Fiber’s Role in Digestive Health – Beyond Soluble and Insoluble

Fiber’s Role in Digestive Health - Beyond Soluble and Insoluble

Interest in gut health is on the rise, and the more I learn about it the more I discover that basic nutrition concepts related to gut health, such as fiber in the diet, are beginning to take on a whole new meaning for me.

I used to think of dietary fiber as either soluble (good for cardiovascular health), or insoluble (good for digestive health), but I realize there is now so much more to this multifaceted nutrient. Over the last several months, I’ve attended three webinars sponsored by PepsiCo that made me think differently about dietary fiber and its many roles in digestive health. I also interviewed one of PepsiCo’s Principal Nutrition Scientists on my Sound Bites® Podcast about this topic.

Coronavirus & Quarantine: Food Tips & Resources

Food Tips for Coronavirus and Quarantine from Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE

I hope you are staying healthy and staying sane during this crazy new pandemic world we are living in. I have been gathering resources and compiling them to share with you about coronavirus disease related to food, nutrition and health – everything from stocking up your kitchen, trying to eat healthy and keep up with basic self-care such as getting exercise and adequate sleep, to making sure you have enough prescription and over the counter medications and supplies, and to beware of scams involving false claims about foods and supplements that can cure or prevent the disease – you know those “immune boosting” claims that go beyond just normal, healthy eating recommendations. As a dietitian I’m especially concerned about those who are food insecure or at risk of food insecurity so I have some information about food assistance programs and ask that if you are in a position to help those in need that you please do so – by donating food or money or time (if it’s possible to…

Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle: Connecting the Dots Between Healthy People and a Healthy Planet

Margarita beef with orange salsa

You may have heard of the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” in discussions about the environment. These terms have always applied to materials (think plastics, metal, glass, paper), and they’re about not wasting resources. Wasted food is a wasted resource, as well.  If these terms were applied to food, we might change the wording to, “reduce, reuse, and UPCYCLE.”

Spare a Rose, Save a Child – Diabetes Podcast Week

Melissa Dobbins' Wedding with Red Roses

Our Wedding Why I don’t want roses this year Roses are wonderful! They are beautiful, fragrant and romantic. But I don’t want any roses for Valentine’s Day this year. So, I asked my husband not to get me any. Not that he always does…but just in case he was planning on it, I wanted him to know what I wanted instead. This year marks the 4th annual Diabetes Podcast Week, and in honor of this, the Sound Bites Podcast is joining efforts to help people in the diabetes community find some great podcasts and learn about a terrific charity and a campaign called Spare a Rose, Save a Child. The idea behind the campaign is simple: buy one less rose this Valentine’s Day and donate the value of that flower to children with diabetes. Donations go to Life for a Child, an International Diabetes Federation program which provides life-saving diabetes supplies, medication, and education that children in developing countries need to stay alive. During the week of February 10th, participating…

Finding My Strong: A Celebration of Values, Vulnerability and Vitality PART 2

In Part One I shared my vision for aging ‘strong’ – both physically and mentally. I shared stories from family and friends who inspire me to take care of myself and live my best life. In Part Two I’m digging a little deeper into setbacks, support and solutions for living and aging ‘strong’ including more stories from friends and family who inspire me, and some really cool resources, too.

We all have moments in life that bring us to our knees. It could be illness, injury, death of a loved one, or a million different kinds of loss. We usually have little or no control over these events. But we do have some control over how we handle them and pull ourselves back up and take another step forward.

What does it mean to be strong? To grow and age healthfully? To live life to the fullest? How do we handle life’s setbacks and struggles? How do we find the strength, the support, the solutions we need to live ‘strong’?

Finding My Strong: A Celebration of Values, Vulnerability and Vitality: Part 1

Melissa Dobbins as Rosie the Riveter

As I approached turning 50 this year I had a lot of thoughts and feelings. To be honest with you, mostly scattered thoughts and mixed feelings. My life is quite different than it was when I was 30, or even 40 years old. Like most people my age, I have had some significant losses. But I also have so much to celebrate.

When I thought about this milestone birthday, I thought about “healthy aging” but that seemed a little negative and my thoughts quickly evolved into aging ‘strong’ or living ‘strong’. I wanted to celebrate being strong and healthy and able to participate in my life to the fullest. I thought about physical health, but also mental health, and all the ways I try to take care of myself every day, every week, every month. I have struggled with self-care. I know I’m not alone.

What does it mean to me to be strong? To grow and age healthfully? To live life to the fullest? What health habits are important to me, where did they come from, and where do I turn for inspiration?

My Norway Adventure

Fishing in Norway!

October is National Seafood Month! I recently experienced the trip of a lifetime to Norway to learn about sustainable aquaculture and Norway’s long history of stewardship of the sea.

Tune into my Sound Bites Podcast episode 101 with guest Egil Sundheim from the Norwegian Seafood Council to hear all about my trip, the specifics about sustainable seafood, and why we should all have a “go-to” seafood recipe to help us eat at least two servings of seafood.

Picture This: Food Photog Tips & NEW Heart-Check Recipes

cheesy jalapeno pepper-stuffed burgers from the beef FNCE event

Before American Heart Month comes to a close, I’m sharing some new information and resources to help you “enjoy your food with (heart) health in mind”! If you listen to my Sound Bites® Podcast, you know that’s how.

Yogurt “Reimagined” — Inspired by the kid in all of us!

Do you want to enjoy your food with health in mind? I sure do! And I remember when I was a kid, food was a lot of fun. So I’m sharing some new ways I’ve been having fun with food, and specifically, reimagining yogurt. I have partnered with Dannon to help promote Light & Fit. I have been compensated for my time, however (as always) my opinions and ideas are my own.

Grass-Fed Versus Grain-Fed Beef: What’s the difference?

If you’ve ever wondered about “grass-fed” beef, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve asked my colleague, Amy Myrdal Miller of Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, to weigh in on the issue. We are both members of the Beef Expert Bureau for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. and we know this topic arises from time to time so we wanted to address it on my blog. 

“Do What Fits You” Light & Fit Recipe Challenge

Healthy habits are more sustainable when you enjoy them! The challenge: I was recently challenged to develop a recipe using Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt, along with three other “secret ingredients” – just like the TV show “Chopped”.  

Hungry for Hummus?? My First “Hands and Pans” Video!

I was excited to be invited to the “Lights, Camera, Almonds!” event in Chicago at Kendall College last Spring. The Almond Board of California partnered with the fabulous Food52 on this event to walk dietitians through, step-by-step, how to create a fast-motion video using just your smartphone and simple editing software on your computer. While I have tons of on-camera experience, it is mostly live TV interviews and videos where I’m on camera. I’ve never done these overhead videos a la Buzzfeed’s Tasty-style videos. By the end of the workshop, we left with a fully filmed and partially edited almond recipe video to use, as well as the tricks and tools you need to create your own. So, I’m sharing some of what I learned with you!

A “Cool” Dinnertime Hack: Frozen Meat Solution! Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner

Do More With Dinner initiative of Sarah-Jane Bedwell

If you’ve been following my Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner initiative, you’ve heard about ways to get more out of dinnertime through food, fun and family. And you probably know that I find summertime much easier because my husband can grill out and I can pull together a salad or veggie and simple side dish. But as summer comes to an end and we think about getting back into the school schedule, I’m dreading one of my biggest dinnertime challenges: frozen meat.

Express, Engage, Empower – Be a Better Speaker!

I just wrapped up a couple of whirlwind months traveling and speaking at conferences across the U.S. including state AND affiliate meetings, media trainings and communications workshops, and the 4th annual Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium in New Orleans. I’ve been asked to speak more lately about presentation skills and wanted to share some of the information and inspiration with you here!

Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner and Beyond with My Meal Planning Tips!

How to create a more balanced diet and healthier lifestyle by enjoying your food with health in mind I have partnered with Dannon Light & Fit to help promote how to include Dannon Light & Fit yogurt as part of your weekly menu. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. As part of my ongoing Do M.O.R.E. with Dinner initiative,  I’m branching out beyond dinner and delving into breakfast, lunch and snack time! I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy figuring out how to do “more” with dinner for my family so we can be healthier and happier by incorporating more fun and better nutrition while spending less time in the kitchen. I mean, when your kids have baseball, soccer, piano and other activities, not to mention my own dance classes and my husband’s paddle tennis league – you need to find ways to fit healthy eating into a busy…


Thank you for stopping by!
ABOUTI’m the Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!™”. So, on my Food for Thought blog I’m exploring the secret ingredients needed to enjoy your food with health in mind.  I’m also a “Dietitian Enthusiast” so I’m showcasing interviews with dietitians.  My “How To” Series shares practical advice to help boost communication skills and gain more visibility, influence and success.

I hope you enjoy the show!


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