Pilar Gerasimo

Pilar Gerasimo is a pioneering health journalist and social explorer intent on helping people cultivate what she calls “Healthy Deviance” — the ability to get and stay healthy in an unhealthy world. Best known for her work as founding editor of Experience Life (a healthy-living magazine that reaches an estimated three million people), Pilar is also the creative force behind the popular mobile app, “101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy,” and author of an award-winning chapbook, Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act: A Manifesto for Thriving in a Mixed up World.

Today, Pilar co-hosts a weekly healthy-living podcast, The Living Experiment, in collaboration with Whole30 cofounder Dallas Hartwig. Her monthly “Revolutionary Acts” column appears in Experience Life and at The Huffington Post. She is currently working on a book about Healthy Deviance. Pilar lives on an organic family farm in Wisconsin with her pit-bull pal, Calvin. Learn more at pilargerasimo.com.

PRESENTATION: The Way of The Healthy Deviant

Many so-called “civilized” societies now reliably produce more sick and miserable people than healthy, happy ones. In the context of an unhealthy culture, achieving a high level of sustainable vitality requires a variety of socially non-compliant (i.e., “deviant”) acts and attitudes. In this talk, I’ll explore the nature of Healthy Deviance, what it requires, and how actively embracing it can help us transform our own lives and our world for the better.

Points of exploration include:

  • How a limited view of our present circumstances has caused us to misperceive and counter-productively respond to our most pressing health problems.
  • How repeated experiences of failure with socially promoted health-improvement tactics have led many to believe their issues are too difficult to overcome, thereby engendering learned helplessness, desperation and shame.
  • How embracing Healthy Deviance can help us overcome our limiting conditions, access new ideals of health and happiness, and collectively blaze more rewarding paths forward.


  • Statistical insights on our current state of health and happiness
  • Historic perspective on the role of social deviance in sparking progress
  • The key competencies of sustained Healthy Deviance
  • Three “Backbone Practices” for maintaining vitality, resilience and autonomy in the face of hostile norms