Adam Skinner's Soylent Experience Log


#1

Gender: Male
Age: 39
Profession: Software developer
Activity level: Sedentary + weekend warrior. At work, I sit. At home, I hang around in my hammock. Outside, I hike, backpack, enjoy disc golf and the occasional Speedminton.
Energy Level: Moderate. Early to bed, early to rise. No alarm clock. My mind starts to fade at around 3pm. I’m usually asleep by 10.
Normal diet: Eating out, eating well, usually one meal a day, sometimes 2. Mostly various ‘ethnic’ foods, and Firehouse subs. Occasional coffee + hot chocolate in the morning. Water throughout the day.

Expectations:

  1. Increased vigor
  2. Better ability to heal from I’m getting older injuries.
  3. Reduction in overall food costs (and waste)
  4. Reduced, consistent bowel movements
  5. Reduction of dietary inflammation
  6. Heightened sense of taste
  7. Reduced water consumption

Day 1

I received my initial shipment of Soylent today. I was pretty excited. I still am, obviously, or else I wouldn’t be recapitulating my experience here.

It came in a large box, composed internally of 4 smaller boxes, each with 7 bags and bottles of oil. I opened the first smaller box, filled my Soylent container (I was disappointed to not see any Soylent branding on it!) half up with water, added the contents of the Soylent bag, and mixed it with a hand blender. I noticed that (and this is likely due to the oval shape of the container) no huge vortex erupted from it, so I filled it up with some more water and blended that a little, then put it in the fridge.

I did not put any of the oil in, nor will I until it’s had at least a few hours to sit. I should probably put the oil in the fridge as well, though.

Regarding the water I used, I keep a 2 gallon Brita container (sans filter) in the kitchen. I fill it up occasionally from my kitchen Aquasana water filter, so filling the Soylent picture with clean, great tasting water was not a problem.

My intention is to let it sit for at least a few hours, and drink some when I get hungry this evening. My most recent meal was at 11:30am, the massive “Grande Burrito” from Abuelo’s.


#2

I started getting hungry at about 7pm last night, so I poured myself some Soylent. Prior to this, I had combined it with the oil and shaken it.

It’s was a little granular/silty, but tasted fine. It’s most pronounced taste is “oatiness”, akin to oatmeal. It’s by no means unpleasant.

Thereafter, I recall a point in time where I had energy. It was like the zen kind of energy you get while in a sustained dangerous situation (eg rock climbing). Probably just the carbs infiltrating my system, possibly attributable to the nutrients as well. I wasn’t driven to action, but I did notice it. Ready to move, like a jungle cat observing it’s prey.

Day 2

This morning, I woke up at 4AM. This is perhaps 1.5-2 hours before I normally wake up. I experience the same thing when “on caffeine”, or if I drink some red wine in the evening. It’s not entirely abnormal. I’d attribute it to drinking Soylent shortly before sleeping.

My sleep was of normal quality. And by that, I mean excellent. Hammocks FTW.

I’ll be drinking Soylent exclusively today. That’s the plan anyway.

One area of concern I have is that the provided pitcher cannot be used in isolation. If it’s completely drained, then you have no more Soylent. You’ll need to have another waiting in the wings so that you have a constant supply of Soylent. Fortunately, I had considered giving my daughter a week of my one month supply to try it out (after watching @vanclute’s videos with me, she was like “I’d probably be interested in trying that”), so I had gone to Costco and purchased their 2-pack of Takeya pictures - identical to what Soylent provides in the welcome package, but with additional (removable) inserts for infusions. So I have a couple of extras.


#3

Don’t forget to add 1 gram of non-iodized salt :slight_smile:


#4

I’ve found that the smoothness of Soylent has increased by sitting overnight. This means almost no granularity, and less siltiness.

I prepared a batch sans oil this morning and put it in the fridge.

I’m drinking out of a Contigo steel double walled mug today, and will continue to do so until my Zojirushi arrives. The reason for the switch is mostly ease of cleaning, with due consideration given to insulative properties.

I’ve found myself wanting to get the aftertaste / silt out of my mouth after drinking. It’s not a big thing, but it does make me want to drink more. If I only have Soylent on hand, I’ll be inclined to drink more Soylent, consuming more than may be good for me.


#5

I’m not hungry, but my mouth has that “can I has cheezburger” feeling. I know from experience that this will fade (from doing a stint of Primal eating), but I have to be very cognizant of whether I’m actually hungry, or just my mouth is.


#6

I’m particularly interested in your bowel movements after a day or two… as weird as that sounds. Thanks for sharing your story.


#7

I started to get a headache around 2pm today. I’d been invited to go out to eat with some of my friends for lunch, and I made the decision not to let my diet get in the way of such communion. So I went with them, and had a HORRID appetizer.

To attempt deal with the headache, as a first step I added some salt to my Soylent. As an aside, I got in my new mug, and it’s totally sweet. Very high class - totally worth the ducats.

As far as my excrement goes, I’ve noticed that I’ve been pissing more than I usually would. I’m not sure what to attribute that to. My crap has been Bristol 3 or 4, though lighter in color than usual. I’ll need a few more days.

One of my concerns in that regard is that in the past, on a high / normal carb diet, I suffered from some serious IBS (Irritable Butthole Syndrome). Pushing it too far would result in bleeding (likely an anal fissure), but reducing my carb intake would fix it. I believe it’s related to inflammation, and I’m hoping that the relative lack of allergens in Soylent will allow me to consume a normal amount of carbs without an itchy / bleeding bunghole.

As I think on it now, that particular malady wasn’t introduced into my life until after I’d been bitten by a brown recluse spider. Minor necrosis and serious sickness aside, I made it through relatively unscathed, except for the long-term affects of the antibiotics I’d taken. I believe they killed too much of the good bacteria in me, and I’ve gone through stints of dosing myself with probiotics, but I’ve never been one to remember to take pills.

Since I’d like to see what Soylent does in isolation, I’ll not pursue that until at least a few weeks have passed.


#8

Day 3

Woke up early today. Played some Kingdoms of Amalur: Reconing. I’d played a Finesse character until about level 10, now I’m checking out Magic.

My Soylent was still cold in my hammockside travel mug. When I finished it off before leaving for work, the steel ice cubes were still pretty cold. They washed off really easy (just a rinse, really), and back in the freezer they go.

I’m going to do strictly Soylent for the next few days, I think. I’d like to see what impact it has in isolation, instead of accompanied by gross over-breaded jalapeno poppers. Actually, I blended a banana into my Soylent at work this morning (they happened to have fruit and blenders available), so I may be experimenting with add-ins as well. But I intend to stay away from snacks and normal meals for a few days.


#9

I’m starting to enjoy the taste of Soylent more than I did initially. Chewing gum has helped with the tingling mouth, and I’m keeping the Soylent farther away and a glass of water closer at hand.

Having been so pleased with the xylitol toothpaste I picked up, I pulled the trigger on some xylitol gum as well.


#10

Anyone who knows me knows that I am one lazy bastard. If I can procrastinate on something, I’ll put it off indefinitely.

Today I cleaned my room (serious disaster area) and car (ditto). Both of those chores have been in the back of my head for … months now.

I don’t know if I can attribute that to Soylent or not. I left work a little later than I usually do. The “post lunch coma” didn’t hit me, because I was just drinking Soylent and water. My mind was still bright when I left today, whereas it’s usually spent. I tend to leave work when my brain stops working right.

I have a mild headache again this evening. I’ll have to attribute it to the dietary change. We’ll see if that holds water over the next couple of days.

I still have the “tingling tongue”. Chewing gum helps with that. I expect it to go away within a couple of weeks. Until then I’ll just have to withstand it.

The banana Soylent was okay. I had a full banana blended in maybe 20 oz of Soylent. Too much banana. Half as much would be more on target, I think. I actually am starting to like the taste of straight Soylent more and more now. I will try, I think, blending it with ice cream or sorbet. On a smaller scale, of course. Before I tried Soylent, I wanted to try a mint and ginger Soylent. I can’t quite imagine how that will turn out, though.


#11

FOr what it’s worth, Soylent Smoothies are potentially out of this world. I make mine with orange juice and a little pineapple sherbet and… WOW. Unbelievably refreshing and pleasant. Like a tropical vacation in every sip. =)


#12

Day 4

Only Soylent today. I made a point of not consuming Soylent unless I felt hungry (instead of just thirsty or wanting to taste something).

By 2pm, I had consumed only half of my container (about 8 oz). Now, at 7pm, I’ve finished that and gone though 3/4 of another container. It’s a little less than full volume, as the 2 steel ice cubes take up some space.

I’m very pleased with those, by the way. Designed for use with Scotch, they help keep my drink nice and cold during the day. I had tried using crushed ice, but that ended up clogging up the drink spout on my mug. Normal ice would probably not do that, but it would sit up top rather than on the bottom. I have a set of 6 cubes, so I usually only have 4 in rotation: 2 come out of the cop for freezing, 2 come into the cup, and 2 lay in wait, hoping to be immersed in Scotch. No filling a container with water, no diluting your drink, much less volume in the freezer.

My crap has been a perfect Bristol 4. No bunghole inflammation to speak of.

I feel like my pool game has gotten better since I started Soylent.

I had a little bit of a headache earlier. This isn’t exactly rare, but it’s not common either. Something to keep my finger on.

I have had no “craving” for normal food as of yet. The gum has helped me keep a lid on a wandering tongue.

I keep some Brushpicks by my desk, in my car, and at home. Great for cleaning out your teeth and avoiding flossing. The thing is, I haven’t needed to use them lately, because Soylent. I feel like my teeth are cleaner when I brush them as well.

I mixed a little bit of lemon sorbet in with my Soylent when I refilled at home. It was not earth-shattering. I may go get some ice cream and try that out. I’m actually quite satisfied with the way Soylent tastes natively, but I like to explore. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.


#13

Day 5

I had the most horrible experience hiking today. I simply ran out of juice about an hour and a half in. I was sweating like a maniac on a trail that usually doesn’t exert me that much. I started to get dumb, and had to take my time. By the end of the 2.75 hour hike, I just wanted to lie down. But more than that, I wanted to solve this problem.

I went to a local grocery store intending to buy some Gatorade. I did get some, along with strawberries and cherries. And some Chex mix (I thought it would be salty).

Consuming that helped out, enough where I could participate in my next event: disc golf. I was a star for the first 10 holes, but then it all started falling apart again. I confused my left from my right. I picked the wrong disc out of the bag and threw it like it was another disc. I completely started biffing every shot I made, and then I called it quits on the 12th hole.

Right now I’m laying in my hammock, nursing a ginger beer, and lamenting my fallen condition. Let my debasement be a warning to all who follow me on this forsaken path.

I also find myself strangely emotional. The Reading Rainbow news brought tears to my eyes. I’ve never even seen the show. I do remember the song, though. And my heart quivered a little to simply see a review of Kaze Tachinu, let alone read it. I do have some identification with this one however, since I’ve both seen the movie and flown the Zero in Battlefield 1942.

One upside to this experience, however, is that the burning ring of fire that my bunghole had become was quelled entirely by the hike. Silver linings on blazing red clouds.


#14

There have been a couple of somewhat similar accounts, including one of my own. I’m not normally terribly active but went mountain biking on some trails with a friend a few weeks back. Hadn’t consumed anything but my normal daily Soylent and it kinda bit me, and during a break I found myself getting light headed and dizzy and had to sit down, drink some more Soylent, and consume whatever else I had - a small pouch of gummy chews.

My theory on this is that since Soylent is SO balanced, being “undernourished” from it is extremely different from the norm. Typically we might be low on one particular thing, like protein or carbs or fat or salt or whatever and we’re kinda familiar with how those things feel. But if we’re consuming all/mostly Soylent, then when we’re underfueled we’re deficient in everything all at once. It’s definitely a freaky experience!

So, my basic theory is that if I know I’m going to be doing anything physical or strenuous, make damn sure to be extra fueled up and also have plenty of Soylent with me, and perhaps other things as backup like you mentioned - gatorade, snacks, etc.


#15

Day 6

To solve the “not enough energy when exercising” issue, I’m going to supplement with Endurolytes Extreme. As summer wraps it’s cloying breath around me, and I’m out and active, I clearly need some help, and I don’t think simply increasing the modicum of salt in Soylent is going to cut it.

I’m also going to include some glutamine supplementation in the form of Gluta-Lyn 1500.

Part of me wants to do exactly what I did yesterday: fairly easy hike, river walk, challenging boulder navigation (~3 hrs), followed by some minor hiking in the form of disc golf (1 hr). However, my inputs aren’t the same (I ate normal food yesterday), and I feel like I might have not been having “enough” Soylent. The integrated belt on my kilt needed to be tightened, which is either it got loose or I'm not so fat anymore.


#16

I can attest to finding myself with very loose fitting pants all of a sudden post Soylent. 1 month in, though I had dropped only a few pounds (well within the range of normal fluctuation), pants/shorts that had fit perfectly before Soylent were suddenly falling off of me. That is still the case now, 2 months in.


#17

Day 7

Nothing spectacular to report. Lived on Soylent today, cut with some occasional snacking in the form of cherries and honey mustard pretzel pieces.

I went out to play some disc golf in the evening; had no performance issues. I found some guy’s phone on the course, with like 5% battery left. It was not protected by a password lockscreen, so I was able to interrogate it for his email address and sent him an email from my phone. Then I actually saw some guy moving quickly and intently, searching around the benches near the tees on the 8th hole. “Did you lose your phone?” I asked. Relief shone in his eyes. “Found it on the 6th hole. Here you go.”

I only had ~13 oz of Soylent today. Not quite a full container, with three cubes in it.

I wonder if I’m undernourishing myself. I feel pretty good. I’d like to lose weight. The Hacker’s Diet tells us that we’ll lose weight if we take in less calories than we use. The trouble with that is that satiation rears it’s slavering maw, and “dieting” sucks. Soylent seems to provide a happy medium between, both allowing the reduction of caloric input and providing satiation. Even if you’re hit hitting 100% on micronutrients while doing that, you’ll still be in pretty good shape. I’d actually like to see Soylent target ~150% recommendations, for people who are consuming less than a full bag each day. Of course, not everything may be safe at that level, but I imagine most things are. It’s not like we’re like “Oh no, I can’t have this broccoli today because I already finished a full bag of Soylent.”

Also, to those of you who are like “Remember, it’s non-iodized salt!”, please see the above.


#18

I took a Soylent break while my daughter was visiting me. I’m no longer shooting for a “just Soylent” experience, primarily because I still experience bowel inflammation in that situation.

I still love the ability to just have some Soylent when I’m in the “what should I eat” predicament. But I’m not looking at Soylent as a one size fits all snack / meal.

Instead of using the metal ice cubes I’d purchased, I’ve started to use Soylent ice cubes. These serve a dual purpose: preserving some Soylent so I have less to consume, and being more efficient in how much Soylent I can fit in my container.

I typically bring a container of Soylent to work at drink it during the work day. Sometimes I’ll abstain from lunch, other times I’ll go grab something to eat.

I’m still quite interested in seeing how Soylent performs as a sole source of sustenance on the trail.


#19

SKINNER!

Hope you get the Simpsons ref…:slight_smile:


#20

That could be because of low salt most likely. So on days where you plan to do some physical activity than your usual amount, add some salt to it and see. If it still persists, then add a banana or instead an egg if it fits with the taste of soylent.