I don’t know what you’ve heard about Soylent, but it is wonderful. Actually, you have probably either heard nothing about Soylent or that it is horrible. Wrong and also wrong. Today is all about how Soylent can help you optimize deliciousness in your life by replacing throw away meals.
First, here is wikipedia’s description of Soylent
Soylent is a powdered meal replacement product, advertised as a “staple meal” that its creator says meets all nutritional requirements for an average adult. It was created by software engineer Rob Rhinehart as a self-experiment in nutrition and is now marketed and sold by Rosa Labs
Although it is marketed to be a complete replacement of all food, I certainly wouldn’t give up food . I’m absolutely not telling you to stop eating all food and switch to Soylent 24/7. But I want you to consider how Soylent has worked well for me.
Food in our society comes with three costs: Money, time, and calories. A burger might be relatively cheap and quick but it costs a lot in calories. This isn’t a pick 2 type of situation, you can get that burger at a steakhouse that costs plenty in terms of all three. The main benefit of food is deliciousness. It may also provide a time to socialize or a similar benefit, fair, I’m not going to cover that here. However, if you are reading this, then it is safe to assume that nutrition is not a relevant benefit.
In short, the goal should be to maximize deliciousness of food while minimizing money, time, and calories.
I bought my first batch of Soylent specifically to replace breakfast on work days. Weekday mornings I was always running out the door, short on time, and just wanted something to satiate my hunger until lunch. That often meant a Clif bar, a pastry, or awkward stomach growling during morning meetings. Soylent was amazing because I could pre-fill mason jars with the ingredients then just add water and shake them up the night before. It only takes a minute each night, costs under $3 per breakfast, and is nutritionally balanced to get me on track for 2,000 calories a day. That was the plan at least. When my first batch arrived, I tested the plan, and instead of just working… I realized that I love Soylent.
Now, with a new version, Soylent is smooth, not quite creamy, and I look forward to it for breakfasts and lunches. It tastes… neutral? Like liquid oatmeal? I don’t know. It just tastes satisfying. It's not delicious, but it's also fast, cheap, nutritionally balanced, and replaces all the meals I’m not excited about. The best meals to replace with Soylent are the meals you aren’t excited about. I’m talking about boring sandwiches, generic lunches near the office, hasty breakfasts, or even “I just need to eat something” dinners. Those aren’t fun eating experiences. They don’t bring delight to your life. They probably cost more than they should, waste time, and are often unhealthy. If you are on a diet, these are the meals where you are likely to cheat and then regret it.
Now, I’m down to two types of meals: Soylent meals and delicious meals. When I go out for a nice dinner I don’t feel as bad about the cost or the calories because I’ve been saving on both with Soylent meals. If a co-worker wants to grab a tasty tasty Mexicue burrito , I can easily save my Soylent for the next day and enjoy something delicious without guilt.
The one thing Soylent didn’t completely deliver on, at least on paper, is being a less caloric breakfast than a Clif bar. The internet is full of stories from people who lost weight on Soylent. Likely because it helps eliminate the temptation from big cheat meals. Soylent isn’t designed for weight loss though, it is designed for stable nutrition. That said, variations like Ketosoy and Ketochow are designed specifically to cover that niche. I have a few on their way in the mail and will report back if they go well. Final note, Soylent is currently only available online. This above anything is probably the main hurdle to new people trying it.
If you aren’t interested in going full soylent, I agree, but don’t hold it against people who do. I know enough people who have health or other personal reasons for treating food differently then the common approach in society. They aren’t trying to take solid food away from you or change how you eat. They just want something that works for them and takes away a painful daily stress. ↩
Like Peter Luger’s. My god, have you tried the burger at Peter Luger’s? We should just stop all this internesting and go there now instead. I’m in if you are. ↩
Perhaps a topic for another time, but the majority of Americans and especially people who have time to read blogs get an excess of nutrients to the point where eating less is probably more important than seeking nutrition. I know there are edge cases. But odds are that you and I are not in those edge cases. ↩
I’m seeing some valid pushback in the comments. It is true that the actual goal for calories is balance instead of minimizing. In absolute terms minimizing calories would be bad because you would starve and die. Realistically, for the vast majority of readers, the challenge is that tempting high calorie foods are constantly pushing that balance toward consuming too many calories. So people with this challenge will want to minimize calories in an attempt to get as close to balance as possible. I also apologize to anyone in a situation where getting enough calories and nutrition is a real problem, clearly this post only targets a limited segment of the population. ↩
Oh how quaint! ↩
I’m really into bolding things today. Exuberance usually leads to regret. Life is hard. ↩
The burnt ends burrito. Get it. So good for your face and stomach happiness. Make sure to order extra crispy strips, a side of crispy strips, and all the crispy strips currently available in the kitchen. Then when it arrives see if you can get any more crispy strips. The creamy chipotle sauce and cotija are also good toppings in more reasonable quantities. ↩
I actually have no idea how the body handles a large chunk of calories all at once (like a burrito) vs spread out over multiple days. I’d love to see any research on this topic if it exists. Is 500 calories for 4 lunches followed by 1500 calories on Friday processed the same as 700 calories for lunch 5 days a week? Better? Worse? ↩
Clif bars are also pretty cheap I guess. But Clif bars bring no joy to my heart. ↩