I Have Been Feeling Emotional Lately

Lately, I have been feeling really emotional. I feel raw, exposed, defeated and hopeless. About our world, health, environment, human nature, values etc. Simply put – it is part of growing up and this is how I do it.

I think it started while in Mexico. There was virtually no recycling. I think throwing out jars, plastic and cans every day, slowly added to my concern about environment. At home, we recycle everything and compost organics, I have the smallest garbage can in history. There, throwing literally everything into garbage (except wine and beer bottles) looked and felt horrible – it was a lot of garbage. I can’t stop but think that eventually our planet will get succumbed by garbage.

When I got home, school and sports started for kids right away. To give you an idea, we live in suburbs of a big city. Your average 100K population small town which is a part of big metropolis. Because I am a mom, my main interaction with adults is with parents of my children, those are the adults I talk to. How do I feel about that? Oh my, it is a mix of emotions that is so hard to explain.

I feel alone. I feel different. I feel like an alien. I feel judged. I feel sad. I feel defeated. I feel scared. I feel raw and emotional.

Alone because I’m the only mom I know in our community who has kids of my age who eat real food, normal food. Different because people think we eat like nobody else and it’s weird to them. Different because I have different point of view on life and health because I didn’t grow up in America. I do know for a fact that is what stops many women from being friends with me. I feel like an alien because I turn around and there is nobody to talk to, not about magic of matcha powder I don’t drink or vitamins my kids don’t take, but about a pot of soup I made last night. There is no understanding that soup comes from a pot and not a can. I feel judged because I am different for North America, and when you are you get judged. And unfortunately there is no policy, foundation or pills against/from judgement when you lead a healthy lifestyle in America. It is that rare! All above mentioned makes me extremely sad. I feel defeated because I clearly understand that 95% of people do not care what they eat or about their health. People just don’t care, or they would like to be healthy but don’t want to do anything about it except blah-blah-blah and finding next magic pill. Many days it feels like there is no hope for healthier America, honestly, there isn’t!!! That fast food and processed foods are winning.

I feel scared for my kids and future grandkids. While I can educate my boys about healthy eating and lifestyle and I have no doubt in their choices in the future, I feel extremely concerned who will they marry. Will they marry someone who was raised on processed foods, who will feed my grandkids like she was raised and what kind of diseases will we all have to deal with as a family?! While I can control my kids, I realize I have no control over their future wives. Do I have control over who my kids choose as a partner in life? I don’t mean it in a way of personality but rather values. All of the above thoughts made me so raw and emotional during the past few weeks, I can’t even explain. I feel tears in my eyes and so sad for our world. I don’t watch the news and try to limit social media exposure but you can’t hide from real world. Trust me, what Trump or Justin are doing is really not on my mind.

In addition, in the past few years I lost a feel to what is appropriate to say and what will hurt someone’s feelings. I feel like every year the threshold of what people consider OK to say out loud is increasing (decreasing?). Especially around parents where I feel like adults become super sensitive and defensive about their kids. I feel like I live in a world of insincerity, over exaggeration and lies. I feel like everyone is out to pick a fight if you have an opinion rather than agreeing with everything with a smile on a face. I feel like it is not OK to have an opinion anymore. It is characterized as “hurting someone’s feelings”.

In addition to real world problems, here is this wonderful space I have online called iFOODreal. Last night, me and Alex went for a walk, where I shared my raw feelings with him. No matter what differences me and Alex have, what state our relationship is at, Alex is MY BEST FRIEND. Here I start to cry. He truly is!!! I know we can figure it out, by ourselves or with an outside help, we can work out our differences. I feel like I have control over this situation. However, I have no control over what happens in outside world and it scares me to death because I have kids. Plain truth.

So, coming back to this blog and Alex. After listening to me, Alex said that is why I blog and I should share my knowledge and feelings here. That while I can’t win the corporate giants mass producing processed foods, I can make an impact and help those who want to be helped. I think this is a key phrase in our fight – To Help Those Who Want Help. And trust me I will – I know my ways with Google. So here I am, although Alex didn’t mean for me to share my raw hurt feelings in a post like this one, but it is my blog and I feel like sharing. That is corporate Alex from a cubicle talking. So, let’s scratch that Alex.

In the past few weeks, there have been comments on my blog that…hurt my feelings. It is such a tough job I have here to share my knowledge about clean eating and our journey, when I could made mistakes, and sometimes not say things correctly, and therefore hurt someone’s feelings without any intention to do so, for which I get harshly judged because it is online and people. Also some people do not have good intentions and twist things their way and truly let their steam go off online. “Experts” are the worst, there seems to be endless number of them, many with 2 months certificate in next health trend, and if you are just an educated person with common sense “you know nothing”.

So listen up, “know it all” ladies. I appreciate constructive criticism in a polite way but I don’t need your judgement ei. calling me Trump. It is my blog where I share what works for me in hopes to find and connect with like minded people. For someone who doesn’t agree with me or doesn’t understand me, it is expected to not be my reader. Doesn’t real world works like this – we are friends because we have things in common?! The same on blogging. I’m not a politically correct person, so stop asking me to be one. Find one. I have helped numerous people to cook healthy homemade meals for their families instead of encouraging to keep eating processed foods while screaming “Beauty at Any Size”. Think about what is wrong with this message for a minute.

So this is me today and past week.

I Have Been Feeling Emotional Lately

What’s next? Well, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. First of all, I will feel noticeably better once I hit “Publish”. I already started feeling a relief after a little cry while my kids are at school. Secondly, I know I have many friends here online and we share the same views and laughs. Third, WE KEEP GOING! I will keep fighting this fight till the day I die. The minute you give up, you let THEM win. And we don’t do that. I will be publishing more and more honest and raw posts that might “hurt feelings” but help our world. Any rude and inappropriate comments will be deleted and ignored. Simple as that – move on if you don’t like me. Probably I don’t love you too.

And last but not least, if you are a woman or a man (one of 2% of my readers) who had turned around your life and health, BE SO DAMN PROUD OF YOURSELF because you are smart and hard working. And talk, talk, talk about it and keep going. The more we spread the word about us, the more of us will be. Don’t let them win. Don’t let them silence you. It is a hard fight to fight, but if you helped even one person to turn around their lifestyle, it is a fight worth fighting for.

I Have Been Feeling Emotional Lately

And very very last thing, I promise. Today is Alex’s birthday. He turned 25 although he thinks he is old. We are introverted secret birthday celebrators and both me and Alex do not like attention. We celebrate our birthdays by ourselves and it is just another day for us. We see no value in presents because we have everything we could possibly wish for, everything! We are truly blessed! All we wish for is health and happiness, everything else will follow. Alex said he wanted to go out for sushi, but yesterday Kyle decided he would like to make a dinner for dad, with dessert. Both boys then wrote cards, Adam made a crown and a craft present. While I was gone last night, Alex played hockey with the boys outside where Kyle reminded Alex it’s his birthday tomorrow, and Adam chimed in with full details about dinner, cards and presents.

This is where we are at today – a birthday boy who knows about surprise, a complete emotional mess of a wife and apparently not that much of a surprise dinner. And apparently by the time I hit “Publish”, one child is sick with a stomachache on a couch, and another one in a timeout. But we are blessed, truly blessed and I would like to wish my husband publicly a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It is not the age that defines us, it is the outlook on life and our health. I know MANY miserable 48 year olds, and I know only one that feels and looks like 25. Happy Birthday, honey! P.S. Just thought I would give you heads up what you will come to home at 6PM. 😀

This is when I cry again. Damn hormones.

A Fight That Is Worth Fighting – An email I received in response to this post the next day.

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. I really like your message. I try to eat real food, eat healthy, but it’s kind of hard when you’re a teenager living in your mother’s home. I once looked at a package of Chocolate Muffins and I almost threw up at how there were so few real ingredients. On the bright side, my mom cooks rice and real food for lunch, so at least I get to avoid the whole fiasco of microwaved lunches. I honestly can’t wait until I’m old enough to move out, which is actually pretty soon. Me and my mom tried a couple of your recipes and they went pretty nice (it was such a relief to eat something other than rice or noodle wihh tomato sauce thrown in). I’m definitely going to be cooking your recipes bdcaus my exposure to food has been woefully limited.

    1. Nice! Maybe mom will buy you a few simple ingredients and you can cook a few yourself and she will enjoy too?! As long as you have knowledge of healthy food and seems like you do you can set yourself for life being healthy. 🙂

  2. Amen! This blog is spot on as I sit with tears running down my face.

    Thank you for being so real!

    I wish you the best in whatever new journeys come your way!

    1. Thank you. Since this post my journeys have been better. It’s amazing what therapy and time can do.

  3. Thank you so much for your honest post. I too am very tired of felling like I am the “wrong” one. Your post translates into every walk of life. Thank you for making me feel part that I am OK and not the only one that must be wrong because I do things differently. Never stop, never give up, never quit! Don’t give “them” the power.

  4. I’m late to the conversation here…. by about four months! I just discovered your blog today when I was searching for “how i quit drinking wine every day” and your 30 day challenge to yourself popped up! I started reading and ended up on this post…first I’ll say I’m in Kodiak, Alaska, so USA not Canada. At first when I was reading this post I wanted to say…Wait a minute!! Stop!! Not all North Americans have such horrible diets and can’t cook home made food!! I do! My whole family does!!! Most of my town does. We always have. But as I kept reading I just identified with soooooo many of the things you were saying and I just wanted to hug you and be your friend. We could be great friends if we happened to live near each other. There were so many things about your post that I loved but if I had to pick one thing it would be the part where you said (paraphrasing) “if you don’t agree with my opinions or are offended then go read someone else’s blog!!”” And I totally agree with what you said about “beautiful at any size” and fast food. Well, anyway, I feel a little silly going on about a post that’s 4 months old. You have probably moved on, mentally and emotionally to other things now, but I did want to say. you are not alone in how you’re feeling. There are plenty of Americans who share your point of view, even though we’ve been born and raised here. Thank you for spending so much of your time sharing your experiences, your family, your challenges, your knowledge, your life…everything. It’s very cool to know there are other people out there so much like me!

    1. Hi Kerry! Nothing silly. I read every comment.
      Kodiak sleeping bags come to my mind right away. I Googled your beautiful place – a beauty! I think in your location people are still close to nature, they know where food comes from (all that fishing and hunting), thus more home cooked meals. Majority of metropolis North America knows supermarket with convenience foods because they are “busy”. I am surrounded by suburban moms every day and trust me, people don’t cook. They “cook” frozen foods followed by a million of excuses or lies that they will make my recipe. They won’t, I know they won’t, women don’t cook healthy food these days. I’m not saying everyone but majority doesn’t, they just tell me they will because they feel like they have to after checking out my blog. People talk a lot these days because of lack of accountability because we can’t judge. So hard to know who says truth or not until later. Those who do are rare and spread out all over the continent, and I miss that simplicity and authenticity of people that seems to be lost in materialistic things and devices. Our values are so screwed up these days, it’s hard to find anyone to have a meaningful conversation with besides about stuff. That was my frustration and still is, just more controlled lol. I got a lot of good advice from my counsellor, cut out any negativity affecting me and just do what I think is right. I got influenced a bit by a modern millennial mommyhood and that felt so wrong to me, so I lost it. Back to good old school bubble wrap free ways I go, what I know best and what always worked for me. In total minority and a bit ignored by modern society but true to myself and happy in my home without all that noise.
      Hugs to you! And don’t be a stranger! We get halibut and salmon from Northern BC, and deer and moose meat from Northern AB, so we can have even more topics to talk about lol.

  5. Wow Olena! I understand you 🙂 Unfortunately, so many people in North America are afraid of different cultures because they are ignorant about the world. We are very isolated. After living abroad for almost 10 years, I have a hard time relating to people I have known my whole life, because it just seems there is this gap between us know in how we see life/the world. I also hope that I am setting a good foundation for my son! I have playdates with his friends and their moms and serve things like “Dragon Fruit Ice Cream” – which is really just a smoothie bowl! I actually have had it really well received – and the moms are now asking me to teach them to make healthy food to freeze for their toddlers. I love that! I have found it harder than I thought to shield my 2 year old from processed foods– at the park, walking around shopping centers, of course he wants it in all the sparkling packaging! Just hold true to what you know is right, and keep doing what you are doing– which is educating! I feel educating people in healthy eating is such a powerful thing– my life is totally different now that I am healthy, and I know I’ve changed other’s people lives too with this shift in habits.

    1. My food is also very well received. Moms like how my food tastes but nobody wants to make it. This is the problem we have in our society. Simply put as life becomes more and more comfortable when you can control temperature on your thermostat from a phone, people become lazier. Simply laziness, I have no other words for it. As they say, “they talk the talk but nobody wants to walk the walk”. I hear all the time compliments for my blog, my food but I know barely any of those moms made it and pulled out mac and cheese, lasagna and chicken nuggets instead. They will do anything from shopping to driving kids everywhere but the cooking. I can’t imagine any of them standing in the kitchen and cooking anything from scratch, a pot of food, not chopping veggies to serve with a dip. Can you imagine that? I have never seen that. A woman that made a pot of soup from scratch – I have never seen that in my vicinity live, except my 1-2 close friends. And what is worse, somehow these moms think that when their kids will be older, they will eat better. Um, nope. If you don’t teach them, they won’t. It is work to feed kids healthy and very few are willing to do it. It is much easier to throw some chicken nuggets on a plate and avoid cooking and dealing with kids. So, yes, they all talk about it but barely anybody does it. And I am OK not to have friends over this issue, I have a few who cook and I respect that. Yes, ability to cook and desire to eat healthy defines our friendship because then all our other interests and values align.
      It is impossible to shield your child from processed foods 100%. There is social life and I decided my kids will be participating in it full on. So, birthday parties, sleepovers and occasional treats are OK because they make up only 10% of what my kids eat. It is all about balance and eating healthy in general.

  6. As a 61 year old woman, I can just say “keep doing what you are doing”. You are are spot on, right on.

    1. Thank you, Robin.:) Your generation’s opinion with a sprinkle of life experience matters to me a lot.

  7. I think your blog is great and you’re a good person. My family is a real food family as well and we go through the same thing you do. My son packs his lunch for school and all the other kids make fun of him because he doesn’t eat “normal food”. It’s very sad. My mother raised me with fake infant formula and processed foods. It’s been a long journey to see what is wrong and how to fix it. Our friends and even my co-workers say things about how we eat often but I try not to let it get to me. My family isn’t dependent on sugar or pharmaceuticals so we must be doing something right. We are in a time of complete human idiocracy so know that you are reaching people and you are making a difference.

    1. Hi Amber. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Today, I appreciate honesty from others like never before. “We are in a time of complete human idiocracy” is so well said and I DO realize I lack English vocabulary in times I want to express my deeper feelings. I do think this is the case when our democracy is playing against us and turned into idiocracy.
      I haven’t heard from my oldest one about kids laughing at his food yet. He is in grade 5 though and I wonder if it is coming in high school. I’m not worried about it though because he is confident in his choices and we have a strong family unit. We are together.
      My husband is being made fun of and laughed at by some of his co-workers but he couldn’t be bothered. I think it would drive me nuts but he doesn’t care. At the end of the day, we all know the truth.
      We are not on anything either, like nothing, so laugh all you want. I consider even birth control pills a HUGE screw up for a human’s body. I tried them and it did horrible things to me. By now we could be on many pills we said NO too. Being on something is considered a norm these days, among young people too, with a bazillion of excuses. And I do consider it a complete idiocracy to be on medications and eat processed foods. People are willing to try anything BUT putting an effort into cooking real normal food which is a cornerstone of health. SAD!

  8. It is the same here in Lively, Ontario. I have been misunderstood and judged my whole life. My house is secluded on a lake were I love to hide. Just when I think society is getting better it doesn’t. My passion is eating healthy, growing vegetables and spending time with my husband and kids. I always relate to you. You are inspiring! I even started my own blog. I do it because it makes me feel good. You are awesome! Thanks for being you!

    1. First of all, let me tell you I LOVE your little blog! That box with devices – so funny. I have the same struggles and completely understand your feelings. Drives me nuts when it is so beautiful outside and so much to do, all kids wanna do is to sit with eyes popping out staring at screens. I want to smack their heads then! LOL. So much fight to keep kids focused on what matters these days, stupid devices. I swear if they didn’t exist, I wouldn’t cry. HATE devices and social media – thieves of life!
      I accepted society will not get better, it just won’t, let’s get real. We need to learn to be bale to live with it by doing what we love, spreading the word about it and connecting with like minded people.:)

  9. Olena, I am a bit behind reading your blog, and as I sit here today, reading while Matt is playing hockey, I’m crying in front of all my hockey mom friends. (Now everyone is reading your post ?)You are an amazing friend, amazing woman and a true inspiration. You have always been honest and authentic in sharing your journey and beliefs in healthy eating and lifestyle, even long before your blog. You have influenced so many, supported so many and inspired so many. I distinctly remember the day that you challenged me “it takes no more time to eat healthy as it does not healthy”. “You are in the grocery store, the decision to pick up healthy or not healthy food, takes the same amount of time. Checkout – same amount of time. Cooking is cooking, same amount of time”. I could have paid $185.00 per hour for that advise from a therapist, but I got it for free from a friend who truly loves me and my family. and that’s what your readers get, every week. Whether they know it or not, they are getting a genuine response from a friend who only cares that we all age healthy and happy. Stay honest my friend❤️

    1. What, you are on your phone at Matt’s hockey?! What?! What kind of mom are you?! LOL.
      I do remember that time. I was a different Olena, I went hard core on you but it worked LOL. I’m glad you could take it because many people just can’t. I’m more politically correct these days, as politically correct as I could ever get haha, but still my idea is the same – stop complaining and just start eating real food that is NOT hard to cook, just gotta cook, that’s it. I think I get shut down by majority of people in real life not being able to stomach the truth aka when “hurt feelings” and “judgement” cards get thrown in because they are easy to pull out, but I am who I am. And this blog is amazing way for me to share my good message and to connect us, like minded minority, in this screwed up by processed foods world!
      You, my friend, is THE BEST example of how processed foods made you sick and how YOU turned around your fate of not going down the rabbit hole by simply putting on a big girl’s pants and just making a choice. Unfortunately, today MAJORITY of adults can’t do that. But you did! I always always bring you as an example. Love you very much too! Wish you lived here! See you soon!
      P.S. And that is one freaking expensive therapist! Mine charges only $100 an hour LOL.

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