Saturday, November 3, 2012

Re: Random Depression and Reversions

This post has been moved to

My Drunk-a-Doodles Blog

I think it's more appropriately placed there rather than at this blog.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Red Cross Blood Donations Status Update

I finally received a phone call back from someone who knows what he's talking about: an operations supervisor out of North Carolina named Mr. Benton. This gentleman was incredibly polite and knowledgeable. He addressed my prior call to the Red Cross regarding why I cannot donate blood even though I am healthy. He answered most of my questions with patient explanations.

In a nutshell, he's informed me that my tests came back negative for Hepatitis B (HBV), but they tested positive for core antibodies for the disease. This means that, while I am not at risk for contracting this disease because of the antibodies in my body, it appears that I was exposed to the disease and produced antibodies to fight off the potential infection/disease.

Although I cannot donate my blood to the Red Cross at this time, he said that this doesn't mean I am permanently banned as that other incredibly rude Red Cross employee was telling me. Mr. Benton understood my concerns and apologized for the behavior of the other employee (see Why I Cannot Donate Blood Even Though I Am Healthy). He advised me to call back about every six or eight months to see if I may be eligible to donate. This is due to technological advances and ways they may use the blood, or something or other.

I feel better having an explanation. That's all I wanted. Thank you, Mr. Benton!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Meatless Monday Special Edition: 2nd Annual Baltimore VegFest 2012

According to the main website at the Humane League, the Baltimore VegFest is "an annual festival celebrating all aspects of living a plant based diet. This event will feature dozens of vegan food vendors, non profits, animal rights groups/organizations, live music, workshops, speakers and lots of freebies!" This year the event was held on Saturday, April 28th from 11 am to 3 pm.

From Martinsburg, West Virginia, where we live, it takes just over an hour and a half to drive to the UMBC Campus where the 2012 Baltimore VegFest was held. Free parking was available for the event, which was proudly presented by The Humane League and The UMBC Vegetarians.


We arrived a bit late but it was still plenty of time to explore the dozens of booths set up, sample lots of tasty vegan and vegetarian foods, and gather pamphlets of information and tons of recipes and other resources.

We also made it in time to hear some of the speakers and to see the cooking demonstration by vegan chef and animal rights activist Elena Johnson. She made Glazed Vegan Sausage with seitan and Egg-free Salad (similar to egg salad) and passed out samples of each plus samples of her Vegan Tacos. She also passed out the recipes for everyone. She answered many questions. I had a brief discussion with her after the demonstration because I was wondering what I could do to keep my zucchini cakes together better. She suggested breading them before frying in a pan with a small amount of oil. I will have to try this tip! She was so sweet she even invited me to email her anytime with questions. Her email was included on her recipe sheet that she distributed.

We walked around and pet some of the dogs and cats that were available for adoption through BARCs (Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care). They were so precious!

Some of the featured speakers for the event were Erica Meier from Compassion over Killing (COK), who I'd hoped to hear but missed. I also missed Nathan Runkle from Mercy for Animals, but I did get to hear Ben Shaberman, a writer who likes to keep things on the side of humor, read exerpts from some of his writings.

My friend, Monica, and my boyfriend, Bryan, went with me to this event. I bought us each a raffle ticket and Bryan ended up winning a gift basket with a vegan candybar (Jokerz: caramel, peanuts, nougat, and chocolate), a 16 ounce jar of organic vegan peanut butter, a 16 ounce jar of vegan organic almond butter, a sample of Dream Wash Shower Smoothie Soap from LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, a Vegenaise spatula, and a coupon for free Vegenaise.

Lots of tasty food and lots of wonderful, like-minded people. What a great day! I look forward to next year's VegFest.


Humane League: Baltimore VegFest

Facebook: 2nd Annual Baltimore VegFest 2012

personal experience

Friday, April 27, 2012

Baltimore VegFest 2012

I just arrived back from vacation in Aruba last night/this morning at 1:30 am. Still unpacking and have some cleaning and much needed exercise to catch up on. I will be attending the Baltimore VegFest tomorrow for great speakers, great vegetarian and vegan foods, animal and environmentally friendly organizations, and awesome people in general!

After all this, I will be updating my blog with vacation photos, local reviews, Baltimore VegFest info and pictures, reviews of restaurants and vegetarian foods we ate in Aruba, and much more! Lots of stuff soon to come! Please subscribe so you don't miss it. Thanks, and have a great weekend. : )

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Exercise Update

So... I must confess: the last few days I have not been doing great with my exercises, but today that all changed!

I completed Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred Level One, which I used to do everyday a couple years back and was in decent shape. After completing that workout I got on the treadmill (on full incline) for about 20 minutes and burned another 80 calories or so. I feel good!

I just wish I'd have kept up with the intensity of my workouts starting a month or two ago since I leave for Aruba in just under two weeks now! (Beautiful beach photos and vacation pictures will certainly be shared upon my return.)

Maybe I can still lose at least 5 or 6 pounds before then... Wish me luck!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why I Cannot Donate Blood Even Though I Am Healthy

A few years back I donated blood to the American Red Cross and received a letter several weeks later claiming I may have Hepatitis B and a brochure on this disease. I was told by Red Cross employees I contacted after this that I would be able to be "reinstated" to give blood if I got a full panel blood test and came back negative.

I've gotten my blood tested and have tried contacting the Red Cross via email about half a dozen times and have never received any information or any responses back whatsoever. I have tried calling several times and never got connected to the correct department. I figured I would give it a try today and was finally connected to a Red Cross employee who could give me some information.

I want to help out and give blood. I am healthy and disease-free. My partner donates blood every few months and he is also disease-free... When I finally spoke with "Alecia" or however you spell her name, she informed me that although I came back negative for any diseases and was healthy, I would never again be able to donate my blood. There is nothing wrong with my blood, but since I came up "positive" on their tests, I am more or less banned from ever giving my blood again. She was incredibly rude to me when I was asking questions. I do not appreciate this. I was not rude to her until she became condescending and raised her voice at me. At that point I simply hung up on her.

This is no way to treat someone, whether I have Hepatitis or not! Their tests are apparently wrong and incredibly sensitive. I don't even know what the deal is, but for someone to treat me so rudely when I was trying to understand why I cannot donate my healthy blood just, well, makes my blood boil!

For an organization that reaches out to help people and is always in demand of blood, you'd think they would look into my blood tests. I understand they have their policies for a reason, but there is nothing wrong with my blood. It has been tested. I am very offended with the way this employee treated me. All I was trying to find out is if there is somewhere I can fax my test results or get re-tested by the Red Cross so they can see my blood is clean and safe.

I understand they may have their reasons and safety is their number one priority, but it is unacceptable to be nasty and condescending to people!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

My True Experience with Zip Nada Zilch using the Miracle Money Daily Template

(Exercise update follows, as usual.) Many have heard of Zip Nada Zilch. They are an online company that pays you directly to your Paypal account for getting referrals. The Big Cash Program, using Miracle Money Daily, pays at least $60 per referral without any money out of pocket to get started. Some months Zip Nada Zilch, or ZNZ, offers higher payouts than $60, so your commission for one referral might be $78 or $84 rather than the normal $60. These payments can add up to a nice sum of money, right? ... If you can rake in the referrals.

I have been using this program for about six months now and have received many leads with my capture page but very few actually have joined and completed the process required. I don't think it's because the program is unbelievable. I know, paying $60 per referral must be a scam, right? Not so! The reason they can pay this high dollar amount for each referral is because to join the program one must actually sign up for trial offers and other programs. With the Miracle Money Daily concept, the referral will spend no money, or very little money, out of pocket because the offers actually cost about $1.00 each and you might only need to sign up for 4 or 5 of these offers. The sponsor then pays the referral $15, thus truly making this program a zero out of pocket business for the referrals. This means the sponsor will earn $45 per referral (or $63 or $69 depending on the specials that are running at the time), rather than the $60 (or $78 or $84 if during a special).

A few cons is that there are no multi-level bonuses, one only earns for direct referrals and no residual income, so one must keep promoting this program and pulling in referrals in order to earn money consistently. Also, to sign up and complete the total process is time consuming initially but once you have done this you are eligible forever to receive referral commissions. This program is only available to those in Canada, the UK, and the USA.

There are still many pros to this program, or at least this concept. It can truly be a no money out of pocket unless you opt for a specific offer that requires more than a few dollars for a trial period, for example. Once you're all signed up you're good to go. There is no waiting months for payouts; commissions are usually received within 24-48 hours into one's Paypal account rather than monthly like many programs out there on the web.

I have promoted the Miracle Money Daily Program for ZNZ: Big Cash using both capture pages as well as my main page through traffic exchanges (like Easy Hits 4U, Dragon Surf, and others). I've also promoted on Twitter. (Please follow me @Bethany1202!)

I've used safelists and promoted through email and followed up a few times for each lead. I have promoted at various other sites such as Digg, Stumble Upon, Pinterest, etc., and have redeemed some earnings at PTC sites to purchase advertising. All this for very little success. However, I am still eligible to receive my payouts for each referral, so I will continue to promote this program and hopefully I will get a referral every month or two! LOL ; )

... Perhaps I will print flyers with my site address and distribute near college campuses -- students usually need extra money!

Exercise Update: Saturday, March 31, 2012

  • Dynamic stretching to warm up plus 30+ minutes cardio (including lunges with a 3-lb hand weight)
  • Over 50 crunches
  • 20 minutes on the treadmill at full incline (about 0.75 miles, burned nearly 100 calories)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Exercise Update


  • Dynamic stretching as a warm up
  • Weight training for arms with 3-lb handweights
  • 50+ crunches
  • About 15 minutes on treadmill
  • (Approximately 0.55 miles)
  • (Burned about 60 calories)


  • Dynamic stretching as a warm up
  • 50+ crunches
  • 20 minutes of cardio
  • About 18 minutes on treadmill
  • (Approximately 0.60 miles)
  • (Burned approximately 75 calories)

I will be posting pictures soon and charting my weight each week. Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meatless Monday Website Review: Veggie Brothers

In celebration of Meatless Monday, today I am reviewing and sharing my experience with the vegan website Veggie Brothers.

Veggie Brothers is a company that has been delivering "chef prepared vegan meals" since 2005. Choose from appetizers, breakfast foods, sides, entrees, soups, and more available for sale. The website provides complete information for each item, including pictures, ingredients, and description of the products along with user-submitted reviews. The website also features a blog, health information, and much more.

I have sampled a number of products from this site and have been continually impressed. I believe all their products come vacuum-sealed in bags with preparation instructions, ingredient information, and nutritional information. Because the food items are vacuum-sealed they may be stored for a considerable amount of time in your freezer. This allows you to order in bulk and keep the food frozen for quite some time if you desire to do so. Vacuum-sealed packages from Veggie Brothers can be boiled because they do not use plastic that leaches chemicals. Meals can also be prepared via other methods, such as in the microwave or oven.

One of my favorite products from Veggie Brothers is their Hot & Spicy Soy Chicken Buffalo Wings. I've tried many different types of vegetarian and vegan wings, and these are some of my favorites. There is only one place that has them beat, and that is at Asylum, a restuarant/bar which I rarely visit because it's about an hour and a half away from my home in Washington, D.C. At their website, Veggie Brothers describes the wings as "Realistic soy chicken drumstick baked with our house buffalo sauce and spices. Hearty and delicious. Spicy." They are very accurate with their description. The wings are a good size and wonderful texture.

I have reviewed these wings on Knoji and share, "With the first bite I noticed a chewy skin-like texture on the outside of the wing and also a slightly chewy meat-like texture inside. The wings are a bit softer than I prefer, but the flavor is meaty, spicy (tangy with a little heat, but not overly spicy), and delicious. I can detect a very slight pepper and vinegar flavor coupled with sweetness, but it's just the right combination. They taste perfect to me. I had to remind myself that these were vegan a few times because the texture seems so real to me. If you are the type of person who doesn't like analog meat products that seem realistic, these are probably not for you!" These wings are certainly addictive!

I also very much enjoyed the breakfast ham, which is a very authentic texture as far as I can remember, and my boyfriend agrees. We both tried the ham and it was delicious. I simply let it thaw and then fried it in a pan with a small amount of non-stick spray. The taste is just right. It is not too salty and full of ham flavor the way I remember it.

The Soy Chicken Cacciatore (pictured below) was very delicious, but a bit too watery for my liking. Aside from that, the flavor was excellent. It is described on the site as "A vegan rendition of an Old World favorite. Realistic soy fibrin chicken in a scrumptious tomato herb sauce with red and green bell pepper and baby portabella mushrooms." I served it over a mix of brown rice and bulgur wheat. Delicious chunks of fake chicken and plenty of green and red peppers with mushrooms and onions is a very accurate description of this item. I could certainly taste the red and green peppers in the sauce, which I really enjoyed.

They literally have dozens of entrees from which to choose (such as Wellington Supreme, Vegan Beef Teriyaki, Salisbury Steak in Mushroom Gravy, Grilled Mahi Mahi Steak, burgers, and more) as well as a decent selection of appetizers, soups, sides, and breakfast foods.

I was pleasantly surprised with the initial customer service I received as well as the follow up interest regarding my satisfaction with their products. The owner of the site, Michael Balducci, is very attentive and considerate.

Veggie Brothers has a minimum order of $50 for food subtotal before taxes. This is to offset cooler packs and other handling charges that they may incur; the company does not charge extra for cooler packs and other special shipping requirements as others sites sometimes do. Items were shipped quickly and I received a tracking number so I knew where the package was throughout the delivery process and when it would be arriving.

They do have a rewards program where one earns approximately 1 point for each dollar spent. When 1000 points are accumulated you receive a $100 gift certificate for personal use or to give as a gift. With one small order I accumulated nearly 100 points. Veggie Brothers often runs specials on their products, coupons such as free shipping, and other discounts. Although the prices are a bit steep, the quality of the food is delicious and well worth paying.


Veggie Brothers website
personal experience and opinion
Veggie Brothers: Hot & Spicy Soy Chicken Buffalo Wings
Also find Veggie Brothers on Facebook.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
Exercise Update for Monday, March 26, 2012:
    * Warmed up with dynamic stretching, jumping jacks, and jump rope. (about 5 minutes)
    * Worked arms with 3-pound hand weights (3 sets of about 12 reps each: chest flies, bicep curls, tricep curls, and a few other things for which I don't know the name!)
    * Walked over half a mile on my treadmill
    * About 50 crunches
    * Cooled down and stretched

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WTF is Veg*n???

Have you heard of vegetarian, and even vegan, but are wondering what veg*n is??

It's simple: the * is like a wild card. In other words, the word means VEG__N, where the blanks can represent "etari" or "a"... In other words, the word veg*n can stand for vegetarian or vegan. The word "veg*n" is generally used as a collective term appealing to or referring to both vegetarians and vegans.

I am personally a vegetarian and have been so for over 20 years, but I try to incorporate more vegan meals into my diet. Because of this and because of my target group(s), I prefer to use the term veg*n. When I post recipes, they are ALWAYS vegetarian; some are vegan. If they are not vegan they are easy to veganize, and this is usually indicated in my recipes.

I'm sure everyone has an idea of what a vegetarian is, but for those who don't know what a vegan is: a vegan does not consume any animal products whatsoever, including dairy and even honey. Vegans usually do not use any animal-derived products, either, including leather and suede, products tested on animals, products using animal-derived ingredients, etc.

Getting Used to Blogging

Ugh, something new! I am so resistant to change, unfortunately, but I also work well under pressure and am able to adapt when I finally let myself give in. That being said, I am going to try to focus more time on blogging rather than writing articles at third-party sites. Is that what they are? Anyway, I am hoping to earn more money online rather than the pennies I make submitting my articles to sites such as Knoji (the new Factoidz site), Y!CN (the new Associated Content site), Bukisa, etc.

I have lots of ideas and love to write. I may not be the best writer in the world, but I enjoy doing it in my spare time and am sure some folks out there will like reading my blogs! (At least, I hope!)

I am trying to get used to this format. It's a bit tricky, but, I know with time I will get used to it and ADAPT! So, please subscribe and stay tuned for primarily veg*n info, product and website reviews, random thoughts and perhaps some rants, recipes, exercise and weight loss progress, charity spotlights (cruelty-free and/or animal rights charities, of course), and more. I am excited and finally ready to embrace this, so please join me! Thanks. : )