Wemes soylent blog


#1

So I like a lot of people learned about Soylent when the creator was a guest on Colbert (I guess I’m part of the Colbert bump). Though I think there was a point in January 2014 where I read an article about the product and all the DIYers and I thought, “Why the hell would they name it that?”
My initial thoughts were I was curious, I looked at the info and some of the anecdotes and found that mostly people were feeling good while their diet consisted of mostly Soylent. I’ll admit that when it came to food I’ve also had the notion of trying to optimize my diet with “hell, just throw everything you need into a blender and be done with it”. The fact that we both have had these ideas might be because I have a computer engineering degree just like Rob, of course he’s the one to actually do something about it. There was a point where I had read “Our target demographic are 29 year old males with an engineering degree” and I thought “well, fuck” (I am a 29 year old male with an engineering degree).

I feel like in general the “food industry” has only been focusing on “how do we make the most profit?” for too long. I only have to point at the McDonalds cheeseburger, the Lays potato chip, and every single soda as examples of answering the question with “well if we just throw in more salt and more high fructose corn syrup, we get more money”. I’m not going to make the claim that Rob and Rosa Labs are altruistic saints, I’m sure there totally is a profit motive going on. But I like the fact that there seems to be an effort to maximize health in the equations too.

A few years ago I had decided to adjust my diet with a simple “cut out the crap” mindset. Instead of a hamburger for lunch I would opt for a turkey sandwich, and I made a point of cutting out soda entirely. I tried to drink coffee or tea or juices (though I’m sure with all the sugar in them the juices were only a sliver better that soda). I want to try Soylent because I want to carry this idea further and I hope in general it’s just better for me. I realize that to get the 100% complete optimal nutritional health that bestows godlike superpowers probably requires a complete knowledge of one’s own body all the way down to the cellular level and some ability to predict the future, making this of course impossible. I’m sure the best nutritionist/dietitian with a PHD in human physiology spending most of their time meal planning every day could get 90-95% there. My hope is the “dump it all in a blender” method can get maybe 80-85% there with minimal effort.

I’ve been going to the gym and weightlifting an average of 3 times a week for almost 4 years now. My goals at the gym are simply to be able to do more. I’m not totally concerned with maximizing muscle size but I hope that in general I will look better. I will say that since weight is such a bad metric my real goal with switching to Soylent is simply to lose some adipose tissue. I’m about 5’6” and weigh around 170-175 pounds, so whether the weight turns into muscle or air doesn’t really matter as much to me.

Since this is a preamble to my shipment arriving I suppose I’ll give a pre-baseline statement that I feel mostly fine. I try to get my 7.5-8 hours of sleep in, though I’m sure it ends up being less than that. My general energy levels seem ok but not outstanding. My work consists of sitting at a computer and at home I’m also usually sitting. Occasionally I feel just tired but not usually. I guess the only things I have to complain about are a tendency for my sinuses to get clogged and maybe a need to urinate a bit more frequently than I would prefer.

Finally as far as questions/requests for feedback, I would ask what do people do for the additional fluids they need? I probably intend on getting the additional sodium needed through bouillon cubes/chicken broth, but I’ve been used to having everything I drink contain some amount of sugar in it. What would people suggest for 0/low calorie water flavorings?


#2

Day 1

So after waiting for soooo long after production delays, shipping delays, weather delays I finally was able to open my box and look at the 4 weeks of food I bought. This was at night and I hadn’t eaten dinner so it was as good a time as any to start. I opened a bag and thought there was something familiar about the smell but wasn’t sure. Just like everyone else I will claim that the powder smells like some sort of cake or pancake batter. I knew that I should let it sit before mixing so I waited an hour before drinking and then poured it over ice. The taste was… bland. After all that waiting it tasted like a whole lot of nothing, oh well. There was the grainy texture that I was expecting but I was drinking through a straw so I was able to deal. It was late into the evening so it wasn’t long before I went to bed. I’ve heard that eating so late before going to bed isn’t that great for you but it’s what I had to do. The following morning I woke up a bit earlier than I’m used to and I felt, well more clear headed than I ever usually do when I wake up. I drank another ⅓ of the pitcher in the morning and it was a chore. I mean it’s nice knowing that I’m getting something that should be really healthy but I won’t delude myself, this doesn’t taste very great. As far as gas, I didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary. I drank the last ⅓ of the pitcher for lunch and all was going fine, I was thinking that I was going to look a lot more into the flavor recipes on the the forums. For a little while I’ve been getting really hungry around 4:30-5:00 and this was the case now too. I had a dinner outing planned and with the hunger I’ll admit I was craving the food more than I expected to.

Day 2

I decided I was going to try a simple addition of cocoa powder to a thermos today. I added 2 tbsp to ~23 ounces and just tried to shake it in as well as I could. This made breakfast much more tolerable though I feel I was drinking faster than I was comfortable due to all the time I took trying to find the cocoa powder. I did think it could use more so I added 3 tbsp for my lunch and was shaking that a lot on the ride to work. After drinking that I think that 3 tbsp is a bit too much, there’s a much more bitter taste to it.
I had plans to meet up with some friends for dinner and drinking. Again by dinner time I was really hungry, but I think I wasn’t having as much “cravings” for the food I was going to eat as I was yesterday. There was much drinking that night, I think the alcohol hit me faster than I’ve been used to in the past.

Day 3

There was a point in the morning where the room was still spinning, but after more sleep I was awake and feeling ok. I didn’t have a full on hangover but I felt like I might be on the brink of one and if I exerted myself it would come on. I finished up the 2nd bag that morning. Keeping up with the cocoa powder, I put 2 tbsp in the breakfast thermos. I had a big party planned for the day (it’s actually my birthday) so I didn’t mix up another bag. I didn’t have much of a lunch so there was a point where I got so hungry I just munched on doritos, and then the rest of the night was just eating of party foods. I didn’t go crazy-go-nuts on the party food or any more drinking. I was up late though and didn’t mix the next bag till 1 A.M.

Day 4

Today was the first day of a full 3 meals of soylent. I think I am definitely getting acclimated to the taste. In the morning I mixed the cocoa powder but I also tried adding some dried lowfat milk, which didn’t seem to do much to the taste. In the afternoon I cut the cocoa powder and mixed in some chocolate protein powder after some lifting I did. I did sneak in a few leftover chicken wings but finished the bag that night. I’m realizing now that the wings were probably a good thing in that I didn’t supplement any sodium. Overall I feel good, the head is as clear as I could hope for, gas wise I’m not experiencing anything out of the ordinary for me. Poops are coming out normally for me.

Day 5

I tried 1 tbsp of cinnamon in my thermos this morning and it wasn’t bad. I’m getting annoyed with the chunkyness of the things I add and the lack of mixing even after a bunch of shaking and stirring. Lunch was more of the same, I didn’t add anything more but I just filled up with the dregs of the morning so there is a bit of flavor still. I’m actually fairly full after only half a thermos for lunch and sipping it slowly. This morning I felt tired but it’s likely due to getting to sleep later and not getting as much as ideal. Once I got out of bed I was as clear headed and energetic as I have been which is better than before soylent. In the evening I worked out and I mixed a large scoop of protein powder in with a little extra water to help it mix. This actually made the drink enjoyable. I think gas issues might have started to sneak up on me, but it was nothing so outlandish that I got called out on it.

Day 6

I opted to just not add flavoring this morning and I found that I liked it much more than on day 1. Same thing for lunch and dinner. I had tried walking a bit during lunch for some exercise but even though it was warmer than is has been it was still too cold to be outside for an extended period of time. Not much more to say at this point really.

Day 7

100% day with no flavorings. I think I’m feeling like this is what it’s like to be “on a diet”. Of course with any food, if I feel hungry and I drink this I don’t feel hungry anymore. But I’ve noticed that if I’m going 100% with one bag there is some point during the day when I’m hungry. It’s either early evening if I wait to have dinner or at the end of the day before be if I have dinner as soon as I get home. It more likely means I should add a few calories later in the evening than anything else.

Day 8

Today I got snowed in the house so I get to be more flexible with the meal schedule. I also figured I could try something new for flavoring: coffee creamer. Adding that made the drink really tasty. I have to admit that after breakfast and lunch with soylent, around dinner time I opted for some other food. So this being the next week I tallied it up and in the last 7 days 17/21 meals were soylent. So with that I guess the biggest thing is I feel as good as I could have hoped for. The biggest thing is I feel less groggy in the mornings at the point when I get up. I think I’ve adapted well to water with sugar-free flavoring, not so much to black coffee.

Day 9-11

Friday was a 66% day. I had a dinner outing. Not much else to add. Saturday was a 66% day. I was going to be spending time with my 5-year old niece so it was a good gauge on my overall energy levels. I think it was as good as I could have hoped for. I was at least able to keep up longer than the last time when I hadn’t been drinking soylent. I was munching on chips and cheese dip for lunch, but for dinner I had some flavor syrups arrive so I could try those for flavor. They helped alleviate the feeling that drinking was a slog so I’m glad I got a lot of them.
Sunday I had another syrup mix for breakfast. For the first time I forgot my thermos, so I had to get lunch after the gym. I had prepared a protein powder mix so I had to have a little of that for dinner and most of it for breakfast the next day.


#3

Reserved for future post 2.


#4

Reserved for future post 3.


#5

I used to buy those little plastic bottles of lemon juice and squeeze a shot of that into all of the water I drank for a bit of a kick. Probably won’t add the sweetness you’re looking for but it’s low-cost and it did a lot for me to make all of my water drinking more interesting

EDIT: Also any powdered water flavoring (gatorade powder and what have you) can be a pretty harmless solution to the water flavoring issue, since you can get by with using a tiny fraction of the prescribed amount just for a small bit of flavoring and a single container will end up lasting ages


#6

Just have to say, props for acknowledging that weight is the wrong metric. I’ve been hammering that point for years and it still amazes me how many people don’t realize it, even after it’s explained to them. :muscle:

Welcome to Soylent. :slight_smile:


#7

Haha. I take your reserved posts that you a) read my log and b) intend to keep up this log regularly and long term? If so, I’m excited. We haven’t had a new one in a while.


#8

Thanks for the suggestions. I got some of the little bottles of flavorings at the store and I’ve tried it once already and it seems manageable. The shipment tracker says the big box is set to be delivered today so I’m excited to get started.


#9

Edit and bump. Are there any suggestions or questions anyone might have?


#10

If you’re still finding that things don’t mix that well, definitely try leaving your Soylent in the fridge for at least 12 hours and then shaking some more after that. I’m not sure why but I find that even if things don’t mix that well at first, they mix a lot better after 12 hours. Maybe it takes time for the emulsifier in the Soylent powder (soy lecithin) to bind to all the stuff in the container, or something.

This is probably an irresponsible statement for me to make, but the supposed 48 hour shelf life of liquid Soylent seems like a considerable underestimate to me. One pitcher usually lasts me three or four days, and I’ve sometimes had Soylent in my fridge for as long as a whole week and it was still totally fine (as far as I could tell). So I wouldn’t be in a huge rush to consume the whole pitcher within 48 hours if I were you. But again, disclaimer, it does say 48 hours in the printed material that comes with Soylent, so…


#11

Mine starts going back sometime during the third day. YMMV when it comes to how long it lasts.


#12

I add flavors differently, and don’t have clumping issues, so this strategy might also work for you. I put water in the bottom of the pitcher–about 1/5 of the way up, maybe a little less–and add the flavoring to that water. Vanilla extract is my favorite, but PB2 and cacao are good too. I just ordered some butterscotch but can’t yet vouch for it. Anyway, after adding the flavor to the water, THEN I add the Soylent powder for the initial shaking. Then it’s add the oil (until v1.4 arrives), top off with water, another round of shaking, and into the fridge overnight. By the morning, it’s ready to go.


#13

I would really like to better understand this shelf life issue… @kini, how do you prepare/store it so that it survives for 4+ days? And @livingparadox, how is it you (and many others including RL) can’t push much beyond 48hrs? If I may borrow from another thread title… What are the secrets to longevity?


#14

BTW when I say that one pitcher “lasts me” three or four days, I just mean that it takes me three or four days to finish it. I’ve never had Soylent go bad after any amount of time, and the longest I’ve pushed it was 7-8 days.

I prepare my soylent in the pitcher that came with my first shipment (the Takeya pitcher). I make sure to wash it thoroughly before starting to make the batch. I put in a couple ounces of water, dump in the powder (if I’m adding protein powder I put that on the bottom and then Soylent on top), then add more water until the pitcher is full. I screw on the cap and shake for about 15-30 seconds. Now that the powder is mostly dissolved in the water, a lot more space opens up in the pitcher and it seems to only be 75% full. I take off the cap, add oil, add more water until it’s full again, then screw on the cap and shake for another 15-30 seconds. I put the pitcher in the fridge and wait for 12 hours. Then I shake the pitcher again for another 15-30 seconds and that’s about it. When I want some Soylent I take out the pitcher, pour into a glass or water bottle, then put the pitcher back in the fridge immediately. Sometimes I slosh the Soylent back and forth in the pitcher to get some of the small amount of sediment at the bottom to be more evenly distributed before pouring.

I’m not sure what, if anything, I’m doing that’s special, but there you have it…


#15

Cool thanks, my ritual is similar (I add protein to Schmoylent but haven’t to the 1.3… will consider it for 1.4)
One difference is instead of filling up that last section (after the first shake), I throw in some ice cubes and shake… the ice helps mix it more and at least makes me feel like I’m cooling it faster…


#16

Thank for the suggestions. I’ve been not adding anything for the past few meals so there’s been no lumps. I’m sure if I added straight to the pitcher and let it sit, diffusion would take its course and there would be no issues but I’ve been adding straight to my thermos. At this point I’m looking into syrups for flavoring so I won’t worry about it.
It’s not so much that I’m worried about the pitcher going bad as I’m starting this with the mindset of “if this is everything I need and nothing else, if I don’t have to why eat anything else?” This resolve may be stretched and tested in the future and I might go along with the ~66% crowd.


#17

Based on some differing shelf lives I’ve seen, the temperature of your fridge is probably what makes the difference. And whether it accompanies you to/from work. Any time spent outside the fridge will cause it to spoil faster.


#18

Yeah, my refrigerator is set to be pretty cold. Also, as I mentioned, I basically never have my mixed Soylent out of the fridge for more than like 30 seconds every time I want to pour some out.