Sleep vs Academia

*Follow all of Mark’s work over at his blog Simply Human and make sure you listen to his awesome Podcast

We are facing a huge conflict in our country. A battle is ensuing that is pulling our kids (and parents of school-aged kids) in two very distinct and disparate directions. This battle is putting our children in physical danger. It is harming our kids brain and physical development. It is making it more difficult for them to perform on tests.

What is this battle?

It is the fight between sleep and academia. And by “academia” here I’m talking about our public school system.

In the red corner we have sleep:

Weighing in at a whopping 9.5 hours a night.

It restores and builds muscle and connective tissue.

It solidifies memories and strengthens brain development.

It provides massive doses of energy and stimulates movement.

SLEEP!

In the blue corner we have academia.

Weighing in at a whopping 4.0 GPA.

It is vital to securing a successful future.

It is the foundation for critical and life-changing research.

It enhances the quality of life of everyone on earth.

ACADEMIA!

These two things really don’t seem like they should be at odds with each other. Seems like Academia would WANT Sleep in its corner to help it learn and test well and create new ideas.

But that’s not happening. Academia is beating the ever-loving snot out of Sleep. And it’s not even close.

A recent statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics says that “insufficient sleep in adolescents [is] an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students.”

And why are kids not getting enough sleep for the most part?

School start times.

They just keep getting earlier and earlier. Some New York schools are starting school 40 MINUTES earlier this year than they did last year.

Why? To squeeze in all the new curricula so that we can meet standardized test scores and “compete” in math and science and engineering around the world. All this in the midst of more and more schools cutting P.E. or recess, too!!!!

[Tangent: so let’s stuff kids in little cubicles all day, deprive them of their innate desire to move, deprive them of sleep, feed them processed sugar and corn, then wonder why in the world they can’t compete in the STEM fields?!]

So how are our kids supposed to learn and test well when they can’t even hold their eyes open? I have no clue.

Basically, kids need somewhere between 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep. Any parent can tell you what happens when kids get tired — or overtired. Irritability. Irrationality. Surliness. Testiness.

Yeah — they’re tough to be around. When my kids cross that threshold I usually end up faking a knee injury and driving myself to the ER.

Let’s do a best case scenario hypothetical — you live five minutes from school and have one child. School starts at 8 AM which means you need to leave the house around 7:45. Factor in time to get ready, eat a breakfast of healthy, “human” foods, grab your backpack, brush teeth, etc…and you need to wake up by around 7:15 at the absolute latest (teenage girls need much longer than that — GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM! GIVE SOMEONE ELSE A CHANCE!). Back that up 9.5 hours and bedtime should be 9:45 PM.

But wait. That 9.5 hours of sleep kids need to get isn’t 9.5 hours of “time in bed.” It’s 9.5 hours of sleep. So even if you’re in bed at 9:45 and the alarm goes off at 7:15 — you’re not getting a full 9.5 hours. You need to be in bed even earlier, like, say, 9:15 or even 9 PM.

Anyone with kids older than around 13 have a strict 9 PM bedtime?

My kids are all under the age of 6, so it’s a little easier to pull off an earlier bedtime (which is about 8:30 this time of year).

But that’s really hard for parents of middle and high-school kids to pull off. Especially with extra-curriculars, homework, Facebook, social events and any time the parents actually want to spend with their kids all added up and thrown in the mix.

It seems like pretty common knowledge that chronic sleep deprivation affects you in pretty significant ways. You don’t need research or hard data to know this. You just need to pull an all-nighter, or take care of a sick kid all night, or have insomnia, to know how messed up you get after just ONE NIGHT of bad sleep.

And our kids are having to suffer through an ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR of sleep deprivation. It may just be me — but I find that INSANE.

The AAP suggests delaying school start times across the country, and I am all for that. Even thirty more minutes of sleep would help.

Well, just get your kids in bed earlier.  Simple as that, right?

That’s a fine and dandy argument, but not one that is realistic in my opinion. Not with everything else our kids our dealing with, and also with how the schedule we’ve put them on with such little encouragement for movement throughout the day completely messes with their sleep-wake cycles causing them to not be sleepy when it’s time for bed. So that 9:45 PM bedtime ends up being 10:30 or 10:45 PM.

I used to watch the Tonight Show in my bed every night, turn the TV off, lay there for an hour wondering why I couldn’t sleep, wake up at 6 AM, and fall asleep in every single class all day.

In the studies of delayed start times that have been done, the bedtimes pretty much remained the same but the kids got more sleep — and guess what? Test scores increased and kids were reportedly less sleepy during the day, not late as often, and had longer attention spans.

I’ll bet the teachers would say the kids were less irritable and testy as well, wouldn’t you?

Until the school districts stop pitting Sleep and Academia against each other, there’s really not a whole lot we can do with school start times other than make your frustrations felt with the powers that be.

But there are things within your control as parents to help your kids get the best sleep they can, even if they have to wake up at 5:30 AM:

  • make sure they get to bed at the same time every night
  • eliminate as much while/blue light exposure as humanly possible after sunset — this means no computer or gaming time which may be a battle for some
  • ensure they sleep in a dark and cold room
  • avoid stimulants in the afternoon and evening like soda, chocolate, or caffeine

Do what you can as parents to give your kids their best chance at a good night’s sleep.

And if anyone out there has any pull and wants to start some sort of huge political action committee that will make this an issue and actually make school boards delay start times — let me know, because I’m all in.

It’s Time for School Lunches Again

lunch

I am often blown away by what I see kids eating for breakfast and lunch at school on a regular basis. I’m all for letting kids have some special treats once in a while, but if powdered donuts are the go-to menu item for your kids’ breakfast, something has to change if that child wants to have any chance at a healthy future.

Sorry. May ruffle some feathers here, but there’s no way around that one. Processed fake foods every single day as the foundation of a human beings diet WILL LEAD TO DEGENERATIVE DISEASE AND A DEPRESSED, DOCTOR-WAITING-ROOM FILLED EXISTENCE.

Is throwing a Lunchable in a backpack easier than making a lunch for your kid every day (or at night before you go to bed like we’ve gotten in the habit of doing)? Of course. But convenience and ease isn’t the best thing in all domains of life.

It’s great for staying in touch with relatives or being able to watch 30 college football games in one day. Not so good for optimal health — ESPECIALLY for kids! Destroying stuff is usually easier and faster than building stuff.

Here’s a very typical lunch that our girls take to school:

lunch

That’s cashews, organic apple sauce (no processed sugar), cantaloupe, and Applegate Uncured Pepperoni (is that the absolute best meat on the planet? No. But it’s better than your typical, WalMart deli meat). They also do the Applegate ham and if we have grass fed beef hotdogs or something else, we’ll throw that in.

We try to get some type of “dense” food like the pepperoni (or macaroni as the girls call it…ha!), or cheese, or boiled egg, or nuts, or nut butter, or a combination of 1 or 2 of those things. Meat isn’t included every day as long as there is some nutrient density.

Then we try to put a fruit and veggie. This pic has no veggie but we’ll do carrots a lot. They’ll do pickles, too. My three year old LOVES tomatoes.

Applesauce isn’t my favorite since I’d rather they eat an apple, but it’s a once a day thing. That’s our “convenience” hack. They know they don’t get the applesauce any other time than at school. When they come home it’s all fresh, whole foods.

Other go-to fruits are olives, cantaloup, strawberries, blue and blackberries, bananas, and watermelon.

Bottom line — there are a wide variety of healthy options your kids can eat at school. You just have to do a little prep work to ensure they’re not eating mass-produced chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and whacky cake every day like I did. Mmmm…whacky cake.

Trust me — your kids are worth the effort. And they’ll thank you for it someday.

Stop Depriving Your Kids

Be sure to follow all of Mark’s work over at his awesome blog, The Simply Human Lifestyle, and listen to his Podcast

Hey parents — here’s a newsflash…this just in:

Giving your kids sodas, candy, cakes, and cookies on a regular basis is deprivation alright. It’s depriving them of A HEALTHY, STRONG, VIBRANT FUTURE.
Withholding those things is only depriving your kids of future doctor appointments, clinic waiting rooms, dealing with bags full of prescription meds, obesity, diabetes, and host of other major problems that will affect them forever.

I posted this video on the Simply Human facebook page back on August 14 because I thought it was extremely powerful. Take 90 seconds and watch it real quick if you haven’t already.

Through the eyes of a young heart attack patient, the video shows you how he ended up on the operating table at such an early age.

And the video isn’t some science fiction or political propaganda. The video is absolutely, 100% dead on (pun intended).

We live in a culture today which hands out soda after sporting events — suckers after gymnastics — random candy at school for no good reason. It’s everywhere. It’s the norm.

And parents can be made to feel guilty or weird if they say, “thanks but no thanks” to the sweet, little old lady handing out peppermints at the mall.

Donuts, cake, cookies, soda, juice, chocolate — they’re all the norm in our society.

So you know what else has become normal? Heart attacks. Obesity. Diabetes. And many other diseases of degeneration. Is that so unbelievable?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “oh you’re too strict! let them have some candy” or “it’s just one cookie, don’t be such a jerk, you’re depriving them!” Or things along those lines.

Let me stop here and say that my kids get cake at birthday parties or parties at school. I let them eat the little sucker the gymnastics place we go to hands out after they finish (they get it AFTER they eat dinner). I don’t run up like Batman and knock the candy away from them in slow motion if anyone hands them candy. I’m not THAT guy.

But I’m also not the guy that will allow that stuff to be around all the time. When that stuff is around all the time — so are other bad things in the future. If “treats” and candy are sporadic, so would be all the diseases I mentioned earlier.

Our culture has changed the definition of normal or moderate or “every once in a while.” We need to do some serious work to get those words back to their original meaning.

How can we do that?

“We” needs to become “me” to begin with. Our culture won’t change unless YOU change. Unless I change.

Keeping that stuff out of your house and out of the norm is not eliminating happiness from you or your child’s life. Where did that notion even come from?

We lasted a heck of a long time without all that garbage and were happy.

HAPPINESS DID NOT APPEAR WITH THE INVENTION OF SUGARY, PROCESSED FOODS.

Let me say that again, happiness has been around for as long as humans have. Garbage food has not. So don’t give me the “my kids aren’t going to be happy” line because I don’t buy it. It’s a lie.

Tying happiness to the ability to say “yummy” is incredibly dangerous for the future of our children — and for YOU.

Happiness should be tied to relationships and self-fulfillment and giving to others and contentedness. Not sugar. Seems a little ridiculous when you think of it like that.

In many families I’ve worked with, it’s not even the kids who are driving the demand of non-human food in the home, it’s the parents. Parents know that they can’t be eating pizza and demanding that their kids eat broccoli. So what’s the alternative? Well, everybody just gets pizza and ice cream and hamburgers every night because mom and dad want it. That’s not fair to your kids.

You also don’t need candy to reward kids and get them to do stuff like poop in the toilet or do what you say. It’s very effective, but so is the Warm and Fuzzy Jar. It’s a mason jar decorated by the child that gets filled with super cheap cotton balls anytime the child does something you ask without throwing a fit — or being polite — or putting their dishes in the sink — or whatever. Then when the jar is filled up, they get an experience: a movie, a trip to the park, a date with mom or dad. It doesn’t HAVE to be food.

That culture MUST change.

Start by eliminating non-human food from your home. Then talk to your kids about food and special treats. My girls know that when they get the sucker after gymnastics to just hang on to it until after dinner. They know that because we had a conversation with them about it and they’re smart, capable little human beings.

Teach them about smart decisions. And that human food will make them big and strong. Show them that mom and dad don’t eat those things because mom and dad want to be healthy and strong. Your kids think you’re Superman. Model healthy human behavior for them and they’ll follow suit (unless your kids are teenagers and they are in the “mom and dad are the stupidest people on earth” phase).

We don’t have a swimming pool. So our kids don’t whine and complain every night about not getting to swim in our backyard — because there’s no pool back there. See where I’m going with this?

So get it of your house. Model healthy behavior for your kids. Teach them about what it means to be healthy — and don’t deprive your children of a happy, vibrant, strong future.

Don’t let your child end up like the kid in the video. Find other ways to reward and treat and enjoy.

Don’t wait until next week or until you eat all the garbage you already have in your possession. Life’s too short. Start changing right now. And if enough individuals change…WE will change.

Enjoy Popcorn — without all the POISON

Like many of you out there. My family and I don’t live in a forest or on a mountain. We live in the real world and are surrounded by lots of “non-human” things. You know, stuff like: chairs, electrically heated water, electrical anything, cars, shoes, and movies.

So if I were to ask you what food came to mind when I said “movie”, you would probably say popcorn, right?

And what’s the most convenient, cleanest way to get popcorn into your belly? Yes! The Microwave.

Let’s take a look at why microwaveable popcorn may not be the best thing for your human bodies:

  • Plastic — when you heat up the petrochemicals in plastic, other harmful chemicals are absorbed into your food. Many microwave popcorns have plastic liners. No good.
  • Synthetic Fats — manufacturers of non-human food LOVE these fats because they allow foods to sit on a shelf for generations without spoiling. Don’t believe any health claims on the package saying there aren’t any trans fats. Look at the LABEL. If you see any oils listed other than olive or coconut, it is most likely a vegetable or hydrogenated oil. Avoid those. They are literally poisonous.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms — or GMOs. Yes, the undisputed champion of non-human foods. And one of the big three GMOs? Corn. They’re not good people. Do I need science to back that up? No. There IS science to back that up — but why don’t we just leave it at “humans are not designed to eat foods that have been altered in a lab to ensure they are resistant to poison and yield as much crop per acre as possible.”
  • Flavorings — many of today’s processed foods taste and smell great because of synthetic flavors and scents that are forced upon them. Real, human food tastes great and smells amazing on its own. You don’t need fake taste and smell. But they work. And one of the chemicals that smells like butter is called diacetyl and it’s been linked to lung disease. That’s just one. There are many others. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that chemical smells and flavors are non-human foods and will have a negative reaction in the body.
  • PFCs — or perfluorochemicals. This is another great invention that many fast food manufacturers use. And what do you know, it’s been linked to cancer and reproductive system damage. It’s also been linked to thyroid disease and ADHD. Once it’s in your system, it stays there for  LONG TIME.

So what do you do if you really like popcorn and want to have some popcorn while you watch a movie with your significant other or your kids…or by yourself?

When it’s movie night, we make the following recipe.

Yummy Buttery Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic popping kernels
  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • sea salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp coconut or MCT oil

Instructions

  1. heat up oil in a 3 quart pan on high heat
  2. put two kernels in the pan, make sure they get coated with oil, and put the lid on the pan
  3. when one of those kernels pops, dump in the corn
  4. gently rock the pan until all kernels are popped (make sure lid is on)
  5. take off heat when popping begins to slow (they pop really fast) and dump into a big bowl
  6. melt 2 tbsp butter in small sauce pan and pour over the popcorn
  7. top with sea salt

So there you go. This popcorn is absolutely incredible tasting. It smell amazing. Clean up is easy. Making it is easy. It only has four ingredients. And zero, count ‘em, ZERO of the aforementioned negative things normally found in microwave popcorn.

Try it out. And leave the synthetic, fake, poisonous foods for the rats.

Science Doesn’t Always Know Best

In the 1600s, little was known about how the human body worked or reproduced. They DID know that sperm and egg met together and somehow a human being was produced from that.

Some people hypothesized that there were super teeny tiny little human bodies in the heads of each sperm that eventually just got bigger and became babies. These super teeny tiny little humans were called homunculus. Not a bad theory if you have no idea what’s going on at the cellular level. This theory was called “preformation”.

Then something interesting happened. When some of the early microscopists studying this subject (who just happened to be “preformationists”) looked at the sex cells under the microscope for the first time, you know what they reported seeing?

Yup. Teeny tiny little humans…to confirm their theory. But are there teeny tiny little humans inside of sperm or egg? Of course not.

Did scientists see what they WANTED to see to support a theory? You betcha. And that hasn’t changed some 400 years later.

Another story — penicillin was discovered in 1928 but wasn’t widely used until right after World War II. It was made synthetically in the late 50s. And boy, has it done some great stuff. With penicillin in our arsenal, humans stopped dying from strep, staph infections, pneumonia and other bacterial infections.

It was the miracle drug and was made in a lab by people in lab coats. Awesome. I have benefitted from penicillin. My kids are safer with it in the world.

But just because penicillin, which is made in a lab by people with lab coats, is an incredibly powerful thing that has changed the world and solved problems — doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING MADE IN A LAB BY PEOPLE IN LAB COATS is going to solve all of our problems.

Unfortunately, that’s where the conventional wisdom went after penicillin. You have a problem? Great, ole Lab Coat here will find something to fix it. (I am not saying anything negative about anyone who wears a lab coat for a living — just the idea that all the world’s problems can be fixed by chemical means).

Along came margarine and hydrogenated oils and GMOs and processed foods and food coloring and preservatives and pharmaceuticals. And it’s pretty easy to see what’s happened to our health.

Not getting enough exercise? No worries. We can fix that. Don’t want to eat healthy foods? We have a fix for that, too. Can’t sleep at night? Here, take this. Joint pain? Try two of these on an empty stomach and call me in the morning.

We’ve got it all wrong.

We have eradicated infectious diseases but have replaced those diseases with ones of degeneration and sickness. In an epoch that should be known as the time all humans were at their absolute healthiest — we are at our sickest.

Here’s a newsflash: science and chemicals can’t fix everything. Science hasn’t figured it all out. But guess what? We don’t need to understand something to have it work for us.

I guarantee you many babies have been produced by men and women who had absolutely no idea as to how pregnancy works at the cellular level. They just did what their instincts told them to do and viola! A baby!

Some things are unexplainable. There are medical miracles. The human body is an amazing thing that adapts to its surroundings and strives to live. Sometimes fallopian tubes that are surgically cut grow new vessels and find their way back to each other to continue the life process (ever had a friend get their tubes tied and then get pregnant?)

Some animals can regrow fully developed body parts. The placebo effect is still largely mysterious.

So let’s wrap back around and learn something from those two stories:

A) don’t believe everything you read in the latest “scientific studies” because science is prone to see what it wants to see…and science has gotten away from what science really is: change in light of new discoveries and data. It’s kind of gotten stuck on some stuff thanks to politics and money and public opinion and the media.

B) are you going to do things and eat things that have been around for 60 years or are you going to do things and eat things that have been around for the entirety of human existence?

If I was going to be stranded on a desert island and could have one thing with me, I’m going to choose the wheel over an iPhone, the knife over a spiralizer, a bow and arrow over a microphone. See where I’m going with this?

Here’s a quiz: What practice has been around the longest and is more robust?

Walking or Elliptical trainers?

Herbs or Pills?

Animal fat or Margarine?

Going to bed when the sun goes down or staying up until 2 AM watching TV?

Science has done GREAT THINGS! My son is alive today because of breakthroughs in science and medicine. But lets keep the penicillin and reattachment surgeries in the “anomaly” category but in our normal, everyday lives keep doing things that humans have done ever since humans have been around.

We’ll all be better off for it.

To follow more of Mark’s amazing work, visit his blog, Simply Human Lifestyle, listen to his Podcastand be sure to follow him on Facebook!

My Kid’s Sick — Now What?

Nobody likes for their kids to be sick. It’s horrible. You wish you could be sick instead of them. But life is life and kids are going to get sick.

Two of my kids suffered from a case of the ole fever virus this week. No symptoms other than a stupid high fever.

The conventional wisdom when we’re sick (at least the wisdom that I was taught) is to give kids crackers, chicken noodle soup, popsicles, Gatorade and ice cream. But eating nutrient-less, inflammatory foods when you’re sick is the absolute worst thing a sick person can do.

Foods that are stripped of nutritional value and loaded with processed carbohydrate really only do 2 things…1) they make the sick person say “yummy” and 2) they give a body already dealing with lots of mucus production even more stuff to make mucus out of leading to an enormous large supply of mucus that will get stuck in nasal passages, ears and rip up the backs of throats as it makes it’s way down into the lungs and stomach causing more problems there.

I guess a third thing is that it causes an already inflamed system to become even more inflamed. No bueno.

So what are some good things to feed sick kids? Or sick people for that matter?

Think “nutrient-dense” and “anti-inflammatory”, which rules out crackers and Chef Boyardee and popsicles and Gatorade (aka colored sugar water). Here’s a list of the things my girls ate this week:

  • Tennessee whiskey — jokes, people. C’mon.
  • Buttery White Rice (see recipes tab) — they ate a lot of this, great, clean source of energy which the body needs to fight off a virus
  • frozen berries
  • probiotics (they take these every day, but it’s even more important during sickness)
  • bananas (with cinnamon and honey)
  • honey (for cough suppressant)
  • Nuun tablets (an electrolyte tablet that dissolves in water — much better than Gatorade or Pedialite)
  • carrots
  • olives
  • eggs
  • bone broth (aka homemade soup stock)
  • nuts
  • lots and lots of water

and AVOID

  • crackers
  • Gatorade
  • popsicles
  • ice cream
  • soda — for goodness sakes avoid soda. Sprite is not a remedy for colds and flus. There is no benefit for carbonated sugar water. Somehow that got added to the list of things to consume when your’re sick because some doctor liked the taste of it and was like “oh yea, drink Sprite to make you well!”
  • cereal
  • juice
  • jello
  • chicken noodle soup from a can — really anything from a can
  • candy (all candy even if it’s not called “candy”)

Also keep in mind that kids with fever sometimes aren’t very hungry and that’s OK. Let them be the judge of when they should eat. If they’re eating nutrient-dense foods, they may not have to eat very much.

And as far as using Ibuprofen goes — our philosophy is that a fever is there for a reason and should be allowed to do its job for the most part. We’ll give a dose at night if they are too uncomfortable to sleep, but if they can fall asleep and are peaceful, we monitor them throughout the night but let the fever do what it’s supposed to do — which is fight off whatever is causing the problem.

Is it easier to just give fever reducing meds and go to sleep? Sure. But what’s easier isn’t always the best path.

Of course there are exceptions like if your kid has a fever that reaches 105 or 106. But for just your run of the mill cold or what I call a fever virus — try to leave it alone.

*disclaimer — I’m not a doctor but I have a friend who has a PhD.

Same goes for coughing. If your body is coughing, it’s coughing for a reason. Reaching for a cough suppressant after your very first cough (IN MOST CASES) is just going to extend your calamity. At night for sleep, that’s a different story in my opinion because getting good sleep outweighs the benefits of what the coughing is working towards.

So — kids are going to get sick. When they do, give their little bodies nutrition that can actually help them get better and not stuff that’s just going to prolong their illness or make them worse.

SuperHuman is Extraordinary

Becoming SuperHuman is a goal for many people. The term ‘SuperHuman’ has sprung up the last few years to describe something you can achieve if you get the right amount of sleep, the right vitamins and minerals, move in the right ways, and eat the right things.

The idea is that through various bio hacks and lifestyle changes, you can become something greater than human — a SuperHuman. It’s a great marketing strategy and resonates with many who feel less than human — in other words, they’re tired all the time, always hungry, stressed and in lots of pain.

I think that the term is necessary in today’s culture and health & wellness industry. But I also think it’s an insult to the extraordinary human mechanism and design.

Why? Because the human is inherently “super” — the adjective is unnecessary. The scale that we use to define a healthy human has shifted. Imagine a linear, x-axis scale where the 0 is the average human of today and SuperHuman is off somewhere to the right — say, around 100. That’s how it is today.

But I believe the average human of today is actually way to the LEFT of 0, you know, like in the negatives and that the 0, or “baseline human”, is an extraordinary thing in its own right, all by itself.

**As a sidenote — humans have gotten unhealthier and unhealthier over the last several decades for a number of reasons which include Government guidelines, the belief that high cholesterol causes heart disease, the industrialization of the food industry, and the boom in the pharmaceutical industry — all things that take the blame out of the unsuspecting and unhealthy humans’ control. Not all blame is removed, but a ton of it is…

Back to the point — the human body is the most complex and miraculous gadget on the planet. Nothing matches its ingenuity or marvel. This organism that uses unbelievable functions to fight off disease and adapt to surroundings in amazing ways — not to mention the other billion incredible things the body can do like neuroplasticity or synaptogenesis — has been mistreated and allowed to function at a less than ideal capacity.

And now we’ve come to the point where being healthy is something that is beyond human — SuperHuman.

I believe the term SuperHuman is redundant.

Describing a healthy human as SuperHuman is like saying a Large NFL Lineman, or my Beautiful Wife, or a Worthless Cat, or an Annoying Mosquito, or Insane DennisRodman.

The adjectives preceding each noun are unnecessary since the noun is inherently what the adjective is describing.

Like a Hormonal Pregnant Lady, or a Stupid Man (yes we’re all stupid in our own different and stupid ways), a Faithful Beagle, or a Stinky Gas Station Bathroom.

A human in its most baseline and properly functioning state is, inherently, extraordinary. But humans have skewed the definition of “health” by not taking care of humans properly.

Imagine a field of highly efficient, powerful Formula 1 race cars.

All of the cars’ crew chiefs mistreat the machines. They don’t perform proper maintenance. Oil isn’t changed. Transmissions aren’t flushed. They run the engines way too long at the wrong times in the harsh weather. They put a low grade, synthetic fuel in the tank that the car can technically run on because it’s an amazing specimen of technology and can adapt to a less the optimal fuel, but it’s not the fuel the engine was designed to use.

They leave the cars in the elements all year round — rain, sun, snow, wind. All the cars are treated this way. It’s the norm. To the mass of crew chiefs, there is no convincing scientific or compelling evidence to make them think that anything they’re doing is causing any harm.

Now imagine that one of the cars does receive proper maintenance from its crew chief. The engine’s oil is changed. Gaskets are replaced. Tires are rotated. This car is kept under a sheet in a garage and only run when it needs to be run. It receives the fuel that it was designed to use. This car wins every race on the circuit and laps just about every other car on the track. This car is taken care of. The other crew chiefs think this car is extreme and its crew chief is crazy, off his rocker, and doing things that couldn’t possibly be expected from a “normal” crew chief.

Should this lone car be defined as a “SuperCar”? Or is it just an incredible piece of engineering and machinery designed by millions of hours of testing and brain power that is functioning how it was designed to function?

Becoming SuperHuman is nothing more than being this lone car — it’s allowing the most incredible thing on the planet do what it was designed to do — be extraordinary.

Having to label health as “super” is an insult to the human definition. I believe the term SuperHuman is necessary today, but it’s just a sign that we’ve over-complicated the process of becoming healthy and defining health by underperforming and allowing the most incredible piece of machinery in existence to function below its optimal capacity.

My goal is for humans to re-take control of their humanness, start taking care of themselves and begin functioning in the extraordinary way that the human body is designed to function.

Join me.

*To read more of Mark’s great articles, visit his awesome blog Simply Human Lifestyle and listen to his Podcast