To be parabolic and overly-dramatic, I hate food. So I started eating a nutrient rich sludge.
To expand on that point, I don’t actually hate food – I’m simply frustrated by the utility of food consumption. Deciding, purchasing, preparing, consuming, cleaning and digesting – I’d prefer a set batteries to switch out and be done with it.
Whilst I have great self-control in many areas, when it comes to basic functioning I lack serious motivation. Eating, Drinking, exercise – I remain unmotivated. It’s not uncommon for me not to eat to the point of passing out. Rest assured this is not a result of body dysmorphia or the like – I am simply abhorred by the act eating.
And I’ve found myself doing an Olympian-level performance of mental gymnastics to avoid it.
However I digress. After living on nicotine, caffeine and the occasional snack for roughly a decade – I began experimenting with DIY Soylent. Primarily with a DIY soylent known as Melb-lent due to the accessability of the products.
I had slight concerns regarding the Upper Limit (Ul) on certain vitamins however most of the ‘risky’ vitamins (Sodium, chloride, magnesium – information available from National Health and Medical Research Council.) demand an intake of the 300% before adverse reactions occur. The only excess 300%+ for RDI is for phosphorus: I was slightly concerned about this but the the UL tolerance for this vitamin is about 500%-600%.
The realistic concern for soylent is from the lack of phyto and micro nutrients. An understandable concern – unsurprisingly I’ve had a few mortified nutritionists advise against this.
However this concern comes from the angle that I appear healthy and hence, assumedly have a health diet.
I’m not and I don’t. I don’t get my phyto or micro nutrients. Period. I only get about 35% of my RDI as it is.
I am progressing from barely anything to something – and that is at least amenable.
As I am writing this, I am excited as I begin my soylent diet again. My preliminary tests revealed great results. Over the past 3 months –
1 month on Soylent full time
1 month on Soylent for one meal
1 month returning to pre-soylent diet.
The pro’s for soylent were almost immediately apparent – I felt a remarkable state of energy, this outlining how much of my RDI I was actually missing. My productivity was up, I had impulses to exercise, and most notable to everyone else – I had moved 8% closer to my ideal weight (was/am underweight). Both productivity and health had quantifiable metrics indicating improvement.
Stoic motivation powered me through the first 3 weeks. I was slamming it down. After 3 weeks however, arose a strange juxtaposition.
The Stoicism had worn off. I was left with the unappetising task of consuming a meal that, upon a cursory glance, looked like a slurry of granulated mud.
At least it looked like sandy mud, like that from the ocean – not from a swamp.
In retrospect, the dopamine that would have previously driven my appetite was replaced by rewards revolving around productivity and stoicism – once the novelty had worn off, I was left without a chemical reward for necessary consumption.
I was caught between a rock and hard place for the 2nd month –
I was torn between the dopamine of a burrito that would ultimately leave me unsatisfied or the energy of a nutrient rich mud, the last 8th of which, would be poured down the sink as my retching reaches maximises frustration.
On the 3rd month, when I returned to a ‘real’ diet I was admittedly enjoying food for the first time in a decade – it was expensive, but also a welcome experience. I didn’t really ‘get’ it until then; now I can understand people’s dedication to food.
Unfortunately, it was undeniable that my energy and motivation was lacking. Its evident that much of my motivation isn’t primarily internally driven, but can simply can be reduced to fuel. If I gathered anything from these preliminary tests it is that whilst my cerebral motivation is always willing, the body however, can be lacking.
Now I am re-adjusting to the soylent diet again – and whilst I still struggle to down the concoction, my energy levels and productivity have already phenomenally improved over the past few days.
In conclusion, given that my typical diet does not even meet 50% of the recommended RDI, Soylent is a great alternative. It would be unwise not to mention; this is not for everyone – if you can manage a real, healthy diet I would encourage such. But if you’re just looking to top up you RDI, it’s an option.
Subsequent testing may yield quantifiable results worth sharing, but limit metrics have only encouraged viability not extended usage.