How did Ashley Koff get into the nutrition world?
I was born into the health world. My family is made up of physicians. My dad is a surgeon and he’s a pediatric surgeon. Very early on, one of my first jobs was working in his office. A lot of what he would remark to me is that, “I wouldn’t have to operate on many of these kids if they had better nutrition.” That was a really important thing that stuck in my head without me realizing it. But at the same time, I was also a grocery bagger and then worked my way up to cashier and manager at grocery stores and restaurants. So I’ve always had a food interest and an interest in what people purchase.
I think the health side of it ran in line with also my own personal interests and pathways. I have a good personal friend who says about our profession — she happens to be a therapist — that “research is ‘me-search’” whenever we’re going out. There’s so much of what I do today and where I’ve come from has been because of questions that I had about my own health and choices that I was making and real frustrations about where I felt medical answers let me down and nutrition options weren’t being presented.
My job today is to present those nutrition options with the hopes that people can consider them either before medical intervention or part in parcel with it. I’ve also just always been a foodie. I just never bought into the fat-free food that didn’t taste good that “was good for you.” I think it’s an intersection of all of those.