The Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!”
CEO of Sound Bites® Inc. – Sound Science. Smart Nutrition. Good Food.®
Creator of Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner – Make Ordinary Rituals Extraordinary TM
Recipient of the Media Excellence Award – Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics – 2016
Named one of “10 Dietitians You Need to Follow on Social Media” by U.S. News & World Report
Podcast: Sound Bites Blog: Food for Thought Twitter & Instagram: @MelissaJoyRD
Melissa is an award winning, nationally recognized food and nutrition expert, certified diabetes educator, media trainer, spokesperson, speaker, blogger and podcaster with more than 20 years’ experience and a proven track record of providing real solutions for real people so they can enjoy their food with health in mind.
People are hungrier than ever for realistic options that empower them to make healthier choices, while bringing back the enjoyment of food. Melissa helps people digest food and nutrition information so they can make their own well-informed decisions based on facts, not fear – and most of all, come away with meaningful steps toward better nutrition and health.
Melissa’s background includes nearly a decade of clinical nutrition and outpatient counseling as well as corporate wellness, public speaking, academia, and research. She’s a former supermarket dietitian and also specializes in diabetes, weight management, family nutrition, and food safety/technology. Melissa has extensive media experience as a spokesperson for the food, grocery and healthcare industries, and received the 2016 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Media Excellence Award. She has conducted over 200 live TV interviews in Chicago and has been quoted in countless publications including the Wall Street Journal, Shape Magazine, and Men’s Fitness. She was recently named one of “10 Dietitians You Need to Follow on Social Media” by U.S. News & World Report.
Utilizing her communications expertise, Melissa enjoys coaching other food, nutrition and wellness experts on media, social media and public speaking skills, with an emphasis on creating and delivering meaningful messages that engage and empower audiences.
Melissa lives in Chicago with her husband and two children. She enjoys weight lifting and all kinds of dancing from ballet to ballroom. She has survived her midlife experiment of competing in events ranging from 5Ks to triathlons.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:27] Hi there! It’s Mathea. Welcome back to the Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast featuring nutrition experts who are leading the way using food starts today right now with our next guest. It’s great to have Melissa Joy Dobbins on the show today. Melissa welcome to Nutrition Experts.
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:00:45] Thank you so much for having me on.
Mathea Ford: [00:00:47] I’m excited to have you on the show and share your expertise with my tribe. So, let’s start with just letting you tell my listeners a little more about you and what you do.
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:00:57] Well I am a Registered Dietitian for twenty five years I believe it’s almost exactly 25 years and I’ve been a Certified Diabetes Educator for 20 years. I’ve had a little bit of a traditional start to my career but then I like to call myself the accidental entrepreneur because I didn’t intend to start my own business but my career path led me that way and my family path sort of led me that way. But I’ve done clinical, as an outpatient and I was a supermarket dietitian. I was a [00:01:33] dairy dietitian [0.8] and I worked in a diabetes clinic. Now, since about 201, I have been on my own doing Nutrition Communications Media training other dietitians anything from traditional media because that’s for all of my media communications experience is live TV interviews in Chicago. So, I train dietitians on anywhere from that all the way to nearly improving your public speaking skills. I get that out of all dietitians are educators. So, we’re all communicators and whether it’s one on one counseling or group classes or community presentations, blogging, writing like I said TV, radio, print interviews. With all that you know we have to be compelling because we have a lot of nutrition nonsense out there a lot of people sharing information that they don’t have the credibility that we do and we have the evidence based that’s kind of a tall order. We have our work cut out for us so I really like helping dietitians improve their communication skills.
Mathea Ford: [00:02:45] Okay, Melissa you said that you have been a dietitian for a long time. So have I. Since I like twenty one years so I just want… I have a curious question: what do you think has changed the most in dietetics since she became an R.D?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:03:02] Well There are certain like milestone type things that been stood out to me. I remember when I first started working in clinical learning. This is maybe three. This is before hurricane and I remember we had like two beatings like this glucerna and then all of a sudden I was like “No you don’t have to have a specialty thing for diabetes.” And few years later I became a certified IBD educator and it was like hard counting that was just such a huge shift. And then also I think the whole concept of “yes, we want to get nutrient rich foods which I think is a concept so lost on patitents and clients. I wish we could just focus on it doesn’t matter what the food is. How much nutrition are you getting out of it? Is it empty calories or does it have nutrients in it? Just the whole concept of like you know “you can’t get everything from food always.” So, for example the vitamin D deficiency that I think is this time is the biggest thing with happened in my career saying that “wow! Lots of people have a vitamin D deficiency giving physicians onboard even check their levels. Realizing that the part of the world we live in. I’m in Chicago, we don’t have a lot of sun here always. And yeah! You’re probably going to need a supplement. It’s about exactly answer your question because those are some of the things that come to mind.
Mathea Ford: [00:04:37] I think it’s just an interesting thing because I remember they didn’t even have food labels. They were just coming out with the first food labels in 1994 and I graduated in ’96 from college. So, we were just learning about them. And now to think of a food without a food label is crazy. But yeah! Okay! So, I know you talked just a second ago about the media trainings that you do for dietitians and you do them in person. I personally met you in 2014 in Oklahoma because you came to do a training with us The Oklahoma Association Dietetics and I want to know kind of how do you help other dietitians speak out to be the voice of reason because like you were talking about there’s lots of other messages out there and not look like the food police? Because I always hated it when people would recognize me in a grocery store and be like “don’t look at my cart” and I’m like “I really don’t know what I don’t know how to tell you I don’t care about what’s on your cart.” Right now, I mean I’m not. Yeah. So, how do you help dietitians with that?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:05:47] Yeah! I always say “well, don’t look at my cart I won’t look in yours.”.
Mathea Ford: [00:05:51] Yeah.
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:05:52] Yeah! In fact, when I was a supermarket dietitian, I have a funny story. Well, I think its funny and then I’ll answer your question. When I was a supermarket dietitian, I was kind of recognizable because it’s kind of creepy but they decided to use my picture as part of the logo. So, I was off work one day and I went to the store to get hotdogs and wine for a cookout. And I don’t think I have like a stitch of make up on and I was just wearing my little t shirt shorts and that checkout person recognized me as the Jewel dietitian. So embarrassed. Here I am buying wine and hotdogs. Yeah great!
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:06:31] This is so important in fact during one of my media trainings, during this our hands on activity that I do, this messaging activity we came up with the phrase “Dietitians are not the food police we’re more like coaches than referees and these are the types of things that I try to do is to take the information, the fact that the data whatever and package it up a little bit more in a compelling way that when people hear it they’re like “Oh! I get it!” Because we can say all day long “we’re not the police” but kind of giving them that analogy like “we’re going to be your coach, we’re going to be your cheerleader, we’re not you know calling the shots and telling you what you’re doing wrong.” That’s the sort of thing that know dietitians are uniquely qualified and poised to do. We just have our work cut out for us like I said. So, we need more dietitian voices out there you know kind of taking those sensational headlines and translating them into meaningful helpful bottom lines for people. A great… Yes. We do a lot of great work with one on one counseling and group classes. But when we expand that communication to reach larger audiences through traditional media or social media there’s some changes that happen with that. It’s challenging to take a recommendation or somebody who’s sitting in front of you and your tailoring everything to their preferences and then trying to translate that to the masses. A lot of challenges inherent in that but when we’re reaching a larger population with these realistic and let’s say helpful tips and advice you know that helps everybody. It’s a win win. You know it elevates the presence and appearance of the dietitian. You know the understanding of what we really do and who we really are. And it helps the public you know eat healthier. So, that’s what I try to do with my media trainings and in my own nutrition communications whether it’s a TV segment, my podcast or you know writing a blog or just simply a social media post.
Mathea Ford: [00:08:50] So, do you have any ideas or tips for dietitians who maybe you know on social media if they see some false information? What types of things do you use to respond to that or do it to educate and help the public?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:09:10] Well that’s a great question and I’ll tell you when I was on a National Dairy Council spokesperson I had the privilege. I won’t say the pleasure because it was hard but I had the privilege of engaging in several Crisis Communications Trainings. And what I learned whether it’s again traditional media or social media, what I learned is the best defense is a strong offense. So, I’d encourage dietitians not to just wait around and sort of reply or respond when they see something inaccurate. I do encourage that you speak up when you feel the need and there’s a few lapses we can discuss. But in general, if you’re just putting out credible helpful meaningful information on an ongoing basis instead of just kind of responding when you see something that’s negative. And so like a specific suggestion is “I’m a Diabetes Educator” that’s kind of the lane I swim in. I don’t know as much about gluten intolerance or paleo or keto so I won’t talk about those things very much. So, I swim in my own lane and when something that icy comes up that’s not right about diabetes I’ll set the record straight either again like with a reply or response but more importantly, I try to put credible information out about diabetes all of the time so that when people hear something and they’re not sure if it’s true or not. When they go looking for information there’s a lot of credible information that they’re going to find. One caveat to this is sort of those haters on social media. You have to be really careful. I tell people that you know you don’t want to get into a food fight for lack of a better term with haters.
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:11:02] And there are people who are willing and able to have healthy respectable conversation and kind of share different viewpoints and listen. And then there are people who are just really out to be mean and hateful. I did… I wrote a 250 word book review on a Paleo Diet book review when I was an Academy spokesperson. You can’t say a whole lot in 250 words but I did say you know this is “I’m reviewing this book because the paleo diet has lots of different iterations and some look a lot different than others.” But this book I shared my thoughts on it. I tried to be as professional as possible. My word choices and somebody didn’t like that review and posted on Facebook and they called me the C word and I was shocked. I know of course you know I’m just got sick to my stomach and so mad and I wanted to respond. And I thought this is not something you respond to if they’re going to call me the C word. These people are unreasonable and they’re not going to listen to the facts and the information or anything that’s not what they think.
Mathea Ford: [00:12:17] Yeah! I understand that dilemma because I have several books on Amazon and people write reviews and you’re like “oh! I want to respond to that so bad. But yes, sometimes people are just irrational so and you do have to not take it personal. But I love what you said about having those messages already in your social media and on your website and stuff because when you respond to that information that needs to be corrected, adjusted, explained whatever then something clicks on your name goes to your profile, your information, they’re going to see that “oh! She consistently posts about this topic and therefore she knows what she’s talking about. So that also lends to your credibility.”.
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:13:08] Yeah. And you know another thing that I think is really important I think that we you know when we’re thinking about credibility and evidence based information down science we think “oh! I’ve got to make sure everybody knows I’ve got all these credentials and I did schooling in this and this and that” and yes that’s definitely important and that differentiates us from the celebrity quote unquote experts. But really we need to remember that being real and human and relatable is just as important because people are listening to advice from people like them and people that they trust and they may not just automatically trust the credibility factor. You know they hear it they know it “Okay, they know where you’re coming from” but we need a little bit more to engage that trust.
Mathea Ford: [00:14:04] I absolutely because I know people do things based on referrals. Absolutely so I know people do things based on their friends, referrals or whatever so yes being somebody that people can know, like and trust and being that personable like I don’t put every day perfect pictures of my food on Instagram so I act like I never ever eat you know a piece of cheesecake type thing. So, yeah that makes a lot of sense. What do you say to people when they bring up these celebrity diets or their fad diets that seem to have a grain of truth. You know they they started somewhere with some truth or some scientific basis but they’re not nutritionally sound? How do you help dietitians to respond to that too?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:14:53] I think you know we all know how to respond with “Well, you know let me tell you about the pros and cons of this particular diet.” And again I do think it’s important to swim in your own lane. I think we’ll be starting talking about things that we’re not real experts in that particular area. We can be a sort of loose footing you know we’ve got to kind of make sure that we’re addressing the science and in order to do that you know that the diabetes is uncomfortable. There’s still even areas within diabetes that I’m not comfortable taking a deep dive into and I work for the colleagues of mine for that but I think that what we forget is everybody is an expert in food because everybody eat and we really go a long way to emphasize when we’re talking to either somebody one on one or social media that you have the choice to choose what’s best for you. I would like you to make an informed choice as possible. And I like to tell people like I want them to be informed and unafraid. We know that people make decisions based on feelings. They’re not going to stick to just the facts but hopefully the feelings are here. We don’t want people to make food choices out of fear. So, we want to kind of present them with the information and let them make their own well-informed decision. And here’s a specific example. A few weeks ago in ballet class my friend was talking about organic and she said “well, you’re a dietitian. Do I need to buy all organic produce?” And I said “Well, you know what’s your concern?” “So, my mother is recovering from breast cancer and she doesn’t want meat and this woman is probably mid 40’s. She wants me and my family to only buy organic.” And I said “Well, I don’t use only organic. It’s a personal choice. However if you’re telling me that you don’t think you can afford it and you just don’t think it’s realistic to buy organic all the time. Let me refer you to a website eatfruitsandveggies.com. The Alliance for Good in Farming and it’s a group of… It’s an organization that is made up of organic and conventional farmers and it shares all the research on actually you know as we know the benefits of getting produce far outweigh any potential risks of pesticide residues and that people aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables and the best thing you can do to prevent cancer is to get more produce. So, they have all the research and everything there. So, I said this is you know my experience but here’s a place where you can go and take a deeper look to take a deeper dive and make your own decision.
Mathea Ford: [00:17:50] I know you also have some things that dietitians can use. You have a sound science toolkit?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:17:56] Yes. So, I created this. It’s basically just a compilation of resources to help dietitians and really anybody can can look at it. It’s a free downloadable on my site but it’s a compilation of resources to help dietitians understand and communicate nutritional research better. So, it’s not specific to any food or product or disease. Say it’s things like what are the different types of studies? Which ones are stronger than others? What are some of the limitations in nutritional research? What’s the difference between risk and hazard? What’s the difference between correlation and causation? In fact I just came across a new resource today that I’m going to add to it in the article that Karen Collins wrote for Today’s Dietitian on Communicating Nutrition Research and it just addresses things like bias and it’s not just the funding source that could be a potential source of bias. There’s other things that we need to understand and be reminded of. You know maybe we learn these things in school but there’s really nobody reminding us of these things so I put everything together in this down science tool kit and people to go to my website soundbitesRD.com right on the home page. I’m actually in the process of revising it. I’m constantly adding new resources to it. You should either see it as a pop up or on the home page and yeah it’s something that I felt would be helpful for me. So, I thought why not put it together and share it with other dietitians.
Mathea Ford: [00:19:36] Yeah! I love that because it is sometimes hard to make sure that you’re being just clear and doing and understanding the studies and stuff if it’s been a while since you’ve been to school then you may be out of practice. So, I know you work with brands a little bit. Any tips for RDs that want to work with brands that align with their work?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:20:01] Basically, you said of make sure that the food or product aligns with your values and what you stand for. Not all dietitians will agree on the same foods and products. We’ve seen that within our community and I’ve just thrown in a side note there you know. Don’t judge others. There’s different people have different preferences and different types of clients so they’re going to want to know more about different foods, different brands. And you know if I’m working with the diabetes population and my clients are you know eating fast food I want to know as much as I can about those food products. But I definitely think that you know you want to think about is this a food group or a food product that you’re willing to go to the mat on? I think that you know it’s easy to say “Yeah I’m working with a fruit and veggie company.” When you start. Like even juice. Oh! My gosh. I consulted with Welch’s. I firmly believe that 100 percent juice fits into our diet and can help us meet our produce recommendations. Even if you have diabetes and you know no one saying to drink a gallon of it you know the haters just come out of the woodwork. Even with dairy I can’t believe how many haters came out of the woodwork when I worked with dairy I’m like “For crying out loud! If you don’t want to drink it don’t drink it but don’t try to malign the science that that’s behind this.”
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:21:34] And you know I was willing to go to the mat and say “No, I stand behind this and I’m not going to waiver.” If it’s something that you might not be willing to do that then I wouldn’t work with that product or that company.
Mathea Ford: [00:21:50] Yeah. That’s interesting because I do a lot of kidney disease stuff. I tend to look for like the lower protein less you know not whole wheat white bread. So, I know that that kind of goes against recommendations but it doesn’t go against recommendations for that condition. So that’s a great example. What you talked about. I mean even if I just talk about tomatoes not necessarily as part of a brand but just talk about tomatoes. There’s a huge group of people that are like “How dare you ever tell people with kidney disease they could eat tomatoes?” So anyway…
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:22:26] It depends on your population, it depends on the person.
Mathea Ford: [00:22:30] So, if a dietitian was approached by a brand, how do you recommend that they think about working with them? What types of things can dietitians do when they work with brands?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:22:40] Well I’ll back up one step because I get this question a lot from dietitians. How do you start working with brands? They’re not approaching me. So I always say become a super fan of that food or product and get to know that company whether it’s a commodity or manufacturer. You know show them that you are a superfan on social media. Now there is a there’s a little caveat to that sometimes if a company sees that you’re already a super fan they may not be as interested in hiring you because you’re already kind of promoting their stuff but hopefully they would see the value that “hey! This is somebody who we could give them more information about our product and kind of have a really good relationship with.” So, if you get approached or if you reach out to a company to work with them, one of the things that I recommend is personal. You don’t have to do it all. So, for example when I work with a company I don’t do recipe development. I don’t do recipe testing. I don’t do nutrition analysis.
Mathea Ford: [00:23:50] Analysis. Yeah!
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:23:50] I know people who do. So, I say I can subcontract that out or I can refer. I can suggest somebody who does that but here are my areas of expertise I can do television interviews, I can do podcasts interviews, I can write a blog I can do social media posts. There’s so many things I can do a webinar, I can speak for you but I’m not going to do recipe development because that’s just not my area of expertise. So you don’t have to do it all. And I think ideally you want to work with a brand in a way that is the best fit for you. So, I’ve had clients come to me and say “Okay, you’ve been writing some consumer focused blogs for us. Next year we want you to write some health professional focused blogs and dig into the science.” And while that sounds really interesting and like that this is an opportunity to get into more science and learn more about this particular product. In reality it would not be the most efficient use of my time and I know others who do that. So I know instead of just saying yes I’ll do whatever work comes my way. I went back to the company and I said “you know this sounds really interesting but these types of activities podcasts interviews, satellite media tours, television interviews those types of things are really more in my wheelhouse right now and would be the type of work I would prefer to do with you. And have you thought about so and so” named a couple of specific people who do a lot more science writing and they ended up hiring that other person to do that. I need to do the types of things that are really more the type of work I’m doing right now.
Mathea Ford: [00:25:32] So, I think that’s two great points you know. Like you said “know your expertise know what you’re good at and know what you just do not want to do.” And then number two networking. So, can you talk about how you network how you know people? What you do to network with other dietitians?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:25:49] Oh yes! It’s my favorite thing. The friendships and relationships I’ve had in my career are just so important to me. I left my outpatient job in 2000 to become a supermarket dietitian and just a few weeks ago I had my 18th annual reunion with the dietitian I used to work at that job including our boss. Every summer I get us all together. Those relationships are so important. And when I became an entrepreneur and you know you’re all by yourself I really love team environments. But you know you’re all by yourself. Your home office not only could I join the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG but I was on the board of the speakers and media specialty chair. And that was just such a great way to get involved and not have too much work or pressure. It wasn’t like I was the chair like the president but I got to really meet some really cool people doing some really cool things. Whether you’re seeing them online or you know like you like we met in person. And now we stay connected online. It’s just it’s really fun. And my philosophy has always been I’ve always had you know “I’m not an expert in this but you are. So, I’m going to refer to you or can you help me understand? Even as an outpatient dietitian and all my clinical dietitians that were on my team I would say “Okay, I’m the only outpatient dietitian but I’ve got this patient coming in. Maybe they have a food allergy or some other area that just wasn’t my area of expertise.” And I said How can you help me help this patient? I do this a lot with media interviews. When I get asked to do a media interview that’s just kind of not my cup of tea. I’ll say “Hey! I’d like to refer you to so and so. They are an expert in this area.” And it’s just you know there’s enough work and enough opportunities to go around. Let’s not be selfish. I’ve never wanted to hog this thought why I always want to lift others up. I have called myself a dietitian enthusiast for years. I just think it just come second nature to me.
Mathea Ford: [00:28:15] Excellent! So, go into meetings, go to even just your local association you know your state association meetings and meeting people and just knowing… We have a little in Oklahoma we have a little Facebook group for the dietitians in Oklahoma that some mail post in there. “I need a dietitian in Tulsa who does Peds or who does this or that and or Peds with food allergies or autism or whatever” and it just helps us all to like you said I don’t want to see those parents if there’s somebody that could do them so much better you know and I still like you said there’s plenty to go around. So, that’s excellent. So, you talked a little bit about being a podcaster. We’re both podcasters. So, what do you love the most about being a podcaster?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:29:06] Oh! Definitely the interviews. Talking to my guests. So much so that I think I have a little problem because I think I have like 13 shows in the can right now and maybe you can relate to that. Mathea. I just packed the rest of the it, the production even though I outsource the editing and everything just the production aspect is not nearly as fun. I just… I love talking to my guests and I kind of eat out on my guests.
Mathea Ford: [00:29:35] Yeah! I find, I agree. You have to love to talk to be a podcaster and just have to have a natural interest in people. Sounds like you do. So, what’s your most popular episode podcast episode topic that you talk about?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:29:51] So my podcast is a variety of topics. Anything from diabetes to agriculture to… I dabble a little bit and like mindful eating, body image but there’s so many podcasts so late about it that I don’t really get too much into that. I talk about fertility, farming, food myths and fads, celebrity, pseudo science. I really tend to gravitate toward the like consumer insight and basically just helping people think about something differently. You know you’ve heard about sustainable seafood you know like there’s something wrong with farmed fish but really you’ve got it backwards. So, it’s like the pesticides in produce. And like you know you might hear these scary headlines but here is actually the science. So, with a variety of topics. My most popular episode like I’ll do a survey every year and different people like different episodes. But as far as downloads most recently I interviewed Dr. Julie Miller Jones about grains and here I’m thinking “I didn’t even know grains can be you know controversial in the media as far as like paleo or gluten or…
Mathea Ford: [00:31:13] Keto.
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:31:14] Yeah! You know all the fad diets that I have to cut grains out but ultimately I kind of like whole grains seems like such a boring topic. I hope people will listen to this show. And Julie Miller Jones I mean I could listen to her for like all day. And so I was really excited to see that that episode got a lot of downloads because I feel like the first blush people are kind of like they either think “grains are boring. I get it. I need to get fiber. I need to get whole grains. What are you going to tell me that’s new? Or I don’t do grains because I’m keto, paleo or whatever. So, I just buy.” Who’s going to be open to this topic and I’m so so excited that it’s been one of the most downloaded episodes. Another popular one is that I interviewed Timothy Caulfield. He was A health law professor in Canada and he is like totally doing a smackdown on celebrity pseudoscience. I saw him speak at a conference and he started a TV show that is not airing in the US yet but it’s called Cheating Death and he has several books his first book was titled Does Gwyneth Paltrow Have It All Wrong? So, he’s been you know kind of getting on her case for a while. So, he’s got some amazing work and that’s also been really popular episode. .
Mathea Ford: [00:32:38] If we think about everything we’ve talked about. A lot about media training, podcasting, being out in the public, what are some ways that listeners who are dietitians, healthcare professionals and regular individuals can use this information in like their daily life? How do they implement some of what we’ve talked about?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:32:58] Just like you wouldn’t hopefully do your own taxes or cut your own hair or whatever I don’t know. You know a dietitian can really help and if you go to eat breakfast or there’s a button or a tab that helps you find an expert not only in your area but one that specializes in whatever that you need help with like diabetes or cholesterol. I even recently took my husband to a dietitian because his cholesterol has been high for 10 years and you know I can tell him to eat more oatmeal and get more exercise but you know eat more fish. But what else is there? Like I don’t know the specifics like I would if it was diabetes. So, you know you can definitely get a lot of good support from the dietitian. And for the dietitians and health care professionals, my advice is you know follow your passion, take as deeper dive as you can in whatever areas interest you and find a way to communicate more whether it’s doing more speaking or writing or you know social media. Just find a way to communicate more within your area of expertise and network with dietitians and other health care professionals. I find social media a great way to do that. That’s the workshop that I did where we met Mathea was you know find ways to get involved in social media that are enriching and not stressful for you. Like I meet the most interesting people on Twitter. And as much as I would I don’t spend very much time on Twitter but I love it because of that. And you know when you when you find somebody who has a common interest and you see articles or videos or information that they’re sharing that you didn’t know about. It’s just really exciting. So, follow your passion and find a way to communicate your area.
Mathea Ford: [00:34:56] So, what about dietitians who work for a hospital or don’t own their own business aren’t necessarily entrepreneurs. What do you say to them how they can implement it?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:35:07] Yeah. This is like my favorite example because I say “Okay, even if you are a clinical inpatient maybe dialysis dietitian wouldn’t it be great if the local media knew that you were an expert in that area?” So, let’s say a celebrity that particular disease, you can speak to it. So, it doesn’t have to be the every dietitian to do you know on camera TV interviews but it could be the newspaper where you talk to them and you share the science in a way that people can understand which we do that with our patients and clients. We’re not using a ton of jargon and technical information. We’re explaining it in ways that people can understand so it’s the same with the media.
Mathea Ford: [00:35:57] Yeah! I also think you’re not always going to have that job. And if you have it out there in the public that you’re an expert in a certain area and you want another job or somebody is looking for someone as an expert in that area you can have more opportunities that way too.
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:36:14] Yes and definitely building your communication skills is one of the best if not the best thing you can do for your career because they’re always inside communications, external communications. You know even negotiating a raise or you’re presenting to your team you know writing an email, boosting your communication skills is really a great way to enhance your career and get more visibility and more success.
Mathea Ford: [00:36:48] I love it. So, Melissa I always ask my guests what’s your favorite food?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:36:54] No! What’s the toughest question? You know I could say pizza or chocolate. The funny thing is I’m more of a liquid. Okay, my favorite food is soup because it’s liquid like my friends and family know like right now, I have a glass of water, a decaf coffee and a diet soda in front of me. I usually have several beverages at a time. Yes. So, I don’t know I love all food but probably my favorite food is soup.
Mathea Ford: [00:37:29] Any particular soup or just cream soup or…?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:37:33] I love my mom’s chili. I love Italian Wedding Soup. I have a great recipe from Jada that if you even make your own meatballs which sounds so hard but it’s actually very easy. More probably like broth faced with with like lots of stuff in it.
Mathea Ford: [00:37:49] Yeah. I love soup too but I can imagine living in Chicago. There’s a lot more opportunities to eat soup. Well, Melissa thank you so much for being on the podcast today. It was a pleasure to have you on the show. I know my listeners have learned a lot about media given that there being more public and just making sure expertise is known. So, if listeners want to connect with you what’s the best way to do that?
Melissa Joy Dobbins: [00:38:18] Yeah! They can find me online my website is soundbitesRD.com and I’m on Twitter and Instagram @MelissaJoyRD. I’m on Facebook Melissa Joy Dobbins and The Guilt Free RD Soundbite. Also obviously my podcast and you can find my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher anywhere you consume podcasts. Sound Bites two words with Melissa Joy Dobbins and definitely check it out if you like podcasts. Hopefully, you’ll like mine and Mathea thank you so much for doing your show and for elevating the visibility dietitians and supporting dietitians.
Mathea Ford: [00:38:59] Thank you! Well guys, this has been another great episode of Nutrition Experts Podcast. The podcast that is all about learning more so you can do more with nutrition in your life.