The Soylent Challenge: 30 Days Without Food – Week 3

I'm going 30 days eating nothing but Soylent. Watch me become the most efficient man on Earth.

August 26, 2015

NOTE: This challenge has been completed. Click here to see how Josh did on a Soylent only diet for 30 days.

I just finished week three of the Soylent Challenge. I have not ingested anything other than some booze, water, some peanut butter, and this bland, gritty, wannabe protein shake known as Soylent. The first seven days have been harder than I could have ever imagined. The second week started looking up. Now I’m in full cruise control. At the end of the month I’ll do one long post documenting the entire experience, but right now I’ll tell you about the third week.

Read past episodes (will open in a new tab):
Intro, Week 1, Week 2

 
Watch on YouTube

Day 16

I haven’t done a video / blog entry in a few days. Here goes.

After two weeks, I’ve settled into a routine. I forget that I’m in the middle of an “experiment.” It’s become second nature to get my blender ready in the morning, mix up a couple batches of Soylent, and go about my day. Rinse, clean, repeat. It’s totally bearable at this point considering the massive amounts of ice I add to the shake.

Someone on a previous post commented that they enjoy drinking Soylent shakes warm. It makes me gag just thinking about doing that again. Also, after seeing some feedback, I decided to add peanut butter to my meals in order to gain extra nutrients — specifically protein. I’m not complainin’.

Day 18

I woke up in the wee hours of the night to Jess complaining about how she couldn’t fall asleep because of my farts.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do when I’m unconscious. Sorry, babe, but so funny.

I’m actually excited to drink the shakes now. Adding a LOT of ice and the scoop of peanut butter to the mix makes this a very bearable meal.

Day 20

Left about half a day’s worth of Soylent in my car this afternoon during work. Fail. It was basically boiling by the time I returned. I put it in the refrigerator when I returned home.

A few hours later, I took it out, planning to have it for dinner. It tasted like something had gone rotten. I thought maybe I just don’t like the taste of Soylent, period, but I didn’t want to discredit how far I’ve come. I’ve really tried to acquire this taste!

Took a few more sips and realized some kind of chemical travesty had gone down.

Day 21

Jess woke me up again last night around 3:00 a.m. This time she had already fallen asleep, but the potency of my unconsciously-produced farts woke her. She was not happy about the rude awakening. It was hilarious in hindsight. We had a good laugh about it today.

Today also marks my first solid run since on Soylent! I’ve griped a lot about how my legs have felt heavy and cement-like since I stopped eating solid food. However, it seems adding peanut butter to the mix has added a huge benefit. I felt incredible today.

I ran on the horse trails at Percy Warner Park in Nashville. I was at a 6:30 pace for the first few of the 8-mile run, but finished the last few miles under a 6-minute pace. I felt relaxed. Even when I’m not on Soylent I rarely feel so fresh.

Maybe a Soylent-only diet isn’t so bad after all.

Day 22

I expected to pay the price today on my run since I was cruising pretty fast yesterday. I expected to feel sluggish and stale and not fully recovered. However, I felt a hop in my step. I felt fresh and relaxed.

I ran a really hilly route at the trails and was able to charge up the hills with no setbacks.

Jess and I had a conversation tonight about how this experiment has affected our relationship. It wasn’t something I expected would take a toll, but truthfully, it has.

We realized that dinnertime is when we get genuine time together in our often hectic work days. Even though we are lucky enough work together — we even edit footage on our computers side-by-side — we are mentally and emotionally in our own worlds.

Dinnertime is when we get to come together over a warm cooked meal and share our hearts with one another. It’s been hard to find that time together when ditching meals.

Day 23

I just finished a 14-miler at the trails this morning. it rained last night, so it was a mud bath, but again I felt really good.

At the beginning of my Soylent diet, I was struggling to make it through 6- or 7-mile runs, so this is a big improvement. I started nice and slow and finished fast again, around a 6:15 pace. Early morning at the trails means lots of spiderwebs in your face, but I’ll take it for a good run.

My biggest revelation this week was the social and relational effects of Soylent. My conversation with Jess showed that meals truly are a sacred time to gather, reflect, share, listen and love. We have missed getting those quiet moments with one another.

Without meals breaking up the routine of the day, it can be easy to go from sunrise to sundown without spending meaningful time together. That’s not an excuse to neglect my wife, but it shows that meals are a great gift in our lives. So I find myself not only craving real food throughout the day but also craving quality time with my wife.

Not only that, this experiment has also been unexpectedly tough on Jess since it is difficult to cook for only herself. It can be hard to find the motivation to make a glamorous meal when it’s only for one.

Of course, connecting with one another can happen outside of food dates, but we are both looking forward to flirting over shared meals in a couple weeks.



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