Soylent equivalents / alternatives


#1

While I’m still working on it, I have not yet been able to get my soylent to not taste horrible. Reading through other people’s experiences it seems a lot of people think it tastes horrible, maybe we are making it wrong, maybe we have different tastes, or maybe it’s a combination of the two. In any case I will continue testing and will also probably contribute to the kickstarter campaign so I can hopefully get a sample of it made right so I can see what it tastes like when done right. I’m generally inclined to sweet tastes so it may be just me that’s weird.

In the meantime I’ve looked into getting the benefits of soylent without having to drink/eat something horrible tasting. I bought most of soylents ingredients in capsule/pill form, each pill/capsule contains the exact, or close to exact (a little over if anything) amount of the respective chemical as called for by the government’s ‘recommended daily value’ and therefore also by the soylent recipe which is based on that. Swallowing these pills is easy and tasteless (obviously) which is nice.
After taking these pills I’m left with only 7 ingredients that do not come in pill/capsule form (because they are needed in quantities too large to fit into pills). These ingredients are potassium, calcium, phosphorous, fiber, carbs, protein, fat.
So I looked up information on different foods’ nutrient content on this incredibly helpful website (just enter a food name, like ‘banana’ into the top right search box) and found that I could get all of those 7 remaining ingredients from 10 bananas and ~3 cups of whole milk (i.e. a delicious and very cheap smoothy). So I did that today and I feel great and full. I’ll report back after I’ve done it a couple more days to let you know how it’s going.
So far this seems like a very simple, and tasty way to get all of the benefits of soylent with a fraction of the hassle. Soylent still obviously has an advantage in storage time (bananas and milk spoil) but if that is not a factor for you, and if you also can’t get your soylent to taste decent, then this solution may be worth trying in the meantime.


#2

I’m going for a similar setup to make things easier. I found a great multivitamin that has everything except for a few exceptions that are similar to yours. Instead of getting food that can spoil, I’m opting to just stock up on excess supplements in those areas to make a drink with the protein powder and fat source (going to try a few alternatives to EVOO). To me, getting those additional supplements is easier than buying, storing, and eating 5 bananas a day, not to mention drinking milk which I don’t like for taste and nutritional reasons.


#3

yeah I live right across the street from a super market so getting bananas every couple days is easy for me but I can see how that could be annoying. Definitely look up the website I linked to though, it has an awesome amount of information on all foods in different preparations (cooked, raw, boiled, etc), the only annoying thing is their search algorithm is a little stupid: you might have to scroll through a big list of returned results, or just do a webpage search (shift-f on PCs) to find the result you’re looking for. Using that website you should be able to find alternatives to bananas/milk that would store better and that you would like better.


#4

Yeah, I’ve been using that site for years now. If you login you can change your preferences to omit certain results like fast food nutrition data, etc.


#5

you’re right though, protein and fat sources can be bought in decent tasting powder form so it would be easier to find good tasting stuff with those ingredients than good tasting stuff with all of soylent’s ingredients


#6

I like this idea! It’s still really simple like Soylent but I could still enjoy the food I eat. I also like that the food is less processed than the protein powders etc. that go into Soylent.

I wonder what other simple food combinations could also cover the nutritional gap. It would be nice to have maybe five different basic foods that could be combined in a few different ways to add more variety. For instance, maybe you could use yogurt instead of whole milk for a little change.

I know that is getting a little bit away from the Soylent concept, but I would have an easier time sticking with it if there is more variety.

BTW, I recommend http://cronometer.com/download/ if anyone wants to play around with different food/supplement combinations to make sure you are covering all your nutritional bases. I’m sure there are other similar apps out there but this is the one I use and I like the level of detail.


#7

But isn’t all that expensive? The appeal to me is to replace my cheap fast food diet with something even cheaper and healthier.


#8

you can get 5 bananas for $1.50, and the pills cost about $0.75/day total, and then milk which is cheap too, it costs about $3/day total for everything. The bananas and milk are mostly substituting for the most expensive parts of the soylent drink, the carb powder and protein powder (and 5 other ingredients). So it’s basically the same price, and it tastes much better than the soylent I’ve been able to concoct so far (like I said, this is a nice alternative until I can make/buy decent tasting soylent)


#9

Wow, not bad! Do you feel that you absorb all of the nutrients in the vitamin form? I’ve heard people say that it’s not possible to absorb everything in a vitamin, but I haven’t looked into it at all… Also, do you have a list of the pills you buy? Thanks for sharing, btw!


#10

This is interesting. Would it be difficult to keep the calories especially low (say 1500) with bananas and milk? If everything works out in very even proportion I’d say no, otherwise yes. Right?


#11

@teaandcrumpets here’s my list. The per day cost estimate I made for the pills may be off, I actually just guesstimated the cost before ([cost of just pills without the 7 ingredients in non-pill form] / 100 which is about how many pills there were per bottle). I don’t have the costs in the document, but you can check at the links provided in there, sorry! There’s a link for the product on amazon and also the same product on now foods (the now foods website has more detailed info on the ingredients, etc).


#12

Great! Thank you! I’d be interested to see if you get sick of it after a while. Maybe not since you are (hopefully) satisfying all the body’s nutritional desires. Would adding any other flavoring like chocolate, vanilla, or maybe other fruit change anything or maybe be too many calories or anything like that, do you think?


#13

Also are you subtracting the things that are already included in the milk and bananas so you aren’t getting too much of some things? (Like carbs?)


#14

Hey everyone, I just realized that when I looked up bananas on the website I mentioned that the serving size was set to 1 cup (mashed) instead of to a single banana which is about (0.6 cups), so I guess maybe you would need 10 bananas! (I guess I’m blending up some more today :slight_smile: I just roughly looked up this stuff this morning so make sure to look up everything I’m saying to confirm that you’re getting what you want out of it. With regards to a common belief that ‘bananas make you constipated’, this is only true if you eat unripe (greenish) bananas, If you eat ripe bananas they actually help prevent constipation.

@chris with bananas and milk it seems like you would get about 1700 calories if you ate 10 bananas and 3 cups of milk, and ~2000 calories if you added another cup of milk. So I don’t think you would be able to limit the calories much without also limiting the other essential stuff you need. But there might be some other simple minimalist food combo that would allow that.


#15

@teaandcrumpets yeah, I bought the carbs etc on that list but at the moment I’m not using it (instead I’m getting it from the bananas and milk). Basically everything on that list that say ‘powder’ is replaced by the milk and bananas, and everything that says 1/day means it’s a pill/capsule and I’m swallowing those as is. The only exception is manganese which comes in pill/capsule form but you get that from bananas so you don’t need that pill.


#16

Great! Thanks! Also holy crap ten bananas!! I guess that really does make it a smoothie!


#17

@leevonk - It’s been 10 weeks, how goes the bananas and milk diet?


#18

Bananas are 1/2 fructose. So this is no good. You need glucose or starches which will turn into glucose.