Paleo Angel was founded with the vision of providing nutritious and delicious super foods under the guidelines of the Paleo Diet and the Autoimmune Protocol. We create foods with a greater purpose—to nourish and educate.
Our desire is to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Moreover, we strive to educate the world about the benefits of eating real, whole foods and its impact on autoimmune disorders.
Amy Ma, Founder and President
I was lucky enough to go to college in the lovely beach city of Malibu, California. During my time there, I constantly noticed a license plate holder (usually belonging to a smug local) flaunting, “Malibu—it’s not a place, it’s lifestyle.” Well, to me, Paleo is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. You see, I have been tormented by various autoimmune disorders my entire life. While that statement might make me sound like an overdramatic diva, it really did seem to affect every aspect of my life. While growing up, I visited doctor after doctor and was always told there was no cure, no solution, no way around it.
But Paleo was a game changer. In 2012, I had begun my career as an attorney and was living an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. The “Freshman 15” never got me in college, but boy, did it catch up to me during that first year as an associate. Long work hours in front of a computer and my food choices certainly did not help. Looking back, my autoimmune disorders really flared during this period, but at the time, I did not make the connection between my diet and my condition. After all, it’s not like I was eating fast food tacos or abandoning the recommended servings vegetables and fruit. I always made sure I chose wheat bread or low-fat yogurt, and what could be healthier than my daily oatmeal breakfast? I even got excited at the opportunity to select whole grain pasta when it was an option on the menu, despite the eye rolls and jabs from my friends. I thought I was pretty health-conscious. On days I was feeling more ambitious, I would write in a food journal and make sure I counted every last calorie to keep it under the magic number. Yet, I seemed to just gain more weight and feel more lethargic.
Then I got stuck sitting in a trial for six months, even though it was only supposed to last for two months. Day in and day out, I filed into a courtroom with limited, short breaks throughout the day to stand up, move around, or grab some food. One day at the trial, while I was wolfing down a turkey sandwich on wheat bread and complaining about decreased energy, one of my colleagues perked up and told me about a book she was reading called, It Starts With Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. She explained the Whole 30 diet to me and told me that Paleo was alleviating her inexplicable stomach pains. She talked about omitting grains, gluten, dairy and refined sugar. I was pretty dismissive. I thought, “Give up sandwiches and pasta? No way, I’ll be daydreaming about spaghetti and hallucinating pizzas in court after a week. I’m already down to 1200 calories a day. Better stick to my 100-calorie snack pack.” I also considered myself a foodie, always trying new restaurants and interesting foods, so the “diet” described by my colleague did not seem feasible. Then, day in and day out, I watched as my colleague’s cute little pencil skirt became looser, her skin became more vibrant, and her intestinal issues subsided.
I was only half-convinced by my colleague’s transformation, but my interest was piqued and I decided to look into it. The first thing I did was pick up a copy of The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf. I chose this book out of all the Paleo books out there because it looked like it was the easiest to read and actually get through—keep in mind I was still sitting in a trial every day. Well, not only was it easy to read, it was highly informative, intelligent, and persuasive enough to convince my logical mind that Paleo might help me. And it did. Within days, I no longer felt that 3 pm slump and I was sleeping better at night. Within weeks, the weight was dropping off my body without effort, and I had not even increased my physical activity. I stopped counting calories, and in fact, I consumed way more calories (real food calories). I never felt the need to exercise extreme discipline and starve myself. And then…it happened…it took a few months, but I noticed major improvements in my “no cure” autoimmune disorders. For someone who had just about given up on ever getting completely well, it provided immense hope and motivation.
On a quest to further heal my body, I found the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), which is similar to the Paleo diet but further avoids specific foods such as: eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades, and non-nutritive sweeteners. I know, it sounds crazy. Eyes would widen as I explained AIP to my friends and they would exclaim, “What can you eat? What’s the point? There’s no scientific proof this is going to work.” While I didn’t find much difficulty in conquering Paleo, AIP was a whole different story. But when your body is not operating at 100% (and in my case, much less than 100%), you quickly learn that these dietary changes are worth it. Essentially, AIP helps heal the immune system and gut mucosa. AIP is not a cure, but can often put disease into remission and heal the body substantially. It is amazing how many illnesses are considered autoimmune disorders. This diet is appropriate for people with diagnosed autoimmune disorders or with suspected autoimmune diseases. It is a nutrient-dense diet that is devoid of foods that irritate the gut and cause gut dysbiosis.
On my AIP journey, I discovered that while many Paleo foods are available on the market, it is difficult to find AIP foods to grab on the go. In turn, I started making my own snacks, modifying Paleo recipes I would find on the Internet by cutting out the egg or nut ingredients. At first, this was hugely unsuccessful, as eggs and nuts (and nut butters) are commonly the binding agents that hold many Paleo snack foods together. After a lot of trial and error, frustration, and broken dishes, I finally developed a winning recipe for Paleo & AIP Power Balls. To my surprise, they were well received by both the Paleo and non-Paleo people in my life. The Paleo Power Ball solved my problem, and my company was born.
Full of passion for this lifestyle, I created Paleo Angel with the mission to educate and nourish the world. It still amazes me that most people don’t recognize the connection between food and the body, besides the general idea that “bad food can make you fat and feel bad.” There is so much more to it (I encourage you to follow my blog to learn more), and I just hope I can spread healing and nourishment to those who need it.
Wishing you Power and Vitality,