Monthly Archives: July 2014

//July

Mixing up a meal of DIY soylent (video)

This entry is part 28 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

I’m back doing the “regular” People Chow (as opposed to Low-Cal) and I’m mixing the oil into each meal instead of downing the days worth when I’m getting ready in the morning. I figured it would be a good time to make a video just about mixing up a meal in a blender bottle to highlight how easy it is. It ends up with 4 of these a day for 2000 calories. I have another video that shows how to prepare a week’s worth of the powder in 12 minutes. On a side note, I’m currently using Canola Oil (and some cocoa powder) in my soylent. I was using Extra Virgin Olive Oil but the brand that I had was really, REALLY strong flavored and mixing it in messed up the flavor of everything. At least it’s not soybean oil.

By | July 30th, 2014|Preparation, Soylent|0 Comments

More on-location action shots with soylent

This entry is part 27 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

I’ve kinda got a thing going with “soylent at x location” action shots. It all started with soylent at Delicate Arch and I now present:

soylent at the concert

soylent at the concert

soylent while camping

soylent while camping

soylent at the lake

soylent at the lake

It’s particularly suitable for camping since all you need is some water. No need to keep it cold until you mix it up and it takes less than a minute (normally) to mix up a meal.

By | July 30th, 2014|On Tour, Soylent|0 Comments

Going to try a new supplier

This entry is part 26 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

I’m out of Whey Protein and won’t be getting it until Wednesday because Amazon took 2 days to actually ship my order. Same thing happened a few weeks ago with my Potassium Citrate and my Calcium/Magnesium/D3 powder. So I’m going to give supplementwarehouse.com a try and see if they can do better. We’ll see. Their price on Cal/Mag/D3 is better but shipping almost takes away that advantage.

Update: So my supplementwarehouse.com order just shipped, so let’s talk about processing time. I ordered on July 14 and it shipped 2 days later on July 16.

When I ordered the same Whey Protein from Amazon it took 2 business days to process and ship as well, the Calcium/Magnesium/D3 took 4 business days to process and ship from Amazon though. So far supplementwarehouse is doing somewhat better (in addition to costing less).

Update again: Well, it had NOW whey protein isolate in it, was a fair price and came quickly. I’ll likely order from there again.

By | July 14th, 2014|Ingredients, Soylent|0 Comments

Just tried Soylent (the official)

This entry is part 25 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

Someone was nice enough to sell me 2 days of official Soylent a while ago and I’ve been looking for an opportunity to try it. So I finally mixed it up today.

Official Soylent in the bag

Official Soylent in the bag

Yep, smells like a yellow cake mix. The directions on the bag say to put the powder into the pitcher you get in the starter kit, then fill it up with water. I didn’t have the starter kit so I had to search around to find how much water to mix with the powder. I found instructions for mixing it in a blender: 1 liter of water, 1-2 cups of ice (nice mixture of imperial and metric measurements there!), the powder and the oil. So I mixed it up in a blender following those instructions.

Mixing Soylent

I did have an issue with dry powder clinging to the sides and had to get out a big spoon to get those going, aside from that the blending was good. The ice is recommended if you’re planning to consume it immediately; so I poured some in a glass and took a drink. My first impression is that I like people chow with a touch of cocoa powder much better. Maybe it was that I was expecting a smoother mouth feel but it actually seemed grittier than the copious amounts of corn masa in people chow. From experience I know that if I try to mix up people chow and drink it down that fast, it’s not going to be very good and 30+ minutes “thinking about what it did” (but in the fridge, not the corner with a dunce cap) does wonders for (S)oylent. So I cleared a space in the fridge and will try it again in a bit.

Yes, it blends.

Yes, it blends.

Update: several hours later I tried it again. The texture was somewhat better after having sat in the fridge but it still wasn’t as smooth as I would like. It’s also way too sweet tasting for me. I also got the Gastro-Intestinal distress many people have reported, though it came on pretty quick so I can’t definitively say it was from Soylent; but the oat flour gets a vote of no confidence from me. I’ll be sticking with people chow.

By | July 13th, 2014|Soylent|0 Comments

soylent at the Amusement Park

This entry is part 24 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

As part of my continuing effort to take pictures of soylent (still DIY, people chow to be specific) at notable locations around Utah I now present soylent at Lagoon:

Soylent at the Amusement Park

I just happened to get both “Colossus” and “Wicked” with riders about to go over the initial drop. This was a triumph, I’m making a note here: “huge success”…. wait… sorry too much time with GladOS.

We brought lunch and dinner in a cooler. Preparing the food for the kids took about 30 minutes. Dumping two half cups each into two blender bottles for my lunch and dinner took 2 minutes, mostly because the blender ball was missing and I had to look for it; I was also filling up a water cooler so I would have something to drink and mix up my soylent. Lagoon is unique among just about every entertainment location I’ve ever heard of in that: outside food and/or drink IS PERMITTED. In fact a large portion of the park is pavilions with picnic tables for people to eat their food they’ve brought in coolers. Personally I’m reticent to bring my stuff into the park and just leave it sitting around for a few hours so We left ours in the car and at lunch time we ate in the walkway that goes through the old wooden roller coaster.

By | July 12th, 2014|On Tour, Soylent|0 Comments

“The gig is up” – increasing costs, but still cheap(ish)

This entry is part 23 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

So I just placed another order for 5 kg of Hard Rhino whey protein isolate. Some months ago, I switched from NOW wpi to the Hard Rhino and did a review of it; in that review I talked about how they had raised their prices on the bulk packages, looks like they did it again.

If you are just getting in to doing your own DIY soylent, Hard Rhino can be a good source because it sells packages all the way down to 500 g for $15. With the new pricing, the bulk saving have gotten smaller.

prices May 2014
brand pound kg price per KG per lb per 55g serving
NOW 10.00 4.55 115.31 25.37 11.53 1.395
NOW 5.00 2.27 64.99 28.60 13.00 1.573
hard rhino 1.10 0.50 14.99 29.98 13.63 1.649
hard rhino 2.20 1.00 27.99 27.99 12.72 1.539
hard rhino 11.00 5.00 104.99 21.00 9.54 1.155
hard rhino 22.00 10.00 199.99 20.00 9.09 1.100
prices July 2014
brand pound kg price per KG per lb per 55g serving
NOW 10.00 4.55 119.82 26.36 11.98 1.450
NOW 5.00 2.27 71.02 31.25 14.20 1.719
hard rhino 1.10 0.50 14.99 29.98 13.63 1.649
hard rhino 2.20 1.00 27.99 27.99 12.72 1.539
hard rhino 11.00 5.00 135.99 27.20 12.36 1.496
hard rhino 22.00 10.00 265.99 26.60 12.09 1.463

With the price changes, it’s now less expensive to buy the 10 pound box of  NOW wpi. Right as I started to write this paragraph I realized that, called Hard Rhino, and cancelled my order so I could order the NOW wpi from Amazon. Anyhow, as it stands the NOW whey protein isolate is currently the least expensive if you buy it in the 10 pound box.

Another cost increase is GNC Mega Man Sport. Ever since I started doing DIY you could get 50% off a second container if you bought 2 at the same time. Add a GNC Gold Card discount and you could get it for much less than the official $50 a container ($67.48 for two). Well the 50% off on the second container has ended. Your only option for a discount now is getting the Gold Card. Why do I stick with GNC? well to start with: it’s fun to have bright yellow pee from all the B vitamins! Seriously though there are a lot of things in the GNC that have been hinted at helping your body but don’t have a RDA. It’s also conveniently powdered and isn’t terribly expensive. Other people use vitamin pills from Kirkland to great effect, I just haven’t wanted to get into balancing out all the micro nutrients. I tried it once about 4 months ago but just came back to MaxK’s original recipe.

The end result is the cost of people chow has gone up some. It’s still cheaper than going to McDonalds every day (and far better for you) but cost increases suck. I still have some stuff I bought at the lower prices but (probably tomorrow) I’m going to raise the prices I charge people for a week of People Chow.

By | July 9th, 2014|Ingredients, Soylent|2 Comments

Daily Storage

This entry is part 22 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

So a recent thread on /r/soylent asked what people use to store their daily Soylent. Here is what I do. Storage Containers I’ve been consuming People Chow for over 6 months now and have 4 empty containers from GNC Mega Man Sport. Three of those are from mixing and selling People Chow over the last 3 weeks. Anyhow – The labels come off quite easily, they seal well and I can fill one up with about 7 cups of powder, making for around 7 meals. I leave one at work for lunch and have two at home (my recipe yields three 1 cup meals a day). When I only had the one container I would just take it to and from work every day. I started doing it this way right about the time I started mixing 7 days of powder at a time. For oil you can fill a container with oil and just use a measuring spoon to get the right amount out for each meal. I’ve mentioned it before but for oil I just plug my nose and down the daily oil when I’m getting ready in the morning. It’s not something that hardly anyone could put up with, I’m not recommending it.

Scooping out the powder from a bulk container instead of trying to get 1/3 from my daily bag has made preparing my lunch at work a 20 second job. A co-worker messages me that they’re leaving for lunch and all I have to do is scoop out some stuff into a blender bottle and make a quick stop at the drinking fountain to fill up on water. Yes, those are laundry detergent scoops in the picture. They’re 1/2 cup, fit into the mouth of my blender bottles easily, come to a point (making getting into corners easy), and it’s what was sitting on the counter one day when I needed a measuring scoop. So I washed it and have used it ever since.

By | July 8th, 2014|Preparation, Soylent|0 Comments

Old masa and diminishing tortilla flavor

This entry is part 21 of 40 in the series DIY Soylent

I’ve been running through ingredients rather quickly lately since I started shipping out people chow to people.

Hence why I have 6 bottles of calcium/magnesium/D3 on hand right now

Hence why I have 6 bottles of calcium/magnesium/D3 on hand right now

I discovered something surprising: the strength of the “tortilla” taste appears to be directly related to the age of the Masa Harina (corn flour) that is used in People Chow. I had previously purchased a 50 pound bag of Maseca Masa off Amazon at an incredible price and had it stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place. Right about the same time I bought the 50 lb. bag I had also purchased several bags of Great Value (walmart) Masa that I forgot about whilst I was using up the Maseca. I finally finished off the Maseca and started using the Great Value right abotu the same time I started shipping out people chow. I kept the Great Value for my own use and bought new Maseca (since that’s what was in the recipe) to send out.

I hadn’t really noticed but the strong tortilla or tamale flavor of the masa had been diminishing as I worked through the 50 lb bag and was essentially gone when I was consuming the smaller bags. It wasn’t until I was emptying the last of the Great Value that I noticed the “best before” date on the bag. November 2013. Wait, what? I wasn’t worried about getting sick from it but sheesh, that stuff was past expiration when I bought it! (that’s a PSA in and of its self, apparently).

The next time I mixed up a batch with the new Maseca (oddly enough it was week after I shot my “how to mix up a week of dry ingredients in 12 minutes” video) and took a drink with fresh masa in it I was very surprised. Took me a second meal of the new stuff to realize what the difference was. I personally really like the tortilla/tamale taste and I was amazed I hadn’t noticed it was gone until it came back, because there was a huge difference.

I guess the moral of the story is: if you like the tortilla/tamale taste: buy the freshest masa you can get. If you think the corn taste is the worst thing about people chow look for masa that’s nearing it’s expiration date instead (or buy some and hoard it for a few months?), though I can’t say what that will do to the nutrient profile – maybe nothing?

By | July 1st, 2014|Ingredients, Soylent|0 Comments