Month: July 2020

Senior Branded Content Editor By Krista Soriano
January 15, 2020
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Mark Sisson—you know him as the founding leader of the paleo movement, a guest on mbg’s own podcast, and the bestselling author of books including The Keto Reset Diet—is back with his latest, long-awaited book release: a ketogenic eating and lifestyle plan focused on longevity. Written with former pro triathlete Brad Kearns, Keto for Life: Reset Your Biological Clock in 21 Days and Optimize Your Diet for Longevityis designed to be a holistic, actionable approach to living a long and happy life span. Check out an excerpt from the book below!
Time flies. Here I am today at age 65, talking about longevity—a concept I hardly ever considered during the first four decades of my life. Ironically, in my youthful oblivion, I engaged in an assortment of lifestyle choices that directly opposed longevity and compromised my day-to-day health. My obsession with qualifying for the United States Olympic Trials in the marathon meant running over 100 miles a week throughout my 20s.

My crazy workouts, and the nutrient-deficient, high-carb, high-insulin-producing diet that fueled them, resulted in systemwide inflammation, oxidative damage (aka free radical damage), glycation (excess glucose binding with important structural proteins and causing dysfunction throughout the body), hormonal dysfunction, musculoskeletal breakdown, and immune suppression. I caught at least six upper respiratory tract infections each year. I battled chronic fatigue, osteoarthritis in both feet, severe tendinitis in both hips, chronic gastritis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

While my youthful indiscretions accelerated my aging, I’m convinced that I have repaired much of this damage over the past two decades. Most prominently, I ditched grains and sugars in favor of nutrient-dense primal foods starting in 2002. This, along with abandoning my crazy training schedule some 15 years prior to my primal dietary transformation, took me from inflamed, immune-suppressed, and hormonally dysregulated to healthy and vibrant.

Today, with my Social Security paperwork filed, I am healthier, and in many ways fitter, than I was when I was a narrowly adapted creature suited for running or pedaling long and hard, and not much else. Come to think of it, the same “narrowly adapted” characterization might apply to when I became successful in business, but not very successful at regulating my attendant levels of stress and anxiety. This is one of the reasons that the scope of this book extends beyond superfoods, super workouts, wonder supplements, and biohacking strategies to embrace a comprehensive mind, body, and lifestyle approach to longevity. While overhauling your lifelong high-carbohydrate eating patterns can be a challenge, working on the intangible elements of longevity can be just as daunting, maybe more so.

Keto for Life will help unlock your peak performance potential and maintain it throughout your entire life—not only in the high-impact categories of shedding body fat, improving physical fitness, or minimizing disease risk factors in blood tests but also in the more refined aspects of healthy living, like nurturing interpersonal relationships or balancing stress and rest. Ultimately, my goal is to help you enjoy an extended health span: not just making it to 90- or 100-plus but feeling vibrant, energetic, happy, productive, and fulfilled until the end.

The four pillars of keto longevity.
As you might imagine, the ketogenic diet is a centerpiece of this approach, but this book branches out into four distinct categories that I call the four pillars of keto longevity. You’ll understand the scientific rationale and benefits of honoring each of these pillars and will also receive practical, step-by-step guidance to nail the objectives in each pillar. Finally, you’ll put everything together during the intensive 21-Day Biological Clock Reset, building momentum and clarity for a lifetime of healthy habits and happiness.

Here is where we are headed:


Pillar 1: Metabolic Flexibility
Time to escape carbohydrate dependency and become a fat-burning beast! You’ll start by ditching toxic modern foods and progress comfortably through the multistage process detailed in The Keto Reset Diet to the highest level of metabolic flexibility through ketogenic eating. Then, you’ll discover and adopt some advanced strategies based on the latest anti-aging research that will help to promote longevity and make a huge improvement in your rate of aging. I’ll also help you create targeted goals for fat reduction and peak performance that you can sustain for a lifetime. Metabolic flexibility doesn’t have to mean rigid adherence to ketogenic macronutrient guidelines forever. Rather, I convey a concept of living in the keto zone, where you become adept at burning a variety of fuel sources based on your specific goals, eating preferences, genetic attributes, and ongoing experimentation and refining.

Pillar 2: Movement & Physical Fitness
How Paleo Expert Mark Sisson Uses Ketogenic Eating For Longevity
Image by Miquel Lloncc / Stocksy
Surprisingly, the priority here is not crazy sweating in the gym but rather to make a concerted effort to increase all forms of general everyday movement. Our genes are hardwired to move around all day long. This keeps us physically energized (thanks to turbocharged fat burning) and cognitively sharp. Fitness and health start with movement. Emerging science is showing that even a devoted workout regimen cannot save you from the destructive health consequences of too much stillness. Once you get into a good groove with daily movement patterns, you can boost your longevity quotient with a strategic blend of low-level cardio workouts and regular brief, intense strength and sprint efforts—in much less time and with less stress than you might think!


Pillar 3: Mental Flexibility
Under this broad definition falls an assortment of powerful mindset and behavior practices that promote resiliency for life in the same manner that metabolic flexibility makes you resilient enough to skip meals and maintain energy and focus. Strategies to develop mental flexibility include reframing self-limiting beliefs, “pivoting” (going with the flow when facing life change), being mindful and appreciative of the present instead of ruminating about the past or the future, having a formal practice for meditation and/or gratitude, nurturing healthy reciprocative social connections (being vigilant about preventing digital connections from crowding out real ones), and pursuing your passions and highest purpose to make a positive contribution to society throughout your life. Put those all together, and I call it living awesome!

Pillar 4: Rest & Recovery
How Paleo Expert Mark Sisson Uses Ketogenic Eating For Longevity
Image by Austin Rogers / Stocksy
Optimizing your sleep practices will be the prominent focus here, but we must also consider a broad-based approach to chilling out amid the hectic pace and constant stimulation of modern life. Rest and recovery strategies for longevity include disciplining your use of technology, taking frequent breaks from peak cognitive function to refresh depleted brain neurons, and conducting specially designed workouts that promote relaxation and rejuvenation.

Keto for Life: Reset Your Biological Clock in 21 Days and Optimize Your Diet for Longevity is available now!


Krista Soriano
Krista Soriano
Senior Branded Content Editor
Krista Soriano is the Senior Branded Content Editor at mindbodygreen. She holds a B.A. in journalism with a minor in communications from Messiah College, graduating summa cum laude. She…

Getty Images/RooM RF
There are so many diet hacks going around right now, it’s hard to keep track: Raw until 4, Keto until 5, Vegan until 6, Dry until Fri. (Okay so we are ignoring that last one too.) But if you want to eat healthy longterm, lose weight in the near term and try a vegan or plant-based diet, the best way to get back on track is to follow this simple rule: Go Vegan Before 6.

Created by Mark Bittman, former lead food writer for The New York Times and author of 16 food and cookbooks in all, Vegan before 6 was a book that came out in 2013, as his answer to the question: How to lose weight when his doctor told him he was 40 pounds overweight and needed to make a life change. There’s a reason it’s popular again now. It allows you to eat a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds until dinnertime when you get to indulge in your usual favorite foods, so you end up going roughly 75 percent vegan. For many people it’s a great way to start being vegan, try out a plant-based approach, and lose weight and get healthy.

Part-time vegan as an approach to a healthy lifestyle and weight loss only works if during the rest of the time you stick to healthy habits and choose to eat whole foods that are low in calories, simple carbs, and fat–especially saturated fat. After all, you can do some major damage after sundown. In Mark Bittman’s book VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health… for Good, he shares how his simple and doable rules of being vegan for 75 percent of the day turned his health around, helped him lose weight, and changed the way he viewed food forever. Sorry: Chips are off the menu.

The key to the Bittman method is to start your day eating vegan–defined as vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds and no meat, dairy, poultry or other animal products–until 6 pm, or dinnertime when you can eat your usual favorite meals. Aside from filling your diet with as many plant-based foods as possible, and eliminating processed junk, the 28-day plan shows how when you stay satisfied, structured and healthy for most of the day, you make better choices at night and still reap the benefits that come with cutting back on meat and dairy.

Plant-based diets have been known to fight heart disease for years. A 2019 study showed that those who followed a mostly plant-based diet had lower cancer rates, possibly due to the fact the phytochemicals in plants help protect cells from free radical damage. The study found that eating just 10 grams or more of fiber a day (and remember fiber is only in plant foods) turns out to be enough to lower your risk of certain cancers. New studies have backed this up. The more fiber in your diet the lower your risk of breast cancer, for instance.

While it might seem intimidating to go 100 percent vegan all at once, know this: Mark Bittman thought he would be the last person to jump on the bandwagon. As a food writer at The New York Times for over 30 years, he made living eating and recommending all kinds of food. That was until at age 57, in his doctor’s office, feeling depressed over his health status, he had a decision to make.

With his blood numbers such as cholesterol out of control and 40 pounds to lose, he discussed with his doctor what steps to take. He was having trouble sleeping and persistent knee problems, and he recalls that he didn’t want to become a statistic, someone middle-aged on heart medication for the rest of his life. His long-time Doctor and friend had the guts to answer: “You should probably become a vegan. That will take care of all your problems.”

Bittman knew he was the type of person who would not do well with a vague intention to “eat more healthy foods.” He needed more of a structure than that. So he set himself a strict diet that started at breakfast and lasted just before dinner, thus observing 3/4 of his day on a vegan diet. His book proved that as long as you start your day with no animal products, as well as no packaged or processed foods, you can then treat yourself to what your love to eat so long as it’s healthy, for dinner.

His take: If a middle-aged food lover and writer who was brought up on meat and processed can go mostly plant-based, then why not you? Just try it as your day starts, and determine the rest as the day continues, you never know, you might unintentionally become a full-time vegan.

Here are Mark Bittman’s Secrets to Success on a Mostly Vegan Diet:
Start your day off right
Avoid any kind of animal product at breakfast and lunch. Saturated fats and processed sugars are the main ingredients in common breakfast foods, but while anything can be made vegan by skipping the dairy, the best option s a complex carb like oatmeal with fruit, or a smoothie with plant-based protein. For lunch, salads, soups, hummus or whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce. As long as it’s vegetable-based or full of healthy protein from legumes, and homemade, you’ll stay on track. We suggest a big salad with chickpeas, which are packed with protein. For a full list, The Beet has assembled all the best plant-based protein sources.

Fill your plate with as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible
By cutting out meat and dairy products it leaves a whole lot of space to fill up your plate with as many fresh plant foods as possible. That can be adding an extra leafy green to your stir-fry or making your new favorite soup a lentil or vegan split pea recipe. Try to source local and organic vegetables when possible to avoid pesticides in your food. See the recipes on The Beet or the Beginner’s Guide for seven days of meals. Remember, it’s all in the baby steps.

Avoid Processed and Packaged foods
Anything that contains processed flours and added sugars wreaks havoc on our metabolism, and if the goal of losing weight on VB6, then avoiding white sugar and flour is the top priority when you are shopping at the market (as opposed to the farm stand). Almost every chronic health problem can be avoided or abated by watching your intake of saturated fats, sodium and added sugar found in all processed foods. As you start out, savor your favorite treat for after 6 pm, but in small doses, and give your body enough time to digest before going to bed.

Not everything “vegan” is fair game
The word vegan is not synonymous with healthy, and most junk food is accidentally vegan since it does not contain animal products but neither is it healthy. Coca Cola, Oreos, and French fries don’t have animal products in them unless the fries are cooked in oil that has beef or chicken in it, but they are called fast-food for a reason. Quick snacks are convenient and cheap, but we pay for them in a different way, by driving up our cholesterol, insulin levels, blood sugar, blood lipids, and contributing to weight gain. Like Bittman, it can cost us our health in the long run.

No rules after 6 pm–other than to eat healthy, whole foods– and not junk
After 6 p.m. exhibit some form of self-control, even when you crave comfort food. Allow yourself a little digression (a glass of wine) but not a major falling off the diet cliff (inhaling the whole bag of chips, or an entire pint of ice cream). This way you can continue the diet for longer.

One change that Bittman noticed immediately when he did this was the change in energy level. Over time he realized that while a cheeseburger could be in his near future if he chose to go that route for dinner, his body craved more of the healthy stuff at night. And his energy soared.

Don’t focus too much on the specific time. Vegan till 5:59 is also great
Sometimes dinner happens after, or even before, 6 pm, or perhaps you’re suddenly on East Coast time and your body still thinks it’s mid-afternoon in LA. Six is not a magic time, it’s just a guideline. Dinner being our last meal of the day, it also happens to be more social, so when you are having a shared experience, this approach is helpful to go back to being plant-based in the morning and see how long you can last the next day. Try to push it through dinner if you are feeling great. Before you know it, you may just not want to eat any other way than vegan at all.

Eat home-cooked meals whenever possible

This sounds simple coming from a cookbook author but Bittman advises that not only will this keep you on track, but you’ll feel more satisfied know exactly what went into your meal. It also provides you with plenty of leftovers for breakfast and lunch for the rest of the week.

Everyone is at their own pace
A lifestyle change is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be made into a big production. For some people, small increments are the way to go, and Bittman’s method is the right step. If you overindulge one night, just forgive yourself, then start again the next day. Or if you eat a non-vegan meal one lunchtime, make up for it at night and make dinner from veggies.

Little changes can make a big impact
In his Ted Talk, “What’s Wrong with How We Eat,” Bittman explained how the traditional western diet is failing us, and our demand for meat, dairy and refined carbohydrates has been fed to us via our overly simplistic food pyramid. The USDA is not our ally, and as they revise the guidelines every 5 years, we await their latest recommendations, due out soon, which we can only hope will include more plant-based or vegan foods.

Until then, we have to take matters into our own hands, not only to advocate for a better diet in a country where 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese but by improving our own health as well. The more vegan or plant-based we eat, the better it is for our longterm health, for the environment, for the welfare of farmed animals, for your own weight loss goals–and for all the possible reasons combined.

Going mostly vegan, or mostly plant-based will help you be healthier longer
A new study found that eating mostly plant-based fights high blood pressure, and reduces your overall risk of heart disease and premature death. The idea of going vegan or plant-based 75 percent of the time happens to be quiet easy. Simply start the day with vegetables and grains, fruit and nuts, seeds and whole plant-based foods. Then once evening comes, eat less meat and dairy, less junk, and still more plants. It’s a simple formula, eat real food.” So start out your week, day and meal as best as you possibly can, stay clean and focused and you might discover how being a part-time vegan might be the best way for you to turn your health around.

Introducing The VegStart Diet: The Easiest Way to Lose Weight
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Filed Under: Vegan After 6, Weight Loss
Categories: Health & Nutrition
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Getting started

In this guide, we will show you how to get up and running with the Rodecaster Pro. Follow the sections below to get started

  1. Downloading the Rodecaster Pro software
  2. Hardware & software connections
  3. Navigating the Rodecaster Pro
  4. Recording with a DAW

Downloading the Rodecaster Pro software

IMPORTANT: PC users will need to download and install the third-party audio driver, ASIO4All, for it to work correctly with your DAW. Be sure to check out our guide for more information on how to download, install, and use ASIO4All.

Before you can use the Rodecaster Pro, you first need to download and install the Rodecaster Pro app, as well as the firmware. The Rodecaster Pro is considered class-compliant on Mac, which means it doesn’t need third-party audio drivers. PC users will need to download ASIO4All for proper connectivity. Follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Go to the Rodecaster Pro download page and download the Rodecaster Pro installer.
  2. Go to your Downloads folder and run the Companion App installer.
    • PC: Right-click the file, select Extract all…, and then click Extract.
    • Mac: Double-click the file.

Updating the firmware

Connect the device using the included USB-C cable to your computer, then power it on. Launch the firmware updater application within the rodecaster_app_installer folder, and follow the on-screen instructions. The unit will restart automatically after it’s completed.

Reloading sounds on the device

If the factory sounds are erased when you perform a factory reset, follow these steps to reload the sound onto your device.

  1. Log into the Rode website. If you don’t have an account, you can create one here.
  2. Click Register Your Warranty on the top right of the page.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to register the product, and then scroll to your Roadcaster Pro warranty.
  4. Click Download Sound Effects Pack, as well as the Rodecaster Pro companion app.
  5. Click and drag the sounds into the companion app. They will be automatically uploaded onto your device.


Hardware & software connections

Once the Rodecaster Pro Companion app is installed, the next step is to connect it to your computer. Before recording in your DAW or on to an SD card, be sure to update the firmware to the latest version. Follow these steps to update the firmware connect the unit.

Hardware connections

  • Speakers: connect ¼” TRS cables to the main outs on the back of the unit.
  • Headphones: Connect the headphones to one of the four Headphone Out jacks.
  • MicroSD: Insert the MicroSD card in the indicated slot. If transferring the files using a MicroSD to standard SD adapter, be sure that the adapter’s lock is off!
  • Media device: Use a TRRS cable to connect a media device such as a smartphone or mp3 player.
  • USB-C: Use the included USB-C cable to connect to your computer. Do not use a Thunderbolt cable! Read more about the difference here.

Software connections

  1. Connect the device to a USB port and verify that it is listed in the system’s hardware as well as sound settings.
  2. Launch your DAW, navigate to its audio settings, and set the Rodecaster Pro as your driver.
    • PC users: The Rodecaster Pro will not appear as an audio driver within your DAW, so be sure to select ASIO4All.
  3. Turn the Microphone Input(s) & USB Output faders up to an appropriate level to where it isn’t clipping.


There are three primary menus on the device. These menus are where you will make changes such as USB connectivity, microphone level, and connectivity, as well as recording sounds which are triggered by the pads on the right-hand side of the unit. Press the Cog icon to get these settings.


The channel menu is where you will make changes to individual channels such as the type of microphone that’s connected, the overall level of the channel, and turning effects on or off.


The sounds menu is very straight forward. Open the menu, then tap a button on the screen to record audio to the assigned pad.


The hardware menu is where you will enable or disable multichannel USB recording, view the microSD card capacity, and also make changes to the Bluetooth settings.


Recording within a DAW

Before you can begin recording within a DAW, you’ll need to make sure that the Microphone and USB settings are set correctly. Make sure to change these settings in the order below; microphoneUSB, then DAW. Follow these steps to change the settings appropriately.

Microphone settings

  1. Press the channel’s pad you wish to edit located above the channel fader.
  2. Press Microphone, then select the microphone you are using. Be sure to press Condenser to engage Phantom Power (+48v)!
    • You can also engage or disengage Phantom Power by pressing Level then pressing the Phantom Power slider at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Go back to the Channel menu, then press Advanced to enable or disable any effects such as the compressor, high-pass filter, or de-esser.

USB settings

  1. Navigate to the Hardware menu, then press Advanced.
  2. Enable USB in the Multichannel Recording section. You will be prompted to disconnect then reconnect the USB cable to save the change.
  3. Turn up the channels you wish to record, as well as the USB fader up to an appropriate level.

DAW settings

NOTE: This is not a DAW controller, so you will need to manually start and stop recording in your DAW.

  1. Create a mono track for each channel you will be recording, and then record enable them.
  2. Press Record on the Rodecaster Pro, as well as within your DAW. Doing this will record both to your DAW and also the MicroSD card (if inserted).
    • If you hear an echo or feedback coming through your headphones or speakers, make sure that input monitoring is turned off; either within your DAW or on the device.


Additional resources

Phone Connectivity
Loading Sounds
Advanced Audio Settings
Sound Pads


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Nearly two years ago, Megan Faraday, a now 25-year-old woman from Ontario, Canada, decided she was ready to make a change to her health.

“I just felt really uncomfortable with myself for a really long time, a whole lifetime of dieting and binge eating,” Faraday told “Good Morning America.” “I woke up one morning and was like ‘I’m going to try keto and see if it sticks,’ and it did.”

Faraday has since lost more than 100 pounds following “lazy keto,” a version of the popular ketogenic, or keto, diet, known for its focus on foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

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For Faraday, following a “lazy keto” diet meant skipping counting every macronutrient, like proteins and fats, she was eating and focusing solely instead on the amount of carbohydrates, or carbs, she was eating every day.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, breaks down the keto diet to see if it’s right for you.

“It’s keto without all of the hardcore rules,” Faraday said of her “lazy keto” approach. “I figured out how to calculate net carbs [the total grams of carbohydrates in a food minus the grams of fiber] and just went from there.”

Faraday said she moved from a diet full of fast food, breads, potatoes and pasta to one that includes a lot of fresh vegetables and lean proteins. Within one month, Faraday had lost 15 pounds.

“I think the reason why this time really stuck with me was it was so easy for me to get into the swing of things with keto,” she said. “Seeing the weight come off was the biggest motivator. I saw that and it just kept me determined to keep going.”

Faraday said she lost just over 100 pounds in one year on a “lazy keto” diet and since then has been slowly introducing carbs back into her diet while still losing weight.

“It’s a lot of things you would be eating otherwise, just minus the carbs. Things like chicken wings that you wouldn’t normally think of as diet foods,” she said of her approach. “And it’s easy to make regular recipes that I would have been eating before more keto-friendly.”

Where two years ago Faraday had difficulty walking up a set of stairs, she now goes on runs and exercises three to five times a week.

“My total attitude to life has changed completely,” she said. “I’m more outgoing and like to put myself out there more and I’ve struggled with anxiety my whole life and it’s a lot easier for me to deal with now.”

“I’m a lot happier now, a lot happier with myself,” said Faraday.

Here are four weight loss tips from Faraday

1. Make eating simple: “I keep my diet really simple because I like to know exactly what I’m eating. It’s easier to track it when you’re not trying to make super complicated recipes.”

2. Drink lots of water: “Everybody says that but it’s seriously so important.”

3. Have a support system: “Have people you can reach out to when you’re having a bad day or someone you can ask a question to. It’s so much easier than trying to navigate it on your own.”

4. Make a change to make yourself happy: “You need to do it for yourself. You can’t be worried about doing it for other people. There will be times you don’t see the scale move. You need to keep moving past that and know what your goal is for yourself. You need to make yourself happy at the end of the day.”


Beijing is flexing its muscles on multiple fronts but Trump’s retreat from world leadership leaves it ill-placed to helm a fightback

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on China: ‘The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.’
 The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on China: ‘The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.’ Photograph: Wu Hong/EPA

The confrontation between the US and China is gathering pace with each passing week. In the past few days, the Chinese consulate in Houston has been shuttered amid allegations it was a spy hub, and the US mission in the south-western city of Chengdu was closed in retaliation, on similar grounds.

The FBI has started arresting Chinese researchers at US universities with suspected links to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), one of whom temporarily took refuge in the consulate in San Francisco, before surrendering.

US academics and businessmen are being put under greater scrutiny for ties to Beijing and have been warned to come clean about them under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The tougher legal moves have been accompanied by a concerted set of speeches assailing China by the Trump administration’s major national security and foreign policy officials, culminating in an address on Thursday by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, declaring: “The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.”

Pompeo travelled to Yorba Linda, California, home of the Richard Nixon presidential library, to declare that the Republican president’s historic opening to China in 1972 had begun an exercise in failure in east-west detente.

“The kind of engagement we have been pursuing has not brought the kind of change in China that President Nixon hoped to induce,” Pompeo said. “The truth is that our policies – and those of other free nations – resurrected China’s failing economy, only to see Beijing bite the international hands that fed it.”

Some of the grand geopolitical language can be put down to the importance of anti-China sentiment in Donald Trump’s bid to salvage his presidency in the November election. And some of it is inspired by Pompeo’s own efforts, increasingly at the expense of his day job, to position himself for a presidential run in 2024.

But much of what Pompeo had to say will have global resonance thanks to Beijing’s rising aggression on multiple fronts around the globe. At the same time as rounding up more than a million Muslim Uighurs in internment camps, the regime has quashed the liberties enjoyed by Hong Kong, taken over disputed atolls, reefs and shoals in the South China Sea and turned them into concrete redoubts, and conducted a dangerous land grab on its border with India.

Pompeo argued that combatting the grip of the Chinese Communist party “is the mission of our time”, a declaration likely to get heads nodding in large parts of Asia and the Pacific at least. But his claim, in his next breath, that “America is perfectly positioned to lead it” will ring hollow among many of Washington’s bewildered allies.

In their eyes, China has expanded in a vacuum left by the US retreat under the Trump administration into “America First” jingoism and unilateralism.

This March 2017 image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a satellite image of the Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef in Spratly island chain in the South China Sea, one of several disputed islands, reefs or shoals in the area.
 This March 2017 image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a satellite image of the Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef in Spratly island chain in the South China Sea, one of several disputed islands, reefs or shoals in the area that China has fortified. Photograph: AP

One of Trump’s first foreign policy moves was to pull the US out of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership which was designed as an economic coalition to prevent China being able to dictate the terms of trade in the 21st century. US allies in the region went ahead anyway but it was severely weakened by the absence of the US administration, which sought instead to unpick existing trade arrangements with its partners.

Similarly, the US effort to persuade China to join arms control negotiations would carry more weight on the world stage if the Trump administration had not walked out on three arms control agreements to date and is apparently in the process of jettisoning a fourth, the New Start agreement limiting US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons.

The abrupt US departure from the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic, accompanied by a campaign of unsubstantiated allegations against its officials led by Pompeo, is also often cited by diplomats posted to Washington as an example of the US abdicating its global leadership role.

The failure of governance evident in the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic – which has left the US as the biggest, most enduring hotspot, and Americans banned from travelling to much of the world – has also made it hard for US diplomats to cajole foreign governments into a common cause against China, without drawing pained smiles.

The same could be said for the spectacle of unidentified and seemingly unaccountable paramilitary units making arrests in Portland. In terms of scale, it could not be more different from the mass incarceration of the Uighurs, but it is not a good look for a nation seeking to reclaim the mantle of leadership of the free world.

It is a stroke of luck for US diplomacy that, at a time when it is at its weakest when trying to recruit allies, China is doing much of the job on its behalf.


America is at a crossroads …

… and the coming months will define the country for a generation. These are perilous times. Over the last three years, much of what the Guardian holds dear has been threatened – democracy, civility, truth.

Science is presently in a battle with conjecture and instinct to determine policy in the middle of a pandemic. At the same time, the US is reckoning with centuries of racial injustice – as the White House stokes division along racial lines. At a time like this, an independent news organisation that fights for truth and holds power to account is not just optional. It is essential.

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Trump Administration ordered the shutdown of the consulate that was ‘hub of spying’

U.S. officials pried open the doors of the Chinese consulate in Houston on Friday and took over the building shortly after Chinese officials vacated the facility on orders from the Trump Administration.

Federal officials and local law enforcement surrounded the Houston facility Friday afternoon as the Chinese officials moved out of the building that the Trump Administration contends was a hub of spy activity by the Chinese Communist Party.

Forty minutes after the 4 p.m. eviction deadline passed, U.S. officials broke into a back door of the consulate and a man believed to be a State Department official led the way of the U.S. takeover, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Federal officials and a locksmith pull on a door to make entry into the vacated Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Federal officials and a locksmith pull on a door to make entry into the vacated Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. (Godofredo Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Photographs show federal officials and a locksmith trying to force their way into the vacated Consulate General of China. U.S. officials had tried three other entrances but couldn’t get in. Security teams donning U.S. State Department emblems on their shirts stood guard. The Houston Chronicle reported that the local fire department entered the building, too.

Tuesday night, hours after the Trump Administration announced its directive for the Chinese to vacate, the Houston Fire Department responded to fires at the courtyard of the building — an apparent effort to destroy documents. Chinese officials refused to allow the first responders to enter to put out the fires, Fox 26 in Houston reported.

Federal officials and a locksmith work on a door to make entry into the vacated Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Federal officials and a locksmith work on a door to make entry into the vacated Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)


All morning Friday, consulate workers were spotted loading up two U-haul trucks and vehicles and tossing trash bags into a nearby Dumpster in an attempt to meet the U.S.’s 4 p.m. eviction deadline, the Chronicle reported.

Consular staff pack items into their vehicles as they vacate the Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. (Godofredo Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Consular staff pack items into their vehicles as they vacate the Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. (Godofredo Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

“We can confirm that the PRC Consulate General in Houston is closed,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News.

After the Chinese officials packed up and left, U.S. teams began to force their way in. After two hours of gaining entry, the government officials loaded into a van and drove away, leaving the Houston Police and security teams behind at the scene, the Houston Chronicle reported.


The U.S. alleged that the consulate was a nest of Chinese spies who tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Police officers install barricades outside the Consulate General of China Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. Workers at China's consulate loaded up moving trucks Friday ahead of an afternoon deadline to shut down the facility, as ordered by the Trump administration. (Godofredo Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Police officers install barricades outside the Consulate General of China Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. Workers at China’s consulate loaded up moving trucks Friday ahead of an afternoon deadline to shut down the facility, as ordered by the Trump administration. (Godofredo Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week called the Houston complex “a hub of spying and IP theft.” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the consulate was a “massive spy center [and] forcing it to close is long overdue.”

China called the allegations “malicious slander” and responded by ordering the U.S. to close its consulate in the western Chinese city of Chengdu.



U.S. officials were spotted packing up and moving out of the Chengdu consulate Saturday as thousands of people gathered to watch the Americans forced to exit on Beijing’s orders.

Federal officials arrive to make entry into the vacated Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Federal officials arrive to make entry into the vacated Consulate General of China building Friday, July 24, 2020, in Houston. On Tuesday, the U.S. ordered the Houston consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

The South China Morning Post reported that three trucks and a bus were seen entering and leaving the U.S. compound while other workers left on foot with the arms full of boxes and files. Reuters reported the American consulate emblem was taken down and security was tight outside the facility for the moveout in the tit-for-tat consulate closures.


The Ultimate Guide to Vitamins and Minerals

We see cartons of juice and boxes of cereal trumpeting their vitamin and mineral content, but why are these microscopic nutrients so important? From helping the body turn food into fuel, to fortifying bones and eyesight, vitamins and minerals are health superstars for sure. While the average diet usually includes adequate amounts of the essential nutrients without issue, it doesn’t hurt to be a little more aware of the vitamins and minerals that keep us living and smiling. But first, let’s iron out some key terms.

Getting Started

Vitamins: Organic substances required for normal cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins. (More on that below)


Fat-Soluble VitaminsFat-soluble vitamins are those that bind to fat in the stomach and are then stored in the body for later use. We are less likely to become deficient in these vitamins (A, D, E, and K), but more likely to build up to toxic levels, usually due to extreme overconsumption or overzealous supplement use. (Or maybe just an unhealthy obsession with kale chips…)

Water-Soluble Vitamins: The rest of the vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they can be absorbed directly by cells. When in excess, these vitamins are flushed out of our system with each bathroom break. The water-soluble vitamins — biotin, vitamin C, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and the four B complex vitamins — need to be restored more frequently, but the body can tolerate higher doses.

MineralsMinerals are inorganic substances (meaning they contain no carbon), and all hold on place on the good ol’ periodic table (flashback to 6th grade chemistry class!). They’re also necessary for normal body function and development. There are two groups of minerals: macrominerals (which the body needs in large doses) and trace minerals (only a pinch required).

Chromium: You may have chrome wheels, but do you have chromium-dense meals? Though this trace mineral is thought to enhance insulin activity and the breakdown of the sugars that we eat, it’s only needed in small amounts and is not considered “essential”. Though some chromium supplements tout muscle building and weight loss benefits, there is no solid research evidence that backs up the claims. In fact, overconsumption of chromium supplements could cause kidney damageTrusted Source. So shelf the supplement and try an absperiment instead for rock-hard abs.

What You Need: Men = 35 mcg; Women = 25 mcg How to Get It: There’s heavy metal (chromium metal, that is) in broccoli (22 mcg per cup), grape juice (7.5 mcg per cup), and whole-wheat products like whole-wheat frozen waffles (6.7 mcg per waffle) or whole-wheat English muffins (3.6 mcg per muffin). What’s Too Much: Not determined

Copper: Don’t be penny-pinching with this shiny mineral, which is an essential trace element and antioxidant. Frontline in the creation of red blood cells, copper is also important for proper energy metabolism, immunity, and nervous system function. Though few and far between, copper deficiencies may manifest as anemia, a low white blood cell count, and bone deteriorationTrusted Source. While copper toxicity from dietary intake is rare, cases of acute copper poisoning (which leads to some not-so-nice tummy troubles) have occurred due to contaminated water supplies or leaching from copper containers.

What You Need: 900 mcg How to Get It: Instead of gnawing on pennies, try cooked liver—yum! (4,049 mcg per ounce), oysters (670 mcg per medium oyster), crabmeat (634 per 3 ounces), nuts (cashews, for example, offer 629 mcg per ounce), raw mushrooms (344 mcg per cup), and semisweet chocolate (198 mcg per ounce). What’s Too Much: 10,000 mcg

Fluoride: This non-essential trace mineral helps keep those pearly whites cavity-free and bones less breakableTrusted Source. Before snacking on some toothpaste, know that most tap water in the U.S. is already fluorinated, taking care of those elemental needs.

What You Need: Men = 4 mg; Women = 3 mg How to Get It: Food sources include grape juice (0.05-0.64 mg per cup), canned sardines (0.2-0.4 mg per 3.5 ounces), and chicken (0.06-0.10 mg per 3.5 ounces). What’s Too Much: 10 mg

Folic Acid (a.k.a. folate or folacin): Folic acid is such a key part of our diet that the U.S. government decided to fortify most commercial flour with this water-soluble vitamin. So what’s all the hoopla over folic acid? Well, it’s vital for pregnant women to ensure the baby’s proper development, helping prevent birth defects in the brain and spineTrusted SourceTrusted Source. No baby on board? Folic acid also helps create most all cells in the body and may reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.

What You Need: 400 mcg How to Get It: Look out for fortified grains and cereals (200-400 mcg per cup), asparagus (134 mcg per 6 spears), spinach (132 mcg per half cup), orange juice (83 mcg per cup), and lentils (179 per half cup). What’s Too Much: 1,000 mcg

Iodine: Definitely dine with iodine: This essential trace mineral is a crucial component of thyroid hormones, which maintain our basal metabolic rate (BMR). Iodine also helps to regulate body temperature, nerve and muscle function, and plays a role in the body’s growth and developmentTrusted Source. Too little iodine can lead to thyroid dysfunction, developmental abnormalities, and even goiters, a swelling of the thyroid gland (that ain’t pretty)Trusted Source. Iodine is found in most table salt (it does say “iodized” on the container, right?). Now and then, an excess of iodine can cause hyperthyroidism, goiters, and in severe cases, GI discomfort and burning of the mouth, throat, and stomach, though rare.

What You Need: 150 mcg How to Get It: Add some iodine with cod (99 mcg per 3 ounces), shrimp (35 mcg per 3 ounces), canned tuna (17 mcg per half can), milk (56 mcg per cup), baked potatoes (60 mcg per medium potato), and (small amounts of) seaweed (more than than 4,500 mcg per ¼ ounce!). What’s Too Much: 1,100 mcg

Iron: Pump some iron (…into your meals) to help hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells, and myoglobin (hemoglobin’s counterpart in muscles) bring oxygen to all the cells that need it. Iron is also important in the production of amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormonesTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Since this mineral is more easily absorbed from red meat and poultry, vegetarians and vegans may want to consider iron supplements, or at least consume more iron-rich fruits and leafy green vegetablesTrusted Source. But don’t go too crazy for iron: Acute overdose of iron can be lethal, and general excess can cause GI irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

What You Need: Men = 8 mg; Women = 18 mg How to Get It: Consider beef (2.32 mg per 3 cooked ounces), oysters (5.04 mg per 6 medium oysters), raisins (0.81 mg per small box), prune juice (2.28 mg per 6 fluid ounces), potatoes (1.87 mg per medium potato), cooked lentils (3.30 mg per half cup), tofu (2.15 mg per ¼ block), and cashews (1.89 per ounce). What’s Too Much: 45 mg

Magnesium: Magnetically drawn to calcium, magnesium is a macromineral that partners with calcium to assist with proper muscle contraction, blood clotting, cell signaling, energy metabolism, blood pressure regulation, and building healthy bones and teethTrusted Source! Rest easy because magnesium deficiency is super rare and so are toxicities, unless popping magnesium supplements is your thing. If so, watch out for diarrhea, lethargy, heart rate disturbances, and muscle weakness.

What You Need: Men = 400 mg; Women = 310 mg How to Get It: Magnify magnesium intake with oat bran (96 mg per half cup), almonds (78 mg per ounce), brown rice (86 mg per cup), cooked spinach (78 mg per half cup), bananas (32 mg per banana), and molasses (48 mg per tablespoon). What’s Too Much: There is no upper limit for dietary magnesium, but supplemental magnesium should not exceed 350 mg/day.

Manganese: Hailing from the Greek word for magic, manganese can be a double-edged sword. Though an essential trace mineral and antioxidant, it is also potentially toxic in excessTrusted Source. Important for energy, bone development, and wound healing, overindulgence of this magic mineral — usually a result of water contamination — may cause a dip in intellectual function.

What You Need: Men = 2.3 mg; Women = 1.8 mg How to Get It: Get a limited portion of this potion with pineapples (0.77 mg per half cup), pecans (1.28 mg per ounce), oatmeal (0.99 mg per instant oatmeal packet), brown rice (1.07 mg per half cup), and green tea (0.41-1.58 mg per cup). What’s Too Much: 11 mg

Molybdenum: Though we can’t help with the pronunciation of this essential trace mineral, we can confirm that it’s a necessary factor of many enzymes, which speed up the body’s biochemical reactions that break down dietary and stored nutrients into energyTrusted SourceMolybdenum deficiency has never been documented in healthy people, and toxicity is similarly rare.

What You Need: 45 mcg How to Get It: Grub rich in molybdenum includes legumes like black beans (130 mcg per cup) and split peas (148 mcg per cup), and nuts like almonds, chestnuts, and peanuts (all about 42 mcg per cup). What’s Too Much: 2,000 mcg

Niacin ( a.k.a. Vitamin B3 or Nicotinic Acid): On the lookout for beautiful skin, hair, and red blood cells? Niacin is here to help! Like other water-soluble B vitamins, niacin is essential for converting food into energy. It’s also central for the health of skin, hair, eyes, liver, and the nervous system, and is believed to lower risks of high cholesterol and heart diseaseTrusted SourceTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Extreme deficiencies in niacin may lead to pellagra, which is associated with the “the four D’s”: dermatitis (skin irritation), diarrhea, dementia, and death (yikes!)Trusted Source. But don’t overdo it either: Pellagra is exceptionally rare. High doses of niacin can be toxic, and may cause rosy tingling — the so-called “niacin flush” — if doses exceed 50 mg per day.

What You Need: Men = 16 mg; Women = 14 mg How to Get It: Nosh on peanuts (3.8 mg per ounce), chicken (7.3 mg per 3 ounces), salmon (8.5 mg per 3 ounces), fortified cereals (20-27 mg per cup), and coffee (0.5 mg per cup). What’s Too Much: 35 mg

Pantothenic Acid (a.k.a. Vitamin B5): This vitamin is important in food metabolism and helps synthesize neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, red blood cells, and more. Toxicity is virtually nonexistent, and while B5 deficiency is fairly rare (it tends to accompany severe malnutrition) neurologic symptoms such as burning feet may crop up.

What You Need: 5 mg (AI) How to Get It: Steer clear of tingling toes with foods like chicken (0.98 mg per 3 ounces), eggs (0.61 mg per large egg), whole grains (0.19 mg per slice of whole wheat bread), mushrooms (0.52 mg per half cup), sweet potato (0.88 mg per medium potato), avocados (1.99 mg per whole avocado), and yogurt (1.35 mg per cup). What’s Too Much: Not determined

Phosphorus: Keep bones and teeth prosperous with phosphorus, a macromineral that primarily builds and protects those choppers and your skeleton. Phosphorus is also a component of DNA and RNA, helps convert food into energy, and aids in shuttling nutrients to the organs that need themTrusted Source. While the kidneys dislike phosphorus in excess, acute poisoning with phosphorus is virtually nonexistent. On the flipside, rare cases of phosphorus deficiency can lead to anemia, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, rickets (in children), and numbness and tingling in the legs.

What You Need: 700 mg How to Get It: Foods abounding in phosphorus include all-things dairy, like milk (257 mg per cup), yogurt (385 mg per cup) and cheese (131 mg per ounce). Not a dairy lover? Consider salmon (252 mg per 3 ounces), eggs (104 mg per large egg), beer (173 mg per 3 ounces), chicken (155 mg per 3 ounces), and—get this—carbonated cola drinks (40 mg per 12 ounces). What’s Too Much: 4,000 mg

Potassium: Our hearts beat for potassium, a macromineral and electrolyte that’s essential for a steady heartbeat, the transmission of nervous system signals, and muscle functionTrusted Source. Alongside sodium, potassium is also an MVP in balancing fluids by helping the kidney save fluids when we are dehydrated or excrete fluids that are in excess. And wait, there’s more! Potassium is thought to lower blood pressure and benefit bones, tooTrusted Source. Short-term potassium deficiencies (often from prolonged vomiting or diarrhea) may cause fatigue, muscle weakness and cramps, bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation — thanks but no thanksTrusted Source! But don’t get too pumped up on potassium: consuming high doses (typically from supplements) can lead to muscle weakness, tingling in hands and feet, GI symptoms, and abnormal heart rhythms.

What You Need: 4,700 mg How to Get It: Kick up your K (potassium’s letter on the periodic table) with baked potatoes (926 mg per medium potato), artichokes (343 mg per medium artichoke), plums (637 mg per ½ cup), raisins (598 mg per ½ cup), and bananas (422 per medium banana). What’s Too Much: Not determined

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)Flavorful riboflavin definitely has street cred. This water-soluble B vitamin helps convert food to fuel, encourages iron absorption in the intestines, and also enhances the health of hair, skin, muscles, eyes, and the brainTrusted Source. And some research suggests that riboflavin may be effective at combating migraines, tooTrusted Source. Riboflavin deficiency is uncommon, but is associated with a sore throat, cracks and sores around the lips, an inflamed “magenta tongue” (say what?!), and scaly skinTrusted Source. While enormous intake of riboflavin may turn your pee bright yellow (a phenomenon called flavinuria), this side effect is harmless.

What You Need: Men = 1.3mg; Women = 1.1mg How to Get It: Rev up riboflavin with milk (0.34 mg per cup), almonds (0.23 mg per ounce), cheddar cheese (0.11 mg per ounce), eggs (0.27 mg per large egg), and enriched grains and cereals (0.59-2.27 mg per cup). What’s Too Much: Not determined

SeleniumSelenium is a smooth-operator of thyroid hormone regulation, and also acts as an antioxidantTrusted SourceAntioxidants kick the “bad-guy” cells (free radicals) out of the body in order to prevent them from damaging the “good-guy” cells. Chronic excess of this trace mineral (usually from supplements) is known to cause nausea, GI discomfort, and hair and nail brittleness, so supplement selenium in moderationTrusted Source.

What You Need: 55 mcg How to Get It: Brazil nuts (544 mcg per six kernels) are sky-high in selenium, and shrimp (34 mcg per 10-12 shrimp), crabmeat (41 mcg per 3 ounces), salmon (40 mcg per 3 ounces), enriched noodles (38 mcg per cup), beef (16 mcg per 3 ounces), and pork (35 mcg per 3 ounces) have a decent slice of it too. What’s Too Much: 400 mcg

Sodium Chloride (a.k.a. salt): Chemistry buffs know this pair of minerals as NaCl. The rest of us call it table salt. Before shaking it up, know that sodium chloride is found in high quantities in most meals, snacks, and even drinks. While it is essential for fluid balance, nerve signal transmission, muscle contractions, digestion, and blood pressure, it is possible to have too much of this savory mineral setTrusted SourceExcess sodium intake can raise blood pressure above normal limits, increasing the risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease down the roadTrusted Source. Since the average daily diet already includes salt waaaay in excess, consider low-salt alternatives like olive oil (instead of butter), unsalted nuts in favor of salted ones, and fresh fruit!

What You Need: 500 mg of sodium; 750 mg of chloride How to Get It: Sodium chloride can be soaked up from white bread (850 mg per two slices), pickles (800 mg per 1 spear), hot dogs (1,300 mg per one wiener—hot diggity dog!), and canned goods such as chicken noodle soup (a striking 3,400 mg of NaCl per cup). What’s Too Much: 2,300 mg of sodium (the equivalent of 5.8 g of salt per day)


Thiamin (a.k.a. Vitamin B1): Another member of the water-soluble B pack, thiamin helps with food metabolism and boosts the health of hair, skin, muscles, and the brainTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Toxicity has never been observed, and though thiamin deficiency (also known as beriberi) is rare in the U.S., it’s not nonexistent. Symptoms affect the cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, and gastrointestinal systems in a variety of ways.

What You Need: Men = 1.2 mg; Women = 1.1 mg How to Get It: Dodge beriberi with a fair share of milk (0.10 mg per cup), lentils (0.17 mg per ½ cup), cantaloupe (0.11 mg per ½ fruit), enriched long grain white rice (0.26 mg per cup), and pecans (0.19 mg per ounce). What’s Too Much: Not determined

Vitamin A (a.k.a. retinol, retinal, retinoic acid): So what’s up with this vitamin, doc? Though known as being good for vision, vitamin A has many other vital tasks: It encourages red and white blood cell production and activity, keeps the immune system fit and blood vessels healthy, helps rebuild bone, regulates cell growth and division, and may reduce the risk for some cancersTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Retinoids, variations of Vitamin A, are also used in medications to treat various skin diseases and acneTrusted Source. Though infrequent in the U.S., vitamin A deficiency is not unheard of in developing countries, and can cause night blindness and, in extreme instances, complete blindness. Vitamin A deficiency also plays a role in diarrhea and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases in developing countriesTrusted Source. So make like Bugs Bunny and crunch on some carrots for high doses of beta-carotene, which is readily converted to vitamin A once digestedTrusted Source.

What You Need: Men = 900 mcg; Women = 700 mcg How to Get It: Consider kale (443 mcg per ½ cup), eggs (91 mcg per large egg) and cod liver oil — ymmmm (1,350 mcg per teaspoon). And think orange: consider carrots (538 mcg per ½ cup) baked sweet potatoes (961 mcg per ½ cup), canned pumpkin (953 mcg per ½ cup), cantaloupe (467 mcg per ½ a melon), mango (79 mcg per fruit), and butternut squash (572 mcg per ½ cup). What’s Too Much: 3,000 mcg

Vitamin B6 (a.k.a. pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine): Like a G6, this essential, water-soluble vitamin flies high above the others. Vitamin B6 helps out with the production of serotonin, a hormone that plays a hand in sleep, appetite, and moodTrusted Source. It also assists with manufacturing red blood cells and steroid hormones, influences cognitive and immune function, and is linked to reducing the risk of heart diseaseTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Diets lacking B6 are rare, but evidence of seizures and other neurologic systems are observed in extreme deficiency. Adverse effects from high doses are primarily seen in people taking supplements, and include pain and numbness in the limbs.

What You Need: 1.3 mg How to Get It: Foods soaring in vitamin B6 include salmon (0.48 mg per 3 ounces), chicken (0.51 mg per 3 ounces), bananas (0.43 mg per medium banana), baked russet potatoes with the skin (0.70 mg per medium potato), hazelnuts (0.18 mg per ounce), and cooked spinach (0.44 mg per cup). What’s Too Much: 100 mg

Vitamin B12: Another water-soluble B vitamin, vitamin B12 offers a helping hand in the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids, cell creation, and the protection of nerve cells , and also may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’sTrusted SourceTrusted Source. Keep B12 close when it gets to those later, grey-haired years: deficiencies are common in the elderly and may cause memory loss, dementia, and anemiaTrusted Source. Toxicities are not observed, and vegetarians and vegans may even need supplements.

What You Need: 2.4 mcg How to Get It: Binge on bivalves like clams (84 mcg per 3 ounces) and mussels (20.4 mcg per 3 ounces). Not into bottom-dwellers? Beef (2.1 mcg per 3 ounces), salmon (2.4 mcg per 3 ounces), poached eggs (0.6 mcg per large egg), skim milk (0.9 mcg per cup), and brie cheese—fantastique! (0.5 mcg per ounce), are also buds of B12. What’s Too Much: Not determined

Vitamin C (a.k.a. asorbic acid): As we go on, we remember… that vitamin C is one of the best vitamins ever! Cartons of OJ are emblazoned with this famous vitamin’s name — and for a good reason. Vitamin C is thought to lower the risk for some cancers, including cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and breastTrusted Source. It also helps make collagen, an important tool in wound repair. And let’s not forget its antioxidant properties and immune-boosting effectsTrusted Source! But before chugging that daily glass of Emergen-C to ward off a cold, know that evidence linking “mega-doses” of Vitamin C to staving off sickness are conflicting. How so? A review of 30 research trials that included over 11,000 people showed that the incidence of the common cold is not decreased with high Vitamin C intakeTrusted Source. What’s more, the potential for vitamin C overdose is not ruled out, though uncertain. But don’t skimp on C: After all, scurvy — the severe vitamin C deficiency linked to bleeding, bruising, join pain, and hair and tooth loss — is for pirates, not millennials. Arrgh!

What You Need: Men = 90 mg; Women = 75mg (Smokers should add 35 mg) How to Get It: Choose citrus, like OJ (100+ mg per cup) and grapefruits (76 mg per medium fruit), or consider strawberries (85 mg per cup), tomatoes (16 mgg per medium tomato), red peppers (95 mg per ½ cup), and broccoli (51 mg per ½ cup). What’s Too Much: 2,000 mg

Vitamin D: Who loves the sun? This essential fat-soluble vitamin — which is vital for normal calcium metabolism, immunity, nervous system function, and bone density — sure doesTrusted SourceTrusted Source. But before vitamin D can live up to its expectations, it must be activated by a burst of UV rays. Before you throw on a bikini and soak up the sun (putting you at risk for skin cancer!) consider supplements or cereals, milk, and juices that are fortified with the active form, which is equally effectiveTrusted Source. Dips in vitamin D are no joke: chronic deficiency puts you at risk for osteoporosis later in life. Make sure your diet shines with vitamin D (especially in the winter) to keep your bones healthy and reduce risks of cancer.

What You Need: 15 mcg How to Get It: Dive into vitamin D with fortified cereals (1.0-1.3 mcg per cup), fortified milk (2.4 mcg per cup), canned salmon (13.3 mcg per 3 ounces), and egg yolks (0.53 mcg per large egg. What’s Too Much: 50 mcg

Vitamin E: E is for the Excellent Eight. A family of eight antioxidants, vitamin E protects essential lipids from damage, battles free radicals, and maintains the integrity of cell membranesTrusted Source. Drop some E (the vitamin!) to avoid impaired balance and coordination, muscle weakness, and pain and numbness in the limbs — all signs of extreme deficiencyTrusted Source. Think you’re in the clear? Turns out that more than 90 percent of Americans do not meet the recommendations for this vitamin’s daily intake.

What You Need: 15 mg How to Get It: Close the gap with vegetable oils like olive oil (1.9 mg per tablespoon), canola oil (2.4 mg per tablespoon), almonds (7.4 mg per ounce), avocados (2.7 mg per avocado), and hazelnuts (4.3 mg per ounce). What’s Too Much: 1,000 mg

Vitamin K: Not to be confused with its mineral chum potassium (which is also noted as a “K” on the periodic table), this essential fat-soluble vitamin is a must for normal wound healing and bone developmentTrusted Source. K is for “koagulation,” the German word for coagulation, or clotting. While blood clots sound menacing, consider the importance of scabs, which are simply patches of clotted blood to protect cuts and scrapesTrusted Source. Ladies taking birth control pills should be careful with overconsumption of vitamin K, as a combination of the birth control pill and excess Vitamin K could put you at risk for unwanted clotsTrusted Source. Deficiencies in vitamin K include easy bruisability, bleeding, nosebleeds, and heavy menstrual periods.

What You Need: Men = 120 mcg; Women = 90 mcg (AI) How to Get It: Attain the RDA with cooked broccoli (220 mcg per cup), kale (547 mcg per cup), parsley (246 mcg per ¼ cup), and Swiss chard (299 mcg per cup). What’s Too Much: Not determined

Zinc: Zippity doo dah for zinc, a trace element that is a building block for enzymes, proteins, and cells. It is also responsible for freeing Vitamin A from its holding tank, the liver, through its enzymatic activityTrusted Source. But that’s not all for the last on this list: zinc also plays a role in boosting the immune system, mediating senses such as taste and smell, and wound healingTrusted Source. Zinc toxicity is rare, but zinc deficiency (most commonly occurring in the developing world) may lead to delays in growth and development, rough skin, cognitive impairment, a weakened immune system (leading in increased susceptibility of infectious diseases, particularly in kids), and moreTrusted Source.

What You Need: Men = 11 mg; Women = 8 mg How to Get It: Zinc can be zeroed in on in oysters (76.3 mg per 6 oysters), beef (6 mg per 3 ounces), turkey (3.8 mg per 3 ounces), milk (1.8 mg per cup), and cashews (1.6 mg per ounce). Vegetarians and vegans take note: zinc is less easily absorbed from vegetables so consider supplements or munching on more zinc rich foods. What’s Too Much: 40 mg Last but not least, don’t forget your daily dose of Vitamin G!


If you’re overwhelmed and have no idea how to make money blogging in 2020, well you’ve come to the right place.

I’ve been blogging since summer of 2016 and all I have to say is starting a blog was one of the best decisions of my life.

My biggest mistake was treating it like “a hobby” for the longest time instead of treating it like a business.

Everyone else out there preaching on how to make money blogging says to “follow your passions” and the money will come eventually.

I tried that for the first 2 years and failed miserably.

So what changed?

Learning how to monetize my blog without the stress, tech confusion, or overwhelm when it comes to finding ways to make money online.

Here are the 7 ways that I make money online now.

How to Make Money with Your Blog in 2020

Before we begin, if you haven’t yet, make sure you sign up for bluehost right here so you can build your very own website or blog in under 5 minutes for only a couple of dollars per day.

After you visit the link I recommend you go through the full in depth tutorial on how to start a blog and make money before going through the rest of this guide.

Now when it comes to blogging, there’s an easy way and a hard way when it comes to making money with your blog. I have tried them all. I have wasted years of my life crying on my keyboard praying to the blogging gods to turn my pathetic little blog into a money making online machine. But no matter how many blog posts I’ve read, I just couldn’t help but feel disempowered thinking that I could never succeed.

That’s when I realized that everyone teaching people how to make money blogging are giving outdated advice. Most of which make money by just recommending hosting which requires a huge audience to make money. I did not have the luxury of that when starting off so I had to get created. Here was exactly what I did.

1. Make Money With Low Ticket Affiliate Marketing

I am horrible when it comes to low ticket affiliate marketing. This is what every “blogger guru” out there will tell you to focus your time and attention on and I am telling you straight up that it is a waste of time especially when starting off.

If you check out my dashboard on the amazon associates platform. I’ve only made a total of $.04 for the entire month.

This was one of my biggest frustrations when I first got started because I was told that this was what I should be focused on. What was a big shift for me was when I pivoted to high ticket affiliate marketing by partnering with expert product creators to do the selling for me.

2. Make Money With High Ticket Affiliate Marketing

(Source: My Affiliate Dashboard on Thrive Cart)

I stumbled onto this by accident. I was blogging for years before I ever tried high ticket affiliate marketing. Because of the way I was raised, I had this belief that success comes from hard work. Seeing my parents work 16 hours per day to make ends meet just to make sure my sister and I could have a better future than they did when they were children, I had this belief that for me to make more money I had to work extremely hard and trade my time for it.

These traits carried over to my blog. When I first got started I thought that I had to do all the hard work..

For me to make money blogging I had to spend years building an audience, and another year or so to sell those audiences courses that I created.

But I had this fear of failure and imposter syndrome that made me believe that no one would actually ever buy from me.

That’s when I accidentally stumbled onto high ticket affiliate marketing.

Here’s exactly how I was able to do it.

Step 1. Build an audience

While trying to make low ticket affiliate marketing work, I accidentally built up a decent size audience on my blog, Pinterest, and YouTube channel.

But even though the numbers were going higher my income was still not existent.

One way of building an audience fast is by interviewing influential people. The product that we began partnering with was because a podcast accidentally started going viral on my YouTube channel of one of my mentors that makes $1m per month profit.

Step 2. Ask the audience what they want

As more and more people came in, instead of me trying to create a product to sell, I surveyed the people coming in on my email list exactly what was their biggest problems and challenges

Step 3. Find the solution

Once they told me their biggest pain points, I decided that I did not have what it takes to solve their challenges. But I didn’t just give up and left them hanging. Instead I reached out to people online to see if they could solve their problem.

This was the birth of my podcast which was my way of documenting reaching out to experts to see who could help solve my audience’s problem.

Step 4. Sell their solution not yours

I am horrible at selling. I was last place in the boy scouts when we had to sell popcorn to my uncles and aunts. But because I leveraged someone else’s expertise, they were the ones that did all the hard work. Which leads me to the next way of how I make money.

3. Make Money With Webinars

(Source: My Dashboard on WebinarJam)

Here’s a run down behind my webinar software analytics on how we sold high ticket affiliate marketing. As you can see this is where the sales came from on the screenshot above. This was the sales from the live webinar room. The remainder transactions came from the email marketing sequence and the upsells.

How this worked was I found the perfect expert to sell the product for me. I invited my audience to a free webinar. They attended. The expert did all the selling for me.

This is where the majority of my income came from on my blog.

And it is something I wish I had done sooner.

Here is the webinar that we drive YouTube and Facebook ads to that retargets everyone that hits this blog from all traffic sources.

4. Make Money Selling Courses


I used to sell my own courses on teachable but they were a pain to manage. I had to constantly go back in and update things and it was taking away my time from actually growing my blog as a business. So for that reason I have for the time being stopped selling my own courses because leveraging experts to do the high ticket selling for me has been so much easier.

What I am doing instead is finding expert course creators and creating strategic partnerships with them instead.

This way I don’t have to actually create my own course, and instead I can take a pick on the top courses out there that I could sell without having to do any of the customer service or product updates.

If you’re new and just getting started, I would stay clear in trying to sell your own course unless you have the guidance or the mentorship to make sure you create an excellent product that creates transformation in people.

5. Make Money Selling Books

(Source: Amazon Direct Publishing)

One of the ideas I had to make money online was selling ebooks and physical copies on

I went through a little experiment where I would see if I could make money with a book that I wrote because I saw other people were making money with ebooks so I thought why not.

This is not recommended for beginners.

After intensely writing the book and got it published, I was surprised to see that the sales did not just come pouring in. I had to do so much promotion for it and the max amount of money I have ever made in a given month selling books was only $500.

6. Make Money With Strategic Partnerships

(Source: Providential Marketing)

This is the part of my blog that I am most excited about. When it comes to making money blogging you have to realize that even though many people start off blogging as a hobby, that it should be treated like an actual business.

When I started viewing my blog as a business that is when everything changed.

I realized that I cannot and SHOULD not be doing everything.

I have to choose all the things that I enjoy doing and that I am good at, and all the things that I hate doing and am horrible at. I should partner up with other people.

This is my approach with courses. I realized I am not the best course creator out there. It takes up too much of my time, and I am severely impatient. But what I AM good at is creating content and networking.

So much of my time now while running my blog is spent networking with people that have complementary skill sets to me.

Where my strengths cover their weaknesses, and where their strengths cover my weaknesses.

This is a significant part of blogging that I hear no one else talk about.

But here’s the thing..

What if making money with your blog didn’t have to be so difficult?

What if there was an easy way to do things?

I’m here to tell you that there is. And that is by finding what is known as your “zone of genius.”

Once you figure that out, you should spend all of your time and energy to cultivate and grow your zone of genius. All of the other complicated stuff, let other people who enjoy figuring that out handle it.

7. Make Money By Selling Consulting

(Source: FlexJobs)

This is an area that I am transitioning into. I see that there is a big gap in the market place when it comes to businesses taking their products and services online. And if you’re someone with digital marketing skills like running paid advertising, building websites, email marketing, or managing social media, there are businesses out there that are willing to pay you big money to manage or consult on these areas.

My sister for example is only 22. She was supposed to be a nurse. Now she gets paid $125 an hour to consult with big health and wellness companies how to improve their online marketing strategy.

How do beginner bloggers make money?

Most beginner bloggers make money from affiliate marketing and selling their own courses. This in my opinion is not only the amateur way to make money with a blog, but it is extremely difficult to get traction. Most beginner bloggers spend years trying to make their blog make an extra $500 per month.

What I would recommend instead is realizing that a blog is much bigger than just talking about “your passions.” It can be your foot in the door to make some big deals when you deal with businesses on the B2B level. Instead of making $2 of your ebook, you can make $2000 for your services doing the EXACT same things you normally would with your passion blog.

How much money can you make from a blog?

If you treat your blog like a hobby, you won’t make much. If you treat it like a business, then well the sky’s the limit.

There are people that are able to make an extra $1000 on the side of their full time job. There are also people like me who scale to over $30,000 per month. Then you have rare individuals like Making Sense out of cents and Pat Flynn who were able to take their blogs to over $100,000 per month.

The amount of money you make from your blog depends on how strategic you are with your partnerships, traffic sources, and offers.

All you need to make money blogging is:

  1. An audience with a specific pain point that you can gain from YouTube, Pinterest, or Google
  2. A way to get in front of them by ranking for a specific keyword related to their pain point
  3. An offer that solves their pain point (affiliate marketing)

What type of blogs make the most money?

Blogs that make the most money are the ones catered to solving business owners problems. If you spend all of your time writing cook books because it’s your passion, you will need millions of visitors to your blog to make even a considerable amount of income.

I’m no Rachel Ray, so I had to be more creative.

That’s why my blog is more positioned in the finance and business space where people are already inclined to want to increase their finances by growing their businesses with softwares like webinars and paid traffic.

One client from there can easily pay you $2000 for a simple service, and when you recommend a software to them that’s more expensive for the mainstream consumer. Not only can they afford higher priced solutions over $500, but some of the payouts with these affiliate programs can be $100+ per transaction.

Are blogs still profitable in 2020?

Long gone are the days where you can just write a bunch of words and luckily get ranked first page of google. To be a profitable blog in 2020 you need to have a strategy.

My strategy to not only maintain profitability but to grow it month after month is by pinpointing the highest level business owner, finding out their pain points, and creating the content that bridges the gap from their pain point to a solution. That solution would either be high ticket software or consulting.

How long did it take you to make a living from your blog?

It took a long time. But that is because I treated it like a hobby. The moment I went back to my blog with a different lens and saw it as a business instead was the moment things started picking up.

It took me years to make a full time living from my blog. But that was because I was lazy and I was making money in other side hustles and online businesses.

But when I revisited the blog back in 2019, I realized there was a huge untapped potential. And from the blog alone I was able to make a full time living within 90 days after treating it like a business.

How long does it take to make $500 per month blogging?

When I started treating my blog seriously again in mid 2019. It took me less than 90 days to make $500 per month blogging.

This is exactly how I did it:

  1. I found a high ticket offer (something that I can get high commissions for $100+)
  2. I asked myself, “Who are the people that are ALREADY looking for this solution but have no idea this solution exists?”
  3. “How can I create content that puts this offer in front of those people?”

If you ask yourself these questions with your niche or blog idea, you can accelerate your growth to hitting your income goals.

How To Make Money Blogging Summary

Well there you have it. Here are all the 7 ways to make money blogging. As you can see, some ways are far more profitable than others. So what you can do now is not waste any more time and focus on the 20% of things that will pull in 80% of the results.

What are those things you asked?


  1. Create your blog in the next 5 minutes or less (it cost less than $4 per month when you sign up for bluehost here)
  2. Make a long list of 100 people you can partner with that are experts at what they do (you can check out how I did it with my podcast)
  3. Have them do the selling to the audience that you build

Wala there it is. The secret to make money blogging. If you don’t procrastinate and really start asking yourself these questions, the world you’ll be able to open up for yourself on the other side of starting your blog would be life changing. Start your blog today.

Like this post? Don’t forget to pin it!

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that I love using.

The psychology behind to-do lists and how they can make you feel less anxious

Updated 5:16 AM EDT July 14, 2020

1. Wake up.

2. Make coffee.

3. Write this story.

In a time when it seems like we may have less to do, a to-do list actually could be quite helpful.

As the days blend together for many people living in lockdown, crossing things off a to-do list can feel even more satisfying. To-do lists can be great tools for decreasing anxiety, providing structure and giving us a record of everything we’ve accomplished in a day.

The trick is to reframe your to-do list as a set of miniature goals for the day and to think of your checklist items as steps in a plan.

Research on the psychology of goal-making has revealed that an unfinished goal causes interference with other tasks you’re trying to achieve. But simply making a plan to facilitate that goal, such as detailing steps on a to-do list, can help your mind set it aside to focus on other things.

“Goals are interesting as they are almost these autonomous agents that kind of live inside you and occupy space in your mind,” said E.J. Masicampo, an associate professor of psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“When a goal is unfinished it might be a weight on your mind in terms of anxiety or worry and it colors how you see the world, because it’s sort of tugging at the sleeve of your conscious attention,” Masicampo said. “It can be omnipresent whether you’re aware of it or not.”

People with unfinished short-term goals performed poorly on unrelated reading and comprehension tasks, reported a 2011 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Masicampo and research co-author Roy Baumeister, a professor of psychology at The University of Queensland.

But when the 2011 study participants were allowed to formulate specific plans for their goals before moving onto the next task, those negative effects were eliminated.

“We were able to find that you don’t have to finish the goal to offload it — you really could just make a specific plan for how to attain it to get it to stop occupying that mental space,” Masicampo said.

But Masicampo cautioned that it won’t help to offload your mental burden by jotting it down on a list “without actually making a plan.”

“To-do lists often tend to be mental graveyards, but that said I think there’s some relief there,” Masicampo said, adding that sub-goals are important. “Something that’s been sitting there for too long is probably just stated in too big terms.”

With the uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis and the difficulty of making concrete plans, he said it could make sense to have your initial plan be simply to make a plan at a later date.

Stuck in the middle

In order to work effectively, your to-do list’s mini-goals also need to be well defined and have short time frames. That’s because people also tend to give up in the middle of goals, according to psychologists.

The solution is to make the “middles” of your goals and to-do list tasks short.

One place people get stuck is exercise, but a goal to exercise half the days each week will be easier to stick to than exercising half the days each month. Even then, exercise will make it onto your to-do list more often at the beginning and end of the week — but it’s difficult to motivate yourself on Wednesday.

“We celebrate graduations at work and cheer when we finish big projects. But there is no celebration for middles. That’s when we both cut corners and we lose our motivation,” said Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioral science and marketing at the University of Chicago who is an expert on motivation and decision-making.

“We will still slack in that middle, and having long projects invites a long middle.”

To-do lists also need to be flexible. If your plans change or get interrupted by an endless flurry of Zoom calls, it’s important to recognize that’s not the end of the world.

“If we measure ourselves by how much we stick to the plan, that’s not good for motivation,” Fishbach said. “There’s a fine line between keeping structure and keeping your to-do list and also being very flexible. Because things change and they change on a daily basis.”

It’s not a wish list

For all the structure and stress reduction that to-do lists can provide, they can sometimes add to anxiety. That’s because tasks on your to-do list that linger for weeks or months are bad for mental health and motivation.

“To-do lists are interesting because they sometimes become commitments. Once you write an activity or goal down on a piece of paper, it’s work undone,” said Jordan Etkin, an associate professor of marketing at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and an expert on goals.

Do you want to complete extra work-related tasks aiming for a promotion and cook dinner for your family that night? Cue goal conflict.

“The more things people put on their lists, the more open they are to creating goal conflict and its sort of negative downstream effects,” Etkin said.

Conflicting goals can create stress and even that overwhelming feeling that there aren’t enough hours in the day, according to Etkin’s 2015 study in the Journal of Marketing Research.

To-doing it right

To use a to-do list the right way, Etkin said people need to clearly define their goals and differentiate the tasks they definitely want to get done today versus tasks they want to do “maybe someday.”

Tasks need to be clearly ranked in terms of importance.

“To-do lists can be very helpful for informing how you should be directing your time and cognitive resources,” Etkin said. “I think where challenges emerge is when people treat to-do lists like wish lists, rather than the things they definitely want to do today.”

Having a productive to-do list shouldn’t make you feel like you can’t take a break, Etkin also stressed, even if you haven’t crossed all those items off your list yet.

“It’s also important for people to have protective time in their lives where they’re not striving towards any goal,” she said.

To-do lists can be great tools to keep us going during this time of coronavirus boredom, uncertainty, and pandemic anxiety, but it’s important to not fill up your leisure time with productivity. One of the most important tasks we can add to our daily list, Etkin said, is “rest.”

“How do podcasts make money?” is a legitimate question to ask yourself as you pour time and resources into creating a show. If you want to do it seriously, finding a way earn money podcasting will help you produce it over the long term.

In this post, we’ll go over 20 different strategies to monetize a podcast to help you get started. Updated for 2020, we sourced advice from successful podcasters, industry veterans, and newbie hosts on how they monetized their podcast.

How Do Podcasts Make Money?

There are two main distinctions in how podcasts make money today. When combined together, they produce a steady revenue stream that can help you earn an income podcasting.

The strategies that are currently the most popular fall into the direct monetization category. Direct podcast monetization is when the show is the thing you’re selling. You can profit from creating original content, repurposing it, and granting exclusive access to paying members.

On the other side is indirect podcast monetization. This is when you use your podcast as a tool to sell other things. Your podcast becomes the vehicle to promote products and create demand among your listeners.

With the general definition down, now let’s dive into specific podcast monetization techniques for each category. Remember, finding a balance between many strategies is the best way to make money podcasting.

How To Monetize A Podcast Directly

Here are our favorite direct podcast monetization strategies to explore. Choose the ones that fit best for your show.

1. Ask for donations

The simplest way to monetize a podcast is to ask people for money. Plenty of fans are happy to throw a few dollars to their favorite podcasters to ensure they continue to get great content. When people ask us how to monetize a podcast, this is always the first solution we recommend because it’s easy to set up and promote.

You can add a PayPal button or open a Stripe account and add a donation form to your site. Or set up a GoFundMe campaign for a simple collection page.

To avoid feeling slimy about this kind of self-promotion, keep your calls-to-action authentic. Are you asking for donations so you can spend more time creating new episodes? Tell your audience that.

If people understand where the money is going, they’ll be more apt to donate.

2. Create paid membership tiers

The latest trend in podcasting is creating paid membership tiers. Listeners can pay to access exclusive content, private Facebook groups, or podcast swag.

The best way to get this started is to create a Patreon account. It’s well-respected and simple to use. You can use their default settings or create your own system of levels and rewards for donors.

patreon example for the FYP Podcast
FYP Podcast’s Patreon landing page.

If you go with Patreon, play around with the level options. You can reward fans for their contributions with swag, content, or other perks. You may find more listeners are willing to support the show because they’re receiving either a physical product or exclusive episodes for their contribution.

Other membership site options include and Supercast.

3. Sell sponsorships or ads

Sponsorship is the most common way to monetize a podcast. Aside from accepting donations it’s also the easiest because you don’t have to create or sell anything. You just have to set up a deal with a sponsor.

You’ve probably heard podcasters start their show or break in with something like “This episode is brought to you by [some company]. If you’re looking for a…” You get the idea. That’s a sponsorship.

Sponsorships pay more depending on how many people listen to your show. As the number of people who listen increases, so will your revenue. But that also means this is a tough way to make money if you don’t have many listeners.

Generally, you can charge for “pre-roll” and “mid-roll” mentions. Mid-row (during your episode) pay more. Promote the sponsor at both points if you’re comfortable.

Here are a few places to find sponsorship deals:

Learn more at How to Get Podcast Sponsors (That Your Audience Won’t Hate)

4. Join an advertising network

Advertising networks like AdvertiseCastMidrollPodcorn, and PodGrid act as middlemen between hosts and sponsors.

When you apply to each platform, they will take a cut from the ad placements included in your show so be sure to read the fine print. Typically, the revenue share follows a CPM model where you are paid for every 1,000 impressions served to the ad unit.

Confused? Here’s what the math boils down to. AdvertiseCast has a 70/30 revenue share model where the podcast host takes 70% of the revenue earned and they take 30%. If a podcast has between 1,000-2,499 listeners per episode, the 30 second ad unit has a $23 CPM. After 2,000 listens, the sponsor pays $46. That’s $23 * 2 because the sponsor is charged per 1,000 listens. In the end, the podcast host will take home $32.20 and AdvertiseCast takes $13.80.

how to monetize a podcast advertisecast cpm rates 2020
AdvertiseCast’s average CPM rates depending on reach as of February 2020.

Depending on your reach, it’s important to estimate what you might earn from an advertising network. AdvertiseCast has a pricing calculator that estimates the total cost of ad units placed in your show. Just remember, you’ll only take home 70% of the total.

5. Sell premium episodes

Since you know your audience likes to listen to your podcast, there’s a good chance some of them will pay for premium versions of your content. All you have to do is create some special recordings that are only available for purchase.

You might sell:

  • Q&As with special guests
  • Early access to episodes that will be free one day
  • Ad-free episodes
  • Live-streamed episodes

The Daily Wire takes a unique approach to premium content. For $10/month, subscribers can access video versions of their podcast episodes.

the daily wire's premium content example
The Daily Wire’s premium content offering.

An easy way to create premium content is to record it while you record your free stuff. Let’s say you invite a guest on your show. Record a 30 minute discussion, then an additional 10 minutes to sell as a bonus. Make sure that extra 10 minutes includes something juicy people will want to buy.

A word of warning here: Make sure your free stuff still has plenty of value. You don’t want your listeners to assume you’re hiding all the good stuff in the paid content or they won’t bother.

6. Gate your back catalog

If you started a podcast ages ago and have built up a back catalog of episodes, try this strategy.

Instead of creating new premium content, you can restrict access to your older episodes. This means you’ll add a paywall for users to listen to the older material.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is a great example. His recent episodes are free to download, but his older stuff costs $1.99 on his website.

7. Sell repurposed content

A great way to create sellable content is to repurpose things you’ve already created. This reduces the time you would spend making something similar.

Take a few of your best podcast episodes that relate to similar topics. Transcribe them yourself or use Castos automatic transcription services right from your dashboard. Then edit the transcriptions, add more value and resources where you can, and package them together into a book.

If this strategy to monetize a podcast appeals to your listeners, invest a little money into a professional design from a service like 99Designs. Then you can put it in a format that’s suitable for Amazon. Selling books on Amazon is far more effective than trying to sell it through your own website.

Next, market your new book on your podcast. Point out that it’s a comprehensive way to learn everything you’ve taught.

8. Syndicate your show to YouTube

An easy way to squeeze some cash out of what you’ve already created is to publish your podcasts to YouTube as videos.

This is a quick process. All you have to do is enable monetization in your account settings and Google will handle the ads and distributing your money.

Enabling Monetization within YouTube.

You don’t have to do a lot of video editing. Just add a single image to your episode recording. Also think about YouTube SEO best practices to surface your videos in more search results.

How much can you make on YouTube? It depends on a number of factors, like video views, how long people watch, whether they skip your ads, and whether they click on your ads. Generally speaking, you can make between $0.50 and $2.00 per view.

Instead of simply uploading your entire recording, break it into consumable chunks that last three to five minutes. For instance, you might slice out a few buzz-worthy questions from your interview. Even though it all comes from the same recording, you’ll end up with more video content. Then give it a compelling headline that makes people want to click. “Mark Roberts Says Blockchain Will Take Over The Travel Industry in 2020” is a better title than “Episode 019 | Blockchain Technology with Guest Mark Roberts.”

How To Monetize A Podcast Indirectly

Here are even more ways to make money from your podcast. Check out some of these techniques to monetize a podcast indirectly.

1. Sell physical products

When an audience loves a podcast, they might be buying merchandise that shows off the show. You could sell T-shirts, mugs, stickers, or really anything that lets your audience connect with the show outside of listening to the latest episodes.

Showcase the podcast’s name, a repeated catch phrase, or an inside joke on the merch. Your calls-to-action can describe the moment a listener may pass a stranger on the street and realize they’re wearing a tee shirt from their favorite show. Instantly a bond is formed from their shared love of your show.

Joe Rogan, host of the popular Joe Rogan Experience, has its own store stocked with many of the products Joe wears.

The Joe Rogan Experience’s merchandise store.

And these days, you don’t need to actually handle any products in order to have your own E-commerce store.

With Teespring, you can design and showcase products that are only printed/created when someone buys. This way you don’t have to put any money down.

With Oberlo, you can create a drop-shipping store that automatically purchases products from another source when your customers make an order.

We advise that you use a print-on-demand service for merchandise at first. This way you won’t have to buy a pallet of inventory. If you buy a bunch of inventory, there’s a chance you won’t be able to sell it.

2. Public speaking

Public speaking is actually a simple transition for a lot of podcast hosts. If you’re comfortable speaking on your show, you’ll probably do well in front of a crowd. Admittedly, standing in front of a bunch of people is a unique challenge, but it’s less of a problem if you already know how to craft a script.

How much you can make on speaking fees varies widely. Some speakers get a small stipend and travel expenses. Other speakers make six figures or more.

How do you get into public speaking?

  1. Find local groups that meet to discuss your niche or industry. Try Meetup, Facebook groups, or even your local paper to source who organizes the event.
  2. Contact them and offer to present a topic, but be open to their ideas for topics. Let them know that you intend to plug your podcast.
  3. Prepare a presentation with visuals and outline a script.

You’ll have to start small in the beginning. Don’t expect to fill stadiums–or even auditoriums. Your first speaking gigs will have 5-8 people in attendance, but that’s okay. Use those gigs to hone your presentation skills and build relationships.

3. Sell mastermind slots

A mastermind group is a unique way to monetize a podcast because you get more value from it than just money.

A mastermind is a small group of people dedicated to supporting one another toward a common goal. They offer education, brainstorming, and accountability to help you stay on track with whatever you’re trying to learn or accomplish.

In a mastermind group, you’re a member too, which means you have to limit it to a small group of people who can add value to your business as well. You should not be a teacher, but you can still charge for slots because you’re the organizer.

The challenge with masterminds, however, is that members expect value. They put a lot of work in too, so they won’t be satisfied if you or anyone else who’s part of the mastermind disappears for a week or two. If you choose this avenue to promote your podcast, you need to commit to it.

You can meet in person if your members are close, but masterminds work well online too. We recommend using a private group, like a Facebook group or Slack work space.

4. Sell access to an e-course

If your podcast is educational or aims to teach listeners a new skill, creating a standalone e-course is the perfect way to earn some money.

To create a course, you can either do it on your own website (with a tool like MemberPress) or host it on a third-party platform like UdemyCoursera, or Skillshare.

Udemy's dashboard to create a mastermind course.
Udemy’s dashboard to create a mastermind course.

If you think courses are the right way for your to monetize a podcast, we recommend creating your first course on one of those third-party platforms. Yes, you’ll pay some fees for each person who takes the course, but you’ll skip having to build a functional system on your own website. If courses turn out to be your money-maker, then bring it all in-house.

5. Sell content upgrades

A clever way to monetize a podcast is to include a downloadable resource with each podcast episode that relates to that episode. This is called a content upgrade because it upgrades or enhances the listener’s experience.

For instance, let’s say you host a fishing podcast. In one episode, you talk about fishing for trout. At the end of the episode, you tell your fans to go to your website and buy your 99¢ map of the best trout fishing spots in the U.S.

To sell a content upgrade, you’ll have to place a payment form on your site somewhere for listeners to pay and download the form. The best place for this is the page where you publish your podcast download links and/or audio player.

And if you’re selling content upgrades to monetize a podcast, you may as well add an ecommerce shopping cart to your site so you can list your content upgrades individually. This way people can browse your previous upgrades in one place, rather than sorting through every post.

6. Sell information products

An information product is a type of content people buy to learn new things. It could be anything: A template, a resource, a guide, an ebook, a worksheet, etc. Unlike content upgrades, a general information product doesn’t have to relate to a specific episode, but would solve a broader issue or problem your listeners face.

The biggest benefit of selling information products through your podcast is that you can plug them as often as you like in your podcast script to prevent sales from falling flat. You can also source questions or comments from your listeners and answer them on your show, which adds more value to their purchase.

7. Sell an app

If you’re acutely aware of your listeners’ challenges and problems, you can monetize a podcast by designing an app that suits their needs. If you host a parenting podcast, you might sell a calendar app designed specifically for parents. If you host an astronomy podcast, you might sell a star-finder app.

Elsie Escobar of Elsie’s Yoga Class Live and Unplugged is a great example of this. She sells a $3.99 app that gives users access to 70+ yoga classes with PDF explainers.

Alternatively, you might sell a simple branded app that helps people interact with you and your content better. It could have your podcast episodes, blog content, updates, your schedule, and maybe a way to talk with you directly.

App development can be expensive if you don’t know how to do it yourself. Make sure you get plenty of information from a developer before you get started so you don’t burn too much cash or wind up with a half-finished product you can’t afford.

8. Host an event

If you have a local following or a devout audience who wouldn’t mind traveling to see you, sell tickets to a live event where your fans can meet you in person.

The type of event you host will depend on your audience and your podcast’s topic. You might give a lecture, run a workshop, teach a skill, or simply host a group discussion. Eventbrite is a great tool to sell your own tickets for a live event.

To be fair, this is a challenging way to monetize a podcast. We recommend holding onto this tactic until you have a loyal following. Events don’t need thousands of attendees to turn a profit but you do need some people to show up.

And if you’re considering traveling to new cities to host events, analyze where your listeners are first. Head to your podcast host’s analytics dashboard and go through the geographic reports. A no-brainer is hosting events in cities where you already have a following.

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9. Sell consulting or coaching services

The biggest benefit of hosting a podcast is that you establish yourself as an authority in a niche. Your audience comes to respect you as an informed expert. So a great way to monetize a podcast is to offer services that tie in with your topic.

For instance, a productivity and wellness podcast might offer personal life coaching. A marketing podcast might sell personalized marketing strategies.

Getting started here is quite easy. You just need a landing page on your website with a form or widget for people to sign up for a coaching session with you.

What’s a coaching session? It can be anything you like. It might as simple as a phone call or Skype chat, or as complex as an in person visit at the client’s location. Put together whichever type of service is right for your customer.

10. Sell affiliate products

Some companies have open affiliate programs you can take advantage of. You don’t have to arrange a deal or get approved. You just sign up and tell them where to send your payments. You get paid whenever someone signs up with your link.

Instead of creating your own products to sell, you could sell other people’s products for a cut of their sales. There are two methods to do this.

The first method is to promote their products yourself. For example, Audible’s partner program is common among podcasters. They give you a free link to promote. You get $15 anytime someone signs up for a free trial using your link.

Audible’s Creator Program affiliate program.

The second method is to have the product owner come on your show to push their own products. The benefit here is that the product owner knows how to sell his own product better than you, so he can say the right things to drive more sales.

You’ll still need a special URL to track sales. We recommend something like Set up the URL with a redirect so you can see exactly how many people followed it. Make sure to establish a reasonable commission beforehand.

Make sure to disclose any affiliate relationships. If you don’t, your listeners might feel deceived.

11. Generate business leads

Many businesses start podcasts to support larger initiatives. Even back in 2018, Fast Company found “branded podcasts are the ads people actually want to listen to”.

If you host a podcast that complements your company, you’re in the perfect position to generate extremely qualified leads. For example, say you own an accounting company and recently started a podcast educating people on how to do their taxes. While you’re giving away free advice on the show, you’re also weaving in your company’s value in doing people’s taxes for them. When April comes around, who is the first company your listeners will think of to handle their complicated tax returns? Yours.

12. Start a podcast network

Some hosts love being part of a podcast network while others enjoy their independence. But one perk of a network is bargaining power.

Bargaining power is the relative influence someone has over someone else. When each party has relatively equal bargaining power, each has the same footing inside a negotiation. By building a podcast network, you’re positioning your podcast and others to have more equal power to the sponsors you want to attract.

Starting a podcast network can take many forms and be either a formal, contractual structure or something more DIY. Team up with complementary shows in your niche where you have some overlap or build a network full of unrelated shows to hit multiple niches.

In either circumstance, pooling the reach and influence of each podcast within a network allows you to pitch more lucrative sponsorship deals. You also have more of a chance to get on the radar of larger advertisers with bigger budgets because you’ve increased your bargaining power.

Experiment With Multiple Monetization Techniques

There are plenty of methods to monetize a podcast. There’s not one path or one right way to do it.

The trick, however, is to monetize your podcast in a way that doesn’t disappoint your listeners. This means finding the monetization technique they don’t find intrusive. In many cases, that means using a little bit of several techniques, rather than pushing one method too hard.

Frequently Asked Questions About Podcast Monetization

1. How do most podcasts earn money?

Recently Matt Wolfe and Joe Fier surveyed 1,000 podcast hosts on how they earn money podcasting for Podcast Magazine. Most were using a combination of the techniques we outlined above. Here’s what they found:

The February issue of Podcast Magazine details how podcasters make money.

2. Should I start a podcast to make money?

No! While podcast revenue is on the rise, starting a podcast solely to earn money isn’t advisable.

The foundation of how to earn money while podcasting is having a loyal audience. Loyal audiences follow hosts who are passionate about their topic. If the sole objective of a podcast is to earn money, there will be an obvious lack of enthusiasm and in turn, no eager fans tuning in each week.

Start a podcast because you want to share your unique voice with the world, not because you want to make a quick buck.

3. When should I start thinking about monetizing my podcast?

We’re firm believers in starting to thinking about podcast monetization even before you publish your first episode. If you haven’t started a podcast yet, be sure to consider how the show’s topic, style, format, and content will lend itself to future monetization strategies.

If you plan to talk about sensitive subjects or hotly debated topics, know you may alienate a specific set of sponsors. But fear not, podcast ad revenue is expected to reach $863 million in 2020. There will be sponsors out there who want to speak to your niche audience, and that’s just one monetization avenue to consider!

Once you start publishing a podcast, we recommend putting out 10 to 12 episodes first to build an audience.

4. How many downloads do I need to start monetizing my podcast?

There’s no hard rule here. Generally gathering 400-500 downloads per episode is a great time to starting monetizing a podcast but this is a guideline.

If you’re considering joining a podcast advertising network, they may have minimum download requirements before you can apply.