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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Guys' Guy's Tips for Your First Marathon

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 29, 2015


Running a marathon means running and completing the 26.2 miles.

Too many runners do not train properly and as a result have to drop out early or look like death if they make it to the finish line. Having completed three marathons, I’m no expert, but I do have real experience to share that will hopefully make your special day one of real achievement, personal satisfaction and injury-free. There are numerous books, online resources and clubs like the New York Road Runners or New York Flyers that can help you train for success. Consider this a topping of marzipan on your training cake, Guy’s Guy style.

Train in Advance.

I was listening to the New York Marathon broadcast on WFAN a year before running my first marathon. I was on a five-mile run and decided that I would train for a year and find a way into the race. It turned out the training was easier than actually getting a number. It was pre-9/11 and a female friend gave me her number, so I carefully made my way past the security checks and got on the bus, into the marathon compound, and up to the starting line at the Verrazano Bridge without a hitch. Don’t do this. It was nerve-racking.

Technically anyone can run a marathon. The key is putting in consistent training, staying healthy and managing minor injuries, and really wanting it. Runners need a foundation. That means logging lots of miles as a base prior to adding necessary mileage needed to be able to run a marathon. Beginning your training early will keep you healthy and focused. I highly recommend allotting a minimum of four months for training, even if many plans call for three months.

Proper Diet.

Face it. We are what we eat, and what we’re offered by the big food companies these days is not so good. If you are serious, you’ll buy a juicer and use it on organic veggies and fruits as part of your daily regime. If not, at least cut out the junk, booze and fast food. You’ll recover from your long runs a lot faster and it will keep your energy up. During the race I ate constantly (fruit, pieces of bagels, energy bars and gels) and slowed down at many of the water stops to grab a cup so I would stay hydrated.

Manage Your Injuries.

When you are logging in so many training miles—including a minimum of two twenty-mile training runs where no one is cheering you on— you learn a lot about your body and its capacity for pain. I suspect you will experience some discomfort or minor injury. Don’t ignore injuries, no matter how small. They can get serious quickly. You may need to take a day or two off to heal. All the more reason to begin your training months in advance. A marathon is a long haul, not a sprint. Treat your training the same way. Long and slow. If you want to amp up your strength and endurance, work in speed intervals, but regardless of your approach, pay attention to your body and your mental state. You will need to keep both in top shape.

Don’t Overtrain.

Your body needs rest so few days off after a twenty-mile practice run is a good thing. One reason is that you’ll do another twenty-miler in a few weeks and before the marathon. Get to bed at a reasonable hour and take advantage of naps whenever you can afford the time. Stress is your body’s archenemy, so do your best to keep your mind relaxed. I mentally mapped out the plot and necessary revisions for two novels while running. Let those endorphins be your ally.

Enjoy the Race.

When marathon day arrives, make it a time of celebration. If you’ve put in the proper amount of training, you should have a great time soaking in a once in a lifetime experience of competing at the level of an elite, world-class athlete. It is a real accomplishment. Here is my number one tip for the race—go slow. You are embarking on a twenty-six mile (plus change) journey. It’s long, really long and you are only competing with yourself. Focus on enjoying the day, the experience, the spectacle and the people. If you are full of pep with less than ten miles to go, you can pick up your pace. I assure you that while you are making up time, others will hit that wall and bonk out after mile twenty.

My first NYC Marathon was my favorite. I ran with a good friend, took my time, had lots of energy after we entered Manhattan, and actually sprinted through Central Park and across the finish line. That evening I went out with friends, devoured a plate of Mexican food and pounded a few celebratory tequila shots. Yeah, I was sore as hell the next few days, but I felt great. I ran my race exactly as I planned it. I completed two more marathons, but it wasn’t the same, for me at least. I became too concerned with my time and as a result struggled both times in the last third of the race. Take it slow and you won’t be sorry, friends.

Are you ready to run your marathon?

This week’s Guy’s Guys and Gals of the Week are theparticipants in this year’s NYC Marathon. Have a blast and stay safe. 


The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love - An Exploration of the Heart

Robert Manni - Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Jagger had it right when he sang, “Love, it’s a bitch”.

Sure, it makes the world go around and can make your heart go pitter, patter, but love can also break your heart and cause a lot of pain. How can we maintain a loving heart in a world filled with so much hateful behavior? At times it’s hard to love our fellow man. But, it’s not all bad. If you look deep inside, there is a light that shines. It’s a spark, that part of you that comes from God. And it keeps burning no matter what.

This week, your Guy’s Guy is taking on love, with all the hurt and happiness that accompanies it. This one’s is not about my novel, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love per se, but it runs along a parallel path by exploring the different kinds of love we experience—romantic, friendship, family love, and the love of humanity and all its flaws. Hopefully, we’ll come to the same conclusion; ultimately love is all we have, and we need to do everything we can to express it every day.

Let’s take a look at the various forms of love, to see if we can find common ground, and ways to understand how we can keep our love alive.

1. Family - The old saying states that you can’t choose your family. But I’ve also read in spiritual texts that before incarnating we choose our parents and family based on lessons we need to learn.

This makes more sense to me, because human ascension requires certain experiences for growth. I’m sure many people would welcome the opportunity to choose their families again because not every familial situation brings joy. Throughout history, family members have done horrible things to their relatives. Not all, but some. That’s just how it goes. And I think you’d agree that at times, everyone’s family seems like it’s totally screwed up. But however we became connected to our families, we’re here now and in it together, so we need to find ways to make the best of it. I’ve learned this the hard way.

Maybe your family is like mine. I like speaking my mind, and for years I assumed you could talk to your family honestly about anything. But I was wrong. My family is made up of good, well-intended people. The problem is, they don’t get me—at all. Compounding the issue, my brood doesn’t share its feelings. Over the years, this has created frustration and occasional outbursts. Over time, I reluctantly decided to shut up and look elsewhere for understanding, validation, and honesty. At family functions I bite my tongue (for the most part) and I’ve learned that it’s better to simply love them than try to get them to understand me. There wasn’t one incident that switched on the light. It took time, lots of time, to understand that although these nice people are my family, it doesn’t mean that they think the same way I do or live their lives the way I do. And, it’s okay. I’ll love them unconditionally regardless. In my heart I thank them for their love and the lessons they are teaching me. I love them.

2. Friends – What’s the old saying? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. At times, they can feel like one and the same.

I’ve done my very best to maintain long-term friendships, and as you know, that’s not always easy. Some people change and evolve, and others travel a different path. But that’s okay. If my friends and I remain on the same page with how we relate, laugh, and treat others, we’re good. But of course, that’s not always the case. Everyone relates to their friends differently. Some never initiate a call, but they are always there if you come up with an idea. There can be misunderstandings, and for some, it’s easier to talk behind a friend’s back than engage in an honest conversation about a point of contention.

I have a friend of over thirty years who for some reason did not respond to my wedding invitation. Ironically, I had been his best man. Eventually I called him two days before the wedding. When I asked if he was attending, he danced and dodged about things that were going on in his life. He couldn't bring himself to just say “no”. Instead he said, “I might stop by.” WTF? Initially I was understandably irked and cut him out of my life. But over time, he began reaching out and acting very cordial and differential to me. Still no mention of the wedding. I finally got together with him this summer when he arranged a road trip and bought concert tickets for our old crew. I showed up and had a nice time. Still no mention of my wedding. I had to make a decision. We’d been friends for decades, but it just wasn’t in him to deal with that issue. Like me, he is a flawed individual, although we do things differently. So, although I don’t go out of my way to see him anymore, I let the ”issue” pass. In my heart, I love him as a person, and for the good times we shared. I’ve moved on. That’s all there is.

You have to make smart choices about friends and which ones are worth keeping. You’re not going to change them, so you either accept them as they are or move on. Sometimes, the choices are tough, but if you use your heart as a guide you’ll make the right decisions. And, you can still love them for the times you shared.

3. Romance – Love hurts. No matter how you look at it, we’ve all felt the pain of a broken heart.

The good news is that relationships are great teachers. The practice of opening our hearts is a great practice. I have loved and lost, loved and lusted, and simply loved. I most enjoy loving and lusting. The biggest challenge for most people when it comes to love is letting go. In retrospect, every time I got dumped turned into ultimate good fortune. I managed to avoid marriage until a few years ago, and I am glad I did.

My last long-term girlfriend dumped me. I suspect she was cheating on me with a colleague. She didn’t cop to it, but all the signs were there. They took unnecessary business trips together and then he and his wife, at the time, took us to a concert, and it felt weird. When the end came, I was at initially devastated. My heart did not want to let go. But, it was time, so I shed a tear or two and moved on. They got married and I dated like crazy before finally meeting my wife. Now I’m beyond grateful that all of this happened. I had my fun, got away from an unfulfilling relationship, and met the right person for me.

Looking back on all of my relationships, I can honestly say that at the time I loved all of these women and regardless of the dirty details of the break-ups, I harbor no negative feelings for them. In fact I love them as people and hope they are happy. We had our good times and I am grateful. It’s so much easier this way. After all, who wants to be in a relationship with someone who does not share the same feelings toward them? It’s easier to simply love.

4 . The Human Race – People do screwed-up, crazy, mean shit to each other every day.

It upsets me, especially the little stuff, because it is so unnecessary. Here's an example: I hire a plumber to replace my water heater. They do the job, but while at my place, promise to come back a replace a cartridge in my leaky faucet. Since he did not have one on the truck, the guy who did the work said he would come back in a few days, give me the plastic cartridge for free and charge me 15 minutes time to fix it. I’ve been calling the main office on a daily basis for over a week now to get this done. Unfortunately, I’m forced to deal with the same repressed, passive-aggressive person who always answers the phone. She keeps finding reasons for why the work has not been scheduled yet. “I told my boss”. ”He doesn’t come in to the office much”. “I gave her the message”. “We’re very busy right now”. She’s got a new excuse every time I call. And she never calls me back. It’s obvious that she has no interest in helping me. In fact, in her own strange way she’s getting off on exerting her minuscule bit of power in life by preventing me from having my faucet repaired. What can I do?

I decided to thank her internally for helping to teach myself how to control my temper and develop patience. I’m almost choking on my words, but I love her. I may feel like giving her a wedgie, but I realize that she has her own issues. I recognize that we both come from the same loving spark of God. And so, I will love her, no matter how difficult it feels. And, I’ll check out YouTube and most likely fix the faucet myself.

There’s so much more to love. For me, the key is to recognize that we all come from the same spark. It’s not up to us to decide who is worthy or not of love because we are all equally deserving. I know it can be a challenge, but love is why we are here. Learn how to love everyone.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is ex-Beatle, John Lennon, who so aptly said, “It matters not who you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love”.

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.

Here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO BEATING THE BLUES:

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.

Sports.

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


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