Dr Orlena chats to Netta Gorman who shares her story of giving up sugar.
Netta used to have problems with digestion, head aches and achy joints. But she didn't want to give up sugar. Eventually she felt she'd give it a go!
After just a week of giving up sugar she noticed she had more energy, less achy joints, less head aches and her "spare tire" began to disappear.
Now she loves her healthy life style.
Life After Sugar Podcast on iTunes and your favorite podcast app.
Netta's website After Sugar Club
Please note this transcription is generated by software. There may be some errors. I hope you find it useful.
Dr Orlena: Hello, Hello. Hello! Welcome to fit and fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena, super excited today. We have Netta Gorman here who is from “Life after Sugar”, and we're going to have an amazing and inspiring conversation. So Netta welcome. Welcome.
Netta: Thank you for having me.
Dr Orlena: It's my absolute pleasure. Do you want to start by giving us a little bit of background?
Dr Orlena: A fellow Brit, but also a fellow not living in Britain. And what happened there?
Netta: Yes. Well, I grew up in England and funnily enough, you grew up in Devin and my dad lived in Totnes and Devon. So I spent all my summers there. So we're sort of neighbors when I was doing my ALA. I did, French is one of my A levels.
Netta: And there was a teacher's assistant that came from my second year and he came from Quebec and Canada, the French speaking part and long story short started going out together. And I went over for my gap here. I went over to Quebec instead of going to France. So my gap year before starting university and another long story short, I ended up staying in Quebec and I've been here ever since I was 18 at the time.
Netta: And then I ended up doing my degree here and I teach English as a second language in a college here. I'm in my 28th year now.
Dr Orlena: Wow. Fabulous.
Netta: I love it. Not loving the long winters that much, but I tell you, I love the winters more here than I did in England.
Dr Orlena: Oh really? That's interesting. Yeah. Our winters here in Spain are quite nice and people always think winter in Spain is warm, but where we are, it's not always warm, but we do have some nice warm days.
Dr Orlena: Anyhow, what I want to talk to you about is your amazing journey. About sugar. So your website, your blog, your excuse me podcast is called life after sugar. And it's really about your journey with sugar. So do you want to tell us all about what happened to you and sugar?
Netta: Yes. Yes. So I called my sort of experience as it was.
Netta: Turned into a podcast and everything else, life after sugar, because you know how you've got these before and after pictures of people when they've made some kind of big transformation, not necessarily just weight loss, but any kind of transformation. Well, mine is also a before and an after story, but you can't necessarily see it.
Netta: It's how I feel. My problem was not weight at all. It was my digestion. And ever since my late twenties, my digestion just got worse and worse and worse. And I also had other health problems like depression, anxiety. We dealt with infertility as well. And. In my mid forties, we actually managed to have a baby with IVF.
Netta: And in my mid forties, I was, my digestion was so bad. I was going to the toilet like once a week, you know, and I was really suffering and it was suggested to me by a nutritional therapist that I consulted to cut out for just two weeks. And I know you talk about this period of two weeks, just two weeks, cut out sugar.
Netta: Flour and refined grains and sweetener. And in fact, all sweet foods just for two weeks to see if it would help my digestion as sort of an elimination thing. And I said, no, no way, what are you crazy? Who would do that? You know, give me, I'm looking for a solution, not some sort of extra problem of taking away what I love.
Netta: So as I do with pretty much everything, I resisted, I resisted it. And I said, no, and the upshot is. But nothing changed and things just got worse and I wasn't feeling any better. So eventually I got over myself, got out of my own way and I said, I'll give it a go. I'll give it a try. It's only two weeks. As you say, you know, you can do.
Netta: For two weeks and I do have quite an adventurous spirit, so I thought I'd give it a try and prove her wrong. And it backfired
Dr Orlena: that she was letting into this like amazing podcast journey as well.
Netta: I know, I didn't know what I was getting myself into and probably just as well, actually. And so I did do what she suggested and the weekwas relatively difficult because my body was so detoxing as it were from the sugar that I was used, it was used to getting but that was really only temporary is only two or three days.
And the second week I started to feel so much more energetic and sort of, I wasn't overweight, but my spare tire was started melting away.
Netta: And then my joints started getting more supple. I wasn't getting achy joints when I. Getting up in the morning and all sorts of other things, my skin was clearing out. My headaches started to be more and more spaced apart. Cause I used to have three or four headaches a week and I just, I thought, gosh, you know, I feel great.
Netta: And I thought I'd just carry on one more week, you know, just three weeks instead of two. And basically I just kept adding another week and thinking, well, I'll stop when I don't feel so good. But the thing is I keep, I kept feeling good all the time, so I never looked back really. And it's been almost seven years.
Dr Orlena: Congratulations. That is amazing.
Netta: Thanks. Yeah. I'm I mean, I have no real credit for doing that because the only thing that I sort of deserve, I suppose, a pat on the back for is putting my wellbeing top of the list of my priorities.
Dr Orlena: Yes. No, absolutely. And I think you are the little in yourself and not taking credit where credit is due, because yes, you did make the change.
Dr Orlena: You did do things differently. And I think, you know, it's really easy to be stuck in that zone of if nothing changes, nothing changes. In fact, that's what we talked about when we recorded on your podcast. So I think your podcast will come out late to the mind so you can, everyone can go and listen to your podcasts and have more in depth on that conversation.
Dr Orlena: Yeah, but essentially nothing changes, nothing changes.
Netta: Exactly. Yes. And I mean, I couldn't tell what changes were going to happen. I couldn't think that far ahead, because here I was trying something I'd never tried before and was kind of deep down against really. I mean, I didn't want to, and I didn't want to stop eating sugar.
Netta: That was not my wish, but that ended. Being my after story, my life after sugar.
Dr Orlena: Why do you think you were so resistant to giving up sugar?
Netta: Because I loved sugar. Doesn't everyone.
Dr Orlena: Yes, they do. They do. The human body is designed to low sugar. That's like one of our fundamental things. I always say. We glucose seeking missiles, particularly children.
Dr Orlena: And I think to be honest, adults are as well. And the people who aren't trained themselves, not to be that our default setting is go and get the glucose because back in the day it was going pick blackberries because that's, what's going to keep you alive. It's just the. We've now, still got that setting and supermarkets, which is not a great combination.
Dr Orlena: Yeah,
Netta: exactly. Yes. And I considered that. I used to eat relatively healthy, you know, even before I stopped sugar. But, but when I actually really made this concerted effort and this conscious decision to stop, if only for originally two weeks, I realized that crikey like 80 or 90% of what I'm eating is actually manufactured food or manufactured food like products, you know, and not real whole foods.
And then I started to really become more aware, not just reading labels, although, you know, I've, I've got a degree in linguistics and I couldn't understand food labels, you know, that made to be confusing. But I started reading, reading food labels, and then I realized, oh, Most of the foods that are whole foods don't even have legs.
Netta: Yeah. Yeah. And then, so I started that and then I also started making my own fermented foods and drinks, my kombucha, my yogurt, my caffeine, and my sauerkraut and kimchi and looking after my gut health, as well as cutting out sugar is what made the, the big, big difference in my life after sugar. In other words, those two things, cutting sugar, adding probiotic, homemade foods to my diet.
Netta: You know, that's how come I've been doing it for so many years, because it's just
Dr Orlena: magic. Well, so here's the question you said I eat sugar. I ate sugar because I really enjoyed sugar. So what's replaced that for you now. What do you, where do you get your. How do you feel that whole of I used to really love sugar.
Dr Orlena: What do you do now?
Netta: Yeah, my life is not a whole series of sad and the sadness of deprivation. No way. I, you know, we were talking earlier about. How I've created this sort of new, because I'm a language teacher, new dictionary, new deaf definition of treats and happiness and enjoyment of my food. And I've actually become more of a foodie now than I was before, because I consider that before all of my.
Netta: Enjoyment of food was sort of limited to sugary sweet things. Whereas now I enjoy all the foods that I eat. I eat everything I want. I just changed what I want. And I enjoy every single thing that I eat. There is nothing missing and nothing that I, that I don't enjoy and that my definition of enjoyment has changed.
Netta: And it's not limited to. Chocolate and sweet foods. It's now a lot, lot wider, and therefore I've just got more enjoyment and
Dr Orlena: definition of a
Netta: treat. Then everything, everything that I eat is the trait. Perfect eating itself is a treat and even fasting because I do intermittent fasting just naturally from not eating sugar and not spiking my, my insulin and my hunger hormones.
Netta: Just fasting is a treat. Listening to my body is a treat going out for a walk is a tree sitting in the sun is a treat, having peace and quiet to read a book is a treat cuddling. The cat is a trick. Shall I go
Dr Orlena: on? No, no, I totally get it. And I'm totally with you. I always say I lead a life of luxury. And I don't mean I have a Louis Vuitton handbag.
Dr Orlena: I don't have a Louis Vuitton handbag or even a Hermes handbag. You know what I mean is I get to swim in the sea and I get to walk in the woods and I get to go cycling and spend time with my kids and gardening and choose the things that really liked me up and do those things. Also, knowing that they are supporting my health, my health goals as well, but you know, the things that light me up are also healthy things, as opposed to.
Dr Orlena: Things that are damaging my health. So, you know,
Netta: and the lighting up is like, I could, I would say that before chocolate lit me up. But now I know that it lit me up and then it smacked me in the face of. Whereas now, you know, if I go for, I like the other day for mother's day, I went for a walk with my daughter.
Netta: I took her for an ice cream. She had the ice cream. I have the treat of being with my daughter who's 14. So that's quite a rare tree of actually spending an hour with her. That was my treat. It doesn't need to be, as you were saying, some sort of fancy expensive thing, it just needs to be something that lights me up and it can be the simplest.
Dr Orlena: absolutely. I totally agree with you right now. My list is looking at green things, all the trees around me looking at the blue sky, which is, you know, as a British person, blue skies are always going to be a
Netta: treatable. Certainly. Yes. And so for me, green, looking at green things, living in Canada, half the year, it's white, not green.
Dr Orlena: Yes. You are definitely much braver than me. Another question for. So, you know, hearing your story and thinking about, you know, you're in that space of, well, quite frankly, it sounds like you weren't feeling very well at all. And on one level, thankfully, that pushed you to make changes, but there's a lot of people who are sitting there who are in that situation and think, oh my goodness, I kind of know, I want to make changes, but I'm busy, but this but that, but something else.
Dr Orlena: What do you say to those people?
Netta: I guess that I was exactly the same. Totally. I had all the excuses and they weren't excuses in my head. There were jolly good reasons to say no, because I was suffering from the only way that I would stop suffering in my head. Was to eat the chocolate or eat the sweets.
Netta: You know, that was the only source of comfort that I have to deal with the suffering. It wasn't the source of my suffering in my head and making that switch of realizing, oh, wait a minute. You know, that suffering is actually coming from my eating those types of foods. And then later when I read up on it, you know, spiking my blood sugar and spiking my insulin and all the rest of it.
Netta: That's what's causing the problems. And then that's, what's causing my gut issues, my digestive issues. And then I discovered just a new way of not just eating, but a new way of living and relating to not just my food, but my life. That actually was just life-changing. It was life-changing. That's amazing.
Dr Orlena: Thank you so much for sharing. And you know, if for people who are listening and thinking, you know, I think another thing that I see people sitting and looking at is going, oh, it won't work for me. I can't do it. It won't work for me. I can't do it. And I watch people's transformations and I'm always amazed whether I've had any input into it or not.
Dr Orlena: But they are just normal people doing normal things. And if one normal person can do it, another normal person can do it. And yes, everybody has unique issues and problems, but they are. Insurmountable. There's always a solution if you really want to find it. But I think that's the crux it's if you really want to find it.
Netta: Yes. And I think that, you know, as if I'm a teacher and you know, I have to admit that more information is not necessarily the solution, you know, there's lots of info out there. Yes. You could have thrown all the info at me about then an incident and that this and the, that. And I would still have said I don't care because there's no way I'm giving up.
Netta: Does it to my chocolate, but it's sort of like, we have to get to a point. This is just human nature. At least it is mine have to get to a point where you just sort of don't have any other choice. My body backed me into a corner and I could not suffer anymore. And that was my threshold for suffering.
Netta: Other people have other thresholds and some people can, you know, go all the way to cancer and be at that store before they make any changes. If. This was my threshold and I was willing to do what it took to make a change eventually. And I'm so happy I did. And ever since then, that was in 2015 since then I've had.
Netta: The time, the mental clarity and sort of the, the freedom now to not spend all my energy, thinking about how awful I feel I can now spend my energy helping other people. And that's also part of my life after sugar as I caught it, because now I can actually get out of myself and go out in the world and help us.
Dr Orlena: Fabulous. I think, you know, that is the next step, you know, look after yourself and then inspire other people to stop. Making changes themselves. And I think it's an amazing thing to be able to do. So would you like to, on that note, would you like to tell people what it is that you do and how you help people?
Netta: Yes. Well, I started out giving in-person workshops about sugar and about, you know, how cutting sugar, whatever, even if it's just a little bit, but all the way to zero, like I did whatever. How that is a hundred percent positive for a hundred percent of people. And I was doing this in French because I live in French speaking, but, and then I moved it online, made a website, which is easier, said than done as you know then I decided to switch over to English because it happens to be my language anyway.
Netta: And then I made this podcast called life after sugar of about a year ago and not to call it. It's crazy. It took off, I think I'm up to 120 something thousand downloads. Congratulations. Thank you. Thank you. And it's very popular with a lot of people, especially with the intermittent fasting community, because.
Netta: Funnily enough when you reduce sugar, you're less hungry. You feel less hungry and intermittent fasting sort of comes naturally. It did for me. And if you want to have an easy intermittent fasting lifestyle, one, one major way to get there is to eat whole foods, which naturally excludes sugar. In fact, So I have this podcast that comes out every Sunday, life after sugar, I've got a website and a membership called the after sugar club.
Netta: And the website is after sugar club.com and that's where I help people who are ready, committed. You know, not that they've sort of got over that period of no, no, no way will I do that? I went through and then now at a stage where that, okay, Netta I'm ready and committed. Tell me how to do it because it's all very well saying, oh yeah, just cut sugar.
Netta: But then whole load of other things come up that the emotional relationship we have with sugar, the emotional needs that sugar meats that we now need to meet in other ways, the social aspect. Of not eating sugar and flour and the social pressure. What do you do when you're invited out or when you have people over, when you get all these judgmental comments from colleagues and friends and whatever family and all the different aspects of life after sugar is what I help people with regular people.
Netta: I mean doctor and I'm not a nutritionist, but I am a teacher and I have been living with for seven years. So that's what I help people live.
Dr Orlena: Amazing. Congratulations. It sounds absolutely fabulous. Any last words of wisdom that you would like to leave people?
Netta: I think the major thing that helped me that I've seen helps other people is having an open mind and this sort of let's give it a try.
Netta: You never know. So outlook and attitude. Well, I said at the beginning, putting your own wellbeing first, especially as a woman, especially as a mother is the one thing that made the biggest difference for me at least. And it does for people that I help as well.
Dr Orlena: Fabulous. Thank you so much for spending some time with us
Netta: So welcome. Thank you for having me.
Dr Orlena Kerek (MBChB from the University of Bristol, UK) trained as a pediatric doctor. She is now a family health coach. She helps busy mums who want to feel amazing by eating healthy food, enjoy a healthy life, get back into their honeymoon shorts and teach their kids healthy habits all without thinking about it.
Book a chat with Dr Orlena: https://bookme.name/drorlena/emotional-eating