Soylent: Not for me

I’ve put so much effort into developing soylent recipes, and made about 5-7 over the last month, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars sourcing ingredients I often end up discarding, I’ve wasted entire days reformulating my recipes and realized yesterday that soylent is not for me.

It’s inspired me to eat healthier, as well as planning my meals, but unless you’re buying the manufactured version, the effort is really not worth it, at least to me.

My food (soylent) is nutritious now, but do I feel any better? Nope. I feel worse. Eating a diet high in vegetables has a much larger impact on my health than my overall nutrition. There really is something to be said for it.

In reality, I’ve only spent about as much as money as I would have shopping, but that’s not exactly great considering I set out to save money.

Taste is a problem, variety is a problem, all in all, I couldn’t keep it up for even half of my meals.

I’m interested in hearing your opinion on this, how your soylent experience has been, and what advice you would give me to improve my experience with soylent.

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This is one of the reasons why I haven’t gone the DIY route. Burnout is a problem with any new activity and DIY-ing Soylent is one of them.

But I’m glad it made you eat better.

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After 4 weeks of experimenting, I found a stable and satiating formula. I replaced only my breakfast and lunch with soylent, and kept eating dinner like normal. However, I missed the social event (and walking break) that lunch on my office actually is. What I’m doing right now, is throwing limited (33%) amounts of macro-nutrients and 100% amounts of micronutrients in my breakfast Soylent, and use it to replace my breakfast.

I have chosen to stick with my composition and don’t get into changing it on every instance. I have also increased the production batch size to 5-6 servings (powder only). I add the liquids and soaked oatmeal in the morning.

I agree with kthprog, that even if soylent doesn’t work out to be the answer, it did make me more aware of my food nutritional value and habits.

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I now know a lot more about nutrition and such. I don’t specifically need to know that stuff, but it doesn’t hurt either.

As for my recipe; I have a shake with an acceptable taste, but incorporated half a bag of salted potato chips per day into the calculations. This isn’t actually much of a problem, nutrition-wise, but I like it a lot because of the taste! I’m on my mix for 2.5 weeks now, and I don’t have much trouble with keeping it up.

As for advice: How about don’t worry too much about it (it sounds like you’re feeling pretty bad about the whole situation). Just waiting until Rob is done is not a problem. He’ll have a nice blend, nicely encapsulated vitamins, a nice taste, hardly any user effort, etc. It’s a problem that’s going to resolve itself in a while!

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Have you considered simply adding some flavoring to your blends? I add 2 grams of cinnamon to mine (that’s a few teaspoons), and it masks a lot of minor flavors. I do love cinnamon though. You could also consider cacao.

Even adding flavoring doesn’t do it for me. I need the feeling of chewing and the mixture of complex tastes you get from real food.

I understand your sentiment. I take care of the chewy urge with the potato chips. The complex tastes, I do seem to want them when I smell them, but I don’t smell them much in my environment. It’s perfectly possible that your urges are stronger than mine. While my shake is bland compared to a nicely cooked pasta, it is ever so much more convenient, and also healthy. For me the trade-off is worth it.

I get the feeling that you’re sad, maybe frustrated about this not working for you. But it’s okay. You tried something that was potentially awesome, but it turned out to be not for you. Oh well! The next thing you’re going to try is even more awesome, and will be a perfect fit!

Remember, if you succeed in everything you try in life, you’re living below your full potential and you should take up more difficult or daring things. ~ Eliezer Yudkowsky

It just kind of lost its meaning to me when nothing happened. I didn’t have more time or feel any better. I think I’ll have much better results with the official version.


Let me get this straight snowflake, so you tried it 5 times over a month and just gave up because your delicate palate didnt like it? It would take more than 5 servings to see any benefit.

5 iterations. I’ve been eating soylent for approximately a month straight.
It only took that long to see the drawbacks of a DIY recipe.
There are other motivating factors such as the medicinal effects of plants and lack of studies surrounding soylent but those factored into it less.

The lack of food odors and tastes was starting to make me depressed.

Most people seem to have trouble getting their Soylent to a drinkable consistency, if you want the tactile payoff from chewing why not go the other way and see if you can thicken it up more and see what you can make with it.
Thick enough to eat like yoghurt? To make it a sandwich spread? Biscuit dough?
If there’s too much of your Soylent in a batch to do this stuff comfortably (Noone wants to eat 1kg of biscuit dough a day lol), drop the largest ingredients and try a nutrient rich version that leaves all your carbs and proteins to your normal meals.

And don’t be so condescending @NomNom


Thanks for posting this. It’s good to know what kinds of trouble other people are having.

I had a period of time I was getting frustrated at how long it was taking to prepare, and how inconvenient all the large bags of ingredients were to manage. I have a couple items that I won’t be using and ended up being a bit of a waste, but it wasn’t so bad. Initially it was less convenient than cooking, but making multiple days worth at once and working faster with practice made it acceptable. I’m sure I could shave another 30% off my time if I weren’t so needlessly careful with my measuring (I take as much time as I need to get 0.1g accuracy on a 100.0g measurement…-_-).

I made a point to keep my recipe tasting like a chocolate shake. The taste is starting to get a little old, but so was the limited selection of food at the cafeteria here before I moved on to browner pastures. There’s a grittiness to it that I didn’t notice or mind at first but it’s starting to get to me. I don’t think of my breakfast and lunch as meals anymore though. I think of it as having 1 meal/day and my soylent is just a drink, so I don’t really notice when it’s not an enjoyable experience. It’s more of an experience I’ve opted out of, for better or for worse. (I DO miss the rare tuna-bowl days at the cafeteria)

I think anybody who didn’t have a micronutrient deficiency before getting on Soylent probably won’t notice that big a difference; I didn’t feel any different either. I encourage you to be skeptical of the official product as well. If you were meeting your DRIs, then official soylent won’t fix this problem. The placebo effect is quite real, though, and cuts both ways - so who knows.

It’s possible to eat healthy with groceries, but if I wanted a guarantee that I was getting 100% of everything, then it would take even more time to compile ingredients and then cook 3x per day… not just 1 meal either, a variety of meals… all with a guarantee of all the micronutrients you need in all the right ratios!? Forget it! :slight_smile:

For me, at least, even if I am not saving much money and not saving tons of time, I am saving a lot of peace of mind, not having to think about how to properly balance my body’s needs. But @kthprogis right, it’s not all fun and games.



If you just want soylent, but don’t particularly care about having the control that DIYing gives you: I agree with @Mqrius, find a way to use the rest of your ingredient stockpile for something else. Then just wait for official soylent.

If you want to continue DIYing: Stop tweaking your recipe. Stop thinking about your recipe. Just memorize the rote numbers for mixing and let that become your routine. Keep 1 real meal to give you that mixture of complex tastes and chewing per day, and accept that as your only meal. If soylent is on your mind all day, or any time it’s not passing through your lips, then you’re doing it wrong.

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Upvoted for “Browner pastures” :smile:

Yeah, just doing Soylent for breakfast and lunch is a good compromise, depending on your living situation. I usually eat alone during breakfast/lunch anyway, so now I don’t eat at all, and continue doing what I’m doing, occasionally drinking some Soylent. But I’m not on any 9 to 5 job. I can imagine this is a horrible plan for people who rely on these times to actually have a break.

Haha that would definitely alleviate some of the anxiety, if I could find something to do with all this extra material. I could donate the unused (unopened) food but what the hell do I do with all these supplements?

Good idea. It would make it much easier on me if soylent was not every meal for me in a day. I just need that satisfaction of eating something with a complex taste, which I could easily get eating a regular dinner.

Multivitamins, you can just keep taking them. Fish oil too, if you have that. Of the rest, maybe take potassium. Anything else you give away to someone else doing Soylent near you :slight_smile:

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I messaged Jeff (admin) today asking if it was okay for us to swap/sell unused ingredients on here. If that’s permitted then maybe someone could take them off your hands…

That would be great. I have protein powder, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, Vitamin K1 and K2, Calcium + D, psyllium husks powder, soy lecithin granules and bags upon bags of various refined grains and raw peanuts, and two different multivitamins, one of which is almost untouched, oh and zinc and iron and dried (unopened) tomatoes which, while nutritious, I’m never going to eat in my lifetime. All this from failed recipes.
Oh and I have Betaine HCL and St. Johns Wort, and dry milk.
And valerian root and pushkarmool.