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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Supplementation

Robert Manni - Thursday, April 05, 2018


Are you taking more meds than supplements? If the answer is yes, you might consider flipping the script.

I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one of TV. I’m a Guy’s Guy and although I have had real health scares, I’ve learned how to take very good care of myself. Over the past two decades and particularly following two robotic surgeries on my kidneys, I’ve made it my business to research the hell out of taking charge of my health. One of the major learnings is the importance and power of a healthy diet and supplementation. Although it is best to meet our nutritional needs through eating the right foodsorganic whenever possibleit also important to augment specific needs and fill in our nutritional gaps with all-natural organic, raw supplements.

I won’t brag about how much energy I have or how healthy I feel, because I know anything can happen at any time. I thought I was healthy four years ago before my surgeries. Those surgeries sucked, but they were a wake up call. I got through them with flying colors and never looked back. My surgeon told me that my healthy lifestyle and fitness levels were positive factors in my quick recovery.

When I go for my annual check and MRI, I’m asked what meds I take. I tell the nurses I don’t take anything. They usually arch an eyebrow and ask me again because they don’t believe me. So, I tell them I take turmeric so they’ll have something to write down. Turmeric is an all-natural dietary supplement. That’s the kind of meds I take.

In the opinion of your Guy’s Guy, it’s important to consider mixing supplements into your dietary planif you even have one. Again, this is what I do. I’m not suggesting that my choices are necessarily right for you. Do your own research and make your choices. Some studies say supplements are a waste of money. But before taking that to the bank, consider the study and the source of funding for any studies concerning your health and diet. I’ll share what I’ve learned and what works for me. Then it’s up to you, amigo, to do what works best for you.

So let’s get to it. Here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO SUPPLEMENTS

1. Raw One for Men – If I were limited to one supplement, this multivitamin would be my choice. These capsules are filled with organic fruit and vegetable blend featuring beets, broccoli, carrot, spinach, tomato, ginger root, red cabbage, tart cherry, Brussels sprouts, celery, probiotics and enzymes, and on and one. They also offer a women’s version. It’s a raw, whole food based dietary supplement that is easy to absorb and chock full of all the vitamins our bodies need including A, C, D, E, K, etc. There are other good brands out there, but I like this one. It covers it all for me and it’s raw. I take one a day.

2. Pure Turmeric (Curcumin with Black Pepper Extract) – Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplement made from a root. The one I take is “standardized” for high potency and includes all-important black pepper to facilitate the body’s absorption. Studies suggest it is good for liver health, skin care, anti-oxidants, and depression. Do your research before making your choice of a brand and dosage. I take one 750mg capsule a day.

3. Vitamin C 1000mg – Ascorbic acid consumption is not to be overdone, and it is best when ingested through foods, but if you do not eat enough fruits and veggies, one 1000mg’s of organic vitamin C tablet is a solid choice. If I am on the go and do not have a morning shake with Camu Camu powder (raw powder with a mega-dose of natural vitamin C), then I take one of these.

4. Bromelain - Inflammation has been proven to be a primary cause of autoimmune diseases and general sickness. Wellness and nutritional experts recommend we eat foods and supplements that offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Bromelain is also considered helpful for joint health and arthritis. I take one tab a day.

5. Raw Vitamin D- Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, and we all need a little sunshine. Nowadays, many people either stay out of the sun or cover themselves with sun block do to the Sun’s power ultraviolet rays. Many studies have shown that taking an all-natural vitamin D supplement helps insure we get enough of this mission critical vitamin. The Garden of Life raw version I like is made from a raw fruit and vegetable blend with high omega cracked-wall chlorella and probiotics. I take one 2,000 IU tablet per day.

6. Saw Palmetto Extract – This is for guys. It’s an all-natural herbal supplement that helps with male prostrate health by shrinking the prostate lining. That keeps the prostate in check because it grows slowly and over time can push against a man’s urinary track, forcing us dudes to pee during the night. I take one 320mg gel cap a day.

7. Cold Pressed Organic Flaxseed Oil – We all need omega 3. The most popular forms for supplementation consist of fish oil or flaxseed. I choose flaxseed because to me choosing the right fish oil can feel random. Flaxseed promotes heart health, healthy skin, hair and nails, while supporting the immune system. I take one gel cap a day.

8. Double Strength L-Arginine and Pine Bark Extract – The combination of these two supplements is good for guys. The combination of one pine bark and two L-arginine tablets helps increase blood flow, which is good for men’s sexual health and athletic performance. Better blood flowing, more oxygen, and better boing.

9. Probiotics – Probiotics aid the production of healthy gut bacteria. Studies show that 80% of Americans suffer from a Candida overgrowth of gut flora. Probiotics pour billions of healthy bacteria into our digestive tract that gobble up the Candida that can lead to autoimmune diseases. The gut has been proven to be our second brain so anything we do to keep it in top shape helps us stay healthy.

I take two types: Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS – a high potency probiotic that supports intestinal tract and survives passage through the stomach and its acids. It features one strain.  Jarro- Dophilus is another brand that includes eight strains.  Do your research to find the right mix for you. I take one of each a day.

10. Mega Hydrate- These tablets or powder are designed to unlock the potential of water as the medium for nutrient replenishment and waste removal at the cellular level. This helps capture antioxidants that can die quickly. It comes in a compressed powder for hydration and antioxidants.

Although there are myriad of supplements to choose from, this is my take and selections. After years of research with my wife, I created this go-to list of supplements. I believe it suits my needs, you may find other options that work for you. Whatever you decide to do, choose organic, raw, natural supplements. They are the purest and contain raw fruit and vegetables as their foundation.

Things have changed, amigo. It is foolhardy to buy and consume only what they sell in boxes and cans down the aisles in supermarkets or at chain restaurants. These goods are marketed to maximize corporate profit at the lowest cost. There is nothing wrong with companies making money, but from my experience working for major food corporations, these companies only change what they offer when consumers demand it.

That’s why we are seeing more and more non-GMO, organic, and healthy versions of old standby products we’ve consumed since we were kids. But nutritionally speaking, we have a long, long way to go. So for now, I take supplements to ensure I get all the nutrients my body needs to keep it healthy and strong.

I’m here to help by sharing my experiences, but ultimately, it’s up to you to take care of yourself.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Jalen Brunson, AP Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year. Why? I listened to him being interviewed the morning after Villanova won its second NCAA championship in three years. The reporter asked him if he would feast on Philly cheese steaks now the season was over. Brunson hesitated before saying, “I don’t know about that. I need to keep eating healthy.” Yeah, mon!

The Guys' Guy's Guide to the Perfect Breakfast Smoothie

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 24, 2018

Does your breakfast usually consist of bacon, eggs, buttered toast and coffee? Or, if you are on the go, how does an Egg McMuffin, a blueberry muffin, or a venti latte sound? If you're nodding your head, you are not alone. Too many of us are in too much of a hurry to get to work in the morning to eat a proper breakfast.

With that in mind I’ve laid down the pillars of a terrific-tasting and ultra nutritious morning shake that you can set up the night before. This way when you climb out of bed the next day all you’ll have to do is turn on your blender for thirty second to start your day the right way with a supercharged great tasting shake. This is an aggregation of my many years of mixing and matching ingredients in search of building a highly nutritious, yummy-tasting perfect morning smoothie.

All you hardware you’ll need to get started is a good blender. I use the Vita Mix 5200 and it’s never failed me. Then you want to add the best ingredients for a Guy’s Guy health and taste buds. Initially you’ll want to invest in the highest quality organic ingredients, but if you buy these ingredients in bulk, making these shakes are affordable, and definitely less expensive than daily splurges at a high-end coffee boutique. After downing one of my shakes my hunger is satiated for the next four to five hours so it works for me. And I hope it tastes great and works for you. I’ll spell out a long list of the ingredients I like and their benefits, but you can mix and match as you choose. There are no hard and fast rules here.

It’s shake time so let’s get started, amigo. And whether you are a guy or a gal, I think you will enjoy my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to the Perfect Breakfast Smoothie.

1. Organic Coconut water – The perfect ingredient for enhanced hydration. I pour in about a half cup.

2. Almond or coconut milk – Too much dairy is not great for you because dairy creates mucus and has limited health benefits compared to organic almond and coconut milk. A half-cup is recommended.

3. Pasteurized organic yogurt – Not mission critical, but a tablespoon adds a nice creaminess to the mix. Yes, I realize this is dairy, but it’s only a spoonful and the yogurt is high in protein.

4. Maca root powder – Considered a superfood, this powder helps fights stress while it bolsters energy and vitality. It helps build muscle and also helps women with PMS symptoms. Add one teaspoon.

5. Fresh organic fruit (banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) – No one can argue with the massive taste difference between organic and non-organic fruits and berries. Besides, when you choose organic you are not ingesting all the pesticides sprayed onto our fruits. It may cost you a bit more, but it’s your health we’re talking about here, amigo. I break off a chunk of banana, and grab a few small handfuls of berries--preferably blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Berries are a great source of fiber and digestive help. They also are great sources of ellagic acid, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Bananas add calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6. This fresh fruit makes up the core of the shake. I know, fruits have sugar, but they’re also packed with vitamins and have a helluva lot less sugar than those amped up coffees everyone drinks.

6. Organic Camu Camu – This powder has more vitamin C than any fruit, by far. In fact, one teaspoon of this is equivalent to eating fifty oranges. And you get all the vitamins without the absorbic acid from a tablet. It is also anti-viral and aids with stress reduction, brain functioning, and inflammation. Good stuff. Use a small teaspoon.

7. Raw Organic Cacao powder – Where do I begin? This chocolaty brown powder provides forty times the antioxidants of blueberries, more calcium than cow’s milk, lots of iron and magnesium for heart and brain health, and it’s a natural anti-depressant. A teaspoon is fine.

8. Chia seeds – Another super food. These gritty little seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, omega 3s, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, and potassium. I let a teaspoon of seeds soak in the liquid in the blender to softened them up and ease with their digestion.

9. Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi powder) – A medicinal Ayurvedic plant is considered a nerve tonic and protector of memory, the brain, and our intellect while promoting youth and vitality. I suggest starting with less than a teaspoon because it is not easy to digest. It took me a few tries to get used to how it worked with my digestive system. And it has a slightly bitter taste. If your system can handle it, it is purported to work wonders.

10. Goji berries – These tasty red berries are considered cancer-fighters that also help the immune functions with loads of anti-oxidants. They also help the skin, eyes, liver, blood sugar, fertility and energy. I throw a small handful into the blender.

11. Ashagandha powder – Another anti-cancer Ayurvedic powder that helps monitor blood sugar levels, reduces cortisol, helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety while enhancing fertility in men. I suggest a level teaspoon.

12. Pinnicale of Wellness Ultimate Organic Green Super Food powder – To ensure that I get my daily intake of chlorella, spirulina and other raw organic ingredients including barley, probiotics, acai berry, flax seed, wheat grass, parsley, thistle seed, cilantro leaf, and alfalfa. It comes in a tasty berry flavored powder. I toss a level scoop of it into the shake.

14. Fresh lime - I enhance the tartness of the shake’s flavor with a squeeze of organic lime, which is good for urinary and respiratory issues, constipation, digestion, and weight loss.

15. Organic vanilla – Last, but not least, I add a few small drops if organic vanilla extract to my shake to enhance the flavor and help me with its antimicrobial and analgesic properties, and ability to inhibit cell mutation.

Now it’s time to throw in some ice and blend the concoction for thirty seconds. Boom. You’re done. I also swallow a handful of raw vitamins and supplements with the shake, but that’s a personal choice and fodder for another blog post.

I covered a lot of ingredients here, but I assure you that you’re making a tremendously tasty and satisfying breakfast shake that will power you through any morning activity that beckons. Of course you do not need to include all of these ingredients in every shake, but I do, and there is something to be said for consistency for building championships. Take it from your Guy’s Guy—this is the real deal. It’s a healthy liquid breakfast that you can drink on the go and quickly become a morning ritual. Cheers!

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Stephen Poplawski who invented the blender in 1922. A colleague of Poplawski approached Fred Waring in 1936 with the concept and the Waring blender was soon launched.    

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Aging Part 4: Aging Gracefully

Robert Manni - Sunday, January 21, 2018


In our youth-oriented culture, the greatest challenge for many is recognizing and accepting the cold hard facts about aging. Regardless of how the botox, tummy tucks, hair restoration procedures, and teeth whiteners temporarily hold back Father Time, the clock keeps ticking.

We’ve all seen those attractive cougars pumping away at the gym or photos of them on social media in their bikinis on tropical vacations, and their male counterparts showing off their cars, guns, or trophy wives. I get it. We all want to stay relevant.

But as we age we need to come to terms with the reality that God-willing, we will all grow old. The party is not going to last forever. So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do when his hair is streaked with gray and his scrotum sags? You can plumb up your ball sack and hope for the best or you can take a deep breath and tell yourself, “Hell yeah! I’m a man of experience. Don’t mess with me.” I suggest the latter, and that’s my inspiration for this week’s post. I want to help us guys step into their unknown future with pride and élan. Heck, we’ve made it this far, so let’s show some class as we when approach the third semester of our lives.

1. Learn to adapt – I’ve got news for you. If you continue eating and drinking the same way you did in your twenties, unless you have Jagger’s metabolism, you’ll pack on the pounds by the time you hit forty. The real problems arise, though, after you gain the weight when you are not really aware of it and continue your indulgent habits. By the time you enter your fifties, your body will probably respond to the abuse with adverse reactions and begin its long descent of breaking down systematically.

There is some good news though. The world changes and you do, too. Your body replaces all of its cells every few years, so you are constantly regenerating and evolving. That means it’s important to step back every so often and take stock in how you eat, sleep, drink, how much you work, and how you either love or loathe the person you’ve become. Your cells are changing and so can you. So, get with the program, consider your life and lifestyle and what it is doing to you and make the necessary changes.

2. Stay fit. Eat well. – If you’ve been following my blog, by now you know how much importance I place in maintaining a healthy diet and physical fitness. Your diet comes down to choosing this or that during every meal. It’s that simple. Of course you don’t want to eat before bedtime, but beyond that, a healthy diet is built on choice. Beware of longevity’s enemies like sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and meat. Yes, meat. The average American consumes 212 pounds of meat every year. I stopped eating meat ten years ago. That means I’ve avoided eating more than one ton of meat over the past decade. I’m sure that has saved an immense amount of wear and tear on my internal organs and systems that have to break down all the burgers, steaks, chops, and bacon strips. If you are concerned about a lack of protein from going to a plant-based diet, don’t. Beans have way more protein and far less fat than meat.

I stay in shape, no matter what else is going on in my life. It has been a lifelong commitment that has always served me well. I do basically the same workouts as I did twenty years ago and maintain the same weight. It’s a fun challenge and a point of pride for me to keep my body clicking on all cylinders. And it helps buffer the ravages of aging. Cardio health and bone density are important markers for a strong and fit body. If you stay in shape, when something goes wrong, as things do, know that you’re doing all you can to stay fit. Following back-to-back robotic surgeries three years ago, my doctors continue praising me for how well I bounced back and maintained my body. That’s beyond looking fit, which I admit I like. It’s tending to and taking care of the totality of my body, mind and spirit. This is what keeps your Guys’ Guy’s engine running smoothly. If I sound cocky, forgive me. The thing is, I put a lot of work and I’m glad I have.

3. Accept the truth – Let’s face it. We’re getting older each and every day. There is no escape. So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? Embrace it. Own it. Love your life and make the most of each day. Treat yourself well. Forgive yourself and others. Ignore the haters. Keep moving. You, and only you, chart the course for your life. Might as well do what you like and take those shots when they present themselves.

Forget about your chronological age. New opportunities arise every damn day. If you take care of yourself and make solid choices there is no reason you can’t keep rolling and rolling. Don’t fret about screwing up in the past. It’s over. Karma happens quickly so don’t worry about what was. If you stay positive, your energy and attitude will show. You’ll be a beacon to others. Love them, but don’t think just because your friends or family members have certain health issues that you will, too. Your body consists of ninety percent microbes. There are trillions of them inside of you. They are constantly at work killing off bad stuff. Thank them, support them, and tell them you love them. I promise you will feel a difference. You don’t have to succumb to disease. Stay positive. Your microbes are listening.

4. Be mindful of what you wear – If you’re like me, you like feeling young. That means I, like other boomers, need to be careful what we wear. That does not mean we have to wear beige khakis and a yellow polo shirt all the time. You can let your style evolve as you age. Pick jeans that fit well and look good. I dig raw selvedge so I spend a few extra bucks and wear them repeatedly. I never wash them either. Depending on your body shape and size, slim fit is fine if you can swing it. Say no to skinny jeans. Once you hit forty, rethink hockey jerseys, Zubaz pants, tank tops, and wearing your Yankees cap backwards. Keep the bling simple, buy a good watch, and ditch the cropped pants. If you really feel a need to wear a rock band t-shirt, keep it simple. Nothing wrong with the Stones logo, but dudes in their sixties don’t look totally awesome in Duran Duran, Star Wars, or WuTang Clan t shirts and caps. As you age, update your closet and give your choice in clothes some thought. Only wear what feels right for you. And ladies, if you are in your fifties, you probably don’t need to still let your hair grown down to your ass. And while you’re combing through your closet, think about giving that ocelot print mini skirt to your daughter.

5. Know yourself. Manage your emotions.  – It certainly feels like we live in an angry world these days— a function of our dysfunctional collective consciousness. I’m a Guy’s Guy, but I get angry, too. My pet peeve is people saying and doing stupid shit. That has occasionally made things kind of tough for me. So, I continue investing in extra time working on managing my thoughts and emotions. We are all works in progress, so even if I still blow my stack now and then, I do my research and I’m usually right about the issues that push my buttons. But at times I need to do a better job of softening my delivery of the truth.  Over the years I have come to know my behavioral triggers and flaws. Self-awareness, living one’s truth, and reducing anger can help us live longer. The truth absolutely sets us free. The question frequently is, can we handle the truth about ourselves? Life is a school. Learn your lessons well, amigos.

The week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Jeanne Louise Clament, the longest living person on record. She died in 1997 at the ripe old age of 122. I’ll bet she knew herself well, maintained her optimism, and managed her anger all those years. Stay classy… 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Aging Part 3: Longevity

Robert Manni - Friday, January 12, 2018


For the first time, the average lifespan of Americans has gone down.

Can you believe it? Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy, purposeful, life? Who doesn’t want to look and feel like they did five, ten, or even twenty years ago? It can be done, but you can’t trust Big Pharma, Big Agra or the government to do the work for you. WE need to do it ourselves and that takes education, and making the right choices every day. Time waits for no one and there is no better time to begin than right now. The good news is that you can build the foundation for rich, ripe and rewarding golden years if you make the right choices. Randomness aside, if you live right, you can play a major role in determining when “old age” begins.

Ever get those reminders from Facebook that looks like a recent, familiar photo with a friend? You look at the image thinking, wow, that was last year. You look closer and realize that the post was from five years ago.

Time is relentless. It never lets up and as we age it seems to go faster. If we want to stay on point as the years flash by, we need to treat our mind, body, and spirit with respect. With that in mind, I offer you my latest tips for living a long fruitful life, Guy’s Guy style.

1. Hydration – The leading cause of death for old people is lack of hydration. Simply put, two thirds of the human body is made up of water. Leave a glass of water on the windowsill for a week and what happens? It evaporates. That’s precisely what happens to our bodies as we age and fail to replenish the liquids. Take a look at senior citizens—some look great, but too many are hunched over and shriveled up with faces and bodies fraught with wrinkles. A big cause for that is a lack of water. Sure, aging plays a role, but the lack of hydration drives the process. Studies show that 80% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Drink, amigo. Drink lots and lots of filtered water. I use the ZERO brand water filters, but there are many to choose from. It’s worth it. Water is life.

2. Claim your health – This morning someone asked me what year I was born. I almost never think about my chronological age because I don’t believe it is the main factor in how old our bodies and minds really are. If you focus on the number, you’ll compare yourself to folks the same age, which can be misleading and downright depressing. I still have friends from high school, many of whom are overweight. Some have hip replacements or back problems, and more and more are no longer with us.

Of course anyone can fall victim to disease or an accident, but we can all participate in prevention and recovery. Three years ago, I experienced back-to-back robotic surgeries on my kidneys. I was stunned, but decided to take the necessary steps to reclaim my health. I researched the cause of the disease, not the effects, with the goal of reconfiguring my internal system so it would no longer accommodate the disease.  Robotic surgery probably saved my life, but Western medicine is primarily focused on reacting to problems rather than preventing them. That’s just the way it is, so it’s up to us to learn everything we can about caring for our bodies. This takes time, and the choices required are not always easy, but it can be done. My check ups have been great. I feel better and better. And my workouts are the same as prior to my surgeries. I never look back on what happened or what could have happened. It’s about the now, and my ability to keep learning and making the best decisions about how I live. I am confident I will continue improving, and I know a positive attitude makes a difference. We are what we think. We create our lives through how we manage our thoughts. Claim your health.

3. Feed your mind – Here are some fun facts—according to the Jenkins Group, eighty percent of families did not buy or read a book last year. Forty-two percent of college grads have never read a book after college. Seventy percent of American adults have not been in a bookstore in the past five years. People are hooked on TV, their computers, and devices, and as a result they don’t find time to read. You can argue that a lot of the time spent on our devices and computer is actually reading, but a good portion of what we consume is TV shows, music, and mind-numbing ads, little of which nourish our minds. Make an effort to read books. It will keep your mind sharp and nimble.

4. Feed your body - I could devote multiple posts to the importance of diet to longevity. With respect to your time, let’s simply explore the view from thirty thousand feet. By now we’re all aware of the crisis in our food supply. GMO’s, pesticides, nutrient-lacking processed foods, sugar, and factory meats are factors to consider when managing your diet for longevity. Are organic foods better for us? Yes. Is supplementation important? Because so much of our food lacks nutrition, yes. Is sugar hidden in our foods under other names? Yes. Are GMOs good for us? Nope. Do your research. Read the labels. If the label does not say non-GMO, it has GMOs. If it doesn’t say organic, it’s not organic. Choose wisely at every meal, and bon appetite.

5. Get outside- Stomping around the big city with rubber soled shoes on concrete while being pulverized by wifi, radiation, and noise pollution is not a healthy way to live. But, like pounding too many beers, we do it anyway. It’s a means to an end, but unfortunately we blind ourselves to the fact that these toxins can contribute to the end of us. Fortunately, nature has some antidotes. We live in an electric universe. The sky is positively charged while the ground carries a negative charge. When we walk barefoot on the grass or even lie down in a meadow (you can do both in Central or Prospect Park) your body is grounded, and grounding is good for you. Studies have shown that earthing or “grounding” improves blood viscosity, heart rate variability, reduces inflammation, helps us sleep, and reduces the effects of stress. We spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting indoors at work and home, and we need nature to help us rebalance. Get one with nature whenever possible.

6. Exercise – While you’re outside, consider the benefits of sunshine and cardiovascular activities. Whether you’re walking, running, golfing, playing tennis, sailing or swimming, exercise is a key building block of your foundation for longevity. Of course you can enjoy working out indoors, but wouldn’t you prefer a yoga class on the beach rather than a cramped, sweaty room in Midtown? Over the years, many of us develop issues with our joints and skeletal system, which curtails our ability to run distances, play tennis, or golf. If we are determined enough, we can always find alternative avenues for getting in a workout.

One thing I’ve picked up over the years is learning to listen to my body and adjust my workouts based on what it is telling me. I stay in good condition and listen, so I avoid pushing myself into a “no pain, no gain” mentality. That’s for your twenties and thirties. Like the greats who have enjoyed long careers, (think: Nolan Ryan, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter), we can still maintain our fitness and competitive edge if we listen to what our bodies are telling us.

I’ve ran three marathons. I could probably squeeze out another, but during my most recent race I distinctly recall my body advising me very strongly not to run another twenty-six miler in this lifetime. I was in my best condition ever for a marathon, but I ran my worst race. I bonked way too early and had a rough time rebalancing my blood sugar afterwards. So, I listened. I still log in eight, nine, and ten-mile runs without any issues, but I doubt I will ever want to run another marathon.

Listen to your body and then find alternative avenues for working out. Yoga, stretching, Pilates, stationary bike, elliptical, whatever. Find your way and just do it, amigo.

I think you get the picture. If you want to live a long, healthy life hydrate, eat well, read, maintain a positive attitude, get outside, and keep moving.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Mick Jagger. At seventy-four he still sings, dances and gyrates with the same élan he and the Stones have entertained us with for the past fifty-five years. Jagger is a great grandfather yet is constantly creating, while maintaining his fitness and a positive attitude.

Two Cool Practices to Reset and Ignite Your New Year

Robert Manni - Sunday, January 07, 2018


We’re a week into January and it’s been cold as hell, so no worries if you already fell off the wagon or never got around to setting your New Year’s resolution. There’s still time to lock and load, and I’ve got two top-notch Guy’s Guy’s tips to help you get a firm grip on the wheel for the long year ahead.

We’ll help you purge all the toxic garbage from last year, set your plans and start a kick ass, easy-to-manage additive diet plan to help you shed pounds and feel great all year long. We’re already a week into the New Year so we’ll keep it short and get right to it.

1. Purging and manifesting – Let me begin but clearly stating that this first suggestion is not my creation, but I’ve done it and it’s fantastic. Bill Phillips is a well-known psychic medium. You may have read about him or his contributions on Huff Po. That’s where I found his most recent post focused on manifesting what you want in the coming year, or really in any time frame, although it fits nicely into an annual practice. I will summarize momentarily, but you can read the whole article here.

All you need is a bowl, some paper, an envelope, and something to write with. First, write down all the things you want to release on a piece of paper.  This should be a list of stuff you believe no longer serves you. Then either burn the paper or tear it into little pieces and drop it in the bowl. Take a deep breath and visualize a pink light surrounding you and filling you up. Think of all those nasty things you want to jettison and exhale while visualizing a gray mist coming from your mouth filled with all that bad stuff. Do it a few more times or until you feel a release in the heart area. Now, take another piece of paper and jot down all the things you want to manifest this year. Start with something like “In 2018 I create….” Then seal your list in the envelope, and then hold it between you hands. Say a silent prayer asking for help in manifesting. Put the envelope away or give it someone close for safe keeping for the year. At this time next year, open it up and see how you did. My wife and I shared this exercise on New Year’s Day and it felt very fresh and cleansing. Again, all credit to Bill Phillips. At the end of 2018, we’ll find out how much we made happen. 

2. The Guys’ Guy’s Additive Diet –Most people are interested in losing weight in the New Year and starting on January 1st, gym memberships skyrocket, treadmills are jammed, and lots of people commit to “Dryuary”, a new term for giving up booze in January, after those alcohol-fueled past two months.

Over the years, I, like others, have tried and experimented with lots of diets and in many cases lost a lot of weight. But, like so many others, slowly packed all those pounds back on after returning to my former eating pattern and consumption. I asked myself how could I set a program that would assure me of losing weight and keeping it off for an entire year, without too much pain and sacrifice.

In fact, I recently finished my second attempt at intermittent fasting, a practice where you only eat during an eight-hour window each day followed by sixteen hours of “fasting”. During my two-month stint, I didn’t lose any weight. I’m not pointing a finger at the practice because I’m sure it works for others, but not for me. Maybe I ate and drank too much to compensate for the fasting hours, but whatever I did wrong, it resulted in my gaining weight. So I decided to come up with my own program that I’m doing right now and will be following for the next twelve months. Here’s what I came up with:

First, to make this a real program, I wanted to eliminate something that adds empty calories and saps energy.  The obvious answer was giving up all alcohol for the year. I’ve stopped drinking twice for five months, so I know I can do it. The practice usually turns into an “out of sight, out of mind” scenario where I don’t pay attention to booze, even if I am at a bar with the fellas. It’s a similar situation to what I experienced when I became a non-smoker almost thirty years ago. I underwent hypnosis and to this day, I still never really “see” or “say” the word or name of that product that comes in packs that people light up. I made the decision not to drink this coming year a few months ago, so I had time to get it out of my system. I didn’t want to pine for that one last a glass of buttery Chardonnay that I could have enjoyed over the holidays, so I drank to my delight from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. This made the first few days of the New Year easier to get through because I was mentally prepared. Because I always pack on the pounds when I drink, the key to the success and the bedrock of my yearlong diet is keeping booze out of my belly.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Since there are so types of food, I have a pretty good notion about what triggers my weight gains. My main culprits were booze, pizza, ice cream, bread and pasta, and eating late in the day or in the evening. Of course, lots of other foods that made the list, like candy, chocolate, desserts, dairy, and that demon, sugar, which is hidden in almost everything we consume. So I decided I would write a list with fifty-two slots, each representing a week of the year. Each Sunday I will add a specific food item to the list that I’ll eliminate for the remainder of the year. Sound crazy? Maybe, but I like the approach because it provides me with a week to get a sense of what else I am ready to give up. I filled in alcohol for week one. As the week unfolds, I’m contemplating what item should be next. I’ve narrowed it down to ice cream or pizza. On Sunday, I’ll make my choice and see how I feel next week. Since I already know that alcohol is in my no-fly zone, all I have to give up is one item each week. I’ll attack a few big ones in January to get me off to a strong start.

By the end of 52 weeks I will have eliminated fifty-two items from my diet. Hopefully, by then I will be lean and feeling studly and strong, physically and mentally.  Along the way I’ll glean results with each thing I give up, so hopefully that will spur me on week after week. This may sound nuts and it might not be the type of program that works for you, but I have a strong sense that this is going to be one killer program that provides fast lasting results. The biggest challenge might be figuring out what to give up next by week forty or so. But that’s a fun task and when I get there it means I’m winning, winning, winning.

So that’s it. Give up something you crave for the entire year and add one thing to your list each week. Can I do it? We’ll see. You’ve got to admit that it’s a clever approach. I think that a key to success is visualizing my new weight, my increased energy, and a healthier appearance, instead of focusing on the negative and what I am giving up. Maybe it can work for you, too. Your call, amigo.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is psychic medium Bill Phillips for sharing his practice for manifestation. It’s worth doing any time you’re seeking a reset.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Longevity

Robert Manni - Friday, October 06, 2017


I met up with an old friend last night for a couple of beers. We spent half the time watching the Yankees game and the other half discussing our surgeries. This is what happens when boomers age.

We’re all aging and in the toxic environment we live in, shit can happen to us at any time. That’s why we need to be mindful of our choices while we’re aging. Sometimes random bad things happen, like getting hit by a bus, but uncontrollable events aside, we can get a firm grip on how we live and our destiny. Think about the folks you know who are approaching, or are already over fifty. Some look amazing and some look like your parents. Part of this is due to genes, but a lot of it has to do with their lifestyle choices and how they relate to their mind, body and spirit.

I married at fifty and become a father a few years later. As a result I quickly became increasingly mindful about how I was taking care of myself. I want to enjoy as many years as possible with my wife, who is sixteen years younger than me, and my son. And, I have no doubt that I can accomplish this if I do my research and adjust my lifestyle choices going forward. But it’s never that simple. Shit happens. Since I married and became a dad, I’ve had two robotic surgeries on my kidneys and contracted pneumonia. The good news is I have been deemed all clear on the kidney front, and through a deep Ayurvedic medical protocol I also reduced my body’s toxicity by one hundred percent. That means the chances of a recurrence are now even more miniscule than what my western doctors told me. Because of my research and introduction to eastern Ayurvedic medicine I made some changes. Among other things, I take lots of supplements, and overall I’ve gotten into better alignment with my mind, body, spirit, and my truth. Of course I’ll need to stay consistent and remain on this positive lifestyle path, but the benefits so far have been substantial and I feel great. Regardless of my chronological age, I’m a happy, healthy guy.

So what have I learned about aging better that can I share with the world of Guy’s Guys to help them live their very best life? I’ve done my homework, experienced a lot, and even stared into the abyss, so I’m confident I can add value to you if you consider some of the tips in what I’m calling The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Longevity. Here they are in no particular order. Drum roll please…

1. Manage your anger – This is a tough one, especially for me. I’m not the kind of Guy’s Guy who suffers fools lightly. The advertising industry where I worked for decades is filled with very intelligent and creative people, but it can also be a snake pit filled unnecessarily selfish, ego-driven behavior. Many people who work in advertising spend way too much of their time plotting to get ahead at any expense. On the creative side, you’ve got lots of brilliant people who come up with some incredible ideas, and most of them are fun to work with. But as in any business, you’ve also got to work with some major asswipes who, due to their fear-based behavior, act like they are far more talented than they really are. And because the entire industry is predicated on the production and sale of actual products, it’s all too easy for people to fly off the handle when they get frustrated or angry. There’s a lot of stress, and over time it takes its toll. All of the uncertainty about losing an account, which always happens, makes it a highly stressful industry that can chew people up and spit them out quickly. That’s one of the reasons that advertising remains a young-skewing business.

I’ve always believed in focusing on helping clients position and sell their products. That’s it. I become president of one agency and my motto was that as long as the work gets done, there was no reason to sweat. If it sells it sells. If not, we all get canned. So fortunately I didn’t let the business age me too quickly. As my mother says, “this too shall pass” and no truer words were ever stated about the ad business. People come and go all the time so there is no reason to get too pissed off. When someone you work with or a client becomes impossible to deal with, remember that the worm can turn very quickly in this industry.

Taking the issue of anger beyond just work and the ad business, there are still constant challenges that quickly fill our daily anger quotient. In a city like New York, we experience the very best and worst of people almost every day. Since it’s such a fast-paced city, it’s easy to let our emotions get away from us. So when we’re stuck in a crowded subway car filled with manspreading, loud music, dancing kids doing Showtime, or simply rude behavior. It’s important not to let it get to you. If we snap, we may find ourselves in a conflict with a stranger that can turn out badly.

All of the stress from work and simply living in a big city accelerates our aging. So when the going gets shitty and people behave badly, we need to do our best to shake it off and keep moving. But, we can’t keep all our negative emotions bottled up inside. That’s just one more thing that shortens our lifespan. So we have to find ways of letting off steam.

I don’t like carrying around bitterness and anger. I am authentic, honest, and possess keen bullshit radar detection abilities. So people who know me usually pause before bullshitting or lying to me—they know I will call them on it. Is this the right technique for you? You have to find your own way of dealing with the nonsense so you don’t burn up inside. I know I have a temper, so I remain mindful of it at all times. Although I call bullshit, I fly off the hook less and less these days because I know that stress kills.

2. Get your rest – As we get older, we need more rest. Duh. But that’s cool because rest is a good thing, amigos. Over the past decade when possible, I’ve added naps to my daily routine and I’ve found them to be tremendously refreshing. I also try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. It’s not that hard to do. If you hit the sack at midnight and get up at seven you’ve got your seven hours. Who needs to watch James Corden anyway? Yoga, tai chi, meditation, hypnosis, and reiki are also good practices that allow us to go inside and slow down our thinking, internal monkey chatter, and breathing. All these practices help to support longevity.

3. Hydrate - Ever wonder why many old people look so wrinkly? Studies have shown that eighty percent of Americans are dehydrated. Then compound that with an aging process that also dries us out when our internal liquids evaporate without proper replenishment. I keep a sixty-four ounce container of water on my table every day and make it my goal to finish it. When I do that, I feel great. I also filter the water with a Zero Water jug, take two to four Dr. Patrick Flanagan’s Mega Hydrate capsules, and add Crystal Energy drops for longevity. The capsules hydrate the cells and release hydrogen ions that chase down the millions of free radicals roaming in our bodies. The drops add to the PH level of the water, making it wetter, healthier, and more hydrating. Google Dr. Patrick Flanagan and you’ll get a real eye-opener of information on his under-the-radar anti-aging technology. The bottom line is hydration grows in importance as we age. Stay lubricated, amigos.

4. Reconfigure your diet – I know it’s not easy to become a vegan or go totally organic, but you will surely reap the benefits if you can align your diet to these tenants as much as possible. I’m a long-term pescatarian, but I consume less and less fish as the years go by and my body craves it less and less as a result. I also no longer eat sushi due to a concern about parasites. I’ve eliminated meat and as much dairy, fried foods, caffeine, and sugar as possible and have a lot more energy now. Dropping meat was the big one. I cut out beef, lamb, and pork while weaning myself off of poultry over two years. My body thanks me and I’ve never looked back. After years of eating fake bacon, sausage, etc., I’ve totally dismissed the possibility of consuming meat ever again. I know that does not work for everyone, but if you can eliminate meat and as much sugar and dairy as possible, you’ll feel a major difference within a few short weeks and will probably add a few years to a healthy life.

5. Don’t smoke, cut back on alcohol – I don’t think it’s necessary for me to go into why smoking is not conducive to aging in general. If you still feel a need to smoke weed for recreational purposes, source the cleanest product available if it’s legal in your state, and use a vape or a bong. And, imbibe in moderation. I still enjoy the occasional glass of wine, a craft beer, or a few sips of high-end tequila, but I know drinking alcohol is not a great habit and it certainly does nothing for your longevity. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all read the claims about some study claiming that a glass of red wine every day is great for you or about that crusty one hundred year old guy who claims drinking whiskey has been his key to longevity. But do you believe it? Your best path is to arm yourself with scientific facts and make your choices base on what feels right for you. Cheers.

6. Keep moving – Over the years, life takes its toll on our bodies and many of us break down from overuse or abuse. How many people do you know who are over fifty years old that are still pounding the pavement on long runs, or take classes at Barry’s Boot Camp? I’ve found that being consistent with my fitness, which means never really falling out of shape, has allowed me to continue enjoying some rigorous workouts and long runs into my fifties and beyond. Am I lucky? Yes. But I’ve also made some of my own luck by taking care of my body, mind and spirit over all these decades. I began doing push-ups every morning during my teens and I still pound out between fifty and seventy-five almost day. Am I bragging? Maybe a little bit, but so what? The point is that with a little luck we can keep rolling with the same fitness routines if we take care of our bodies during our twenties, thirties and forties.

7. Keep on the sunny side of life – You’ve got your anger under control, you’re eating well, getting your rest, meditating, hydrating, exercising, and not smoking, drinking or eating meat. Congratulations! I’m sure you’re feeling pretty darn good. But, the true catalyst to enhance and maximize the wellness factor in the aging process is maintaining a positive attitude. Of course this isn’t always easy in our highly dysfunctional culture. But it’s possible. And you can do it if you put in the effort. Start by adding meditation to your daily routine and periodically unplug from the Internet, the media, and the waves of toxic negativity that permeate our collective consciousness. Remember this. The only thing that truly matters is right now. You are alive. You are reading this post. You are doing a lot better than you give yourself credit for. Relax, amigo. It’s going to be okay. Play your cards right and you can live a long healthy life. Salud!

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is yogi Kazim Gurbuz who is 95 years old now and looks like a fifty-year old. He claims through proper nutrition and yoga practices we can live to 130. Maybe he’s right.  Would you settle for 100? I’ll see you there. 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Being

Robert Manni - Saturday, September 30, 2017


Modern life is so stressful that it often feels like there are not enough hours in the day to deal with all our responsibilities. But is that how you want to live your life?

When you remain busy, busy, busy multitasking and toiling away without finding time to simply be, you’ll wake up one day and realize that half of your life is over. And you’ll ask yourself what you have to show for it beyond the completion of a lot of tasks, duties and busy work. I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe that’s what our Creator had in mind when mankind was conceived. But, so many people in our western society have a real need to always be doing something. Being busy is necessary, to a point. But when it transcends your ability to slow things down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, it can be a rigid state of mind that precludes you from enjoying anything except when you are doing something. By being, and not always doing, I mean taking a break from tasks, work, planning ahead, social media, texting, and incessantly checking email. Modern man is programmed for doing, and the sad truth is that for most Americans, it’s hard to do nothing and simply be.

If you take the time to learn how to shut down all the noise, I assure you that you can live a much saner and fulfilling existence. But, it’s up to you, because so many of us just have to be doing something or multitasking to feel they are alive, empowered, and important. Make no mistake about it; doing things is good. It’s part of taking on our challenging lives. But learning to simply be every so is a very healthy practice also. In the spirit of learning how to live quietly and peacefully, even in a crazy metropolis like New York, I offer you my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO BEING. And guess what? You don’t have to do anything but sit back and read.

If you are asking yourself how can I simply be when I have so much going on? Amigo, being is a learned skill, but anyone can do it if they take the time to step back and relax. It’s that easy, yet that difficult for many of us type A personalities. So let’s explore my insights and tips for slowing down and simply being, no matter where we are and what the circumstances we’re dealing with.

1. Unplug – If you are serious about wanting to decompress and live a less stressful lifestyle, the first step may turn out to be the most difficult. Putting down your iPhone, iPad, turning off the television, and taking a break from your desktop are real challenges for a society programmed to react to life by continually check emails and social media feeds and working on their computers for their jobs. Unless you take charge and shut it down now it then, you will be caught up in this vicious cycle and most likely become another victim of the grind who gets old before their time.

2. Rest and recharge – Last month I contracted a random case of walking pneumonia. I had to shut down. I had no choice. So I put everything in my life that was not mission critical on hold for a month so I could heal. I was so sick that nothing else mattered, and it turned out to be a blessing because I learned how to shut down and I am now fully recharged. During my illness I did the work that was necessary to live, I paid my bills and I tended to my family as best I could. But that was it. I was too sick to enjoy reading, listening to music, writing, or tackling the projects I lined up for this fall. I was too sick to do anything but rest and recuperate. I slept a lot, suspended my workouts, and made sure not to make any major decisions while I was taking antibiotics.

Since I had not been aware of my prognosis, I attended my annual fantasy football draft. I made crazy decisions that went against my intuition. My team is sketchy at best now because I now realize that I was mentally wonky during the draft. I was diagnosed two days later and decided to take a month to focus on rest, recuperation and healing. And, I’m glad I did. I used the down time to heal physically and mentally, look for the spiritual lesson from my ailment, communicate with my higher self, and align with my truth. I recognized and thanked my ailment and asked it to leave my body, and it did. The experience forced me to slow down and take the time I needed to re-evaluate my life and some major decisions I need to make. But, for a month, I did my best to simply be.

3. Stop your internal monkey chatter – Our third-dimensional lives are predominantly driven by ego. Add technology, smart phones and the relentless media presence in our lives and it becomes difficult to shut down our internal mental dialogue. It’s not impossible, but it’s a tough challenge because we are inundated with new stimuli virtually all day that places us in a reactive mode.  It’s important to our health to learn how to discipline our minds and no think for fifteen to thirty minutes every day. I’ve made positive strides through meditation, deep breathing, visualization and going for long runs where the endorphins kick in and help me zone out. It doesn’t matter what method you prefer for managing your internal dialogue as long as it works for you. The time to get started is now.

4. Consider the bigger picture – Another way to transcend your ego and the details in our conscious lives is to step back and look at our lives from a broader perspective. And by broader perspective, I mean a detached view of your life. My mother always says, “this too shall pass”, and she’s right. Most of the crap you are dealing with right now will not matter very much next year, in five years or when you get sick. Seeing the big picture depends on the expansiveness of your thinking and if you believe in differentiating timelines, past lives and various incarnations. Can you step way, way back and see this life as but a blink in the eye in an endless journey? What’s happening right now in your small self is only a blip on a seemingly endless path to ascension. If you believe that right now is all there is, then enjoy the stress and fear propagated on us by the media. You can live a reactive life if you choose, but regardless of how busy you are, I doubt it will make you happy. 

5. Let go and trust – Letting go is no easy task, but it’s paramount if you want to enjoy a more fulfilling life. Letting go, and even surrendering, does not mean you are giving up or losing anything. In fact letting go is an expression of trusting in your power and the universe. In fact this is very empowering. Holding on to attachments that have exhausted their usefulness holds us back from living the life we signed up for prior to our physical birth. Many times I’ve held myself back by keeping a bad relationship going, holding on to a job that had served its purpose, and becoming too emotionally attached to things like to where I lived. In every case, the moment I let go felt so much better and I was immediately free explore new chapters of my life.

All these actions (or non-actions) discussed can help you slow down, chill out, and simply “be”. If you can master this skill you’ll no longer feel as frazzled, stressed, or manic about dealing with all the day-to-day aspects of your life. You will be free to more fully enjoy your time in this human form and experience the beauty of our world. Just be, amigos.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Dr. Amit Goswami, quantum physicist and author. Dr Goswami co-opted the term “do-be-do-be-do” from the Sinatra song as a signpost for how we can live more fulfilling lives through blending, balancing, and knowing when we need to do or simply be.    

What I've Learned Walking with Pneumonia

Robert Manni - Thursday, September 14, 2017


I was working on post about losing ten pounds in ten days naturally when I realized there was a problem.

I was finishing up my weekly eight-mile run when I tripped and fell headfirst on the boardwalk in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. This was unlike me. I rarely lose my balance, but it was the second time in a month that I fell down at the end of my run. I thought about it as I walked along the beach towards my cooling off dip in the ocean. For some reason today the water and breeze was cold. After my swim I did a little energy work while standing on the shoreline. I breathed slowly as I ran energy into my left hand, throughout my body and finally out my right hand into my crown. I felt chilled as I walked to my beach house, now recalling how my runs had been shorter than usual over the past month and how rare it was for me to trip and fall twice during that time. Something was wrong.

That afternoon the cough I had been experiencing over the past week became more persistent. And that night I felt cold as I hacked while propped up in bed like Doc Holliday. I woke up in the middle of the night cold, yet drenched in sweat and feeling awful. Yep, something was wrong. We stayed at the beach for one more day, but I felt like crap, experiencing more coughs, a hot forehead and loss of appetite. Over the past few weeks I’d begun cleaning up my diet and stopped drinking alcohol. I was steadily losing weight and assumed my body was going through machinations of a detoxification program. But, this was something more. I paid close attention to my body. It told me to get back to New York. So I did, but I was still not well. No matter how much I took it easy I maintained a fever, a now brutal and persistent cough that gave a vicious headache. It was so severe I felt like I was in the NFL concussion protocol. Whatever was happening to me was far more than a few side effects from a detox. I was sick and now I unsure if I could work my way through whatever it was that had taken hold of me.

When we returned to the city I spent the next few days climbing in and out of bed with the same, now escalating, symptoms. I foolishly maintained hope that I could regain my health this way, but my symptoms continued getting worse. Finally I contacted my doctor, but had to wait two endless days for an appointment. The afternoon I headed off to the doctor’s office I was a mess. I stumbled along the streets of Manhattan, couching and wheezing uncontrollably. After discussing the situation with my doctor, he checked me out, took my temperature (I had a fever) and ordered a chest x-ray. A few hours later to my surprise I found out that I had a case of walking pneumonia. WTF!

Thankfully, now I knew what I was facing. Armed with prescriptions for two antibiotics, I began taking the meds immediately. Pneumonia is a bacterial infection of the lungs. It’s not something that your body can easily seek and destroy. In this case meds were necessary. It’s been close to a week now since I was diagnosed and started the meds and each day I have experienced a major improvement. I did not stay in bed all day. I cut back on my schedule and did a modified version of my usual routine and activities at a slower pace. Nothing matters when you are really sick except getting well. It really puts your priorities in order. So, I had no booze, no exercise, no big meals, etc. I began sleeping better and after five days stopped waking up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat on cool damp sheets. I dialed things down and kept it simple and as a result am slowly, but steadily getting better. I’ll finish the meds in another few days and go for a follow up x-ray next month. Things are looking good so I thought I would share what I have learned from the experience, Guy’s Guy style.

1. Don’t be a hero - If you are like me and live a holistic lifestyle, you make good choices in your diet, and for your mental and spiritual well being. That keeps me healthy naturally and aids life extension. But, random things happen and you can get sick at any time. My surprise bout with walking pneumonia is a prime example of how no matter how well we take care of ourselves, shit can still happen. I live in a big dirty city and I take the filthy subway almost every day. Maybe some random person coughed in my direction or sneezed on the subway car handle I was holding. Airborne bacteria is everywhere in this dirty town. I was very healthy yet I contracted pneumonia.

While I was feeling like death that week I asked my guides for help and I got it. I realized I needed to see a doctor and get some good old western medicine and drugs. I waited too long, but eventually I came around and got checked out before thing got worse. Now I am on the mend. Regardless of my steadfast belief in prevention as the best defense against illness, I made the right decision to see the doctor and take the meds. There’s a reason that people died at thirty-five a hundred years ago.

 

2. Take time to heal – After I fell on the boardwalk for the second time I knew something was wrong. Upon circumspection it registered in my mind that my daily ritual of 75 push-ups, my runs and my cardio workouts had been tougher than usual during August. I chalked it up to age, but now I know it was something else. Once that reality kicked in, I shut down all physical activities until I get back to my usual robust health. I have been working out consistently for decades so the break will do me good. When I return to them hard work I will be recharged and I’ll take it slow until I reach my usual peak level of boomer fitness. One step at a time. amigo.

 

3. Consider the spiritual meaning of your illness - Believe it or not, there is a strong connection between your spiritual and emotional states and your health. The root of sickness transcends the physical body. Each time I’ve contracted a serious illness I’ve checked out a few websites and books that explain the connection between specific issues and their manifestations in the physical body.  Apparently pneumonia is a result of unresolved emotional issues and some underlying feelings of desperation. I have been working diligently to raise my frequency, and it is no easy task in our crazy world, especially since I’ve taken the leap and pointed my career in an entirely new direction after decades on the corporate track with well-paying jobs. I have a wife and a kid now too, so at times the pressure feels stifling. Nevertheless, I will persevere and create the life of service that I have chosen to experience.

 

4. Use your down time to make changes – I don’t know about you, but when I’m sick, I’m not that hungry. My usual daily intake consists of homemade soups and lots of water and organic tea. After a week of this diet, I hopped on the scale and had lost five pounds. Yay! I cut out junk, booze, pizza and ice cream and am sticking with fresh fruits, organic smoothies and maybe some fish or a light snack for dinner. Pretty soon I had lost twelve unwanted pounds. So, instead sitting back and taking it on the chin all day and night, I found a way to be creative and get something out of being sick. It’s not always easy when you fell like shit, but it can be done.

 

5. Ask for help. Show gratitude – The day after my diagnosis, I knew I had to acknowledge, thank and love my pneumonia before asking it to leave me. It might sound crazy, but love works better than engaging in battling an illness. Illnesses are signals from your body and spirit that something is wrong and it needs to be addressed.  I’m not suggesting that you allow an autoimmune illness eat away your body. What I am suggesting is to recognize that something is wrong, showing love for the illness (yes, I now it sounds crazy but it works), and then thank it and ask it to leave.

This is one of the most important lessons I have ever learned about health and it has always worked for me. And it’s a practice that ninety-nine percent of people ignore. We are trained to “fight” our enemies instead of loving and learning from them before releasing them. If you consider yourself spiritual or a follower of a major religion, love is a core component of their foundation, and that includes love for your enemy. It does not mean that you don’t defend yourself. No, it means you recognize the divinity in every person and everything your encounter in this life. Only then you can release it from your realm and send it back to God or the Universe or whatever you believe is out there. Love your sickness, look for the teaching, and ask it to leave.

Am I one hundred percent better now? Not yet, but I’m on a steady path back to health. I no longer have a fever, night sweats, chills, and that ceaseless hacking cough. And I am breathing a lot better. Who gets the opportunity to appreciate something as easy to overlook as breathing? I did, and now I’m more thankful than ever for each and every breath I take.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is yours truly. Looking beyond the fevers, chills, unbearable bouts of coughing, intense headaches, and shortness of breath, I’ve learned so much from my bout with walking pneumonia. I learned about my body, my faith and spiritual developmental needs, and how to blend an eastern-based preventive lifestyle with the technology of western medicine as necessary. I am on the fast track to recovery and thankfully my family has been supportive and thankfully they have remained healthy. Who would have thought I could learn so much from a random bout of pneumonia?

Six Hacks to Beat the Heat

Robert Manni - Friday, August 25, 2017


It was ninety degrees in New York City as I sat naked at my writing station. And it felt great.

But here’s the catch—even when it’s hot as hell outside I stay cool the old school way by just keeping the windows open. No AC, not even a ceiling fan humming. Yes, I sweat, amigos, but I feel alive. As you can tell, I dig the heat, but I also like staying cool. I also believe thinking out of the box and using contrarian techniques when fighting those dog days of summer. With that in mind, here are your Guys’ Guy’s hacks to beating the heat.  Some may seem obvious, while others may make you scratch your head. But these have been deployed with success by yours truly so let’s get to them right now before I need to take another shower.

1. Hydrate – Studies show that almost 80% of Americans are dehydrated. And, aging is directly connected to dehydration. So if you want to get older even faster than you will, don’t hydrate. You’ll get old and wrinkly before your time. There is an easy solution though. Drink lots and lots of liquids, and especially water during the summer months. I know it can be a pain in the ass, but carry a bottle of water wherever you go. Water provides a critical component of your body’s cooling system. Instead of drinking tap water, which in the vast majority of communities has been proven to hold too many carcinogens, my wife and I use a Zero filter at home. We also make “living water” by placing a pitcher of filtered H2O on a bed of ancient crystals that are billions of years old. We purchase these mini stones online and they activate the water. We also take Mega Hydrate capsules. These little capsules provide the body with negatively charged ions, they may slow aging, while increasing the absorption of hydration elements in the body. Check them out online. Hydration is rule number one in maintaining your cool and health during these hot, sticky months. Stay away from sugary drinks, soda, and even alcohol as much as possible. You don’t need the sugar and alcohol speeds up dehydration. I like a margarita or a cold beer, but it’s got to be in moderation.

2. Dress to chill – Dressing appropriately during a heat wave seems like a smart idea, but in a city like New York people have trouble switching from their black outfits to lighter colors no matter what the temperatures are outside. I still marvel at folks wearing all black, long sleeves, and heavyweight jeans when its 95 degrees outside.  It never changes. But this obsession with black is not for me in the summer. As soon as the temps pass seventy-five degrees, I ditch my dark clothes, my underwear depending on the situation, long sleeves, and long pants also depending on the situation. I remember my early days in the city in the eighties when people in advertising still wore suits every damn day. I can still feel my body dripping with sweat while I’d stand on the subway platform in my suit and tie. It was horrible, and I was drenched before I got to the agency. I’m so glad we’ve made some progress there. But guys in the banking, insurance or legal professions still have to suit up. It looks good, but what a drag. And who came up with the idea of wearing a necktie? What a douche. If you’re still wearing a jacket and tie to work, at least buy tropical weight suits. Me? Whenever I can get away with it, you’ll find me in a short-sleeved shirt, a pair of shorts, and lightweight sneakers or sandals. Since I keep my hair close cropped, I also bring along a hat to protect my noggin from the searing sun.

3. Ditch the AC – This may sound crazy, but I firmly believe in the body’s ability to adjust its internal thermostat. Sure, there are times when the temps are unbearable and you need that AC cranking. I’ve found that if I am outdoors I adjust pretty easily to the heat and when I’m indoors I feel better when I’m being cooled by a ceiling fan versus an air conditioner. When I’m home alone, even when it is really steamy outside, I forego the AC and simply go full commando in my crib, like right now. Don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it. The main point is that, for me at least, the AC plays games with my body’s thermostat. I find that I come down with random summer colds that I’m sure are related to going from an environment with blasting AC into the heat and then back again. It feels unnatural to me and my body never seems to properly adjust quickly enough to those changes in temperature. I do better when I put my body in charge of cooling itself.

4. Get a haircut – I realize that hipsters rule these days, but those big bushy haircuts and wooly beards look real hot to me. I keep my facial trimmer at level two and make sure I shave down to that point at least once a week throughout the summer.  And bacteria builds up in those hairier parts if we don’t keep ourselves cool and clean.

5. Think cooling thoughts – Don’t dismiss this one. The incidence of violent crimes escalates during the hot months. It’s because people get heated up mentally as well as physically. The mind is very powerful. There’s a reason behind the terms, “blowing your stack” or “things getting heated up.” It’s because our minds play a role in how we feel. So if your thoughts are pleasurable and chill, you’ll feel the difference in how you handle the heat and humidity. I begin each day with a series of affirmations and I do my best to meditate for thirty minutes each day and journal any spiritual thoughts and feeling that may bubble up throughout the day. This practice helps me to keep things in perspective, when the temps are soaring. Another way to cool your mind is to read a book, preferably while sitting in the shade of a tall oak tree.

6. Sweat - Here is another contrarian concept. It’s baking hot outside you go for a long run to cool down. Sounds nuts? It’s not as long as the weather is not too, too hot for any kind of physical activity, sweating is very healthy and it will keep you cooler. When it’s too hot outdoors, hit the gym and work up a good sweat. Your body has a natural way of cooling down. It’s called perspiration and it works very well. During the summer months one of my favorite activities is to get up early, before it gets too hot, and go for a long slow run around Central park or along the boardwalk if I am near the beach. After my run I’ll go for a swim in the ocean, hit the chilled waters of Lasker Pool, or head home and take a long shower to cool down. During the day, when I get hot, I drink water and jump in the shower every few hours.

These are but a few ways to stay cool when the weather heats up and the summer gets long, hot, and humid. Like right now.  What’s important to beat the heat is staying hydrated, maintaining your cool under pressure, and thinking contrarian when seeking ways to perspire and cool down. The summers in New York City are long, and hot, and sticky, but we get through it every year. In a few months we’ll be griping about the rain and the cold while counting the days until next summer. So enjoy the hot weather while you can, amigos. The summer goes by quickly.

This week’s GUYS’ GUYS OF THE WEEK are people like me who thrive in the heat and when under pressure. Some, like your Guy’s Guy, like it hot while others are shade-seeking creatures. It’s all good, so let’s give it up to all of the hot shots that are actually really cool. Peace out until next time.  

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Conquering Anxiety

Robert Manni - Thursday, July 13, 2017


Unless you’re entering an actual lion’s den, fear is a fleeting emotion created in the mind. But in these uncertain times of fear-based news and media, many folks live with an omnipresent feeling of anxiety.

Even the word “anxiety” sounds uncomfortable. Wikipedia defines it as an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, like pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination. Shit, I feel nervous already. So how can we manage our nervous pangs and the feelings of dread that can creep into our consciousness? Let me tell you a story…

I recently had a bout with anxiety that had been triggered years ago when I was trapped alone in an office elevator for close to an hour. Before this occurred, I had never had any thoughts of discomfort about tight spaces. But after that incident, I realized that the mind could play tricks and allow fear to grab hold of our consciousness. In most cases, the old adage “there is nothing to fear except fear itself” rings true, but we all have triggers that cause mental and physical discomfort, and waves of anxiety. It might be a fear of heights, tight spaces, spiders, snakes, clowns, or situations like losing a job, money, or your lover. Today, your Guy’s Guy is drawing on his personal experiences and bouts of anxiety to serve up a few tips that may help you deal with that nasty stuff in your head. Here goes…

Ever since I was trapped alone in an elevator for close to an hour, my mind has played games on me when I’m faced with really tight spaces. Being a certified advanced clinical hypnotist, after the elevator incident, I made sure I practiced what I preached and got help from one of my teachers. It made a huge difference, but like all hypnosis, the patient needs to take an active role in overcoming his issues.

Although hypnosis wiped away most of the residual claustrophobia, I did a double take the first time I saw an MRI machine online. I was due for back-to-back robotic surgeries and needed MRI’s prior to and after both operations. After that, I would need annual MRI’s for the next five years. The first time I saw that tube on my computer I was hit with a wave of anxiety. Requiring two robotic surgeries on my kidneys was stressful enough without adding multiple stints in the MRI tube. None of this had ever been in my purview. My world had been turned upside down when I was diagnosed. I needed to get a grip on my mental, physical, and spiritual facilities, pronto.

I thought I had moved past any discomfort with tight spaces—I took the subway almost every day—but the thought of sliding into that tube was troubling. I was expecting to be in there for about five minutes, but I was wrong. The first time I was in the tube it would be for forty-five minutes.

Inside the tube, I laid with my eyes closed listening to the distant voice of the technician telling me to breathe in, hold my breath, and breathe out while disturbingly loud noises from the machine clanged through my head. It was awful and it was just the beginning. What could I do?

I looked inside myself and I asked for help. I had to get a handle on this quick and take charge of my emotions. So, after the first session, I reviewed the details of my entrance form and realized I had foolishly agreed to take part in a research study. I said, sure, without inquiring what this entailed, only to discover that my participation in the test required me to spend twice the amount of time in the tube. Even though I had checked the box for claustrophobia on my form, I let myself be convinced to be part of a study to help other patients.

So I called the test center, raised hell, and got out of the test. Based on my claustrophobia, they never should have asked me to participate in the first place. But, I learned that as a patient, you have to fully participate in the process and all of the decisions you make concerning your care. Fortunately, the next test was only twenty minutes. And I was better mentally prepared for the series of MRI’s that were in my immediate future.

How did I handle my anxiety? I asked myself what else I could do and then realized that I’d done my best. What I needed most at this juncture was to stay alert and trust the process. Six weeks and two robotic surgeries later, I set out to heal and learn from the experience. And I really did. I had faced the abyss, not even knowing the fate of my right kidney when I went under the anesthesia, and came out fine. What I learned from my fear and anxiety had ultimately made me stronger.

A year went by and I forgot about the MRI until about a month before it was time to slide back in the tube again. I was caught off guard by new pangs of anxiety, but this time I felt more prepared. I placed a call to the center and made sure I had been eliminated from the test study. But the day of the test, when I saw the tube, I took a step back. It looked way smaller than the tube used the previous year. I took a deep breath and slid in dutifully. I choose classical music for my earphones, kept my eyes closed, and repeated The Violet Flame Invocation— “ I am a being of violet fire. I am the purity God desires” as I listened to the tech’s directions. Although in my mind the tube felt tight, I was handling it okay until the machine malfunctioned. I didn’t know what was going on, but it felt like something wasn’t right. I called out to the technician, but no answer. Waves of anxiety poured enveloped me. I squeezed the ball they gave me to signal the techs to slide me out of the machine. At first, even that did not work. Then, finally I was moving.

Once out of the tube, I was told the machine had malfunctioned and I’d have to wait outside until another machine became available. WTF!? I sat waiting nervously in my gown and socks for the next half hour. I was totally off my game when they summoned me the second time. This time, the machine looked bigger. (Later I found out that it actually was.) I lay down, did my best to get into my zone, and got through it. Afterwards, I let out a sigh of relief and headed home. Fortunately my results were once again clear and I was free for another year.

Fast-forward to 2017. I had only three more MRI’s to go before shifting to an annual ultrasound. For some reason, about a month before my test, I began having anxiety about my upcoming procedure. I needed to get my shit together and get ahead of the game. I recalled what had occurred the prior two years and wondered what screw-ups and dread awaited me this time. I went through my mental checklist and made the necessary adjustments. This time I would wear boxer shorts because they were more comfortable in the tube. Check. I also got my blood test and results ahead of time. Check. Then, remembering what seemed to me to be varying sizes of the MRI tubes, I called the center and asked if I was scheduled for the larger tube I had the previous year, following the first tube’s malfunction. The administrator informed me that I was scheduled for the small tube again.

“What is wrong with these people?” I thought. After all, the previous year I had again checked the box for claustrophobia. I had assumed that people are mindful about their jobs. Nope. Finally management switched me to one of the big tubes. I knew which one to request in subsequent years. Check. The morning of the test I asked myself what the hell I was so concerned about. After all, there was really no way I could be harmed during the test. There were aides and technicians everywhere, and I had the signal ball to squeeze if I was freaking out and needed to come out of the tube for a break. Although I may have had reason for my mental anguish, I realized that my anxiety self-induced and all in my head. As soon as I got through to my subconscious, I was ready to go.

This time the test went as smooth as silk. I repeated my violet flame affirmation, but I also asked my guides and angels to be there with me. In fact, I could feel their presence and felt light and protected as a cool breeze from the machine blew up my boxer shorts. The twenty minutes flew by, and the results were all clear. I also picked up one more trick—instead of using the cumbersome headphones next time I’ll ask for the ear buds during the test because they’re lighter and less restricting. So now I know that, too.

Okay, this has been a long story, and thanks for hanging in there. The point is that there are ways to deal with anxiety. Want proof? Here I am, alive, healed, and stronger than ever. In fact, I’m running my usual 6.2-mile loop of Central Park in the same time as I did prior to my surgeries three years ago. I’m sure you will have your own challenges to face, but when you do, consider these steps to power through the situation and come up better than ever.

1. Be prepared – The more you learn about and know the practical aspects about what you’re facing, the less uncertainty there is and the better off you’ll be. Putting the randomness of human error aside, at least you’ll know you did what you could to address your fears and the scenarios you’re facing.

2. Ask what’s the worst that can happen? – If you’re really freaked out, take a few deep breaths, calm down and ask your higher self, what’s the worst scenario you might be facing. Then consider the best possible outcome. I’ll bet that the worst outcome is highly unlikely and in many cases not that probable, or that awful. Keeping a positive frame of mind helps create a positive outcome. When we think about only the bad stuff, that’s what happens. Manage your energy and your vibe. It matters.

3. Learn from your experience – Having a painful kidney stone, two robotic surgeries, and all the follow up procedures, including the dreaded MRI’s, has, in a crazy way, actually been a blessing. I am a different person now, and hopefully a stronger and better person. I’m not as fearful, and I now realize I have more power than I previously believed.

4. Ask for help – Despite the loneliness we all experience from time to time, we are not alone. Not only are we all connected, but we also have spiritual entities looking out for us. If you’re a believer, don’t be afraid to call on them.

5. Say WTF and go for it – After you have done your research, considered the possibilities, gotten your head together, and asked for help, the only thing left to do is to be like Nike and just do it. It’s called life, amigo, and we all have to face some shit. Believe me, adversity can make you stronger and more resilient. Believe in yourself.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Daniel. You know, the guy from the Old Testament who had his faith tested when asked to enter the lion’s den. Now that’s major anxiety. But as he demonstrated, faith and love can conquer fear.


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