Ideas for paleo and whole food ingredients



I’ve seen a few topics on Paleo-esque DIY soylent, but I’m creating a new one, which I hope to partially be about my particular journey / recipe evolution, but also for anyone else interested in a more paleo / whole foods DIY soylent to comment / discuss ingredients and ideas. To be clear I have no problems with DIY recipes that are based off of elemental forms of nutrients, but I want to aim for whole foods in my recipe because I believe there are potentially as-of-yet undiscovered nutrients in foods that we take for granted in our current whole food diets, but which might be missing in a more atomic soylent recipe.

If you are trying to avoid phytic acid (or grains), soy, or dairy in your DIY recipe this thread might also be interesting to you.

I’m aiming to create a DIY recipe for soylent that follows general paleo philosophy and tries to be based off of whole foods as much as possible. I’m not super passionate about purely organic or non-GMO, but I do want to minimize any impurities, unnecessary preservatives, and any naturally occurring or synthetic endocrine-disruptors. And if there are two options, always choose the less controversial ingredient.

These are some of my specific aims:

  • No grains (because of phytates, lectins, and gluten)
  • No dairy or whey (aggravates my skin)
  • No soy (even though it’s 99% likely phytoestrogens are safe, I’m still hedging my bets on it)
  • As much whole foods as possible

Without any grains, whey, or soy, I am very limited in both carb and protein sources.

As far as Paleo carb sources, there are sweet potatoes, berries and fruit in general, squash, pumpkin, other vegetable sources. Not a lot that seems super cheap, easily blended, or extremely carb dense.

But the Paleo community doesn’t totally distrust white rice or potatoes. So I’m hesitantly putting forth the idea of using white rice flour or potato flour as a primary carbohydrate source. These are not good sources of micronutrients or proteins as grains like oats are, but I’m hoping to find other foods that will provide protein and micros without making me go over on carb macro. Does anyone know why white rice flour or potato flour doesn’t seem to be a carb source that’s considered much on this forum or present in many recipes here?

As far as more whole-food and Paleo sources of protein, so far I’m considering nuts, seeds, animal protein (the most expensive option and only a last resort), pea and rice protein, and eggs.

I’ve heard a lot of objections to many nuts and seeds for containing similar anti-nutrients to the ones in grains. Pre-industrial agriculture typically soaked, sprouted, and fermented nuts and seeds just like they did their grains in order to decrease the effects of anti-nutrients, so unless I can find a nut or seed that doesn’t contain any objectionable anti-nutirents or find a source that pre-sprouts or ferments them but is still cost-effective, I’m initially thinking that the pea and rice protein, animal protein, and eggs are where I’m going to do more initial research.

Fats are really easy and non-controversial. Whether I end up using coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or some other I don’t think there will be a problem. I already supplement with Cod Liver Oil and I can work out fats easily without violating any whole foods or paleo guidelines / suggestions.

Micros I’m intially thinking are going to be what I look at last after finding carb and protein sources that are optimal in terms of not violating my goals/guidelines, price, and ease-of-preparation.

I’m also currently pretty open on macro ratios.

And with this initial journaling, I need to go to bed.


Here’s an idea for a base that avoids soy & whey, contains good carbs, and is decently cheap:

Brown rice protein isolate + Brown rice powder for carbs = … brown rice? blink

The whole point of a paleo diet is to avoid carb intensive dietary sources, which were the result of farming monoculture and modern food processing. You don’t need a carb heavy diet - carbs (aside from fiber) are really just calorific filler. Using brown rice as a base (with isolate to up your protein intake) you should be able to easily get what you need.

If you’re avoiding even brown rice (you only mentioned white rice), then you can go for pea protein isolate, or even straight pea powder (or whole peas/lentils) to chuck in some extra carbs.

White rice and potatoes are carb heavy, alright, but they add nothing else to the mix (like fiber or other micronutrients). The all-popular oat flour has significant fiber content (10% by weight) and possesses protein and vitamins besides, which is important when you’re looking to shorten your ingredient’s list and reduce costs. Ground flax also has high fiber content if you’re looking to round out a recipe (30% by weight, I think).

If those don’t work for you, eggs are a decent whole protein source (also coupled with a fat source) that you could pound. The only concern would be cholesterol, which can be significantly reduced by using only egg whites. They’re decently cheap (~$.09 an egg when in bulk at sam’s club), and you don’t need that many to get your daily supply of protein - about 8 for the whole day if you’re following USDA/RDA. Even doubling that puts you at <$1.50 daily for a protein source.

That’s… actually significantly cheaper than the protein sources in most DIY soylent. hmmmn…


Quote from above :

(… ) The only concern would be cholesterol, which can be significantly reduced by using only egg whites. (…)

Since 2009 , I always use the egg yolk raw ( for keeping the B-12 content ) and always the egg white cooked ( to avoid interference with digestive enzymes ) ,

This is only a small sample of some articles , there will be plenty of other articles as well =>

If you’ve avoided whole eggs due to their cholesterol content and turned to egg whites as a healthier alternative, think again. In most cases, consuming cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels, explains the Harvard School of Public Health. Egg whites do offer some nutritional advantages – they’re low-cal, at only 17 calories per egg white, and provide a source of protein – but you miss out on the vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients found within the egg yolk. =>

Eating raw egg white is never recommended, because large amount of egg white is bad for whoever eats it. 54% of egg white is ovalbumin and 11% is ovomucoid. They block digestive enzymes. 12% of egg white is ovotransferrin which binds with iron.

At least 4 types of proteins in egg white block digestive enzyme actions. At 3 types of protein bind tightly to vitamins, which prevents them from being useful to other animals which eat egg white. One protein does the same for iron. These proteins help protect the egg against predators and bacteria. Cooking denatures these proteins so they no longer have the same chemical effects.


Personally I wouldn’t recommend eating eggs very often.

Quote: “A widespread misconception has been developing among the Canadian public and among physicians. It is increasingly believed that consumption of dietary cholesterol and egg yolks is harmless. There are good reasons for long- standing recommendations that dietary cholesterol should be limited to less than 200 mg/day; a single large egg yolk contains approximately 275 mg of cholesterol (more than a day’s worth of cholesterol). Although some studies showed no harm from consumption of eggs in healthy people, this outcome may have been due to lack of power to detect clinically relevant increases in a low-risk population. Moreover, the same studies showed that among participants who became diabetic during observation, consumption of one egg a day doubled their risk compared with less than one egg a week. Diet is not just about fasting cholesterol; it is mainly about the postprandial effects of cholesterol, saturated fats, oxidative stress and inflammation. A misplaced focus on fasting lipids obscures three key issues. Dietary cholesterol increases the susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation, increases postprandial lipemia and potentiates the adverse effects of dietary saturated fat. Dietary cholesterol, including egg yolks, is harmful to the arteries. Patients at risk of cardiovascular disease should limit their intake of cholesterol. Stopping the consumption of egg yolks after a stroke or myocardial infarction would be like quitting smoking after a diagnosis of lung cancer: a necessary action, but late. The evidence presented in the current review suggests that the widespread perception among the public and health care professionals that dietary cholesterol is benign is misplaced, and that improved education is needed to correct this misconception.”

That digression aside, potato flour looks good. Rice flour doesn’t look as good. This is because it appears the rice is uncooked and eating uncooked rice can potentially make you very sick. The potato flour on the other hand is made from cooked potato’s so I think it could have a place in a soylent recipe.



OK I’ve done some more research on protein sources.

As @isaackotlicky stated, brown rice protein powder is a potentially good protein source. It contains pretty much nothing that could potentially be an allergen. It’s a “complete” protein in the sense that it does have all necessary amino acids, but it’s “incomplete” in that not all essential amino acids are present in large enough quantities (which is why its often paired with protein sources that fill in the gaps, like pea protein). Rice protein does contain phytates and lectins, but in much, much smaller quantities than almost any other grain, nut, seed, or legume, and I’ve found some sources of brown rice protein that have been sprouted. Sprouted brown rice is supposedly phytate-free. It’s not 100% clear to me if sprouted rice protein completely neutralizes the haemagglutinin-lectin and trypsin inhibitors that are present in the rice bran, but it sort of sounds like such may be the case.

Besides being phytate free, the vendors of these sprouted rice proteins claim they are higher in amino acids than traditionally (or should I say…not traditionally) (un)prepared rice. Supposedly the amino acids that are lacking increase enough through the sprouting process to make the sprouted rice protein a complete protein. Particular brands I’ve looked at more closely are SunWarrior and Growing Naturals. SunWarrior seems to be considered the most premium product by many proponents from paleo, vegan, raw, and other alternative foods communities. It looks to me though like Growing Naturals is cheaper and offers the same potential benefits. Growing Naturals says their rice protein is “sprouted and enzymatically processed”.

Assuming that sprouted brown rice protein truly doesn’t contain any phytates, lectins, or trypsin inhibitors, which I’m hopeful of and which looks likely, I’ve drawn up some calculations as far as the cost per day of using Growing Naturals as a sole protein source.

One scoop of Growing Naturals Organic Rice Protein (Original Flavor) contains 24g of protein. Assuming 96 grams of protein per day (four scoops of this protein), 34 scoops of protein per 2lb container, and a price of $28.80 (current Amazon price), it looks like it would cost around $86 per 30 day period for protein ($2.80 a day).

I’m not too sure of how much protein is really necessary on a per day basis since it seems like suggested macro minimums and ratios range so widely. But 85g was the recommended amount for U.S. government DRI, male 19-50, 2000 calories on

Compared to one of the most popular recipes as of this writing (People Chow 2.2.0), the per day cost of protein is about double. But at $2.80 per day compared to People Chow 2.2.0’s $1.37 per day, it doesn’t actually seem like a big deal - at least to me - especially when compared to how much I currently spend on protein in my largely unhealthy American diet.

This is just one potential paleo/natural-ish protein source, but it is:

  • mixable
  • allergen-free (gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and nut-free)
  • phytate-free
  • probably lectin and trypsin inhibitor free
  • a little more than a dollar/day more expensive than whey protein isolate

In doing research I’ve also come across a variety of animal protein powders. Dehydrated beef protein powder seems to be pretty common. I haven’t done much reading on these proteins and I have no real idea of their health benefits or detriments. If anyone knows more about them I’d love to get a brain dump as I’m very curious about them.

As far as carbohydrates go, it does look like rice flour has to be cooked to be safe. For me this is actually not the biggest concern as I’m willing to eat a cooked carbohydrate source and I think it’s likely feasible to cook large batches once every week or two. But I’m not at all sure how the specific methods and end products would work. All that being said, I’d definitely prefer to find a prep-free carb source.

Also, in regards to brown rice vs white rice as a carbohydrate source, sprouted brown rice may once again work, but unsprouted brown rice does contain all the aforementioned anti-nutrients. Polished white rice on the other does not contain any of them. So some sort of white rice product would work well as an extremely allergen-free, anti-nutrient free carbohydrate filler, if this recipe ends up needing one. And I can only imagine polished white rice is cheaper and more common than sprouted brown rice, so I’m initially looking inclined to look at the white rice with more interest.

That’s all I have for now.


I appreciate the well researched articles you cited.

My counterpoint is that we’re not talking about the cholesterol from having “a couple eggs.” In order to get the amount of protein needed for your diet, you’d need almost a dozen eggs a day.

If you’re going to be a good paleo and not load up on cheap carbs, you’ll probably have even more calorie content from proteins than the USDA 50/25/25 split. The cholesterol intake at that level is simply staggering - several GRAMS a day. So no, I don’t think that’s a good idea to pound that many whole eggs. Cholesterol can and does get absorbed.

The average American consumes 250 eggs a year. This equates to slightly more than 2/3 an egg a day.

While consuming moderate amounts may have small effects, we aren’t talking about “most cases” here - we’re talking about over an order of magnitude higher than what an average individual would consume on a daily basis.


Thank you very much for your thoughts . Quote from above :

So no, I don’t think that’s a good idea to pound that many whole eggs. Cholesterol can and does get absorbed.

Many people are wrongly made afraid of food cholesterol and of blood cholesterol ( especially by the big pharmaceutical companies trying to make huge profits on selling statin drugs to lower blood cholesterol levels ) . This is a good article , written by Georgia EDE , about cholesterol in general and about the relationship between food cholesterol and blood cholesterol :

To summarize the relationship between food cholesterol and blood cholesterol:
1.Most cholesterol from foods does not get absorbed unless body levels are low.
2.The amount of cholesterol you eat has almost no effect on your cholesterol levels.
3.The vast majority of cholesterol in your body is made by your body’s own cells. Remember that creepy line from the movie When a Stranger Calls? “The call is coming from inside the house.” The excess cholesterol is coming from inside your body, not from the food you eat.

The complete article is on : and I see that it is still possible to comment on her article on her website .

Here is a very recent study saying that eating eggs have little effect on blood lipids :

Breakfast food choices (other than eggs) were similar between groups. Blood lipids were similar between groups at all time points, indicating that the additional 400 mg/day of dietary cholesterol did not negatively impact blood lipids.


If whey bothers your skin, you might try experimenting with whey protein isolate instead. A lot of whey protein “isolate” products actually only contain a little isolate and a lot of whey protein concentrate, which may contain casein or other dairy products, so you have to check the ingredients to be sure. The pure isolate is unlikely to aggravate your skin.


I’ve read anecdotal evidence that whey isolate also makes many people breakout when their skin was clear before. I won’t assume that it’s the reaction I would have, but I think I’d rather just pay the extra dollar a day and get the sprouted brown rice protein. I’d like to minimize any components that have ever been accused of causing skin breakouts.

As far as micronutrients go I’m looking at this multivitamin called Multi Basics 3. It’s looking like I would need to augment it with additional magnesium, calcium, and possibly a slight amount of zinc. This is once again not the ideal though, I’d much rather get whole food components, but the company behind this supplement - AOR - seems to be an extremely cutting-edge, high-end supplement company that many in the longevity community use. And while I’m not really in the longevity community, I’ve skimmed enough of their forums to know that they don’t cut corners to reduce cost and they rely on hard science and studies, not quackery.

So far if I were to use the sprouted rice protein + this micro supplement I would be looking at between between $100-150 a month. That’s before buying carbs (which I expect to be quite cheap, especially given that I’m looking at using an extremely basic starch or flour), oils, a magnesium supplement, and a calcium supplement.

Seems pretty good to me. I already go out to eat quite often so my food costs aren’t as low as many others here seem to be.


Soylent is, by definition, the anti-paleo diet. You can’t hunt for, fish, or gather Soylent. It is already engineered to be healthy. It already avoids grains, the official recipe avoids dairy (vegan). Those phytoestrogens in soy are supposedly good for your heart, so avoiding them isn’t much of a hedge.

The real reason why diets like the Paleo diet are effective is because you become more aware of what you are eating, so you stop binging on junk.

Since it’s already engineered to be healthy, re-engineering it to be “more paleo” is a bit ridiculous.


Hmmm…I think you’re right that paleo was a poor word for me to use as what I’m designing isn’t ending up looking very paleo, but I actually intended for this recipe to be composed more of whole foods and less of supplements and chemically isolated compounds when I was setting out to build it.

I’d still rather have cheap, easily mixable whole food ingredients than what I’ve picked out so far, because I believe there’s a great possibility that there are compounds in traditional food that we don’t know about yet. I believe that by making your DIY recipe out of whole foods as much as you can you are more likely to include those undiscovered beneficial compounds in your diet.

I can see why your last sentence makes sense if you don’t have the same goals for your diet as me (and once again I shouldn’t have used the word paleo), but the Soylent 1.0 recipe doesn’t quite meet all of the targets I have for my diet. That’s not to say that my diet is better, just that I’m optimizing my recipe differently than the way that the Soylent team has decided to optimize theirs.

If you asked ten different doctors, ten different nutritionists, and ten different health bloggers what the “perfect diet” would be composed of - even at the chemical level, not just the food level - all of them would give you a different answer. For example, a large, vocal part of the nutrition community think that grains like oats need to be traditionally prepared through sprouting or fermentation in order to decrease the presence of anti-nutrients and make the micros more bioavailable. On the other hand, Rob and the Soylent team have stated that the phytic acid in grains are not present in large enough quantities to reduce the absorption of minerals. That’s just an example of an area where there’s disagreement within the food and nutrition field, so please don’t derail the thread by turning it into a debate about the merits of each of these positions. But these sorts of disagreements have led me to the approach to diet I am taking.

My approach to this mess of conflicting science, anecdote, and prescription is the following:

  1. Figure out what the most commonly agreed upon micronutrient requirements are for a good diet, which I think is the easiest part - or the part which creates the least disagreement and the closest thing to a consensus in this field.
  2. Figure out what all possible foods, supplements, and chemicals meet those requirements.
  3. Find every possible different criticism of and warning against each ingredient. Maybe nutritionist A says not to eat one food, five different paleo bloggers write that you shouldn’t eat this other one and you should instead eat something else, etc. etc.
  4. Optimize my diet by picking ingredients and foods that provide all required macros and micros and also have the least criticism and were warned against the least. So if whey protein isolate and sprouted rice protein both provide the same aminos, but some people say whey makes them breakout or aggravates their acne, then I see no reason not to pick the sprouted rice protein since it has no “drawbacks” according to anyone in the health/nutrition-osphere. Some people say oats are good because of A, B, and C, but other people say that oats are bad because of D, E, and F. But with white rice, I can find people saying it’s good because of A, but I can’t anyone saying not to eat white rice. Since my goals with oats vs rice is merely to obtain 50-100 grams of carbohydrates, I’ll go with the white rice.

I wouldn’t agree that Soylent is by definition the anti-paleo diet. I’m not a member of the team, so I can’t claim to know what Soylent’s real mission is or objectives are, but to me it’s about creating the ideal meal replacement solution that provides perfect nutrition at the lowest cost - to the consumer and the environment. That has nothing to do with hunting, fishing, or gathering. It has nothing to do with the sources of the nutrients or the way they were obtained. If it were cheaper to make Soylent out of foods that you could hunt for, fish, and gather then that’s what the formula would be made of. I think most consumers would prefer to eat something like Ambro if it were able to be produced at price that was competitive.