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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to South Korea (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Did you know there are over ten million people living in Seoul, Korea? Now imagine a city larger than New York functioning like a well-oiled machine with no litter, garbage cans overflowing, and no potholes anywhere. The differences are dramatic between my home in NYC and my new favorite global capital. Let me share some of what I gleaned about a fascinating culture and people living halfway across the globe. In the course of a just over two weeks my wife, son and I visited Seoul, Je Jeu Island, Gimpo, Jeonju city and smaller cites and towns in the suburbs of Seoul where my in-laws reside and tend to their lives. It was an all encompassing trip highlighted by a four night stay in magnificent Seoul, a three-day rainy stay in gorgeous Je Jeu Island, and trips to the mountains, historic villages, a half-mile long underground cave, and a gorgeous spice and flower park. I’ve traveled the world on business and pleasure, but was still blown away by Korea. As I pour through an endless list of differences I jotted down, I realize we have a lot of ground to cover.

The People.

So where to begin? Let’s start with the people. My wife was born in Korea and I have gotten to know her family well over the past decade. They are very Korean and along with the other Koreans I’ve come to know over the years, let me make a generalization. Koreans are wonderful, generous, kind people with strong wills and incredible strength and stamina. My mother-in-law celebrated her eightieth birthday during our trip. Having been an athlete my entire life, I completed three marathons, and walked all over New York City for the past thirty years. I consider myself to be in good shape. But by the end of each day in Korea, while I was bushed my “Oh Ma Neem”(mother-in-law) was still marching around like it was 10am. Even factoring in my jet lag from the fifteen-hour trip and 13-hour time difference, she still kicked my ass.

To a person, everyone we met throughout the trip was polite, attentive, helpful, and honest. After a day of paying for meals and other stuff with “won”, the local currency, I finally relented and handed over my credit card. When the bills came due upon my return, there were no discrepancies whatsoever. Service was incredible in every restaurant, and there is no tax, tipping or service charges, even in the hotels. You get a bill with one number to pay. That’s it. How refreshing.

Even the taxi drivers were chill. They were polite, helpful and easy to talk to if they spoke any English, and if not, they chatted up my in-laws in Korean like they were family. I was fortunate to be surrounded with family who all spoke Korean. The vast majority of Koreans, even in Seoul, don’t speak English. And, Korean is not the easiest language to pick up. I could not make sense of any of the words I heard or most of the signage, although there was English on some menus and posted in the stores. Overall, due to the strong economy in the states, the exchange rate favored the dollar (about 100 won for 80 dollars). When we factored in no taxes or tipping, prices were reasonable unless we purchased foreign goods. And even those prices were in line with what you’d expect for globally recognized brands. Hotel rates were also very reasonable. We rented a massive two-bedroom two-bathroom suite with great views, a full kitchen, washer and dryer in Insadong, a very cool section of the city, similar to staying at a trendy hotel in SoHo. The cost was only $225 per night, everything included. No room tax, occupancy charges, or any other bullshit gauging techniques we are sued to in the states. $225 for the room, that’s it.

The Food.

Food tended to be a relative bargain also. When you walk along the streets of Seoul or any Korean city the streets are lined almost one hundred percent with places to eat and coffee shops. Koreans love coffee. For the most part, we avoided Starbucks and Dunkin’ because the local brands and chains were all very good and cheaper. The one weird thing was we had to pay extra for milk for our coffee. Dairy is not a big thing in Korea. So when you order a latte, it’s coffee with milk, not the fancy lattes we get in the states. Containers of milk cost double than what we pay, and yogurt and cheese were no bargains either. Dairy is kind of a delicacy in Korea.

We enjoyed our meals at so many different types and sizes of restaurants. They were almost all very good; they all served very fresh foods, and were relatively inexpensive. As mentioned, the streets were lined with restaurants situated one after another, only broken up by a coffee stop. Of course, in the city of Seoul there were stores selling clothes, jewelry, etc., but it was still nowhere near the ratio of stores to restaurants and coffee shops in the states. I’d guess that over ninety percent of retail establishments sold either cooked foods or coffee. The only bars to speak of were located near the corporate offices spread across various areas of Seoul. However, you could buy the local liquor, soju, which is a low-proof clear vodka-like spirit distilled from rice, anywhere at a very cheap price, usually about $2 for a small bottle.

When I asked my brother-in law why there were so many restaurants and why they were all so tasty and cheap, he told me that was the competitive landscape. If you opened a restaurant anywhere, it had better serve good food at reasonable prices or it would be out of business in no time. As a result, we ate delicious meals pretty much anywhere, even at highway rest stops. In the states when you pull into a rest stop there is usually a fast food joint. In Korea, rest stops have sprawling food halls with various food offerings, coffee shops, and places selling sweet baked goods or ice cream. The food at the two rest stops we ate at was surprisingly good and cheap.

In Korean restaurants you usually take off your shoes and sit on the floor. Most serve the table family style. This makes things easier all-around. Another twist was being served seafood that was still alive when served while cooking in a hot pot in the center of the table. Kind of makes you feel guilty about eating creatures we share the planet with, but the food was tasty nonetheless. I did not get sick the entire trip although I was grossed out when I bit into the head of an octopus in my stew and it exploded in my mouth. Yuck!

Two other notes about the food. There are lots of casual seafood restaurants along the coastline with large tanks out front filled with an assortment of locally caught fish. These fish can be massive in size. When you order, some guy walks outside with a net, scoops up the fish ordered, whacks it on the head or simply chops it up alive before throwing it into a pan. It’s just how it’s done. The other crazy thing is the tradition of eating black pigs. As the tradition goes, the black pigs are black because they mostly eat poop. They love poop so much that on the farms where they are raised they situate themselves under the outhouse floor so they can lap up shit as it comes out. I kid you not. There are all kinds of representations of this honored tradition throughout Korea. Fortunately my son, wife and I do not eat pork.

But, unless you enjoy Korean food, you may be disappointed. With the choices available There were restaurants in the business districts that served more western food and some were very good, and others not very. The one food that fell short was the pizza. The sauce tasted like ketchup and the cheese was nowhere near the mozzarella we take for granted in the states. That said, the food in Korea was pretty darn good if you are somewhat adventurous and open to eating Korean food daily. And that means at any time of day because Koreans eat Korean food at any time of daybreakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack. You can eat kimchi, fermented root vegetables, soups and rice at any time of day.

So the food was great, the people were chill and polite, and the cost of living is reasonable. Overall, Korea is a fascinating place to visit if you are an adventurous soul.

Let’s take a break here. This is just a sampler of a very exotic country. Lots more about Korea is coming soon. Until next time.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Getting in Shape (To Get in Shape)

Robert Manni - Sunday, April 21, 2019

If you watch as many films as I do, you know that if a movie sucks during the first twenty minutes, it’s not going to improve. The same can be said for most important aspects and experiences of our lives life. You need to get things off on the right foot, and that means being prepared to nail the beginning...of anything. This also goes for fitness and wellness and diet. If you want to run a marathon, you’ll need to log two long, grueling twenty-mile practice runs prior to running the big race. And if you are smart, you don’t take on a major challenge until you’ve put down a solid, unbreakable foundation based on proper preparation. 

Whether it’s New Year’s or the first day of spring, people get that urge and inspiration to get into shape. It might be the New Year marking new beginnings or a precursor to upcoming bikini season. But too often aspiring athletes try to cram a six-month program into a few weeks and fail. They jump in with great enthusiasm, maybe going to the gym and getting crushed in a few hardcore spin or body sculpting classes before petering out. It’s often the case of trying to do too much in too little time. People get injured, discouraged, distracted and far too often give up before ever getting to the meat of their program.

They start out like the hare and speed ahead, but many soon realize it’s better to be the tortoise than the hare.  Fast starts are not necessarily effective unless you are prepared. But, to get prepared you need to get prepared to get prepared. Huh?

I mean you need to start slow and stay steady until you are in good enough shape to dial things up. But patience is a rare commodity, especially in the big city. Lots of us start a new workout program, go nuts for a week or two before finding a plethora of potential excuses to break the routine. Sometimes our bodies and minds are simply not ready for the trauma we put ourselves through. As a result we often get injured when going balls out before our bodies are ready for the pain. The truth is, the older we get and the longer breaks we take in maintaining a diet or fitness regimes, the rate of failure increases. And the more we fail, the longer and harder it gets to succeed. It’s a vicious cycle that many of us fall victim to, even people with the best of intentions.

Ever notice how many injuries occur during spring training and the pre-season? Even the best athletes can jump back into their training program too quickly and as a result experience a pulled hammy or another nagging, lingering injury. The key is to get and stay in shape, but often that’s easier said than done in our busy lives. So if you find yourself falling off your wellness program, take it easy on yourself when getting back in the saddle. That means starting slow and steady until you’re ready to take off and soar again.

There are ways of developing and sticking to a successful diet and fitness program without all the unnecessary drama and anxiety. I call it “getting into shape to get in shape”. You may ask, “WTF, Guy’s Guy?” Hold it right there, amigo. As always, there is a method to my madness. I have been able to maintain my fitness level, fighting weight while staying in relatively good shape for the past three decades using this concept effectively. Like anyone, there may be reasons that at times I might fall out of my usual workout routine and diet travel, job pressures, family and relationship issues, stress or just plain laziness. But, I always pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. I know what it takes to win. I take my time and rebuild my routines and programs up slowly. That means not going nuts for a few weeks, maybe injuring myself and giving up. Getting into top physical and mental shape takes time. Take it from your Guy’s Guy. If you have defined an achievable objective and play the long game, everything can work out just as you planned.

If you take the time to grow into your program, in a month to six weeks you will start feeling it, increasing your strength and endurance and getting into your zone. If you can do this, soon you’ll be working out like a demon and compounding your results. If you start out slow and steady and stay consistent, you can succeed. But you have to start somewhere, and be mindful about your approach. That’s where I come in and put together an easy-to-follow plan for “getting into shape to get in shape”.

Drum roll, please…

1. Step on the scale – People want to lose weight, but have a hard time stepping on and looking down to face the ugly truth. Checking in before getting started is highly recommended. It provides a level set and way to measure your progress. And no worries. The starting weight just a number that gives you an idea where you are and what will be necessary to reshape and lose those unwanted pounds. After you are done wincing at your poundage, determine how much weight you want to lose. Then step off the scale, take a deep breath and exhale. You’ve just completed step one of “getting into shape to get in shape”.

2. Have an objective – Maybe you want to lose twenty pounds or reduce a few inches around your waist or a dress size or two. You may want to thither your goal to a running time or activities hitting a spin class three times or working out five times a week. That’s fine. Simply decide what it is you want to accomplish and write it down. And make sure you give yourself enough time to achieve your goals. 

3. Develop a realistic plan of attack – You need a plan. Make your plan fit who you are and allow yourself adequate time to ramp up. Your plan needs to be realistic. You know your tendencies, so be honest with yourself. If you don’t like running in cold weather, don’t think you’ll hop out of bed at 5am when it’s sixteen degrees outside. Maybe you’re more suited to an indoor session on the elliptical trainer indoors where you can gradually increase your workout time. Or you may want to schedule a few sessions with a trainer to help you ramp up. Make sure your trainer is aware of your goals and you’re getting into shape to get in shape so he doesn’t crush you during the first few sessions. A good trainer will adapt to where you currently are in your training, even if it’s at the very beginning.

Before getting started review the plan and ask yourself if it feels right for you. Is it realistic to think you’re going to change long ingrained habits like curbing your drinking if you a like to or need to entertain for business. Club soda will only take you so far. Find a way to balance out the indulgence with your workout, fitness, and diet goals or it may drive you crazy to the point where you quit. Find a balance and keep things fun. Working out can be pleasure or torture. It’s up to you.

4. Start slow – This is the key to getting into shape to get in shape. You want to ramp up slow and steady so you don’t pull a muscle or get discouraged when the results are not obvious as quickly as you hoped. Play the long game, amigo. As long you are doing something, you are improving. Even if you have work pressures you can find time for yourself. Just don’t expect to get in shape overnight or in a few weeks. Real gains come slowly, but they last. Once you’ve been doing the program for a month or so and feeling in the zone, take it things a notch and then conquer this new level. Then up it goes again. Throughout the start up process do the little things to augment your workouts and diet. Take the stairs. Walk. Stretch. Meditate. Visualize. Do pushups in your apartment. Buy a chin up bar. Use it.

5. Be consistent – Like the tortoise, you want to maintain a steady pace. I read that it takes thirty-six days to create a habit. This makes sense. I began doing Dan Millman’s Peaceful Warrior Four Minute Workout over a year ago. It’s a series of fifteen movements designed to loosen up the skeletal system, unleash chi, and expand our flexibility. It works. I began the program doing the prescribed three reps for each movement for thirty-six days. Then I added and added as I felt myself getting stronger, leaner and more flexible. I only missed three days during the past year after coming down with a nasty flu. Now I complete between fifteen and twenty-five reps per movement, and I love it. I never consider missing a day unless I am physically unable to perform. This routine has become part of me and I have never felt better in my life. How many Boomers do you know that feel this way?

Final thoughts. Consider keeping a journal. It helps quantify your progress and provides a psychic reward when you review it and see your gains. Whatever happens, even if you fall off the wagon for a few days, don’t give up. If you do slip up, don’t make excuses. You’re only fooling yourself. Get back on the horse and start over if that’s what it takes. It’s the little things that make the difference between success and failure. So, buckle up, start slowly and have fun. You are creating a better version of you and that’s a good thing, amigo!

If you’re feeling me you’ll learn that my slow, but steady approach to fitness works. The most critical part of any workout and diet program comes at the beginning and you handle it correctly you can make and keep a major shift in your lifestyle. Start out slow and don’t overindulge before your body and mind are ready to enter the zone. Fitness, diet and wellness are never achieved through shortcuts. The most important time for anything in life is the beginning. And that’s why I suggest “getting into shape to get in shape”. 

The Process of Elimination Diet

Robert Manni - Monday, February 11, 2019


Want to lose weight, increase your energy, and end your cravings for crappy foods? Introducing: The Process of Elimination Diet.

If you’re like me, you love food, you love to eat, and you eat well. While we do our best to either lose or maintain our weight, we face temptations about our food choices every day. It all comes down to choices. When it’s time to eat, you pick this or that, and the ramifications can be game-changing. Successful dieting often comes down to making the right choices over and over again. There are so many ways to self-sabotage when trying to maintain your fighting weight that it becomes a never-ending battle.

After years of yo-yo dieting, I put this question to the test. Now, after successfully working my way through a year-long program, the answer is a resounding yes. It requires mindfulness and some discipline, but there is a method for eating clean, reducing cravings and ramping up your energy. I call it the Process of Elimination Diet.

After achieving short-term successes with a myriad of fad diets, working out consistently, and not eating meat for a decade, I still never got a real handle on managing my weight. Even though I spent years grinding out long runs and devoted countless hours on the elliptical trainer, I did not lose weight. In fact, during the second half of 2017, I was slowly but steadily gaining weight. As soon as I ended a diet, fast, cleanse or intermittent fasting, I’d gain the weight right back. I’d had enough and when I stepped on the scale that December and saw a higher number than I’d ever seen before, I told myself enough was enough. I decided to develop a fresh, new approach that did not require purchasing prepared special meals, fasting, monthly cleanses, or eating only at certain times during the day. I would develop a new program for weight management and test it on myself at the highest level. If it worked, I’d share it with the world.

For a 5’10 boomer, carrying a weight under 200 isn’t all that bad. But, as the person who began the Guy’s Guy movement¾where men and women can be at their best so everyone wins, “not bad” simply was not good enough. Another short-term diet plan would only yield short-term results. My program needed to deliver long-term results while shedding pounds, eliminating cravings, enhancing wellness, and inspiring permanent lifestyle changes driven by better food choices.

After a few days of mulling things around I recalled running into a former high school classmate. When we were teens, he was a chubby kid and I was a lean, trim athlete. But when we met twenty years later he was the one who was thin and I had packed on a few unwanted pounds. I said, “Steve, you look great. How did you lose all the weight?” He smiled and replied, “I stopped eating so much.” His words stuck with me. They made sense, but I knew there was more to discover.

Then it hit me. You can eat less, but without a lifestyle overhaul, that’s neither sustainable nor fun. There had to be a better way than Steve’s model. 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 choices¾both the bad and good—come to fruition and show up when you step on the scale. I asked myself, “What if I systematically eliminated my bad choices while still enjoying what I still ate? What if I made one less bad choice per week or month for a year?” Heck, over the course of fifty-two weeks or twelve months, I could eliminate fifty-two or a dozen bad choices. Spreading the program across a year avoids any shocks to the system that many of the familiar diet plans can produce. By refining the diet over the course of a year, you can achieve significant results, allow your body to steadily heal, and get a handle on your weight management and cravings. At least that was the idea t the outset.

I call it, The Process of Elimination Diet. Again, it’s pretty simple. Every week, or month, you eliminate one additional food from your diet for an entire year. You can also eliminate one food per week or month. You cut out one item from your diet at a time. For example, in January you give up ice cream. That means no ice cream for the entire year. That may not be easy, but you want long-term results so you need to make some sacrifices. In February, you give up something else for the year. Let’s say, bacon. Now, you can’t eat ice cream or bacon for the remainder of the year. They may taste good, but are they really good for you? When March rolls around you choose something else, and so on. By the end of the year you will have given up a dirty dozen of foods you know are not good for you, your waistline and your health. You make the choices you need to make that are right for you. If one month you give up chewing gum, you’re only kidding yourself. To succeed, you’ll need to commit yourself and make some tough choices. That’s it.

As the creator of the plan, I wanted to take the deep dive by ridding myself of one bad choice per week and track the results. At the end of fifty-two weeks, I would have eliminated fifty-two bad decisions from my diet. It would be no easy task, but someone had to try it to see if the damn thing worked. It was my responsibility to put myself through the most rigorous version of the program over the course of a year. When New Year’s Day rolled around, it was time to put things to the test. I needed to give up something every week of the year so at the end of fifty-two weeks, I’d have given up fifty-two foods.

On January 1st I stepped onto the scale and weighed in at one hundred and ninety-eight pounds. I wanted to hit the ground running so on January 1st I gave up alcohol. Yikes! This was a tough decision, but I mentally braced myself for this sacrifice during some binging over the last weeks of December. If this had been ten years ago, I may have started the program by giving up red meat and followed the next two weeks by eliminating pork, and poultry, but I hadn’t eaten meat for the past decade, so that was not an option. 

There was no magic to starting the program at the beginning of the year, but it made it easy to track and measure. I developed a chart with all the weeks and months lined up. Simple stuff, no frills. Then I put any remaining booze in my house into a cabinet above the refrigerator. The first week marked a perfect a time to detox after the holidays. Then I needed to come up with a new food to eliminate every week.

In terms of formulating a strategy for what to give up each week, I decided to follow my instincts, cravings and weekly consumption habits to determine what I had been consuming to make up for what I had given up. As soon as I gave up alcohol, which is filled with sugar, I began uncharacteristically replacing a sip of wine, vodka or tequila with a handful of organic chocolate chip cookies. This was my first A-Ha moment. My body was seeking a sugary substitute for the alcohol.

The following Sunday I gave up cookies. The next week I gave up all forms of candy. And so it went. Over the following weeks, I followed my gut to choose which food I’d eliminate next. I quickly fell into a pattern for making decisions and then staying the course. Every Sunday I decided what to give up, wrote it on my chart, and went about my business. Of course there would be a challenge during the week when avoiding the food I’d just given up, but by the time the weekend rolled around, I was already looking ahead to come up with a new item to eliminate from my diet. Part of the discipline was keeping things going week after week. Blazing new trails can be a lonely process where you don’t receive a lot of emotional support along the way. I wanted to tell a few people so it would put pressure on myself to succeed. Sharing helped me articulate how I was feeling and it kept me focused.

The results were slow, very slow at first. I did not see a dip in weight until a month went by, and even then, it was only three pounds. But by the time spring rolled around my weight was down seven pounds. I had more energy and my mind felt crystal clear, which I attributed to the elimination of so much sugar from my diet. The first six months were prominently focused on the elimination of sugary snacks. Week after week, I replaced one sugary craving with another.

Was I challenged? Sure. Who wants to sip a club soda with lime when the other people at your table in that outdoor cafe are kicking back with cold beers and margaritas on the rocks? But after the first few times I faced this, it became second nature. Six months into the program I was down twelve pounds and feeling great. There was no turning back.

I was running out of sugary foods to cut out and began eliminating foods with carbs, which turn into sugar, like bagels, muffins, chips, and rice. Rice was tough, especially if you like Chinese, Korean, Indian, and Mexican foods. But once I ate Chinese food without the rice, it was a revelation. I was no longer bloated after the meal and after doing this a few times I decided I would probably avoid rice into the future.

I dig salty snacks, but started cutting them out. As I did, my waistline shrank, my clothes fit better, and I felt great. I gave up spaghetti, one of my go-to foods, although I gave myself an out by still eating lasagna, ravioli, and other pastas. Was it cheating? Maybe a little, but I was exploring new territory so I gave myself some flexibility. By summer, I added more outdoor runs and swimming to my workouts. My metabolism was fired up and as a result, my weight suddenly dropped into the one hundred seventies.

In the past I’d given up booze a few times for five or six months of the year, but I had never faced a long hot summer without a cold alcoholic beverage. This was virgin territory, but by the time September rolled around I was galvanized. The biggest challenge I’d face during the last quarter of the year was coming up with a new food or beverage to give up every Sunday. My choices were all over the place— maple syrup, tortilla chips, cheese snacks, and finally pizza, which was a tough one to tackle.

I did not fall into the trap of counting the weeks remaining in the year until after Thanksgiving. Until I gave up meat a ten years ago, Thanksgiving had been my favorite holiday meal by far. I don’t like it as much now. By the time this year’s Thanksgiving rolled around, I had also eliminated forty-seven additional foods and beverages including many of the sweets and carbs we enjoy on Turkey Day. This year I looked at Thanksgiving as the final turn on this yearlong challenge. The end was in sight. I handled the holiday parties the same was as I did any other social situations I’d encountered throughout the year by sipping sparkling water. By now things had become routine. I checked the scale less frequently. My weight stabilized at one hundred seventy-five pounds in October. I’d lost twenty-three pounds since the beginning of the year and reached a plateau. My body refused to go any further at this time. But I looked good and felt great so I focused on making it through December unscathed. The holidays can be a test for maintaining weight but nothing could stop me now.

Over the final four weeks I eliminated yogurts with fruit, flavored coffee, cereal, and finally my beloved peanut butter. I had wanted to give up all pasta also, but my wife kept cooking it for my son, so I usually joined him by eating a small portion. Then she made a tray of vegetarian lasagna for my birthday in late December. I could wait until the new year to tackle giving up pasta. My birth date was a mixed blessing. I’d have to avoid eating birthday cake, which was weird, but my wife and I came up with a plan. After I counted off the days and the weeks since January, I would have completed my goal of giving up one food for fifty-two weeks by New Year’s Eve. I could end the program on New Year’s Eve and enjoy my birthday cake and anything else I wanted.

The final week following my birthday felt like the longest days of the year. By this time, I was burnt out on the program. On one hand I was elated at having completed something that I’m not sure anyone has ever done before, but I was also tired from having to mentally push aside so many foods I’d enjoyed eating for fifty-two weeks. Up until this final week I had taken each week in stride. Now I found myself checking the calendar and watching the clock. The time had come to cross the finish line with my arms raised. I weighed in on the morning of December 31 and once again landed on one hundred and seventy-five pounds. I did it!

My clothes felt looser and my body much more limber and lighter. I was so pleased with the results I considered extending the program during the following year. But, I was also mentally fatigued so I decided to give my body a break for the month of January before deciding on my next course of action. I wasn’t going to completely pig out because I had worked too hard, but I would see how I felt as I added some eliminated foods back into my diet.

On New Year’s Eve, we went all out and enjoyed a dinner of lobsters, champagne, and shots of tequila. The weirdest thing was that my taste buds had changed and the sparkling wine and tequila tasted different to me. I woke up with a hangover on New Year’s Day and hit the gym for a cardio workout to sweat out the booze and eliminate the calories from the rich foods I’d eaten. On the night of January 1st, I sipped white wine and fired down a shot of vodka. They both tasted weird to me. I also realized how clear my mind had become during the process of elimination. It was like a mental fog had lifted. I’d lost my cravings for foods my body had previously craved, which were mostly attributed to sugar (or hidden sugars). My waistline was trim and my eyes were clear. People said I looked good, regardless if they knew about my yearlong diet program or not. I had my annual checkup and the tests were impressive across the board. I had low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and had lost over twenty pounds. I felt less stiffness in my body, as if the inflammation that we all build up had dissipated. I knew I was on to something and was determined to make this program a lynchpin to my future wellness.

Over the course of the first two weeks of January I ate what I wanted, keeping mental notes on how different foods now tasted, how I felt after eating them, and what foods I would leave out of my diet going forward. In order for the Process of Elimination Diet to have long-term benefits, I needed a plan going forward. After all the work I put in the previous year, I did not want to throw it away by gorging on treats or simply returning to a diet that no longer suited my lifestyle.

It took me until mid-January to come up with a plan. When I created the POE program, I envisioned it as having three levels to suit different people and their different needs. As both creator and guinea pig, I took on the most rigorous version of the program by eliminating one item per week. Level One was comprised on eliminating one item per month. That meant giving up only twelve foods during the year. Level Two consisted of eliminating one food or beverage every two weeks for an aggregate of twenty-six items vanquished form your diet. Level Three, the master level that I had completed, consists of eliminating one item for fifty-two weeks.

My plan for year two was to take on Level One and eliminate twelve items over the course of the year. Since I had the experience and knowledge gleaned by completing the master level, I had a good sense as to what foods did not agree with me and accomplishing my long term goals of weight loss, maintaining the loss, and all around wellbeing. Even though I began Level One in mid-January, I would simply add two weeks to the end of the program to complete the task of eliminating twelve core items from my diet that year. After a week and a half of indulging in anything I wanted, I gained five pounds and was witnessing a regression of my behavior. I had kick off the new program by eliminating a food I did not need to eat. And the winner is…ice cream. I enjoy a dish or a cone now and then, but is it necessary to eat ice cream? So I drew up a new chart and scrawled ICE CREAM next to the month of January. And off we go… 

Taking a look back at the process, here are some the challenges I faced and a few surprises during the previous year.

  1. If you are into self-improvement and you enjoy challenging yourself, the program can be fun and rewarding. You might think, “How can eliminating a food or beverage you love every week bring a sense of joy?” I made it game and played it so coming up with a new food to eliminate by the end of each week became a fun task. For me to succeed, I had to make it a game. Yes, it’s crazy and not right for everyone, but if you have a spirit of adventure and self-discovery, and driven to achieve real results, this program can definitely be fun. The game necessitates your crafting your own personal strategy and long-term vision so you yield visible, energetic, and emotional results.
  2. You’ll be surprised how quickly you lose the cravings for the foods you’ve given up. I discovered that dropping a new food every week shortened the time for craving the food I’d already given up or eliminated during the current week. You only have seven days to fret about the food you gave up the past Sunday. By the time next weekend rolls around you’ll need to pick another food to eliminate, and immediately that becomes your focus for the next week. By Monday of each new week you’ve already forgotten the food you gave up the previous week, even though you won’t eat it for the remainder of the year. I love sipping top shelf tequila, a buttery Chardonnay, an organic IPA, or the occasional imported vodka chilled. So that’s why I made it my first category to eliminate. It had to make a statement to show I was serious, and I sure did.
  3. After a slow start, the pounds suddenly drop off and your body shape improves. Giving up alcohol made January an even colder month. But I’m glad I started the program with the biggest challenge. It kept my head in the game and made me determined not to slide. My strategy was to following my cravings. Most people replace one sweet craving with another. During the first week of January I found myself munching on chocolate chip cookies way, and I’m not a cookie guy. So, I gave up cookies the second week of January. The next week I gave up candy and the following week cake. That made January a tough month, but very productive. By the end of February, I had cleared lots of sugar from my diet and began noticing changes in how my body felt and looked. When I stepped on the scale in early February I had only dropped five pounds, but they were five important pounds that would not come back. These set the tone for success and faster weight losses over the next few months.
  4. Coming up with foods to eliminate was a task, but again, a fun one. As mentioned, I was determined to be the first person to go through the POE advanced program of giving up one food every week for a year. By the time Fridays rolled around, I’d already conquered my cravings for that week’s eliminated food and was thinking of something to give up the next week. Some weeks I had an idea about what to drop by Tuesday and in during other weeks it took me until Saturday night to come up with a food or drink to add to the list of no fly zone foods. During February I gave up pie, croissants, muffins, and cream cheese.  As the weeks flashed by I learned that some of the foods I dropped were easy to forget and others not as easy to erase from my mind.
  5. There are surprises along the way. I never realized that out of all the things I’d already given up, I’d miss eating cream cheese. But by August, I’d forgotten about cream cheese too. I learned that eliminating starches like rice and potatoes made a major difference in the size of my waistline and how much better I felt not being bloated after meals. Over the summer I began to realize that I’d probably not go back to eating some foods I’d given up. I’d have a sip of tequila or a glass of wine, and maybe a piece of dark chocolate, but for the vast majority of foods I eliminated my eating palette had definitely changed for the better.
  6. You’ll feel great. Since I was committed to not drinking for a year, it was a good time to work on myself inside too. I increased my meditative practices and invited more metaphysical authors and healers to join me on my GUY’S GUY RADIO podcast. I joined a spiritual enfoldment group that meets every week for a channeling session with a very loving group of Guides. All of this helped raise my frequency. My energy and frequency have not felt this light since I was a kid. And, my long runs along the boardwalk were exhilarating like they were over fifteen years ago when I trained and completed three marathons.
Following the completion of the Process of Elimination Diet I feel as good as I have felt in my entire life. I also reduced my media intake to a bare minimum and make it a point to love myself and forgive the people in my life who need forgiveness. I know this is related to the diet. Maybe the discipline required re-energized my passion for self-love, self-improvement, and raising my consciousness. My clothes fit better, I look fresher, I sleep like a baby and feel well-rested upon waking, and my energy is through the roof. I no longer craved alcohol, ice cream, chocolate, or sugar. The completion of my program has truly been an exercise of addition by subtraction.

                             THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION DIET 2018

 January

1 – alcohol

2 – cookies

3 – candy

4 – cake

5 – pie

February

6 – croissants

7 – muffins

8 – cream cheese

9 – soda

 March

10 – ice cream

11 – potato chips

12 – white rice

13 – brown rice

April

14 – chocolate bars

15 – cream

16 – scones

17 – doughnuts

18 – added sugar

May

19 – honey

20 – chocolate nibs

21 – added butter

22 – ice cream on a stick

June

23 – frozen yogurt

24 – potato puffs

25 - rice pudding

26 - french fries

July

27 – spaghetti

28 – bagels

29 – Gatorade

30 – bubble gum

31 – pretzels

August

32 – onion rings

33 – fake bacon

34 - added bread

35 – English muffins

September

36 – added cheese

37 – flavored Super Coffee

38 – cheese nips

39 – maple syrup

October

40 – fake breakfast sausage

41 – tortilla chips

42 – pudding

43 – milk

44 – jam

November

45 – pizza

46 – egg nog

47 – granola

48 – fruit juice 

December

49 – flavored yogurt

50 – flavored coffee

51 – cereal

52 – peanut butter


The Guys' Guy's Process of Elimination™ Diet Plan (Part 2)

Robert Manni - Friday, July 20, 2018


Would your losing ten percent of your bodyweight in six months considered a successful diet program for you?

Six months is real time. This is not a short-term fix or a yo-yo diet where you lose fifteen pounds before slowly gaining every pound back and more. This is the Guys’ Guy’s Process of Elimination Diet Plan. It’s how I’ve steadily dropped eighteen pounds during the first half of 2018. The results have come slowly but steadily, and there are still six months to go. I’ve learned a lot by eliminating one item of food from my diet every week since the beginning of the year.

Let’s take a look back at the process, the challenges when giving up certain foods and some of the surprises I’ve encountered during the first half of the year.

  1. If you are into self-improvement and you enjoy challenging yourself, the POE is actually fun. You might ask, “Hey, Guy’s Guy, how can taking away a food you love every week bring any sense of joy?” Good question. Coming up with a new food to eliminate by the end of each week was a fun task for me. To succeed, I had to make this a game. Yes, it is a crazy game that is not for everyone, but if you have a spirit of adventure and self-discovery, and you like achieving real results that you feel inside and see in the mirror, it can definitely be fun. The game necessitates your deploying a personal strategy and long-term vision and can quickly yield visible, energetic, and emotional results.
  2. You’ll be surprised how quickly you lose your cravings for the foods you’ve given up. I discovered that dropping a new food every week shortened any cravings for the food I gave up the previous week. Why? Well, for one thing, you will only have seven days to fret about the food you gave up on Sunday. By the time the next weekend rolls around you’ll need to pick another food to eliminate and focus on that the next week. As a result, by the following Monday you will probably have forgotten the food you gave up the previous week, even though you will not be eating it for the remainder of the year. This may sound totally crazy, but it really works. For me, the key was dropping a true favorite the first week. That’s why I gave up alcohol for the entire year on January 1st. I’m a social drinker, and although I don’t pound the same way I did during my roaring twenties, I know enough about beer, wine and spirits to also know how important it is to drink only the good stuff and very little of the sweet stuff. I love sipping top shelf tequila, a buttery Chardonnay, an organic IPA, or the occasional imported vodka.
  3. After a slow start, the pounds suddenly drop off and your body shape improves. I must admit that suddenly giving up all alcohol made January an even colder month. But I am glad I started the program with my biggest challenge. It kept my head in the game and made me determined not to slide or simply throw in the cards by downing a few shots of tequila. I followed giving up alcohol by eliminating candy, another sweet. Most people replace one sweet craving with another. So, I gave up cookies the second week of January. I followed this by giving up candy and finally cake. That made January a tough month, but a very fruitful one. I had cleared my system of lots of sugar and began noticing changes in my body when I worked out or went for a long run. I felt lighter, and there was less stress on my joints, so I knew I was on the right track. When I stepped on the scale at the end of January I had only dropped five pounds, but they were five important pounds. These set the tone for my success and faster weight losses over the next few months.
  4. Coming up with foods to eliminate was a task, but again, a fun one. As mentioned, I was determined to be the first person to go through the POE advanced program of giving up one food every week for a year. By the time Fridays rolled around, I’d already conquered my cravings for that week’s drop and was thinking of something that felt right for the next and following weeks. Some weeks I had an idea by Tuesday. During other weeks, I took me until Saturday night to come up with the next item to wipe from my plate. I took it easy on myself during February, giving up pie, croissants, muffins, and cream cheese. Or so I thought. I soon learned that some of the foods I dropped were not as easy to erase as I’d predicted.
  5. There are surprises along the way. Of course, giving up all wine, spirits, and beer for a year has been trying at times, especially during the hot summer months when I witness friends drinking chilled margaritas in front of me. That sucks, but I remind myself about how disciplined I am, how great I’m doing, and how much better I feel having lost eighteen pounds. I also never realized that out of all the things I’ve already given up, I’d miss eating cream cheese as one of the tougher foods to drop. I also learned that eliminating rice and potatoes as starches in meals made a big difference in my waistline and how I felt after meals. I wasn’t sure if this would be the case, but I was clearly less bloated when I replaced rice or potatoes with salad. Another thing I learned is that I doubt I will be eating most of the foods I’ve given up in the future. Sure, I will have a sip of tequila or a glass of wine, and maybe some chocolate, but for the vast majority of foods I’ve eliminated it has been out of sight, out of mind. My eating palette has definitely changed for the better.
  6. You will feel great. Since I was committed to not drinking for a year, I thought it would also be a good time to work on myself. I upped my meditative practice and invited more metaphysical authors and healers to my GUY’S GUY RADIO podcast. I joined a spiritual enfoldment group that meets every week for a channeling session with a very loving group of Guides who enter our spiritual circle for ninety minutes. All of this has truly helped my development as a person. The first time I hit the beach this year I did the energy work I always do by the ocean and the results were amazing. My energy and frequency has not felt this light since I was a kid. And, my long runs along the boardwalk have been exhilarating like they were years ago when I trained for three marathons.

The bottom line is I feel great, in fact as good as I have ever felt. I’ve also reduced my media intake to a bare minimum and have made it a point to love myself and forgive all the people in my life who need forgiveness, if you know what I mean. I’m not sure if this is related to the diet, but maybe the discipline required has re-energized my passion for self-love and improvement. My clothes fit, I look fresher, I sleep better, and my energy is through the roof. And, I am not craving alcohol, ice cream, or chocolate. Tell me that isn’t not fun! And I still have close to six months to go. I’ll be back at the end of the year with my final results and I hope you will join me. In the meantime, I wonder what I’ll give up next week…

Here is the list of foods I’ve given up to date by week.

  1. Alcohol
  2. Cookies
  3. Candy
  4. Cake
  5. Pie
  6. Croissants
  7. Muffins
  8. Cream cheese
  9. Soda (except club soda or seltzer)
  10. Ice cream
  11. Potato chips
  12. White rice
  13. Brown rice
  14. Chocolate bars
  15. Cream/Half and half
  16. Scones
  17. Doughnuts
  18. Adding sugar to anything
  19. Honey
  20. Chocolate nibs for cooking
  21. Adding butter
  22. Ice cream products on a stick
  23. Frozen yogurt
  24. Potato puffs
  25. Rice pudding
  26. French fries
  27. Spaghetti
  28. Bagels

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…

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 Things Worth Investing In

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 02, 2017

They call it disposable income for a reason. We dispose of it every day—at lunch on $12 salads in plastic containers, ironic t-shirts, another pair of sneakers or shoes we don’t need to choke our closet space, or on numerous $9 glasses of so-called craft beers. But even though we live in a consumer society where over two-thirds of the money spent is on items we don’t really need, there are a few items worth paying those extra dollars for. Large or small, these are classic items worth the money, so your Guy’s Guy is going to lay them out for you to chew on and digest. Here in no particular order, is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO THINGS WORTH INVESTING IN.

1. Real estate – The rent really is too damn high. And besides getting a roof over your head for the next thirty days, there is not much to get excited about when renting your home. From my personal experience, I’ve done relatively well when investing in real estate and it began as soon as I found a way to scrape together the down payment to afford a mortgage for a modest, man-cave studio and the responsibilities that came with it. And I have never looked back. When you own that roof over your head, you get a tax break on the mortgage interest, you live in your investment, and in the vast majority of cases your home appreciates while you’re there. Wherever you may be, but particularly when you live in a ridiculously expensive city like New York, if you can find a way to buy your home, do it. If you can make those monthly payments, in the long run it will serve you well, amigo. Very well. Ask anyone who has done so and they will have a story to tell you about how much profit they made after buying that once-cheap co-op back in the eighties.

2. A great watch – Every Guy’s Guy needs at least one piece of top-notch jewelry. If he’s married he’s going to want a quality wedding band, but regardless of his marital status, this Guy’s Guy believes that owning a classic watch is a worthwhile investment. Let’s face it. There are clocks everywhere and you carry a phone so you don’t need a watch to know the time. A watch is a statement piece for a Guy’s Guy.  It’s something you can wear every day or if you choose, just to events that you hold in importance. I sat in the office next to the director of the Mont Blanc account at a big ad firm. I gave him a few bottles of rum since I ran the Bacardi account and he let me to pick from the Mont Blanc catalogue at half price. I was making good money so I bought very high-end “sport” watch, a silver dress watch, a pen, and a wicked cool pair of shades. I still have them all and I wear the two watches frequently to this day. On my fortieth, my folks bought me an engraved Rolex, so of course I also wear that too. But besides also owning a handful of very affordable watches, I’m done buying watches. The watches I own are statement pieces so I don’t need a special box or case filled a dozen good watches. I have three great watches, and that’s all I need. I still like admiring the classic timepieces I see, but I’m done.

3. A well-tailored suit and a tuxedo – A Guy’s Guy knows how to clean up, so every Guy’s Guy needs to own at least one finely tailored suit, regardless of his job or the type of work he does. There will always be an occasion where he needs to get decked out and show his stuff, so it’s a good idea to invest in a tropical wool designer suit in navy, charcoal or black. If you shop at an outlet you can pick a very nice suit for less than five hundred bucks. I recently purchased a classic, yet modern Theory suit that fits me like a glove for less than less four hundred that was originally priced at $1200. And, I will wear it when I need to for the next decade because it’s quality, a classic yet modern cut, and I work hard staying in fighting shape, like Guys’ Guys tend to do.

Another consideration is investing in a classic black tuxedo. I recent attended a wedding where the young guys in the wedding party wore maroon tuxedo jackets with black shirts and pants.  Not my style, but it was is their business. The point is; no one buys a maroon tuxedo jacket. I bought a well-made black tuxedo when I was in my twenties, and it still fits me and looks good. I also bought a formal white dress short shirt, cuff links, and a pair of shoes I only wear with the tux. Buying a tux is not as mission critical as owning a well-tailored suit, but it can be a good investment, especially if you compare it to the cost of renting.

4. A quality automobile – I’m still working on a personal issue that I have about letting go of things and people. This time it got me in trouble. I bought a silver Toyota Four-Runner in 2000 and due to my moving back into NYC, I rarely drove it. I kept it parked it on the street near the beach in New Jersey, and over the years the engine and the parts underneath the vehicle began rusting, and rusting, and rusting. I need car when I’m in Jersey and this vehicle was fully paid for, so I kept it but was making repairs and replacing rusting parts repeatedly. The decay continued and eventually, my prized vehicle became an albatross. I eventually dumped it, but not before I wasted a shitload of money on repairs.

I did buy a good vehicle, and that is part of the lesson because owning or leasing a good car can be a good investment, but only if you know when to cut bait and move on. Buying a car is so 1990 these days, so now I recommend leasing a top of the line vehicle and switching it out every few years. If you live in the burbs and show up for a date in an old rattlebox, it means negative points with the new lady.

5. Going to the dentist – A Guy’s Guy needs a first class ride for his teeth. A man’s oral health is a gateway to his overall health. And who doesn’t want a great smile? A Guy’s Guy looks for a dental practice with skilled hygienist and a dentist that can handle drillings and replacing old fillings to get that toxic metal out of your mouth, and doing what’s necessary to brighten your smile. Most healthcare plans these days scrimp on dental so having a great dentist might get expensive at times, but think about it as a sound investment in your overall health. Studies have found that built up plaque can find its way to your heart and other areas of your body and create havoc.

6. Wedding ring and band – Earlier I briefly mentioned this key, hopefully one-time purchase as another statement piece for a Guy’s Guy. When you marry, you want to show pride and your commitment. There is no better way to make your wife feel good about it than investing in a classy wedding rings and bands for both of you, but in particular for her. Make sure you exceed her expectations, and if you can swing it, go for at least two carats. No matter who pays for your band, pick a ring that looks masculine and makes you feel good about yourself. Trust me on this, amigos. It’s worth the investment to the marriage. And do you best to wear your wedding band. I’m not a big ring guy, but I keep mine in a little box on my bureau and at a bare minimum wear my platinum gold band when I am out in public with my wife. It’s the right thing to do.

7. Wine and spirits – Many Guys’ Guys like a cocktail or a glass of wine or beer now and then. Over time, most guys have had their fill of keggers and shots of lousy booze. When you finally grow out of that stuff, drink the best that you can afford, especially if you are drinking infrequently or drinking your booze straight. So out with the speed rack brands and on to the top shelf brands. As you age, if you still drink alcohol, drink less and drink better. Fear not, it’s not going to break the bank. There are many good vodkas available for $20 bucks and rums for between  $20 and $30. You’ have to pay more for good tequila, bourbon or scotch. When drinking wine, you can usually find something for every day drinking between $20- 35.  And if money is an object, with a little research you can find a decent bottle for less than $20. Beer is all about personal preference regardless of price. The point is that the clock keeps ticking and you're not going to live forever. Opt for the good stuff when you drink.

8. Organic food – It costs more, but you are protecting your health by eating organic food. The processed packaged crap down the aisles in the supermarket may taste good, but it isn’t good for you, and non-organic produce and fruit has been sprayed with pesticides. Over time, eating this stuff can cause chronic health issues. Think of yourself as a sleek Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. To keep it running smoothly you don’t fill it with the cheapest fuel. And despite all the cute memes you read about bacon, it’s basically processed pork, and that is not good fuel for a luxury vehicle like you.

9. Your wallet – This might seem like a minor thing, but think of how many times you pull out your wallet every day. A good wallet sends the right psychological signals to your brain about your financial self-worth and to others as to how you value yourself and your money. Spend a few extra bucks and buy a good wallet. It will help you feel your best about your financial standing even in tough times. Stay classy, amigo.

10. The right relationship – Investing the time in finding and securing the right life partner is probably the best investment you will ever make. I stayed single for so long that close friends and family stopped asking me when I was getting married. I knew I was not ready, so I waited until I had the epiphany of making room in my heart for someone else before taking the plunge. Maybe it took me longer than most. That’s my business, but I’m glad I waited, and I am glad I made the right investment in the right woman for me.

I hope these tips help you make sound decisions about the things in life that are worth investing in. I’m sure I missed a few along the way, but this is a good start for any Guy’s Guy who wants to send out signals that say, “Hey, I’m a Guy’s Guy and this is how I roll.”

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is the actor and classic Guy’s Guy, Cary Grant. Although he may have swung ways, no worries and no judgments. He still was a Guy’s Guy. Despite his living in a different time, this guy was all class. Although I’m not sure how he invested in real estate, he died a rich man and oozed timeless style when he was alive. If you are ever in doubt about spending those extra dollars on any of the items I mentioned, ask yourself what would Cary Grant do and you can’t go wrong.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Halloween

Robert Manni - Friday, October 27, 2017


For one day every year anyone can dress up and apply a bad spray-on tan like Donald Trump or wear a Kim Jong Un mask and knock on stranger’s doors carrying a little basket while asking for candy. And no one gets shot.

Sounds crazy when you think about it. That’s because Halloween is one kooky and crazy American holiday. On this day straight men can get dolled up like Katy Perry and a shy woman can dress like a dominatrix and no one bats an eye. Add copious amounts of alcohol and a big parade like in NYC, and you’ve got the making of a real party. On Halloween, America really cuts loose and goes for it.

All of this freedom to masquerade can be as intoxicating as the punch served at the parties taking place across the country on Halloween or the Saturday night before October 31st.  But, when you mix sexy devil costumes with alcohol, things can go very right or very wrong. With this in mind, whether you’re single, married, or a parent supervising your kids I offer you a few Guy’s Guy tricks and treats to get you through this special day in fine form while also staying out of jail. 

Here is my GUYS’ GUY’S GUIDE TO HALLOWEEN.

1. Don’t wear your costume to work – You might think your Guy’s Guy recco is too boring and stiff, but there is a big difference between attending a party in monster costume and walking the halls of an insurance company dressed in Spiderman tights. Sure, you will get some laughs, but in the office, they will be directed at you rather than with you. So unless your boss throws down a directive that everyone on her team must dress up, don’t do it. And if you are pressured to play along, don’t do the spray-on tan and orange hair like you-know-who. That or other politically charged costumes can be polarizing. Who wants a Halloween costume to ruin their career?

2. Be original, but don’t dress like a tampon - Remember, when others zig, Guy’s Guys zag. That goes for the ladies, too. You want to avoid costume concepts that are too gross or too obvious, like DT. For example, if you want to get political outside the office, instead of dressing up like Trump, go as hybrid of Jeff Sessions and Granny Clampett. Now that’s original, and you’ll get some laughs. You might not get laid, but you will get laughs.

3. Don’t drink too much – There are few things more disgusting than watching someone dressed like a zombie barfing on the sidewalk at 2am. That’s too scary, amigo. And if you want to get cuffed by that hot blonde in the cop’s uniform, you don’t want her to slap them on you because you’re too smashed. Have fun, have a few drinks, but know when to day when. Having the spins while you’re dressed like the Mummy is not a lot of fun. And that reminds me—make sure you can slip out of that costume easily if the opportunity arises.

4. Stay aware of your surroundings – Right after college I attended a Halloween party in Palisades Park, NJ. I dressed up as samurai warrior, complete with a real sword given to me by one of my dad’s business associates and eye makeup that made this Caucasian look…Japanese. No, I was not politically correct, but this was before everyone got so sensitive. And I did not know the party was in a predominantly Asian neighborhood. I knocked on the door of what I thought was the party, but was the wrong apartment. An older Asian lady answered the door, took one look at me and started screaming and waving her arms as I backed down the hallway. The point is, know where you are. If you are a good-looking straight guy, don’t dress up like a hot woman and go to gay bar even if your gay friends think you’re cool. You might end up in the arms of a hairy guy wearing a leather vest and chaps that wants to break you in, if you get my drift. 

5. Consider giving something healthy to the neighborhood kids – Fortunately, nowadays you can buy organic versions of almost anything, including cookies and candies. I realize this is a more expensive and can be a pain in the butt, but it’s worth a thought, especially when you look into those kids’ bags and all you see are the mini bags of M&M’s and other sugar-laden “treats”. MILF’s will love you for it, also, even if you’re already taken.

6. If you’re dating, consider couple-themed costumes – Brainstorming a costume theme with your date can be a great creative bonding exercise, especially if you can rock a cool couple’s concept that brings out the best in both of you. I’m not going to get specific and suggest the old standby cowboy and cowgirl outfits or Mr. and Mrs. Howell from Gilligan’s Island, but you get the idea. Have fun with it and she’ll love you for being a good sport.

It’s Halloween and you want to cut loose and go nuts. By all means, do just that. But keep in mind a few of your Guys’ Guy’s tricks if you want to get some of those special treats from your lady.

This week’s GUYS’ GUYS of the WEEK are all the moms and dads who take the time to help make Halloween a really fun experience for their kids. That includes finding out what the kid wants to be on Halloween and also putting together an interesting costume no matter how crazy the kid’s idea may be. And hang on to your carrots because my son rejected the policeman’s outfit he received for his birthday. He’s decided that he wants to go as a bunny rabbit. Mom, help me!

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. 

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.  


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