Category Archives: Productivity

Soylent Review: Week 1

It’s been a full week of Soylent replacing two meals a day, and I’m still alive and feeling pretty good.

But let’s rewind a little…

According to their website,

Soylent™ is a pioneer in food technology, producing convenient, complete foods designed to provide maximum nutrition with minimal effort.

I’d wanted to try Soylent for a while, but put it off because I didn’t think I could make it work while still cooking for 3 other people, and it seemed like an expensive  investment when I’d still be buying groceries. Also, I kind of love food…like I really enjoy cooking for others, trying new things, and the time spent while sharing meals. 

On the other hand, I love experimenting with things, especially ones that are health related. Plus, I don’t *always* love cooking. Sometimes I want to work right up to our regular dinner time, and I haven’t start cooking. Breakfast and lunch are also less exciting for me, sometimes I’d rather not stop what I’m doing to eat lunch. Another benefit I considered from drinking Soylent is that the nutrition is already figured out. I figured 5 servings=2000 calories, so I could easily cut that back to what I need and not worry about getting enough protein or vitamins, etc. Last major awesome point…it’s plant based. Soylent is 100% vegan!

How I’m Using It

Originally, I was going to go 100% Soylent for a month, but according to their Nutrient Profile Calculator, I’d be drinking more grams of fat than I need. According to their Nutrient Profile Calculator, I only need about 1186 calories and 40 g of fat. That means I need 3 servings (400 cals each) to meet my calorie goal, but 3 servings would be 60g of fat. I decided to cut it back to 2 servings of Soylent with 1 meal. 

Soylent Nutrient Calculator
Soylent Nutrient Calculator

 

Day -4: Ordering my Soylent

I ordered my Soylent directly from their website on a Friday evening.  I used a promo code to get 50% off my first order of 2.0 (the bottled drink). You can use this referral link here: http://soy.lt/r/Q58Ei51bl9 (no benefit to me…just 50% off for you).

Along with my 2.0 subscription, I also ordered the powder with 10% off plus your first order comes with a free pitcher and scoop.

I also have a case of Cacao coming my way via Amazon with 20% off your first subscribe and save order.

Day 0: Shipment Arrived

My order shipped Monday and was delivered Tuesday. I would’ve started Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn’t delivered until 4pm, so official start day is Wednesday.

Day 1: Well…

I made the first pitcher of the powder the night before so it could chill in the fridge. Then I read it needed to be consumed within 48 hours, so I planned to drink the pitcher for breakfast and lunch on Wednesday and Thursday, sharing some with my husband.

Straight up, it wasn’t exactly my favorite. It has an aftertaste that isn’t fantastic. I did fill me up and I wasn’t hungry after drinking it, but that could be because of the taste.

Day 2: Better

 I still had half a pitcher in the fridge so I decided to use it as a smoothie base. I blended the already mixed Soylent with some frozen strawberries and it was a million times better. 

Day 3: Trying the 2.0

The Soylent drink tastes like the leftover milk from a bowl of cereal. Generally, that wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but I really love the taste of this. 

Days 4-7

So far, I’ve had 2 servings a day + 1 meal. I’ve never felt hungry, which was my main fear. Even if it was all in my head I was worried I’d think I was hungry. I’ve actually felt really good. Not hungry or tired. I haven’t noticed any difference at all really.

Drink vs Powder

The drink is more convenient with no mixing , there are 6g less sugar than the powder, and it tastes better.  The downside is that it is more expensive. The cost of a serving of the powder is about $1.54, where the drink is $2.69. I like the drink better, but when the powder is mixed with fruit it tastes fine.

Health

Around day 4 I was down a pound since starting Soylent. I think it was just a coincidence because I’m back to where I started now. 

I’ve only been drinking 800 calories of Soylent, but I’m positive I’ve been eating more than 400 calories in my one meal. I can see how this could be helpful for someone trying to get more calories in their diet.

In January I had my blood work done and I plan on having it done again in July. I realize this is not a scientific method, but at by July 2/3rds of my meals will have been from Soylent for 2 months. I’m curious to see if anything significant stands out.

I always planned on drinking Soylent for a month, but at this point I plan to continue drinking it for the foreseeable  future.

Would you be open to trying Soylent? 

 

2017 Goals

One of my goals for this coming year (like every year) is to write more here. I tend to write a bunch of drafts and never feel like they are good enough to actually publish. But, I’m going to try to start writing anything, even if it’s a post saying that I don’t want to write anything, once a week.

So, here is a list of my 2017 goals. They’re all things I’ve been contemplating/working on already, and are pretty attainable.

  • Be more organized…desk and office
  • Language learning…Duolingo daily, starting with German. Goals of either every day for 6 months or finish the German tree.
  • Morning pages daily
  • Use time better…schedule each day out more…spend less time on social media/Reddit
  • Be more active during the day
  • Blood work…have it done every 6 or 12 months
  • Meditate more regularly
  • January goal of writing down daily gratitude

Well, we’re 6 days into the new year and my list is going okay. Unfortunately, Tuesday I came down with the worst cold and didn’t want to get out of bed. Thursday, my throat felt like sandpaper, so the whole “being more active” thing hasn’t been going so well. Same with being more organized. I just put all the extra papers and crap on the floor next to my desk. The office is still a mess from Christmas crafts, but I want to get it all cleaned up as soon as I don’t feel like I’m dying.

I’m going to give myself credit for using time effectively. Yes, that meant doing the bare minimum of work and then napping, but it’s what I need to do right now. I bought a Happy Planner and like it so far. (I will never ever ‘scrapbook’ my planner…no cute emoji stickers here.) I originally bought a Bloom Daily planner since it has goal setting pages, but I couldn’t get over the square-ish size, so I put it up on eBay.

I also started the year off strong meditating for the first 3 days (plus days before the new year), and then fell asleep at 7 for the next two days so I didn’t end up doing it.

I’v been using Duolingo for the past month to work on German, so that is going well. I haven’t missed a day yet. I was hoping to have German done in 6 months, but from what I read, that seems too fast. Danish is next on the list unless they have Greek done for the app by then. I started just doing it on my phone, but then I went back and wrote down notes of everything and it’s really helping to retain it.

I ordered two blood tests through WellnessFX to have done now and again in 6-12 months. I wanted to do it earlier in the week, but didn’t want to fast and then drive the 30 mins to Quest Diagnostics. I have plans to go today though.

Morning pages and gratitude have also been going relativity well. I printed out a “Today, I am thankful for…” sheet with 30 lines to fill in and I’ve stuck with it. I started doing morning pages (writing 3-ish pages of anything when you first get up) after reading The Artist’s Way, but it’s really hard for my to stick with. I joke that I’m allergic to morning pages. So far, I’ve written every day though.

A tool that has helped me stay on track and visualize what I need/want to get done has been Habitica. It’s an app/website that helps you create better habits or break bad habits by making in into a game. You create your character and list your habits, daily goals, and one time to-dos, and you get points when you check them off. You can level up your character, battle bosses, and a bunch of other fun things. The game aspect is pretty cool, I like the rewards of finding items, but it also just helps a lot to have a checklist that I can see (I have it on my phone, but also always leave it open in a browser tab) and that resets every day.

Do you have any new years goals or resolutions? Do you usually stick to them?

My First Experience With Online Grocery Shopping

Yesterday, I tried out the online grocery shopping from Giant though Peapod. There are a bunch of things I really liked about it and a few things that make me reconsider using it regularly.

giantOnlineShopping

First thing I saw when I logged on what my most recent/common purchases.

Pros:

Convenience. I love the online interface. It’s really simple to add things, and they have your most recent purchases in a list. Since I normally buy the same stuff every week, it makes it really simple.

Adding things up until your cutoff time. I started making my list in the morning and when I remembered something throughout the day, I added it to the list. I forgot that we were out of flour, until I noticed the empty container in the kitchen. It took about 30 seconds to add it to my order.

Remembering random things I always seem to forget. Despite the fact that stamps have been on my grocery list for weeks, I ALWAYS forget to ask for them. They were literally the first thing I added to my list so that I wouldn’t forget. (They were also the first thing they handed to me when I picked up my order.)

Order totaling. I always plan to spend around $100, and then remember things I forgot and end up going over. This made it so easy to cap it at $100. When I added extra things, I took of a few things I didn’t really need.

Not having to get out of the car. I pulled up and they loaded up my car. The convenience of not having to drag kids shopping/chase them around the store is priceless.

Definitely saved time. Even though there is a Giant 10 minutes away, they don’t have a very big organic/non-dairy selection. So I drive to a Giant that’s 20 minutes away for those things. This one was 30 minutes away, but driving an extra 20 minutes round trip more than made up for the hour+ I spend walking around the store.

Fixing their mistakes. More on that below.

 

giantOnlineShopping2

Order totaling on the side of the screen.

wpid-IMAG5928.jpg

Waiting for them to load up my car.

Cons:

Online pricing. The produce pricing is per item. It was 39 cents per banana, and I picked how many bananas I wanted. So when I saw $1.49 per plum tomato I thought it must meant per lb, even though it said “each”. So I’m at fault for spending $1.49 for the smallest plum tomato I’ve ever seen (it weighed in at .2 lbs which means I ended up paying $7.45/lb for tomatoes).

Funky produce. The spinach I picked up on the 24th had a “best by” date of the 25th, and it was wilted and slimy. The kale wasn’t in an actual bunch, it was just leaves in a giant shopping bag, which looked a little weird. Other than that the cucumbers and bananas looked good.

Customer Service. This was a pro and a con because I sat on hold for 15 minutes, and then left my number so they could call me back in another 15 minutes. The customer service rep told me that the price for the tomatoes seemed a little high, but that maybe this is just an expensive tomato season and kind of told me I was wrong to go by an average price in the store since online had separate prices. I accepted it was my fault. She said she would give me a $15 first time customer discount, and that she would refund the price of the spinach. (Though I haven’t seen those credits yet.)

They didn’t have everything. They had most of the things I was looking for, but were missing some random things like Giant brand salsa, nutrition bars I was looking for, and there was a very limited selection of frozen fruit.

Using plastic bags. I knew everything would be placed in plastic bags, even though I have a bunch of the reusable ones. It doesn’t bother me that much, but almost every bag only had one thing in it. The tofu was in one bag, the spinach was in one bag, one box of cereal was in one bag. It seemed kind of wasteful.

Overall: I’m really excited for the program to take off because it could be so helpful. I really wanted to love it, and I think if it improves, and hopefully becomes available at a closer store I’d use it regularly. I might try to use it every 2 weeks for non produce items, since the closest store is 30 minutes away (at the Giant that we used to live right next to), and I’m not in that area for anything else. I realized I’m a little too particular about my produce, and that I’d rather pick out my own. As soon as the farm stand opens up down the street, I’ll get 90% of my produce there anyway.

Do you prefer to shop online? Have you ever ordered groceries through a service?