Don’t just take our word for it.
‘Vanessa’s work on sourdough and the gut microbiome is changing the way we think of food, health and baking.’– Professor Tim Spector, Founder of Zoe
Student interview – Dr Ed CopleyOur Diploma Students are trained to prescribe BALM clinically. The BALM Protocol is the framework for the way the Sourdough Club teaches people to approach baking. By inviting their patients to join the club, they learn to bake nourishing bread that enhances mental and physical and mental health as a social prescription.
BALM can be used to support health in the following clinical areas:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
- Cardiovascular diseases.
- Chronic constipation.
- With symptoms that are indicative of social isolation.
- High-stress levels due to life events (e.g., grief, menopausal transition, life stressors).
including depression and anxiety.
- Blood glucose dysregulation (e.g., pre-diabetes, insulin resistance).
- Obesity or weight management issues.
- Anxiety from situational challenges that include parenting difficulties, caregiving stress, or adolescent issues.
- Any other medical or psychosocial conditions where the Licensee perceives that the BALM approach could provide therapeutic benefits, such as chronic loneliness.
- For individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early-stage dementia, as participating in baking activities could help stimulate cognitive functions and provide a sense of accomplishment.
- For persons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Fibromyalgia -baking and reducing inflammation serves as a therapeutic activity.
- For individuals recovering from addiction, baking serves as a mindful activity that contributes to their recovery process.
- For patients with sleep disorders – the grounding and relaxing nature of baking might and blood sugar management aid in establishing better sleep routines.
- Carers looking after a patient with cancer or the patient themselves.
- Patients who are at risk of bowel cancer, as the extra fibre in BALM is clinically shown to be protective.
- Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), are subject to following the strict guidelines on retarded wholegrain and the 12-week introduction of wholegrain protocol to ensure that gluten is broken down, reducing potential inflammation from unfermented gluten.
The membership includes engaging with both medical and baking experts in live sessions, encouraging patients to use baking as a therapy to support health and well-being in a warm, supportive, friendly community, and supporting patients with the tools they need to engage in their health journey actively.
How can I prescribe?
To understand the licensing and how practitioners can access and the extensive resources offered to graduates as they become part of the systems change. Notably, each licence enables medical professionals to prescribe patient vouchers worth over £10,000 subsidised by The Sourdough Club social discount vouchers, reducing monthly membership to less than the cost of the average supermarket sandwich.
We highly recommend that you download THE FULL COURSE PROSPECTUS before enrolling on the course.
‘Vanessa’s approach to baking nourishes both the gut and the mind.’
– Dr Michael Mosley
‘This is a journey. And these aren’t just courses. Kimbell wants to change the bread we eat, one loaf at a time. She’s the real deal: a total inspiration.’
– Diana Henry, the Telegraph.
Clinical Diploma Online || 100% Online
£49.99 / month for 24 months + £2,499.00 registration fee
- COURSE STARTS: 28th September 2023
- DURATION: 1 year – (but you can graduate up to 2 years after the start date)
- REGISTRATION FEE: £2499
- TUITION FEES £49.99 per month for 24 months – ( Please note that your payments start from when you enrol, not from when you start the course)
- DURATION: 2 academic years – Each year is 3 10 week terms
- Hours: Live sessions on Thursday Evenings 2 hours + Baking tasks
- LOCATION: Online
- WHY? Prescribe evidence-based Lifestyle social prescription courses to your patients.
- HIGHLIGHTS: Case studies and baking the theory at the weekend. Weekly live tutorials keep you engaged.
- START DATE: 28th September 2023
- The diploma has two modules: BALM Theory, and BALM Practical
Healthcare professionals: GPs, dieticians, physiotherapists and frontline staff who are then able to use bread making as a social prescription in their practices.
Bakers: who wish to dive deep into the knowledge and understanding of how the bread they bake impacts human health.
15 in stock
- Additional information
- Key learning objectives
- What will I learn?
- A recording about how the course is taught and who this course appeals to?
- How will I be able to use the knowledge?
- Why is bread integral to health and wellbeing?
- What is an Advanced Diploma?
- Your last lesson on the course...
- What others say about Vanessa & the course
- Do you offer any further professional support services?
- Do I need to buy anything before I start the Baking as Lifestyle Medicine Module?
|Optional In Person Workshop||
Standard (online only), With Workshop 17th – 21st April 2023, With Workshop 12th – 16th June 2023, With Workshop 17th – 21st July 2023
Key learning objectives
By participating in this course you will:
- Learn how mass-produced, poor-quality bread and baked goods negatively impact health.
- Understand the mechanisms of how long, slow fermentation transforms your bread and discover how the Sourdough School Bread Protocol results in significant positive benefits to both the gut microbiome and mental health.
- Bake the knowledge. Each week throughout the course, you will apply the scientific reading from the syllabus to make your bread and accompanying recipes.
- Gain a unique insight into the impact of the Bread Protocol on your Gut microbiome and physical and mental health. You will test your biome at the beginning of the course and again in late January; when you get your results back, you will have a feedback session with the Research and Medical Directors and discover how you have responded.
- Appraise Sourdough School Case studies that demonstrate improvement of physical and mental health outcomes.
- Apply the knowledge and change your clinical practice: medical professionals may apply for a practitioner’s license on completion of the course, which will enable them to socially prescribe any of The Sourdough School prescription courses to their patients.
- Positively impact community health: our prescription courses are about sharing bread. The Bake 2, Give 1 principle encourages people to connect to each other and this helps alleviate loneliness and social isolation.
- VOUCHER: Attendees will be able to claim a £1000 voucher for the in-person Workshops (valid for 12 months & non-transferable)
What will I learn?
Your course is about understanding the relationship between bread and gut health, and we apply nutritional, medical and lifestyle evidence to teach you how to bake bread to optimise health.
The course is an interactive learning programme run by Vanessa Kimbell at The Sourdough School, and the syllabus is a living syllabus which, while self-guided, is highly interactive. The course is made up of both live and pre-recorded lectures, guided learning, live tutorials with Q&A and interesting tasks, plus two very active forums: the Baking Forum and the Nutrition & Digestibility Forum. We encourage alumni to stay engaged in the forums to support other students.
The course is taught by some of the world’s leading experts and includes recipes, studies, supporting materials and a regular Sourdough Baking Clinic.
- The syllabus covers topics such as Bread and the Impact on the Gut Microbiome, Bread and Balancing Blood Sugar, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), Bread and Mental Health, Wheat Allergies, and Bread and Obesity.
- You will also learn extensively about the gut microbiome and how to bake to nourish both your physical and mental health.
- You will be applying the theory of how you make bread to optimise health by baking delicious sourdough breads that tie in with the topics being explored.
- The syllabus includes simple sourdough recipes, including sourdough pasta, basic sourdough cakes, focaccia, baguettes and open-crumb boules.
- You will gain an understanding of the mechanisms of sourdough and why it is both more digestible and more nutritious than other kinds of bread.
- You will be awarded a certificate at the end of the diploma following an open written test and completion of the recipes on the course.
- You will also learn to eat symbiotically and discover how to accompany your bakes with probiotics. We apply the science of nourishing the gut through simple, delicious and affordable recipes, such as fresh fruit compote, cultured butter and more.
- You can also book and attend a five-day in-person workshop at the Sourdough School. This workshop will give you the opportunity to consolidate your knowledge with Vanessa and the team.
A recording about how the course is taught and who this course appeals to?
This year’s students include a wide range of people, including GPs, bakers, healthcare professionals, farmers and nutritionists: indeed, pretty much anyone who is interested in understanding why and how their bread can be healthier.
It particularly appeals to healthcare professionals as they will later be able to prescribe our prescription courses to their patients.
How will I be able to use the knowledge?
This course will significantly improve your understanding of the nutritional value of wholegrain, the importance of diversity and the mechanisms of sourdough, as well as how to transform the national value of bread. This knowledge is a game-changer when it comes to baking for health and product development for your customers.
For doctors and practising healthcare professionals:
Upon graduating, you will be able to apply for our Practitioners’ Prescription.
Students who qualify (and are healthcare practitioners) may apply for a Practitioners’ Prescription, which will mean that you are able to prescribe your patients/clients a 3-month sourdough bread-making course as a lifestyle prescription, free of charge. This means you can use your knowledge in your everyday work and deliver the benefits of our most nutritious bread to the people that need it most in your practice. A variety of Prescription Courses will be available.
Why is bread integral to health and wellbeing?
This course is about understanding the impact of the bread we eat every day on our physical and mental health. We focus on the impact of bread on health, and in particular on the gut microbiome. We also focus on understanding how the mechanisms of sourdough positively transform bread.
Bread can harm or heal. Bread and baked goods make up the top three out of four of the largest proportion of our daily calorie consumption. It is impossible to ignore the impact of bread and baked goods on our health and wellness, and yet bread is possibly the most misunderstood of our most basic foods. It can be simultaneously the best of foods and the worst of foods.
What is an Advanced Diploma?
If you choose to do the Advanced Diploma, then in addition to the online course, you will book and attend a five-day in-person workshop at the Sourdough School. This workshop will give you the opportunity to consolidate your knowledge with Vanessa and the team.
Your last lesson on the course...
Part of the course is being a member of our Sourdough Club, and in the very last lesson of your course, we will set a task for you to continue your learning by supporting and sharing your knowledge with someone you are connected to.
So we invite you to stay as a member of The Sourdough Club for another year, and we also gift a membership code to you which you can then give to a young baker, who you will nominate as the final step in your syllabus. This means you can keep baking and learning from your course, while also virtually supporting a young baker from anywhere in the world through the Club and the forum – because our connection to each other is the real secret of why sourdough is good for us.
What others say about Vanessa & the course
Perhaps the best people to hear from are our students.
‘Food is medicine, but very few doctors are trained in nutrition. Vanessa (and the team at the Sourdough School) have an ability to translate the “art” of bread making into a language that crosses the divide between art and science. She links pathways from different disciplines to demonstrate that the way in which we eat bread will impact both the body and mind. No doctor has ever been able to explain digestion in such a graphic manner.
This allows bakers and scientists to interrelate around the central theme of the gut microbiome. It is lifestyle medicine at its best! It engages you fully in a process that is achievable, whilst giving you an insight into digestion and its effect on health. This is a real-world application course, where you will learn how you can use our most basic food to help optimise your health and prevent disease. It doesn’t stop there; your Practitioner’s Prescription Licence empowers you to prescribe short baking courses to your patients free of charge as a lifestyle prescription, which is central to the Sourdough School Systems Change Programme.’
Annie Elliot GP 2021/22 Student on the Nutrition & Digestibility of Bread Diploma
Do you offer any further professional support services?
We are also able to offer further consultancy to help with communications as well as research, product development and licensing to bakeries to produce bread and baked goods for both The Diversity Bread, and Botanical Blend Flour. Please click here for details.
Do I need to buy anything before I start the Baking as Lifestyle Medicine Module?
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