When I first heard about Soylent, I was curious to see if it was even possible to not feel hungry without eating food. Not being able to purchase Soylent 1.0 postponed those thoughts. After seeing the blog post in mid June about Soylent now available to Canadians, I jumped at the opportunity. The package came within a week and I set a date to begin my Soylent experiment: July 13. I really didn’t want to visit my parents during my experiment lest they start asking questions and wonder if it’s a weight loss program. The 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto gave me the perfect excuse to stay away from the city and do the experiment without my parents knowing.
But I started on July 2. Canada Day is celebrated on July 1 and we normally get long weekends every 6 years out of 7. This year, however, the holiday fell on a Wednesday and it was that very weird mid-week day-off. Since I had completely forgotten about grocery shopping I was left with no food on Wednesday night with bags of Soylent on my shelf. So I started.
I actually went through a whole bag of Soylent that day but by the time 7PM hit, I was feeling hungry. I had the feeling that a normal bag of Soylent wouldn’t be enough for someone like me. Soldiering on from the 13th until the 23rd, I continued my regiment of half a bag of Soylent per day.
I didn’t quite feel full. On most days I would finish the half bag of Soylent I mixed and start to feel hungry by 3PM. Perhaps I went about it all wrong and didn’t consume my everyday coffee, I wanted to go pure Soylent and stuck with water to hydrate and keep me awake. I was feeling a bit lightheaded at 3PM as well which I suspect was from the lack of food. My proposal in the experiment was to see if I could live entirely off Soylent and I didn’t succeed.
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 migrated from room to room in the house like I was giving up territory to the Kaiser, my face fixed in an expression of horror as green hell-fumes trailed behind me, peeling paint and wilting plants.
It was pretty bad but not that bad, I don’t have plants in my apartment. The poop was pretty moderate, nothing too different, mostly 3 on the poop chart.
Colouring and Flavouring
This one didn’t work out too well. Day 0’s batch was mixed in with vanilla extract. It tasted like a thick soy milk. I experimented with differing amounts of vanilla and colours. I tried green, red, and blue of which the red turned quite pink and I got some weird stares on the bus ride after my jug fell out of my bag. It wasn’t until the 5th day or so that I experimented with cocoa powder. It makes a huge difference, it was actually very delicious. Cocoa powder can only go so far, it’s not sweetened chocolate, which meant I needed to add sugar to give me a familiar chocolate soy milk taste.
I still have one week of Soylent left and I plan to finish it eventually. I’ve seen people blending it together which I should attempt next. A colleague of mine suggested to do it for breakfast and dinner and evening snack but eat a normal lunch so I won’t feel hungry at 3PM. Sugar and vanilla mix isn’t too bad and I still have plenty of it so I think that’ll be the mix when I revisit Soylent later this year.
My Soylent experiment is officially halted now and I’ll do a post sometime this weekend about my thoughts and what I’ll do with the rest of bags.
Wonderful timing too because I received this in my mailbox today:
I signed up for a global snack food by mail service called Universal Yums. It costs me $30 per month for a big box and I get to sample snack foods from around the world. Granted, being from Toronto and living within an hour from the city, I have access to foods from a lot of cultures, I just need to look. But I’m lazy.
There are a lot of foods from this box I’ve tasted before. I’ve had some form of Chocolate Hello Panda since I was a little kid. Mango Hi-Chew is available at my local Wal-Mart. The Kasugai Gummies were available in grape when I was a kid. The rest should be interesting, I’m very excited to taste Cookies & Cream Pocky. I’ll post a review once I had time to taste them all.
After finishing the last bag of Soylent on my shelf, I will take a temporary break and eat normally until a later date. The experiment is a failure, I’ll write up a conclusion post sometime this weekend.
I’ll finish up my first box of Soylent with traditional Soylent and vanilla, with a bit of added sugar. I think the chocolate is really confusing my body a bit and takes away from the pureness of the Soylent diet.
I left a glass of yesterday’s Soylent on my counter instead of refrigerating it for a delicious breakfast. A lot of it separated as it at in room temperature for 8 hours.
But the reason why I had left over Soylent is because I am significantly reducing my intake, I’m only going through about half a pouch per day instead of the recommended full pouch. I’m starting to get headaches, which could be attributed to lack of potassium or sodium in my diet. I’m guessing it might be sodium because I was able to get through the evening after a sports drink.
The bags on the shelf are almost done, just 1.5 left. But there’s still a unopened box sitting in my living room.
I’m just doing my Soylent mix for Monday morning after a weekend being almost Soylent free and enjoying food (and my new slow cooker!). Important tip when mixing cocoa powder to Soylent, finishing mixing the Soylent first and then do the mix of cocoa powder. Doing it all at once tends to clump the cocoa together and make it stick to the roof of the Soylent jug with dry Soylent hidden within the cocoa.
My current mix to make Soylent delicious is 4 scoops of Soylent plus 7 or so teaspoons of sugar into 1L of water plus 3-4 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Again, the goal of my Soylent challenge isn’t to lose weight or be healthy, it’s to see if I can survive mostly off Soylent.
I’m going to attempt a 100% Soylent day on Monday.
The experiment with cocoa flavour went pretty well for Friday’s batch of Soylent. The mess I made on the kitchen counter aside, I didn’t have too much problem making it taste like chocolate. A 1.25L blender won’t blend Soylent well. It was a cheap blender I bought at Walmart for my smoothie phase and it still works for that purpose.
Mixing it with the standard jug seems to work well. I had to add a bit lot of sugar to make it remotely taste like the chocolate that I’m used to.
I’ve also cut down my Soylent consumption to half a bag per day. I’ll slowly bring it up to 3/4 of a bag once I find the right mix of chocolate.
Probably a bit hard to see, but for tomorrow’s Soylent mix, I’m going with chocolate. There was nothing special involved except mixing in a few tablespoons of cocoa powder with my normal 1L + 4 scoops of Soylent. I’ll let it mix around tonight and post my thoughts about it in tomorrow’s post.
Eating a bit of food made a huge difference in my concentration at work. Going for a pure Soylent diet is on the extreme end of things and isn’t cut out for me. I’m surviving on breakfast and lunch as my Soylent meals and dinner will be what I normally eat.
Food colouring seems to be a bad idea. I actually didn’t mind my Soylent when it was that chalky white colour, it reminded me of soy milk. Adding green wasn’t too bad, red made it quite pink and I got some weird looks on the bus. Blue seems a bit normal to me, but it was sky blue.
I am slowly getting dissuaded to continue my Soylent experiment. Day 1 wasn’t horrible, but Day 2 made me feel really empty inside. Perhaps I didn’t mix the Soylent thoroughly yessterday, I’m tasting a lot more powder than usual.
So from today, I’m going to be doing a 66/33 split of my meals as Soylent/food. They recommend 33/66 of total daily calories to begin but I already have Day #0 and #1 behind me so I think I’m good.
Other than that, the fear of smelly farts is now a reality. I won’t go too deep into details, but they aren’t smelling like normal.
Today was day #1 of the Soylent experiment but not the first day I ate nothing but Soylent.
Day #0 happened July 2nd and it happened because I was too late to make lunch and had a shelf full of Soylent. My experience with Soylent on that particular day is quite similar to how today went.
I didn’t quite feel full by the time I finished the last sip of the bag. I did the standard fill instructions: 4 scoops and 1L of water, shake, rest of bag, top off with water, shake, and chill. I might not be drinking enough water throughout the day which is part of the recommended intake.
The instructions recommend allowing my body to adjust to Soylent, perhaps I’m rushing this.