What is a lifestyle prescription?
Sourdough Community Membership and our prescription courses are lifestyle prescriptions.
There are two definitions of a prescription. It is a recommendation that is authoritatively put forward, and it is also an instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorises a patient to be issued with a medicine or treatment. Our prescription courses fit both of these definitions.
Functional medicine is an approach to health that identifies an optimal balance between the internal and external body, and develops a treatment plan based on this. This approach is about looking after your health before you get ill, rather than only thinking about it once you are already unwell.
Functional medicine, then, is not focused on immediate disease, but on preventing disease in the first place. In this way, functional nutrition underpins functional medicine.
Our Bread Protocol isn’t just about baking amazing bread; it offers a preventative approach to chronic diseases through a lifestyle prescription that helps to restore balance, address nutrient deficiencies, heal the gut, and change the way you feel.
As our in-house GP, Dr Alex Davidson, explains: ‘This approach is a functional medical approach that uses evidence-based behavioural interventions to prevent, treat and manage chronic disease.’
What to expect from a prescription bread-making course
We have had amazing advances in healthcare, but there is no pill to cure a poor diet. The best medicine is prevention via a healthy lifestyle, and our courses teach you that you can change the way you live through making sourdough bread. It’s delicious, sociable and healthy, and also incorporates functional exercise. Our approach will help you in so many ways. You may find you are able to sleep better, and that you have less anxiety and depression and more energy, as well as reducing your overall risk of chronic illness.
At the Sourdough School, we have taught hundreds of people over many years, sharing with them our approach to making and eating bread. Time and time again, students have reported back changes in mood, sleeping patterns, digestion, weight management and mental health, so we researched the changes to the gut microbiome and impact on health, and created our online prescription courses. You can self-prescribe by enrolling yourself on a course to improve your health and wellbeing.
At the School, we teach doctors and healthcare practitioners the science of how baking can transform health as part of our Nutrition and Digestibility of Bread Diploma. Upon graduating, they are given a practitioners’ licence. If your doctor or healthcare practitioner is one of our Sourdough School graduates and they feel that this bread-making prescription course is something that will improve your health, then they can prescribe the course for you as a social prescription.
How much do the courses cost?
There are a number of courses and they range in price. However, if your course has been prescribed to you by your healthcare practitioner, then that course is completely free of charge – both to the prescriber and to the patient, who will be given a code for a 100% discount for the course in question.
Why are the social prescription courses free?
These courses are only free if you have been given a prescription by your healthcare provider.
Our social prescription courses are free because they are part of our Systems Change Programme. This programme enables graduates to apply their understanding of the Bread Protocol to help improve physical and mental heath in their patients. We know that when you are feeling poorly, a little compassion goes a very long way towards helping you feel better. Vanessa, the course director, often explains that compassion is catching. It starts small, and it grows. The social prescription courses are not just about learning to make bread. They are about discovering a sense of purpose. Through making bread that is good for you and the people you are connected to, you will also learn about communication and kindness – as well as getting to enjoy amazing bread that fills the kitchen with delicious aromas.
Because the real meaning of bread is friendship.
Making it simple
- The courses are delivered online.
- There is no need for any prior knowledge of baking.
- The breads are created by applying the principles of our Bread Protocol.
- We have designed the courses around inexpensive and accessible ingredients.
Eligibility criteria guidance
We do understand that this lifestyle prescription has limitations, and our healthcare practitioners will need to ensure that patients to whom they give a prescription have:
- access to a suitable device and the internet in order to be able to register online and watch the tutorials
- access to a kitchen with an oven
- access to simple equipment, including a bowl, a wooden spoon and a bread tin or ovenproof dish
- a good command of the English language (the courses are currently all in English)
What if my practitioner has not given me a prescription?
We are working really hard to find ways to train more healthcare practitioners and make our prescriptions more widely available. We are not doctors, so we are not able to do the social prescribing ourselves. If you are feeling unwell or overwhelmed, it is really important that you see your GP or healthcare provider.
If your healthcare provider does not have a practitioners’ prescription, you can self-prescribe by paying for a course or using one of our free recipes.