Why My Diet is Better Than Yours.

Via Matt Wallace
on Jan 25, 2012
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One reason: Because it’s mine.

After reading my last article “5 Foods You Should Never be Without,” I started wondering if everyone should, in fact, always be with these five foods.  What if someone is allergic to goji berries or is a raw-foodie who never uses cooking oil or a carnivore who eats nothing but pure meat and loves it? Who am I to shove what foods you should have into your fridge?

Well, I started thinking: what’s good for the goose isn’t always great for the gander.

What I am certain of is that these five foods are great for me. Each one contributes something positive to my well-being, energy, and overall consciousness. I know this because I eat these foods and watch the changes that occur. From this point of reference I can suggest to others that maybe similar results will come about. But is this really the case?


We are all so different, not to mention constantly changing. From our thoughts to our cells to our exposure to significant exterior stimulation like our culture and environment, we are constantly evolving and morphing into new people. It is what some people like to call ‘growing.’

In this growth, is it possible that maybe our bodies learn to praise and condemn certain things? And even in our stagnant bodies, not everyone is attuned to the same scale of healthy and unhealthy diets? Either way, I find it unsettling to preach, rather than offer, diets to other people.

As a vegan, I am constantly placed into the centers of debates about other people’s food choices. Half the time I feel like a relief pitcher brought in to close out the last innings of a why-we-should-all-eat-plants debate. Everyone assumes because I am vegan I detest all omnivores. When in fact, it is just the opposite.

I remember eating meat and the benefits it gave me. I knew all of the reasons to stop eating it (sustainability, environmental degradation, animal equality, etc), but there was something meat delivered that I thoroughly enjoyed. Call it satisfaction, animal protein, a certain kind of energy, or just plain flavor. Whatever it was, at the time I was doing it, it was right for me. And you know how I know, because I was doing it. And it only became ‘wrong’ when I chose to stop.

Martin Pettitt

I see all these people, even foodies on elephantjournal, preaching their food religions, much in the same way they preach their actual religions, trying to convert the masses in a desperate global blogospheric takeover. Be it in the name of health, advocacy, or just egotism, we always want people to drink from our Kool-Aid. And by my last post, I am guilty as charged. But what I seek to establish is that while I offer nutritional ideas that could lead to certain results, I do not exclude or ignore the (great) possibilities that no overarching, over-generalizing conclusion can be made about what all people ought to eat.

We are unique beings, living a unique experience.  There is not right or wrong.  If you want to experience eating an uncooked broccoli stem the size of my forearm, go ahead. And if you want nothing but charred giraffe meat, be my guest. What I do ask is that when you tell me about your experiences; exhibit a degree of compassion in your universal dietary convictions.

And I promise, I will do the same.

Next up: the 5 foods you could, maybe, possibly, might want to try and eat?

prepared by Greg Eckard


About Matt Wallace

Matt Wallace is a food studies grad student and Kundalini yoga teacher exploring the connections between food and consciousness. A California native recently transplanted in NYC, Matt has taken on the definition of the urban yogi. A vegan and intentional eater, his work often aims to expand the depths of our food consciousness. You can follow him here.


5 Responses to “Why My Diet is Better Than Yours.”

  1. I totally agree, except on one point. If the food that you are choosing to eat results in disease (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke) than it is my problem. Why? Because it's affecting my pocketbook. Health insurance rates are sky high and the reality is that the healthy folks are subsidizing the ones with the food borne illness. That is my business. But you are right, there are a wide variety of "healthy" diets composed of whole food–I hope we can all agree that processed food is wrong for all.

  2. Intrepid Yogini says:

    Taking this a step further. When a family member "chooses" to harm their body by overeating and indulging in bad food, I am affected because there is a good chance I will have to become the care taker for that family member and, because that family member could have prevented the destruction of their health, I will not be care taking with love and compassion, as I should.

  3. […] Soon after I first got my asana into gear, more than a decade ago, I began to experiment with vegetarianism. It was what the ancient masters advocated, right? They must have known what they were doing. I was on a fast-track to a healthier, more ecologically sound, more ‘spirichal’ future; all I had to do was stop eating bacon and I was practically enlightened. […]