What do you [vegans] eat?

I, along with many other vegans, get this question a lot. And it's a question that still perplexes me. Not because I have no idea what to say, I'm well aware of what I eat, but more that I'm confused by the nature of the question. Is the standard American diet so meat-centric that people truly cannot comprehend the idea of meals without animal products? So, instead of listing all the food I do eat [which would take forever, as the only non-animal-based foods I don't like are carrots, kale, and pumpkin] or just saying, "Anything that doesn't contain animal products" [because that statement is both overly simplified and incredibly complex], I thought I'd let pictures do the talking for me.

Below are some days from my sparkpeople food log, randomly chosen by a number generator, from the last two months. I was originally going to just take my food log from the past seven days, but that would've ended up pretty boring because I tend to make one or two recipes for a week and just stick with them until they're gone [or, in the case of yesterday, eat one thing for every meal because it's just SO GOOD]. That's just my [budget friendly] eating and cooking style, and I like it. So instead, random days!

March 5
This one's towards the very beginning of my journey, when I was both trying to adapt to a healthier way of eating and doing so while sticking to a budget. I wasn't sure yet how far my money would stretch when it came to healthy food, so there aren't many vegetables in here [besides the vegetable soup, which was made with frozen, not fresh, veggies]. It's a fairly bland menu, I'll admit, but it was still loads better than that summer I could only afford to eat one cup of rice and beans a day.

March 10
Ahh, there are some fruits and veggies! Bananas are by far the cheapest fresh fruit in the area, so those were the first to be welcomed into my budget. Mushrooms made an appearance as well, into a hearty polenta mix that I loved. Just a little note: sparkpeople upped my calorie intake in April, since I'm working out more now, but in March my lower limit was 1200 even though it doesn't show here. So I wasn't below my calorie goal [although I was still below the fat goal].

March 22
Ah, one of the first days in New York. Tortillas & beans is one of my easy, cheap, quick staple meals. I ate a lot of them while I was there. I garnish them with avocados [as you can tell], hot sauce, salsa, etc. Lettuce and tomatoes too, sometimes. Also, have you noticed a pattern with my breakfasts yet? Yeah, I'm not too creative on the breakfast front, but that's how I like it.

March 29
Lots of fruits and veggies. I usually take yogurt and mix in some frozen [defrosted] berries, because I can't stand non-fruity yogurt. I only had that yogurt to make a recipe, if I remember.

April 6
See, even I don't eat perfectly nutritious food all the time. Far from it. I love to indulge in a glass of wine... or two... and bread while I'm at it! Bread is something I normally don't keep in the house, since I can eat an entire loaf in one day, but I needed crumbs for a recipe [the same that I needed the wine for!] and I couldn't find any vegan breadcrumbs in my city. So I just went the old fashioned way of making my own. And then I had a lot of the loaf left. And... well... at least I got some veggies in?

April 11
Ah, you thought maybe I changed up my breakfast by having bread that one morning, huh? Guess again. Back to oatmeal.

April 21
Lots of variety! Lots of fruits and veggies! This was a good day full of delicious food. Yummm.

Anyway, there's a good sample of what I eat. I do rely somewhat heavily on tofu as my main source of protein, since it's cheap and easy, but I also enjoy a variety of beans and legumes [and even seitan when I can get some]. Plus, I really, really enjoy tofu and often just stick a block in the oven for a delicious snack. I usually eat it with a condiment to dip into [I don't count condiments, since I rarely consume more than 5 calories of one. It's just a little thing I give myself leniency on].