Wow, a surprising mood observation


So we’re down to a little more than our last week of Soylent, and our next order is placed but I’m not completely sure it will get here quite in time to avoid a gap. In an effort to stretch our supplies a little bit, we’re using up as much remaining conventional food as we can. We stopped by a grocery store yesterday and Shannon elected to also buy some Lean Pockets (little microwaveable sandwich-like thingies) to aid in the cause. They’re an item she would have from time to time in the past, along with various other frozen foods (if you don’t know already, neither of us likes to cook at all). She ate one last night, a couple hours before bed.

This morning, she told me she had an observation to report. “After I had that lean pocket I was in the worst mood. It was so instant, and so awful. I just wanted to stop the world and get off. I felt that the cats didn’t love me, in fact I just felt all around unloved. I haven’t had any frozen foods in 4 weeks, and haven’t had anything like that as far as mood. I’m not sure I ever want to eat frozen food again.”

Now of course, she does have the rest of the lean pockets to use up (3 left now) and will eventually do so (for science!) but I’m definitely going to pay close attention to see if this repeats in the future. Her mood has been all around so remarkably good and stable since Soylent, this was an extremely unusual and surprising event.

I really can’t help but wonder what would happen if all world leaders started consuming Soylent…


They question I’m asking myself now…
How would she say the mood was in comparison to before Soylent and with Soylent.
I mean is it worse than without Soylent, comparable to non Soylent usage or better than non Soylent use, but just worse than Soylent use?

That would be helpful. First reaction to this post is… When it sounds like a drug, feels like a drug, it probably is a drug!


I’ve noticed I react that way to certain foods (corn products are the suspect at the moment, which makes sense as I grew up allergic to corn…try THAT in Indiana) and therefore try to avoid them, at least in quantity. I’ll be very interested to see if Soylent can not only avoid that problem, but improve my moods past where they are now.


Great question. Probably hard to tell since, assuming it’s connected to the lean pocket, neither of us ever made that connection before so wouldn’t have really paid much attention. But I’ll ask…

Yep as I suspected… “I never really discerned a difference before since I didn’t know the difference. Digestively it was fine however, the issue was strictly a mood/headspace thing.”

So there ya have it. That’s the tricky thing with these mood observations and potentially connecting them to foods. Since we never gave any thought in the past to how what we ate affected our moods, we don’t really have a useful baseline to compare to. But now she went 4 weeks without any frozen food whatsoever, and immediately upon eating some - instant foul evil mood for the first time since Soylent. Today she’s feeling totally fine again btw. She just had to sleep it off. Wild.


So asking in a different way. What would you say was the state of the bad mood? Was she in a worse pre-Soylent state, a pre-Soylent state, a better pre-Soylent state?


Hmmm… I’m apparently having a hard time quite understanding what you’re asking. Are you trying to determine if the bad mood was worse than a “typical” bad mood preSoylent? Happy to try and get you an answer but want to make sure I’m right about the question first. =)


Technically speaking, there’s not really such thing as “strictly a mood/headspace thing” when talking about food. Humans have a very strong “gut-brain axis”, which effectively means that bad bugs or inflammation in your belly will affect your mood (primarily symptoms of stress or anxiety), while your mood will affect the bugs, digestive ability, and perceived discomfort/pain in your belly. See here for a recent review. It’s a little mice-centric, but we know this affects humans as well.

I imagine even “lean” pockets are somewhat soaked in omega-6-heavy oils, which would be relatively highly inflammatory compared to the more balanced Soylent diet (I don’t remember, are you guys using the Soylent oil blend now?). Could be that her body had gotten used to a balanced amount of inflammation and overreacted to the increased omega-6, setting off an anxious/stressful/depressive attack.

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably mostly coincidence or placebo effect, but it’s fun to hear these stories.


Interesting… yeah it’s tough to quantify this sort of thing for sure, but she’s been (as have I!) so aware of her extraordinarily good mood the last month (and through a few very stressful things I might add) that this really stood out as unusual. We’re not using the Soylent oil blend but do add canola oil to each batch.


Yeah that’s what I wanted to know. Getting to understand the bad mood better is key here I think. Is it worse then the bad mood preSoylent (similar to withdrawal symptoms with drugs) or just general bad mood cause of the bad food (comparable badness :wink: ) or is it perhaps better with ongoing Soylent consumtion that bad mood is still better than the bad mood during Soylent.


Gotcha! OK, her response was roughly the following…

“It wasn’t a completely foreign mood, I’ve had moods like this before. It was just the first time since Soylent so it really stood out. And it wasn’t specific or because of anything, I had absolutely no reason to be in a foul mood, but I just felt all around grouchy and angry at everything and everyone for no reason whatsoever. Everything sucked. There was no particular thing, event, or any reason at all to be in a bad mood, I just was. I just wanted to sleep it off. Then some time in the morning I woke up and it was gone and I realized that it could have been food related.”

And of course this morning she’s happy as can be and back to her post-Soylent usual self.

The closest I’ve come to anything like this myself, would be the “post-lunch blah” sensation that I’ve had many times after going out somewhere for lunch. It’s that “too much stuff in my stomach being digested, need to just go curl up in a ball somewhere…” kinda thing. Not really mood related per se, at least not in a “bad mood/good mood” sort of way. I don’t get anything like that at all with Soylent, but if we go out to eat I tend to notice it.


Thanks for the clarification. So it sounds more like a preSoylent like mood and not worse. So no drug withdrawal like thing \o/

Still waiting for my Soylent. Still a few months probably.


Let us also consider the possibility that she was subconsciously perturbed at the thought of “having” to eat the Lean Pocket because of the uncertainty surrounding your Soylent supply.

Definitely don’t want to step on the food->gut<->brain interaction y’all are running with, I think this merits further observation for sure. Just offering additional avenues to watch in the future.

I know I’d be kinda disgruntled if I felt my Soylent refill wasn’t going to arrive in time and I was using it for 50%+ of my meals.


Yeah, anything is possible certainly. But we’ve had conventional food since knowing our Soylent was running low, and she had no issues with restaurant (non frozen) food. This just seemed so specific… but yeah it could be just a fluke coincidence, or any number of other things. Will definitely keep my eyes open the next time she has one though and see what I observe.


Could be the wheat… I know that wheat / allergen sensitivity is a hot topic these days so I’m not going to argue for or against wheat consumption… but I experience the exact same emotional and physical response when I have anything with a heavy amount of wheat in it. Especially if I haven’t had wheat in a long time (which would be the case with eating Soylent). Obviously not a doctor or anything, but definitely reminds me of my own food sensitivities!


Interesting, and I suppose anything is possible. Again though, I know she’s had stuff at restaurants that would have had wheat/gluten (since AFAIK it seems it’s the gluten that most people claim is the culprit - though I personally don’t think so) in it, and had no issues. She also had a cheese sandwich a couple weeks ago on my whole-wear bread (she normally prefers sourdough and never has my bread) and had no problems. Wondering if it could be preservatives, or… who knows really. This is so unquantifiable, but still interesting to observe and monitor.


Well, Jim Gaffigan does call them Flush Pockets:


It’s been 1.5 weeks for me and I can say I have experienced no mood change at all. My energy is back, I still don’t see the high that many people report, but my diet was quite healthy before Soylent.

I would say that Soylent has not provided me with any mood enhancement or energy enhancement. I like the product for the simplicity it brings to my life, but from my vantage (based on my experience) the impact to mood and energy has been overstated by Rob and others.

I usually use Saturday to enjoy the foods I like, and that did not impact my mood in the negative.


Yeah it probably has a ton to do with what you’re switching from. If you already had a fairly balanced, nutrient-complete diet before, then I would expect much less of a change from Soylent. That’s certainly my guess anyway and from what I’ve heard about what people like Rob and ourselves were living on before, it fits. Still all anecdotal of course.


My girlfriends’ family have all been diagnosed with celiacs. Before the diagnosis they ate gluten products regularly and were pretty sick all the time. After quitting they found that their sensitivity greatly increased. Even a little flour in the air will make them sick for weeks at a time. I imagine in highly proccessed foods there are many things our bodies cant handle, but hbe learned to only get a little sick.


Running off the gut bacteria & mood association, I figure I’ll add my own observations here as well. I’m also vaguely familiar that @HarveyDesu had his own difficulty with insomnia while being on soylent, but in a much stranger way. In both our cases (more recently for me), we’re on high calorie (>3k) versions with high activity levels, which I think exacerbates a lot of these mood shifts.

Much of this I gather can be related to from any ideally healthy diet. But, as many of us here can relate to, we’re probably on cheaper diets than good ones pre-S/soylent.

For me specifically, food has affected my mood pretty much my whole life, and soylent has been a godsend at stabilizing it. When I have even border-line unhealthy food, my mood can and will shift readily. The effect is exacerbated when I move between ‘good food’ and ‘bad food.’ When I started working out, and needing a higher calorie diet, this effect was increased nearly 10 fold.

I pretty much can’t have pizza anymore (and I love pizza) if I want to be sane.

This said, I have noticed that I can enjoy certain things depending on the time of day. Breakfast and lunch make things easier to deal with, and if I have a bit of soylent before hand, things are even easier. However, if I go to bed on a less-than-ideal dinner, I can guarantee I’ll be hitting the snooze alarm a couple times, and dragging my ass out from under the covers.

I think it’s why so many loved those first few weeks on 100% S/soylent (@rob mentioned this in the fireside chat); the sudden jolt of energy, cognizance, and overall good mood, especially when contrasted to a crappy diet, is hard to get back because you eventually just establish a new baseline for ‘normal.’