Juicing For Health | Juicing To Lose Weight | Juice Lady Cherie

Food Cravings & R-Brain

Cravings and food addictions may have a lot to do with your brain. The “R-brain” or reptilian brain, as Dr. Paul MacLean has called it, is the primitive brain.1 It drives your fundamental need for food and survival. It must be controlled or it will control you. It doesn’t learn from mistakes and will take control of your behavior if you allow it, like a tech can take control of your computer to fix it. There is also the limbic system, or emotional brain. It’s what makes you feel what you do when you are exposed to certain stimuli. Outside influences can trigger this system. It creates chemicals that connect your memory to certain triggers. For example, seeing an ice cream cone picture can cause you to want that treat before your reasoning mind can give you rational input. The picture tapped into emotions that may go way back to childhood. You don’t know why you “have to have” that ice cream, but your brain releases chemicals that motivate you past reason.

We are wired for creating pleasure and avoiding pain as much as possible. This emotional part of the brain is responsible for controlling a lot of our behavior steering us toward pleasure. The neocortex, or “thinking brain” is our reasoning part of the brain. It can easily be overridden by the other two parts of the brain—survival and emotions. Understanding your emotional triggers and how they connect with the survival R-brain is very important to overcoming cravings that are prompted by emotions and the need to survive. Then you have a major set up for overeating or eating the wrong foods that adversely affect your health but give you pleasure. Food is a very powerful trigger. It’s built into our brain to keep us alive. If we did not have that desire to eat, we’d die. Letting go of known and buried emotions and memories is a key to letting go of cravings and food addictions.

Do you have feelings “buried alive” that are manifesting in your life? It’s time to let them go. There is hope. You don’t have to be a slave to your reptilian brain. You can learn to engage your frontal lobes, and be a rational thinker. You can make choices that are healthy and life-giving.

My husband, Fr. John, who is a psychotherapist and behavioral medicine consultant, teaches two excellent classes at our Juice & Raw Foods Retreats —Emotional Detox and Mental Detox — that have helped many people get free of long-standing emotions and thoughts that have held them captive and addicted. We partner his classes and exercises with the raw foods diet and three days of juice fasting, which makes it much easier to ditch the emotions and memories that may have plagued people for years.


1 http://www.eruptingmind.com/beating-the-reptilian-brain/


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  1. I want to learn more about health benefits of jucingf and want to buy the books

    • You could start with The Juice Lady’s Big Book of Juices and Green Smoothies.