Tag Archives: soylent

Soylent, the End of the Week

P1000652Today ends my week of nothing but soylent. It’s been interesting.

On the health side, I have lost ten pounds, which would be a lot if I were a skinny person, but I am not. My eyesight has improved, indicating that I was not getting enough of one of the micronutrients in my concoction. My energy levels are good. My sleep patterns are better. If I could do this for a year, I would probably end up a healthy person.

On the down side, the diabetes doesn’t seem as happy. My blood sugars, while still in the safe range, run a little higher. I wondered if this would happen as the soylent specifications are higher in carbohydrates than what I normally allow myself. On the other hand, if I am getting more nutrients and losing weight, it’s probably worth it in the a long term. And I have to remember that they only reason I hit that normal range is because I take drugs, which can be adjusted.

In full disclosure, I did have a sample at the wine shop today. After a week of soylent, Diet Coke, and coffee, it was one of the most wonderful things I’d ever tasted. This probably means I’m not a good candidate for a 24/7 solent diet.

Despite my inability to eat nothing but soylent, I am going to continue to experiment with using it as a meal replacement. I hope to find a balance where I can have food often enough that I don’t crave it, yet eat soylent enough to improve my health significantly.

Over the last week, I haven’t had any huge epiphanies, but I did get some poignant remembers about both my relationship and society’s relationship with food. Not only did I miss out on some social activities, but I felt like I didn’t spend enough money to justify my time in the coffee shop. Also, the speed at which my health improved and the weight started to come off drove home how bad I am at coming up with healthy meals for myself.

So, in the end, was this experiment worth it? You bet. Before I tried soylent, I had pretty much given up on nutrition. Not only were the things I liked to eat bad for me, but even if I tried to eat healthy, there were too many things to keep track of, to many ifs. I needed a nutritional shortcut, a way to eat healthy without having to make good decisions, a simple recipe that would improve my health. And I think I’ve found it.

Now, let’s see if I can stick with it.

Soylent: Day 5

mcdonalds-Big-MacAfter five days of Soylent, I am probably the healthiest I’ve been in years. I feel physically stronger and mentally alert. I’ve lost an impressive, but not dangerous, amount of weight, and my clothes fit better.

All that being said, I miss food. I’m looking forward to Sunday, when I’ll have my first Christmas dinner of the season. I plan to take my Soylent in the morning and then go crazy the rest of the day.

The question is, how much damage will I do to my newfound health in one day? Even more, when I finish my week, how often do I want to eat Soylent? It’s obviously good for me. Would two meals a day be good enough for similar results?

It seems like a no-brainer to drink nutrition paste for my health. But that Big Mac is looking really good.

Maybe that’s what this Soylent experiment is really about. The ability to let go of our animal impulses, becoming beings of pure logic, and embracing our future a cyborgs.

Or maybe not.

Soylent: Day 4

BeeffeedlotcattleI was adding the soybean oil to my DIY Soylent–the only soy related product by the way, and something occurred to me, a sort of deja vu.

Back when I was a farm kid, we used to make cattle feed. If you’ve never done, let me give you the basics. You start out with a big machine called a feed mill. This is kind of like a giant blender. Then you shovel in a ton of the staple grains, like oats or corn. Some people add protein and vitamins, and I’m told some feed lots add antibiotics–ewww. Finally, my dad always poured in a portion of soybean oil, fresh from the fryers at the local tavern–they changed their oil every week and were more than happy to see us haul it away.

It was when I was pouring in that soybean oil that I realized I was making cattle feed for people, and then eating it myself.

I thought that today–the hump day of my little experiment–would feel triumphant. After all, I am conquering nature. I have overcome the need to eat. But honestly, I really just want a cheese sandwich.

On the bright side, I still feel energetic and healthy. Only 3 more days to go.

Soylent: Day 3

Some sweet Soylent stuff

Some sweet Soylent stuff

Today, I received more Soylent stuff, the Breaking Bad scale, spare water bottles, and some yummy sulfur. This DIY Solent is getting a little expensive. I may have to stick with it for a while just to make it pay for itself.

First of all, how do I feel? I think I would call myself surprisingly satisfied. I still have impulsive cravings for real food–today was Taco Tuesday at the Java Joint, my usual hang-out, and as I write this I can smell the leftover candied popcorn from last weekend’s get-together. Despite this, I’m not going crazy because I’m not hungry. Even though it’s 5 PM, and I currently have an entire 24 oz bottle of Soylent–1/3 of my daily allotment–to eat I feel quite full. I have lost 6 pounds, but I’m not too concerned as whenever I change my diet, I seem to lose about 5 pounds of water weight.

Physically, I’m starting to find that I have a lot of energy even late into the day. Last night, I had the best sleep I’ve had in weeks. Also–and this may just be placebo effect–I swear my eyesight is improving. And when I woke up this morning sans-headache, my blood sugar was right where it usually is.

Back to the yummy sulfur–it was the last item to arrive on my ingredients list. I don’t know how much sulfur I got in my diet before Soylent, but I decided to go ahead and risk going without it for a couple days. Never fear, I am now back on the S.

This may be a good time to talk about other things I’m putting in my body besides Soylent. No, not like that.

I take some daily medication. In addition to that, I take a few supplements. I always start off each day with a large glass of Metamucil. Heap on lots of coffee and diet soda, and we’re done. That and Soylent has been it for three days. I’m even abstaining from wine. That last part hurts a bit.

If anything, the only surprise is how ordinary I feel. 

Look Around You – Sulphur

Soylent: Day 2

P1000648As of this moment, I’ve had 5 Soylent meals in a row.

The only other things I’ve imbibed is some diet soda and coffee. Yes, I know diet soda is pure death, but they say coffee is good for you these days.

There have been a couple issues which concern me. This morning, I woke up with a headache. This is not uncommon for me, as I have issues with my sinuses. Also, my blood sugar was high this morning, but this could have been caused by the headache, blood sugar is tricky to nail down like that.

Overall, I feel like I’m at a too early to tell stage. I haven’t gone nuts from not having food. I haven’t died.

On the DIY side, I’ve decided to make a couple changes. First of all, I’ve decided to order a new scale, one accurate to 0.1 grams. I discovered that most kitchen scales are only accurate to 0.1 ounces, which is nearly 3 grams. This is not good enough for the micronutrients or for my Breaking Bad cosplay. Secondly, I’ve started blending the mix longer, which makes it less gritty.

On the upside, I feel full. I don’t even feel run down like I have using other diet products.

A week without food, a Soylent experiment

I have a problem with food. A bad relationship. I want to quit it, but after a few hours without it, I’m just hungry for more.DSC01038

Partly, because of this relationship, I am not a healthy man. I am overweight, and I have health problems which can be traced back to this. I’ve tried to adopt a more healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly–which I am not good at, and eating better–which I am even less good at.

I have been overweight all my life, and even when I was in the best shape of my life, I wasn’t going to win one of those presidential fitness awards. When I was in Drum and Bugle Corps and marching outdoors for hours a day, I was still pudgy.

I have tried many diets–low calorie, low fat, low carb. I’ve tried Weight Watchers–my wife signed up but I followed along. The only one I seemed to have some success on was low-carb. I can maintain and even lose a little on low carb, but soon, I start to get cravings.

Recently, I found out I was a type 2 diabetic, and after sitting through some nutrition classes, I didn’t really feel like I would ever be able to be healthy. Not only was diabetes going to kill me, but if I tried to fight it with my diet, I’d also die unhappy. I kind of gave up on the concept of trying to eat healthy.

Somewhere, right now someone is eating a diet chocolate brownie. It is mostly soy and contains no sugar. They will try convincing themselves it was satisfying for the next three days, and then end up stopping at DQ for an Oreo Blizzard.

See, that’s what it’s about, the unhappy part. That thing I said earlier about a relationship with food. It’s true. When I eat food I want to eat, I feel good. When I think I have to eat to be healthy, I feel depressed. I feel like I’ve been eating food all my life and it hasn’t worked out for me, so maybe the food itself is the problem. But you can’t live without food. And here the logic circle would repeat.

But maybe there is a way to not have my cake and eat it too.

A few months ago, I heard about this food replacement, Soylent, developed by a Silicone Valley engineer named Rob Rhinehart had developed a completely balanced food substitute, and he had been living on it for months. I was immediately intrigued. Maybe there was a way to live without food.

Okay, before you say “Soylent Green is People,” that’s the joke, the final product doesn’t even contain soy.

The concept behind Soylent is simple, a relatively flavorless food substitute, a staple meal for the person on the go who doesn’t have time to cook. Currently, Rhinehart drinks Soylent for 90% of his meals, and only eats socially.

So, I pulled out my credit card and ordered a week’s worth of Soylent. Unfortunately, as they are the start-up, it won’t be available until February.  And if I hadn’t been feeling especially adventurous, this story would stop here. But I decided to take it to the next level.

As part of  his concept/crowdfunding program/company, Rhinehart decided to go for full transparency, he shared the macro and micro nutrient specifications and started the website: diy.solent.me, where you can go and build your own Soylent recipe to share with others. I found a recipe that seemed easy enough, and ordered the ingredients–here’s what they look like.P1000643

I mixed my first batch as a test on Friday, and I had Soylent for my evening meal on Friday and my breakfast on Saturday. Then, on Saturday, I did the social eating thing for the rest of the day. Today, I am committing to a week of eating nothing but my homemade Soylent.

Here’s what today’s batch looks like:



Okay, I know, if you’re reading this, you want to know how it tastes. And before I answer that, let me remind you–that’s not the point. But to be perfectly frank, it tastes like a bunch of unsweetened flours and chemicals mixed into a soupy paste. However, if you’re me, you find this slightly more pleasant than a green salad–now you know why it’s so hard for me to eat healthy.

It is currently approaching 1:00 PM. I had 1/3 of my daily Soylent at 8 and again at 11, this follows my usual eating schedule, I’m an early eater. I will probably divide the the rest into an evening meal and afternoon snack.

I’ve had expensive meal replacement shakes before, and I would feel hungry, run-down, and light headed. This is completely different. Currently, I feel full. I feel good. Do I feel a mild craving for the leftover pizza in the fridge? Yes, but not because the Soylent has let me down, just because there’s pizza and I like the flavor.

Overall, I have a feeling of optimism. There is no magic pill that will reverse a lifetime of bad choices, but maybe this is a better choice for my future. I’m also hopeful that the official 1.0 version of Soylent has less flavor than the one I’ve produced at home.

This afternoon, I am going to produce my Soylent for the rest of the week. I’ll try to check in on the blog each day and give a summary of how I’m feeling.