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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420 comments on “Olena’s Story

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  1. I just discovered your recipes online. Not sure how 🤷‍♀️ I’m printing some off now to try…. mashed cauliflower and a few salmon. They look delicious! We are also west coast people…. West Vancouver and newly purchased Saltspring island.

    1. Oh nice and welcome, Donna! Just skied the Cypress while visiting friends in Vancouver and we absolutely loved Salt Spring this summer. My favorite small island. It’s like Italy there in summer. Please leave me a comment and review on the recipe you try. Happy Holidays!

  2. My dear, thank you so much for this site, and for sharing your common sense and inspiration with us all. Tonight, my sister and I are trying your cauliflower pizza crust, as we are both getting older every minute and want to keep enjoying them. My husband is going to love love love this way of cooking. I’ll let you know how it comes out. Meanwhile, blessings on you, your Alex and your dear boys.

  3. I need your help. My guy is in the verge of a heart attack. now he needs to change his eating habits and I don’t know where to begin.
    Need help cooking healthy for him and for myself.

  4. Glad I found you! I just bought a Duo Instant pot and need recipes. Kind of nervous using it. Have your baked potatoe recipe and starting with that tonight.Thank you and hope to pull more recipes from you!!! Donna

  5. Was looking for a healthy alternative banana “bread” (muffins) and wanted to use almond flour(I too believe the North American diet is terrible, born here but my family is from Poland) and I stumbled upon your recipe in a quick google search. The fact that there was 0 sugar, easy to make (blended in my vitamix) and were delicious makes me want to try more recipes and will be going through your blog. Great muffins for my 3 year old, and easy enough that I can make them with my newborn and toddler in the room with minimal cleanup. THANK you!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your quick and easy recipes for the family. We will be having the Instant Pot Chili tonight!😊 Blessings to you and your family!❤️

    Thank you once again,


  7. I have just bought a instant pot after visiting my sister in the UK and enjoying the food . She gave me your web address as she likes your recipes
    Kind Regards
    Brian Broughton

  8. Hi Olena,

    We just enjoyed the results of your Boneless Turkey Roast and Pan Gravy recipes! Everything went exactly as you described (which isn’t true for us for most recipes found online). We’re looking forward to trying more recipes and learning more about your healthy food ideas.

    We’re big fans of Vancouver Island and can’t wait to visit Victoria and Tofino again.


  9. You are Wonderful! Thank you sooo much for these healthy recipes! At 52, I’m starting to get into some serious health issues. I’ve been searching for recipes with easy to get ingredients and easy ti prepare instructions. Eating healthy usually means expensive, but you have helped this disabled low income lady to find a way to achieve her goal and doctors orders! Happy Holidays to you and your lovely Family!♡

  10. I had the great good fortune to visit Vancouver Island (Victoria, Ucluelet, Courtenay) last summer. Ukraine is in the news. I’m using Google to acquire new and healthy cooking information. Looking for healthy date balls I came to your website. Too many commonalities and coincidences! I’m almost persuaded to buy an instant pot. Since I’m a grandmother living alone maybe I’ll start with the freezer meals – after I whip up some healthy rum balls for Christmas visitors.
    Merry Christmas.

  11. Hello Elena,
    I like the idea of freezer meals for the instant pot. I am looking for recipes that I can prepare for one person (I am a senior). Any suggestions would be appreciated. There are probably lots of young people who might be interested in this as well.

  12. Good morning Olena, my name is Sharon. I have been on the paleo diet and did very well but yes it is hard to keep it up… I have had my mother living with me for the past five years. She is 95 and recently fell and fractured her hip.. I am extremely focused on her now but have been losing my life as it was a few years ago…. at this point I have been eating so much junk to try and find that feel good spot again but of course it is just making me feel worse…. so I am going to try your smoothies etc….. hopefully that will turn things around…..
    I am a believer in … Let food be thy medicine…..

    1. I sympathise you a lot! So sorry you and your mom going through this. It is hard to feel inspired when you are a caregiver, I get it. I think for you, you just have to eat “normal” food. Real food with simple and wholesome ingredients. That is easy to make. Soups and salads would last a few days for you and your mom, so you don’t have to cook every day since it’s only 2 of you. All the best! I think paleo and keto diets are so dangerous. They are so high in saturated fat, makes me scared of heart disease for all those people… My only hope is that they are not sustainable, so people drop them.

  13. hi! just found this recipe as I didn’t feel like cooking a lot today. Didn’t have spinach but put red and orange peppers, tastes really good thanks!

  14. Beautiful website inspirational story keep up the good work, I am inspired to run after my dream no matter the cost or sacrifice.

    From South Africa

  15. Thank you, so nice to find this current site!
    Dr. Oz Show recommended including more lentils in our diets. I googled lentil casserole recipes and chose yours! I look forward to making it and trying more of your healthy recipes!

  16. I like what you said about with every $1, you spend you have a choice. I have learned the hard way that eating healthier is better. I try hard to convince my husband that cheap eats now, can mean extra medical expenses later, when you are paying for medicine to get healthier. Certain things are better to buy organic, which is less pesticide.

    1. Yes, that’s one side. Another side is that eating processed food isn’t really cheaper. It’s not. Because real simple food isn’t that expensive, especially in the US. Like I said, a head of cabbage, a whole chicken and a bag of potatoes make A LOT of food for $25 tops!