540 at The Yards Educator Spotlight | Ali Lawrence

We are pleased to have Ali Lawrence and her course Intro to Fermentation: DIY Sauerkraut for the first time at 540 at The Yards

Sunday April 7th  | 11:30-12:15pm  | $18

About Ali Lawrence

Ali Lawrence is the founder and owner of Spirit and Abundance, a company that seeks to help people connect and cultivate joy, mindfulness, and gratitude in a plant-based kitchen. She is a graduate from The Culinary Institute of America with a degree in Baking and Pastry, and The School of Hotel Administration from Cornell University. During her time at Cornell, she studied Zen Buddhism and that sparked her interest and passion in veganism, mindfulness, and meditation.

When did you begin business and/or teaching?
AL: I launched my website in October of last year and held my first class in January of this year

Where did you get the inspiration for your business brand?
AL: Spirit and Abundance came about because I wanted to inspire creation in the kitchen and create a space where people can learn about plant-based eating without fear or judgement. It evolved to include everything I enjoy doing and I am passionate about; sharing my knowledge and expertise, creating delicious plant-based food and connecting with others who have similar passions and ideas.

What makes you want to teach/do your business?
AL: I really enjoy teaching and want to teach because it comes back to inspiring creation and giving people the tools to cook and create plant-based dishes. I also want my classes to be spaces of curiosity where people can ask question about plant-based living or cooking without fear of judgement or shame. My classes ideally become more than just learning how to cook but building community and mindfulness about where our food comes from.

For you how does what you do as a brand or business related to wellness?
AL: Wellness to me is about connecting to yourself, what drives you, and engaging in positive, lifelong habits that can help you reach your goals. Spirit and Abundance helps you create those lifelong habits with plant-based cooking. My classes also offer a way reconnect to where plant-foods come from and to utilize them in fun and approachable ways!

How do you stay healthy?
AL: I stay healthy by eating a plant-based diet. I also drink a lot of water and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables! I make time to stay active with yoga and trips to the gym. Beyond the basic diet and exercise I also try my best to make time to spend with friends and family and rest when my body needs it.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your career?
AL: The biggest challenge I face is myself. I’ve found that I am the biggest gate keeper to achieving all these beautiful things I dream for Spirit and Abundance. As the business continues to grow I feel I will as well.

When you aren’t teaching classes what do you like to do?
AL: When I’m not teaching I am creating recipes to post on the blog and taking loads of pictures! Photography has become my new obsession as of late. Outside of the business I enjoy volunteering my time with a local youth theatre company.

What is it that inspires you to keep going as entrepreneur.
AL: All these people who’ve taken my classes and have said what a wonderful time learning and creating new connections they had! Beyond that, my drive to create and inspire. I genuinely believe that plants have a way of changing lives and inspiring creation so I feel privileged that I get to share the wonders of plant foods with the world.  

What are you working on now?
AL: I’m working on an Ebook to be published on May 24th of this year full of delicious plant-based recipes for the summer!

What’s has been your best experience thus far in your business?
AL: Teaching my first class and being able to connect with so many people. It was so special seeing people engaged in the classes and what I had to share.

What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
AL: Establishing a schedule and deadlines for myself. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of working too much or too little, as everything I do is entirely self-driven! It’s difficult to shut off sometimes as there is always going to be another thing on that to-do list. I try to make space for myself and have a list of goals I wish to achieve in a week and then assign those tasks to specific days. I’m still working on perfecting my method to achieve all I want to do!

What should the community expect for this course/lecture?
AL: Hands-on experience, making and tasting fermented foods! As well as some great insight onto why fermentation is so beneficial.

Why should the community take this course?
AL: Fermentation has been used for centuries as a method of food preservation. This class provides a little insight to keep this tradition going! Plus you get to go home with some sauerkraut you made yourself.

Please list any contact info you’d like to include (blog, twitter, email, FB, etc):

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

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