Soylent day 3

I’m sorry for the delay posting this. Some life circumstances sort of got in the way. You can now stop desperately reloading. Fear not: I have not died of non-stop bloody Soylent diarrhea and I am in good health. I just didn’t post. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Thursday night I went to sleep after eating nothing but Soylent in the last 24 hours. I had a very vivid dream of me eating a warm thick bowl of oatmeal. I remember its smell, texture… This experiment is messing with my mind.

Breakfast

I woke up on Friday and prepared my pitcher of Soylent for the day. It took 3 minutes. Since I didn’t leave the pitcher in the fridge overnight and now I know better, I added a bunch of ice to the mix.

At my desk in the office, I had my glass of Soylent. Not bad. Like revenge, Soylent is a dish better served cold. Once again I finished feeling satisfied but not full.

Lunch

A co-worker passed me with a plate from the cafeteria: their Greek Plate (chicken, tzatziki, little slices of pita)… After 13+ years, I’ve developed an indifference at best, dislike at worse for cafeteria food. I’ve had this specific dish many times and while it’s not not bad, I don’t particularly like it. But it looked especially appetizing this time.

At 1:15 I decided to “eat” “lunch” which is a lot later than my usual time. Either Soylent is very good at keeping me satiated or my body is suppressing my hunger since it knows what’s coming to it. Whatever the case, I started drinking it at 1:20.

In the afternoon I got a slight headache but I wouldn’t pin it on Soylent. People get headaches. I’ve also been terribly thirsty.

Dinner

It’s Friday night, and I mother in law cooked a big Shabbat dinner. Being the good son-in-law that I am, I decided to take a break,  enjoy food and the company of my very round pregnant wife, and spend some time meditating on the merits of giving up old fashioned food.

Flatulence

Indeed, as many people pointed out on the Internet, it mostly went away on the third day. I’m sorry I wrote about the topic so much but it turned out to be relevant to the discussion.

Comments

Let’s address some comments received:

  • Reader Esther says to watch out – Soylent has no Vitamin D. But it does, in the for of the tasty sounding ingredient ergocalciferol. 33% of the daily value per serving, to be precise.
  • Reader Carolina is worried that the first ingredient listed is sugar. But it’s not! It’s maltodextrin, which is… huh, kind of like a sugar. Shit.
  • Reader Gabriel posted a very misguided article on Soylent. Sorry dude, the article gets it wrong at the most basic level. Soylent is not for hipsters: it’s not organic, vegan, overpriced, nor sold out of food trucks. Soylent is for overworked nerds.
  • At work, several co-workers who had never heard of Soylent were incredibly puzzled. Are you on a diet? No. Is it for weight loss? No. Is it some kind of cleanse? No. Then what the hell are you doing? Science!
  • Other co-workers who had heard about Soylent were very curious. Several tried it. None were disgusted, with one exception: Frank who had done Schmoylent, the sketchy Soylent knockoff, found it disgusting. I suppose Schmoylent is better.
  • My mom vigorously opposed me doing Soylent. She watched the movie and I suppose the mental association was just too strong, in spite of my assurances that this thing is beige and most likely not made of <<SPOILER ALERT>> humans.

I did more reading about Soylent. Here’s a pretty rough thread on some of the issues with Soylent.

Closing remarks

I’m done with this stuff. All in all, this was an interesting experiment. Sure, I failed to eat nothing but Soylent for a week. Sure, I am a fraud. Sure, many readers secretly wanted me to write this from the toilet while dealing with horrible, debilitating diarrhea. None of this came to pass.

Interestingly, it seems quite viable to survive, at least for short periods of time, on nothing but Soylent. I wouldn’t go much longer than that though. The people behind it are not nutritionists nor medical doctors, and the fact that you can survive for some time does not mean you can or should go for extended periods of time on it. Let’s wait and see how some more adventurous/stupid souls do a couple of years from now.

A guy from work is buying my remaining supply. And I will close with this short video:

Thank you for joining me in my journey.

Soylent day 2

Strong feelings and opinions revolve around this experiment. A reader objects to my eating of solid foods at all, even though the instructions clearly state to slowly ramp up my ingestion of the product. Other readers believe that I am pumping my body full of harmful chemicals in spite of what the publicly available list of ingredients says. Ok, I admit the list of ingredients sounds scary, but it’s the same stuff listed on whatever you buy in the supermarket.

Breakfast

I sat down to “enjoy” my breakfast. I was a little hungry in spite of the gigantic Lebanese buffet of the previous night. I am not dreading this, which is both an improvement and a surprise. Interestingly, the glass of cold Soylent goes down easily, and I even enjoyed the “sandy” texture. Weird.

Lunch

The single serving kept me satisfied until lunch time. Timing couldn’t be better – there was an Apple Event to watch so it’s not like I would have gone to a cafeteria. Simple: pour and drink. Satisfied yet not full.

Gym

After work but before dinner I stopped at the gym. In spite of having had nothing but Soylent all day, I didn’t feel hungry and I was able to workout at the same level as usual – which is admittedly pathetic but still. I think this is worth noting.

Dinner

This time I will avoid the wrath of my readers: another full serving of Soylent for dinner. Unlike the previous day, I no longer detect the faint smell of fish oil in it.

On Ars does Soylent, writer Lee Hutchinson described one of the notorious side effects of the original Soylent 1.0 as follows:

It was bad. These weren’t mere ha-ha toot kinds of emissions; this was hair-raising. It was room-clearing, horse-killing, World War I mustard gas-type gas.

I am eating version 1.1. Its main improvement is the addition of “digestive enzymes” that ameliorate the aforementioned issue. I will say the following: when it comes to gases, it has not been the quantity but the quality. These are very high quality farts. Unless you are a person who’s not attached to my own nose, then they are horrendous.

Thankfully, the quantity is small and I’ve avoided displeasing my coworkers more than usual and have had no elevator incidents. I am still happily married and for the next few days I plan on only hanging out with my two friends who have no sense of smell.

But I will add this and I am not joking: given that 1.1 is having this effect on me, I would love to get my hands on some 1.0 just to see what that would be like.

The experiment continues tomorrow. I am now open to deviating from the plain Soylent and welcome suggestions for culinary improvements. Chocolate? Peanut butter? Sriracha?

ITESM in today’s Apple Event

ITESM @ Apple Event

Many of you may have heard about an Apple Event earlier today in which OS X Yosemite launched, new iPads were released, and an impressive iMac with a 5k Retina Display came out.

What you may have heard is the brief screen time my Alma Mater, ITESM (a.k.a. Tecnológico de Monterrey) got while Craig Federighi was talking about Apple’s new programming language Swift (they are also mentioned in this page if you follow the link).

I wonder who’s teaching the course.

Spotted by Nathan B.

Soylent day 1

Breakfast

Making Soylent for the first time was easy. Put powder in pitcher – it smells good, like pancake mix. Add water and shake vigorously. No problem.

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Add the oil which comes in a small hotel shampoo bottle. This is the part in which the product started losing its appeal. A little more shaking and I was ready to pour the thing for poor me.

This is how it compares to my almost daily breakfast:

Oatmeal Soylent
cost: cheap cheap
color: beige beige
texture: thick sludge watery sludge
benefits: helps me poop brings readers to The MKX®
temperature: hot and soothing cold and harsh
requires: a microwave a healthy dose of masochism

 

I must say that it was faster to prepare it than it was to eat it. It’s grainy, smells bad but tastes ok, and leaves behind a feeling not unlike having a spoonful of olive oil with sand… something I hadn’t done in years. I had to drink it in little sips.

I’ve read that eventually you get to crave this thing. We’ll see. It made me burp little soylent-tasting burps, but that may be because I am a little disgusted.

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Breakfast of champions. And lunch. And dinner.

Good thing I can wash it down with coffee.

Lunch

12:20 PM: It’s later than my usual lunch. I’m hungry but not terribly so. I am dreading this. I left 2/3 of a pitcher of Soylent in the fridge. Ok let’s do it.

12:59 PM: Done eating. I feel satisfied if not full. It took forever to eat because I am doing other things in parallel. And because it’s not super yummy.

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Happy and satisfied champ.

Dinner

I forgot about a prior engagement of dinner with friends. So… I had Middle Eastern food. It was glorious. What happened later was interesting: right after dinner, all hell broke lose on the gassiness front. Or back, I should say. This didn’t happen at all before. So the question arises: What caused it? The Soylent? The hummus? I have tainted the experiment.

At this stage, I feel good, strong, healthy, and my hair has a new sheen.

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Soylent

You may or may not have heard about Soylent. Not the science fiction green type, but the wildly successful Kickstarter project.

I first ordered the food substitute on 5/14/2014. On 7/24 I received an email update in which the original 10-12 week lead time was further pushed back another 8-10 weeks. On 9/19 I was asked to confirm my address, on 10/9 I got my shipping notification, and today I finally received my package. It only took exactly 5 months. You’d think this stuff was made of people or something.

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My one-week ration of Soylent came in this nondescript box.
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Pitcher and scoop in small box, Soylent pouches and fish oil in large one.

The idea is this: substitute food with this inexpensive, nutritious, delightful goo and save money and time. Great for important and busy people who aren’t important enough to have someone cook for them.

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Soylent nutrition facts: too much for me to read. But if you see anything I should be worried about, please let me know.

In the name of science and for the benefit of The MKX® readers, we will have one human being consume nothing but Soylent and coffee and maybe some snacks for a full week. The subject will be monitored and progress will be tracked on this website. There is an important caveat: if the subject is to suddenly become a father, the subject will get a deluge of foreign family members who like to do nothing but eat out. The subject will take a break from the experiment should that occur, although Soylent can be handy in some of the circumstances that may arise.

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The subject looking reasonably healthy and happy, behind the contents of the box, which include bottles of fish oil, the pouches, a neat pitcher, a measuring spoon, instructions.

One notable thing: I received version 1.1 of the formula. The biggest change according to my research is that it drastically reduces flatulence. Given the amount of beans I eat, I assumed any change in my diet would have the same effect. Who knows.

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Soylent 1.1. Shlomit’s nightmares did not materialize.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them below. Or just post whatever, as it will encourage me to carry on with the experiment.

Bonus:

A colleague ordered an unofficial Soylent knock-off (the formula is available for anyone to use) and traded a single meal with me. It came in a shady-looking ziploc bag. At some point during the experiment I will try it and compare.

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As ugly as it gets