PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When a local woman had to make big changes in her diet because of some health problems, she didn’t know that years later, her own plant-based milk business would emerge.

Amy Colville had to keep certain foods and ingredients out of her diet, and when she couldn’t find any plant-based milks that worked for her., she started making her own.

“I had some health problems and I had to go on an elimination diet, which included eliminating dairy and a host of other things, which include refined sugar and gluten. So I set out to find a plant-based milk that didn’t have any gums or emulsifiers or anything that might irritate my digestive system,” she said. “I couldn’t find one so I made it my own and it was an ‘ah-ha’ moment.”

It’s called aMYLK, a vegan milk that contains pure organic nuts, water and salt.

“My goal is to create a product that makes you feel your happiest, healthiest, most joyful self,” Colville said. “That’s the whole idea behind it, pure foods that make you feel good.”

While there are many plant-based milk alternatives out there, Colville believes that her product can separate itself.

“We use a lot more nuts for one. A lot of people start with a nut paste. Mine are made with at least 25% nuts and we only use organic ingredients or better than organic ingredients. By that I mean they’re wild harvested, they’re not treated with pesticides or herbicides, so everything in aMYLK is the purist ingredient I can find,” she said. “I think the biggest surprise for people is it has a very small shelf life. “It’s very short but that’s what living foods are. They’re not meant to last months and months in the back of a warehouse or on a truck. You want to have foods that are healing, that expire. What you’re tasting when you taste aMYLK is a healthy, fresh product and it’s not meant to last forever.”

Colville is proud of the product she created and is glad that it has been able to help many people.

“I think with aMYLK, it’s the sort of product you have to taste to understand. I’m able to get in front of my customers and see their reactions and educate them and talk about the products. That makes a huge difference. Also, it creates community. I have a community that supports me and they trust me. Because they know that I’m not just here for capitalistic gains,” she said.

It can be found at the Kings Farmers Marker in NE Portland on Sundays, as well as five other markets in the area (Beaverton, Portland State, Lake Oswego, Vancouver, Hillsdale). It can also be ordered on the aMYLK website or at their store at 2147 NW York St., which is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.