After a holiday week filled with feasting, snacking, and relaxing, many Americans are now returning to the office feeling guilty about their Fourth of July choices. Holidays are notorious for complicating healthy diets, especially in a world in need of a diet reformation. The human diet is the backbone of our livelihood, the basis of our culture, and the common staple needed to survive. And for thousands of years, humans did what was necessary to turn nutritious raw materials into flavorful sustenance. By the 20th century, however, new trends and scientific preserving methods had changed the food industry, reshaped countries, and, most notably, reshaped many of the world’s people. With the current population having grown up in a world of processed and preserved foods, people remain uneducated about the significant repercussions of basing a diet on processed foods.
However, in the 21st century, after seeing the ramifications of years of poor dieting and a lack of physical activity, many Americans are seeking help for their unhealthy lifestyles in an effort to reverse the ailments associated with their patterns. One program that exemplifies this change is The Full Yield. The phrase “full yield” is a farming term that refers to the best possible harvest from high-quality seeds and well-kept soil. A clever metaphor for how eating well and taking care of your body can leave you feeling your best, The Full Yield program guides its members to healthy eating habits with the help of coaches and a lifetime membership giving them access to weekly workshops, newsletters, and the website.
A concept that founder Zoe Finch Totten has believed in since the early 1990s, Finch Totten’s pilot program was tested in 2010. Based on a high-quality diet consisting of whole foods with an emphasis on produce, The Full Yield program teaches members through experience that these are the foods that make a very positive difference in the way they feel.
While the diet remains the backbone of the program, members are encouraged to remain active throughout their day. Finch Totten notes that we are always in our bodies; therefore, conscious use of them throughout the day is the key to better physical health. The program provides members with a pedometer, enabling them to become aware of their daily activity. The program shoots for a daily reading of 10,000 steps, or approximately five miles.
In order to guide members through their journey toward better health, the program pairs members with coaches, giving them full access to a personal mentor who leads them from start to finish. The coaches, who often have had health epiphanies of their own, can serve as a member’s greatest resource in the quest for a better well-being. All of these resources can be found in the members-only section of the website, where an interactive dashboard, recipe database, biometrics, and a mini “Facebook,” as well as educational and cooking videos, are available for support. The gamification of some of the website’s information adds incentives for keeping up with the program, as well as keeps members well informed of their progress. An additional blog, available to the public, showcases cultural issues, news, and many other topics pertaining to diet, good health, and exercise.
Hundreds of diet and exercise programs boast of the ability to give you the results you’re looking for, but what separates The Full Yield from the rest is its flexibility and how easily it can be integrated into a lifestyle. Many diets require specific meals, a system of points, or programs that are hard to integrate into busy lives. The Full Yield has simple rules that can be applied in almost any life situation. By eating healthy whole foods and sticking to a diet made up of 50% produce, the member has the ability to keep their diet regardless of the situation. Along with changes in the member’s biometrics, what also demonstrates the greatest results is the member’s ability to eat comfortably 365 days a year in any situation, without the help of pre-packaged meals. By having the skill to make healthy choices, as well as internalized self-control, members can easily say that they feel in control of their diet and feel better because of it.
As for the future of Finch Totten’s program, The Full Yield looks to branch out their philosophy by consulting with more vendors and their employees and spreading the information on their program to form more partnerships across the health-conscious community.
After speaking with Zoe, I continued to have an interest in the Full Yield program’s diet. In an attempt to emulate its rulings and restrictions, I hoped that I, too, would feel great day after day. To no surprise, the diet had left me feeling refreshed and revitalized. With only a few tweaks to my diet, I was able to completely change my outlook on eating. It has been a week since I started my own version of The Full Yield philosophy. With increased energy and motivation, as well as my well-being, I will continue with the lifestyle change.
What do you think about healthy whole foods? Do you have any recipes you would like to share? We look forward to hearing from you. Continue the discussion by commenting on our blog, and connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
University of Denver
Class of 2013