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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Process of Elimination™ Diet Plan (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Friday, July 13, 2018


If you are like me, you love your food. But for indulgent diners, maintaining your fighting weight becomes a never-ending battle.

You like to eat, you eat well and you think you’re making good choices. And you work out, but the pounds continue creeping onto your waistline. What’s a Guy’s Guy or a Gal’s Gal supposed to do to stay trim in the face of our questionable food supply and the plethora of tasty, global cuisines invading our shores?

Anthony Bourdain may be gone, but his legacy of introducing Americans to the delights of world food and cultures lives on. With the sampling of new foods comes new cravings and opportunities to pack on pounds. Is it possible to enjoy life and eat well without ballooning into a Thanksgiving Day float when cruising along Central Park West? I’ve put this notion to the test and the answer is a resounding yes. But it requires some circumspection as to what enjoying life means to you and how you can find bliss without succumbing to the daily food cravings that flood our consciousness.

After achieving short-term successes with a myriad of yo-yo diets, and giving up meat a decade ago, I noticed I was still packing on the pounds. Even after factoring my dedication to fitness and all those long runs and hours on the elliptical trainer, when I stepped on the scales last December I saw an unfamiliar number of pounds and told myself enough was enough. Even with what I considered a reasonably healthy diet combined with hours of cardio, I kept gaining weight. Maybe you’ve been there, too. For a 5’10 Boomer, any weight under two hundred is not considered all that bad. But, I’m a Guy’s Guy. And as the person who began this movement¾where men and women can be at their best so everyone wins, “not bad” simply was not good enough.

I decided to develop a program, determined to create a fresh new diet regime that did not require purchasing prepared special meals, fasting, or monthly cleanses.

I knew that another short-term diet plan could only yield short-term results. And I know that the older you get the more challenging it is to peel off those pounds. That meant my program needed to deliver long-terms results that enhanced wellness and potentially inspired permanent lifestyle changes and resulting food choices. In other words, I wanted to build a diet plan that functioned as a stepping stone to a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to help men and women be at their best and win, Guy’s Guy style. After a few weeks of mulling this around, I had an epiphany. 

Eating, and eating well comes down to making choices.

At every meal you choose to consume this or that¾ the tuna or the lamb chops, the beer or the club soda, the bacon cheeseburger or the salad. Over time, the results of those choices¾the bad and good, come to fruition. I asked myself, “what if, a little at a time, I eliminated all my bad choices, or at least as many as possible while still enjoying what I was eating?” What if I eliminated one bad choice per week? Heck, over the course of a year, I could slowly but steadily delete more than fifty bad choices. Spreading out the program across a year would avoid the shock to the system of the familiar short-term diet “fixes” that produced short-term results through pain instead of persistence. I had an idea to potentially achieve significant long-term, life-changing results while allowing my body to slowly and steadily adjust to the changes from making better choices.

I call it The Guys’ Guy’s Process of Elimination Diet Plan. I’ve been doing it since the first week of January 2018. More about that later, but first; here’s how it works. Over the course of the year, you eliminate foods from your diet that you know are not good for you. The POE program has two levels¾monthly and advanced. Let’s begin with the monthly, which is doable for anyone with a little willpower and drive.

Add one new food to cut out from your diet every month.

For example, in January you give up ice cream. That means no ice cream for the entire year. Maybe that isn’t so easy, but you want long-term results. In February, you give up something else for the entire year. Let’s say, bacon. You can’t eat ice cream or bacon for the remainder of the year. When March rolls around you’ll need to choose something else, and so on. By the end of the year you will have given up a dirty dozen of foods you know intuitively are not good for you, your waistline and your health. You make the choices you need to make that are right for you. If you give up something like chewing gum, you’re only kidding yourself. You need to commit yourself emotionally and make those tough choices. That’s it.

I believed that over time, the process of eliminating a different “bad” food from your menu of choices would yield positive results beyond shedding a few pounds.

If you eliminate fattening, processed foods with empty calories and little nutrition you will lose weight. But more importantly, over the long haul, I believed that your slimmer body and positive self-image would also reduce its cravings for the non-healthy foods that caused both physical and emotional distress. You will feel and look better. My theory was that the end of twelve months you probably would not be as interested in digging into a bowl of chocolate swirl ice cream. At least that’s the theory.

To provide empirical evidence for my hypothesis, someone had to put this to test. That's where I came in. However, I wanted to raise the stakes—it needed to be done on a weekly basis. To prove my theory, I needed to complete the advanced program that entailed giving something new up every week of the year. By the end of those fifty-two long weeks, I will have given up fifty-two foods I crave, but know are probably not good for me. This could be a monumental challenge. I didn’t know, but I was determined to find out.

I’m past the halfway mark approaching twenty-eight weeks. And I can honestly report that the program is working exactly as I planned. I’ve lost weight through eliminating twenty-eight foods from my diet, and in almost every case, I have fewer cravings, and if things keeping going well, I am not planning on eating them again, or at least not with the same frequency, zeal and passion as in the past.

On January 1st I weighed 196 pounds. As mentioned, I work out regularly, so there has been no change in that area. I will continue to work out because it’s something I enjoy and believe will enhance the results of the program exponentially mostly because I have more energy and am slowly, but steadily shedding weight.

I started my weekly “advanced” POE diet program by eliminating alcohol on week one. Yikes! This was a tough decision, but I mentally braced myself for this sacrifice during the last weeks of December. As a result, I did consumed a bit of tequila and sparkling wine during those final days of 2017. There is no magic to starting the program at the beginning of the year, beyond it being a twelve-month commitment. Like all New Year’s resolutions, you start at the beginning, although most resolutions are left in the dust after a month or two.

And so it began. Let’s take a break here. I will continue next time with a list of the foods I’ve given up and the results of following the POE program to date. I’ll give you one hint. It’s been wild and worth it. Until next time, amigos…

The Guys' Guy's Guide to 10 Things that I've Learned are True (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Tuesday, June 12, 2018


What is really true in this crazy world we live in?

That’s a question you need to ask yourself. The answer won’t pay your rent, but when you learn the truth you’ll find that many of your opinions, judgments and the things you once believed turn out to be a lot different than what you thought. And if there is anything we really need to know in this lifetime, it’s truth. Does anything else really matter?

If we boil the truth down to just one thing, it’s that everyone walking the face of the Earth is an expression of the Creator. And so, we need to recognize the divinity in everyone. That means the good, the bad, and the ugly that walk among us. If you accept this one truth, everything else can fall into place. Recognize the divinity in everyone. It’s that simple.

But, let’s talk about those other truths, the things we pick up over years through trial and error, success and failure and winning and losing. And let’s do it Guy’s Guy style—casually, confidently, and authentically. Beyond the truth of our divine origin, I’d like to share a handful of insights and nuggets I’ve picked up along the way and how they apply to life love and pursuit of happiness. Let’s call this one my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Ten Things I’ve Learned Are True.

1. Fear is a lie – We live in a culture held hostage by fear. Turn on your television and experience the avalanche of negativity and borderline hysteria about all the things that can go wrong in our world. We’re reminded daily about our need to stave off the inevitable doom that awaits us in the forms of financial troubles, job loss, hair loss, cancer, old age, divorce, suicide, or being swept by the Golden State Warriors. We live in a society that tells us that “you are not enough, and you need to buy these things to survive”. In other words, you can stave off the fear by spending your money on their consumer products, meds, insurance, etc.

The airwaves are awash with TV series, films, news and advertising all focused on fear. AI takes over Westworld. Zombies rule on The Walking Dead. Money is God on Billions. The news is bad these days and beyond that, Trump dominates the airwaves. All of this drives home a ways of thinking that the end justifies the means, bad behavior wins, and you’re going to get screwed over anyway.

So what’s a Guy’s Guy to do? First, don’t buy the hype. Sure, you need money, a job, and insurance to get by, but things are not so bad unless you agree with the notion that life sucks and that you don’t have enough stuff. I’m finally getting past my own personal fears and I now approach life in a new way.  Ironically, it was necessary for me to lose a lot and face down fear and the abyss to turn my attitude around. These days, instead of avoiding what I don’t want to happen, I focus on my end goal of reaching as many people as possible with entertaining, helpful content across platforms.

Take a step back and think about it. Are you avoiding what you don’t want to have happen or relentlessly moving towards want you want? Forget fear and focus on your primary life objective. It can be that simple, but it can also be challenging to change your perspective.

If you have your health, love, and enough cash to get by, you are, compared to most people on the planet, way ahead of the game. I’m not suggesting you settle right there. No, I’m a capitalist and I have no problems with making oodles of money.  But some times we need to take stock of our relative lot in life and show some gratitude.

Never let the media make you feel inadequate in any way. The truth is… although life can be tough, there is nothing to be afraid of. After all, you are divine, a soul incarnated into a physical body. Recognize that truth in everyone and things will change for the better. 

2. Everything is connected – An ex-boss dropped this nugget on me during my last day at his agency. At the time, I did not know what to make of his statement. Yet, his words have always stuck with me. Over time, they’ve haunted me until I figured it out and realized he was right. Everything we do becomes part of our fabric of who we are. It’s sort of like your resume. Your best moves and your questionable decisions are all laid out for you and others to pick through.

No worries, though. We all screw up. And don’t be concerned with past mistakes. Learn from them and change. Realize that where you are today and the experience you’re now having is a result of all your prior actions, including all the bonehead moves you’ve made. Life is not sporadic. It’s about cause and effect. Reminding yourself that every action causes a reaction is helpful. 

3. Forgiveness is freedom – People hold grudges. It’s true, and it’s a damn shame. And these bad feelings are created from ego. No one, especially in our blame-game culture, likes to admit they made a mistake. But, the truth is, we all shit the bed now and then. We’re human. That’s what we do. We learn by trial and error.

So, give people who wronged you a break. If someone makes a mess or screws you over, it’s ultimately on them. I know it can be hard to forgive, but do your best and let things go. Sure it’s often easier said than done, particularly when individuals go out of their way to hurt you. Forgive them anyway. You can still take action.

Let’s get this straight: I am not suggesting you let people screw you over. What I am suggesting is that carrying a grudge can work against you. All that negative baggage becomes a heavy load to bear. So let it go.

I know it’s not easy. Forgiveness is a practice that requires a mindful participation, but it is a worthwhile skill to learn. If you are sincere about forgiveness it will free you from a lot of negative weight and pain. This does not mean you need to forget it, or that you need to keep toxic people in your life. I’m referring to helping yourself by not becoming overly burdened by negative emotions that can eat away at your well-being.

4. Learn to say “I’m sorry” – How many people do you know who never, ever admit to a mistake and say, “I’m sorry’? If your friends and relatives are like mine, the number is high. Many folks are emotionally constipated, and seemingly incapable of owning up to their mistakes. Often it is because they lack the self-esteem necessary to take a hit in stride. People who never admit they are wrong and regretful need help and a little love. But everyone is on his or her own journey to the same place. You cannot expect everyone to think like you do. What you can do is to lead by example. Then it is on them to master this skill.

So when you screw up, say you’re sorry.  Everyone make mistakes every day… even Donald Trump. It takes a real man to admit to his foibles and take responsibility for them. It is a sign of strength that when practiced over time gets easier and easier.

5. We have more power than we think – If you listen closely to the media, news and advertising, the message is clear. You know nothing and you’re in deep shit unless you do as you are told and buy what they say you need.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Humanity has been blessed with incredible powers to do amazing things without the latest gadgets, clothes, or meds. Instead of assuring us about our gifts like intuition, self-healing, and a direct connection to the Creator, we’re instead constantly reminded of a need for more insurance coverage, drugs, money, and consumer goods to survive in the way others have planned for us.

Many metaphysical experts and scientists warn us that our channel to our power is being been suppressed by chemtrails, GMO foods, wifi, and radiation from cell towers, and other unnatural albatrosses that have been foisted upon our lifestyle.

Our skyrocketing health care costs cover medical issues after you find out you have a problem, but almost never cover preventative alternative protocols. Do your research. Reading books on healing, consciousness, natural medicine, and raising your frequency all help provide you with information to consider about how to live your life. It might not necessary fall in line with what you have been told, but it’s the only way to do things. Your fiends might not agree. That’s okay. You will attract new people into your life that are on a similar point of their path.

So how can you claim your truth amidst so many falsehoods in our world? Start by managing your thoughts and managing your words. Because you have so much more strength than you have been taught to believe, you may not be aware of the pure power of your focus and the words you say, particularly about yourself.  Think positive. Don’t believe everything the mainstream tells you is true. Do your own research. Seek out different perspectives and points of view. Keep and open mind. True. True. True. True.  Good luck.

This week’s GUY’S GUYs of the WEEK are the truth seekersthe ones who don’t take things at face value and always ask questions, the ones who keep an open mind and don’t judge new ways of thinking, the ones who know they have more power than they have been told.

The Guy's Guy's Guide to the 4 Types of Daters You'll Meet Online

Robert Manni - Friday, May 25, 2018


Once upon a time, a guy entered a restaurant. He noticed a pretty lady sitting at the bar. Wanting to meet her, he sauntered over, smiled and introduced himself. “Hi, my name is Lou. Can I buy you a drink?”

She looked him over and smiled back. It doesn’t matter what happened at this point, because the possibilities were endless and many of us lived that scene back in the day. And every now and then something like this still happens. But not so much anymore.

Dating, like everything else, has gotten complicated. Real complicated. Dating used to be a fun sport. Now, too often it’s a combat sport.  And it’s really a jungle out there. So most singles have retreated to the comfy confines of their bedrooms to engage digitally. The first step is downloading the usual dating apps and signing up on dating websites in the hope of finding a compatible, but probably equally confused partner.

When you approach dating online, you’ll need to be sharp and have a strategy to avoid the emotional landmines that lay ahead. And if you pay attention and learn the game, you’ll soon know how to save lots of time and heartache by qualifying your prospects. But if you’re dating online and haven’t figured this out by now, you’ve come to the right place. Your Guy’s Guy is here to help you separate the wheat from the chafe and make the most of your time and efforts while swiping left or right. I went on so many online dates that I learned the hard way how to qualify prospects before investing my time, money, and psychic energy in someone I had up to that first face-to-face encounter only met online. So, here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO DATERS YOU’LL MEET ONLINE.

Drum roll please…

1. The new kids on the block – At one time or another we’ve all been the new kid in the game. We’ve all wasted a few online prospects’ time before they figured out we had not yet figured out how the online game is played. This happens when you begin the process by plinking on your keyboard in your tightey-whiteys in the dark of your bedroom to meeting that straight up stone cold fox in person. She expects your A-game. But it takes a time and finesse to sharpen our online skill set, so let’s not be too hard on the newbies we encounter online. Qualify and if necessary, move on. We’re all rookies in the beginning and that means we probably have been more focused on the shiny object dangling on our phone or computer screen instead of determining who you are, what you want, and what you have to offer a partner. It seems that most online daters miss this first step.

Meeting someone who has never dated online is often a waste of time. In my experience, I met a number of very attractive, intelligent, and pretty cool ladies who had never been on an online date. Rookies tend to have a lot of questions, but few answers. They are often very recently single, separated or divorced. They are dabbling, curious and attentive as they inquire about you. They nod their head as they listen attentively and subconsciously compare you to their last boyfriend or ex-husband.  After a while, they may bring up their two daughters or the fact that their ex–whatever still lives with them or is in constant contact even though he is a douche. So you glance at your watch and realize that this was a waste of your time. She is a newbie who does not know what to expect or what she wants from online dating. It’s an eye-opening experience for her. And that’s perfectly understandable. But, shame on you. Her pretty photos sucked you in without your taking the time to qualify her situation before agreeing to meet. So, you lose and she now knows a little bit more about online dating. Wasn’t that fun? Maybe you thought since she’d been married she was generous in the sack and ready for some sheet rumbling with a new guy. You were being selfish and lazy. I know. I’ve been there, amigo.

But that’s not it. She simply was curious about online dating and you were a vessel to fill in some of the blanks before she moves on and dates another half dozen guys before she has a handle on the online dating game, what she wants out of it, and what she expects in a partner.

My advice is in most situations, try not to be the first dude a newbie dates online. Qualify this prior to meeting up unless there is something special there that really sparks your curiosity. Otherwise pass.

Notice I said, in most situations. When it comes to online dating you might craft your rules to live by, but rules are ultimately meant to be broken. There are always exceptions. Case in point—my wife had been recently separated when she winked at me online. I liked what I saw and read about her. Her personality was refreshing so I took a chance and met her without even a phone call. This was my way of breaking my own rules, two of them. I always wanted a phone call first and I did not want to date recently-separated women. But, like I said; rules are made to be broken. So we met and really enjoyed our date. In fact, we have been together ever since. So, there are exceptions, but before dating an online newbie, use your head. That means the one on top of your shoulders.

2. The jugglers – Also known as players, these attractive men and women treat dating like the game it is. And they know how to play to win. Theses cool cats double- and triple-book their life in the big city and always have a backup plan. They’re usually good-looking (worth mentioning again), well-dressed and coiffed, and usually have a good job. When you meet up, they will eyeball you quickly before judging and labeling you. You might become dinner date material for you business connections, bedroom worthy, a rich guy, or creative type who stimulates their curiosity. It doesn’t matter what category you fall into or how you are labeled because most of all you are a disposable social connection that may or may not fit into the complicated puzzle of their unnecessarily over-complicated lives.

Don’t take it personally. These players move like sharks through the dating pool, devouring those who find their way in their path before they move on. You may think you’re making it with them at first, but the slightest infraction will get you voted off the island.

Now don’t get me wrong. Players are fun and they can be sexy, but remember who you are dealing with and don’t take yourself too seriously. These swingles move very fast and unless you can keep up with their demands and lifestyle, you’ll be jettisoned. And that’s okay as long as you can live with the reality of dating a player who may temporarily position you on top of their love totem pole after you’ve done whatever they expect you to do to get there. And that will probably be expensive, so buyer beware.

3. The lonely – Whether online or offline, there are a lot of lonely people in this world, especially in big cities where the tenderhearted can get overlooked by the more flashy players. You know the type.

She moved to New York from Missouri because she is smart and feisty and wanted that Mary Tyler Moore moment when she throws her hat up in the air. And despite the crime and the grime and the expenses, she is in love with the city. And that makes her vulnerable. She’s a great gal with decent job and a nice, clean apartment with big fluffy towels in her bathroom. But she’s never really gotten accustomed to the often-heartless behavior of urban males who have ghosted, bird-seeded or orbited her. She’s online because she wants to meet a guy and that’s what everyone is doing. She crafts a sincere profile and dutifully checks her emails every night hoping that cute guy she wrote to online will be the real deal. She expects men to behave like gentlemen online. But often, they don’t.

She deserves a man who will step up and date her like her dad wooed her mom. That might not happen. But, welcome to New York, anyway!

My advice. Treat this lady with care. If you meet her and don’t feel the vibe, pick up the tab and move on. Don’t seduce her and disappear because she is vulnerable. If the attraction wanes after a date or two, consider the possibilities of a friendship, unless she thinks you’re an asshole. Regardless, be kind and don’t waste her time or your time just to get laid. Okay?

4. The realists – These are the men and women who put up with all that shit in their mid-level jobs as an expected step in their life’s journey. They want some fun and excitement and hope to meet someone normal online they can date for a while and maybe build a relationship with. Is that so unreasonable? Of course not. This group represents the pig in the python for online daters—savvy millennial, GenY, and X’ers who are doing their best to make their mark in this dysfunctional world the older generation left them with. Thanks a lot, boomers!

These hard-working people are the backbone of society. They deserve a little fun and a good partner. The good news is that most people dating online now, whether make up this group. So if you are a decent person with a sense of humor and a job, you can probably have a great time meeting people online. Online dating is no longer the exception. It’s the norm and you can meet a lot of cool men and women there if you keep your antenna extended and learn how to protect your time, money, and your feelings before falling to one of the many online dating sinkholes. I hope this helps.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is my wife. She spent one weekend during a free trial for an online dating site and dated only one guy who became her husband. That’s impressive. But, so is she. After all, she married a Guy’s Guy.

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.    

Should You Message an Older Woman a Second Time if She Doesn't Respond?

Robert Manni - Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Note: This is a sponsored post for BeyondAges.com, written by Keenan Cruz

One of the drawbacks to dating apps is the mental aspect. Unless the conversation is rolling quickly, we spend so much time in our own heads. Agonizing over the details, wondering what she meant by that phrase or what she’s up to.

Perhaps the hardest one to figure out is what to do if she doesn’t reply. Do you just leave her be and move on? Should you send another message “just in case”? It’s a difficult one because emotions can get in the way, so let’s take an objective look at it.

To message or not to message, that is the question

Ultimately the answer here depends on the method of communication. There are different expectations and possibilities depending on how you’re chatting up an older woman looking for younger men. Let’s take a closer look at each of these below assuming you have already done the work in properly building your digital dating presence.

Dating apps

With apps like Tinder and Bumble, a big part of the attraction is relative anonymity. Sure, your name and photos are there but if you unmatch someone that’s the end of it.

This tends to bring with it the expectation of low commitment from both parties. If you’re busy and don’t have time to reply until tomorrow that’s absolutely fine. Likewise, if you don’t feel like talking to a match anymore, there’s no expectation you continue. Nobody should be offended by this, it’s just how the apps work.

Of course she has the right to do exactly the same without repercussion. If you don’t receive a response from her after a particular message, my advice would be to leave it alone. Move on to someone/something else and let her be. Even if you could wrangle a bit more conversation, is that really what you want? To draw out chatter from someone disinterested?

If it’s a match you were particularly interested in, the voice in your head may be trying to convince you otherwise. I’ve been there. The self-doubt makes you wonder “what if she’s just busy and forgot to reply?” “If I send her a quick message, maybe that’ll remind her.”

Maybe that voice is right but unfortunately, it’s unlikely. Perhaps spend a little time seeing where you could have improved, if anywhere. Sometimes people just don’t click and that’s okay.

All of this is especially true if you’re early in conversation. If there have only been a few messages back and forth and there’s been no reply, move on.

Dating websites

Most dating websites focus more on the pursuit of long-term relationships than a quick fling. This changes some of the rules and expectations but not when it comes to when a woman stops responding.

You may be able to get away with a brief follow-up message since users can be a little less blasé about the whole thing. With that said, my advice is no different here — leave it be and move on to something else.

First though, you have to make sure you are only spending time on the top rated dating sites for meeting cougars. Luckily we’ve done the homework for you on that front.

Text messages

It doesn’t matter if you’ve successfully escalated from Tinder to text message or exchanged numbers at the bar. Either way, once you’ve reached this stage you can consider it a sign of mild commitment.

This doesn’t mean you necessarily owe each other anything but expectations do change. By this point you already know a bit about each other and have decided there’s mutual interest.

From this point on I find conversation to be much easier. First impressions are already made, I have a clear sign of interest and I can relax a little more. It also means that if she decides she isn’t interested, she’s most likely going to tell me.

What that means is getting no response now is more likely to be because she’s busy than flat out disinterested. If it’s been a day or two without a reply, go ahead and follow up with another message. Be sure to keep it short and for everyone’s sake, if you get no response from the second message — move on.

Think about it this way. Maybe she’s just away on vacation or broke her phone. If she goes to reply a week later and sees 17 pleading messages, you’re making the “crazy clinger” category. No more than two messages!

Dating agency

If you’re the dating-agency type, the advice can vary a little depending on the setup. Since every agency runs slightly different, it’ll depend on how you communicate with your dates.

When it’s through their website, then the “Dating Apps” section above applies to you. When you’re given a number or exchange them after a date, the section above is going to be the most applicable.

As I mentioned in the beginning, how you handle these situations depends on the method of communication. Exactly how you came to make the connection is far less important.

After a date

I’ll be honest. If you had your first date a few days ago and she’s ignored you since then, it’s not a good sign and you may not have followed our advice for meeting an online connection for the first time. Unless you know she had exams or something going on and would be busy, I’d probably leave this one alone.

The reason she isn’t responding can be hard to determine sometimes. Whatever the reason, don’t beat yourself up about it. Maybe you did say or do something questionable but it’s just as likely she went back to her ex or something.

Trying to figure out what you did wrong isn’t particularly constructive since the answer may be “nothing.” Instead, take advantage of the world we live in. A few more swipes and you’ll have a fresh match, right?

Repeated slow responses

A slow reply here and there is nothing to even analyze. You’re busy, she’s busy and neither of you deserve to feel bad about it. With that said, if you’re texting each other and she takes days to reply every time (with no valid reason in sight), that’s a little different.

Think about the match you were most into. Now think about how excited and eager you were to reply to her. As your interest in someone wanes, so too will the urgency in your replies.

It’s no different for her. Once again, it’s not something to beat yourself up about. The cause may have absolutely nothing to do with you. That doesn’t change the fact very slow replies to every message is a sign she’s just not that keen.

Calling her on it really won’t achieve anything constructive. Instead, I tend to leave the ball in their court if this happens and move on.

For example, I might send her a message like:

“Hey Sarah, I’m away for the weekend but have a few nights free next week. Let me know if you want to go do something through the week”.

She may reply with a rather generic “okay, sounds good” and that’s fine but I’ll leave it there. Now, if I’m reading it wrong and she is keen, she’ll text me. If not, that’s fine too. It’s an easy, low-pressure out for her and it means I’m not trying to carry a reluctant conversation.

How to follow up with a second message

If you’re going to send her a second message, then it’s important you do it the right way. The impression you make is crucial and you don’t want to come across as needy.

First off, as I mentioned above, you want to limit it to one follow-up message and then leave it alone. A daily message for two weeks screams an epic degree of neediness.

Perhaps more importantly, don’t go making her feel bad. Although it might be frustrating to receive no reply, she hasn’t done anything wrong. Choosing not to continue a conversation is her right, as it is yours. You may want to hold her accountable in some way but all it’s going to achieve is making her feel bad. Instead, try to be a little more respectful and just let it go.

Think about it this way, what if she was likely to get in touch with you again in the future? If you made her feel bad about your last interaction do you think she’ll want to go there again? Probably not.


So much of this topic is about patience and mental discipline. In the excitement of meeting someone you really like, it can be hard to wait for a response. It can also be crushing if you don’t get a reply at all.

Whatever happens, remember you’re both complex individuals. You each have a lot going on and slow/no reply isn’t necessarily a reflection on you. Be respectful to both yourself and her and things will be that much easier. You might be surprised who comes back down the track with an explanation.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Staying Fit at Any Age

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 10, 2018


When the temps are in the twenties for the fourth month in a row, who wants to wake up, climb out of bed and hit the gym before 7am?

If your answer is, “Not me”, you are not alone. The more we age the more challenging it is to do the work necessary to maintain our fitness. I’m a boomer with too many friends taking multiple meds, having hip replacements, are overweight, diabetic, and flat out looking and feeling old. It’s understandable. Modern life is stressful. It takes something more than motivation to stay fit. It takes willpower. Motivation comes and goes. Our will is constant, but only if we call on it.

Assuming you have the will required to get into shape, you need a way to get started. That’s where your Guy’s Guy comes into play. And the word “play” is our first lesson. Working out to stay fit needs to be driven by both your will and a sense of “play”. You have to enjoy working out and its benefits to stick with any fitness program. I’m writing this post in mid-March and can honestly state that I know very few peeps that have stuck to their New Year’s fitness resolution. There are too many distractions, work deadlines, bad weather, and excuses available to stray from the course, unless you have that will power to succeed. Although you can call me a douche for crowing about it, I have stuck to my guns, am putting in the work, and it is paying off. And that’s why I’m writing about this. But let’s talk about you and what you can do when you are ready to get back into shape and stay there.

With that I present, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Staying Fit at Any Age.

1. Have a goal – Although you can simply begin working out whenever, it helps to put in some thought beforehand to what you are trying to accomplish. For many it’s weight loss, for others it could be toning up. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, but it helps when you keep that goal etched into your subconscious when you are kicking off your program and when you hit that first plateau. Without a goal it becomes far too easy to find excuses to skip a day or have that scoop of chocolate chip mocha gelato. Having a goal helps you abide.

2. Start slowly – If you have not learned this by now, let me remind you that life is a marathon, not a sprint. When instituting any new fitness program, especially in the dead of winter, the key is to start slowing and build up steadily but slowly. Think about your program as a lifestyle change, not temporary punishment. You also don’t want to hurt yourself by pulling a muscle from trying to do it all in a week or two. Take your time, amigo. It’s a marathon.

3. Be Consistent – If you keep your goal in mind and begin your routine slowly while re-introducing that mind-body connection, you’re off to a good start and ready for your next challenge. That means hitting your workouts consistently. As mentioned, I cannot emphasize enough how often you will be tempted to skip days when you’re getting started. If your body can handle the changes, keep your appointment with yourself and your goal. And, you don’t have to be a slave to the regime. That’s the wrong mindset. Get into a frame of mind where you look forward to your next workout. How can you do that when it’s six in the morning and you look in the mirror and still see blubber hanging over your waist? That’s actually the point. Instead of giving up, this is the time to hunker down and remind yourself this is how championships are won. Yeah! (fist pump). Keep going and think of the payoff. You’re getting trimmer and fit and your partner is going to love it.

4. Rest – Now that you’ve turned your workouts into a scheduled routine and you’ve begun to amp up the resistance, it’s time to listen to your body and reward it with the rest it needs. That does not mean taking a week off. It might mean sleeping in on your off day or switching out weights for cardio when your body and mind are asking for a break from the iron. Rest is always good if you deploy and not exploit it. When you listen to your body and know when to give it a break or a change you’ll run like a finely tuned machine.

5. Use your food for fuel – The best fitness advice I ever received was “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.” If you don’t believe it, ask any bodybuilder or fitness competitor. You are what you eat and even if you work out like a dog, if you are filling up your body with bad fuel, you will have problems reaching and maintaining your goals. If you have committed yourself to a fitness regime, do yourself a favor and be careful with your intake of booze, simple carbs, and sugar. I also suggest avoiding processed and fried foods if you want to lose weight. Any boomer will tell you how hard it is to get back in shape and shed the pounds after you fall out of shape.

6. Shake up your routine – If you’re like me you probably create a routine and keep doing the same thing workout after workout. I’ve been fighting this tendency for years. It prevents me from maximizing the work I’m putting in at the gym. It’s critical to mix things up now and then. I recently discovered Dan Millman’s Peaceful Warrior Four Minute Workout and I love it. It’s a combination of 15 movements that you do in order to unlock energy and unleash your power. You can find it online. I recently begun to include it before my workouts, and if I have a rest day I put in the four minutes to run through this routine of stretches and twists. It really helps. Other ways you can break up the monotony are running outdoors instead of using the elliptical or taking a class or doing a high intensity workout now and then instead of pumping iron. The more variety of muscles you include on your workouts the fitter you become.

7. Win the mental game – It’s easy to give up when the results are not coming as fast as you’d like them to. But, don’t give up. Never give up. It’s too damn easy to quit and you’ll kick yourself when you pack it in and order that bacon cheeseburger and a couple of beers. If you want the results, you’ll need to maintain some discipline and keep up the fight even on the days you don’t feel like it. That’s how championships are won. You can do it if you want it bad enough. That’s’ up to you, amigo, but I have faith in you.

This week’s Guy’s Guy (Gal) of the Week is Harlem’s own Ida Keeling, who is 102 years old. She recently set a new world’s record fo0r the 60-yard dash event in the 100-104 age group at the Imperial Dade Track Classic in Manhattan.

How Learning to Navigate Change Will Help You Succeed in Dating

Robert Manni - Monday, February 26, 2018


What happened to men? Nobody knows what they are doing anymore—especially the men.

There's no denying that women are on the rise and finally getting the recognition they’ve long deserved. The future is about the ascension of women and they are not going to take crap from men, especially those in power any more. But, that is not bad news for guys. If you are a real man, a Guys Guy if you will, there has never been a better time for dating. Women want the world to be a place where both men and women stand side by side and win. And that’s a very good thing. But right now, there is a communication chasm between the sexes. With all the changes and the #MeToo movement, many men don’t know who they are or how to act with women. Our culture is changing and if guys don’t learn how to adapt, it will seriously impact their ability to attract women and build relationships. Today’s women are shaking up the world and making things happen so understandably, they want to date men who know who they are, what they want, and focused on becoming the best they can be.

Let’s first acknowledge that men have an identity problem.

With their overdue recognition and all the success women are experiencing today many men find themselves out of touch, falling behind or out of sight. Men are at a crossroads in how they see themselves and how they fit in. A lot of guys’ masculinity is caught somewhere between the MMA and manscaping, and that’s no place to be. We are facing a male crisis and it’s up to men to evolve so women will appreciate and respect them. The good news is women are on men’s side. They want men to succeed. So fellas, it’s up to us do whatever needs to be done to get back in the game. Here are a few suggestions to help men be their best and become more attractive to women as people and potential partners.

1. Celebrate women

Men need to realize that women are not the enemy. They should support women's achievements in the workplace and throughout our society. A real man wants his partner to succeed and shows pride in her success. This is a quality that today’s women seek out. Men need to learn how to celebrate women. Women’s ascension and recognition is not a threat. It’s actually very good for men. With women taking on more of the heavy lifting and financial responsibilities, men are free to grow in other areas, including their education, spirituality, emotional intelligence and things they can do for their partner beyond providing for them financially. Today’s women are offering men this gift. It’s up to men to accept it and work on themselves. That’s seems like a good deal to me.

2. Go inside

It's an old adage, but the answers do come from within. The media is constantly bombarding us with fear and worry. Media and its forms of messaging intrudes into our subconscious so it distracts and hypnotizes us. For today’s men to maintain a true sense of self they need to learn how to "tune into themselves and tune out the noise." Although some men are exploring spirituality, holistic practices for optimal health, ways of getting in touch with themselves, the vast majority of following this path are still women. It’s time for guys to take that trip inside to learn what makes them tick and what is most important in life and to the women they love. Energetic practices including Reiki, hypnosis, meditation, tai chi, yoga, and even calligraphy are a few of the disciplines that show positive effects on men's self-knowledge and wellbeing. Women are good at sensing and reading energy, and a man with balanced, positive energy sends the right message to potential partners. But it’s an inside job.

3. Eat to win.

The benefits of cleaning up one’s body shows up many ways. Cutting back or eliminating habits like smoking, alcohol, red meat, preservatives, GMO's, dairy, and sugar not only improve a man’s physical well being, it also increases his mental clarity and his appearance. Autoimmune diseases begin in the gut, which is proven to work as our second brain. That means making the right choices when it comes to food and drink. Diet is an issue that many men overlook.

Too many guys still eat and drink the way they did in college. Men in their thirties are for the first time being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s symptoms which arguably due to diet and stress. . Unfortunately, many men still eat what tastes good rather than what's good for them. As a result, many men are becoming obese and breaking down much earlier nowadays. This is not sexy. Back pain, hip replacements, etc. take their toll on how a guy feels and appears to the opposite sex. Men prefer fit women and so it’s fair that women want men fit and capable of dealing with modern life’s challenges. Guys, evolving your diet as you age is critical to your appearance and mental fitness. Even modest change in diet has benefits. If you take care of yourself in a responsible way, and that does not mean you have to be a bodybuilder, women will respect your effort and find you more attractive.

4. A man is more than his job.

Many men define themselves solely by their jobs title and weekly paycheck. Sure, the economy's tough and we need that cash to keep us rolling in the style we’re accustomed to, but in today there is no job security. Jobs and titles change and most eventually fade away, leaving many men alone, and depressed with an identity crisis. So yes, money counts, but for a man to be truly successful and as attractive as possible to women, it's important for a man to know and love the guy he’ll spending the rest of your days with—himself.

No matter how smart or successful a man is, it's game over when he thinks he knows everything. Education keeps men on point and there are infinite opportunities for men to feed their minds and nurture their souls. Take a class, read a book, study a language, learn an instrument, practice yoga. Life is short. Take the time to do what strokes your passion. Discover the things that bring you joy. The more a man learns the more curious he becomes and the more interesting he will be to his partner. Knowledge is sexy.

Our world is changing, but there has never been a better time to be a man. Women are watching us closely, and I assure you that they are seeking qualities in their men beyond the size of their wallet and biceps. Men and abs help, but ultimately, today’s women want to date guys who know themselves and maintain a curiosity and passion for life. When a man develops these qualities, it definitely shows. And if men recognize and respect women, they can become very desirable to the ladies.

It's up men to take advantage of the resources available to live as vibrantly as possible. If guys make the effort to accept change and work on themselves, lots of available, intelligent and attractive women will be there to welcome them with open arms.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Valentine's Day

Robert Manni - Monday, February 12, 2018


Valentine’s Day is a day most guys dread. It’s commercial, pressure packed, and commercially exploitative.

If you’re single, you’ll feel left out. If you’re in a relationship, you’re running around at last minute looking for a cool gift for your lover. That’s not very romantic. But it doesn't have to be that way. What can a Guy’s Guy do to make this annual task of love work for you? The answer is to get out of the equation. Check your ego and make February 14th day all about your partner. If you personalize the day for her, you’ll get more satisfaction than you could hope for. Here are three Guy’s Guy hacks for turning this challenging into a day you truly celebrate.

1. Tried and true ideas can work if they are not the expected. Dinners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry, champagne, and lingerie have been the standard bearers. If you customize them, there is nothing wrong with choosing any or all of the above. If that’s the case, what separates a champion from a chump comes down to one thing— paying attention, personalizing the gift, and choosing something that first pleases your partner.

On Valentine’s Day, and on any day, women love receiving flowers. But, contrary to popular thinking, not every woman considers a dozen red roses her first choice. As you know, women have particular tastes about everything, and preferences for flowers are no exception. To make your choice special, find out which flowers she prefers ahead of time, even if you need to ask her friends.

2. When love is new, fan the flames. If you want to get intimate with a woman for the first time you are probably considering buying lingerie in the hopes that she’ll wear it for you on Valentine’s Day. But pause before picking out something small and red and just for you. She’s more than aware that you want her to give you the show. But unless she’s given you a big hint about recreational activities for Valentine’s Day, your Guy’s Guy says DO NOT buy her lingerie for Valentine’s Day if you haven’t been to bed with her yet. Take your time and don’t make her feel like she’s under pressure about getting it on with you on Valentine’s Day. If you want to get her in bed, there are other less obvious ways than buying her lingerie. Start by being thoughtful and unpredictable. Keep her off balance, be romantic, and use the element of surprise. Pick up tickets for that show she wanted to see, cook her a special dinner, or take her to that place she mentioned in passing or to somewhere she’s always wanted to go. The little things will get you over the top, amigo.

And instead of buying a big, red printed card with a long rhyming message, pick put a classy, elegant card with very little text so you can scribble your own heartfelt message about how much fun it is getting to know her and how much she means to you. Point out the little things you’ve noticed about her that make her special and why you want to get to know her better. Believe me, she’ll notice that you’re paying attention, and most likely you won’t need that red lingerie to get where you want to go. She’ll have something picked out just for you. If you express your feelings in a heartfelt way, she’ll bring it on when the time is right. And when she does decide to rock your world, fasten your seat belt.

3. Keep the fires burning… Again, it’s about personalization. If you buy her jewelry pick something that you think she’ll like and then kick it up a notch by inscribing it with a personal message. A former paramour once bought me a silver necklace and an understated pendant. Nice. When I looked closer at it I noticed that she had inscribed on the underside, “Love Slave”. Talk about marking your territory. It worked. Of course once my next girlfriend took one look at it, it went to the scrap heap.

Whether you are in a long-term relationship or marriage the written word really goes a long way. If you buy a card, write in it the ten special things that she does that make you love her. Tell her why she all those reasons why she’s so important to you or what makes her sexy and fun and giving. Let her know her in no uncertain terms that she is the one for you. And it won’t hurt if you clean the house before cooking her a special dinner.

You’ve got the idea now amigo. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day is making the dreaded day all about the other person. Then it becomes a good day.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is Paul McCartney. After all, isn’t he the Beatle who wrote all those silly love songs?

Valentines Day: The Holiday About Love that Everyone Hates

Robert Manni - Friday, February 09, 2018


No, I don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I dread it.

I’d like to have a chat with good old St. Valentine. He may be a saint, but he’s got some explaining to do. The myth behind the man is as confounding as the commercial celebration of romantic love that sprang from his legend. What happened to this guy? Was he beaten to death with clubs, beheaded after restoring sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer, or was he just a romantic legend created by Chaucer? Until the twentieth century, the tales surrounding this man had been spun more times than a soggy gym towel in the dryer. Eventually people figured out ways to make money and the real myth was born that we know today. Corporations that produce syrupy greeting cards, milk chocolate hearts, and jewelry saw the dollar signs and lovingly embraced Saint’s “brand”.  And since it’s a holiday, we are subjected to price gouging at restaurants and florists. In my informal survey the majority of men and women I spoke to conjured up emotions far from loving when they saw February 14th and a big red heart on their calendars.

What’s the word that comes to mind when men and women think of Valentine’s Day? 

Pressure. If you're single, Valentine’s Day reminds you that you are currently not on the invitation list to life’s love-in, which only makes you feel lonely and less than saintly. If you’re in a relationship, you have to step up your game and deliver the goods—big time. Women still dig flowers and chocolates, and receiving them unexpectedly… on any other day. And women love jewelry, but on February 14th it has to sparkle and be made of diamonds or gold.

Guys love seeing their woman dolled up in red lingerie, but consider this before making the purchase. Is that outfit for her or for the dude who buys it on Valentine’s Day? Tiptoeing around Victoria’s Secret and sifting through teddies, garters and thongs can be uncomfortable. A lot of guys are unsure as to what size she wears and they do not want to make a mistake.  You’ve seen them wandering around Victoria’s Secret checking out other women’s boobs while trying to figure out if they’re the same size as his girlfriend. It’s nerve-racking. Trust me - a man gets no kicks from discussing his lady’s cup size with the sales girl.

So how do guys get through this annual ordeal?

I have no clear answer. And, dialing up my own personal pressure cooker, my wife’s birthday is February 12th. I’m totally screwed. But there’s hope for some, even those not in a relationship. Some experts say that February 14th is the best night for single ladies to get lucky. That is, if they can rally their squad and muster up the juice for a manhunt. So, if you are a single guy, get your butt to the bars. And when you get there, keep your eyes off the hoops game playing on the big screen and open for those ladies on the lookout for some fresh man-meat.

If you’re a guy in a relationship, you’ve still got time to come up with something cool. Consider buying her a well-deserved pampering session at a top shelf spa. Or, maybe offer to cook her a romantic dinner. If you’re a woman, bust out the deep red lipstick and push up bra ensemble and rock his world. Trust me. That’s all he wants. As for me, I might end up cleaning the bathroom before taking my wife to her favorite restaurant. Then I’ll wish for February 15th.

This week’s GUY’S GUY of the WEEK is Saint Valentine. He was an interesting guy and a saint. It’s not his fault that his life’s work was high jacked by commerciality.


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