Eating Brown Slop For 30 Days: What I Learned

It has now been approximately 1 month since I started regularly (and primarily) consuming Soylent.

Results: reduced food costs by about 1/3, gained about 12 pounds (primarily muscle), all while only spending about 10 minute on average for food preparation per day, buying everything off Amazon, and no cleaning dishes whatsoever…score!

Soylent is the name for a “food replacement” substance that you can mix, usually to maximize the benefits of convenience, cost-effectiveness, preservability, and complete nutrition in a single (food-ish?) item.

In a nutshell, think of it as a couple different types of oils, protein powders, and supplement powders mixed together.

Here's that brown goop I love!

Here’s that brown goop I love!

Why I decided I needed Soylent

If you are a young, extremely active male it’s inevitable that you consume a TON of food. Personally, I only eat out at most once per week, because I hate not knowing the nutrient profile of what I’m eating, and of course there’s the expense.

I quite enjoy cooking, but it’s so difficult to maintain without spending tons of time doing it, not to mention cleanup.

I’ve been getting more and more extreme over the past year. From bulk cooking all the way to freezer cooking for an entire month (I made a freezer cooking guide – leave a comment and I would be happy to shoot you the PDF) it was ALL still taking way too much time and effort.

Enter Soylent

A single food, easily customizeable to your own tastes and nutritional requirements, that is dirt cheap and takes only a couple minutes to mix together. Talk about a dream come true!!!

Now I did back the company that popularized this concept through their crowdfunding campaign, but I still haven’t got my order even though I placed it like 6 months ago. Fortunately diy.soylent.me is a fantastic tool that easily lets you create your own recipe.

Here’s mine (ratios of ingredients adjusted over time to my personal tastes – feel free to ask for exact amounts in the comments):

  • MCT oil and Olive Oil
  • Egg Protein, Soy Protein, Hemp Protein, Whey Protein, and Pea Protein
  • Ground Flaxseed, Psyllium Husk (sources of fiber)
  • Almond Meal (I’ve found this ingredient to be a pain, as it makes the consistency too thick, probably cutting it too)
  • Stevia, Saigon Cinamon, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Ground Ginger, and Parsley (first 3 for taste, ginger for digestion, parsley for micronutrients)
  • Mixed greens with probiotics
  • Potassium Choride, Potassium Gluconate, MSM
Here's my table of fun...if I lived with a woman she would have killed me by now for this...

Here’s my table of fun…if I had a wife she would have killed me by now for this…

Nutrient Profile For This Recipe (as I’ve customized it to my personal tastes):

Calories: 2050

Fat: 145 g

Protein: 175 g

Carbs: 40 g

Fiber: a lot, but I generally just eyeball the psyllium husk (to unfortunate consequences some days)

Micronutrients: sufficient iron, potassium, and all other micronutrients when combined with a Multivitamin and Vitamin D supplement.

Note: I don’t always manage to consume the entire container…it’s a lot!

Recently, I’ve also been creating a shake version, switching the oil for some water and coconut milk – it is amazingly creamy and tasty!

Shake Version (smaller and coconut milk and water instead of oil):

Calories: 600

Fat: 25 g

Protein: 120 g

Carbs: 20 g

Note: these are NOT net carbs for either recipe (which are much lower due to high fiber content)

Cost:

Monthly Cost for all ingredients: ~$200

My total cost of food/month while eating 3000 calories to put on weight: ~$300-350 (extra costs explained below)

Why I chose these ingredients

My fitness goals include regaining and surpassing the muscle mass that I’ve never quite recovered since I backpacked New Zealand a year and a half ago (mostly because I came back to the U.S. then became obsessed with salsa dancing and stopped working out!) and of course maximizing overall health and energy levels.

Thus my recipe has very high levels of high quality protein and healthy fats for sustained energy and gains. I still eat real food when the offered (want some chips and salsa? sure why not!) which means high carbs 9 times out of 10! So that’s why I focus on protein and healthy fats, because I can externally indulge since it’s already accounted for. Other preferences include gluten-free and (originally) dairy-free, but I later added in whey protein because it’s just so damn cheap and is hard to beat in terms of bioavailability.

On a side note, consuming primarily Soylent does two amazing things which I did not anticipate: 1)  Destroys hunger and cravings, and 2) Makes real food taste absolutely, mindblowingly amazing!

1) This recipe is high in all 3 things which kill hunger: fiber, protein, and high quality fat. Plus it is crazy dense, so a few mouthfuls and you’ve just eaten 600 calories. Funny enough it actually makes the act of eating take less effort for the super lazy.

2) It tastes great (I think) because of the cocoa and the stevia, but eating the same thing day in and day out makes you appreciate the true variety of real food. But it’s all part of the experience and now I notice it more 🙂

Physical Results

12 pounds of increased mass (mostly muscle, probably around 75% – I really need some calipers)

Significant strength and endurance gains – I’ve gone through periods sometimes when I’d work out for months on end without much progress… this was the opposite. After a month of Soylent alongside increased lifting intensity and frequency, gains are distinct and noticeable.

Soylent has very clearly made the transition to more frequent workouts much easier than it would have been otherwise because of the extra energy, and it honestly makes me feel like I’m getting stronger every week – which is amazing and not something I’ve ever experienced before.

Do you eat real food?

I get this question all the time and the answer is a big yes, but I don’t have to at all, all my nutritional bases are already covered. I can’t say no when I’m offered food, and I’d go crazy on a pure Soylent diet, so I do throw in my Curried Mexican Eggs Recipe and Meat Slop (thanks to SilverHydra for that one) to mix things up while still being a cheap bastard/health nut/lazy cook…but that’s for another post!

As a final note, MAKE SURE TO TAKE A GOOD MULTIVITAMIN, as well as Vitamin D and Fish Oil. This is very important. As for a multivitamin, I take Opti-Men, and it’s fantastic. This all helps to cover any potential nutritional deficits one might inadvertently incur on this kind of diet. But do this and you’re more likely to fix a nutritional deficiency that you have right NOW that you didn’t even know about…

Happy Experimenting!

– Grant

6 replies
    • Grant Weherley
      Grant Weherley says:

      Hi Kim thanks for the question 🙂 Your measurements will be different than what I used because 1) you are female, and 2) you might have different goals and activity levels.

      So here is what I’d recommend – go here: http://diy.soylent.me/nutrient-profiles
      Then choose the profile that best fits you, which will then give you a list of appropriate recipes. For example the profile “Female Sedentary – weight loss goal 1500 calories” has 21 recipes you can use if that fits you. Check it out and let me know what you think!

      Reply
  1. Josh Plotkin
    Josh Plotkin says:

    Nice write up. I’ve been curious about the Soylent lifestyle since I first read about it.

    A few questions:

    1. How often do you eat soylent?

    2. Do you make a fresh batch before every feeding period, or is there a way that you can bulk prepare soylent?

    Reply
    • Grant Weherley
      Grant Weherley says:

      I did this experiment a while back – during it I ate mostly soylent, and for a while after it I ate it about 50% of the time. But since being abroad I do different kinds of shakes because, unfortunately, it’s quick tricky to get these types of ingredients while in Asia. But actually now I’m answering this I think I’ll take another look at how I can get the ingredients shipped to Thailand – because I seriously miss the convenience of it!

      As for freshness, if you choose your recipe correctly, it lasts a VERY long time without any kind of refrigeration – similarly to how you don’t worry about protein powders or olive oil going bad. So my style was to make as much as would fit in that container in the picture (about 2-3 days worth). Then just make more whenever I ran out 🙂

      Reply

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