Recipe for the lazy, based on "normal" food


#1

I tried to do a lazy-mans soylent, based on organic food available at the supermarket. Here is the story. If you are a TL;DR-guy, just skip the part and get down to the last paragraph.

First step: Compiled a database of nutrition values for tasty ingredients. I planned a milk-based shake, so organic whole-fat milk was fine.

Second step: Programm an optimiser solving for optimal target match for a given target.

Third step: Refine optimiser. The first stage delivered negative ingredient masses, which isn’t too practical. :wink: The second and third stage showed, that there are plenty of near-optimal compositions for most sensible target definitions. One of them being: 2.5 liters of milk and a tea-spoon of sugar.

Fourth step: Analysis. Ok, milk is a near perfect food. It makes baby cows grow into fearsome fighting bulls, so nothing wrong with it (ok, so does grass :wink: ).
The main question was, why there are so many good mixtures, if you base your stuff on traditional food. The main answer is: Basically, there are two types of food … vegetables, lacking certain Vitamins and having other, and animal-based food, where it is sometimes vice versa. This leads to the interesting fact, that as long as you mix the stuff reasonably, you will always be near an optimal nutritional composition. This basically amounts to the old advice to eat diversely, only now you can do it in one meal and need to pay attention to what you ate the rest of the day.

Fifth step: Manually compose a recipe that tastes nice, has a small number of ingredients and is purchasable without running around.

Recipe (finally):

  • milk (500g)
  • one banana
  • oat flakes (50g)
  • one or two raw eggs
  • third of an avocado
  • some sugar or not (for some extra carbon)
  • blueberries or not (for some extra carbon)
  • protein powder or not (depends on the regeneration capabilities I need)

Usually, around 800ml of a shake with the first to ingredients carry me till noon, provide excellent regeneration capabilities, a good mood, discipline and awareness (not quantified, though). I am still looking forward to trying Rob’s Soylent, though!

Hope that helps.


Soylent from food sources
#2

While I can’t talk to if this has everything you need, it doesn’t sound very soylent to me.
It looks much more expensive, ingredients expire after a few days, and you keep the risk of using an ingredient that has for some reason gone bad. :open_mouth:


#3

Lactose intolerant. This is useless to me.


#4

I actually like this idea a lot. In some ways it might be getting away from the soylent concept, but in other ways it’s actually easier and more convenient.

It’s easier because I don’t have to have any special equipment or knowledge to measure the ingredients.

And it’s more convenient because I can buy everything I need locally and I don’t have to crush up pills.

Of course, once Rob makes the real soylent available it will be more convenient to just buy what he makes.


#5

I like your idea. Soylent is too expensive for the starting ones. This may be a way to get used to it.

Can you post some other recipes that matches some soylent recipe? If you can post the components that the shake includes, it would be great.


#6

Although I like the approach, the problem with ‘normal’ food is often that there are many additives (and other stuff) used. The ‘healthy’ milk you describe is produced by cows that couldn’t graze, in many cases it lived on unhealthy processed food etc.

The point of Soylent is also that your body takes exclusively the necessary stuff and therefore doesn’t get the toxic material along side.


#7

@aletorrado: The first basic recipe can be the one I gave in the original post, near the end.
What I found is that basically you can mix nearly anything that matches your taste and get quite a good match, as long as you mix animal and plant products (milk is awesome!). Sure, the match is not as perfect as Rob’s match but the numbers in the guidelines are fuzzy mean values anyway. Every human being is unique in what it needs, so there might not be one drink to feed them all.
Besides, I like having dinner with my family, so I am eating regular food, too.

@pdev: I am living in Germany, and here you can get organic milk from grass-fed cows. And quite cheap, actually. Besides: You don’t know wether the stuff Rob is using doesn’t contain toxic stuff too. I am glad I have a liver and two kidneys. :wink:

And yes, this is a deliberate deviation from the Soylent concept, as this concept has one big risk/flaw: The science of nutrition is not sufficiently well established yet. E.g.: If you have a look at what you should eat, you will find VAST differences between neighboring countries and I refuse to believe that a French is a fundamentally different being than a German, digestion-wise. :wink:
So it is NOT clear, wether nutritional science has missed some crucial factors. Even worse, they are conceptually not able to test combinations, as there are so many of them. But combinations are very important (smokers are less caffeine-sensitive, women taking the pill are more; barbecue sauce/mustard/beer cancels the cancer-inducing stuff from burned meat, to name just two).
The one thing we can be sure is that “normal” food is able to keep us healthy and that its exact composition is not that important, because that has been tested for a million years in live studies.

Please don’t get me wrong: I love the Soylent-idea and I will try it sooner or later.
But this “normal-food”-shake works for me, too.


#8

For the record, no, it’s not. Soylent is a nutritious, cheap and quick meal. There is no mention of less than pure ingredients not being ingested.


#9

#10

I’m unclear on a couple of details in your recipe.

Milk - 500g by weight? How much is that in ml, approximately?

How much of your shake would one need to consume to get a full day’s worth of nutrition? Put another way, what’s the caloric intake per liter (and I’ll do the easy math for my body weight).


#11

Amado, 500g is 500ml. Milk has the same density as water.
Please note the following: You can mix the stuff as you want, there is no need for a fixed recipe, as most recipes you will try will do the trick. So don’t stick too much to the numbers, because as I said: As long as you mix four or five ingredients, you get a healthy shake.

As to the caloric intake: The one I described is roughly in the order of 800kCal.

As your caloric needs vary vastly from day to day, two-and-a-half to three shakes should be fine. But I am not really going for an all-shake nutrition, as I like to eat with my family.

BUT: You yourself have the best mechanism to determine how much you need: Your appetite!
Trust your gut and take one shake when you want it, put in it what you crave right now and eat something else, when you feel like it.


#12

Milk has a density different from water.
It depends on what kind of milk of course, but your normal 3.5% fat milk usually weighs about 3% more.
So, 500g would then be 485.4 ml.
Not that you would really need to know that though, just use a scale of do what Heinz says - drink until you don’t want to drink anymore.


#13

Heinz did you do the numbers? I find the FDA RDAs vary from what others are measuring themselves against. ANy thoughts? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_Reference_Intake


#14

@CuriousBen: Since fat weighs less than water, shouldn’t milk be lighter than water?
The density of fat is around 0.8g/l and given milk with 3.8% fat, that would make milk rougly 1% lighter than water, which is well within the measurement limits of normal kitchen appliances.

@harshbatra: (Yes, did the numbers and compared this to German guidelines. They seem to differ from US ones. :wink: )
I found that the guidelines for nutrition vary from country to country, while people are roughly the same. Just have a look at our european kitchens … vastly different, but everywhere people live to old age. Being a scientist myself and having seen how these guidelines are (literally) made up, I don’t give a damn about them. It suffices to be somewhat close to a reasonable mixture with not too much fat and a good mix of animal (dairy) and plant products.

The worst thing about these guidelines is, that every human is different, so there is no way that one number fits them all. E.g. fat people have a LOWER calorie intake then slender people! This example alone should shatter all belief in a one-size-fits-all-statistic.

More examples: Italian thrive on a fat+carbon diet and are not too fat. Some african herder tribes only live on milk, meat and blood (!), no other stuff. And they are huge, muscular and as healthy as herders can be. Japanese have a protein+carb diet, much less fat. Become very old, too.

Every human being has an internal compass, wether something is good for him or not. As long as you stay away from sugar (there, our compass is thwarted for historical reasons) your nose and your appetite tell you if something is fine or not.


#15

You’re right in that fat is lighter than water, and the more fat there is in your milk, the lighter it gets.
But there’s still much more than just water and fat in your milk. :slight_smile:


#16

@CuriousBen : I just measured four liters of milk and each one weighed 1023 grams, so you are right, milk is heavier than water. (First I thought, what a weird discussion. Then I realised that as spooky as that might be, it is actually quite fitting for this forum. :wink: )


#17

I love it when I’m right!
But yeah, we’re doing some serious science here. You just completed a valuable experiment for us!


#18

@notger_heinz I am very interested in the programm! Is it something like a linear equation? Pls upload source :smiley:


#19

Sry for not answering for a longer time. Did not get notifications. :frowning:

Yes, the program is basically an inversion of a non-quadratic matrix equation under constraints. I used matlab and its handy functions, of course. Do you have Matlab?

(As I wrote, the inversion alone gives you negative masses, but a perfect (least-squares) fit. So the constraints are necessary and thus the thing becomes more complicated and thus has to use existing modules.)


#20

The eggs should be at least partially cooked; there are anti-nutrients in the whites that cancel out most of the nutritional benefit of the eggs.