Seen on Sunday morning: March 30th

April 2, 2008 11:38:33 AM PDT
PASSOVER GADGETS, DEPRESSION IN WOMEN, TAX DEDUCTIONS and PORTION SIZES-----PASSOVER GADGETS-----

Passover is just a few weeks away, when many will gather with family and friends for the traditional Seder dinner.

To help make preparations a little easier, we're joined by Sara Leibowitz of kitchen couture with some Passover cooking gadgets.

Kyocera Ceramic Perfect Peeler - $15
Passover cooking usually means lots of potatoes - to make up for the absence of bread and other grains. This peeler is a favorite because:
- Easy to use and maneuver whether you're a lefty or righty: soft grip ABS handle
- Ceramic blade: never needs sharpening, never rusts
- Dishwasher safe: easy clean-up

Swiss Diamond 12.5 inch/5.8 QT Covered Sauté Pan - $195
Matzo Brie is traditional Passover cuisine - and is essentially fried matzo with eggs. This large, brand new model is perfect for big gatherings. Unique features include:
- Patented diamond reinforced coating means it is 100% non-stick and durable
- 6mm pressure cast aluminum with a helping handle makes it easy to use and perfect for browning
- High-temperature extra long phenolic handles are oven safe to 500-degrees, far exceeding most other cookware.
- The pan also comes with a vented, tempered glass cover with a stainless steel reinforced rim.

Penguin ezPull Stainless Steel Corkscrew - $70
Passover meals are all about wine... In fact, at Seder it's customary to drink four glasses. This great wine opener will make opening a wine bottle a cinch - no matter how many glasses you've had! (*Sara can bring a bottle to demonstrate). Features include:
- Smooth and lightweight, it adjusts to fit any bottle size
- Simply raise the handle, place on top of a wine bottle, lower the handle to insert the magnesium corkscrew, lift the handle to remove the cork without twisting.
- Comes with stylish storage and gift box with magnetic closure. Includes adjustable foil cutter and replacement magnesium corkscrew worm

Metrokane V1 World's First Vacuum Decanter - $70
This brand new item from Metrokane maintains the wine character until the next pouring and is the only decanter on the market with a built in vacuum device (* Sara can demonstrate). Features include:
- Made of hand-blown crystal, holds approximately 52 ounces
- Includes stopper with vacuum gauge and hand pump
- Wash by hand, includes 5-year warranty on stopper and pump

Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Chafing Dish - $150
Perfect for entertaining and especially for Seder dinner, which can run well into the night. Features include:
- Stainless steel inside and out
- Keeps food fresh and warm for hours
- Enables you to heat buffet-style entrees and sides in the included sauteuse or insert
- Dishwasher safe for easy clean-up
- Lifetime warranty

For more information, go to www.kitchencouture.net

-----DEPRESSION IN WOMEN-----

Turning a breakdown into a breakthrough, it's all up to us how to handle the symptoms of depression. Joining us this morning is Sil Lai Abrams, author of "No More Drama."

It's now recognized by medical professionals that depression is a real issue that affects thousands of people... Why are some women unable to address depression like that, and instead turn inward?
Women are conditioned socially to turn inward - we're not encouraged to really assert ourselves. We end up giving away our power in ways that men do not. Young boys are conditioned to be aggressive and to go after their goals, while young girls are told to play nice and to always put the needs of others first. This pent up aggression in women ends up manifesting itself in depression and self-inflictive behavior such as eating disorders, violent relationships, etc.

How did you come to terms with that fact that the "drama" in your life was actually a result of your own negative outlook and your depression? What forced you to take control and start afresh?
Three years ago, I ended a relationship I was in, and completely emotionally collapsed. I crawled into bed for three months and didn't get out. It was at that point that I finally realized and accepted that I could keep running, but unless I was willing to address the issues I had been avoiding for most of my life, I was never going to have any self-acceptance and true self-love. By letting go of the shame I felt around the various painful experiences I had experienced, I was able to let go of the self-judgment I had always felt over my choices. It was only through the full acceptance of every aspect of "Me" was I only able to transform and heal "Me."

You hint that your book was a means to overcome your own insecurities and your own depression. In what ways did writing down your pain help to bring balance to your life?
Through the process of revisiting my history and thinking about my experiences through the lens of their spiritual meaning, I was able to reframe my experiences and shift my perspective from being problem-focused to solution-focused.

As a woman, do you feel that depression affected you differently? And do you feel that there are other factors at work in women's lives in general that make the struggle that much more difficult?
My depression showed up in many different ways, such as eating disorders, abusive relationships and other self-injurious behaviors. Because women are conditioned to internalize our pain, we end up imploding and hurting ourselves. Since men are conditioned to be aggressive, their depression often manifests itself in ways that don't always appear to be depression, such as overly aggressive behavior, workaholism, and hyperactive sexuality, to name a few. If a woman doesn't feel she is able to assert herself, she feels powerless, and a sense of powerlessness is often what is at the root of depression.

What do you think are the greatest lessons you learned from your ordeal? What do you think are the most important things your readers should pull from reading your book?
The greatest lesson I have learned is that while I do not always have power over what happens to me, I do have complete power over how I choose to respond. The biggest challenges that we face do not come from outside of us, but from within. It was only after I started to hold myself 100% accountable for every aspect of my life that I was finally able to create the life I had always dreamed of?one in which fear and self-loathing were not the foundation of my existence. By openly sharing the mistakes I have made along the way to healing, I hope that my readers will see that there is nothing so reprehensible about anything they have done or experienced that cannot be used to make the future better. Finally, I hope they will see that there is a meaning for everything that occurs in our lives, and even if they don't see it now, in time it will become known.

-----TAX DEDUCTIONS-----

Every year, there are questions about deducting sales tax paid versus state and local income taxes paid on your income tax return.

With us this morning to clear things up is Ginger Broderick, president of Broderick and Company CPAs.

Every year there are questions about deducting sales tax paid versus state and local income taxes paid on one's Federal Income Tax return. This option has been extended through filing the 2007 income tax return.

What Do I Need to Consider for a Tax Deduction?
You can elect to deduct sales taxes paid on items purchased during the year or you can deduct your state and local taxes paid during the year--but you can not deduct both!

If you live in a state with a relatively high state income tax you will almost always choose the option to deduct your state income taxes as opposed to your sales taxes. But of course, that depends on your household spending habits.

If you live in or were a part-year resident of a state with no state income tax like Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming, you need to consider the option to deduct your sales taxes.

How do I Calculate my Sales Tax Paid During the Year?
You can visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov and use the IRS Sales Tax Calculator to figure your average sales tax expended--or you can gather all of your receipts for the year and add up the sales tax to make the determination.

If you use the General Sales Tax Tables, for what the calculator figures for you, no receipts are required. The IRS uses the average spending in your geographic area to figure the tax. You then can add the sales taxes paid on large dollar items during the year, such as a car, home, home renovations, computer equipment, electronics and clothing to figure your tax.

What If I Lived in more than One State of Locality?
If you lived in more than one state during 2007, look up the general table amount for each state and you pro-rate the amount for the number of days that you lived in that state. You do the same calculation if you moved in or out of a locality that has a city tax as well.

Absolutely. If you are retired, disabled or have non-taxable income, like tax-exempt interest, veterns benefits, non-taxable combat pay and itemize your taxes on Form Schedule A, you will quality for the sales tax deductions.

-----PORTION SIZES-----

A just released health department study found New Yorkers are diagnosed with diabetes and gaining weight at a higher rate than the rest of the nation.

The reason is sugary sodas and sweetened drinks. There's also a problem with folks understanding portion control. With us this morning is Chef Phil Andriano, executive chef with Chef's Diet with perfect portions.

For more information, go to www.chefsdiet.com


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