How I Will Try to Stop Eating Most Foods For 30 Days
Think about how much money you spend on food each week. For me? About $75 a week. Now think about how much time and preparation it takes..all the shopping, all the cooking. For some with a crazy schedule like mine, it's too much time that cuts into my work day.
Over the past year, I've limited my calories and exercised enough to lose nearly 90 pounds. Along the way I've also trained my taste buds to no longer be a factor in my diet. My personal trainer said it best when he said "It's no longer about substance, it's now an issue of survival." Those words resonated with me for months, and since then I've been on a mission to find the perfectly portioned, well-rounded meal that contains the purest form of nutrients to help me get through my day.
Along comes Soylent. An interesting concoction of ingredients that is whittled down to the purest forms of nutrition designed by a 24-year old software engineer named Rob Rhinehart out of San Francisco. Now, I should point out, the inventor of this drink has no formal chemistry background, but since he made the vow limit his solid food intake, many educated volunteers have chimed in to finesse the ingredients to create the "perfect drink".
"In my own life, I resented the time, money and effort the purchase, preparation, consumption and clean-up of food was consuming," Rhinehart explains on his blog.
"I hypothesized that the body doesn't need food itself, merely the chemicals and elements it contains. So, I resolved to embark on an experiment," Rhinehart wrote. "What if I consumed only the raw ingredients the body uses for energy?"
According to his blog, Soylent contains literally every major micro-nutrient, carbs, minerals, proteins, and fats. I should also mention that there is no soy, nor human body parts (as I'm sure most fans of the movie Soylent Green were thinking right out of the gates). And while every person's body type is different, the Soylent discussion board is chock-full of spreadsheets that help individuals measure out the perfect dosages for their daily allowances.
Over the weekend, I went through the aisles of Wal-Mart and GNC to find the necessary items, thinking at first it would be a challenge to find the items on the list. Then I soon realized that everything needed to make Soylent was super easy to find, and cheaper than anticipated. About a months worth of the "meal" would cost an average person about $150. Once I got home, my kitchen transformed into a chemistry lab. Measuring spoons, powders, cups and bowls. It's at about that time I started to get a little nervous. "What am I getting myself into?" I thought to myself. Then, after a couple of false starts (the first batch ended having way too much fiber, the other had too much table salt) I finally found a balance that seems to work...
Once the homemade brew was poured into my shaker cup, I held my nose and downed the first few swigs. Much to my delight the taste was spectacular! Kind of like a mix between a thin milkshake and cake batter. Only just a couple of sips and I was full for the next few hours. Anytime I had a urge to eat, I reached for my shaker cup. Now that I've gone a full two days eating with 90% of my diet relying on Soylent, I have a couple of current issues...
Yesterday around the lunch hour I noticed that I was getting a bit agitated at the littlest things. I'm usually a calm and collected guy, but yesterday I just felt a bit off for some reason. So I heated up some pasta and downed it, moments later I felt a bit more balanced.
Another issue that arose, my concentration wasn't as on point as it usually is. Some of the voluntary ingredients (Ginko Biloba, and Ginseng) were absent from my first batch, so perhaps I'll add those in with the next one.
Will I stop eating foods entirely? Heck no. I don't want to give up all of the luxury, especially since I haven't officially had this mixture fully approved by a professional (anyone want to help? I could sure use some advice!) but I do plan on eating a healthy meal for dinner. But one thing is for sure, I know that the drink I'm ingesting is far more healthy than the sausage Croissanwich at Burger King each morning. If anything, Soylent will make for a perfect start to my workday.
Currently, the Soylent community is preparing to launch a Kickstarter program in hopes of distributing this drink to the masses. The potential for this is immense. A way to end world hunger? A way to cut corners with your finances? It's easy to imagine the impact this drink could make once it is perfected.
I dare not share my personal ingredients with my readers, I simply don't want to cause harm or send anyone to the hospital. But I would advise that if you are as intrigued as I am about this "future food" concept, then hop onto the discussion page and chime in with your input. Also, a Google+ hangout is scheduled for next Sunday and I'll certainly be taking part in the conversation.
I do intend to take weekly blood tests, and will be scheduling an appointment with a doctor after the first week is over. Wish me luck! Along the way with my experiment, I'll keep you updated on my personal Facebook profile and Twitter, and keep you posted on the latest news in the Soylent discussions as well.