My soylent-only experiment during the pandemic

First some background. I’ve been consuming Soylent since late 2014. I’ve never been a big consumer by volume and the last couple years my routine has been 1 box of powder (7 days worth) and 1 box of bottles (2.4 days worth) ordered three times per year (with a “days worth” being 2,000 calories of course). So the math tells you that’s 9.4 x 3 = 28.2 days worth per year, or 7-8%. (Plus whatever I can easily buy locally off Craig’s List, which the last couple years hasn’t been much.)

I got my latest deliveries in mid-May. (I sync it up so I get both deliveries at the same time.) But I had to eat down my real food stores before I could start my new Soylent. And in the meantime I saw the promo for Bucket in late May, which was so great I just had to buy it. Bucket is 20 days worth.

So it was late May, I had my two Soylent orders from mid-May that I hadn’t started yet and I had Bucket on the way so I had a lot of Soylent consuming to do. I was finally eating down my stores of real food so I decided that on June 1, by which time I’d have no perishable food left, I’d try doing Soylent only. The fact that I’m working from home made it easier.

I did something that in retrospect I think made the whole experiment much more successful. Instead of making a pitcher and committing to consuming 2,000 calories within 48-ish hours, I made a smaller amount. I have two plastic quart containers with screw on tops. I opened a bag of Soylent and dumped it in one of the plastic containers. It almost filled the container. And then I dumped some (maybe 500-600 calories worth) into the other plastic container, added water, screwed the top on and shook it up and put it in the fridge.

A couple general remarks. The fact that the containers had tick marks on it made it easier for measuring the first few times I did it, but after that I was able to just do it by eye without bothering to measure. Also, not once did I have problems with clumping. I’d shake it and turn it upside down and shake it and that was it. Maybe a couple more shakes if I deemed it necessary, but never any clumping. My guess for the lack of clumping is that unlike the Soylent pitcher, my plastic container isn’t a long tube and also I didn’t fill my container close to the top.

So anyway, I put it in the fridge and would have a drink of it now and then right out of the container and chase it down with some water. When I’d drink the last of it, I’d immediately add more Soylent and water and put it back in the fridge. I’d wash it now and then but I’m not even sure what was necessary. If you have a few drops of old Soylent and you’re immediately going to create new Soylent it may not need cleaning at all.

That was all I did for 11.5 days. It was way easier than I thought it would be. I only stopped because I figured some variety would be better. When I first started using Soylent what appealed to me was the idea of being able to turn food off and on whenever I like. Turning food off is exactly what this felt like.

Also, even though it was 11.5 days and I only had 9.4 non-Bucket Soylent days worth to start, I still haven’t opened Bucket because for whatever reason, I was able to do fine on 1,200-ish calories a day. I didn’t plan that, I just consumed however much I wanted. If I was so thin that losing weight would be a bad thing then I’d make a point of eating more, but since it wouldn’t hurt me to lose a few pounds, the side effect of not wanting to eat a lot was an unexpected benefit. The fact that I drank a good bit of water may have helped me not feel hungry.

Here are my takeaways.

First, I think I’m done with making Soylent by the pitcher. It’s too much at once for me, I often have clumping issues and plus the pitcher can be a hassle to clean. I prefer the model of having some loose in a container and dumping however much I want into another container. I didn’t even need the scoop.

Next, I’m not sure I even need to keep ordering the RTD bottles. I think those are better when you’re on the go but most of my time is at work or home so I can just as easily use powder.

Next, since I’ll likely be both dropping my RTD and upping my powder intake, I’d like larger orders of powder to be a thing. Bucket is big but I think it’s a one time thing. Of course I could just do my regular powder order every month instead of every four months, but that big price discount for Bucket is very nice.

I don’t necessarily need the actual bucket. I may have a use for this one after I finish the Soylent inside it, but any other buckets in the future will just go to recycling. A big box with lots of bags would do. Bucket is like 20 bags. How about instead a box with 20 bags if that’s easier? Or a box with 4-5 bags each with 4-5 days worth if that’s easier? Whatever, I think buying powder in large volume is my new preferred method.

That’s about it. Sorry for rambling but I thought some might like hearing about what it was like for me.

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