Healthy Foods That Make Your Teeth Rot

Candy is bad for your teeth. Well, that’s a no-brainer! Even 3-year-olds know that. But my patients are always caught off guard when I tell them that certain healthy foods are just as unkind to your chompers and can cause your teeth to rot. So grab a toothbrush and hear me out.

Fruit Juice

The Trouble: OJ, grapefruit, pineapple and other fruit juices are packed with sugar. Even though it’s the natural kind that’s better for the rest of your body, the decay-causing bacteria in your mouth like it just as much as any other type of sugar. They gobble it up and multiply in droves. Plus, fruit juices contain a lot of acid, and acid from any kind of food or drink -- even nutritious ones -- erodes tooth enamel.

The Fix: Chances are you drink these juices mostly in the morning. Brush and floss after breakfast, rather than before, and problem solved. If you happen to have a glass later in the day and don’t have your toothbrush handy, swish water around in your mouth to neutralize the acid.

Dried Fruit

The Trouble: Sure, raisins, currants, and other dried fruit supply your body with cancer-fighting antioxidants. But the bacteria in your mouth see a sugar feast. One small 1 1/2-ounce box of raisins contains 25 grams of sugar -- as much as a slice of pie topped with ice cream! Making matters worse, dried fruit is super-sticky, just like gummy bears and jelly beans, so it often gets caught in between your teeth.

The Fix: You don’t need to give up dried fruit since it’s healthy for the rest of you. But after your eat it, brush and floss your teeth.

Chips and Pretzels

The Trouble: The bacteria in your mouth that love sugar also adore starches like potatoes, pretzels, white bread and white rice. These foods turn into a gluey paste that clings to your teeth. Bacteria prefer these kinds of starches, because they’re broken down much faster than whole grains, like whole-wheat bread and brown rice.

The Fix: Switch to whole grains -- they’re better for your body as well as your mouth. Try whole-grain crackers with cheese, or whole-grain pretzels with peanut butter. You can even start by pairing one slice of white bread and one slice of whole wheat on a sandwich to get used to the taste. In the meantime, brush your teeth after a starchy meal or snack.

More healthy teeth advice:

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Everyday Superfoods: 4 Succulent Kale Recipes You Need to Try

The “Everyday Superfoods” series shows you how to use healthy, easy-to-find ingredients to make simple dishes full of nutrients and flavor. Check out the last article in the series about beans.

Kale can taste delicious -- yes, it’s true! To prove it, I’ve created some simple recipes that come together in minutes. Why should you try it? You’ve probably heard that kale is incredibly good for you: Not only is it full of calcium (essential for strong bones and teeth), but the calcium in kale is actually easier for your body to absorb than the calcium in dairy products.

Kale also contains beta carotene and other nutrients that help prevent UV rays from damaging your eyes and causing cataracts. It has many other benefits as well. And it tastes so good that your family won’t even know that it’s good for them. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try this month’s everyday superfood, kale.

Kale Tortellini Pesto 
This is an innovative version of pesto that will soon become a favorite. With more vitamins, calcium and antioxidants than its original basil-only counterpart, this sauce adds a big dose of healthy nutrients to dishes. You can also use it on pasta, vegetables, pizzas or any recipe that calls for regular pesto. Store any unused pesto in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for one month.

Makes 1 ½ cups

8 ounces chopped fresh kale leaves, stems removed
2 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Asiago cheese
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 teaspoons agave syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound fresh cheese tortellini or your favorite pasta


1.    In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the kale, basil and garlic. Process on high until finely chopped, about a minute.  Slowly, in a thin stream, add the olive oil. When well blended, add the cheeses and agave. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

2.    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain in a colander and toss with ½ cup pesto or according to taste.

Kale Slaw
Sometimes raw kale can be slightly tough in texture. But salting it and then squeezing out the moisture actually helps tenderize it. Want to make the dish even easier to prepare? Substitute pre-packaged broccoli slaw you can find in your supermarket’s produce aisle for the carrot and zucchini to create a vitamin-packed alternative.

Serves 4-6 

3 cups shredded fresh kale leaves (see video for how to prepare)
Kosher salt
1 large carrot, julienned
1 small zucchini, julienned
½ small Granny Smith apple, cored and julienned (tossed in the juice of ½ lemon to keep apple from discoloring)
¼ cup light mayonnaise
¼ cup Greek-style yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon agave syrup (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1.    Place kale in a colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze out excess water with your hands. Season generously with kosher salt and allow kale to sit in the colander for 20 minutes. Rinse kale again thoroughly under cold water and drain. Squeeze out excess water using your hands or a salad spinner.

2.    In a large bowl, add the carrot, zucchini and apple. When kale is ready, add it too and toss.

3.    In a separate small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, agave syrup and lemon juice. Blend well and add to kale. Toss well to coat and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Kale, Portobello and Potato Saute
Served alone or as a hearty side dish, this wonderful saute packs in tons of flavor. Try using the prepackaged kale you can now find easily in your grocer’s produce section for ease of preparation.

Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 1-inch chunks
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound Portobello mushrooms, cut in ¼-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained and chopped
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
10 ounces chopped fresh kale leaves
½ cup vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1.    In a large saute pan, add 2 tablespoons each vegetable oil and olive oil over high heat. When hot, add potatoes, tossing to coat with oil. Cook five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender. Remove from heat and transfer cooked potatoes to a bowl. Reserve.

2.    Return the saute pan to high heat. Add remaining tablespoons vegetable oil and olive oil. When hot, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring three to five minutes, or until onion is soft and golden brown.

3.    Add mushrooms and cook one to two minutes. Then add capers, hot pepper flakes, kale and vegetable broth. Cook, tossing frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes until kale is softened and tender. Return cooked potatoes to the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Turkey, Kale and Vegetable Meatloaf
This twist on meatloaf is brimming with fiber, calcium and antioxidants. It’s also one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day and is very easy to reheat in the microwave.

Serves 4-6

1 pound ground turkey
2 cups chopped kale
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
½ large onion, finely minced
2 large carrots, diced, cooked till tender and drained well
½ cup seasoned dry Italian breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons organic ketchup
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ cups prepared tomato sauce, optional


1.    Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 10-inch loaf pan by spraying bottom and sides with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.

2.    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add chopped kale and cook one to two minutes, or until tender. Drain kale in colander and immediately rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible using your hands. Reserve.

3.    In a large bowl, combine the chopped blanched kale, turkey, garlic, onion, carrots, breadcrumbs, eggs, thyme and ¼ cup ketchup, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands until very well combined.

4.    Pack mixture into loaf pan and spread remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup over surface. Bake one hour, or until an instant-read thermometer registers an internal temperature of 180 F.

5.    Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before unmolding. Turn out onto cutting board and cut into thick slices. Serve over heated tomato sauce, if desired.

Need some help getting started? Here, step-by-step directions for how to prepare kale:

‘I Heart Pumpkin’ Contest: Fill in the Blanks, WIN $100!

Hooray, it’s pumpkin season! Why do we love the season so much? Because …

Pumpkin erases ______, helps you ______ faster and keeps your ______ healthy.

Got it? Good. Fill in the blanks (by submitting the form below) for a chance to win $100. (Hint: The answers are hidden in an article on Completely You -- search for it and submit the answers to win!)

We’ll be drawing weekly winners for prizes! Don’t forget to check back on October 31 to see who won! (Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to alert you too if you win.) Good luck!

Don’t forget to follow us @Completely_You and stay in touch on Facebook








To be eligible for this Contest, an individual must be a legal resident of the United States and be eighteen (18) of age or older at the time of entry. Employees of Studio One Networks, Inc., 625 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (the “Sponsor”), their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, related companies, advertising and promotional agencies, judges of the Contest and the household members of any of the above, are not eligible to participate in the Contest.  The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and/or eligibility to participate in the Contest. Failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification. All personal and other information requested by and supplied to the Sponsor for the purpose of the Contest must be truthful, complete, accurate and in no way misleading. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to disqualify any entrant should such an entrant at any stage supply untruthful, incomplete, inaccurate or misleading personal details and/or information.


The Contest begins at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on October 15, 2012, and ends at 6 p.m. EST on October 31, 2012 (the “Contest Period”), after which time the Contest will be closed and no further entries shall be accepted. Sponsor’s computer is the official time keeping device for this Contest.

3.      HOW TO ENTER

To enter online, visit and follow us on Twitter. Then search “pumpkin” in to find the missing words in the pumpkin sentence, and fill out and submit the contest entry form on  

Share the contest by tweeting, following the above guidelines, for more chances to win. Limit of five (5) entries per person during the Contest Period. In the case of more entries, only the first five eligible entries will be counted.

Entries received online shall be deemed to be submitted by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the entry. For the purpose of the Contest Rules, authorized account holder of an e-mail address is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address. Each selected entrant may be required to provide the Sponsor with proof that the selected entrant is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the winning entry.


There will be a total of one (1) Winner. On or about November 5, 2012, Sponsor or an independent judging agency will select one (1) entry for each prize described below in Section 10 in a random drawing of all valid entries received. The entrant will be contacted via Twitter direct message and tweet using the Twitter handle provided with the entry and may be awarded the prize (subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with the terms of these rules.) Winner selections will be random, from all eligible entries received during the Contest Period. Each entrant shall be eligible to win only one (1) Prize. The odds of being selected as a potential winner are dependent upon the number of eligible entries received by the Sponsor. Before being declared a Winner, the selected entrant shall be required to sign and return the Release (described below).

EACH SELECTED ENTRANT WILL BE NOTIFIED BY TWITTER NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 5, 2012, AT 8PM EST AND MUST RESPOND WITHIN TWO (2) BUSINESS DAYS OF NOTIFICATION. Upon notification, the selected entrant must respond by telephone or email to the contact provided in the notification, and the selected entrant’s response must be received by the Sponsor within two (2) business days of such notification. If the selected entrant does not respond in accordance with the Contest Rules, he/she will be disqualified and will not receive a Prize and another entrant may be selected in the Sponsor’s sole discretion until such time as an entrant satisfies the terms set out herein. The Sponsor is not responsible for the failure for any reason whatsoever of a selected entrant to receive notification or for the Sponsor to receive a selected entrant’s response. Limit one (1) prize per person.

5.      PRIZES

Two (2) grand prizes will be rewarded. Each grand prize winner will receive one (1) gift card for $100 USD. Approximate Retail Value of each Grand Prize is: $100 USD. An entrant can only win one (1) prize in this Promotion.

Winner is not entitled to monetary difference between actual Prize value and stated approximate Prize value, if any. Prizes will be distributed within fourteen (14) days after Winner has been successfully contacted and notified of his/her Prize and fulfilled the requirements set out herein. Prizes must be accepted as awarded and cannot be transferred, assigned, substituted or redeemed for cash, except at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Any unused portion of a Prize will be forfeited and have no cash value. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its and their sole discretion, to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if a Prize (or any portion thereof) cannot be awarded for any reason. The Sponsor shall not assume any liability for lost, damaged or misdirected Prizes.

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Winners will be required to execute a legal agreement and release (“Release”) that confirms Winner’s: (i) eligibility for the Contest and compliance with these Contest Rules; (ii) acceptance of the Prize as offered; (iii) release of each of the Sponsor and its respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates and/or related companies and each of their employees, directors, officers, suppliers, agents, Sponsor, Facebook, Inc., administrators, licensees, representatives, advertising, media buying and promotional agencies (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability for any loss, harm, damages, cost or expense arising out of participation in the Contest, participation in any Contest-related activity or the acceptance, use, or misuse of any Prize, including but not limited to costs, injuries, losses related to personal injuries, death, damage to, loss or destruction of property, rights of publicity or privacy, defamation, or portrayal in a false light, or from any and all claims of third parties arising therefrom; and (iv) grant to the Sponsor of the unrestricted right, in the Sponsor’s sole discretion, to produce, reproduce, publish, reproduce, convert, broadcast, communicate by telecommunication, exhibit, distribute, translate, adapt and otherwise use and re-use the Winner’s name, photograph, likeness, voice and biography in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, in connection with the Contest and the promotion and exploitation thereof. The executed Release must be returned within two (2) business days of the date indicated on the accompanying email letter of notification or the verification as a Winner, or the selected entrant will be disqualified and the Prize forfeited.


By entering the Contest, entrant releases and hold Releasees harmless from any and all liability for any injuries, loss or damage of any kind to the entrant or any other person, including personal injury, death, or property damage, resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any Prize, participation in the Contest, any breach of the Contest Rules, or in any Prize-related activity. The entrant agrees to fully indemnify Releasees from any and all claims by third parties relating to the Contest, without limitation.


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9.      CONDUCT

By participating in the Contest, each entrant agrees to be bound by the Contest Rules, which will be posted at the Contest Website throughout the Contest Period. Entrant further agrees to be bound by the decisions of the judges and Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant found to be: (a) violating the Contest Rules; (b) tampering or attempting to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or the Contest Website; (c) violating the terms of service, conditions of use and/or general rules or guidelines of any Studio One Networks website; and/or (d) acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE CONTEST WEBSITE OR ANY RELATED WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.


By submitting my entry to this website I confirm that: (i) I grant to the Sponsor the right to use my name, telephone number, image, province, age, gender, language and email address (“Personal Information”) for the purpose of administering the Contest, including but not limited to contacting and announcing the Winners and contacting me to confirm any of the information, consents, and grants that I have provided; (ii) I grant to the Sponsor the right to use my contact information to contact me regarding any issues, notifications, or corrections arising from or in connection with the Contest, including without limitation relating to any prizes awarded; (iii) I grant to the Sponsor the right to use my Personal Information (“Personal Information”) for publicity and promotional purposes including but not limited to those relating to the Contest, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, developed using the Rights granted in connection with the Contest without further compensation unless prohibited by law; (iv) I acknowledge that the Sponsor may disclose my Personal Information and Personal Information to third-party agents and service providers of the Sponsors (including those outside of the United States); The Sponsor will use the Personal Information only for identified purposes, and shall protect the Entrant’s and Personal Information in a manner that is consistent with Completely You’s & Studio One Networks’ Privacy Policy.


Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to terminate the Contest, in whole or in part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the Contest, and/or the Contest Rules in any way, at any time, for any reason without prior notice.


The Contest is subject to applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations. The Contest Rules are subject to change without notice in order to comply with any applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws or the policy of any other entity having jurisdiction over the Sponsor. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of the Contest Rules or the rights and obligations as between the entrant and the Sponsor in connection with the Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of New York, including procedural provisions without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of any other jurisdiction’s laws.


In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the Contest Rules and disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest-related materials, including but not limited to the Contest entry form, or point of sale, television, print or online advertising, the Contest Rules shall prevail, govern and control.


For Contest results send a hand-printed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winners List – CY ‘I Heart Pumpkin’ 2012 Contest c/o Studio One Networks, Inc., 625 Broadway, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10012. Requests for the winner list must be received by December 1, 2012. DO NOT SEND ANY OTHER CORRESPONDENCE OR ENTRIES TO THIS ADDRESS.

Stop Vacation Weight Gain!

Dieting is hard enough to do at home. But when you’re on vacation, it can be darn near impossible. You want to relax, have fun, eat that slice of nine-layer chocolate fudge cake (or maybe two) when you feel like it … who wants to bother with food restrictions?! After all, you’re on vacation!

The truth is, it’s depressing to come home with the unwanted souvenir of extra pounds. The good news: With a little pre-vacation planning, you can have your cake (just not the whole one) and eat it too. Here’s how to enjoy your next trip without gaining weight -- and maybe even return a few pounds lighter.

Pack a plan of action.
Think about what you need to do to avoid gaining weight on vacation. If eating yogurt in the afternoon, for example, helps you from overeating at dinner at home, call your hotel to see if they sell it at their snack bar, or if there’s a grocery store nearby. Scope out nearby restaurants to see which serve the most diet-friendly meals (many post their menus online). You can even find out what’s served at eateries at theme parks, museums and other attractions. While you certainly can’t plan every meal -- and probably wouldn’t want to -- creating a plan of action will start you off with a positive “can do, can diet” attitude.

Keep food on you at all times.
In addition to packing a healthy meal and snacks for the flight or car ride, keep a supply of chewing gum, mints or small hard candies on hand in your bag or backpack for the entire trip. In a pinch, you’ll have something easily accessible to dull your appetite and keep you from cruising around for that slice of pizza or candy bar.

Give the mini-fridge a makeover.

The mini-fridge in your hotel room is a dieter’s nightmare. Don’t even open it. It’s a minefield of everything you shouldn’t be eating (and at astronomical prices too). Your best bet is to ask management to remove the contents. Believe it or not, they’ll do it. Remember, you’re the guest. Then fill the empty fridge with diet-friendly munchies such as yogurt, 100-calorie snack packs of cookies or chips or fresh fruit -- even better.

Learn the menu lingo.
Worried about eating right in a foreign country? Most travel books include a menu translation. If the information is not specific enough, visit a website like, type in a phrase, such as, “I’d like the dressing on the side” or “Is that deep fried?” and you’ll get a translation into Italian, Japanese, Norwegian or several other languages at no cost. Then you can create a crib card to carry in your wallet. 

Don’t let exhaustion lead to overeating.
All that walking and seeing the sights while making sure you haven’t lost your toddler (or your wallet) can be grueling, and being tired often makes us hungry. So don’t overdo it. Sit down. Lie down. Take a nap.

Stay on track by keeping track.
Keep a daily diary of everything you eat. When on vacation, many of us seem to suffer from memory loss about whether we ate two cherry tarts or a salad for lunch. A diary will help keep you honest. So keep a little notebook and pen handy in your purse or backpack. 

Save your calories for the truly special.
Don’t waste calories on ordinary foods you can get at home. You know what cheeseburgers and chocolate ice cream taste like. If you’re going to indulge, make sure it’s for a tasty treat you can’t get anywhere else. Then get right back to your plan. You’ll be glad you did.

What do you do to stay trim and fit while on vacation? Tell us below or @Completely_You

Eat Your Way to Healthier Gums

Want a healthy grin? Then don’t forget your gums. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and is linked to heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The good news: In addition to regular brushing and flossing, new research shows that eating certain foods will get your gums into tip-top shape.  Add these smile-savers to your menu:

Smile Saver 1: Salmon
This flavorful fish contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce gum inflammation. A recent study found that people who consumed the most omega-3 fatty acids slashed their risk of gum disease by 22 percent.

Smile Saver 2: Strawberries

These berries are full of vitamin C, which builds collagen, an important component of healthy gum tissue. Research shows that consuming fewer than 60 mg of C (the amount in six large strawberries) each day significantly boosts your chance of getting gum disease. But stay away from vitamin C lozenges that contain cavity-causing sugar, and fizzy vitamin drinks, which can erode enamel. 

Smile Saver 3: 100 percent Whole Grain Bread
Eating three servings of whole grains each day reduces the risk of serious gum disease by 23 percent, according to a Canadian study, probably because they contain B vitamins and iron, both of which are essential to gum health. Oatmeal, barley and brown rice will work too.

Smile Saver 4: Green Tea

Hot or iced, green tea contains antioxidants that kill the germs that cause gum infections, so it’s no wonder a large Japanese study found that every cup reduces your rate of bleeding gums and inflammation. Bonus: Green tea also helps kill the bacteria that causes bad breath.

Smile Saver 5: Pistachios

These nuts boast a big dose of CoQ10, a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to effectively fight gum inflammation. If you already have periodontal problems, you could have a CoQ10 deficiency. Ask your dentist or doctor if you could benefit from a supplement.