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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Beating the Blues

Robert Manni - Friday, October 02, 2015

Face it, amigos. Life is tough, and even a Guy’s Guy catches a case of the blues every now and then.

Maybe your girlfriend dumped you via Facebook, your job interviewer was late, rude or just a plain douche, or you forgot to play the right QB in your fantasy football team. It’s okay, amigo. Like the song says, the sun really does come out tomorrow.

Your Guy’s Guy is offering a few tips to get your mind out of the gutter and your sights set on the heavens. It’s not that difficult if you approach each day with an open mind and a sense of humor.

Life has ups and downs, and like a professional athlete, some days we’re just not feeling it. Every now and then we wake up uninspired. That’s to be expected. If your life is anything like mine, you are probably smack dab in the middle of a roller coaster ride and don’t know what’s waiting for you around the next bend. Take heed. You are not the only one who has caught the blues. In fact, there is an entire musical genre dedicated entirely to it. I’m not referring to clinical depression here. I’m talking about the malaise that accompanies our media-driven culture and the negativity and feelings of lack it eschews.

It’s easy to get down on yourself. But when shit happens or when we’re just not in the mood for the nonsense, it’s okay to kick back, lick your wounds and learn from our experiences. That doesn't mean wallowing in sorrow over why things haven't worked out as planned or on your timetable. The Universe is on your side amigo, but it’s not on your schedule. So be patient and not too hard on yourself. Remember, Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. So the next time you hit a bump in the road, even one that knocks you off your high horse, be cool. Dust yourself off, take a deep breath and never, ever stop believing in yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.


1. Cut back on media- It’s never a good idea to watch too much television, especially when you have a case of the blahs. Television is built on an advertising or subscription-based model. Content is secondary and it’s really there to sell us stuff we don’t need. At the same time, the news selectively hits us over the head with a few select topics of the week, usually built around fear. The ads sell us everything we “lack” or that we need to counter our feelings of helplessness, futility and impeding doom. In fact there were many blog posts or articles about a series of cataclysmic events that were supposed to happen in September. But nothing happened, did it?

It’s a vicious cycle and to top it off, most of the shows are either very dark or about dysfunctional people and families. It’s enough to make you sick, so watch out for what you watch and how much time you send starting at a screen.

2. Get outside – We’ve got lot of creature comforts and it would be easy to shutter ourselves behind locked doors plinking away at your laptop or binge-watching shows or sports. I suggest making sure you get your butt outside every day, even if you are not working and feeling down in the dumps. Go for a walk, a run, meet a friend for lunch, anything that gets you out in the fresh air and your blood flowing. I assure you your mood will perk up. Circulate, amigo, circulate.

3. Shake it off - I know that depending on the circumstances, this can be easier said than done. But, it’s important that we put things into perspective and focus the big picture. You lost your gig? Well now you have time to create. You’re low of fund-age? Now you can feel compassion for those less fortunate and learn how to stretch a dollar. Okay, this isn't something you want to do on a long-term basis, but the point is you can learn from every experience and improve yourself as a person if you keep an open mind and maintain your sense of humor.

4. Meditate – When things are not going well, staying focused can be challenging. So it’s critical to keep a relaxed mindset at all times. I have found that sitting quietly with my eyes closed and following a steady meditative practice for fifteen minutes a day works wonders for my mental outlook, productivity, and interpersonal relationships. There are myriad ways to meditate. Find one that suits you and be diligent in your practice. It really pays off.

5. Do something you like – When I’m feeling blue I occasionally treat myself to a movie, ballgame, a long run, a good book, some rocking sex, or even a short nap. It’s important to not allow our monkey chattering conscious mind to get the best of us. Remember, the E-G-O likes to whisper negative, fearful things into our ears. Now and then it’s healthy to tell your conscious mind to f--k off and go hit a pail of balls. If that’s what it takes to change your mood. No worries, pal. It’s going to be all right.

6. Believe – That’s right, amigo. Things will work themselves out if you believe that they will and you believe in yourself. It’s really that simple, but even now you are probably allowing your monkey mind to dredge up fear and doubt about what you’ve just read. That’s up to you, friend. Take it from a Guy’s Guy who has had his share of ups and downs. Life is what we make it and a lot of it happens right between the ears and in your heart.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Pope Francis. His openness, tolerance, and love really made a difference in the energy of New York. I felt it while running in Central Park the morning after his short swing through the park. Hopefully his message and vibe will help our planet and people ascend. He certainly did not have the blues…

Ask The Guy's Guy: Meeting an Online Connection for the First Time

Robert Manni - Monday, September 21, 2015

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Keeping Your Mojo Working

Robert Manni - Thursday, September 17, 2015

Most men have experienced a romantic episode where their mind and spirit were willing, but their body did not respond as nature intended.

It can happen to any guy. Too much booze or recreational drugs, a bad diet, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, or whatever. Shit happens, and sometimes it’s in the bedroom. No man is immune from the possibility of his flag not saluting when unfurled. Unfortunately, few women understand a man’s psychological trauma from a failed interlude. No worries, amigos. Your Guy’s Guy is here to help.

I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on television. My credentials? I’m like a lot of blokes reasonably intelligent, successful and attractive with a twist. After twenty-five sex-fueled years of single life in New York City I got married five years ago. Now I’m a dad. Things have changed in all areas of my life, including the bedroom. But, as my wife or my exes will attest to, I’m a guy who loves sex. So I’ve made it my business to take care of myself so I can keep on thumping like the Energizer bunny. My goal is to share what’s worked for me over the years. As always, these are simply ideas for your consideration and potential research. But ultimately, I think us Guy’s Guys can agree that there are few better feelings than a sturdy, “Boing”.

First, let’s level set. There is a physical and a mental component to men’s arousal. The most important physical consideration by far is circulation and blood flow. Think about it. An erection occurs when your penis becomes engorged with blood. And what guy doesn’t love being engorged? Those colorful little pills advertised on television that help men get it up are all about enhancing blood flow to the penis. They work, but a healthy man doesn't necessarily need a pill to ensure proper blood flow. I’ll share some tips that address circulation. The mental side of the equation is trickier. Guys continually roll through different thoughts and emotions, and half the time we don’t even know how we feel about what’s going on in our own worlds. It’s stressful. And if the body is slow to respond, panic can set in and things may snowball quickly. That’s never a good thing. So I’ll also offer considerations for the mental side of the game.

Enough about the ground rules. In no particular order, here is my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Keeping Your Mojo Working. Drum roll, por favor.

1. Diet – Studies have shown that a highly acidic, meat and fat based diet loaded with hidden sugars and salt, GMO’s, and chemical additives does NOT do a body good. And amigos, your penis is part of your body, so its functionality is negatively impacted by an acidic, low alkaline diet. Meat, sugar, simple carbs, gluten, caffeine, nicotine, salt, food additives, all contribute to the demise of your performance. A diet rich in organic veggies, wild caught fish and sprouted grains and supplements will help keep you on point. And we all know that drugs or too much booze can turn Mr. Happy into Mr. Droopy. Be mindful of what you consume.

2. Exercise – Want to bolster your circulation? There is no better way than a good hard workout. Cardio and strength training do wonders for keeping your blood flowing throughout your body and organs. There is no mystery to this, but due to the stresses and western diet in modern life, many guys schlep around feeling lazy and tired. Don’t let that be you. Are you walking home instead of texting Uber? Are you climbing the stairs instead standing on the escalator? The good news is that if you really don’t have time for a workout you can still do good things for yourself. Walking is great for your health and circulation, as is adding any amount of incremental cardio to your day. And guess what? Sex is cardio and it’s great exercise, too.

3. Managing Stress – There’s an old saying that “stress kills”. Sadly, it’s true for not only the body, but also for a man’s sexual performance. Sex is supposed to be a fun sport. But these days a lot of men, and surprisingly many young men, are filled with anxiety about their lives and sexual performance. Women are finally getting their long-overdue recognition, but many young dudes see this as a threat. To what, I ask? For this Guy’s Guy, there has never been a better time to be a man. Back in the day, a guy had to really work to bed lady. There was no Tinder, no texting, no “hanging out”. We had to prowl the city like lone wolves searching for prey. Then we had to introduce ourselves, buy drinks, dance, make small talk and actually charm a woman into a few dates before hopping into the sack. Nowadays, many young women are the sexual aggressors with no issues about taking the lead in the sack. That makes life easy. As long as you treat women respectfully, there is no reason a Guy’s Guy can’t enjoy a very healthy, robust sex life. These are the good old days.

So why all the stress, amigos? Relax and enjoy. There are many great looking, intelligent, capable women looking for a Guy’s Guy. But if you find yourself tightening up when it’s time to get it on, try slowing your mind down and don’t be in such a hurry to force things to happen. Kiss, cuddle, massage, laugh… If you’ve had too much to drink to perform, think of it as a lesson well-learned. Get some sleep and come back hard in the morning.

4. Supplements – If you take one thing away from this post, this tip is a gem. Since blood flow and circulation are critical to male sexual performance, there are natural supplements that help increase blood flow and oxidation. I started taking two L-Arginine and one Pycnogenol tablet twice a day for sports performance and things started happening. L-Arginine is an amino acid used by athletes. Pycnogenol, made from French maritime pine bark extract, is considered an anti-aging anti-oxidant for better skin and life-extension. You can find lots of info about it online. And since I began taking these supplements twice a day, my workouts and physical capacity has been through the roof and my libido is as strong as when I was a teenager. And it was pretty darn powerful. Just sayin’.

5. Porn, or Lack Thereof – Will everyone who likes to whack off raise your hand? Okay, that’s almost all of you. Clinical studies show that masturbation can be a healthy activity in moderation. You could even argue that masturbation is a distant cousin of meditation. But when you’re surfing porn for hours every day and always before having sex with your honey, it’s a problem; both psychologically and physically. Do you really need to think of that chick you saw online with the six-pack and giant boobs to get it up for your girlfriend? I think not. Do your best to keep the porn and stroking to a minimum. Trust me—there ain’t nothing like the real thing. If you’re with the right woman and you treat her well, she will do anything your little old imagination can come up with. Focus your energy on your partner. She’s the one who should be handling your equipment.

6. Love – One of the most fantastic nights of sex with my wife came after we attended a two-day workshop on love, guided attunements and channeling, and raising frequency. Our lovemaking was pure, clear and filled with heart-opening love. A few weeks later my wife was pregnant with our son. I’m sure I would have had no problems performing with my wife without the workshop and maybe she would have become pregnant anyway, but this is what happened. Love makes a difference, and I have always found love to be a core ingredient for great sex. Sure, lust is good, but love lifts the act to another level. And I would argue that feelings of love translate to better sexual performance because it everything feels so natural, so right. Love is ultimately what connects us.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Lovemaking is a gift and the more we clear our cluttered minds and clean our bodies, the easier it is to perform like a champ. If you want to perform every time, make loving yourself and your partner the bedrock of your sex life.

Time to take my supplements…

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Vatsyayana, the author of KAMA SUTRA, the classic tome on sexual pleasure.Thanks, amigo.

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Robert Manni - Monday, September 14, 2015

The media began bemoaning the end of summer on September 1st.

Guess what? We've still got another week of summer left. Let’s stay positive and recognize a handful of reasons why September is a great month and fall is a great season, Guy’s Guy style.

Farewell, tourists.

As a fan of the beach and the Jersey Shore, nothing pleases local inhabitants and beachgoers more than the disappearance of what are referred to as “Bennies”, tourists from northern NJ who come down the shore, go crazy and then leave after Labor Day. More parking spaces, no waits at restaurants and fewer drunken dudes from Staten Island pounding shots of bubbleberry vodka all make up the fall dream. The same can be said about the overload of summer tourists in fanny packs clogging our NYC sidewalks. Have a nice day and goodbye.

The weather rocks.

It’s summer for three more weeks, amigos. The beach is empty, the temp's perfect, the water warm and clean and it usually stays this way through October. In the city, the days are spectacular and the nights are no longer hot and humid.

The Women.

In NYC, the women’s fashion parade begins in full swing in September and for a Guy’s Guy, it can be heavenly. Women in NYC have style and go to great lengths putting together cool outfits. Beyond their $400 jeans and designer dresses, Manhattan women have made an art of putting together their hair, shoes, and bags and the results are pleasurable to the eyes of any Guy’s Guy. It’s all in the details, so let's give it up for the ladies.


The baseball season is rounding third base and heading for home while at the same time football and the accompanying fantasy football drafts are in full swing, making this the best time of the year for sports. Football has never been so popular and fantasy football has taken the game to a new level of fandemonium. Let’s face it—football is built for television viewing and now is the time to get our fill. And let’s not forget the US Open tennis and the NYC Marathon.

The Arts.

Film, books, television, the Met, the museums, Broadway and even the dreaded DWTS all kick off new seasons at this time of year.

Okay, these are but a few obvious reasons why they we can say “yay” to the end of summer. What I like about September and the new season is that it reminds me how each day is a new beginning filled with new opportunities. If we live in the now and focus on what can be, and tune out the media’s incessant ringing of the doom and gloom alarm, we can savor life as it’s meant to be, one beautiful day at a time.  And then we can watch the holiday sales ads.

Are you saddened over the end of summer or pumped up for the fall?

This week's Guy's Guy of the Week is Sir Thomas More, an old school 16th century Guy's Guy, and the subject of the Oscar-winning, "A Man for All Seasons."

Ask the Guy's Guy: How to Connect with Someone Online

Robert Manni - Friday, August 28, 2015

10 More Tips for Wellness at Any Age

Robert Manni - Thursday, August 27, 2015

After recently posting my ten greatest hits blog for wellbeing, I scratched my head and came up with ten more healthy tips. So, why not post a second helping?

These are fundamental principals and tips for maximized health. Nothing controversial here. Just a list of good habits to embrace and bad behaviors to drop can help you lead a more healthy life. Life is a marathon, and every day is filled with choiceswhat to eat, what to drink, etc. It’s tough. Taking the first step can be the hardest part of your journey to good health, but Guy’s Guys believe in abundance and I really want to help, so I’m sharing some tips that have worked for me. I’m not doing a deep dive on the science behind them on this post—There's ample information available online to support any of these ideas. Let’s just say that you'll now have ten more ways to amp up your health, Guy’s Guy style.

Go get em’, amigo.

1. Salt – Like sugar, salt should be consumed in small amounts. And like sugar, salt is hidden in most processed foods. High blood pressure, kidney stones, and heart troubles can all be traced back to overloading our bodies with salt. If you are going to add salt to our already salt-laden foods, consider pink Himalayan salt, which is good for you when consumed in moderation.

2. Probiotics – Disease begins in the gut. Most people eat poorly, and as a result, the micro flora in their gut gets overloaded with toxins. Then the organs get overtaxed from the toxins and chemicals from the micro flora in the processed foods we consume. This can lead to breakdowns of organ functions and the start of autoimmune diseases. Probiotic supplements kill off the bad bacteria and replace them with healthy bacteria that promote gut health. It’s that simple. Do your research to find the best probiotics for your body’s needs and take the supplements.

3. Oil pulling – Each morning, on an empty stomach, I take a tablespoon of pure organic virgin coconut oil and swish it around in my mouth for twenty minutes. Then I spit it in the garbage and rinse with salt water. Sounds crazy? Maybe, but this practice does wonders for oral hygiene and healthy gums. It also kills thrush and other toxic bacteria while eliminating dangerous plaque that can enter the blood stream and cause problems in the heart. You can also cook with coconut oil as a healthier alternative to many other conventional cooking oils.

4. Don’t smoke – Our air quality is fraught with chemicals and toxins that we breathe in and out all day. Combine that with the plethora information available about the health risks from tobacco, and ask yourself if there is any reason to light up? Nope. Sure, many Guy’s Guys like myself have enjoyed a good cigar and other smoky treats, but at a certain point we need to curtail our indulgent habits if we want to stay healthy. We can’t eat, drink or smoke the way we did during college, unless we’re prepared to shave a few decades off our life span. It’s that simple. And if I were going to cut out one of these three indulgences, I’d stop smoking in a heartbeat.

5. pH balance - Studies show that that the western diet is too acidic. That’s a problem. High levels of acid in our bodies, usually above 8.0, cause disease, premature aging, and cancer. It’s all about how the body deals with hydrogen ions. If you want to dive deep on this issue, go online or pick up a book focused on the acid-alkaline pH balance. Foods with high levels are acidity include meat, processed foods, booze (ouch), cheese, shellfish, flours, preserves sweetened with corn syrup, french fries, soy, sugar, some nuts, pizza, and other assorted foods that we westerners crave. Bad news? Not really. With all the studies in place, at least we now know the connection between a balanced alkaline diet and good health. To maintain an alkaline diet, there are plenty of healthy foods to choose from if you can survive without your weekly ration of bacon. And take it from me; your doctors will never mention the word alkaline to you.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar – Vinegar has been used as a healthful tonic since the days of Socrates in ancient Greece. For the past two years, after my oil pulling I’ve jumpstarted each day by drinking a large glass of water mixed with a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar. It is a wonderful antidote for your internal system. It satiates your appetite, helps manage your insulin, lowers your cholesterol, and helps maintain the alkaline pH in your body. And that’s just for starters. If you Google apple cider vinegar, you’ll find dozens of articles touting its benefits. And after gulping those first few glasses of ACV and water, you won’t even think you are drinking vinegar. Just make sure you choose an organic brand that comes from the “mother” strain. I buy Braggs. You can find it in almost any supermarket. If you can’t handle ACV, try starting your day by drinking a glass of water with half of an organic lemon squeezed into it.

7. Push-ups – I have banged out between fifty and seventy push-ups almost every morning since I was thirteen years old. I finish the routine by holding my body in the plank position for two minutes. The results have been phenomenal, and my upper body has stayed strong. I also use this mini-workout to gauge my fitness level and how I’m feeling when pounding out the push-ups. It’s kept my fitness on point, and I’ve maintained my strength and kept a decent upper body tone. Push-ups employ the upper and lower back, the core, biceps, triceps, forearms, shoulders and wrists. This mini-workout can be done anywhere, and it just takes a few minutes each morning. If I don’t feel like throwing the weights around and don’t have time for cardio, I at least get my blood pumping and work my core muscle groups. And, yes, ladies, push-ups are a fantastic exercise for you, too.

8. Read the labels – Some say that there is nothing worth buying along the interior aisles of the supermarket. Think about it. The experts may be correct, especially if you stop and read the labels of all of the foods in packages. Most are processed, so they carry little nutrition, but lots of chemical additives. And you know they're made with GMOs unless identified otherwise. The most sneaky aspect of packaged foods are the hidden sugars and salts disguised by a number of terms including the all-too-familiar “high fructose corn syrup”, “corn syrup”, etc, etc. Read and learn. You might change your mind before tossing those packages into your cart. Buy fresh, organic, and raw whenever possible.

9. Eliminate caffeine- Caffeine is insidious. You wake up in the morning feeling tired. You need a pick me up. You sip your coffee and away you go. And you keep slurping coffee until dinner. Then you can’t sleep from all the caffeine. So after tossing and turning, you wake up tired the next morning. You get the picture. If caffeine isn’t so bad, then why is it so hard to quit consuming it? And why do people have headaches when going through withdrawal? Think, amigo. When I cut back on caffeine, I had headaches for a week, but after that it’s been smooth sailing. I thought I’d miss caffeine, but I didn’t and I will never go back. I don’t want my heart racing again unless I win the lotto, sell my screenplay or meet a super hot chick. Oh wait; I married a super hottie. And she drinks decaf.

10. Say no to starches and simple carbs – We eat too many simple carbs and starches, and most of them turn into sugar. Sugar plays havoc on our insulin and turns into fat. The cycle is repeated every day until we’re fat, hyperactive and have a gut overflowing with Candida. The Candida taxes our internal organs and lead to contracting autoimmune diseases. It’s an unnecessary and vicious cycle. The solution is keeping an eye on how many empty carbs we consume each day, and then cutting way, way back on the bread, pasta, cereal, baked goods, and salty snacks. I know, it sucks, but once you see your waistline shrink and yourself bursting with energy, you’ll be glad you got a handle on your carb intake.

So there you have it—ten more tips to help you along in your journey to wellness. And, you know what? There’s more. Until next time…

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week are the natural doctors, homeopathic practitioners, bloggers, documentary film makers and investigative journalists that risk their reputations and even more in their quest to get to the truth about nutrition.

10 Tips for Wellness at Any Age

Robert Manni - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Guy’s Guys like staying healthy and fit, so consider this a greatest hits package for your wellbeing.

Over the past few years I have devoted a number of blog posts to relationships not just relationships between people, but the relationship between our body, mind, and spirit. Your Guy’s Guy will be migrating to new topics to write about, so I wanted to summarize the learning I’ve gleaned from reading, interviewing guests on Guy's Guy Radio, and from personal experiences, including a few health challenges. Guy’s Guys believe in paying it forward, but take these insights as you see fit. I’m not delving deep into the science behind these nuggets—there is ample material online and offline you can find supporting these suggestions.

So, in no particular order here is a summary of what I’ve learned over the past few years about staying healthy and fit. Drum roll, please…

1. Hydrate. Our bodies are composed of two-thirds water. Aging is dehydrating. Think about all of the old people who cross your path. Over time, a lack of drinking enough water speeds aging because our bodies dry up. Experts suggest we consume a minimum of eight 12-ounce glasses of water per day. That does not factor in incremental hydration needs from working out or drinking beers with your friends. Now, how many of you are quaffing the right amount of water on a regular basis?

2. Eat organic. Let’s face it, most of the food offered in the supermarket is processed, GMO-based or lacking in micronutrients due to the time it takes to get the food to the supermarket. It is now estimated that 96% of consumers in America are undernourished when it comes to micronutrients. The solution, and it is the only solution, is to choose organic and locally grown food whenever possible. Never eat farm-raised fish. Even the EPA suggests that we should only consume one serving of farmed salmon every six weeks! If that doesn't open your eyes to how messed our food supply has become, take a look around at the growing cadre of obese people we see and think about all the folks with auto-immune diseases, adult diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. This is just the tip of the health iceberg, so it’s time to choose your foods wisely, amigos.

3. Walk. One of my favorite things about living in the city is that I get to walk around a lot. And I love walking the streets of New York…at least most of the time. I avoid cluster-f-cks like Times Square and Fifth Avenue due to the out-of-control influx of random tourists now, but for the most part, walking the streets of New York is stimulating, great exercise, and a superb way to learn your way around town. When I first moved into Manhattan back in the eighties, every Sunday I would walk from my flat on West 34th Street to Chinatown for lunch before taking a different route home. I'm also referring to taking the stairs instead of the escalator and not clogging up the stinky elevators at the express subway stops. They're not there for lazy people who could use the exercise of walking up the stairs. They are for parents with strollers, seniors, and people with disabilities. Period. Sorry, I have a toddler and I had to mention that.

4. Rest. What ever happened to eight hours of sleep? If you are a city dweller with a high-stress job and a penchant for going out on the town a few nights per week, you're probably not getting more than five or six hours of sleep. Over time, this adds up in a bad way and eventually falling into a deep, restful asleep becomes a challenge. Consider grabbing a power nap whenever you can spare 30 minutes. It helps. And by all means treat yourself to at least one evening per week of staying home and hitting the sack early. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your batteries recharge.

5. Meditate. Mediation is a gift. It will clear your mind, keep your cool, and unleash your inner self for guidance. Sounds ethereal? Maybe, but over time, this age-old practice has been considered one of the most important ways to stay physically, mentally, and spiritually sound. Many people think that they're not capable of meditating. Their mental monkey chatter has taken over and they cannot quiet their minds. Here’s a tip. Limit your media intake. Don’t worry about having so many incessant random thoughts when you meditate. Like clouds, they will pass across your mental skyline and dissipate. If you stick to it, over time these monkey mind thoughts will lessen and you will become a blank slate. That’s when you get answers. Just let go, amigo, and the universe is yours.

6. Run. I live near Central Park and there is no better training run than the outer 6.2-mile loop circumnavigating the park. It’s filled with rolling hills, beautiful scenery and lots of good-looking runners. And it never gets any easier. I realize people break down and due to injuries many have to forego running by the age of forty, but if you don’t have any physical limitations, a run in the park, no matter the distance, is a great tonic for the body and mind.

7. Eliminate sugar. Sugar is the enemy, people. It’s a killer and it is hidden and disguised as corn syrup or other terms in almost all of the processed foods we eat. It causes obesity, diabetes, and other issues for the heart, blood, and organs. Scientists say that over 85% of Americans suffer from hidden Candida (yeast) overgrowth due to sugar consumption. And, folks, we see how many obese people there are today who are breaking down with autoimmune diseases. If there was one tip to take away from this post, it is to cut down or eliminate sugar from your diet.

8. Gluten. There are various opinions about gluten, but the truth is that much of the wheat and grains we consume is infected with mold and sprayed with pesticides before it gets to a factory to be baked and then sent to the supermarket. That’s why many people feel bloated after every meal. Our systems are not built to process all the pesticides sprayed on grains. And our bodies need to expend too much energy on this at the expense of tending to other areas of our health. Our immune systems become overtaxed and we get sick. Studies have shown that all disease begins in the gut. But what can we do? We like bread. The only answer is to limit your gluten intake (that includes pasta) and eat organic and sprouted breads whenever possible. You may miss the indulgence, but you will feel better, and over time your body will thank you through better health.

9. No meat. I stopped eating meat eight years ago and have never looked back. I began dating a vegetarian who is now my wife. Although she never asked me not to stop eating meat, I did so anyway. It seemed like a good time to change my eating habits and I am glad I did. I got sick about two months after ending my meat consumption due to my cells releasing stored toxins, but I stuck with it and eventually it passed. Sure I loved a good porterhouse and sizzling strips of bacon, but I got over it. And although I initially did not stop eating meat due to my feelings about factory farming, after a few years this became another factor in my decision and I will never go back to eating meat again. As a result, my energy is sky high and I feel younger than my years by a good margin. If you eat meat, may I suggest that you only choose grass-fed beef and animals that are farm-raised? It’s the least you can do to stop the cruelty and protect our environment.

10. Forgive. This might be the toughest choice of all. Throughout life we are faced with a lot of a-hole behavior that challenges us in many ways. Do we lower ourselves to respond in kind? Do we simply turn our heads away and ignore the slights? Or do we acknowledge the bad decisions people make and forgive them? I suggest the latter choice. When we forgive, we release negativity and we grow as individuals who are connected by the oneness of spirit. Forgiveness does not require you to forget the transgressions, but it allows you to rise above the darkness. I assure you it will lighten your mental and spiritual load. Try it and you’ll see.

There are many more ways to tend to your physical, mental and spiritual health, but any of these ten tips will add to your wellbeing regardless of your age. Thank you for reading and considering integrating any of these tips into your lifestyle. I wish you all the best.

This week’s GUY’S GUYS of the week is you, and all the folks who have read my novel or any of my 250 blog posts, listened to any of my 150 podcast episodes, or visited my website. The growing Guy’s Guy movement is all about making the world a better place where men and women can be at their best. It’s that simple. Better men. Better world.  

Ask the Guy's Guy: How to Keep Your Man Happy

Robert Manni - Saturday, August 08, 2015

Five Guy's Guy-Tested Diets That Actually Work

Robert Manni - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today’s manufactured food is a joke. It’s processed, it’s laden with GMO’s, filled with hidden salt and sugar, lacks nutrition, and is drizzled with flavor-enhancing ingredients that have you longing for more. Just look around and you can see the results. We are a culture with an expanding waistline and increasing heath risks. Face itthe vast majority of us carry around extra, unwanted pounds. And I know you want to slim down, especially during these warm months when our bodies get more exposure.

Guy’s Guys like to stay in shape. Of course we also enjoy fun times along and the food and drinks that usually accompany them. So we need a few surefire ways to combat those excess pounds and win the battle of the bulge. As I age, I’ve made it a mission to find the best methods for losing weight fast, effectively, and most importantly naturally in a healthy environment. I’m not going to get into the science on all these methods I’ll suggest. There's oodles of information online, so pick out the one that feels right for you and see how it goes. You’ll need to stick with any of these programs for at least two to three weeks to get results that last. The last thing you want to do is yo-yo back to your prior habits and gain back all the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose. Use these diets as gateways to adapting your relationship with food and the subsequent choices you make throughout the day. Every decision counts. Sugar is the enemy, so if you are going to diet you’ll have to eliminate the booze, ice cream, and sugary stuff. This will make a huge difference in your results.

So, in no particular order, here are your Guys’ Guy’s five favorite diets, fasts and cleanses. I’ve tried each of them more than once, so although this is not based on detailed empirical research, your Guy’s Guy has put them all to the test with positive results across the board.

1. ORGANIC JUICE CLEANSE – I’ve dedicated an earlier blog to this one, so you know this is something I believe in. You’ll need a juicer that separates the fiber from the fruit or vegetable. I use the Solo Star II. You can buy it online. It extracts the pure juice for consumption while eliminating the fiber. You’ll want to juice with organic fruits and vegetables. It also helps if you keep the inherent sugar content low, so monitor the intake of sugar-laden fruits and veggies like apples, carrots and beets. In fact, I suggest avoiding all fruits besides green apples and go strictly veggie for maximum results. Prior to this program you may want to clean yourself out by drinking a half-gallon of salt water and then…well you know what happens after that.

There are lots of veggies to choose from including kale, spinach, chard, cilantro, dandelion (does not taste good), ginger, lemon, and celery basically anything green and organic. You will get results after a week. I did this a few times for two weeks and lost more than ten pounds both times. If you use this cleanse to begin a healthier way of eating, you’ll be pleased with this new lifestyle.

2. MASTER CLEANSE – You also start this one with the prerequisite salt-water ritual. After that you consume only pure, filtered water with a scoop of Master Cleanse powder mixed in. I used the Vibrant Cleanse brand which can be purchased online or at any health store. The powder is a combination of lemon juice, grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. It tastes better than it sounds and I assure you, the weight will peel off your body within a few days if you can adapt to not eating solid foods. You can consume as much of the solution as you like, but that’s all you’ll consume during this fast/cleanse. That could be anywhere from one day to a month based on your preference and goals. It really works. I’ve tried it three cleanses now and lost about 13 pounds in 8-10 days each time.

3. SMASH FAT DIET – This diet was made famous by Dr. Ian K. Smith M.D.’s book from nine years ago. It’s a ninety-day program broken into four phases with an objective of re-wiring your body and its relationship with food to one of moderation and balance. That said, for the first nine days, you focus your diet on predominately fruits and veggies with the exception of white potatoes and avocados. You can eat 4-5 meals a day, but the choices are in my opinion, limited. No peanut butter, meat, fish, cheese, bread, alcohol and most of the sugary stuff that tastes so good. After the initial phase, the subsequent phases allow more items into your choices in small portions. With each phase, the foods and portion sizes increase. The key is getting through the first nine days. I completed the program and it worked—I lost over ten pounds and felt great after completing all four phases, which lasted about six weeks, and I kept the weight off. The book is available everywhere and it includes a lot of tasty recipes. It’s worth a try.

4. INTERMEDIATE FASTING – This is a relatively new concept and it’s easy. The concept is to limit your food intake to an eight-hour period every day. Then you fast for the remaining 16 hours. If you have fasted in the past, it’s not that challenging. But you need to make sure you don’t gorge yourself during those eight hours allotted to eating. Many athletes are doing various versions of this so there is a lot of information available online concerning the different ways of attacking this fast and eat paradigm.

At the very least you will eliminate a meal each day, which can be a good thing given the state of our food supply. I’ve tried intermittent fasting a few times and it worked to a point. I had trouble not pigging out during my noon to 8pm feeding time. I’m more of an all or nothing dieter, so this was easy to execute, but I found disciplining myself without pigging out difficult. The good news is you can set your eating times as you wish, provided you limit it to eight hours. You can also do this by fasting one day and eating the next day. It’s all under the umbrella of what is referred to as “mini-fasting”.

5. SUGAR AND GLUTEN FREE DIET – I’ve just completed this one and it was a bitch. However, it yielded the best results by far. The concept is to eliminate all the bad stuff from your diet while detoxing your body from potential hidden parasites and funguses, sugar-related candida overgrowth and gluten intolerance from the western diet. Sounds gross, but the fact is many people have candida overgrowth, and microtoxins lurking in their bodies in the form of funguses and parasites. To counter this you eliminate sugar (that includes foods with hidden sugar, which includes almost everything), gluten, breads, pasta, potatoes, cereal, grain, peanuts, mushrooms, pizza, cheese, rice, oats, meat, booze, soda, cake, candy, pies, cookies, fruits except green apples, sugary veggies (beets and carrots), etc. I can go on and on, but anything with simple carbs that can turn into sugar and also condiments like ketchup. For the past month I’ve existed on water, organic plain yogurt, salads with organic olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing, eggs, broiled fish, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, and herbal tea. Eeek! But, it works and I feel great.

My waistline is down at least three inches, I lost thirteen pounds during the first two weeks and have remained stable at my new weight. And, I’m lean. I lost some muscle and bulk, but my clothes fit better and my mental clarity is razor-sharp. I do indoor cardio, but without the carbs I don't have the strength for my nine-mile runs or free weights. Besides the obvious benefits of weight loss and eliminating microtoxins and candida, I am also reprogramming my lifestyle and relationship with food. And that’s really the key to losing and maintaining the proper weight. I’m pretty happy with how this has gone and I doubt I will go back to my former overindulgent ways. I’m not going to exist on pumpkin seeds and yogurt all the time, but I will be mindful of what I eat and I will monitor my sugar intake very carefully.

So, there is some food for thought for all of you guys and gal looking for efficient ways of losing weight and improving your health. As mentioned, you get lots more info on all of these methods online. The most important thing is to find something that works for you and incorporate its foundation into your lifestyle. And, most of all, cut out the sugar.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Plotinus, who back in the early 200’s A.D. suggested to one of his students with gout to eat every other day for better health. The student followed this direction and regained his health so I guess we could argue that Plotinus was the father of intermittent fasting.

6 Ways to Brighten Up Your Summer

Robert Manni - Monday, July 13, 2015

It was late June when I marched through Penn Station and saw the first fantasy football publication on display at the newsstand.

Wow. We live in a “can’t stand still” culture where slowing things down is a real challenge. And in summer it’s critical to find the time stop to smell the flowers before their bloom gives way to autumn.

Guy’s Guys are optimists, and we love summer. The days are longer and the skirts are shorter, but that’s just one reason why your Guy’s Guy has pulled together a handful of nuggets to help you make the most of summer. I won’t be breaking any new ground here. Think of it as Guy Guy cheerleading. You see, I don’t want to imagine you hunched in your cubicle on a rainy day this October, slurping ramen noodles and wondering what the f-ck happened to summer. So here goes, amigos:

1. Get Outside – For context, I know it’s no fun walking around in the city with the temperatures in the nineties and that a hint of a breeze only wafts the smell of the rows garbage bags lined up along the sidewalks. That can drive any urban dweller indoors to the comforts of a cold shower, a frosty brew, and binge watching your favorite show. But before you close the curtains and turn up the AC, let me remind you that there are many wonderful respites from the heat outside.

In New York, we have the wonders of Central Park, the cool breezes along the Hudson River Walk, sexy outdoor cafes, and just a reasonably short ride to one of our local beaches. But regardless of where you live, summer is the best time for outdoor activities like running, tennis, softball, fishing, kiting, a long walk or even a quiet meditation under a shady tree. Your choices are endless. But at the same time, when you live in the Northeast, you’re on the clock when it comes to the seasons and the nice weather.

So make the most of those short summer months and get your butt outdoors. Trust me, even when it’s hot, if you’re in decent health, your body will acclimate to the heat. Personally, I rarely use the AC. My body adjusts naturally and I find that even the slightest breeze cools me off. In fact, I feel cool and refreshed while perspiring profusely during a long run.

2. Seek Water – There is something relaxing about water. Even my two-year-old son often takes a break from his wandering to sit by the Harlem Meer and watch its tranquil waters. I love sitting by the ocean and quieting my mind with the crashing waves providing a calming soundtrack to my thoughts. Swimming, surfing, sailing, water-skiing, fishing, rafting… need I say more? There are so many things to do when you are in the proximity of water. And if you prefer relaxing, pull up a blanket and catch some rays, people watch, or take a nap.

3. Get Physical – Spring blows by quickly these days. Here in NYC it seems like the temps jump from the 50’s directly to the 90’s. There is no smooth slide into summer anymore. So many people get caught off guard when out of the blue the temps hit the 80’s. They panic, thinking, “oh shit, I’m so out of shape and it’s summer. It’s too late to get in shape. I’ll just stay covered up.” Nonsense. The long days of summer provide a perfect opportunity to begin a new workout program or turn your current fitness regime up a few notches. Summer mornings are great for a run or any physical activity. The key is getting out there and doing something. In no time, you’ll see results. And even if the weather turns cold earlier than usual, you’ll have built a solid foundation and jumpstarted your efforts for staying fit in shape and looking good for the holidays.

4. Read – Most of us are glued to the computer screen or the television. How do we find the time to kick back with a novel? The good news is that summer often harkens a more leisurely pace at work due to vacations and in some industries a slowdown. With a little effort, I’m sure you can find time during the summer to crack open a good book. May I recommend my novel, The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love?

5. Fall in Love – If you ask me, people seem to let down their guard a bit and act friendlier when the weather is pleasant. Take advantage of it and paste a smile on your face, amigo. Once Old Man Winter comes calling, there will be plenty long cold nights where you will not want to bundle up and venture outside, no matter how bored you are. Summer is the perfect time for making new connections. It doesn’t mean you have to get serious, but I met my wife on a sunny day in July and we were in love by the end of the summer. Anything is possible, especially in the summer, but you’ve got to get out there and mix it up to make it happen. There are many other people out there like you looking to make new friends. You’ve got to be in it to win it.

6. Hit the Road – There's no better tonic for the blahs than a spur of the moment road trip. And summer is the perfect time for hitting the highway. It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, just meeting up with your buds with get the sparks flying. Whether it’s camping, hitting a music festival, or checking out a new city, you’ll have the weather on your side all summer. Make the best of it. And if you want to travel somewhere exotic, summer is off-season in the Caribbean so you can score great rates on airfare and lodging.

So next time you hear yourself complaining about the heat, stop and think about the ice, snow, and bitter cold that will be greeting us this winter. So close that laptop, throw on your favorite shorts and a polo shirt, shut that apartment door behind you, and roll.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week are The Beach Boys. Like the Rolling Stones, this American musical institution, also recently marked their fiftieth anniversary with a tour. And their infectious songs celebrate the coolest things about summer like women, surfing, beaches, cars and fun, fun, fun. 

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