The LivingParadox nf log - Week 2 - Normal food sucks edition


#1

See here, for the latest update

Background: I’m a 22 Web Developer. Prior to Soylent I probably ate semi-healthy, but got most of my nutrition from a multivitamin which provided good results. I’ve been dealing with recent bouts in fatigue caused by I-don’t-know-what.

Day 1

The juicy stuff: I just finished day one on official Soylent. It was a little gritty until I figured out how to shake it right. I read elsewhere on the forums that official Soylent is not quite 100% on sodium, so I added two teaspoons of iodized salt. I felt pretty good through the morning, though a little anxious about not talking my vitamins, as I often have difficulty focusing without them. Around 1 or 2 I started dragging, similar to how I feel when I go without my vitamins. I started craving normal food after a while, specifically meat for whatever reason. Unfortunately, it did not get better throughout the day. I’ve had these days off and on before, so I don’t know yet if its because of Soylent or its just timing. I’m going to keep going tomorrow and see if I improve after some good sleep. I also experienced strong thirst that didn’t seem to go away when drinking water.


##Day 2

Morning:
Hitting alot of the same mental issues as last time. Trouble focusing, mental scatteredness. I think it even hit me earlier in the day… On the other other hand, it tastes alot better with the salt amount down to 1 tsp.

Afternoon: I’ve noticed that my problems seem to occur a certain period after I eat, and seem to go away once I take more Soylent. So I started consciously eating more, since my body is getting really confused about hunger. This seems to have helped, though I did have a bout of diarrhea and find myself burping frequently.

Evening/Night: so either my plan worked or I just needed an adjustment period. I feel much better, though still not up to 100% yet. I may have drank too quickly as the gas has been far more prevalent today. The excessive thirst from yesterday is gone and I’m back to my normal water habits. Mood also returned to normal, though I’m still tired.

[update] forgot to mention that cravings also subsided to barely noticeable levels.


##Day 3:

Morning:
Pyschologically looked forward to my soylent this morning. Felt good up until 11. Had a temporary mental disruption. It almost felt like a headache without the pain; felt pressure in my left temple and forehead. May be related to an up and coming wisdom tooth, located just below said temple. Had another bout of diarrhea, but less sever than yesterday. Feeling similar to yesterday morning.

Afternoon Evening: Not particularly good. Felt kind of sick once I got home plus deal with same personal chaos. So I forgot to post and can’t remember what happened other than I cheated and had some rice with salsa, because it sounded delicious.


##Day 4

Morning: delicious sleep. Though more chaos occured. Started my day off with soup, because I felt sick. Other than that, felt pretty good. Was feeling nauseous before, but was able to sip down Soylent without problem. Didn’t seem to deal with any mental issues, but being a saturday, my mental strength wasn’t exactly taxed.

Afternoon: Continued to feel good, other than frustration at Code Combat’s “optimizations” making some of my code effectively NOOPs. Hit a rapid decline at about 4:30, after which I realized I forgot to eat the rest of my lunch. Consuming lunch and some extra water resulted in a slow recovery. Not quite 100% as of 5:00, but significantly improved from 4:30. Added in a handful of cookies and a bowl of Matza ball soup, because party food. Poop quality has significantly improved. Not ideal just yet, but also not diarrhetic anymore.

Evening: Recovered most of the way from previous decline. Forgot to log experiences.


##Day 5

Morning: Spent the night away from home and forgot to bring some Soylent. Partook of some Soy-base chorizo quiche-esque thing. Poop quality significantly improved. Started to drag slightly, but not too bad. The food settled strangely in my stomach, and I began finding all other foods less desirable than Soylent.

Afternoon: Reached the haven of my Soylent storage and partook. The smell of vanilla was particularly strong. Felt better after the Soylent made its way through me.

Evening: nothing exciting to report. Felt good. Ate my Soylent. Hoping my days continue like this.


##Day 6

Morning: Finally up to 100%. All known cravings are gone now (I kept wanting to eat the miniature Reese’s I walk by every time I fill up my cup ). Poop activities returned to a stable state.

Afternoon: Same as morning until 2:30. Slight mental degradation, possibly related to wisdom tooth coming in. Still decent overall. Poop quality slightly decreased. My appetite increased significantly, causing me to eat my lunch a couple hours early, and my dinner a couple hours after that.

Evening: Felt good overall, but ended up getting hungry again later that night. Consumed a plate of rice and beans. I’m guessing that adding a solid meal intermittently will help smooth out some of my transition issues.


##Day 7

Morning: Either my experiment worked or I’m getting used to the Soylent. Had a pleasant poop this morning, though I think the rice and beans managed to race past my soylent, strangely enough… Focus is good today. Productivity is up.


##Week 2

Began experimenting with non-Soylent foods for digestive aid. Couscous seemed to cause the most dramatic improvement in both my digestive process and mental energy. Gas was radically reduced overall and I finally began feeling the burst of energy and clarity of mind reported by other members of the forum.

I added 1g of soluble via psyllium husk to my dinner on day 13. Went up to add 2g of soluble fiber to full mix on day 14.

Week 3

Random side note: my fiance and I finally tapped into our second month’s worth of supplies.

So, on the note of adding soluble fiber… 1g seems to be more than sufficient to rectify the majority of my issues. I’d like to experiment with a bit less, but my spoons only let me measure 1g worth of psyllium husk at the moment.

I feel mentally energized and motivated to do things, though physical energy still lags at times.

I can finally smell things. Haven’t been able to smell much for quite some time. Unfortunately this was realized when I noticed the eggy smell of my farts.

Craving wise: For the most part, non-existent. Though I do crave fatty foods such as cheese and fish. Will probably experiment on what resolves those cravings.


##Week 4

I’ve officially been on almost exclusively Soylent for a month today. That’s exciting. :smile:

So, for a number of reasons, but oil experiment got interrupted a few times. But I have a answer. The addition of two-thirds to one tablespoon of grapeseed oil has pretty much quashed my cravings for cheese and fatty foods. In addition, it makes my Soylent more satisfying and enjoyable. The one day I added an extra half a bottle of oil was the the most motivated, driven, and focused day I’ve had in quite some time. Unfortunately, sleep problems prevented me from seeing if the same benefits occur with just grapeseed oil. The only weird side effect from the extra oil was a distinct increase in the heat my body produced. Though that might be from this sick-type thing I seem to be going through.

But… I highly recommend being careful: overdoing the oil (as a result of not having spoons at the moment) results in a nearly undrinkable beast. I had to soak up the surface oil with bread in order to finish it.

Weird symptoms I haven’t tracked down the source of yet are nausea and trouble sleeping. Not sure if its Soylent or just me getting sick. I’ve unfortunately trained my body to slog through illness instead of properly addressing the issue. >.>

And new cravings cropped up. This time, the common thread between all the cravings was Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Since I think my experience matches up with Vitamin A deficiency symptoms more than the Vitamin C and I want to limit my experiments to one variable at a time, I’ll be tackling the Vitamin A first.

Onward, for science!


##Week 5

Sorry for the late update. The vitamin a experiment worked on the first try. added 25% (via 1/8 of a supplement pill) and the cravings have pretty much disappeared. Excepting the case when I leave my Soylent behind, I pretty much of no interest in non-Soylent foods at this point.

So, since I’m no longer craving anything, I might simply be done with experimentation and just carry on as is. So far, when I’m properly rested, I have greater energy, drive, and clarity of mind. I also can handle lack of sleep better, though it does still impact my performance. Additionally, it takes significantly less time to recover from an all-nighter.

update: I forgot to say, I think my body is finally adjusting gas-wise. My gas is severely diminished and limited to only a handful of times at the end of the day.


##Week 6

Turns out I was wrong. I apparently need more vitamin c (explains why I always loved salsa…). My gums were just straight up bleeding one morning, and rather consistently bled whenever I brushed my teeth. I don’t imagine that’s a good thing.

Kind of freaked me out when I realized I had some symptoms matching the early onset of Scurvy.

Early symptoms are malaise and lethargy. After 1–3 months, patients develop shortness of breath

Not exactly sure what malaise is, but I was definitely feeling lethargy and occasional shortness of breath. And looking back on it again, I see emotional changes as one of the symptoms. Which explains why I felt weird the past few days…

Also, today I randomly felt like adding vinegar to my Soylent, due to memories of the deliciousness of vinegar and oil together. I have no idea if I’ll horribly regret this or find it awesome.

Hopefully I can start my Vitamin C experiment next, but I recently lost my wallet. So it will have to wait until I can get a new card or find my wallet.


##Week 7

Thanks to @axcho, I determined that the vinegar cravings were possibly from the increased oil intake and my body’s inability to properly break it down. This seems to be confirmed by the vinegar craving disappearing when I dropped the additional oil from my Soylent.

I didn’t find my wallet, and laziness meant it took me until yesterday to actually call in for my new card. Fortunately, I rustled up some cash bills to buy the vitamin c yesterday. Unfortunately, its not pure vitamin C, so there are unfortunately some added variables involved (rose hips, flavoring, and other unwanted crap).

I’m adding 75g of vitamin C (125%) on top of the amount included in Soylent. It does affect the taste, but is diluted enough to be forgotten/ignored. The scurvy-like symptoms seem to be gone, or at least my gums don’t insta-bleed at this point. I’ll know more on the next week.

Midway through the week I started experiencing nausea and rather strong disinclination to consume my Soylent. I tried dropping the added oil and salt (not precisely sure why, but gut instinct and a dis-desire for oily foods and the vinegar cravings I was experiencing alongside it made me suspect the oil), This surprisingly made an quick difference in nausea and dis-desire, though I still found myself preferring non-Soylent throughout the day. I found this odd given that I usually pick Soylent as preferable over other foods. This seem to be fixed after taking a day off from Soylent (conveniently compensated with food from a friend’s going away party that day) and adding a tiny bit non-Soylent the next couple days.

I also dropped the psyllium husk while I was at it, as I noticed I was experiencing mild constipation and thought I might as well zero out that as well. Counter to my expectations (and last attempt) this did not quickly become a regretful trip to the bathroom and my stools have been ideal for the past three or four days. I’ll be continuing to leave out the psyllium husk for as long as it turns out like this. This encourages me to think that that the bowel issues are, in fact, only temporary.

So, this was an unexpectedly eventful week. I should be able to provide more precise feedback on the results of my vitamin C experiment.


##Midweek update: Day 51

So, I figured out the source of my nausea. And I feel like an idiot for not figuring it out sooner.

I’m lactose intolerant, but conveniently “forget” from time to time, because cheese and ranch are tasty. Normally this just results in gas/diarrhea. And a couple weeks ago, my cheat moments didn’t seem to have any effect. Well, it seems that now, with the adjustment in gut flora, the addition of cheese results in nausea and loss of appetite. Every instance of the recent bout of nausea can be directly correlated with the ingestion of dairy.

So, no worries about Soylent causing nausea; at least for me.


##Week 8

Woo! 2 months on Soylent now! Is exciting.

So, on the Vitamin C. Since increasing the vitamin C, I’m experiencing lethargy less, haven’t experienced any weird emotional states, and except for this morning my gums no longer bleed when I brush my teeth. So no more scurvy for me. :smile:

I’ve also relearned that the body is lazy and doesn’t like burning too much fat at once. Had a number of moments where I felt sick when I tried adding extra oil (official Soylent blend this time. :D). So I’m going to try reintroducing it more slowly from now on and see where it takes me.

Also, not adding salt is a bad idea. I had a headache yesterday and keep craving Takis… Why is that all the salty food I crave is also high in saturated fat? Oh well, hoping that remembering to add the salt I need will get rid of the cravings.

Other than that, all is well. Once the oil and salt situation get re-stabilized, I’ll see if I make any more modifications from there.


##Week 9 (and change)

First of all, sorry for the late update. There’s a lot of stuff I wanted to put into this, and wanted to make sure I linked to relevant information (even if I forgot half of the links I meant to add).

Two things: 1, salt is back to normal. Esque. 2, Apparently my body was actually craving the saturated fat. Takis, ramen, and their kin still sound delicious (except oriental flavor top ramen. That was not enjoyable).

So, as you might have noticed from my subtitle, I think following my cravings led me inadvertently to a ketogenic diet (or a low-carbohydrate diet according to wikipedia). A number of my previous weirdnesses might have been related to the introduction of supplementary fat.

I had previously suspected that Soylent’s oil blend improved my mental performance based on some non-scientific experiences when I added it. These were not benefits I noticed when on grapeseed oil. I got my hands on some extra Soylent oil thanks to @vanclute and went to sciencing.

Observation 1:

The mental benefits are real. In general, I’m more focused, have greater drive to follow through with activities, and improved self control. Though the benefits are diminished in varying amounts when the fatigue of processing the fat kicks in. Seems to be improving as I’m adjusting. First day of each period has the greatest benefits, turning subpar on the second day, just under normal on the third day. Yesterday, I as a little bit above my mental functionality, but its also far more stable. Today I was feeling unfocused, but its probably the result of having stayed up rather late yesterday (picking up fiance from work) on top of staying up late a few other in the preceding days for legitimate and illegitimate reasons. Hoping that rest will restore the benefits.

Observation 2:

So much thirst. So much pee. I had previously been concerned with the the seemingly excessive level of thirst when I had been supplementing with grapeseed oil for a consistent period of time. I had previously attributed it to increased sweat from the California heat, but I’m experiencing the same symptoms without the same sweating as a cause. Turns out that both the frequent urination and excessive thirst are common symptoms of ketogenic diets. I’ve increased my salt intake by an additional 1/2 tsp on top of my existing 1tsp supplementation. The increase in salt seems to help with the thirst, though I’m still peeing like a racehorse every day. The last three days I’ve actually had to wake up to go pee, and still wake up thirsty on half the days.

Observation 3:

Fatigue. Ironically, while my mental energy has been pretty awesome lately, my physical energy has been terrible and I get ridiculously sleepy at the end of the day (which does help with making sure I go to bed on time, so downside with benefits?). According to the previously linked post, fatigue is kind of an issue too. One of the threads I found explained it as being the result of it being harder to burn fats than carbs.

The weird thing is, I read around the interwebs that saturated fats are actually recommended for ketogenic diets. And saturated fats are in half the things I’ve been craving recently, despite the fact that I never had these cravings before, or at least no this strong. The logic supposedly is that saturated fats burn like other fats, promoting the adaptation process, but are still closer to carbs in the difficulty level of breaking it down. Don’t quote me, though, because I’m mostly just trying figure things out here. I’m going to buy some coconut oil soon and try doing a mixture of the Soylent blend and the coconut oil to see if helps with the fatigue and cravings issues.

Miscellaneous observations:

  • My dreams are become more vivid and memorable in the mornings, since starting the oil.
  • Even prior to the oil inclusion, I had been noticing an improved ability to wake up in the morning. This has reached its pinnacle in that, before the last two days, I has actually managed to wake up consistently at 6:40 for nearly a week.
  • Past two-ish days my neck has felt kind of stiff, and its now starting to worry me.

Aside from the saturated fats (ala Takis, Turbos, Ramen, ranch), the cravings I’ve been noting lately are tomatoes (again?) and these sweet potato fries from Johnny Rockets which were surprisingly delicious. Last time I had them, I didn’t particularly like them. Went out on a date night and went “yep! I want that!”. Haven’t quite determined the reason for these cravings, but I’m guessing some changes resulted in an increased need for vitamin A or I finally ran out of Vitamin E. I upped my supplemental Vitamin A intake to 50% of the DV (on top of Soylent) to see if that helps. Day two of that and I still want a tomato. Will probably go back to 25% supplemental if the tomato craving doesn’t go away. The other weird craving which just started about half way through today is for sugary foods. Not candy, but pie or ice cream. I’m usually not much of a sweets go, so this was a bit confusing.

Bread is currently my anti-craving. I find myself avoiding bread when I eat non-Soylent and actually removed a slice of bread from a sandwich I was eating which significantly improved my enjoyment of that sandwich (mostly from the tomato). This is really bizarre because I’ve always been a bread guy, because its delicious.

Its almost like my body is trying to put me on a ketogenic diet. Apart from the aforementioned sugar craving. I’m going along with my body’s recommendations for the moment but might override the decision if I can’t get these issues stabilized soon, or at least assurance that they will stabilize on their own.

I had found other cool things to link to, but in my current sleep deprived state I can’t remember them anymore… If I remember, I’ll edit this post with the proper links.

Finally, is anyone on an intentional ketogenic diet that could give me some pointers on anything I missed or misunderstood above? I hadn’t planned on it going this way, it kind of just happened, and consequently I’m rather confused on what should be considered an adaptation risk Any advice is greatly appreciated…


##Week 10.

In the double digits now. I’m also getting worse at setting aside time on Tuesdays to write this.

So, I didn’t get around to test for Ketones, but all my fatigue and other negative symptoms of my increased oil seemed to break around Friday evening and have stayed away since.

The good stuff however (mental focus and drive) has stayed, though as always, less prevalent when I don’t sleep properly. I’ve managed to get a lot of things done that have been put off for a while now. I think part of it might be a feedback effect from feeling empowered, thus doing. I’m definitely keeping the increased oil intake as an indefinite part of my Soylent experience.

The achey neck went away. Thirst and urination have decreased slightly, but still higher than pre-oil. I confirmed that the salt wasn’t the problem for the thirst and frequent urination given that my thirst increased when I lowered the salt, but urination stayed constant.

Also, I screwed up slightly over the weekend by adding some non-Soylent food, which prevented me from finishing my daily portion. This combined with eating the remaining bit along with some more non-Soylent food, and then leaving behind all my additives (oil, salt, vitamin c, vitamin a) on Monday made monday a terrible day.

New problems: My new found energy is making it even harder to get to sleep at night than it was before. The resulting tiredness is restricting my ability to take advantage of the benefits of the increased oil. But at the same time, I’m far more functional with the sleep deprivation than I think I have a right to be.

My cravings for saturated fat disappeared approximately the same time as my body finished adjusting to burning fat. So I’m guessing that was just desired as a crutch, rather than as a long term need. I might have to look into isolating some experiments away from the Soylent, to see whether my desire for the supplementation fades away after a period of time.

For the most part, I’m back to craving Soylent over other foods (which is awesome), and I look forward to it each time I have some, like I did originally. The only craving I’ve noticed since adjusting is a continued desire for tomatoes (and they are delicious when I indulge), eggs (only indulged once, moderately enjoyable), and lunch meat or fish. The lunch meat/fish desire only started a day or two ago. What’s strange about the lunch meat, is it is specifically lunch meat. Hamburgers and less processed meats don’t particularly sound interesting, but lunch meat sounds delicious. No idea, yet, what’s behind that last one. I’ll be looking into what’s the difference in nutrients between lunch meat and its source material, as well as what I might still want from the tomatoes.

I also intend to try adding a moderately intense workout at the end of my day to see if it helps clear the residual energy so I can sleep.

And I almost forgot! I finally started to lose weight! Or fat at least. I went down a belt notch, and it already is starting to feel a little looser.


##Week 11

In aesthetic news, I decided to rebrand my log as something less generic.

In regards to the sleep issues, getting to bed after midnight three nights in a row (volunteering at Harvest Crusade), made it so I had no ability to test the effect of working out on getting to bed. I usually crashed as soon as possible. But! Amazingly enough, I’ve recovered incredibly well from a single good night’s sleep last night. Normally an adventure that extensive would mess me up for at least three or four days.

The higher energy levels and focus ability are continuing to hold at their current levels (not counting the effects of sleep deprivation). I’ve also noticed that, now that my responses to the Soylent have stabilized, my hunger is increasing again, similar to when I was younger. I’m trying to wade out the next few days and see if it continues, as I’d prefer not to have to increase my costs by consuming more Soylent on a monthly basis.

Most cravings have gone away, including the meat cravings. This might be the result of having had in-n-out a few days ago though, so I’ll see if they return later in the week.

I’m having a little trouble getting accurate results from my cravings these days, as they’re not as strong as before, and I’ve hit a few false positives when testing with whole food. The only one that seems to have been persistent is the desire for In-N-Out, but specifically the animal style additions. Based on an analysis of thousand island dressing (a major component of animal style), I’m thinking I should test an increase of vitamin K in my diet., since other than thiamin, its the most significant nutrient in the dressing. Further support for pursuing vitamin K is that its been on my list before, as something to increase.

Hopefully the Vitamin K change will quell most of my cravings, and possible decrease the hunger (my hunger levels often decrease upon satisfying the craved nutrient).

Sorry that this update was a bit short, but I’ve been running around too much to spend time tweaking things. I’ll have a less chaotic schedule this week.


##12 Weeks / 3 Months

Its been three months since I started Soylent. Kind of an exciting milestone.

I definitely feel better with more sleep (which should be encouragement to go to sleep now). I ended getting side tracked from Vitamin K and tackled thiamin and manganese instead. Normally I’d prefer to only do one at a time, but those two hit me a bit harder recently, so I decided to get them out of the way. Also bought some coconut MCT oil.

The meat cravings did come back, until my most recent changes.

I’m adding about 104% DV of thiamin (starting point was 6667%, sheesh…). About 156% DV of Manganese (starting at 2500%, which according to someone on the internet is in the unsafe zone as is…). Adding half a teaspoon of MCT oil.

The thiamin, manganese, and MCT oik seem to be have quelched most of my cravings, but I still occasionally crave animal style things from in-n-out and onions, so I’ll probably still go after the vitamin K, when I get the chance. However, the MCT oil did satisfy my cravings for saturated fat.

I also bought some ketone testing strips, so tomorrow I’ll skip the vitamin C, per @mentalnomad’s suggestion and see what the tests come up with.

Recent changes: My appetite has gone up significantly. Seemed to go lower today, but was very high for most of the preceding week.

Sorry for the lack of cohesion in this post, I’m up later than I should be and not fully functional. Next week should be better.


##Week 13

Lucky 13! How cool. Also, it bugs me that I never seem to actually post on tuesdays. So its usually Week N + 1 day

Anyways, in regards to the ketone strips, I never quite managed to test under the conditions mentalnomad prescribed. However, none of the times I tested showed any effect on the strips, so I think its safe to call this myth…

In other news, finally bought my vitamin K today. So I’ll start that tomorrow.

I stated earlier that I lost my taste for carbs. And this is still mostly true, but I found an exception… toasted bagels. Specifically toasted everything bagels; I’m not sure if it applies to other bagels, but toast in general sounds good. I have no idea why toasted bread would be desirable, yet untoasted remains undesirable for the most part.

Other than the toast, I have no particular cravings for anything. When I do eat non-soylent, I usually pick chicken, egg, or something with marinara.

In other news, since my updates are getting lighter, and my experiments seem to be lasting 2 weeks, rather than 1, after week 14, I’ll be switching to updating every 2 weeks.


##Week 14

Failures on my part meant that I didn’t get as reliable of data on the Vitamin K, but so far, on the days I add my Vitamin K (63% DV extra) I don’t have the same cravings for Animal Style In-N-Out. Midway through the week I noticed that I would periodically want meat (a craving that previously only showed up when I was short on Soylent or having absorption issues) or protein bars. The sheer amount of variations and unnecessary flavorings on protein made me hesitate to add a protein mix to my Soylent, so my cravings decided on Beef Jerky. So that will be my protein supplement for the next week or so.

In other news, I’m considering DIY for the future. My tweaks are going much farther than I expected, and currently my additions consist of 4 different pills which have to be opened and split into sane amounts (50% Vitamin A, 63% Vitamin K, 156.25% Manganese, 104% thiamin), two additional oils (1 tablespoon official Soylent Oil blend, 1/2 tsp Coconut MCT oil), liquid vitamin C (125%), salt (1.5 tsp non-iodized salt), generic Beano (1 tablespoon), and now beef Jerky (amount varies, because I’m too lazy to get a powder). I’m in some weird hybrid official/DIY state at this point, and its getting annoying. So I might as well go all the way, and be able to change some other things that I can’t with official (e.g., removing Sucralose/vanillin, switching the maltodextrin out for a slower carb, etc.).

So on the one hand, there’s greater optimization opportunities and room to experiment. On the other hand, there’s effort… And I’m lazy. I’ll probably be thinking it over for the next month or two.


##Week 15

So, the second bag of jerky ended up lasting me for 3-4 days, due to unexpectedly low cravings.

None of the cravings linked to Vitamin K have resurfaced since the introduction of Vitamin K. So that experiment seems to be successful.

The salt taste in my Soylent was exceptionally strong lately, so I tried dropping it down. 1/2 tsp was still too little, but 3/4 tsp seems to be satisfactory. In conjunction with this, I’ve noticed my thirst has been less extreme than before, so I think my body is learning to properly adjust to the increased oil intake. Going to keep watching this to see what happens.

For the most part, non-Soylent has not appealed to me up until yesterday. No coherent patterns in the cravings emerged. Had a mixture of scrambled egg whites with south western salsa with lunch, which satisfied most of the cravings I was experiencing at the time, except the lack of yoke was disappointing. For dinner, I visited the grocery store to satisfy remaining cravings. The cravings were varied, and at times seemed to provide contradicting results, such as chicken parmesan not appealing but fried chicken (which normally does not appeal) did. The strongest craving I noticed was for artichoke, though uncertainty in preparation kept me from purchasing them Despite walking around the store for 5 minutes, I ended up getting Chinese food, which I’m not typically into… Orange Chicken sated the cravings after a few bites.


Have there been any studies done on soylent?
How long did it take before you started to notice positive effects?
Curiously Recurring LivingParadox Slog 2
#50

##Week 17

Sorry for disappearing. I’ve been ridiculously busy with freelance work lately (a good problem to have) and I also repeatedly brain-farted when trying to figure out what week I was on.

Turns out I still need the 1.5 teaspoons of salt. But I have some wiggle room, where I can last a day with decreased salt. After that, I need to go back up or I get my weird unquenchable thirst symptoms, that only salt can help with.

For the protein issue, I ended up buying a bag of pumpkin seeds on a whim (we were waiting for my car to cool down, and it was there), Pumpkin seeds were yes. And kept my protein cravings at bay for as long as I had them. Unfortunately, I took too long to make my Soylent one morning and ended up consuming the entire bag. My previous consumption rate would have allowed it to last for nearly two weeks. I consumed over half of the total capacity in one sitting. It was delicious, but shameful.

The only other major changes since then was to try and increase the saturated fat I was adding (coconut MCT oil). I think I hit a perfect storm of things, because after I added an extra 1/4 tsp of MCT oil, I ended up getting incredibly sick. Prior to that, I had ran out of my Beano, and the gas was returning. I think the combination of a resurgence in intestinal gas, lack of sleep, and increased fat fatigue took me down hard. Even after going back to the previous amount, the nausea continued. Reintroducing Beano seemed to bring me back up to 100%, though it took a few days. I currently consume about 5 servings of Beano per pitcher.

For the last X amount of weeks (my apologies, forgot to track this), I noticed my gums would bleed easily, and every once in a while I’d have weird bouts of lightheadedness. Based on hearing some stuff about oil balance being imbalanced towards Omega 3 thins the blood, I thought I’d get some more grapeseed oil andtry to balance it out.

First attempt was to replace one teaspoon of Soylent oil with grapeseed oil (comes out to a total of 4+1/3 tablespoons Soylent oil, 1 tsp grapeseed oil, 1/2 tsp Coconut MCT oil). This was way too far in the wrong direction, as I began to experience the same spaciness/inattention that I did before adding supplemental Soylent oil, albeit a much milder version. Though my gums improved significantly in that time. The next day, I replaced only a 1/2 tsp of oil with grapeseed oil. Mental performance seemed to return to my previous state, and my gums still avoid bleeding when brushing my teeth (though occasionally it still happens). Have not had any issues with lightheadedness, apart from tiredness induced lightheadedness. When I don’t have a million and one things to do, I’m going to try and increase my intake of both my Soylent oil and grapeseed oil, as I feel like it would provide further improvements. Maybe even MCT oil, but I’m not sure with that. Butter sounded delicious today, so that might be a good idea.

I also doubled my Vitamin C intake on a whim. I have no idea why. I just wanted more of it. I now added a 1/2 teaspoon, which comes out to 250% additional, 350% with Soylent. Haven’t exactly noticed a difference, but my vitamin C is cheap, so I’ll just go with it.

One of these days, when I’m not being a lazy butt, I’ll be looking into protein powder.

When I’m not being crushed under the weight of adult responsibilities, I’ll try implementing a hybrid DIY solution.

I forgot to write down the cravings I’ve been experiencing. Though the candidates for further supplementation are iron, B12/6 (Can’t remember which), and maybe Calcium. I’m considering trying the iron first, as there have been some times during the last month or two where I would feel colder than usual and would take deep pleasure in warming myself in the sun/car and I’m usually a naturally warm person. On top of that, I had an incident way back when where I had a poor reaction to having my blood drawn (their tests seemed to consider my iron levels acceptable, though). These issues may have been the result of the thinned blood from the Omega 3s, though. So I’ll probably wait to see what happens while I figure out my protein issue.

That’s about all the (possibly) Soylent-related information I can think of at the moment. I’ll make another update when I have more information to share. I think I’ll let my updates be intermittent from now on; only adding a new update if I have something to share that seems interesting.


Week 18.5

So… I just realized… because this is markdown, I can actually make header lines.

In useful news, I didn’t get the chance to work on any supplementation besides protein. The first day I tried 40% DV extra protein (because that’s how much was in the package). This was clearly more than I needed as the satiation affected me for two days. I’m trying to find the sweet spot between 10% and 20% at the moment, though haven’t quite found it. But the protein definitely affects my cravings. The protein I’m working with right now is called “Paleo Protein”, and its a mixture of hydrolyzed beef protein and egg white protein. I cannot but laugh at the idea of highly processed paleo anything. It has a rather bitter taste, but after the first day, I got used to it, and my Soylent actually tastes even better than before.

I’ve also been continuing to mess with the ratios of the fats. I ended up leaving the supplemental Soylent oil at the previous level (1 tablespoon) and just adding the grapeseed oil on top. This seemed to work pretty well until today, when I found out that I had two extra teaspoons in my oil bottle. My smart self decided it would be a good idea just to add the extra teaspoons to the mix, just to get rid of it. This was a BadIdea™. By the end of the day, I was super lightheaded and spacy. It was difficult to focus on anything as the day went on. Never again will I disrupt my ratio that hard. Never again. But it also made me look back and realize I often felt strangely warm when I was supplementing with just grapeseed oil. So I now have some benchmarks to verify the correct balance of omega ratios in my diet. I’m going to start by seeing what 1:1 ratio would come out to, and then tweak it from there.

In regards to the coldness and thinned blood from my previous update, I think the problem I discovered with the excess omega 3 oil is strong evidence that the issue was thinned blood. I also recently realized that vitamin K is a blood thinner, and due to being too lazy to properly split it up, I’ve been taking the full pill in my Soylent (63% DV) instead of half, like I originally planned. So I’m just going to focus on making sure my vitamins stay consistent and at below unsafe levels, while also keeping my omegas balanced.

I’ll update again once I’ve got my ratios down for the oil and


Week 20

So, protein has been exciting… turns out the protein powder I was adding was giving me (more) gas. So, that’s pretty much getting table until I figure out a way to increase my protein without summoning demons in my bowels.

What’s kind of freaking me out though, is despite not having added supplementary protein in 4-5 days, my urine is still really foamy. It was not foamy at all prior to my protein experiment… I think I broke something… ._.

I need to schedule a physical soon anyways. So hopefully the doctor tells me I’m not dying, or the foaminess dies back down. The odd thing though, is that my protein cravings have stayed away since the foaminess started. Supposedly the body doesn’t store protein, but I seem to be continually peeing it out and I’m lacking the protein cravings I used to have (which means I’m more satiated by my Soylent, so that’s cool). I don’t know if I just had some backlog of bodily processes involving protein, and now its done or if something is now wrong…

In regards to the oil, I seem to be about at the right ratios I need. A full teaspoon seems to be too much, and I feel fine on 1/2, so I might leave it as is. One thing I /will/ do, is look at switching to a pure/mostly-pure omega 3 supplement. I’m really tired of having to drink so much water every day and I have to take in nearly 3 times the RDA of sodium (including Soylent) to avoid dehydration. Hoping that dropping down the omega 9 levels will let my body act normal, and hopefully not work my poor kidney so hard.

When I do lower my omega 9 intake, I’ll be looking into a slow-burning carb to replace it. I like how my body runs on slow-burning calories (less cravings, better overall energy), but I don’t like that my fat seems to burn “dirty” in my body (significant increase in urine color).


Week 24

So first of all, the foamy urine did dissipate about a week after my last post. Protein cravings did not return until about a week and half ago, and they’ve remained very mild. I was using pumpkin seeds to supplement my protein for most of this week since it handled my cravings without giving me gas. This has seemed effective, as well as delicious. Unfortunately this also means I have no clear numbers.

I have my fat ratios pretty balanced, at this point, I think. I got a bottle of fish oil to replace my extra Soylent oil. Once I upped the fish oil to a teaspoon, I seemed to have reached the same benefits as when I adding a full tablespoon of the Soylent oil. Grapeseed oil has remained at 1/2 tsp, as it seems to keep the ratio where my body likes it. I’ve also taken to adding my MCT oil less often in order to try to convince my body to start shedding pounds more.

The decrease of the non omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids has resulted in a return of interest in carbohydrate rich food, though not to a craving level often. This has also resulted in my hunger sensations returning to a sense of normalcy. I now feel hungry at the times that I previously noted my “time to refuel” signs before. So far I’m still fat, though.

Oh, also in this month period I realized that I’m technically obese on the BMI scale. The threshold is 30; I’m at 30.4. This kind of freaked me out as I knew I was overweight, but thought I was still in the safe zone. Not so.

Only others to report are that my cravings for red pasta sauce (specifically marinara) appear to be never ending. I still have not been able to determine what it is that my body wants from it, bothersomely.

A new craving which showed up in the last two weeks or so was cereal, and not any particular kind. I’m fairly confident that folate is the relevant factor between them all. This seems particular supported by the fact that according to nutriondata.self.com, cereals are the best source of folate apart from baker’s yeast.

I’ve noticed within this last week, that I’ve been craving non-Soylent food more frequently. Sometimes I crave it more than Soylent itself. The cravings seem to roughly correspond with a major stressor in my life, but I’m not sure if its actually related or just a coincidence.

I’m also finally committing to switching to a DIY mix, and am trying to work out my recipe according to my goals and needs. This is due to both a desire to have more room for experimentation, and to free up room in my budget so I can save up more for my wedding next year.


Week 26

First, a rewind. I forgot to let everybody know that I’ve been on Soylent 1.1 for a while now. Not sure how long. Not sure if its really useful anymore, but I’ll say it anyways. 1.1 eliminated the gas issues for completely. I dropped the beano cold turkey and had no gas problems. However… I now have diarrhea pretty regularly now. Psyllium husk did not solve it like it did when I initially was having problems.

I finally started the probiotics @davidsalamon was kind enough to give me a free sample of. Sorry for the delay! Not sure if there’s an expiration on them or not, but I’m giving it a shot anyways. I’m also worried that the diarrhea is going to prevent the probiotics from taking effect… With that in mind, I might pause the probiotics until the stool issues is fixed, so I don’t get mixed results…

Also, for whatever reason, my appetite and vitamin needs have dropped ridiculously since I lost my job… I’m guessing I actually burned a lot of nutrients while working. I’m down to 2 servings a day, with a light snack most days. And I haven’t added my extra vitamins for a couple weeks and haven’t experienced any cravings besides salt or fat since then. Urine has a light neon look, as though the vitamins are being passed from my body instead of getting used. Curious to see if things will go back to normal once I’m working again.

Other than that, nothing really much to share.

Latest

Week 36

I clearly have a unique take on “more consistent updates”. But I’m finally back, and actually have a few new updates for those who care. Week number is “ish” and might be off by one or two weeks in either direction. Will probably correct and verify that number by calculating from day 1.

I did eventually get the diarrhea under control, and started taking the probiotics rather inconsistently.

The first is that after a few months on 1.1, I slowly found myself avoiding it more and more while compensating with non-Soylent significantly more often. I also felt fatigued, irritable, and generally less productive. Eventually, I decided to see if maybe it just took a while for me to register that 1.1 tasted differently and tried 1.2.

Conclusion: 1.1 sucks, and 1.2 was glorious in comparison. I went up to a full pitcher of consumption within a few days, and felt better across the board. I’m not adding additional vitamins as frequently, particularly B1 and K. Vitamin A cravings have been reduced, I still feel compelled to add it once every 1-2 weeks. Manganese cravings are more or less still prevalent, onions continuing to be a favorite when I forget (I even got a side of chopped onions that I ate straight. They were delicious, if overwhelmingly bitter at times).

I’m still finding 1.2 less enjoyable overall than 1.1, albeit not by a large amount. My running theory at the moment is that the reduced sweetness takes a little bit away from the enjoyment, running counter to my theory that I would enjoy Soylent more without any of the sweeteners. At the same time, I’m finally noticing a pronounced difference after its been left in the fridge overnight. When portions have been left overnight, the level of enjoyment is much closer to my experience with 1.0 (which I made in the morning). So I might finally convert to the overnight side…

Craving-wise, they’ve been fairly stable and not too prominent. But the reduced cravings might be the result of an inconsistent ability to keep Soylent on hand (I would frequently forget to make it before I left for work). Cereal cravings (which I had consistently before) have disappeared. The strongest craving I’ve had in the last few months would probably have to be when circumstances left me consuming only a single Soylent meal in a nearly 48 hour period. I wanted Soylent badly and cared not for the foods of this world…

The past few weeks I’ve also been mostly consistent in taking the probiotics generously given to me by General Biotics. The poop smell definitely changed. Previously it had a rich and strangely not-unpleasant aroma. Now it smells like poop should smell (or it just seems like the right smell of poop). It stunk up fairly well at first, but recently has settled into inoffensive yet decisively poop-like smell. Additionally while its probably too early to tell, I think I may finally be experiencing a reduction in gas volume and potency. The first week or two it was still terrible, and if I failed to add beano that day, the results would be spectacularly (terrible). This is consistent with my experience beforehand. A few days ago though, I accidentally only had beano with my first meal. In that experience, the gas was still pretty bad, but not to the extent that I was a walking biohazard. Yesterday, I forgot to add any beano. I expected the worst and yet… gas was about the same level as beano-infused 1.0… Just a few toots in the day, and while they smelled bad, their range and “staying power” were lower than any I can recall since I started Soylent. I have work off until tuesday night, so I think I’m going to leave out my beano until then and see if the pattern continues.

On another front, I learned the hard way that my hydration needs are significantly increased on Soylent. My new job doesn’t leave me the same opportunities to drink water and use the bathroom as frequently as I did before. The dehydration resulted in some constipation that after a day or two was resulting in symptoms of intestinal blockage, though I didn’t realize it until later. After a regimen of obsessive hydration, I would pass the stool healthily and the symptoms would disappear. So dehydrated Soylent seems to have possibly plumbing-blocking effects, but only if you consistently ignore your body’s demands for water. Fortunately, I realized that the water/bathroom needs are significantly reduced if I just drink my Soylent watered down. About half of a normally mixed Soylent and half water passed through my wonderfully, and didn’t require as many bathroom trips and water breaks as trying to get enough water into my system after the fact did. So I will be trying to do that in the future so I can keep myself healthy while also avoiding productivity-stunting water breaks.


#51

See latest below

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#52

[More of the previous purposes]


#53

[Yet Another reserved post]


#54

Latest

Double header this time

Week 32

Waterered down Soylent did the trick on fixing my constipation/blockage issues. Poop moved smoothly the whole time I did my half and half mix and the blockage symptoms never resurfaced. Additionally, the probiotics definitely kick butt. Very minimal and completely inoffensive gas without adding any beano. Towards the end my poop started to get its old smell back, but I didn’t get see if it was a sign of a return of death farts.

No more Soylent, week 2

So, I ran out of 1.2 because I was lazy and procrastinated. I figured I could just put up with 1.1 while I worked out a DIY. I was wrong. Went back to 1.1 for one day, and gave up on meal 3. Not eating sounded better than eating my last bit of 1.1 and so I ended up getting Jack-in-the-Box instead (Buttery Jack is good, by the way). I’ve been stuck on normal food for the past two weeks or so. I don’t like it.

Mental fog and distractedness kicked on day 2, and seriously messed up my day when I needed to be productive. This has been mostly relieved by going back to my Green Source vitamins that I took pre-Soylent, but I still don’t feel as good as I did on Soylent. Energy wise I’m not sure, because I got used to my new upside down sleep schedule around the same time as I ran out, so I don’t really know which gave me better energy

In the bower, bathroom category, I have pretty bad constipation (though thankfully no intestinal blockage) and the strain of it has actual given me my first experience with hemorrhoids. Still hasn’t gone away yet. >.> I think my digestive tract got lazy with Soylent, so this switch to normal food is pretty rough. I miss Soylent. :confused:

But there is hope for the future! I’ve ran through a few different drafts of DIY recipes and think I’ve about settled on one. It should cost me 120-130 $/month on average, but hopefully I can drive the cost down even lower. Once I get some feedback on the recipe I’m probably going to commit and buy the ingredients (and maybe some equipment if I have to…).


#56

2 teaspoons is most likely too much. I use a little under 1 teaspoon myself (3.31g) which brings it up to RDA.

Are you eating/drinking anything besides Soylent and water? Could the dragging be due to lack of caffeine?

[Added]
Also, I’ve been craving meat as well, but it wasn’t until about 6 days in when it started. If I figure out what’s causing it for me, I’ll let you know.


#57

A certain amount of cravings is probably not all that unusual, both from the physical changes in terms of nutrient levels etc. but also just psychologically. And the latter is probably the more powerful one! My guess is that they’ll subside though with time. I take it you’re going 100% Soylent from your description?


#58

No wonder it tasted too salty… Unfortunately my fiance added the salt to tomorrow’s match before I could mention it. I’ll keep that in mind next time we make it.

But no, i’m not having anything else but water. The meat cravings I always get every so often. I wonder if there’s something in there that’s missing from Soylent.


The Soylent Side Effect Experiments Thread
#59

Yes. 100% Soylent. I imagine they will. I think I just got anxious over it being my first day in Soylent, and the unfortunate timing of my mental fog.


#60

I can only contribute one useful thing here - quitting food sounds a lot like quitting cigarettes.


#61

Isn’t 1 teaspoon still too much? When I search, I’m finding the RDA to be 2.3-2.4g which would be about 1/4 teaspoon maybe.


#62

BTW, everything I’ve found implies that craving red meat is generally a straight up iron deficiency. However, I’d be surprised if you were finding yourself needing iron because Soylent has 18mg and men generally only need ~8mg.

I have not had a similar craving on DIY even with my iron levels around 8mg.

I actually have so few cravings now that picking food at restaurants is very hard because nothing grabs my attention.


#63

2.3-2.4g is first more than you think, and second salt is sodium cloride, not just sodium. 2g of table salt has about 0.8g of sodium.


#64

Right now, I’m looking into Carnosine and Carnitine. Neither are essential amino-acids, but they’re the only things in beef that would be missing from Soylent that I can see.


#65

It is also possible you are short on fats? You said you are generally craving red meat and hamburgers/fatty meats right? Maybe the oil mix isn’t quite enough for you? Add a little canola oil on top of it?

Also, from your weight tracker, you have lost some weight so it could be due to simply being slightly calorie deficient I would think. (My weight is staying pretty constant right now)


#66

I’ve heard that cravings generally have nothing to do with nutrient deficiencies, or at least that what you crave isn’t necessarily something that will meet that deficiency. Most typically, its just a psychological want. I’ll crave cheesecake on occasion, and I am quite sure there is nothing in cheesecake that I am deficient in, lol. There is a lot of research indicating that food cravings are related to addiction. It probably just means that your brain decided meat would taste delicious right now and wants some. Esp after the first day; There hasn’t been time for a deficiency to occur. Vitamins aren’t like caffeine, its the longer-term presence or absence of them that makes a difference, If you were having difficulty focusing from not having vitamins for 1 day it sounds more like a placebo effect to me.


#67

That’s a good idea too. Thanks! I’ll pick up some canola oil and start there.


#68

The cravings have certainly gotten better for me over time. I also do a handful of nuts (sunflower generally) occasionally which helps me with cravings, involves a little chewing, and some sodium.


#69

The counter points to this:

  1. Trent began craving salt quickly. Sodium levels in Soylent are only 45% of RDA so for most people they will be low and he immediately began craving salt.

  2. I am on DIY and having a sustained absence of ANY cravings when I typically crave some food or another at any given time. At least to the level of having preferences for restaurants/foods on a menu which I do not have at all right now. Conventional food sounds good to me (and smells good) but there isn’t any kind I crave/really want/lust after. When my wife asks what I want for dinner, it is an entirely logical exercise of remembering what we have in the house and what should combine well with it flavor wise. It is weird, but definitely a result for me.

That being said, I would agree that certain cravings are just addictions (especially sugars/sweets) and really don’t mean anything. However a persistent (I think this is over a week now) craving generally means something in my book.