I Ate Soylent for a Day: 'Food' Special

However, I recently discovered you can buy a one-day supply of Soylent for $18.50 on Amazon. I went for that, and resolved to eat nothing but Soylent for a day. (Actually, it was a day and a little more -- a one-day bag of Soylent contains 2,000 calories, which is about 10% more than I need to maintain weight.)

My Soylent shipment arrived in a shiny one-pound bag. To make the powder into Soylent, you mix it with two quarts of water, then refrigerate for at least two or three hours to give the powder time to fully dissolve and the liquid time to thicken.

The powder bears a close resemblance to flour, or a prop from the Al Pacino movie Scarface. The liquid is beige.

When prepared according to the instructions, Soylent liquid has the consistency of tomato juice. You can vary the amount of water to get the consistency how you like it. Soylent has the very faint smell of wet cardboard, and it tastes slightly like wet cardboard too. It leaves a slight aftertaste, which washes away immediately with a couple of sips of tea.

And yet -- it's pleasant. Early reviews went on and on about how nasty the taste and texture is, but by the end of my nothing-but-Soylent day, I found I actually liked the taste of the stuff.

Some Soylent reviewers report extreme flatulence and gastric distress, sometimes for weeks, until their bodies get used to the dietary change. (Here is a hilarious Amazon review providing more color on the subject.) I did not have that problem at all. To be blunt about it: I just farted the usual amount that day.

I made an effort to sip the Soylent slowly. By nature, I'm not a sipper. I'm a gulper. I'm a fast eater too. The effort to slow down was only partly successful; I finished my meals that day in under five minutes.

I normally eat breakfast, lunch and a daytime snack at my desk. While eating, I catch up on what my colleagues have written on Light Reading, and when I'm done with that I read other articles from around the web.

With Soylent, meal breaks disappear. Soylent is about as close as you can come to eliminating food entirely, and just plugging yourself into the wall like a robot.

I don't like that. I work hard and long hours (if you can call anything done indoors at a desk on a computer "work" -- it's not like I'm laying asphalt on an Alabama road crew). I like my meal and snack breaks.

After a full day eating nothing but Soylent, I felt great. I had lots of energy and wasn't hungry at all.

I also felt empty -- no food in my gut. You never notice the food you carry around inside you until it's gone. My body was confused by this sensation -- it associates an empty belly with being hungry, and yet my belly was empty and I was not hungry. I enjoyed the feeling.

Despite enjoying Soylent, I was deliriously happy to get back to my normal eating habits. My regular breakfast the next day, the same thing I have every day for breakfast, tasted like ambrosia. That's a plus for Soylent. I'm in favor of anything that makes me think about and appreciate my everyday blessings.

Did Soylent pass the travel-food test?
I liked Soylent, but it isn't fit-for-purpose as a food to take on multi-day business trips. The problem: It needs to be refrigerated and consumed quickly. According to the manufacturer, it only lasts for two days in the refrigerator. That's not practical. Travel schedules have a tendency to become chaotic and unpredictable. And I don't know whether, or when, I'll have access to a refrigerator.

But I did like Soylent. As a matter of fact, I liked it a lot. The mild flavor and creamy texture grew on me. That surprised me; I thought I'd hate it.

After my test was done, I bought a week's supply, and plan to use it for the occasional meal around the house. I also see potential for taking it with me when I'm out and about for a day, either for business or leisure.

I had better luck with MealSquares. I'll tell you about that another day.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

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Susan Fourtané 8/2/2015 | 7:14:58 PM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version Indeed, Mike. Nothing more powerful than your will. 

MikeP688 8/2/2015 | 5:17:29 PM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version Happy August to all throughout our Community!!!

Beyond a Doubt M'aam :-)   I have been fascinated also by the likes of Blue Apron that has some very interesting meals at $ 9/Box :-)   We can always be enterprising and creative.   I have been reading Michael Chang's Biography and he reflects upon how his mother cooked rice in the rice cooker while they stayed at the Sofitel in Paris during the French Open--that he won.    It goes to your implicit message:  When there is will, there is a way.   

Susan Fourtané 8/2/2015 | 7:35:33 AM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version Mike, remember any of these is a food replacement, You still need to cook and eat. :D There are some simple recipes to cook, or prepare healthy meals in just a few minutes. -Susan
MikeP688 7/29/2015 | 5:47:50 AM
Re: Follow-up (Thank You!!) I just signed up for their newsletter and will be on the "Hunt" for them to assess it.   Some very interesting ideas to think about and reflect upon.     
MikeP688 7/29/2015 | 5:42:57 AM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version As someone who is a bit "Lazy" to cook, I will be on the hunt to get these and test them out.   As the saying goes, "You are What you eat".     
Susan Fourtané 7/29/2015 | 5:24:55 AM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version Kruz, yes, I try to do the same. I also get smoothies and fruit juice (not from concentrate) to carry in my bag along the day. That's why I thought either Ambronite or Soylent would be good to carry in my bag in the same way, they could be even mixed with the juice. I love a good breakfast. :) -Susan
Kruz 7/29/2015 | 4:55:00 AM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version Another thing I do whenever I travel is I try to go to the groceries my first night there and buy what I need for the week(yogurt snacks, fruits etc). This way I ll have fruits for snacks(replacing the buttery snacks). I also focus on having a good brekfast to be able to withstand the hunger. Breakfast is your most essential meal, and you have to have it like a king.
Susan Fourtané 7/29/2015 | 4:18:51 AM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version Kruz, your two last lines sound like the recommendations you read all over the supplements, and other stuff. :D I am now consuming surimi fish protein sticks as protein snacks. I already mentioned the cherries below. But, as the discussion goes here, the problem is to keep your healthy snacking up when you travel. I have to say that this topic here is being of great help in triggering thoughts about finding ways of keeping your own healthy habits when you travel. -Susan
Kruz 7/27/2015 | 5:03:58 AM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version It is a real pain having to mess up your diet whenever you travel. It is an issue I deal with all the time. I haven't tried Soylent, but will do after this article (hoping this ships to where I am), but I have a good solution for this and at a cheaper price. As an athelete, I use some types of protein to be able to sustain the workout. I would suggest trying a good caseine shake. This are delicious, instant with great mixability, and can help you feel full for at leats 12 hours without upsetting your stomach(when dealing with a good brand).

Nothing replaces the realy meal and the nutrient absorption rate is the highest in this case. These will remain supplement and should be used for a limited time period.
Susan Fourtané 7/27/2015 | 3:55:36 AM
Re: Ambronite - organic real-food version The product is great, it tastes great, and I would love to replace all my snacks with it. Don't you think it's a little too expensive, though? :( Is it a limit of how much you can drink of it per day? I am now snacking on cherries. I may not get all the nutrients that come in Ambronite, but cherries are also healthy. I thought that maybe I could use the shake when I travel only, sort of what Mitch was thinking. -Susan
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