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

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

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463 comments on “Olena’s Story

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  1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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

  4. 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.:)

  5. 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!!!!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!!!!!

  8. 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.:)

  9. 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.:)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.:)

  12. 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! 🙂

  13. 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

  14. 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!!!

  15. 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.:)

  16. 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!

  17. 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?