28 Meals Later
I drank Soylent for nine days and all I got was this lousy oral thrush.
By Mikala Everett, Texas State University;
Photography by Madelynne Scales, Texas State University
Soylent, created by Silicone Valley doll Robert Rhinehart, is a new age meal replacement designed for those who forget to eat.
The nutritionally replete pap is perfect for people who don’t care about food or their lives. That being said, I ate nothing but this powdered play-doh for nine days and nearly lost all semblance of myself.
However, it was fun in a macabre, I don’t care about my life anymore sort of way.
I should have prepared the liquid flour the night before, so that all the powdery chunks could dissolve and slide more easily down my gullet. Unfortunately I did not, and during my first meal I nearly choked on large lumps of Soylent.
I also spilled some soy substance on my desk, and being the lazy sun of a gun that I am, I left the mess there to clean up “later.” “Later” soon grew into a torrid affair that left me pretending not to notice the filth accumulating on my usable work surface.
My initial impression of the taste was that it resembles what I assume baby formula tastes like, and I wondered if the pseudo-milk we designate for our tiny humans tastes as terrible as Soylent does.
If it does, we are doing a serious disservice to our children. As I was drinking it come lunchtime, the phrase, “I am an adult baby” played repeatedly through the soundtrack of my mind.
My bodily functions were weird on the first day. Every burp came from a place in my chest that had never before produced burps. My pee was clear and beautiful, but not in the way that it is when you drink a lot of water, because I already do that—sort of. My pee was clear yet luminescent, almost like I pissed a bunch of crystals. It was dope.
Also on the first day, a miracle occurred! A boy asked me if I wanted to grab some food, and I assumed it was because I was cute and hilarious, not because he wanted the Krabby Patty Formula. However, we can’t be right about everything.
On the inside I laughed manically while attempting to explain my eating arrangement without saying “I’m on a diet.” He therefore received my entire life history because I refused to be one of those girls who are on a diet even though I very much was on a diet.
Quote of the day: “ I’m a baby.”
I woke up with a pounding headache and a tongue that felt so thick, heavy and sore that I thought I might choke on it. There was a lot of choking going on those first two days, but mainly on the Soylent.
I went to the bathroom to survey the damage last night’s sleep had left behind, and I almost cried when I saw my tongue. Before I explain the dismal state of my (second) strongest muscle, it is important to point out that I have always had a strange organ of gustation.
I am a victim of geographical tongue, which is when you have weird patches that plague your food’s landing strip. My affliction has led to sensitivity of the palette and lots of teasing. I had noticed upon entering my second year in college that it was clearing up, but leave it to Soylent to fuck all that up.
My tongue was completely white, bumpy and irritated. Even after brushing my teeth and tongue, all of the white, bird-shit like substance was still there. I took some photos and sent them to my best friend, who in turn told me that I was dying. Such a lovely gal that one.
So what did I do? I did what any reasonable millennial would and googled the symptoms. After scrolling through several sites that told me that I probably have cancer, I figured that it was similar to oral thrush and continued on with my life.
Oral thrush is something that occurs most commonly in babies from all the mommy milk and formula, only confirming my suspicion that I was drinking baby formula.
Later that night, all my slightly sadist tendencies came out in full force. I spent about three hours watching cake videos and crying internally because I was not allowed to eat cake.
Quote of the day: “Alas! My immune system is weakening and I just want cake.”
On this blessed day, the monthly bloodletting began and with it came a very moody and obstinate Mikala. By way of nature, I am generally moody and grumpy. Once periods and lack of actual food are added into the equation that is my mood—I’m not the best person to be around.
I gave myself a very rousing speech about why I should eat a donut because the “white man has oppressed me enough.” I didn’t end up eating the donut but I was very anti-man that day and everyone pissed me off. I got mad at a classmate for breathing.
It was a rough day, but on the plus side I could feel my tongue again.
Quote of the day: “I can’t wait for this shit to be over.”
I realized that a truckload of other people have done this diet and written about it, so I spent most of the day reading their accounts. I felt a sense of kindred spirit with these people that I had never met and began to feel better about my life choices.
However, all that changed when I realized that Buzzfeed also has a video about it, and once Buzzfeed gets ahold of something it’s no longer novel. Damn you, Buzzfeed.
Because eating is such a social act in the world, I was starting to feel very lonely and sad. Each Soylent meal was chugged down as fast as possible in my room, followed by a stick of gum. It was very depressing.
I even went to the movies by myself to see Deadpool, and just looked around, eyes slightly glazed over with hunger, at the loads of people with their friends and their popcorn. I was depressed.
As I walked to my car, I realized that I hadn’t spent much money lately because all my coin goes to food and gas, and all the gas I use has to do with driving to food places. Ipso facto I was rolling in the dough. As rich people like myself understand though, money doesn’t keep you warm at night.
Food—oops, I mean Soylent—for thought.
Quote of the day: “ I feel simultaneously hungry and full.”
I noticed that I felt a lot better nutritionally, which made sense because the majority of my meals are comprised of pizza and French fries.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I began my weekend with a marathon of movies that made me sob my eyes out.
The added saltiness of my tears slightly improved the taste of the Soylent.
I did not move from my bed with the exception of peeing and consuming matter. I also slept in my bed filled with crumpled tissues and dried tears. As mentioned earlier, I am lazy and was in a state of despair so deep that I couldn’t possibly clean at such a time.
The recurring theme of the day was the desire for cake and someone to love me, but mainly the cake.
Quote of the day: “My tears taste better than the Soylent.”
My poop disappeared. It was nonexistent and I was unsure if I would ever see it again. I probably should have been concerned much sooner, but it wasn’t until Day 6 that I realized that I hadn’t had a bowel movement since 2001—or so it seemed.
I did end up excreting waste later that day, and it was very tiring. Each poo nugget was solid as rock and left my asshole very sore.
This day was full of observations. I also noticed that when you leave Soylent in a cup for several days it resembles dried mud—maybe that’s why my poop was so hard.
The rest of the day was spent writing several angsty poems about drinking clay and resisting the urge to eat ice cream with my friends. All of their male interests started acting like they didn’t have any type of sense on Valentine’s Day—of all days. I had never felt better about being a single shrew.
Quote of the day: “Arrrgghhhhhhhh,” *heavy panting* “Blllughhhhburgdhsj.”
I ran out of bottled water so I had to use tap water to make my delicious cup of liquid flour. Somehow, most likely by the heaven’s divine power, the Soylent tasted significantly worse and left me questioning all my life decisions.
I started eating—excuse me, drinking—less of the stuff because I didn’t have much of an appetite anymore. Moreover, I think I lost some weight.
I have an aversion to scales, so my judgment is made based on the level of ease with which I put on my jeans and how flat my stomach looked in the morning.
I pooped again!
Quote of the day: “Thanks to Soylent I lost 30 pounds. That’s right 30 pounds! With an easy payment of $54 dollars monthly, you too can lose 30 pounds!”
A cookie fell into my mouth.
I, of course, had no control over this phenomenon and was nothing but an innocent bystander.
It is important to note that the cookie was beyond delicious and was truly a gift from above. When that warm chocolate cookie flittered onto this poor, geographic tongue, my taste buds exploded into a fiery inferno of pleasure.
My heart sung as the chocolate oozed into my mouth, warm and bittersweet. My soul sang as the sweet, sweet crust crunched between my teeth. Needless to say, I was a very happy girl.
Reality struck later that day when I consumed yet another cup of Soylent. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Quote of the day: “Mmmmmm.”
The final day was uneventful. So humdrum in fact, that I didn’t even bother to take notes. I don’t remember anything about this day other than my excitement at finally being able to rid myself of Soylent.
By this day, I no longer missed food or the social interactions that came with eating, because I didn’t care about anything. Once twelve a.m. hit, I was already in Chik-fil-a wrapping up my transaction.
My Soylent experience taught me a lot about myself. One, I should never, ever, go on a diet. Two, my relationship with food is similar to the love between two human beings that happen to bone each other. Three, never agree to anything without really looking into it first. And finally, if it looks like clay and smells like clay, it probably will taste like clay.
Quote of the day: “If you hate being burdened with the troublesome task of eating or having bowel movements, then Soylent is the liquid flour for you.”