LIFESTYLE PODCASTS

If you’re ready to make a lifestyle change, are looking for motivation, or simply need a kick in the pants to move you to achieve your goals, chances are there’s a podcast for you. With their casual, conversational attitude, podcasts offer the listener a glimpse into the minds of some of the world’s most successful people.

According to Podcast Insights, there were over 28 million podcast episodes broadcast in 2018. While this provides a wealth of information it also creates sensory overload. How do you find the best of the best? We’ve done the work for you. From bestselling authors to business gurus, these podcasts encompass the best in cultivating wellness, personal development, and happiness.

If you’re ready to start living your best self, do yourself a favor and tune into some of these top lifestyle podcasts.

Good Life Project

At the Good Life Project, listen to inspiring stories and influential conversations that focus on how to lead a purposeful life. Guests run the gamut from researcher Brene Brown and author Gretchen Rubin to less-well-known individuals, but every story focuses on helping you live a better life.

Entrepreneurs on Fire

Hosted by John Lee Dumas, Entrepreneurs on Fireexplores what it is that makes top entrepreneurs so successful. Dumas interviews leaders in their fields to find out their secrets for success, providing motivation and inspiration to anyone looking to improve his or her life as an entrepreneur.

Zero to Travel

Does your ideal lifestyle include the ability to travel the globe? If so, tune into Zero to Travel. Host Jason Moore is your guide in all things travel. Find topics including online work opportunities, how to travel on a budget, and how to make travel the main theme of your life.

The School of Greatness With Lewis Howes

Regularly appearing in the top 50 of all iTunes podcasts, The School of Greatness brings together some of the biggest game-changers in the world to discuss business and self-development. Each inspiring interview is facilitated by host Lewis Howes, a bestselling author and former pro athlete.

Happier With Gretchen Rubin

Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin brings her expertise to your ears, offering advice about forming good habits and cultivating happiness. Tune in on Mondays for a short episode featuring a story or quick tip, and then listen Wednesdays for an in-depth discussion or expert interview.

Get Busy Living

On Get Busy Living, host Benny Hsu explores many of the things that deter people from reaching their goals. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or need the motivation to move forward, give this one a listen.

Youpreneur FM

If you want to hone your brand, you need to listen to Youpreneur FM. Host Chris Ducker is a bestselling author and speaker who interviews guests who offer a fresh perspective on what it means to be an entrepreneur.

Achieve Your Goals

Achieve Your Goals with Hal Elrod offers inspiration and motivational action plans to propel you forward according to your goals. His successful guests offer personal development and self-help advice that can benefit just about everyone.

Extreme Productivity

If you’ve ever wondered how some of the world’s most successful people have time to do it all, Extreme Productivity may offer some answers. Host Kevin Kruse shares productivity and time management advice from a variety of people such as entrepreneurs, Olympic athletes, and self-made millionaires.

The Sean Kim Show

Sean Kim is the CEO of RYPE, an online language learning platform. His podcast brings together a variety of minds to discuss how listeners can become the best version of themselves.

Noah Kagan Presents

Noah Kagan takes a deep dive into a variety of topics designed to help you improve your productivity, grow your business, and be more successful.

Operation Self Reset

Every so often you need to take a step back and reevaluate how you’re doing things. Operation Self Reset helps you with the tools you need to become more motivated and more self-confident, offering actionable advice to get you moving forward in the right direction.

Beyond the To-Do List

Beyond the To-Do List with host Erik Fisher offers life hacks from some of the world’s most productive people, helping you achieve the always-difficult work-life balance.

The Daily Boost

If you need motivation, you’ll find it at The Daily Boost. Boasting almost 26 million downloads, this podcast provides strategies, lessons and logic to help you stay motivated 24/7.

Project Life Mastery Podcast

Host Stefan James takes his actionable strategies from the Project Life Mastery blog to a podcast. Learn his secrets to success, how to change your mindset, and how to be more productive.

10% Happier With Dan Harris

Author of the best-selling book ”10% Happier” and ABC News journalist Dan Harris uses his podcast to interview some of the world’s leading health experts, meditation pioneers, and psychologists to discuss strategies to train your mind.

The Art of Charm

Increasing those networking and people skills goes a long way in helping you improve your lifestyle. The Art of Charm focuses on these important elements, touching on topics such as self-doubt, healthy relationships, and habit building.

Optimal Living Daily

If you don’t have time to scroll the web for the best lifestyle advice out there, Optimal Living Daily can help. This podcast brings the best in web content on personal development, finance, health, and more straight to your ears.

The Fizzle Show

Fun and informative with a lot of actionable advice, The Fizzle Show touches on a range of topics from self-employment to productivity to managing a work-life balance. If you’re ready to change up your lifestyle and build your own business, this podcast is for you.

Aubrey Marcus Podcast

Aubrey Marcus is the founder of Onnit, a company that focuses on mind and body optimization. He brings this expertise to his motivational podcast, discussing wellness and mastering your life with some of the biggest and brightest minds in athletics, science, and business.

VEGAN PROTEIN

In recent years, boxers David Haye and Mike Tyson, the Williams sisters, UFC fighters, cricketers and footballers have all reportedly “gone green”. Most famously, of course, did Popeye not develop huge biceps on a plant-based diet? 

If you are thinking about making the change and worried about your protein intake, the good news is experts say with a little planning, plant-based protein can be just as effective to maintain an active lifestyle and repair and build muscle. 

Can I get enough protein from a plant-based diet?

After speaking with several nutritionists, the general response was “yes, but…”. This was invariably followed by suggesting vegans should plan meals carefully.

“You need a variety of different plant-based sources to make sure you’re still getting all the essential amino acids”, says Bethan Hamilton, registered associate nutritionist and National Educator for Vega

Dr Adam Collins, Director of MSc and BSc Nutrition at the University of Surrey, agrees: “In the UK people eat around 150pc of their protein requirement. You’re probably still meeting your requirements on a vegan diet in absolute terms. If you’re combining plant protein sources you could equally get a full complement of amino acids.” 

“I think there’s a big misconception that a plant-based diet is devoid of protein,” says nutritional therapist Lily Soutter. “Make sure you are focusing on the good-quality protein sources, like tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, nuts and seeds. When you combine them it almost makes a jigsaw puzzle and can help to make a complete protein.”

This goes back to the debate on how complete a protein you’re consuming. The best vegan protein powders are composed of a variety of protein sources, from pea and rice to hemp and algae.

While vegan protein is proven to be very effective, its efficacy may not be quite as high as whey, which has “been shown to be more effective than vegan protein”, according to Roberts. 

“Whey protein is a good promoter of building muscle, if that’s one of your aims,” says Dr Collins. “That’s not to say you can’t build muscle through a general intake of protein.” Dairy-free alternatives “take a bit more effort to release the protein, and they’re not going to give you a quick-release super-stimulus in the same way.”

With all this in mind, I set about trying some of the leading vegan proteins powders. They were all tested primarily for flavour, with nutritional information taken into account. I cannot vouch for their ability to leave you looking like Arnie – we’ll catch up in a few months’ time on that front.

All the powders (of course, they’re all suitable for vegetarians as well) were tested with milk substitutes or water, as per packet instructions. But as a useful tip, I preferred them all either sprinkled on cereal or in a fruit smoothie.  

DOUBLE WINDSOR KNOT

This knot is named after the Duke of Windsor and is a more symmetric, large and thicker type of knot. The Double Windsor Knot is best used with dress shirts that have wide-spread collars.

Because the style of the knot is thicker and wider, more length is required from the tie to achieve the look. Taller men may consider using XL length ties instead. The overall knot makes for a classy, balanced look.
Double Windsor Knot Instructions:
  1. Fold the shirt collar up, undo the top button and place the necktie around your neck. Ensure that the wide end of the tiw is 6-7 inches below than the narrow end and cross it over the narrow end
  2. Slip the tie through the gap between the neck and the tie knot. Keep pulling the tie all the way around until it is back behind the narrow end of the tie
  3. Repeat step 2. with the other side
  4. After this, wrap the wide end of the tie and bring it back over towards the front
  5. Pull the wide end again through the gap between your neck and the knot loosely, so that a loop is created
  6. Slip the wide end of the knot through this newly created loop
  7. Adjust and tighten to neaten the knot and place your collar back down over the necktie. Your Double Windsor Knot is complete.

HOW TO HOT TOWEL SHAVE

The Hot-Towel Shave, the cut-throat shave, the traditional shave, or the Turkish Shave is all more or less the same thing even though they are referred to by different names and titles. They should all basically include the same procedures and stages from start to finish, the same instruments and the same end result! A perfectly shaved smooth face, free from razor burn, cuts or nicks.

Unfortunately though, many barbers do not provide this service in their salons either because they themselves cannot shave a client, or they do not have staff that can do the same. Also, of those that do, they do not all provide this service correctly and have based their shave around the myths generated and associated with old wives tales. Either way, in my opinion, performing a shave incorrectly is equally just as bad as not providing the service in the first place!

Many men do not value the importance of performing a shaving ritual correctly, and most, myself included from time to time fall foul to the vices of these quick fix shaving products that are mass marketed through the media. However, performing a shave correctly should be to the foremost of a man’s mind when he picks up his razor! Let’s be honest, if the products that are being mass marketed with the use of digital imagery, celebrities and multi-million pound advertising programmes actually did the job they claimed, then they wouldn’t need movie stars or sports heroes to endorse them! Most of these commercial products are based around the need to reduce the friction caused by frantic speed shaving – of which most of us are guilty, and therefore have produced products that do nothing more than lubricate the skin.

There is a procedure that must be adhered to when carrying out the Hot-Towel Shave in your salon, and by using this one can reduce client skin irritation and boost the revenue generated by the art of shaving. First off, let’s disperse some of the long running myths surrounding the Hot-Towel Shave. Whatever the client’s normal shaving habits are then the correct procedure to produce the ultimate shave will depend on the length of the beard or bristle. Advising your client to make sure they have a good growth, or not to shave for a week, does nothing more to the outcome of the shave than making it uncomfortable for both you and your client! If a client shaves every morning, or every two mornings then the correct advice to give your client before coming to your salon for the shave is to miss a shave from his normal routine – That’s all! Otherwise, the beard is too long, the soap cannot penetrate through to the skin, and the hair bends underneath the razor.

Another myth is the application of the hot-towel before the shave. The belief that the hot-towel softens the bristle and allows for a smoother shave is nothing more than a myth! Right, at this point I think it is time to get down to the business of performing your shave with a professional approach. The beginning of the shave must be performed with a strict protocol adherence. The client, once comfortably seated should be assessed on the condition of his skin, and the length of the bristle. If the skin has an unusually large number of skin tacks, moles or infection, then the client should be advised that to continue with the procedure would not be in his best interest, and would maybe just benefit better from a hot-towel facial steam or massage treatment if offered. Furthermore, if the bristle is longer than the 3mm (the length of a number 1 blade) then it will need to be pre-trimmed with a clipper such as the Wahl Sterling 2 machine or similar. Bringing the beard/stubble to the 0 position length is best for the ideal shave.

Once this has been completed, the client is ready for shaving. The first thing for the barber to do is to lather up his brush. This should be done by using a Badger Hair Silver Tipped brush and an appropriate shaving soap of professional quality – we recommend the use of ARKO Shaving Sticks. The soap should be applied to the skin by the brush in circular motions; it is not required to pre-wet or lubricates the bristle or skin with any water or product, using a firm grip on the stock of the brush. The face should be covered with a liberal application of the soap, applying extra pressure on the technique around the jaw and chin areas.

The purpose of doing this is paramount to the outcome of the shave and for the smoothness of the procedure for the client. It is the application of the soap and the technique with which it is applied that is the most important part of the preparation! After around three minutes, the barber should work the soap into the bristle with his fingers, also allowing him to determine where he feels that the client will experience discomfort during the shave, (this comes with experience – the more you do this, the more you will develop) and should then note to pay particular attention to that area. Once again, soap up with a vigorous movement with the brush until the bristle is standing proud of the soap. The client is now ready to be shaved.

The shaving technique should be conducted from one side of the client, his right side if the barber is right-handed, left if left-handed. Starting from the lock, the barber should place his free hand, covered with a surgical glove, and stretch the skin in the opposite direction above the blade whilst briskly moving the blade in the downward direction in a smooth, long and confident stroke. (NB. Small, erratic and short strokes can break the skin causing redness and inflammation.) This should be practiced across the side of the face until you reach the edge of the lip and chin.

Once you have completed this stage, then you must shave the neck area. Most men have indifferent and irregular hair growth patterns on their face, so extra care should be exercised here. Shave the neck from the jawline to the near edge of the hair growth, taking extra care not to cross over into the “against the grain” area just yet. If like most men have, the hair at the base of the neck grows upward, then stop shaving at that point and complete the rest of the bared neck area to that mark. The client’s head should then be moved slightly by the barber to face front so that his nose and chin are pointing forward. Pinching the nostrils with the thumb and second finger, whilst using your index finger to gently lift the front of the nose so that the philtrum (dent in lip directly below the nose) is pulled taught, the upper lip must now be shaved from the middle to the shaved side. Once completed the barber should then position the razor for the backhand stroke and shave the opposite side of the upper lip.

The barber must now repeat the procedure for the opposite side of the face, from the same position, by gently positioning the client’s head with his nose facing the barber’s abdomen (see photo at the top of the page). The face should now be shaved from the lock by using the backhand stroke. Once this is completed, again gently position the client’s head towards the centre and continue to shave the chin and underneath the bottom lip. Quickly move directly behind the client and shave in an upwards movement the area at the base of the neck going with the grain of the growth. Stage one has been completed.

The skin must now be treated with an Alum Block (Potassium Alum) for a number of reasons. Alum helps to reduce redness and razor burn caused by the friction of shaving, it cleans the pores and the skin surface with its antiseptic properties, it stops any bleeding that may have occurred during the shave, and as it is an astringent as well, it tightens the skin, providing better grip for the razor during the second shave. This procedure is simple, but very, very effective. Wet the gloved hand with warm water and gently moisten the skin. The alum block should also be dipped into warm water (not hot) and then in a gentle buffing motion run across the surface of the skin. Pay particular attention to red areas or bleeds, by moving the alum block in small circular motions until you are satisfied that the alum has penetrated the skin. Use the full surface of the block ends for bleeds and redness, sides for lip, and broad side for main facial area. It is important to not allow the block to dry-out, so continuous wetting with water should be adhered to during the course of the procedure. Once this is finished the block should be dried and returned to its container or box. Remember that for hygienic reasons and to reduce the risk of contamination in your salon of your client, a new block should be used for each shave, with the used block being handed to the client at the end of the shave to take home. Barbers should cost effectively to cover the cost of the block within the price of their shave. Stage two is completed.

Right, at this stage the client needs to be soaped up once again, giving the same attention to the technique as before. This is even more important at this stage as we are now going to conduct the upward shave, or shave against the grain. Some barbers don’t do this, whether it is through fear or uncertainty, I am not sure, however this can be pretty comfortable for the customer if carried out correctly. Once the soaping up procedure has been strictly adhered to, then the client is ready to commence the remainder of the shave. (NB. For barbers who use a microwave for the hot-towel, this is a good time to begin your pre-wetted towel – for the correct temperature, heat on full power for 3.5 minutes in a 700W appliance.)

Standing at the rear of the customer, the barber should change his positioning to the opposite side he/she conducted the first shave. The client’s head should be gently positioned in a backwards motion airing the neck area with his head angled away from the barber. The shave should be conducted for the immediate side first, by placing the heel of the hand at the base of the neck below the blade and stretching the skin to make it taught. The blade can now be moved in long strokes towards the jaw line and until the Adams Apple is reached. Taking extra care, the barber should now shave carefully over the jawline and upwards towards the edge of the lock, completing the complete cheek. Gently position the client’s head to bare the opposite side of the neck, causing the face to be towards your abdomen. Once again repeat the procedure for the opposite side. At this point I find it useful to move the position of the razor stock to between the third and fourth finger as this provides me with more balance and leverage for this stage.

The front of the throat and up to the chin can now be done by repositioning the client’s head to be centred to your body. Be careful when covering the chin area, as this can be tricky and resistance against the razor can cause the blade to tug on the hair; however a confident and firm stroke will usually win through! Once the chin has been completed, you can now shave the underneath of the bottom lip moving through to steadily shave the two sides of the top lip towards the philtrum. Once this is completed, then you are ready to reapply Alum to the skin following carefully the previous procedure.

You are now ready for the towel, which should be just at the right temperature if you followed the guidelines above. Open up the towel fully, landscape, and align the centre of the towel with the chin. Make sure that the bottom edge is level with the base of the neckline and gently wrap around the sides and around the head – making sure to cover all areas except the nostrils. Leave the towel on for around two-three minutes for the best effect. Whilst removing the towel, gently rub the forehead, eyes, ears and remainder of face with the towel, removing any excess soap residue. Discard the towel according to salon policy, and lightly dust the face (shaved area) with some talcum powder. Gently massage this into the face and neck. Talcum powder helps to remove any greasy areas of the skin. Once done, add some moisturiser or after-shave balm – we use Extremely Maxed Out! After Shave Balm which is rich in Aloe Vera and Camomile. Firmly massage into the skin and finish the neck area and cheeks with a gentle slapping motion. This helps to stimulate the nerves in the face and promotes circulation. Work the balm into the face until it becomes tacky to the touch. Add some after-shave spray or lotion and you’re ready to go!

HOW TO SEASON A CIGAR HUMIDOR

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After buying a cigar humidor, the first thing you should to do is take it home and season it. Never store your cigars in an unseasoned humidor. Wood is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture. If you put cigars into a humidor before the wood has had a chance to absorb any moisture, it will absorb the moisture from your cigars and dry them out, ruining them. Seasoning a cigar humidor enables it to maintain the perfect balance of humidity needed to preserve the taste and flavor of your cigars.

Before seasoning your humidor, you’ll need to calibrate your hygrometer. Hygrometers are a humidor accessory that measures humidity in the air. There are two types of hygrometers: analog and digital. Analog hygrometers are more common, but digital hygrometers are more accurate. Even though hygrometers are calibrated before they leave the factory, it’s always a good idea to test them yourself, just be certain it’s providing accurate readings. To calibrate your hygrometer, you’ll need table salt, distilled water, a bottle cap, and a resealable plastic bag. If you have an analog hygrometer, you’ll need a screwdriver as well.

The Salt Test

When a teaspoon of salt is mixed with a small amount of water, it emits exactly 75 percent humidity. Fill the bottle cap with salt. It should hold approximately one tablespoon, but you can measure it with a teaspoon if you want to be precise. Once it’s full, add a few drops of water until the salt has a cake-like consistency. If the salt begins to dissolve, you’ve added too much. Wash out the bottle cap and start again.

Once you’ve mixed the salt and water, put the bottle cap and your hygrometer in the plastic bag, seal it shut, and wait 8-12 hours for the humidity to build up inside the plastic bag. After 8-12 hours have passed, check the hygrometer. It should read 75 percent. If it doesn’t, adjust the settings. Most analog hygrometers have a slot in the back that lets you adjust the dial. Slip your screwdriver into the slot and turn it until the dial reads exactly 75 percent. If the error is small, you can also make a note of the number of degrees, plus or minus, it’s off by and keep it in your humidor for reference, or adjust the settings.

Calibration Kit

Calibration kits are resealable plastic bags with precisely measured salt packets that generate exactly 75 percent humidity over 24 hours in order to reduce the margin of error in hygrometers calibration. The most popular is made by Boveda. To use, open the bag, insert your hygrometer, and then wait for 24 hours to check your hygrometer. If it doesn’t read exactly 75 percent, note the degree of error or adjust the dial as necessary.

Seasoning a Humidor: What You’ll Need

Seasoning a humidor is a simple and straightforward process. Besides your hygrometer and cigar humidifier, which comes with your humidor, all the other accessories you’ll need should be available at your local grocery store or cigar shop.

Instead of distilled water, you can also fill the sponge with a propylene glycol solution. Propylene glycol is an organic compound commonly used in humidors as a stabilizing agent. When it’s used in a cigar humidifier, it coats the wood with a layer of natural enzymes that absorbs moisture when the humidity exceeds 70 percent and emits moisture when it drops below 70 percent. It also prevents the formation of mold and bacterial growths. If you decide to use propylene glycol, make sure it’s mixed with distilled water at a 50:50 ratio. Bottles of the pre-mixed solution are available at most cigar shops.

Active Seasoning

Once your hygrometer has been calibrated, it’s time to season your cigar humidor. To start, take the sponge, place it in a bowl, and soak it with distilled water or propylene glycol solution. Make sure the sponge is completely saturated. Then wring it out and place it in the cigar humidor on top of the plastic bag. The bag will make sure the water in the sponge doesn’t over saturate the wood. Only wring out enough water so the sponge isn’t dripping when you put it into the humidor. The sponge will be your primary seasoning agent, so you want it to be very wet.

Next, take the cigar humidifier, place it in the bowl, and soak it with distilled water or propylene glycol. When it’s completely saturated, take it out and place it face down on some paper towels for 20-30 minutes to drain the excess water and prevent it from leaking inside the humidor. Place the cigar humidifier and hygrometer in the humidor. Once they’re secure, close it up and wait for 48 hours. If your humidor comes with any wooden trays or dividers, make sure to place them inside so they become seasoned as well.

To start, take the sponge, place it in a bowl, and soak it with distilled water or propylene glycol solution. Drain the excess liquid as you did before, place it back in the humidor, and close it for another 24 hours. Don’t be alarmed if your hygrometer reads 80-85 percent humidity. Humidity should normally be only 70 percent, but during the seasoning process, it’s normal for it to be higher.

After another 24 hours, check the humidity level again. It should be close to 70 percent. If it’s at 72-73 percent, that’s fine. Your cigars will absorb a little moisture when you put them in. If it’s higher than 74 percent, wait for another 24 hours and it should fall to the right level.

The Wipe Down Method

There is a second method for seasoning a cigar humidor: the wipe down method. It’s not as popular, but it is faster. Using it will save you at least 24 hours of waiting, but it comes with some risks that will be discussed below.

To start, take your sponge and soak it in distilled water. Always use a new sponge, never an old one. Once it’s thoroughly wet, wring it out and shake off the excess water. It should be damp, but not dripping. Using too much water can warp the wood, so it’s better for it to be too dry rather than too wet. If you’re worried about using too much water, consider buying some seasoning wipes. They’re pre-moistened towelettes that come with enough water to wipe down a small to medium-sized cigar humidor, and they’re specially made to avoid leaving any stray fibers or paper residue behind as you’re wiping. If you can’t find them at your local cigar shop, you can buy them online.

Once the sponge is ready, remove the hygrometer and cigar humidifier and wipe down all of the exposed surfaces inside your humidor. Go slow and make sure no puddles or pools form. You want to leave a thin layer of water over the wood, enough water to dampen it and darken it slightly. Once you’re finished, wipe down any wooden dividers and trays that came with your humidor using the same method, place them in your humidor, and close it for 24 hours. While you’re waiting, calibrate your hygrometer.

Once 24 hours have passed, soak your cigar humidifier and drain away the excess liquid as described above. Then open up your humidor, place your hygrometer and cigar humidifier inside, and close it for another 24 hours. After 24-hours, the inside of your humidor should be dry and your hygrometer should read 72-73 percent humidity. If it doesn’t, close it up and give it more time. If it does, go ahead and place your cigars inside.

Dangers of the Wipe Down Method

The wipe down method is unpopular with many cigar lovers because using it is an easy way to over saturate and warp the wood in your cigar humidor. Widing wood down with water is known as shock seasoning, and it can cause a lot of damage if it’s not done right. Cigar humidors made from Spanish cedar are particularly susceptible because Spanish cedar absorbs water more readily than other woods. If it gets warped, it’ll compromise your humidor’s integrity. The lid won’t be able to provide a strong seal, which means your humidor will gradually lose moisture and dry out your cigars.

Conclusion

Once you’ve seasoned a humidor, it should safely protect your cigars as long as you regularly refill the humidifier and keep the lid sealed. The humidity inside will keep the wood from drying out and preserve your cigars for many years.