I’ve spent a week with some friends that I haven’t seen in a while. They have been eating a lot of Soylent, a meal-replacement shake for busy people designed using modern understanding of diet and nutrition. So I decided to try replacing one or two meals a day with their homemade Soylent. It’s a well-balanced meal, consisting of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fats and 30% protein, lots of fiber and micronutrients.

Here’s why I like it: Frequently I find myself hungry and just need to eat something. I either have to leave the building, order delivery, or spend a lot of energy deciding to make food (eggs, a sandwich, or something fancier). Being hungry and having to make this decision multiple times daily is a drain on my attention. If I leave the building I have to pick where to go and brave the weather and it’s expensive. If I order delivery I don’t get instant gratification and it’s expensive. If I make food, I don’t usually make very healthy food, and it’s a lot of work, especially if you count going to the grocery store and planning meals ahead of time.

Anyway, I do all that work and I don’t get anything of value – I’m hungry a few hours later and experience the same problems. With Soylent all these problems go away. I immediately jump to something very close to optimal along the axes of prep time, price, nutrition AND immediate gratification. And yes, it’s not very delicious, but that’s a small price to pay, especially considering most of my fast food alternatives aren’t particularly tasty either.

My week of eating Soylent once or twice a day has demonstrated Soylent’s awesomeness quite thoroughly. The Soylent ran out today and I was disappointed. I ended up procrastinating getting food until I was so hungry that it was distracting from my work. Obviously this is only a week but I am quite optimistic.