(Note: See my Soylent intro if you haven’t yet: Soylent, Schmoylent)
My Schmoylent arrived a little earlier than I expected! I was relentlessly refreshing the tracking page for the package and mid-day Saturday (today is Monday if you’re from the future) it updated that it had been delivered. On my way to my guitar lesson I stopped by the management office where the package had been dropped off, excited to get home and see what was inside.
I’m not quite sure what I expected to see considering the order said it would include a bag for each day, but that’s what I got! In the picture below you can see all 14 bags packed nicely in the box with a short (personalized, which I thought was a nice touch) note on how to prepare it.
Since I was going to be going to a birthday party on Sunday, though, I decided not to start the Schmoylent until Monday because it would be hard to gauge how much I should have when considering other food in the middle of the day.
Preparing the Schmoylent was very easy and painless. On Sunday night I followed the directions that were included in the box and it was all nice and straightforward. I had previously purchased an airtight pitcher, which was recommended in the Schmoylent FAQ, and washed it. I added the first 3 cups of water, then a bag of Schmoylent, then the last 4 cups of water. After shaking it until I couldn’t see any powder left, I added 3 1⁄3 Tbsp of canola oil and shook it up again. I was surprised at how well it all mixed without manual intervention or a blender ball. After mixing it I left it in the fridge overnight, as they recommend, to let it mix and chill. I’m not sure on the scientifics of that process but I did read about it at one point on one of the Soylent forums. If you don’t let it sit overnight it sounds like it doesn’t get quite the same smooth consistency as you get otherwise.
I’m actually not quite sure how to explain the flavor. The best I can think of is that it tastes like you’d imagine based on the smell. :) I know that’s absolutely no help to anyone reading this, so I’ll try again… It’s basically made of a mixture of different types of grains and that’s what it tastes like. I’m not trying to say that it tastes bad, though, it’s actually quite the contrary. While it takes a little getting used to it tastes leagues better than other “healthy” shakes I’ve had. With those I sometimes have a hard time even choking them down. I look at the container after the first taste and get repulsed at the idea of having to drink more of it. With Schmoylent, however, it’s a little bit of a shock at first but the overall taste is rather pleasant and easy to get used to. It’s a little sweet (some say Soylent tastes a little like vanilla) and doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste like some do. I’ve read on the forums that some people are flavoring their Soylent with PB2, cocoa powder or other flavoring. I’m planning on giving that a try (especially the PB2 for a peanut butter flavor), but I wanted my first day to be the plain old default flavor.
The consistency is very smooth overall. I was worried it would be clumpy or thick like a protein shake tends to be, but after leaving it in the fridge overnight it was more like drinking a puréed fruit smoothie. You can detect small particulates but they’re fine enough that it’s not distracting. The directions mention that you can add more water for a thinner mix or less water for a thicker mix, but the standard 7 cups seem to work well and I’ll probably keep it there.
Soylent is billed as a 100% meal replacement, meaning that if you want to you can replace all your meals with it. While that idea appeals to me, I’d still like to go out and get dinner with friends and other things like that. For that reason, I’m planning on using Soylent as a “most of the time” and not an “all of the time” option. If I don’t have plans, I’ll have Soylent. I feel like this will greatly balance out my caloric intake because even if I have a lot of calories while I’m out it will be less often than it is currently. Tonight, for example, I still had some leftovers that I didn’t want to go bad so I had that for dinner instead of Soylent.
My greatest foe, though, will probably be working at the office. During the day I can usually smell others eating their lunch and sometimes I’ll catch a whiff of something that makes me crave some sort of food. Normally when that happens I’d start planning what to have for dinner since I wouldn’t have it planned yet, but hopefully I won’t have that problem with Soylent waiting at home for me.
Another thing I’m a little concerned about is my blood sugar. I’m a type 2 diabetic, but my blood sugar is very well controlled. I still take 500mg of Metformin in an extended release tablet every day, though. With diet an exercise I’m close to the point where I can stop taking it altogether, but I’m not quite there. My concern with it is that there isn’t a lot of sugar in Soylent and with the added Metformin it might cause my blood sugar to go too low, leading to feeling a little “muddy” or “fuzzy”. I also noticed this when having a salad for lunch, so I may just need to talk with my doctor about cutting my dosage in half (since 500mg is the smallest actual pill).
First Day Experience
I woke up hungry this morning and immediately thought “what a good way to start my Schmoylent experience”! I took the pitcher I prepared the night before and split 2⁄3 of it into two blender bottles (without the blender ball). I used blender bottles because I didn’t have any other bottles that could be sealed and fit 1⁄3 of the Schmoylent. On my way to the office I picked up 3 bottles of Sobe Lifewater (my go-to drink for 0 calorie flavored stuff, when I’m not having the carbonated “ICE” water) as well as some GasX (just in case the rumors were true). I also brought 2 Nutri-Grain bars to tide me over in case drinking the Sobe and Schmoylent didn’t work.
On the commute to the office I drank a little over half of my breakfast bottle of Schmoylent. It did a good job of satiating my hunger for the time and I continued sipping on it until around noon when I finished off the first bottle. It didn’t stay cold the whole time but it wasn’t bad after it warmed a bit, either. I may try to figure out a way to keep it cold just because I enjoyed it more that way, maybe some kind of a thermos? I also didn’t feel the need to have my normal Nutri-Grain snack at 11:30am. Whenever I started to feel hungry I’d just take a sip of the Schmoylent and it would go away for a little while.
Around 12:30pm I was starting to get pretty hungry and considered opening my first Sobe to drink. I decided I wanted to try to wait, though, and make it to my normal lunch time (2:30pm as I mentioned in my intro article). By my meeting at 1:30pm I was feeling a bit “muddy” but couldn’t really do anything at that point. Once my meeting was out at 2pm I realized there was really no need to wait as long as I normally do because I could just continue to sip it over the rest of the day.
I ended up finishing my lunch bottle right as I left the office for the day around 5:30pm. Thankfully I never really ran into the issue with gas that some people have mentioned, but I still have it just in case!
Day 1 Conclusion
Overall it was a very positive experience! Tomorrow is one of the days I go to the gym, so I’ll probably try to ration my breakfast out over more of the day so I have enough left to feel full by the time I go. Schmoylent did a good job of staving off the hunger while I was sitting in the office but the big test will be whether I have the energy to keep up with what my trainer throws at me tomorrow!