“It is beyond bread’
There is increasing evidence that what we eat affects the way we feel.
This workshop is centred around the core of Vanessa’s PhD research. It is using the most up to date understanding of how food and nutrition can affect mental health. Your gut and your brain are in constant communication. They are connected by an information superhighway highway known as the vagus nerve. Our body relies on our brains for all the operating instructions.
This information travels both ways. Our gut microbiome is known as ‘the second brain,’ and the number of nerves in our gut even outnumbers those found in the spinal cord. Our guts actually act semi-independently of the brain through a variety of reflex circuits that govern its movement, secretions and the vessel dilation required for the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.
Food & Mood
You can think of the nerve cells in the gut and neurons as the hardware, and the neurotransmitters as the software of this supercomputer. There is increasing evidence that what we eat and the levels of fibre in our diet influence levels of what are termed as psychobiotics. These bacteria are the positive microbes that are involved with the production of the chemicals that may help to regulate mood. Different neurotransmitters have different effects on downstream neurons; one example of this is the most well-known of all neurotransmitters is called serotonin. There are several studies that suggest our gut bacteria can both, directly and indirectly, influence serotonin levels.
What is Serotonin?
Often called the ‘feel- good hormone,’ serotonin acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter in our body. Low mood, depression, anxiety, and even autism are associated with altered serotonin levels. Serotonin is thought to govern our feelings of wellbeing, contentment, satiety, anxiety, and fear throughout the nervous system and Serotonin, is produced by the enterochromaffin (EC) cells lining the digestive tract.
Given that our gut is the primary site of 95% of serotonin production, the ability of gut-derived serotonin to impact mental wellbeing is a very relevant; as is the role that gut bacteria play in regulating production. In laboratory studies, certain gut bacteria have been shown to produce their own serotonin. In this workshop we are increasing prebiotic fibre to nourish positive bacteria and using studies on increased bioavailability of fibre through fermentation. We are also exploring the routine of baking as a therapeutic tool, and how we eat bread to improve mood.
What will we make? We don’t know the exact recipes we are going to make yet as we make the decisions of what to bake on the Monday when we meet for the first time, however these things we will likely make:
- A sourdough bread loaf formula
- A fermented cake
- A probiotic accompaniment such as cultured butter
- A symbiotic recipe such as a soup to eat with the bread
- Vegetable or fruit probiotic pickles such as kimchi or sauerkraut
- A fruit compote
What is included
- 12 months – a Gold membership to The Sourdough Club. (RRP £199)
- An exclusive ceramic jar with breathable wooden lid & some of our starter to take home
- A set of sourdough record cards
- A personalised signed The Sourdough School book worth £19.99 (we also stock other books by Vanessa – if you have this one already we can offer another instead or we can gift you a bottle of wine from the family Vineyard.)
- All the teaching materials & supporting documentation
- A personalised embossed certificate of attendance
- A Sourdough School Workbook – a stunningly beautiful workbook that you fill in as part of the week to write up all the recipes we develop, any notes and information you want to remember. It is an amazing keepsake and one that you will keep adding to when you go home.
- A selection of flour that we use on the course, to get you going when you get home.
- Wine tasting & tour of the family vineyard (providing the proprietors are available)
- All food and drinks whilst at the school are provided, including lunch out on Tuesday when we go to the farm shop or market.
Please read our Terms and Conditions before you book.
All of our information for attendees can be found here