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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

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

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Manni - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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

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

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

To message or not to message, that is the question

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

Dating apps

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dating websites

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

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

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

Text messages

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

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

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

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

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

Dating agency

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

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

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

After a date

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

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

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

Repeated slow responses

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

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

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

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

For example, I might send her a message like:

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

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

How to follow up with a second message

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Manni - Saturday, March 10, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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