Kemp offers a practical guide to healthy living, drawn from the author’s life as well as advice from nutritional and medical experts.
Healthy living is a popular topic, but Kemp’s book is noteworthy for its thorough, balanced approach and its welcome lack of an ax to grind. The clearly organized and comprehensive work methodically covers physical fitness, healthy eating and mental exercise, and each chapter includes examples and questions to help readers review the material and apply it to their own lives. Kemp holds a doctorate in education, and he is careful to emphasize that changing old habits can be difficult, but also that learning the benefits of such changes and what they can achieve is a key starting point. Although his tone is resolutely nonjudgmental, he’s obviously passionate about wanting to share what he’s learned about healthy living with others. There’s little if any primary reporting in the book, but Kemp’s secondary sources are scrupulously noted and generally authoritative or at least reputable. What’s more, the author provides plentiful resources for readers who want to learn more, and is particularly good with recent technology, such as a helpful iPhone diet data app. As the fact that so many of Kemp’s sources are government websites suggests, the information he presents is generally not obscure. And, largely because he attempts to accommodate readers who may not be reading every chapter, there is a certain amount of repetition in coverage. The very comprehensiveness of the book also means that some topics aren’t explored in-depth, which is unfortunate as Kemp is at his best when he delves into the nitty-gritty how-to details such as label-reading. Those contemplating a healthier lifestyle will find this book a useful primer; those already committed to healthy living may find some parts too basic.
Clear chapter organization and a thorough index make this a useful tool regardless of a reader’s level of commitment to healthy living.