I choose what I eat by the quality of the food.
Will this food make me feel good tomorrow, or will I regret eating this?
Will this food supply me with nutrition?
I crave sugar, so I eat fruit instead of cake containing oils, salts, flours, and refined sugars. I crave salty foods, so I eat greens and vegetables that supply sodium.
I find that fruits and vegetables satisfy my needs, enhance my performance/endurance levels and improve my health. What I eat the most is also based on the price I have to pay. Fruits are the most inexpensive foods in comparison to pre-cooked/processed foods and animal by-products.
(1) The number one food I eat the most is Bananas. I am used to eating close to 40 lb of bananas a week for $20. Lately--since becoming homeless and having little money-- I can only get several bundles of bananas a week. Regardless of where I am or how much money I have, bananas is always the best option. Bananas taste good in smoothies, and usually make smoothies taste better. Bananas taste good by themselves and eaten with many other fruits.
Bananas are inexpensive, full of fiber, potassium, protein, carbohydrates which keeps me energized. Because I eat bananas the most, they have become my favorite food of all time.
(2) Dates are another food that I buy the most-- simply because it is one of my favorite fruits. Dates are not particularly cheap, however I find that they come at a good price for the amount of calories per lb. Compared to cheaper foods like cucumber, carrots or peas-- dates may not be that cheap but at least I can feel satiated on a little amount of dates. Like bananas, dates fill me up with their sugary goodness which gives me the capabilities to think, read, write, and feel grounded. Also like bananas, dates can make smoothies taste better and they always taste good by themselves.
(3) Apples, one of the cheapest foods in my area. Apples are one fruit that can grow in cold or warm climates, so you can get local apples for a cheaper price. This also means you may be able to forage apples for free in your area or grow them. There have been times when I found gallons of apples for free! And there have been many times when I had to eat apples only, because that's all the food I had available.
(4) Oranges (citrus) are inexpensive when purchased in season. My favorite citrus is in bite-sized form, like clementines or mandarins. I also prefer to juice oranges with grapefruit or clementines, as you can see here "The easiest way to eat grapefruit" Juice.
(5) Lettuce is the fifth main aspect of my diet. I eat bananas the most, probably up to 20 a day if I want (but usually up to 10). Dates are the second food I eat most, because it contains the sugar I need for energy, alertness and happiness. Dates and bananas are high in calories, carbohydrates and sugars-- funny enough-- these two foods make me feel the most satiated, light, clean, and happy (better mood). So at the end of the day I want a food that balances the sugar foods with greens and vegetables.
Lettuce is water rich, full of omega-3, fiber, and high in calcium. Iceberg lettuce gets a bad rep for being bland and not nutrient dense, but this is false! Iceberg lettuce has more omegas and calcium compared to other greens.
It is usually best to grow your own lettuce. Home grown food usually provides better nutrition and b12 availability.
As I said, bananas consumes the majority of my diet. Actually, bananas may make up 50% of my diet alone! Dates, apples, oranges, and lettuce also take up the majority of my diet, but I also eat a lot of mangoes, berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado. I like to have carrots, broccoli, rice, and potatoes once or twice a week.
I understand that people are at different places in their health journey, so I can see where eating 7 bananas for breakfast or 7 mangoes is alarming. People would rather have a bowl of oatmeal with a banana and some brown sugar. That is why I took the liberty of listing meals that I usually prepare for my (vegan) boyfriend, or meals that I would make for non-vegan friends and family. You can view the post here "Cheap Low fat vegan meals for non-vegan friends & family".
Eating more simply doesn't mean depriving yourself. In fact I encourage people to eat as much as they would like until they feel satiated. However my approach to health is eating large quantities of healthy fruits and vegetables. The more fiber you get in your diet, the more you can clean it out!