Results of My Soylent Experiment

You may have heard that recently, I began an experiment with soylent. So I wanted to come back and update on how it it went (a few people have been asking, and I’ve been hesitant about how much to “share” in this post).

On the second day, I decided to switch the oil I was using in the mixture to coconut oil, rather than macadamia. I wondered if it might improve the flavour a little. I had been concerned that because coconut oil is solid when bought, that it would solidify in the fridge overnight. It was easy enough to turn into a liquid by sitting it in hot water (coconut oil’s melting point is 24 °C / 76 °F), but interestingly it didn’t re-solidify in the fridge after being blended with the soylent mixture.

Soylent with Coconut Oil

Quite a number of people asked me during the experiment, something to the effect of “are you hungry yet?”. I was actually surprised that I found I wasn’t hungry enough! I only got through about 3/4 of the daily amount most days. I actually felt full most of the time, until suddenly I didn’t, and then I’d get my next serving. I did feel a bit like I was just drinking the stuff all the time though.

On day three, I actually woke up feeling really light-headed and nauseated, and I figured it must be because I’d skipped the last 1/4 and actually gone to bed feeling a tiny bit hungry. But after having a few mouthfuls of soylent, I was fine again.

I tried using warm water when mixing up the batch for day three, to try and help reduce the grittiness, and it seemed to work. Still a little gritty, but definitely better.

At this point, I started to feel like soylent isn’t actually that much simpler than food. I felt like I was thinking about it too much. Almost constantly. I’m basically “eating” all day. I also wish it was a little sweeter…

Day four was pretty uneventful, but I did work out that there didn’t seem to be much difference between sipping soylent for hours, or just chugging it fairly quickly. So that helped reduce the focus on it during the day.

After consuming nothing but soylent and water for four whole days, I was thoroughly bored of it. It’s definitely worth mentioning that I chose a challenging variation of soylent. The creator of this particular recipe says this:

Schmoylent Plain is my unsweetened gluten-free take on the official Soylent 1.0 formula, without the pandering to taste and texture. No stevia and no xanthan gum.

They also have a vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon flavoured version, which are probably better. The official stuff is also probably better (from reports I’ve heard, it definitely is).

Day five, my wife was making scrambled eggs for breakfast and having a coffee… I decided I learned enough from my experiment, and so that’s where it ended. We ended up adding some amazing wood smoked bacon to the mix too.

Now it’s been about four days since returning to normal food, and I’ve already noticed how soylent actually is a lot more convenient for work day breakfasts and lunches generally (I even miss it a bit).

I definitely plan to get more, and continue to use it as my breakfast and lunch on work days. I don’t think it’s a viable replacement for 100% of your food. Food is good, and fun, and the only reason I went 100% soylent for the experiment was to have a clearer experience of it before integrating it into a more sensible regime that includes normal food too.

I’d definitely recommend it as a replacement for meals that you often find yourself skipping, or eating junk for. Also for people who have specific dietary requirements, there are some great recipes already to address most needs.

Continue reading Results of My Soylent Experiment

The First Day of My Soylent Experiment

I prepared my first batch of Soylent last night! I had originally planned to only replace breakfast and lunch, but decided there were too many variables in a mixed experiment, so I’ll be eating 100% soylent for these 7 days. After that, if I’m happy with it, I’ll order more and then switch to breakfast and lunch only.

Oil waiting to be mixed into Schmoylent Clean

So, to get everything prepared, I followed the included directions, which were basically: add 1.6L of water, one bag of Schmoylent Clean mixture, and 3.5 tablespoons of oil into a blender, then pour into a jug and stick it in the fridge.

The instructions didn’t really specify what kind of oil to use. I had been planning on using coconut oil, when I realised there could be a problem with refrigeration causing a solid layer of coconut oil on the top. So for this batch, I used macadamia oil.

The end result was a full 2L jug of gloop.

This morning I discovered that the macadamia oil had separated out, so I shook it up well before pouring into a pint glass.

Schmoylent Clean and Separated Macadamia Oil

Using a pint glass (~568ml) meant I would have about 4 portions. So I spaced them throughout the day. I would start feeling a little hungry toward the end of the time I allocated for each.

By the end of the day, I started to get a bit of a headache, and realised I hadn’t drunk anything else and maybe there wasn’t enough water in the soylent mixture. So I had a glass of water, and started to feel better fairly quickly. Won’t make that mistake tomorrow!

The soylent itself was quite gritty. Actually made me cough a little after swallowing. For tomorrow’s batch, I’ve switched to coconut oil and really given it a thorough blend. I’m hoping the combination will make it smoother, while also making the coconut oil less likely to solidify.

I survived day one! We’ll see how tomorrow goes. I’ll probably only post again at the end of the 7 days, or if something particularly interesting happens during the week. I might also post again once I return to normal food if anything interesting happens there too.

Would love to hear your thoughts or comments on this experiment in the comments below!

Giving Soylent a try

If you’ve not come across it, Soylent is the name of a fairly recently created potential food replacement. (I say “potential”, because it’s still very experimental.)

The premise is that you’re trying to get your body’s daily nutritional requirements through a simple delivery mechanism. You also want to take the effort out of meeting those nutritional needs on a daily basis.

I enjoy eating food as much as the next person, especially trying new and weird things ( if you’re ever in Iceland, give the hákarl a try, it’s not so bad ;) ). But what I don’t like is the daily annoyance of deciding on, and preparing, breakfast and lunch while keeping relatively good nutrition.

This “movement” that Soylent has kicked off with vigour has also gotten a lot of people creating their own variations too. I decided to try one of those, because the waiting period for the official stuff was too long. I’ve picked one called Schmoylent Clean (it’s vegan, soy free, and gluten free too).

Looks like my soylent adventure will be starting very soon! #futurefood #soylentgreenispeople

It’s finally arrived, and I plan to kick off this personal experiment next week. I have enough for 3 meals a day for 7 days, to begin with. However, because I still enjoy food and this is about practicality, dinner time and weekends will be normal food with the rest of the family. So I’ll only be replacing breakfast and lunch on week days, which should last me about 2 weeks of work days (~21 meals).

Soylent isn’t a complete food replacement for me, it’s about making life simpler and healthier, while also keeping “food as fun” to social meals.

Hopefully there’ll be another post on Monday to let you know how the first day was! I’m expecting a couple of hiccups on the first couple of days while I get it right (judging by my reading of others’ experiences).

Have you tried Soylent, or something similar? Even if you haven’t, I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions, so please leave a comment.

Ways Men in Tech Are Unintentionally Sexist

If you’re a person in tech, please have a read of this: Ways Men in Tech Are Unintentionally Sexist

Before you do, there’s something I’d like you to keep in the back of your mind:

If you find yourself thinking “that point is a little over-sensitive”, remember the context. If gender equality were not an issue, you might be right. But it is, and so we have to be a little more sensitive than we might otherwise be in a perfect world. It’s part of being generally more aware of the issue, so we can make things right.

As an example, in this post Kat says at one point:

Rule of thumb: Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to a man! It’s disrespectful to focus on someone’s appearance instead of their accomplishments.

If your immediate response is, “but I would say that to a man so there’s no problem,” you’re missing the context. (Also, perhaps you shouldn’t say it to a man either?!)

Thanks for reading!

[ Comments aren’t enabled on this post. You can comment on the original post linked above. ]