10/23/2005

Soylent: My Thoughts and Experiences

(This isn’t an ad and I’m not being paid to write this. It’s just my honest experience with the product.)

Three weeks ago, I replaced most of my diet with Soylent. A food replacement that started production last year, after a successful crowd funding campaign that raised $3 million bucks.

Soylent is designed to contain absolutely everything that the body needs. Theoretically, a human being could survive on nothing but Soylent and as long as they were getting a healthy amount of calories, they’d be perfectly healthy (at least as far as nutrition is concerned). Kind of like that goop they were eating in The Matrix. Just not as gross.

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From what I understand, most people don’t outright replace their diet with Soylent. Instead, they use it as a meal replacement when needed. I think I’m one of the rare users of the product that has replaced all but a couple meals a week with the drink.

I know that the idea of not eating actual food is unappealing to a lot of people, but for me it’s perfect. Sure, I love food. Pizza, sushi, sugar cereal, ice cream… all of this is awesome stuff, but most of the time, eating is a nuisance for me. I’m always racing against deadlines and I forever have two days of work to get done in one day. I’m more interested in finishing more work, than I am in eating. As a result, I often end up choosing the fastest food option, rather than the healthiest. More than once, I’ve had Pop Tarts for dinner, simply because I wanted to get something in me and rush back to drawing. So the fact that I can walk to the fridge, pour a glass of Soylent, down it and get back to work, is a game changer for me. It not only helps my work schedule, but my health as well. The two or three meals a week that I eat, are usually due to social responsibilities. If I’m out with my family or friends and we go to a restaurant, etc.

Ulcers

Over the past couple years, I’ve started to have serious issues with re-occurring ulcers. I can honestly say that when an ulcer hits peak ouchiness, it’s by far, the worst physical pain I’ve ever felt. Too many times, I’ve found myself curled up on the floor, groaning or even yelling due to the pain. I’ve been to the hospital a number of times and I’m on prescription meds for it, which helps a LOT. While avoiding really spicy foods or an entire pizza helps smooth things over, food generally hurts at least a little bit. But Soylent… this stuff doesn’t hurt. Now I don’t want other people with various types of tummy troubles to take what I’m saying as factual evidence. I’m not a scientific study. I’m one guy with one, single experience. So it’s important to understand that I’m not telling other ulcer sufferers that this stuff will work for you. Also, I’m only three weeks in with this stuff. Who knows, by week four, my ulcers may come back with a vengeance. But so far, so good.

The Taste

Okay, so what does it taste like. Well firstly, don’t drink it warm. It’s just… well… yeah. Don’t drink it warm. Yuck. However, when it’s shaken up well and served cold, the stuff isn’t unpleasant. It’s like a very bland smoothie with a hint of vanilla and peanut butter. I wouldn’t call it delicious, but it’s very easy to drink. I know that some people blend it up with fruit, etc but I’ve only ever downed it plain.

Hunger

Of course, when I’m hungry I sometimes think “I could go for a big cheeseburger or something“. Though, while Soylent isn’t as enjoyable as a steak dinner with mashed potatoes, it’s amazing at removing hunger. Seriously, after drinking a glass of this stuff, I’m not the least bit hungry and once I’m done my liquid dinner, any craving for food is just gone.

Is This Stuff Safe?

Before I ordered Soylent, I did a lot of research on the stuff and while it certainly hasn’t been around for long, there is no end to people online speaking about it. Actually, that kind of makes this blog redundant, now that I think about it. Oh well.

There are websites talking about how dangerous it is, because it doesn’t contain the right vitamins, etc and there are websites talking about how it’s perfectly safe. But here are the reasons that I personally believe this stuff to be safe.

  • I eat crap. I mean… I don’t literally eat crap, but… well you know what I mean. On a daily basis, I do not get the vitamins and nutrients that I need. So when compared to what I was eating… this goop packed with all manner of vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates all designed to keep someone healthy is definitively a big step up for me.
  • I’m no longer eating processed foods and things covered in icing or ketchup. All that junk that my body definitely doesn’t need is pretty much gone. So again, this has got to be a step up on the health… scale. You know, the health… rating… measurement… thingy.
  • A couple years ago, I went vegan for awhile. During that time I accidentally deprived myself of various proteins and such that I need to live and fight crime and stuff. I’m not saying that a vegan diet automatically deprives you of those things, just that a vegan diet done incorrectly, deprives you of those things. I learned as I went along and figured out how much tofu or nuts I had to eat, etc. But here’s the thing… each time I was missing out on something that my body needed, I felt it. I either felt sick or weak or in some way icky. My body seems to be really good at saying “Hey, dumb ass! Eat some protein!” or whatever. But for the last three weeks, I’ve felt pretty damn good. I’ve been paying attention to my body to see if it seems to be lacking something, but I feel awesome. Granted, no one has lived off Soylent for twenty years to see what happens, but at least I know that three weeks is no problem.

What’s The Company Like?

This is one of the biggest selling points for me. They seem to be genuinely cool people. They’re accessible and friendly and seem really willing to help if you have questions. I jumped in with both feet and got the subscription of monthly orders and my first shipment arrived pretty quickly. It was packaged really well. Here’s a pic…

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So I know a lot of people will shake their heads and turn up their noses at the idea of this stuff, but I freakin’ love it. It’s made my life a lot easier. Even if you’re just wanting some for the odd time you need a meal replacement, I can highly recommend it.

Thanks,

-Tarol