Blog Flora Refosco - FloraRefosco.com

This text and image are by Laura Leite.

Hello there everyone. Here is part II of the article on Gut Health. Many thanks again to Flora and Jo for inviting me to contribute to this great site! :) 

On part I, we reviewed intestinal anatomy and function in simple language and general terms. We also looked at the gut as the second brain and the gut-brain axis. We looked at a selection of studies that showed:
- The correlation of gut health to psychological symptoms and psychiatric illnesses.
- The correlation of the gut microbiota to predisposition for obesity and metabolic dysfunction.
- The impact of gluten in the brain, and how it can manifest through decreased memory, depression, as well as digestive symptoms.
- How the gut is closely linked to our immunity.
- The importance of regular elimination.

We also began to understand the nature and the impact of two of the major intestinal diseases, that are increasing in incidence nowadays: SIBO and Gut Permeability, or “Leaky Gut”. We listed studies that show how alcohol, even in moderate consumption, can be a high risk factor for these two diseases.

As we bring the entire gut landscape from the first article into the practical level, we will:
- Continue to keep the immune system, the vagus nerve, and the gut-brain axis in sight.
- Attempt to enlighten an understanding that stress levels, emotions, rest, movement, diet and digestion, are one indivisible mechanism.
- Invite the reader to step back to look at the perspective of our ancestors, how they lived, behaved and consumed food, before civilization began encountering the diseases that we have today.


Sink philosophy: The difference between tension and lust

22/06/2015 - 1 Comments - Sink Philosophy |

Lately, I've considered changing this column's title from "sink philosophy" to "kneading philosophy". Even though washing the dishes remains a great moment to wander, it surprises me how much I can be concentrated in the bread dough and at the same time loose myself in digressions that I wouldn't otherwise.

For instance: in a given day I woke up pretty early and were out of the house until the end of the afternoon, I needed to bake breads that had been ordered for the next morning. Because of the fatigue I wasn't too excited you know, since this commitment required physical energy (I prepare and knead all by hand).

So I put a record to play and started telling myself I should not focus on the tiredness, but instead I had to prepare the breads unhurried, with dedication, like all the others. So that they would come out soft, nicely raised, with pretty crusts. "I have to knead neatly, so that the dough comes taut and raises well".

That's when my mind got distracted, leaving all the work to the arms.

All images and text in this post are by Gabriel Marzinotto.

It is June, so it's the best time to enjoy São João festivities around. Here in São Paulo one can find many different ways to celebrate, varied typical food. But there is something that's present in every São João party it's fogazza. Right? No? Well, it is always present in the celebrations nearby my house, anyway. Which is fine with me.


Just like I measure the short term time (minutes, hours) in musics, due to the habit of having a constant soundtrack playing at home, the medium term time (months, seasons) I measure in foods, weather, events.
It doesn't matter if my world is falling apart, for me when the days start to turn cold, the wind intense, and the Sun yellower, means July vacation is around the corner.
Cold nose, yam, pumpkin,  pine fruit, apples, tangerines, lemons and all kinds of citrus remind me of that mood. And, you see, it's been quite a while since I graduated, but the feeling still remains.

Right now, we cannot possibly consume all of the lemons from the lemon tree in my mothers yard, even if we distribute it to friends. (After all, mostly everyone in here either has a lemon tree in their own yard, or someone in their family do). Two winters ago, I think, picking a load of bitter lemons, I decided to make a jam that took the lemons' juice, rind, and sugar only. Without a recipe, without taking notes, nothing. It came out pretty good.

So I thought this would be a good recipe to shoot in video to show how to prepare the rinds, how to recognize the jam set point etc, it turned out great. Except it didn't work. The taste was too strong.
No wonder! When I prepared it for the first time, a thousand years ago, I did not take any notes. Cooking now off the top of my head, I am sure I did something differently and (obviously) it came out different. That's when I realize it really does make sense to have a notebook with me at all times.

So there was no other way around it: I tood advantage of the lemon's abundance and spent a whole week testing several ways to prepare the jam, until I reached a tasty result - which I did not find anymore with only juice, rind, and sugar.

Anyway, now with the new tested, aproved version - of which I took proper notes - I can give you the recipe to bitter lemon jam!


[Just a side note: sometimes I get such a hard time translating from Portuguese to English... wow. Why did I quote music in the original text anyway? haha]
Well, we got a samba in here that says the owner of the house does not approve of batuque in the kitchen.
I am not one to agree with this nonsense, not at all against batuque in the kitchen. In fact, it's the other way around. I do cook with batuques and plenty of music playing.
Now, when it comes to preparing a lot of ingredients at once, and the cutting board dances around - that's something I do not approve of.

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