I got a package this week. A surprisingly large and heavy one.
A package full of joy … lent. 10 bags, or 30 meals, worth of powder for shakes, each bag containing everything the body needs for a day. All the energy, fat, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins.
I became curious about this type of product as soon as I heard about Soylent, the original creation in this space. Soylent is open source and does not ship to Europe, so instead we get Joylent and Queal working off of the Soylent recipe. (Both based in the Netherlands for some reason.) I had looked at Soylent, but the cost with shipping turned me off. So when a friend told me of Joylent and Queal and spoke well of both I had to give it a try. There are two main questions I want to explore:
- Can this be a good fallback meal for me?
- Will I feel any different when I get all the things my body needs?
The first point is sort of self-defence. The thought is that having a lunch with good nutrition available at work might save me from going out and overeating from the buffet next door.
The second point really made me curious. I realized that I think a little bit about vitamin C and a little bit about calories, but when it comes down to it I do not have the faintest idea how well or poorly I eat on the average day. Will my body feel different when it gets everything?
After I unpacked my bags, I looked at my calendar and was almost a little disappointed to realize I had no suitable ten-day stretch in which to try going Joylent-only in many weeks. Then again, taking things one step at a time never hurt, so perhaps this is for the best. Instead, I had my first meal for dinner last night. Today has been Joylent-only, and finally tomorrow will be shakes for breakfast and lunch.
What is it like, then?
My main impression so far, 24 hours in, is that my stomach feels empty and my head a little light, but I do not crave anything. My stomach is sending the hungry signal every now and then, wishing for something to fill it out a bit more for a bit longer, but the rest of my body is not picking up because it has all it needs. The hunger passes as well, and I go back to feeling pretty satisfied. I have also slept well, got stuff done at work and got my exercise in during lunch without feeling weaker than usual. I think the light feeling in my head is down to fewer quick flows of sugar, and it has never threatened to turn into dizziness or headaches or anything else so I imagine it might go away with some more adjustment.
Joylent itself is pretty nice. The texture, and taste, is like a chewier milkshake. So far I have tried the chocolate, strawberry and mango flavours. I have liked strawberry best so far, but my main complaint about all three is that I wished they tasted more. On the other hand, I imagine it is very easy to overdo the flavour so that you grow sick of it halfway through a bag, so perhaps the balance is just right.
So far, so good. More definitely to come. Now, I will go watch a video or two from someone attempting to go liquids-only for a year.
I just realized - by watching the above video and some of the others by the same guy - how much protein is in all these products, relative to recommended daily intakes. It feels wasteful for one thing and possibly bad for kidneys for another, but I guess carbohydrates are still the trendy thing to fear so this was probably easier to get away with. Myself, I can not shake the image of burning mahogany for heat.