Incorporating Soylent Into My Diet

I’ve taken the plunge into using Soylent for a large portion of my nutritional needs, albeit in the open-sourced DIY form.  It’s been close to a month now of Soylent for at least 2 meals a day, and I have to say that I’m very content with it so far.

I love to eat food.  I’m one of those individuals who can can not only stomach, but appreciate most anything edible.  I attribute this to my dad who never allowed me to pass up a new food without trying it first.  Even if my initial taste is a little off-putting, I can usually convince myself that it tastes okay after a couple of tries.  I also have a big sweet tooth.  I sometimes dream of cakes and doughnuts and cookies like an 8 year old.  That said, convenience wins every time over a tasty meal.  If it’s easier for me to throw something in the microwave for 3 minutes instead of slaving away in the kitchen on a real meal, I’m inclined to go the TV dinner route.  This was my primary motivation for trying Soylent, and where it really shines.

As of this writing, the official Soylent product is not yet on the market and the recipe is still proprietary.  However, a group of do-it-yourselfers have been hard at work creating their own takes on meal replacement formulas, and it’s here that I made the leap.  The recipe I use was designed to use as few component ingredients as possible in order to lessen the shopping load.  I think it currently hovers around 10 or 11 different products to buy, which is certainly manageable and turns out to be relatively inexpensive.  It only takes me 5 to 10 minutes to prepare enough Soylent for a few days.  The cleanup is just a few glasses, measuring cups and the occasional jug.  I haven’t bothered to calculate how much time I actually save, but it already feels so much easier.

There are some downsides of course, the primary one being the taste.  I don’t feel that the Soylent I use tastes bad (my girlfriend would highly disagree), but I admit that it’s not something you’d ever crave in that regard.  My first impression was that it tasted a little oily, but that seems to be more a function of time.  If you let it sit overnight, the oily taste decreases.  As I mentioned earlier, I can stomach anything, so this was never a big concern for me.  I personally find the social effects to be the biggest hurdle to overcome.  We tend to use food as a tool for social time, whether at home or out with friends.  Now that I eat fewer normal meals, I’ve had a few times where I’ve just sat with friends as they ate.  It’s a little awkward.

I currently have no plans to stop Soylent consumption.  It’s easy, it’s cheap, and while I can’t say this with 100% certainty, I’m guessing that it provides me with better nutrition than my typical meals would give me.  I have a great deal of control over my calorie intake.  These advantages simply outweigh the social ramifications and occasional cravings I get.  Time will tell if I develop significant changes to my body, hopefully for the better.  But unless something truly negative comes about, I think this might be a permanent lifestyle change.

Tastes chocolaty!

Tastes chocolaty!

Published in: on July 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm  Comments Off on Incorporating Soylent Into My Diet  

Todd

When I first moved to Seattle many long years ago, I found myself living in a pretty terrible apartment building.  There were active drug deals going on all the time, cops would routinely flash their lights into the windows, physical fights would break out between tenants.  One of the guys on my floor was particularly interesting.  His name was Todd; a man in his 50s or 60s.  Todd was crazy as fuck.

Todd talked to me exclusively, not for any reason other than I was the only person in the building willing to listen to his insane ramblings.  I literally spent an hour one night just standing in the hallway as he went on and on about the logistics of using those really big industrial cranes.  Todd was by no means stupid; he was incredibly knowledgeable about those cranes as well as the merchant marines, and I later learned that he had distinguished educational credentials.

But at the time, the only real “information” I was able to get about his past was his claim that he moved to Seattle in order to mine mercury from Mount Rainier.  In his own words, this was a failure because the prerequisite for mining mercury is, “an advanced degree in chemistry and martial arts.”

One time he explained to me that the US was covertly being run by King George and the British Empire.  This was easily my favorite of our conversation topics, because he had such an elaborate alternate history in his head.  Apparently Stalin and Churchill put a bullet through President Truman’s head after he dropped the bombs on Japan in WWII.

Part of the appeal of his stories was in the way he told them.  He would start out in this faux whisper, and gradually get louder as well as lower, to the pointing where he would be shouting in this strange croaky manner.  Whenever he said something he found to be funny, he would grin with these tobacco stained teeth and let out an intense and nervous laugh.

There was also this phrase he kept coming back to over and over again.  For context, Todd had a tendency to repeat the Truman assassination story, regardless of where the narrative originally began.  Whenever he got to the actual assassination scene, he would act out the part of Churchill and say, “You’re a menace to us, and you’re a menace to humanity, and now I’m going to put you out of your misery!”  He would get really loud on that last part while miming an execution-style gunshot.

He must have been a lonely guy, and I remember one night he invited me over to his place to look at something.  I had no clue what it was supposed to be, but I’ve always been relatively trusting of crazy people.  He proceeds to show me a pipe which he had carved himself.  It was pretty much the only thing he owned other than some books, and I found it to be really touching that he’d trust me enough to show it off.

He died about a week later.  The circumstances were quite bizarre, as he was apparently found in the laundry room with a bunch of small puncture wounds around his neck and scissors in his hand.  The initial thought was that he had committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck.  However, the official cause of death was actually something to do with his heart.  I guess he had some chronic condition and had been known to “treat” himself with self-acupuncture – thus the neck wounds.

Given enough isolation, I can totally see myself going down that route.  I’ve already devised a nervous tick (tapping my left collar bone) and can ramble endlessly about inane topics.

Goodbye, Todd.  You taught me to fear other human beings.

-Nolan

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 7:50 am  Comments Off on Todd  

Running in Style

I don’t usually make posts at this time, but I managed to eke out a small jog this morning.  It was terrible.  Only a bit over 4 miles, but I had to rest about midway through to regain my energy.

The only moral thing to do in these cases of personal failure is to exact punishment on oneself.  So… I’m thinking my next run will need to be in uncomfortable footwear; my version of the hairshirt.  I’ve got just the pair too!

At an 80s theme party I recently attended, much ado was made about my brown and black loafers.

Apparently these are at best, anachronistic, and at worst, completely ridiculous looking.  While I had always considered them a snazzy piece of my stylish ensemble, I’m now shamed enough to allow for their destruction in service of my cause.  It’s actually an elegant 2-for-1 solution.

8 miles in loafers?  I think it’s doable.  I’ll definitely be doubling up on the tube socks, and running at night when people can’t point and laugh is going to be key.  This should be about physical pain and not emotional humiliation.  I’ll have to decide if they pair better with sweats or shorts or track pants.

-Nolan

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 9:14 am  Comments Off on Running in Style  
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Text Messaging… Fuck

Sorry for the massive delay in postings; I’ve been a tad busy this last month.  My blog was also wiped out by a WordPress upgrade.  No matter- the few postings I put up were saved via Google’s cache and the ones that I hadn’t yet published are probably best lost to the ether of the internet.

For many years, I’ve waged a one-man war against text messaging.  I don’t have a problem with text messages or the people who use them .  My sticking point is just how much a text message is marked up.  It’s an entirely artificial cost that becomes incredibly obvious when one compares the amount of information sent in a text plan vs a data plan.  Overlay the cost of both, and a ludicrous discrepancy shows up.

I’ve been stubborn thus far, refusing to buy into a text plan and have instead paid for individual texts.  Until recently, this has been a valid strategy.  I’m not much of  a texter myself, and I’ve always been unpopular enough that no one wanted to text me anyway.  This traditionally worked out to where my per-text fee would be far cheaper than paying for a plan.  Additionally, I’ve been hesitant to add a text plan because it would force me out of my grandfathered phone and data plan which is rather cheap.

But… I’m raising the white flag.

This month’s phone bill shows that my texting charges by themselves nearly double my phone and data bill.  Ugh.  I knew it was trending upwards, but I wasn’t exactly prepared for such a drastic jump.

Now before anyone feels guilty for having texted me in the last couple of months, please note that I was fully aware of the dangers and willing to accept the consequences.  I really thought I could outlast the life of text messages, but they’re still going strong, despite the emergence of smart phones with email, Facebook and Twitter.

I’m marking this one down as another one of my life failures. :-(

-Nolan

Published in: on March 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm  Comments Off on Text Messaging… Fuck  
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On Cooking

It seems to me that food should be treated more like sex; sometimes you do it for pleasure, and sometimes for life.  On occasion, there may even be an unintentional crossover, which is how happy accidents like me come about.  All things being equal, I would always choose a tasty meal over something bland, but the sad reality of the world is that good food usually takes effort and/or money.

If you know me well, you know that I abhor cooking.  Cooking a good meal just to please myself seems pointless, as I could gain far higher and longer lasting levels of pleasure in the amount of time it would normally take to cook something nice.  If I can keep my food preparation and consumption down below 10 minutes, I can devote all that extra time to those more pleasurable pursuits.  I’m sure you’re thinking of lecherous things at this point, but I’m talking about good clean wholesome fun, like Bible reading and quilting.

The only circumstance in which cooking seems like a good idea is if you’re trying to please someone else.  But even then, why not leave it to a real chef, like Chef Boyardee?

Why is there a devil on the label?

The reason I bring up this topic is that I went grocery shopping last night and spent some time looking at the canned meats.  One thing that caught my eye was a “chicken spread”.  I’m keen on chicken salad, but it always seems like so much trouble, with the chicken and the mayo and the mixing.  And how is the chicken supposed to get cooked anyway?  If I could just open a can and spread it… wow, that’s neat.  The only thing better would be if they gave you a squeeze bottle where you could just squirt the chicken out.  I figured this would be a wonderful combination of ease and deliciousness.

Of the canned meats, I’ve done the SPAM, eel, corned beef hash, sardines, Vienna sausages, herrings and even Gefilte fish.  I think this might be my first spreadable meat.

Looks like ice cream, but it's chicken! Kind of.

I opened a can today and put it over some lettuce (actually spreading it onto bread seemed needlessly troublesome).  I was a little surprised to see that it didn’t look much like chicken salad.  I couldn’t actually detect any chicken chunks, as the whole thing was a big glob of paste.  But hey, that’s great; I don’t even need teeth to eat this stuff!

You know, aside from a little bit too much salt, as is common with canned meats, it was pretty ok.  I can see myself stocking up on some more.  Be forewarned though, this is one of those foods that makes you want to puke a little bit after eating it.  If you can handle that, I fully recommend you give it a try.

-Nolan

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 6:43 am  Comments Off on On Cooking  
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