LINDSAY MERCHANT (Director of Small Groups): Born and raised in Michigan, Lindsay is an educator and college counselor by trade with a Masters in the Art of Teaching, which she put to use through her work in urban education in Chicago and Detroit. Her true passion, though, lies with the power of plant-based eating and natural lifestyle habits. She suffered from autoimmune disease for the better part of 20 years, while western medical treatments continuously failed to provide more than temporary relief and horrible side effects. Through a whole-foods, plant-based diet and the use of Ayurvedic medicine, she has nearly put her autoimmune condition into remission. Lindsay started the Ann Arbor Small Group with her co-host Gaia Kile in 2016 and, despite moving to the west side of the state, continues to meet with that group monthly because connecting directly with others for the purpose of better health gives her so much energy! When she’s not talking about plants, researching how to heal with plants, cooking plants or eating plants, Lindsay is typically playing with her two dogs, Maggie and Tank, or finding ways to get outside (rain, snow, or sun)!