Ocasio-Cortez Advice on Diet & Skincare

Question posted to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Instagram:

I’ve been trying (and failing) to cut most dairy out of my diet. How much would you say you have, on average? I really think a big part of my skin issues is my diet, but I don’t know what to cut out or add.

Ocasio Cortez IG question

The congressperson’s detailed response:

Okay FIRST of all do not police your eating. Don’t be like, “I can only have less than X servings of cheese” or “I’m going to try to have no more than 1 cups of Y.” It totally messes up your relationship with food, which should be an ENJOYABLE and FULFILLING relationship, not an anxious one. I think of my food choices as more in the moment, where I consider the healthier thing my “default” but the less-healthy thing an indulgence. While I am not a vegetarian or vegan, I do think of meat and cheese as “treats.” Which means if I have a coffee, my default is to drink it black or with a non-dairy milk, but sometimes I won’t! Don’t put moral judgements on food. Food is intensely political and does have moral issues surrounding it (like factory farming and climate change) but you will not do yourself any favors by judging yourself harshly. Just try to make a good choice every time you’re confronted with a decision, and eventually you’ll start to make better and better decisions while letting yourself enjoy what you want.

I’m very into oat milk right now which imo is the best of all the milks after cashew milk (I know I sound v boogie right now but almost any non-dairy milk sounds boogie so here we are).

My heart wants me to eat less meat and go more vegetarian, and some days l ust cannot for logistical
reasons or I’m just gonna pass out it I don’t scarf down whatever is in front of me. But I DO find that I consume way less meat and dairy than I once did. I feel better when I don’t eat it as much, too.

My advice is to figure out where most of the dairy gets into your diet and change that habit. Do you have milk in your coffee every day? Cereal? Cheese in your sandwich? Replace out one of those habits and that’s a big step right there. Work on the rest later.

Big places to cut out dairy: COFFEE. This is the big one for me. Just default to something else instead of dairy. CEREAL: just stop. Lots of sugar too. Not a good way to start your day. Consider it a treat now. Better way: banana and peanut butter. Just buy a bunch of bananas and you have breakfast for the week.

The big one for me is cheese. Ah, cheese. My weakness. And that’s okay! Guess what? I love cheese! So that’s my thing. When I have cheese, I make a point to enjoy it and savor it and move on. I’m not going to think I’m a bad person for eating cheese. I’m just going to recognize that it’s a luxury and be thankful for it & not try to go crazy. Over time I have less.

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