Getting the Skinny on Juicing from Nutrition Expert Ashley Koff, R.D.


To juice or not to juice? That is the question, especially when swimsuit season is just around the corner! I sat down with Ashley Koff, R.D., an internationally renowned registered dietitian (R.D.), who is on a mission to help people get healthy by teaching quality eating. Ashley gave me the skinny on how to start juicing, and I can’t wait to put her powerful advice into practice.

Olive: What advice do you offer to those first starting a juicing or liquid nutrition program?

Ashley: Think about liquid nutrition the same as solid nutrition with the key being the nutrition part. No matter what form you are consuming you want to make every sip (or bite) as nutrient dense as possible.

There are four principles of optimal nutrition:

  1. Quality: Organic whole foods
  2. Quantity: With liquid, it’s essential to know what the right portions are. For example, just 4 ounces of a starchy vegetable or fruit is a serving of carbohydrate.
  3. Nutrient Balance: We need all our macro-nutrients (carbs, protein, fats), as well as non-starchy vegetables for our plant nutrients – at each eating occasion.
  4. Frequency: Avoid having too much or too little at one eating occasion. The body does better with complete “pit stops.”

Olive:  What books or resources do you recommend to get started? Is there a particular juicer I should research into buying?

Ashley: There are lots of recipes online, so no need to buy a book. Also, I have my free resources: the Nutrition Plan and the AKA (“Ashley Koff Approved”) lists on my website,, so you can figure out how to make your own nutrient-balanced liquid nutrition or look up favorite brands to see if their juices and smoothies are AKA, which means approved by me to meet all the above principles.

I love my Nutribullet, but there are other great juicers out there too. The one that is “great’ is the one you will use, clean and enjoy the taste of the juice from. There are pros and cons to them all, but I go for safety and convenience, as well as price, when I am looking at recommendations.

Olive: What fruits and vegetables do you recommend for optimal energy?

Ashley: They are all AWESOME!

Olive: So, my Popeye was right after all! When making a juice, is there a ratio to keep in mind for veggies and fruit? Does that even matter?

Ashley: Yes, it matters. For most of us, we want to keep it to max two servings of carbohydrate, which is about 30 grams total carb on a label (from fruit or starchy vegetables). The rest can be from non-starchy vegetables.

Olive: What does it mean to be a “qualitarian?”

Ashley: Someone who focuses on the quality of ingredients as the key factor in what they choose to consume /use or choose to avoid. When we make better quality choices, we get optimal health because the body gets what it recognizes and knows how to use.

Olive: What do you think about pre-packaged juices (i.e. Naked Juice, Odwalla, Jamba Juice, etc.)?

Ashley: You can see which brands are AKA but a lot of pre-packaged juices are NOT. The main reasons are the quality of ingredients and the nutrient balance does not match up with what is right for our bodies.

Olive: Is it better to juice at home than to buy commercial brands?

Ashley: Not necessarily, but it can save money and be fun to play with different ingredients (or a great use for leftover salad). There are quality options in both places.

Olive: Is fresh better than frozen?

Ashley: No. It should be called “room temp” vs. “frozen” because both are equally “fresh.” Often, frozen is the way to go because it is frozen at the moment that it’s picked so the food stays fresh. Also, frozen organic is often much cheaper than any fresh, so that’s a huge win!

Olive: Ashley, I have learned so much in our time together. Before we go, can you share one of your recipes?

Ashley: Absolutely! Here is a recipe for a March Madness-inspired smoothie that I made yesterday in my Nutribullet. All ingredients in this recipe are organic.

  • ½ lemon (pick out seeds but keep the rind)
  • 1 thumb length & thickness of ginger root, peeled
  • 1 fist mache
  • ½ cup frozen organic kale
  • ¼ cup cucumber
  • 4-6 ounces filtered water

About Ashley Koff, RD 

Ashley Koff, RD is an internationally renowned registered dietitian whose “Ashley Koff Approved” (AKA) list is a tool to help consumers, media, and healthcare practitioners choose better quality groceries, dietary supplements, and prepared food. Koff regularly appears as an expert on TV, print, radio, and online including “The Dr. Oz Show,” “The Doctors,” ABC7, The New York Times, O! The Oprah Magazine, Whole Living, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Redbook, Women’s Health, The Huffington Post, and EmpowHer. Koff is the co-author of Mom Energy:  A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged.  


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