Foreword Reviews

The Healthy Deviant

A Rule Breaker's Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Built on the premise that today’s world is unhealthy, Pilar Gerasimo’s The Healthy Deviant is a self-help corrective.

Arguing that society has normalized problems like a lack of sleep, unhealthy eating, overworking, and prescription medications, the book says that to buck what is “normal” in the name of health involves a level of deviance. Its premise is that “if you’re not breaking the rules, you’re probably breaking yourself.” As such, it details a plan aimed at putting healthy deviance into practice, one that’s designed to rebuild health and wellness. This plan includes getting enough sleep, reducing stress, eating as clean as possible for one’s optimal “body composition,” and getting off of prescription drugs.

Good advice arises, as with giving up dieting, focusing on healthy eating, and setting up daily routines and rhythms. Still, the text assumes some financial and lifestyle privilege while making these recommendations; it does not address constraints on time and finances, social isolation, or lack of access to affordable healthy food and other resources. It evinces skepticism toward traditional medicine and doctors and comes across as judgmental about some food and drink choices.

While there are extensive notes in the back and ample references and resources, evidence-based sources are less present in the text proper, raising questions about sourcing in the course of reading itself. The book’s framework is heavy on personal anecdotes that detail Gerasimo’s own health makeover; its toolkit circles back to Gerasimo’s website, application, and social media accounts, too. Interactive quizzes are discussed in the text and are also available on Gerasimo’s website.

The Healthy Deviant is a guide to wellness that’s full of commonsense advice designed to jump-start healthy habits for those who need extra guidance and instruction.

Reviewed by Jaime Herndon

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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