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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

10 Questions Guys Need to Ask Themselves Before Getting Married

Robert Manni - Sunday, July 30, 2017


I was single for so many years that no one bothered asking me anymore when I was getting married.

But then I got married, and I am glad I did. Marriage is one of, if not the most important, decisions you will ever make; yet many folks take this life-changing decision lightly. Nowadays the divorce rate exceeds fifty percent and until recent times who ever heard of a “starter marriage”? Take it from a Guy’s Guy. Don’t get married until you are absolutely certain that she is the one or you will pay a big price for your folly. I know so many guys who either married too young, grew apart from their spouses, or decided wanted to trade in their partner for a younger, hotter model. They all have one thing in common. They’re paying for it now.

Now, I’m not saying that when two people become partners in this fast paced modern world that it is always going to work out just fine. No sir, amigo. Shit happens and some of it hits you in the face when you least expect it. And it’s not necessarily your fault or that of your spouse. Life gets complicated, so unless you are a true risk taker, I suggest you do your homework and then think long and hard before getting married. If this sounds harrowing, it shouldn’t. Getting married to the right woman can be the best thing that ever happens to a guy. Take it from one who waited before finally hitting the jackpot. My experience confirmed what my gut told me. Do not get married until it feels right inside. And when you find that special woman, you’ll breeze through my list of ten questions guys needs to ask themselves before getting married. When it feels right inside and the stars are aligned, the answers come quick and they’re affirming. I hope they work for you the way they worked for me. Here goes… 

1. Am I truly ready to be a married man? Marriage is a lifelong commitment. And it’s no joke, so make damn sure you’re aware of what you’re signing up for before you take that leap. Marriage means you are entering a partnership built on a bond built on love, trust and respect. I strongly suggest that you look inside and ask yourself if getting married feels like the right decision. If there is any hesitation, take a deep breath and ask yourself again. If your underlying hesitation remains, you might want to reconsider your options. Ignore any outside pressures. This is your life, amigo. You hold the answers inside your heart.

2. What kind of future will I have with her? Do your best to peek into your shared future and visualize the kind of life that awaits the two of you. Where do you want to live, work, play, vacation, travel, settle down and buy a home, and spend your sunset days together? These questions can go on and on. Do your best to “see” your future with this lady. If you like what you see, proceed to the next question.

3. Will I be content not shagging other women for the rest of my life? This is usually an unspoken area, but in many ways for a guy, it becomes the issue. And if you are a horn dog like me, you’ll want a woman in total synch with your boning stylings. If she is the only one you’ll be rumpling the sheets with, you two better be simpatico about sex. Maybe, and this is a long shot, you both will be cool with an open marriage. It could happen, but don’t count on it. Unless you are a douche, once you tie the knot, your prowling nights are over. Yeah, you can always look at the menu, but ultimately the big dogs like to eat. Make sure you are cool with this.

4. What are her expectations? Guess what? It’s not all about you. If she’s going to invest her body, mind, and spirit in commune with you for what could be her entire life, she deserves to know what she’s getting into. If you think she’s the one for you, make sure you don’t hold back any creepy secrets that would give her pause. Let her know about your dreams and aspirations and how you’ll be there for her. And ask her what she expects from you along the way. It’s only fair that you are transparent and that you feel comfortable with her needs.

5. Do you both want kids? This can be a deal breaker. Everyone has their own vision of what their future family will look like, and not every woman wants to have kids, or wants to stay home and care for them. So if you want three kids and she wants none, or she wants to work and you want her to raise the kids, these issues could become a sore point as the years go by. Maybe you’ll have to take care of the kids! It happens a lot nowadays. Will she be cool with that? Will you? Get the details about children out in the open before walking to the altar. I was single for so long that I didn’t think I would ever become a father, and I was okay with it. That said—I kept an open mind in case the woman I married wanted to start a family. And here I am now, a doting father of a four year old. And I could not be happier.

6. Do I like her family? You might not think that this matters, but it does. In the vast majority of cases, you’re going to have quite a few interactions with your in-laws. So if you really can’t stand being around them, think twice before moving forward. Hey, you might find out that they don’t like you either. 

7. Does she make me laugh? The power of humor is underrated. When I think about it, most of my friends are funny, or at least know how to laugh. If you can’t make your future wife laugh, you are in trouble. And hopefully, she can get a rise out of you, too. This becomes important when you fight (which you will) and how you make up (which you will also do). I highly recommend finding a partner that laughs easily at your shenanigans. You want to make her laugh, don’t you? 

8. Do I really want to grow old with her? Fast forward thirty or forty years. She no longer rocks a black bikini the way she used to, and maybe she’s put on a few pounds. And you have less hair, worse eyesight, and a belly. Can you handle that? I actually weigh less than I did thirty years ago and I still run the same times. Why? Because I give a shit and I invest time in taking care of myself. And, frankly I expect the same of my partner. Think about how you will handle her looks and health three decades from now. Can you handle the variables? My advice is that you set the example by taking care of your health and fitness as a matter of lifestyle and pride. There is nothing wrong with a little pride when it’s for the greater good.

9. Does she fight fair? Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are like an old married couple. They fight, they avoid one another, and yet they still make wonderful music when they come together. Be like Mick and Keith. You can fight, but don’t hit below the belt. And always forgive. That doesn’t mean you become a doormat. You may not instantly forget shit they may have done, but it means that you don’t allow your partner’s behavior or your anger eat you up from the inside. The point is, marriage is a like long dance when it comes to managing emotions. Take the lead and make it a waltz. 

10a. Do we share the same values? Another underrated, but important thing to consider. By values, I’m referring to what you value you as people. It’s not about money. We’ll get to that. It’s more about how you both see humanity, and your role in making this world a better place. Do you both care about this, or is she the only one who cares about clean water, feeding the poor, education, and health care. What if she prefers country life and you dig the big city? Think about all of your values or you may end up marrying someone with a completely different set of beliefs. Can you imagine a Trump loyalist married to a Bernie supporter? You think that would work out?

10b. Are we in synch on financial issues? To solve a mystery, they often say, “follow the money”. When it comes to marriage, you best be in synch when it comes to how you view and handle the cash. If not, you could be in deep shit, and it could happen quickly. Nowadays, many couples have separate bank accounts. I think this is a good practice, but it doesn’t guarantee that financial issues won’t beguile your marriage. Money problems are near the top of every divorce hearing. There is a reason for it. People have their individual relationships to money, many times formulated during their upbringing. If you like to save and she likes to spend, good luck, champ.

11. BONUS QUESTION - What’s in it for her?  Why should she marry you? Think about it. What do you have to offer her that would inspire her to spend the rest of her life listening to you snore and watching the Jets lose? She can give you love, emotional support, children, and the kind of love that only a woman can share. What are you going to do for her? If it all boils down to is you making a paycheck, you are skating on thin ice, amigo. Think long and hard about how you can add to her life emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. She deserves it. So do you.

With marriage there is a lot to consider, but then again, if it’s meant to be, you’ll breeze through these questions. If you have to think long and hard about any of the points I raised, then you might want to think hard and possibly reconsider your options. After all, you want to be fair to yourself and your partner. If deep down, it really doesn’t feel right, no matter how much pressure you may be under, don’t do it. After all, who wants to spend their life with someone who may secretly not feel the same about them?

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is my father, Serge Manni. He was twenty-five when he married my mother, who was 21. They have been married for 67 years now. Sure, they have had their arguments and they are very different people, but underneath it all they have consistently maintained their love for one another. And ultimately, love is the fuel that drives a marriage. Good luck, amigo. I hope you make the right decision. It will change your life. Just ask any Guy’s Guy.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Staying Young

Robert Manni - Thursday, May 25, 2017


I usually agree with Mick Jagger, but not when he sings, “What a drag it is getting old,” in Mother’s Little Helper.

Aging is something we all face, but it doesn’t have to be a drag. Genes play a role in how we age, but we can’t let that be an excuse for inactivity and not fighting the good fight versus Father Time. We all know Gen-Xers who look like overweight, fading boomers, and we all know boomers who run marathons and look great. It comes down to life-altering decisions about how we deal with getting older.

Science has proven that the human body replaces all its cells on a regular basis, so you’re not the same person you were five years ago—all of your cells have been replaced. Wounds heal, we gain weight, and some of us keep the hair on our heads. Studies have proven that regardless of your family’s history of a certain disease, it does not necessarily mean you will get it. But, your chances for contracting an illness skyrockets if you allow your subconscious to believe you’re destined to get sick. The point is, when it comes to aging, you can’t leave it up to your genes or family history. Your health and quality of life often comes down to your attitude, beliefs and the choices you make in how you live each day.

With this in mind, I offer you The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Staying Young. Listen, I’m just a Guy’s Guy. I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one of television. But I’m a survivor, and have experienced health scares that forced me to look into the abyss. I’ve done my research, practiced what I’ve learned on my own body, mind and spirit, and have lived to tell. And, I’m better than ever. So let’s get started. Here are a handful of ways to age like a Guy’s Guy.

1. Diet – You are what you eat, amigo. And if you want to age well, look younger than your years, and stay in shape, you need to give that old single-guy diet an overhaul by the time you reach forty. Otherwise, as the years roll on, you’ll have a much tougher time changing your eating habits and making the right choices for your health around the dinner table. It’s not that hard. Simply put, at every meal you make a series of choices to eat either this or that. Start making more of the right choices, and I promise you the process will get easier and pay off in spades in the long run. Start by eliminating or cutting way back on sugar, meat, processed foods, GMO-based foods, dairy, and table salt. Unfortunately, that means staying away from the bacon, too. Of course, go easy on the alcohol, and no smoking. Although most guys like myself considered themselves to be indestructible when we were in our twenties, by the time we hit forty our metabolisms change and it starts taking more time to bounce back. And if we keep abusing our bodies the way we did in college, we pay via expanded waistlines, toxic organs including fatty livers and heavy hearts, and a decline in life force energy.

2. Exercise – I ran my first marathon at age forty. And fortunately I did it the right way. Instead of diving into an intensive three months of training and long runs, I began laying the groundwork on the road a full year before the race. And I’m glad I did. I cruised through the finish line of my first NYC Marathon feeling elated. After a shower I met my friends for a festive Mexican meal and a few shots of good tequila. I should have counted my blessings and taken some time off and healed my body. But, no, I decided to run another marathon a few months later and paid a stiff price. I hit the wall hard in that second race and avoided long runs for a few years. Four years later I ran my third and final marathon. I was in the best shape of my life, but ran the worst race. Maybe it was due to my advanced age. I’m not sure. But I listened to my body during that grueling race when it told me in no uncertain terms that this was our final marathon. I might run a half marathon, but I’m done with the 26.2 miler. 

Partially through proper fitness, I have been fortunate enough to preserve my joints, tendons and knees over the years. So, I’ve kept to a steady regime of running, elliptical training, push-ups, and intervals of weight training to keep me toned. I walk everywhere and almost always take the stairs. Maybe I’m lucky, but I’d argue that I’m somewhat responsible for creating my health through my choices and a lifelong investment in maintaining my body.

Anyone can get in shape at any age. But the longer you wait, the tougher it gets. I suggest starting slow, and staying consistent. Even if you get an injury, try not to let yourself fall too far out of shape. It gets harder and harder to make your way back as the years roll by.

3. Rest and stay positive - You work hard. You play hard. Your body, mind, and spirit need rest. And as you age you’ll need more time to recuperate from working out, a long night out, or a whole lotta love. Sleep is a gift. Your body will thank you. And when life knocks you down, don’t take it personally. We’re here to learn and you can bounce back. A positive outlook goes a long way in your preservation.

4. Meds – When my check ups and tests don’t go as well as I’d like, I do my research I read, talk to people—many in the holistic field, and try various natural remedies before succumbing to meds. Case in point: after a very high cholesterol reading, my doctor suggested that I either go on a vegan diet or take a statin drug. I told him I would see him in a year before making a final decision. I stopped eating meat and cut back on fried foods and foods with high cholesterol for a year, while also working out consistently. Happily, when we tested the following year, my number dropped 90 points and then dropped another 35 the following year. Of course there are times we need meds, but ultimately you need to consult your physician, consider your options and do what you feel is right for you. Keep and open mind and consider trying out natural remedies. You’ll be surprised at what Mother Nature provides us.

5. Never stop learning - Keeping your mind sharp as you age is as important as staying in shape. Throughout our lives, humans only scratch the surface in tapping less than 10 % of our brains’ potential. For many, especially, many of the boomer guys I know, reading is defined as working on the computer as day, scrolling through their phone, or a quick pass through A.M. New York while riding the subway to the office. What ever happened to reading books?  Nurturing and feeding your mind through reading helps expand our horizons and keeps our minds sharp.

Quick story. I exchange texts with an old friend who is a big fan of our current president. His texts read like a rehash of whatever some Fox News host griped about the previous night. I routinely rip him a new one because my pal leads with his chin and does not show a trace of discernment about any issues. Everything comes down to bad versus good, us versus them, and black versus white. People who read know our world is complicated. When a television show needs big blocks of text to support the host’s point of view it shows a lack of depth or an open mind on the subject. It’s called brainwashing and unfortunately, it works on lazy minds.

6. Choose love over fear – When it’s all said and done, do you want to face your final days having lived a life based on making important choices based on fear or love? Choosing love keeps you young. It empowers you to the possibilities that come your way each and every day. Having an open mind is critical to keeping a youthful attitude and a spiritually grounded perspective, especially when we face life’s inevitable challenges. Choose love, amigos. It will keep you young.

7. Enjoy sex – When you’ve been married a long time and have kids and pressure and all the rest of the stuff that eats up our time, it’s easy to forego sex. Often, we pass out on the couch in front of the television before sleepwalking into the bedroom and crashing. Sex is important, amigos. If it gets overlooked for too long, relationships sour, bitterness ensues, and our body rebels when it’s not getting its fair share of intimate pleasure. Folks, please find a way to keep your love alive and the sexual fires burning. A good romp in the sack is good for the heart and the soul and if you ask me, it’s life affirming.

I could go on and on, but I think we’ve covered a number of simply practices that will keep you feeling, looking and being young for many, many years. Life can be a long, beautiful trip. All you have to do is strap in, make positive decisions, and enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. I hope yours lasts a long, long time.

This week's This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Jack LaLanne, the man who opened America’s first fitness gyms. Jack’s long running television show in the sixties was built around wellness and staying young. And as a show of his commitment to his message, each year Jack would conduct a physical feat far exceeding the expectations of someone his age. At age 54, he defeated a 21-year old Arnold Schwarzenegger in a fitness contest. Jack lived 96 healthy years. You can do it, too.

Where to Meet Women

Robert Manni - Sunday, April 23, 2017


In marketing we like to say, “fish where the fish are”. Why? Because to sell product you need to find out where and how your consumers live.

A few years ago I wrote the book, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love. Partially due to the title, I received a lot of exposure as a “dating expert”, whatever that means. My book is a novel, which means it’s fiction, but it deals in truths about men, women, and relationships. When I was interviewed on radio, television, and online, I was frequently asked where women could meet guys. Although I’ll devote a future post to where women can meet men, they are easy to find and unless they’re celebrities, universally open to women approaching them. But meeting women is trickier, so I thought I’d write about them first.

You see, when a woman is interested in a guy she sends signals that most guys don’t see. And for most guys, it’s tough to sort out if and when a woman is open and approachable. But, before a guy can even get to the place where he’ll need to summon the courage to introduce himself to a woman of interest, he needs to know where women congregate and which places are best for a guy striking up a conversation. That’s right, a conversation. Not a text, a swipe right or an email. Let’s discuss the best places for guys to meet quality women and how to navigate those environments for successful interactions. I won’t include bars and restaurants (better than bars for meeting women) because they are no brainers. Regardless of the location, a guy needs his élan, his confidence, and a sincere interest in getting to know a woman to succeed. So, without further adieu, here goes.

1. FITNESS CLASSES (yoga, spinning, cardio, and the gym etc.) – We’ve all seen the hotties glistening with sweat as they pour out of classes at Barry’s Boot Camp. It’s a sight to behold. They’re usually yapping to each other about the class as they make their way to the smoothie bar. And there are lots of great looking, cool women, but a guy is not going to make any headway if he gets in their face right after class. Same thing goes for a yoga class or while pumping iron in the gym. Even though there are hot chicks dripping with perspiration, how can a guy have a chance of breaking through?

The answer is patience, patience, and patience. These girls are working their butts off for a reason, and it’s not just to look good for their friends in their super skinny jeans. They want to look good for themselves and for guys.

To win, first a guy needs to find an activity that suits him. Let’s say it’s yoga. He’s not going to meet many women if he sucks at yoga and spends most of his time in class gawking at the nimble ladies doing the downward dog. He needs to start at the beginning, and that means by taking a basic class and showing up. Over time he will become a familiar face and he’ll develop his skills. But he’s got to have the same commitment for yoga as he does for meeting women. After a few classes, if he catches the eye of the woman he likes, he can begin the dance with a smile, a nod or a hello. That’s it. Over time he’ll get better at yoga, including knowing what to do with his mat and what to wear, all the while become a recognizable unthreatening face. Before long women will take notice of the new cool guy. They might show him some love by asking him a question, or he can begin with a very gentle approach of his own, maybe with an innocent question such as, “What do you think of the class?” The point is, when integrating into a female-dominated environment where they are sweaty and focused and getting into their spiritual zone, you need to be cool. Over time, the shields will be lowered and you can make a few friends before deciding which one you want to really get to know. All it takes is patience and confidence. We always hear that women don’t want to be hit on at the gym, but I’ve met lots of women at the gym by taking the time to fit in, being polite and friendly, and most importantly, treating the ladies with respect for their space. It’s called being a gentleman and they will notice and appreciate it. 

2. LANGUAGE CLASSES – There must be a reason why little girls are more verbally adept than little boys. And if you think about it, even though guys are good at grunting, it seems that way with adults also. Language classes are packed with women and in this environment, they have to talk to you, even if it’s in French. At least it’s a start. I’m not suggesting that you take a language class just to meet women, because if you do you’ll probably be the slowest learner in class and that’s no way to impress the opposite sex. Learning a language is good for your brain and for your career, so investing one night a week in a Spanish, Mandarin, or French class can pay dividends for your resume and as a way to meet smart women. I took Spanish at night for four years and met some really cool women. Another bonus is that you usually don’t find drunken alpha dudes in these classes, so you don’t have to compete for a woman’s attention the same way you have to at a bar. 

3. ART MUSEUMS – After two years of taking my young son to the Museum of Natural History one day I decided to take him to the Museum of Modern Art. Holy crap, Batman! The place was jam-packed with attractive, well-dressed women.  Many of them were waltzing around, taking in the paintings on their own. This is a dream scenario for a guy who wants to meet cool women. But—and there’s always a but— it helps if you have some idea of what you are looking at and know something about the artists so you can carry on a conversation. Women appreciate art, so it helps to have your art game on if you want to score points. It also helps to dress up a bit for the museum. It adds to the picture that you project about yourself when meeting a lady. As always, maintain a low-key approach and make the woman feel comfortable when you do your thing. You don’t want to come across as creepy guy trying to pick up chicks at the Met.

4. RUNNING / RACES – This is another place where you’ll find lots of women. And almost all women who are runners are in great shape and have nice legs. I’m a runner, so trust me when I tell you that Central Park if slammed with good-looking women out for a run, especially right after work. I’ve also run a few races in my time and there are mucho women out there every Saturday or Sunday morning in parks all over the city or wherever you live. Running isn’t something you can fake. Like anything else you’ve got to put in the time, but if you do there will be ample opportunities to chat up new women after a run or race. When those endorphins are flowing, people feel pretty good and that’s always a cue for conversation.

5. WHOLE FOODS – I thought about calling this “food shopping”, but many of the city’s food markets like Trader Joe’s and West Side Market often feel crowded and too frenetic for meeting someone. Depending of what you buy, Whole Foods can be expensive, but it has the layout and an environment, and the well-heeled women that make it conducive to chatting up someone new. Again, keep it casual, smile, and start with an open-ended question about the organic quinoa.  

6. WORK – No matter how many warnings we’re given about not dating co-workers, doesn’t it seem like everyone you know has dated someone from the office? Maybe a reason is that we are spending more and more time toiling at work. Lots of people eat at their desks and many are forced to work ridiculous hours if all their team members of are drinking the boss lady’s Kool-Aid. But, you can only focus solely on work for so long. People are people, sparks are going to fly, and shit is going to happen. So, be smart.

I’ve dated and cohabitated with a co-worker. It can work, but it can create problems also. There is jealousy, envy, and lots more potential issues, especially if one of you is the boss. My recommendation is to keep your love life one step removed from your workspace. That means dating someone in another department, at an agency, or a partner company. Keeping things outside your physical space is a failsafe when issues arise. You don’t want to feel like the walls are closing in or you might get reported by someone you broke up with.

7. FEMALE FRIENDS - Who better to hook you up with cute women than your female friends? They know all sorts of other women, they know you, and often they know just what you need. Quick story. I met a woman in a gym I frequented. We always had nice easy conversations. But she wasn’t my type, and frankly she wasn’t interested in men. One day after I hopped off the elliptical trainer, she motioned to me and suggested that I meet one of her girlfriends. I had been in a cold spell following a long-term relationship that went bust. I wasn’t seeing anyone and was in need of female companionship, if you know get my drift. She must have sensed it. She texted me her name and her number. The following week I met the woman over drinks. After I fetched a second round she blurted out how much she love oral sex. Actually, she said it a bit more graphically. This was a very nice, attractive businesswoman who really loved cock. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. The next time I saw my friend at the gym she gave me a big smile and asked, “So what did you think of Charlene?” I laughed and thanked her for the connection. The point is, although some women might try to hook a guy up with their lonely heart girlfriends, other women will hook you up with just what you need. And you can meet women at the gym.

8. COFFEE HOUSES / BOOKSTORES– There are two types of coffee houses. The first one is where you stand in line, blurt out your order and march out the door. The other type is more conducive to grabbing a seat and savoring your latte.  You can meet women in either environment. If it’s a get your java a go place, it’s usually frequented by the same women at the same time. If you get a handle on the timing you can greet that cute blonde you see every morning at 8:15 and buy her coffee. Hey, it’s a start.

I have met women in bookstores. It’s easy. Just browse for books while scoping out the scene. Find a woman who looks interesting and approachable (yes, that’s important), and ask her about the books she’s checking out or about the bookstore, or anything that has to do with reading. Take it from there and make sure you know what you are talking about if you name drop Albert Camus, Herman Hesse, or Phillip Roth.

9. WEDDINGS/CHURCH – if you want to meet a lady all cleaned up and open to meeting a nice guy, look no further than church or a celebration that takes place in a church— like a wedding. If she’s at a wedding she’s probably looking to loosen up with a few cocktails and dance. And if she’s single she’s thinking about men. It should be easy pickings for you, amigo.

10. ANYWHERE – If you do your prep and have your game on you can meet women anywhere. That includes on the bus, subway or yes, even on the street if the circumstances lend themselves to the opportunity for a verbal exchange. Just because women often look like they are unapproachable while hidden behind their iPhone and ear buds, women are looking to meet guys the same way as guys are looking to meet women. Meeting anyone new is about projecting the right energy and being an authentic, confident person. Just be yourself and don’t over think things next time you see a cute woman that you’d like to meet. Smile and say hello. What’s the worst that can happen?

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Roger Fox, a reformed womanizer and pivotal character is my novel, THE GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO LOVE. Check it out here on Amazon.

Five Great Ways to Start Your Day

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 27, 2016


Do you wake up feeling tired, uninspired, and sometimes even dreading the new day? Do you wake up in a cranky mood and locked into the all-too-familiar, “I gotta have my coffee first” syndrome” before you can deal with other people or face the responsibilities of the day? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. If you look around the subway at the sea of solemn faces, doesn’t it seem like a lot of people are feeling kind of blue in the morning.  In fact, the CDC reports that up to 9% of Americans suffer from symptoms of depression.

Guy’s Guys are constantly seeking new ways to improve their lives and make this a better world. We create change from within then express it through our actions. With this in mind, I’d like to share a few ideas that help me climb out of bed every day and head out the door feeling great. It starts with rituals and routines. I realize the terms “routine” and “ritual” come with boring connotations, but the results of sticking to an early morning regime can deliver results that are far from boring. Over the years I’ve experimented with a number of techniques and pared them down to a manageable number. I hope they serve to spark your own ideas that help you to get up and get rolling. I’m not suggesting that one size fits all or that everything is right for you. We’re all different. But, for me at least, starting the day with a routine puts me in position to hit the ground running and win the day. So, in order, here is my list of rituals, routines, and regimes that have get me off to a good start each day and enhance the quality of my life.

Drum roll, please…

1. Alignment, Affirmations, and Meditations – I begin as soon as I wake up. Even before opening my eyes I get in touch with our Divine Source by focusing on aligning myself to Truth. I simply say, “I AM aligning myself to Truth.” This affirmation helps me eliminate anything in my purview that is not in my highest good. It sounds a bit metaphysical, but it’s very powerful. And, if I do nothing else spiritually the entire day, at least I have made a proclamation to be in frequency with Truth.

I then spend about ten minutes, either in bed or around my apartment, reciting a list of affirmations that have meaning to me. This includes blessings for all of the people and situations in my life— the good and the bad. And I do it every day. By the time I’m finished, I am already feeling good about life and the new day.

2. Swishing With Coconut Oil - Organic coconut oil is anti-viral that can do wonderful things for the human body. Swishing the raw oil around the mouth for twenty minutes kills many oral bacteria and helps ease inflammation within other parts of the body. According to my dental hygienist, my gums and overall oral health have never been better in the decade since I started swishing. And, since I started swishing, a sensitive growth on the bottom of my foot has not only been significantly reduced in size, but it’s also not sensitive anymore. After swishing, I spit the now viscous oil into the garbage (not the sink). Then I rinse mouth with salt water to get rid of the residual bacteria.

More info on Coconut Oil:

3. Bentonite Clay or Apple Cider Vinegar – Following all that swishing, rinsing, and spitting it’s time for something to drink. I begin my consumption of liquids on an empty stomach with a glass of filtered water mixed with either a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or a teaspoon of either bentonite or pascalite clay. The merits of both include removing toxins, cleaning the intestinal walls, and balancing the body’s alkaline.

I brush my teeth after this and wait about fifteen minutes before consuming anything else. I’ll usually do some push-ups followed by a shower before having a quick, but fulfilling breakfast.

More info on Apple Cider Vinegar benefits:

More info on Bentonite Clay:

4. Exercise – As mentioned, on most mornings before I hit the shower, I’ll drop down and pump out 65 push-ups. Then I hold the plank position for a count of two hundred before grinding out another five push-ups. After a quick stretch, it’s off to the shower. The affirmations, swishing, drinking and the push-ups have only taken 30 minutes.

5. Shake – By now I’m pretty hungry so I throw my favorite ingredients into a blender and power up a shake. I mix almond/coconut milk, a half banana, Green Vibrance powder (a plant-based super food), gojiberries, banana, organic strawberries or raspberries, maca powder, raw cocoa, organic wheat germ, a few ice cubes, and a little coconut water. I also take the following raw vitamins and organic supplements with my shake: turmeric, vitamin D, Raw One vitamins for men supplement (multi-vitamin), vitamin C, flax oil, and probiotics (saccharomyces boulardi and MOS), arginine and pine bark.

It sounds like this is a lot to do first thing in the morning, but it takes less than an hour and it works for me. If beginning your day with morning rituals feel like something of interest to you, I urge you to give it a try. Experiment with different things that feel right for you. In any case, I’m sure you’ll find your way. Good luck. Me? I am getting better and better.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Emil Couie, the French psychiatrist and pharmacist who introduced the phrase, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” 

5 Unconventional Things to do This Fall

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 20, 2016


When the leaves start turning red, gold, and brown most folks pull out the sweaters from the back of their closet and slide back into their tried, true, and predictable pattern of fall activities.

Now, there is nothing wrong with football games, pumpkin pie, picking apples, or taking a long drive to bask in the peak colors of the autumn foliage. Folks who live in the Northeast love having four seasons and they know how to make the most of the myriad activities that take place at this wonderful time of year. Some call it cuffing season, when the swimsuits get packed away and it’s time to snuggle with your partner for the wintery months.

 So, are we in too much of a routine now, folks? That’s where your Guy’s Guy comes into the picture. As somewhat of a contrarian when it comes to following set rules, I’ve cobbled together a handful of ideas for you to consider as we head deeper into autumn. So in no particular order here is my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Unconventional Things to Do This Fall.

Drum roll, please… 

1. Hit the Beach – Yes, you read that correctly. After Labor Day, most people snap into that back-to-school mode way too quickly.  The Hamptons crowds return to Tribeca and the “Bennies” finally pack up and leave the Jersey Shore towns to the locals. But, guess what? With climate change scientifically proven and the warmer temperatures going deeper into the year, September now feels like summer. If you hit the beach in September and October, the traffic is minimal, the water is still warm, and there are no crowds. And, the beach is peaceful and calm. Just the way we like it when we want to get away for a few days. And, September and early October have a number of holidays that can make for a number of three-day weekends. As I write this, we are in the latter stages of October and it’s 82 degrees in New York City. There is still time for a swim. And when the water gets too cold, you can always take a nice long stroll along the boardwalk.

2. Change Your Eating Habits – Just because summer is over and you’re more apt to cover up your body more it doesn’t mean it’s the time to binge and pack on the pounds for the next six months. In fact, the new season is the perfect time to review your dietary habits and make a commitment to a lifestyle change, namely in your relationship with food. Please note that I did not recommend going on a diet. If you want to knock off some poundage for a short time, diets are great. And, there is no better time to diet than in the late spring so you can show off your stuff all summer long. What I’m suggesting is a complete review and potential overall of how you eat and relate with food. It takes time to make real changes in this area, but if you give yourself six months you will see miraculous results that will stay with you next summer and beyond. If you can cut way, way down on meat, fried foods, dairy, bread and pasta and pizza, and of course, sugar, you will find yourself be bursting with energy while your carnivorous friends are loading up on comfort foods, becoming more sedentary and probably getting a bit chunky. You know this happens every year. So don’t be that guy. Change your relationship with food.

3. Take a Trip to the Zoo - There are two times of the year to go to the zoo—in the spring and in the fall. My first preference is the spring because the animals are lively and pretty randy, too. But fall is also a great time to check out the Bronx Zoo. The foliage is gorgeous, the crowds are manageable, and the animals are fairly active as the weather cools down. In the summer and winter you rarely see the animals doing anything beyond sleeping or briefly lumbering over to their food tray. 

4. Train for a marathon - Yes, I realize that the NYC Marathon takes place on the first Sunday of November. A year before running my first marathon, I was running on a Sunday morning listening to the marathon broadcast on the radio through my ear buds. I decided right then to run in the New York City Marathon the following year. And I did. Instead of cramming three months of training into a grueling summer, I began laying down my training base and running foundation a year in advance. I’m really glad I did this because by the time race day came around I was in tip-top shape and ran a faster time in my second thirteen miles. Having that strong foundation of running for a solid year also gave me time to cultivate some personal discipline and learn how to listen to my body when those inevitable tweaks and injuries sprang up.

If you don’t fancy yourself as a marathoner, you could start a fitness regime in the fall with a goal of getting into the best shape of your life by the following summer. If you stick to your program, most likely you will.

5. Make a List, Then Do Your Holiday Shopping Before Thanksgiving – Some folks love that scramble for presents during those frantic final weeks and days of December. Not me. I prefer to think things out in advance, set my budget, and scour the e-tailers for the best prices on the items I want to buy for my peeps. Yes, this is a bit anal, and you may get slightly better deals if you wait until the last minute, but who needs the hassle? If you try shopping early some time, you’ll realize how much easier it is to shop, how much money you can save, and how much more time you have on your hands during the holidays that you can spend partying with your homeys and loved ones.

There will be plenty of days ahead when you can you curl up in that chunky sweater with your honey in front of the TV. This year, consider trying on a few fresh ideas for fall. As DT says, “What have you got to lose?” If you don’t see me, I’m probably at the beach.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Robert Zimmerman, better know to most as Bob Dylan, folk singer and the voice of our generation, for his being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Well-deserved.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Aging - Part 2 (The Good News)

Robert Manni - Sunday, September 18, 2016


Life can change at any second. That’s right, amigos. Every new day brings an opportunity.

But to make change, we must be open-minded and try new ways of doing things. This is one of the keys to adapting as we age.

Remember when you attended your high school reunion? Quite an eye-opener. Some of your classmates still look fantastic and full of life while others appeared much older than their age. What happened? With each subsequent reunion the differences in how people we know age grows. For some, it’s a reflection of an individual’s life-experiences or genetic makeup. But in most cases, it’s indicative in how these folks have taken care of themselves. So it’s critical to approach each new day as a fresh start and take stock in how we are treating our mind, body and soul. In my last post I focused on all of the inevitable bad news and challenges we’ll face as we age. But, like I stated, it doesn’t have to be all bad news. Sure, we’ll all get old eventually, and faster than we expected, but there are steps we can take along the way to ease our path as we approach our senior years. Here are a few tricks your Guy’s Guy has learned along the way.

1. Pace yourself.

I’m a runner, and although I’ve completed three marathons, I still struggle with my weekly treks around the outer loop of Central Park. That run never seems to get easier, and running is hard on the body. Many runners switch to another form of cardio as they get older due to the pounding and the nagging injuries that often occur. And as we get older, those tweaks take longer and longer to fully heal. So what’s the answer? First, make a decision about running or any intense fitness activity you are involved in. Is your body still up to the challenges and pounding or is it time to find a replacement workout? Maybe add yoga, but at least incorporate stretching into your routine.

Everybody is different, so each one of us needs to take an honest stock of themselves and ask if running or whatever your most intense workout is can remain part of your regime. If the answer is yes, like it was for me, be smart and take it easy on yourself. Sure, I can still do those log runs, but now I take the time to recover between these runs and make sure I stretch after every run. When I get a tweak in your hammy or meniscus, I back off and hop on the elliptical trainer for a few weeks before hitting the pavement again.

I pulled a hammy this summer and wisely made the switch to the elliptical for a month. I also stretched every day and massaged my hammy until it was back to normal before running on it again. Ten years ago, I might have foolishly continued running and risked really hurting myself. It’s about being smart, amigos. You can do most of the same things, but as you age, you need to be smarter about how you work out.

2. Watch your weight.

Let’s face it. The food in our supermarkets is mostly processed and loaded with hidden sugars and GMOs. It wasn’t always that way, but it is now, so we need to use our noodle when choosing what foods we eat and how much of it we consume. I used to think that as long I kept running I could eat whatever I wanted in the same portion sizes as I consumed in my twenties. Twenty pounds later I began to take note of how quickly the pounds were sticking to my frame. And once us guys get that roll of abdominal fat around our waists, it becomes more and more difficult to shed it completely.

Over the years I’ve slowly, but consistently, adapted my diet to fit my aging body and lifestyle. I’ve always started my day with a set of at least fifty push-ups, but there have been times when I have skipped the gym for a few months and stop running outside when the roads were iced over during our northeast winters. What I ate became the X-factor in how I managed my waistline and health, so I had to make some changes.

I decided to stop eating meat eight years ago. At first it was hard, but now I don’t even think about it. I quit smoking over twenty-five years ago and still regret ever taking that first puff. Thankfully, I didn’t gain any weight when I stopped smoking, probably because I exercised more. I switched to a cleaner diet that has over the years evolved to predominantly green vegetables, fish, pasture raised eggs, and green smoothies, while avoiding sugars and simple carbs including breads, pizza, and pasta as much as possible. Another consideration is when I eat. Eating meals earlier in the day is better for our health and waistline.  I try not to eat after 8pm so I do not go to sleep with a full stomach. Has it been a challenge? Sure, but I like how I feel weighing twenty pounds less than I did twenty years ago. I have more energy and my clothes fit better, too. I’m happy with my choices and healthier as a result.

The key to success in managing your diet is to try a few different routines, including fasting (if you can hack it), put in the necessary time to get real results, and then make lifestyle changes based on what you’ve learned and what works for you. Do I enjoy a glass of wine or top shelf tequila now and then? Sure, but I’m doing my best to avoid the boomer habit of drinking my way into old age.

3. Consider natural solutions.

The last time I had a check up, the medical assistant administering the tests asked what meds I take. I told her, “Nothing”. She asked me the same question two more times. Same answer. I’m not suggesting that you do not take medication your physician prescribes, but in some cases, you have a choice of forgoing the meds by changing in your lifestyle and dietary choices. For example, two years ago, my doctor told me my cholesterol was on the high side. He suggested a statin pill. I said, “No, thanks”. He suggested that I return in six months. If my numbers were unchanged he wanted me to take the prescription. I asked if there was anything I could do to lower my numbers. He suggested a vegan diet. I told him I’d see him in a year. I quit eating meat and drastically improved my dietary choices by avoiding processed and acidic foods.

When I returned a year later, my numbers had dropped by ninety points. After two more years my cholesterol numbers are bordering on low.  Why? I looked for a natural path to wellness and stuck to the program so my body could heal itself. I also reduced my blood pressure significantly through diet and exercise. The point is; if you take charge of your choices, you can make positive changes to your health and well-being. Your doctor will let you know when things are going wrong, but they rarely tell you how to stay healthy. Do your own research and take charge of your health as best you can. And, make sure you don’t miss your check ups.

4. Mediate

Let’s face it. The endless onslaught of negativity spewed at us by the media, movies, and advertising can lead to an overload of mental monkey chatter that turns our lives into an endless loop of reacting instead of having vision that we act on. Starting the day or finding time for 15-20 minutes for quiet meditation connects us to our higher selves. This connection with the divine is there for all, but it’s up to each one of us to make the time to forge a connection to consciousness. Your higher self, sometimes coming through as that little voice inside of your head or heart, knows all about who we are, what we are, and how we serve. It’s there to help us. But again, it’s up to us to take advantage of our connection with divinity. 

Ultimately, no matter what diet or physical programs you incorporate the key to aging well is through love— self-love, love for your neighbor, love for humanity, and a love for the God that’s in each one of us. If you want to age gracefully, make smart choices and seek consciousness. Love and a connection to your divinity can help your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being while bringing you joy, gratitude, and peace.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Jack La Lanne. This true Guy’s Guy was a humanitarian who helped create today’s fitness revolution and healthy lifestyle. During his show he also shared much wisdom about keeping the spirit and mind strong and positive while training the body.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Aging - Part 1 (The Bad News)

Robert Manni - Saturday, August 27, 2016


A seventy-three year-old Mick Jagger once sang, “Time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me.” Although he was correct, he’s still vital, in great shape and killing it in concert.

If we play the cards we’re dealt the best way we can, it’s possible to extend our time here on Earth and age with vigor, class, and élan. But, in order to live long and prosper there are some rules to follow. Aging impacts everyone¾ millennials through boomers. So in an effort to cover as much ground as succinctly as possible, I’ll break down the bad news on aging here before returning next week with the good news, including the steps we can take to ease our path into a healthy future.

The Bad News

After we reach the age of twenty-five, we begin to notice things starting to slow down. I’m sure many of you have woken up with a hangover while in your mid-twenties and noticed that for the first time the effects of the previous night took a larger toll on your well being than usual. A feeling like your head was hit with tiny ball peen hammers, aches and pains in new places, and your needing an extra day or two to get back to feeling one hundred percent again. Amigos, that’s the first step in what can be a long, uncomfortable slide into middle age if we are not mindful about our body and our lifestyle. Make no mistake about it. Once we hit twenty-five, our metabolism slows down and continues its slow descent for the rest of our lives.

From that point, it takes longer to manage our health and recover from partying, sex, sports injuries, illness, increased mental monkey chatter, and energetic blockages. Compounding all of this is the disturbing fact that too many Americans live reactive lives driven by fear, pessimism, and the current news cycle and propaganda spewed by our media. The majority of the media and advertising is focused on creating a mindset based on feeling of lack and what we don’t have. You need this. You could lose that and if you do, you’re screwed. Unless, of course, you buy this and do as you’re told. As we age, the burden of carrying around all this made-up nonsense becomes more burdensome until the dam bursts and we succumb to chronic illness.

And, along the way, we gain weight. When I was a kid, there were a handful of “chubby” kids in school. And, being cruel, we’d call them names. But now that we’re older, who isn’t waging their own personal battle of the bulge? If you take a stroll through any shopping mall, you’ll see a lot of obese kids and adults. It’s usually due to the food they eat, sedentary lifestyles, meds, and stress. As we gain weight, we slow down. And as we slow down, if we are not mindful about our diet and lifestyle, we’ll keep gaining weight. Then, we’ll get sick and slow down even more when we start taking meds for this, for that, and to combat the side effects from the first meds we took. This easily becomes a vicious downward cycle.

 

Want some more bad news about aging? As we get older, we can’t do all the things we have been doing for so many years, like eating the same foods in the same quantities, having sex three times a night, or working out as intensely and often as we did when we were in our early twenties. That does not mean we can’t take steps to combat all these limitations, but it’s not easy to change life-long habits and it requires discipline. Unfortunately, not a lot of people wake up and make the necessary choices to evolve their life-long habits until it’s too late.

Couple this with what was once your perfect vision weakening, bouts of insomnia, anxiety over work, getting up to pee three times an night, money anxiety, job loss, worrying about things we can’t control, and yearning for “the good old days”. And there’s more. Death, taxes, childcare costs, a shaky economy, Donald Trump being a step away from the presidency, and climate change. If we fall prey to the hype and swallow the swill served us in the form of GMO foods, fear-based media, ultra-violent entertainment, aging parents with chronic illnesses, loneliness, and a diminished quality of life, life can look bleak.

BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!

For every question there is an answer and for the biggest questions in life the answer is always based in love. At our source we come from and are created with love. With love for ourselves in mind, next time I will review each one of the troubling aspect of aging and offer concrete ways of addressing the issue of aging gracefully and purposely, while living a fulfilling life deep the our senior years. 

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is spiritual teacher Tony Robbins, who said, “People overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, and underestimate what they can accomplish over a decade.”

 

Here’s to a pledge for decades of good health and well being for you.

17 Ways You Can Save Money in NYC

Robert Manni - Friday, July 22, 2016


Money comes and money goes. And when it goes, it can go quickly.

So, for many of us living in these uncertain economic times, every few bucks saved can add up. That’s why every now and then your Guy’s Guy likes to share some of his hacks for saving coinage, even in a big, bad city where everything seems to cost more than anywhere else in the country. Although most of you thrifty-minded peeps will recognize some of these tips, let’s hope that you can garner a few new ideas while also refreshing your memory about the ones you already know, but may not be executing. You can talk about saving money all you want, but if you take a taxi to and from work each day you either have money to blow or when it comes to saving bucks, you are not doing a good enough job. So, here are seventeen go-to tips for keep money change in your pocket and seeing less go down the drain.

1. Walk whenever possible – New York is a great walking city and hoofing it is an excellent way to stay in shape and burn unwanted calories.

2. If you can’t walk, take public transportation  Another no-brainer that most New Yorkers have figured out. Plus, with so many of us on the trains and buses at all hours of the day and night, mass transit travel has never been safer relative to the amount of people using the MTA.

3. When necessary Uber, Via, Lyft, etc. instead of cabs – Hey, sometimes we all need a ride home. Sorry taxis. You did not adapt to a changing culture. Maybe you will now.

4. Don’t buy a newspaper – Everything is online in real time anyway. Who wants to toke the Times around on a crowded subway and who has time to read it except on the weekends? If you can’t get online, the two free daily papers will do just fine during a quick ride to the office.

5. Bring your lunch to work – There certainly are a lot of hot women in short skirts standing on that long line for Chop’t, but is it worth it to pay $12 for a salad in a plastic container that you eat at your desk while working up another Excel spreadsheet? Make lunch at home and bring it to work a few days during the week. You’ll live, and you’ll also eat better. Use the savings to buy drinks for those women on the Chop’t line.

6. Bananas  They are really good for you (potassium). And, you can still get a nice big one for a quarter if you buy four in a bunch. Bananas taste great and they become more nutritious when their skin begins to turn.

7. Happy hour – I don’t think I need to explain this one. But how many times have you walked into a bar ten minutes after happy hour ended? Drinking in bars is expensive, amigos. Getting a head start will save some cash. Who knows, you might get free apps with that cocktail, too.

8. Drink at home before going out on weekends – I’m not pushing alcohol, but if you do drink, top shelf drinks can run you $20 a round. That adds up.

9. Buy top shelf booze in large sizes at discount stores – Your Guy’s Guy only drinks the good stuff, so I did my research and found some liquor stores that have deals on discontinued items. In fact I recently bought a $54 bottle of tequila for $18.99 at Broadway Discount off Astor Place. That’s a $35 savings for a tasty tequila.

10. Movie Matinees – Believe it or not, you can still score a deal to see new movies on the big screen. AMC theaters offer a $7.50 price for before noon.

11. Netflix – Everyone has access to Netflix. But, have you thought about how much you can save using it?  If you enjoy binge watching Marco Polo you can get a whole season of the show for a song versus what you pay for a movie in the theater or for premium cable.

12. Books, CD’s, DVD’s – I recently purchased a returned hardcover copy of the brand new best-selling book about the Rolling Stones for half price at Strand. Now that I’ve read it, I will sell it back again along with my CD’s and DVD’s wherever I can get a fair shake for my goods. It adds up.

13. Coupons – Maybe Mom really did know best. Since I don’t buy most of the processed crap they sell down the aisles of the supermarket I rarely use grocery coupons. That said, with my trusty Coupon Sherpa app I can always get a deal when shopping for clothes at J.Crew, Gap, Levis, etc. There are also coupons for eyeglasses, travel, and a few dining options that are palatable to a New Yorker’s tastes.

14. Bring your coffee from home – For the investment in a quality lightweight thermos you can reap major savings by buying a top shelf brands of coffee or tea and making batches at home. I always keep a big jug of chilled home made organic rooibos tea or organic coffee on hand for the summer months. It saves me hundreds of dollars.

15. Free stuff – The free daily newspapers usually list the free things going on in the city over the coming weekend. It could be yoga classes, concerts, and other things of value. And these events are great ways to meet new peeps with similar interests. Worth a shot...

16. Lasker Pool – There is a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool open all summer at the northwest end of Central park near the Harlem Meer. The pool is spotless and you can swim laps early in the morning. Most people have never heard of it, but it’s real.

17. Quit the gym in the summer- Unless you are going four or five days a week, the gym can be a major waste of money in the summer. There are lots of ways to stay in shape outside and on your own.  And if necessary, you can always take a class or buy multiple classes at a bulk discount. Now put on those running shorts and shoes.

There are lots more ways to save, but this feels like a good place to stop for now. The point is that although NYC can be a very expensive place to live, there are always ways to save money if you use that same big brain that scored you that cool job in the Big Apple to save a few bucks hear and there. It all adds up. See you at Happy Hour.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the Week is Asa Candler who launched the first coupon in 1887. He was also the owner of Coca-Cola. Very smart guy.

See also: Money Hacks from your Guy's Guy

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. 


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.


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