What are your thoughts on Soylent and clones?
I've been using Jimmy Joy (used to be called Joylent) for a few years. I think it's a great meal replacement for when you don't have time or just don't feel like cooking. On the other hand, it's just a mix of oats, rapeseed, and vitamins. And it doesn't taste that great. So I wouldn't go 100%.
I would love to hear your thoughts? Also, which brands do you prefer? I'm in Europe, so unfortunately original Soylent is not available for me.
I think it's everything wrong with capitalism and in particular the tech-bro mindset, the degradation of something as joyous and human as eating to another productivity hurdle to optimized away with technology. I don't have a problem with it as an occasional substitute for when you're very busy, or traveling, or whatever, but the culture around it is utterly abhorrent.
I think you may be confusing a minority of very vocal cult-like users with the majority. If you look at the comments in this thread most people seem to be using it for occasional meal replacement. Yes meals can be very enjoyable but not all of them have to.
The Soylent counter-culture is far worse than the culture. It's full of people mocking "Why not just eat real food?", as if meal replacements were somehow not food.
I care about my nutrition. I enjoy the flavour. And I deplore cooking and cleaning. I don't see how that makes me a "tech-bro".
I don't personally gain any extra joy from eating, I'm unsure why you seem to think that everyone should feel the same way as you do about eating. I struggled with my weight all throughout high school, the thing that changed it for me was changing my entire attitude about food. I see food as fuel for my body and sometimes as a reward system (sweets and such). I know how much fuel I need, and I know not to go over that. If changing my perspective about eating makes me you want to call me a "tech bro" or whatever , then so be it, but I am now a happier and healthier person because of that mindset.
What kind of culture are you referring to? I have multiple friends eating Soylent-ish stuff and I haven't noticed a "culture" to speak of.
You make a really great point. It seems, from what the other users responding to you are saying, that the actual people using soylent are pretty different than what the marketing implies, but I know exactly what you're talking about. The marketing material I read about Soylent when it made its splash was just how you're describing and I think it really misses the mark in its values.
I don't know if it's the removal of joyousness or the goodness of the food that bother me. But more so the move away from the things associated with eating. Things like taking a break from life and relaxing, possibly with friends or family. It fits well within the idea that we must always actively be doing something instead of taking a moment to do nothing.
I went all the way with a homemade recipe for a couple of months. I had just lost about 60lbs by eating calorically controlled rice and chicken for 3 months; I decided to take the bland food lifestyle a step further and make my own Soylent. I drew from a lot of different existing clones of the drink, and spent about $400 in materials and bulk ingredients. The price came out to around $1.50 per day for around 1400 calories per day. The taste isn't a problem after a few meals, and I actually felt really full and well everyday. I didn't see any dramatic change to my fitness goals that I wasn't already producing with normal food, so I dropped the plan after 3 months. I constantly consider doing it again for the cost savings alone, but I have my worries that there's more to the physical elements of food that you strip out in these plans than we understand.
I've used Plenny Shake (Jimmy Joy) for a few months as a replacement for breakfast when in a rush or lunches I can't be bothered to cook or purchase. While possible to replace all meals with Soylent, I think very few people would and I don't think we should either. Meals are more than just necessary for our bodies, eating together is a social thing. But replacing meals I would eat alone or being able to sleep a bit longer in the morning? Absolutely!
I think the taste is fine, if it would have a more distinct taste I might get tired of it. It's also possible to put some own ingredients in it, like hot chocolate mix or frozen berries to make it taste more interesting.
I find Soylent and other *lents to be great. Especially in the mornings I find it convenient to just grab a bottle and take it with me. I appreciate the time savings on cooking and cleaning.
Soylent hasn't been available in Canada for a while, so I've branched out. There's no RTD (ready to drink) options, so I bought a couple shaker bottles for easier powder mixing. So far I've tried Hol Food, with plans to try Biolent, Tudo, and maybe Queal.
Would also like to try Plenny if the shipping weren't too bad.
edit: Decided to try out Biolent after all. Put an order in today.
I've used the Soylent ready to drink for quick meals and it tastes fine and I felt pretty good while drinking it. I've never totally replaced my diet with it though. I haven't tried any of the other brands out there.
Some years ago I was on nothing but Soylent for a few weeks. I lost 30-40lbs and people were starting to notice. I was saving some money on food as well because Soylent really only costs a few dollars, at most, per day.
At the same time, I was really starting to regret it. I hated having nothing but Soylent, and I really missed food. Soylent basically tastes like nothing and that only bothered me the first few times I had it. My wife also thinks eating together is really important and she was starting to get depressed because we had stopped eating meals together. I eventually stopped and sold all of my remaining Soylent.
Earlier this year I wanted to lose some weight so I looked at Soylent and alternatives because it worked so well. I found Keto Chow. I also tried Keto last year and while I thought it was a great diet that introduced me to interesting foods, but it was unsustainable for me. Keto Chow was interesting because it has so many flavors (From Mocha to Chicken Noodle Soup.) I tried it part time (on day, off day) for a short while but I started to have bathroom problems so I had to stop.
I do think that Soylent and Soylent related meal replacements are really cool and some people are ultra fanatical about it. I've always been surprised how full they get me, but there is just something enjoyable about eating food that Soylent can't replace.
I drink Plenny Shake Active mixed with some extra hemp protein as a replacement for 2-3 meals a day (I usually eat 5-6 meals). That's the sweet spot for me. Replacing all my meals with soylent would be overkill. I mean I could tolerate the blandness, but the social aspect is the real problem. Eating meals with people is one of the joys of life so why avoid that? However worrying about food in the middle of a busy day is not fun and soylent is better than junk food. Especially if you work out and you're trying to maintain a healthy nutrition plan.
About half of my nutrition has come from soylents for the past three years. I typically have a soylent for breakfast and one for lunch, and eat a more normal dinner in the evening. Maybe a couple of fruits in between.
I live in Europe and have checked out most of the brands available here, ultimately settling with Bertrand (my personal favourite with the nutty flavour but a bit costlier), Huel (which I consider the best value for price) and Queal (quite similar to Jimmyjoy but without the weird branding). Not only do I like variety but I just wouldn't trust any single brand, especially if that's your main source of nutrition. I rather hedge my bets. I must say though that the industry has matured quite a lot during the time that I have been a customer.
I have also made some attempts at DIY soylent, but haven't really found a good recipe.
Although there have been some weeks when I have had nothing but soylent, my goal has never been to replace eating. I absolutely love cooking and eating. I even travel to other countries for food. However, a typical breakfast or lunch is not very exciting, and as they are meals that are typically consumed within a time limit, they tend to be less healthy (or alternatively more costly) than they need to be. Soylents work perfectly to give me quick and relatively healthy meals. Sure, some of them taste of cardboard, but you get used to it. And soylents are also quite cheap as you could in theory live for just a couple of euros a day and get pretty optimised nutrition.
Also, one major aspect that I really like about soylents is how stable they keep my blood sugar and how long the feeling of being full lasts. I'm never really hungry or have cravings, nor do I experience food coma like I often do if I have a regular lunch, like for instance when travelling.
So yeah, I love soylents.
I wouldn't even taste it at gunpoint. If it's just liquid muesli, it takes 5 minutes to make a jar of lovely muesli (I start making myself a tea and by the time it's brewed, my muesli for tomorrow morning is ready) with oats, chia seeds, honey, some sweet spices and some fresh fruits (I love it with some cubes of apple and a bit of cinnamon), homemade, quick, fresh, clean, healthy, nutritious and delicious.
I recall reading about many scandals with Soylent on HN.
When I was having more problems with overeating I thought it might be a nice way to easily control my calorie intake and lose some weight, but I bought some Soylent and tried it. I couldn't get past the taste... I'm not sure how to describe it but it definitely tasted like what might happen when you mix an unidentifiable white starchy powder into a paste. In order to get it down without hating my life I had to mix it with lots of other stuff to drown out the taste and it felt like that defeated my purposes for it. I didn't eat more than a handful of servings before I gave up.
I don't usually eat breakfast on weekdays because I am not a morning person so I try to sleep as late as I possibly can so I dont have time to make breakfast. I got some Soylent Coffiest so I could have a quick and easy way to get some calories and caffeine in the morning but it's just not for me. I tried to get a whole bottle down but just couldn't do it. I didn't like the taste and it made me feel sick. It's just not for me.