Buying what’s on sale is probably the easiest way to ensure variety in your diet
Get more fresh stuff for less!
Fresh produce can be expensive… But every week there is some kind of veggie and fruit on sale. Every single week! It doesn’t matter if you shop at your local farmer, the small grocery store around the corner or in a big supermarket. Use sales and save yourself some money!
I guess it’s time to buy zucchini (or courgette – depending where you live)!! Ever since I got a spiralizer for my birthday last year, I often use spiralized zucchini as a substitute for noodles
The items on sale are usually cheaper because they are in season at the moment. It’s pretty much nature’s way of telling you what to eat right now. Shops change the items on sale usually every week. This means that you will have a lot of variety in your diet. Variety in your diet means that you will get a lot of different colors into your diet, and therefore a lot of different nutrients.
If you stick to buying what’s on sale, you will also need to try a lot of fruits and veggies that you would have usually neglected. This will encourage you to experiment more and nudge you towards becoming a better and more creative cook.
Sugar snaps, but then cheaper! I really hate food waste and by buying marked-down products I get more variety into my diet. Supermarkets usually reduce the price between 25% to 50% if a product is close to the expiration date. These dates are often quite generous in the first place
“But I don’t know how to cook with it or how to prepare [veggie or fruit X]”
You don’t know it yet – but Google does. Just search for “easy [insert your veggie here] recipe” and you will find an easy recipe in less than 5 minutes. Don’t know how to prepare something? There’s a ton of youtube videos for that. In today’s interconnected world “I don’t know” is just a way of saying “I haven’t looked up yet”. If you look it up one time, you will forever have a new tool in your arsenal that you can use time and time again.
“But I don’t like [veggie or fruit X]”
At one point in your life, someone convinced you (read: forced you) to eat Brussels sprouts, broccoli, turnips, beets, spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, olives, etc. There is a big chance you didn’t like at least one of the mentioned ones. For a lot of people, these food traumas stick with them for years, sometimes decades.
There is a big chance you can check beforehand online what’s on sale in your local supermarket. This is a screenshot I took from the website of the Dutch discounter that I often do my groceries at
Our flavor preferences change throughout our lifetime though. There is a possibility that you will like something that you really hated when you were younger. Especially foods that are bitter are ‘an acquired taste’ that people actually quite enjoy later in life.
Maybe, however, it’s just the way that the ingredient was prepared every single time. Look for unconventional ways to incorporate foods you didn’t like into your diet. Shaved Brussels sprout salad, broccoli-crust pizza, spiralized turnip-noodles, … you get my drift. Need some inspiration? Countless blogs are posting hundreds of creative recipes every single day! Again, just ask aunt google, and she’ll help you to a flying start.
Counter specific common nutrient deficiencies (iron, calcium, vitamin D)
For someone with a Western diet and lifestyle, it’s not uncommon to be deficient of iron and vitamin D among several other things. If you are a flexitarian like me or try to reduce the amount of dairy and animal products in general, you might run a higher risk of not getting enough calcium in your diet.
In order to make sure you get enough iron, you might want to think about eating more organ meat (especially liver), or red meat occasionally (beef), more shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters), or especially legumes (lentils, peas, beans). If you want to get more bang for your buck, combine eating iron-rich foods with vitamin C rich foods. Why? Because vitamin C increases iron absorption. Win-win!
Every once in a while I really enjoy some chicken liver or chicken hearts. If they are on marked-down, they are especially dead cheap. I often buy marked-down meats and throw them in the freezer once I’m home. Helps to prevent it from going to waste and helps my wallet at the same time
Get calcium by incorporating more boned fish (like sardines or anchovies), dairy (milk, yogurt), green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale, bok choy), and seeds & nuts (sesame, almonds, Brazil nuts) into your diet. In order to absorb calcium efficiently, your body also needs sufficient levels of vitamin D.
The easiest way to get vitamin D is by being outside! When you are in the sun your body naturally converts the rays into vitamin D. There are not that many food staples that contain high amounts of vitamin D. It’s one of the few nutrients that you might actually want to think about supplementing if you are bound indoors at a desk-job. Your GP can help you figure out if you have a deficiency and what dose of supplement you might need. If you want to get it from food, fatty fish like trout and salmon are your best options. There are also some fortified products available that are naturally enhanced with vitamin D. Take for example the humble button mushrooms. They naturally produce vitamin D when treated with UV rays. In some supermarkets, you can already found these vitamin D enriched mushrooms.
As you can see above the absorption of micro-nutrients is often interlinked. You need one, in order to be better able to absorb the other. This is probably the best argument for a varied diet. Keep changing it up and try to get 5 portions of vegetables and fruit into your body every single day. The easiest and cheapest way is to buy what’s on sale!
And now have a look what’s on sale around you!
No matter if you shop at your local farmer, the small grocery store around the corner or in a big supermarket
By the way, I am now an officially certified Nutrition Coach! If you are struggling with your weight, just reach out!
After struggling with my own weight most of my life, I decided to make a difference and help people. I want to share the knowledge that I gathered the hard way in the last 15 years. As a cookbook author and passionate cook myself, I know that healthy and nutritious food does not have to be boring!
I got this certificate in Nutrition just in time for my new coaching business where I help people getting the best out of themselves, with the help of science, psychology and DNA.
Fad diets don’t work in the long-term. Lifestyle-changes do!
We all know what to do, but most of us struggle in the long run… I help people to make small incremental lifestyle changes that ultimately end up in huge improvements.
If you want to feel better in your own skin, improve your physical performance or just want to eat more nutritious, get in touch here:
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