian that lives in USA, so i love the way you live and cook. I can see myself in it.

  6. I just discovered your blog today while searching for gluten free, sugar free recipes. I live in Oklahoma and while I don’t have the ocean at my back door I do have 360 acres with trees and a five acre lake. We raise cattle and horses and love our country life. I enjoyed reading your story and will be checking in again soon–but right now I am away to my kitchen to try your almond flour banana muffin recipe!

    1. Hi Pam and welcome! That is a very good recipe to start with. 🙂 I have to say while I love my ocean and acreage I am getting used to this private life. City girl in me is still alive. 🙂 I need summer back. 🙂

  7. I really enjoy your videos and I particularly love your accent! 😉 I did notice, however, that most of your recipes seem to be “western” inspired. Do you ever post Ukrainian Instant Pot recipes as I didn’t see any on your YouTube channel. Thank you, Happy New Year and keep those videos coming!

    1. Hi Olena, like you, I’m an immigrant into North America and have recently turned Vegan. I made your Ukranian Lentil Soup two days ago and it was absolutely delicious. The whole family loved it, even my dairy and meat eating husband! My youngest son even asked me to make another batch for when school starts back, so that he can take it, in a thermos, for his lunch. Thanks for sharing it! Kate

  8. I was looking for a cauliflower pizza dough recipe today and found your website. Can’t wait to try this pizza dough recipe.
    I love to cook and always looking for healthy recipes for myself and hubby. I think your website will keep me busy. Thanks!

  9. I got a 5lb boneless leg of lamb and was looking for a simple recipe and found yours. It was just what I as loking for. Thanks. I can’t wait until tomorrow to bake the lamb. I will serve it with Basmati rice and asparagus. Happy New Year! Patricia Lauterborn Oxon Hill, MD USA

  10. Hi Olena, I very much appreciate your blog and agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of waste not want not! Thank you for teaching those who are lacking in skill and resources. We are over fed and starving at the same time! Absolutely nothing like Whole Foods, I love to cook culturally and am looking forward to partaking in your heritage cooking❤️

  11. I’m browsing for easy cheap healthy meals and come across you … after 3 minutes I am sucked in. You rock and I’d like to subscribe or join and keep up with your cooking and recipes.

    Thanks for making for day! 🙂

  12. Hi! I would love to subscribe to your site but I can’t see a place to subscribe..would you please let me know how I can follow you? Thank you!!

  13. My husband was USNavy and we had the wonderful blessing of being stationed at Esquimalt for 2 too short years. We loved it there and made lifelong friends!

    I’m so happy I found your sight! I can’t wait to hear your accent on YouTube. 😁

  14. Good morning! Bought organic chicken thighs…on sale… yay…and thought now what to do with them! My sister is coming today and she is gluten free. Found your chicken thigh potato recipe….looks amazing and easy!! Added sweet potatoes, fresh green beans and brussel sprouts. Smells wonderful!! Will let you know how it goes… thank you!