“Why do I keep eating ice cream when I know it makes me sick?"

A Closer Look at Self-Sabotage


Over the past few weeks several different people have asked me almost the exact same question about ice cream and other forms of self-sabotage.  Whenever I find myself answering similar questions, with the same rejoinder, I know it is time to write about it. 


So here it goes: 


When it comes to nutritional therapy, there are many factors that can be influencing a person’s attempts at success.  And I think it is really important to realize that it is not solely about will power. 


Let’s just stick with the example of ice cream for a few thoughts.


Ice cream can be a hurdle for a couple of different physiological reasons.


1.  Ice cream is dairy.  And when an individual’s digestive system is not functioning properly, dairy cannot be digested properly.  This also applies to wheat.


Milk and wheat proteins are digested in a 2-step process.  In the first stage, digestive juices in the stomach split the milk and wheat proteins into peptides.  These peptides have a morphine-like structure. Yep …  you know morphine, the highly addictive narcotic painkiller made from the main psychoactive chemical in opium.  


Well, the peptides in milk are called casomorphines and the peptides in wheat are called gluteomorphines and gliadinomorphines.


In the second stage of this digestive process, the milk and wheat peptides move to the small intestines to be broken down by pancreatic juices and peptidases.  This is the stage that is missing in people with digestive problems, abnormal gut flora and leaky gut.  The morphine-like peptides get absorbed into the blood stream unchanged and effect immune system function and brain function.


That’s why folks with autoimmune problems, IBS, depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, etc. have high levels of casomorphines, gluteomorphines and gliadinomorphines in their blood and urine.  There is a growing body of research on the topic and you can access abstracts at PubMed.gov and the European Food Safety Authority.


Some of the effects of casomorphines, gluteomorphines and gliadinomorphines are the exact same as they are for narcotic morphine: constipation, addiction, tolerance and withdrawal.  So yes, you can be literally addicted to cheese, ice cream and wheat!  That’s why I say don’t be so hard on yourself when you find yourself eating ice cream even though it makes you feel sick.  You may have an addiction that we need to deal with.  Have no worries, we CAN deal with it.


2. The next issue is dysbiosis.  If you are not digesting food properly, you definitely have an imbalance of gut flora … there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.


Dysbiosis means that you have more opportunistic flora than essential or beneficial flora living in your intestinal tract.  In a healthy gut, the essential or beneficial flora is the most numerous.  These are strains of bacteria you have seen advertised on yogurt labels for years … familiar names like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacteria, but also some not so common names like Propionobacteria and physiological strains of Peptostreptococci, E.coli and Enterococci.


The beneficial flora keeps the unbeneficial flora in check, but it also is a key source of energy and nourishment for the cells that line the digestive tract.  It is estimated that the gut epithelium derives 60-70% of its energy from the activity of beneficial flora digesting food and converting into nutrients that the gut lining needs to remain strong and intact.


As to opportunistic flora, there are around 500 currently known species of unbeneficial microbes in the human gut.  Typically their numbers are tightly controlled by the presence of the good guys, the beneficial flora.  However, strains of Yeasts, Bacteroids, Fuzobacteria, Eubacteria and many others can over grow and cause many unpleasant symptoms.


Candida albicans is a yeast fungus that is ever-present and very prolific.  It is one of the top opportunistic flora to get out of hand when the beneficial bacteria is not up to scratch.


Like all living entities Candida albicans has strong survival instincts.  When you begin to starve the Candida albicans of it’s main foods (sugars and other fungi) it will literally begin to try and save itself by sending your brain signals to crave the things it needs to survive.  You will suddenly be overwhelmed by very strong, almost uncontrollable hankerings for sugars and yeasty foods … like beer, pizza and ice cream.  These cravings can be overpowering, the longer you have had the Candida albicans overgrowth and the larger it is, the more irresistible the urges can be.


So don’t be so hard on yourself when you find yourself eating ice cream even though it makes you feel sick.  You may have a gigantic bossy parasite invading your body.  You are feeding it, and not yourself when you eat the ice cream.  Again, have no worries, we CAN deal with it.


I hope that gives you some understanding and hope.  Just because you have overwhelming cravings for foods that are unsupportive of your health, and you give in to those cravings, doesn’t mean that you are inferior, or have poor will power, or have some kind of subconscious wish for self-harm … you could be dealing entirely with a natural physiological phenomenon.


But, let’s say you have weaned yourself off of food derived morphine, and you have rid yourself of Candida albicans … yet you still find yourself progressing only so far with your diet and supplement regimen before falling off the wagon and then having to start all over again from scratch?


Now it is time to consider subconscious self-sabotage and brain function.


Did you know it takes anywhere from 21-66 days to establish a new habit?  And that right during the crucial time of change, when your brain is going to phase over into a truly new way of being it will resist the change?  Hey, that is just how we are wired.  The human body is designed to maintain homeostasis, even when that homeostasis may not be optimal function.  


Each one of us has something built into our brain that is known as the “emotional threshold."  When you begin to approach this threshold you start to feel uneasy and uncomfortable and therefore resort to old habits that make you think you feel safe … like eating ice cream, which floods your brain with casomorphine and gives your brain a false sense of euphoria, until the subsequent gut pain resurfaces.


This threshold is why folks will find themselves doing really well with their diet and supplement regimen for 3-5-7-9 weeks and then BAM! They hit a wall and just cannot bear to proceed.  They go off the diet, stop taking supplements and when their old symptoms begin to resurface, they feel miserable again and beat themselves up for being so weak minded and not having stick-to-it-ness.


No worries, we can work with this obstacle too.  There is a lot that can be done to overcome subconscious self-sabotage by working with your brain waves.


You’ve heard of those: alpha, beta, delta, gamma and theta waves.  Brain waves are the electrical impulses in the brain.  They can be measured.  Our brains send out different frequency impulses when we are engaged in different activities.  Beta waves are the ones associated with being wide awake and delta waves are associated with deep, dreamless sleep.


Alpha waves are the ones that are of the most interest when you are intent on creating new, long-lasting, beneficial habits.  Alpha waves occur naturally right before you fall asleep and right before you wake up.  This is a state of being awake and completely relaxed.  It is the state that experienced meditators enter regularly.  Alpha activity is connected with the ability to recall memories, reductions in stress and anxiety and with lessened discomfort and pain.


This is where practices such as hypnossage and listening to binaural beats/tones can be so effective. 


Binaural tones are a form of brainwave entrainment that put your brain into the same state as when you are meditating … the alpha state.  Binaural beats have been around a long time (since 1839!) and are very effective.  By listening to these sounds, with your eyes closed, your brain will natural begin to resonate at the alpha frequency.


During hypnotherapy and hypnossage sessions your brain is in an alpha state.  This means you are awake and fully aware, and also extremely relaxed.  This alpha state is a really magical place to be in to effect positive change to the emotional threshold and also to allow for deeper myofascial bodywork to alleviate adhesions and restrictions in the body.


During hypnossage sessions you listen to binaural tones and positive suggestions to help you form new responses, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors … all while receiving bodywork at deep layers of the body. At no time are you unaware or not in control.  And the deep myofascial work is virtually painless.  The results are phenomenal.


So, if you want to rev up your healing process a notch, definitely consider exploring how to engage all levels of your mind in the process.


In the meantime, when you find yourself reaching for an ice cream sandwich, don’t be so hard on yourself.  Understand that there may be many factors involved in your craving and that you may need to ask for more assistance to overcome them.


As always, 

Many Blessings and Cheers!


I’d love to hear about your biggest “aha!” moment from today’s blog, and how you’re going to implement its wisdom into your life.  Just drop a comment via email.

© RemPhys 2022