Welp, I’m Going Back On The All-Soylent Diet: Here’s Why

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 7.236% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

In 2014, I drank nothing but Soylent for a week. It was mostly for a lark – hey, here’s this Silicon Valley goop people say can replace full meals! What actually happens if I drank sugarless pancake batter, and nothing but nutritionally-complete pancake batter?

The answer was surprising in a lot of ways:

  • It was comforting not have to worry about my health. As a man who’s survived a triple bypass, every meal is a mild panic – Can I allow myself this? Will it kill me? I should be eating something better – so to have all my choices narrowed down to “Drink this sandy sludge and find better things to ponder” was surprisingly soothing.
  • It ruined our social life. Ever think about how many excuses to get together with your friends are based on food? “Let’s get a drink.” “Tea?” “We’ll do lunch.” Even for ten days, we wound up being weird pariahs – “We’ll go to your house and stare blithely at your food.” We managed, and our friends didn’t yell at us or anything, but it was off-puttingly isolating.
  • It highlighted how much of my day consists of micro-rewards – “Oh, I made it to noon, time for my coffee.” “I’m stressed, let’s pop a cookie.” And without that, I drifted.

And when it was done, we had several cases of Soylent in the basement, which we refused to get rid of in case there was an apocalypse and only we would control the health-batter.

But here’s the thing: I’ve been really stressed over the last few months because of an impending book release, and my stress manifests in the form of overeating. And Gini and I have been thinking about how to restructure our lives to eat better, but what we agreed we needed to start was a hard reset – something to jar us out of our normal habits of “Oh, a glass of wine here will be nice” and “Well, since you’re having a wine I’ll have this cookie.”

And the Soylent in the basement crawled out and said “Y HALLO.”

So yeah. Gini’s already started drinking the Soylent – the expiry date says it’s useless as of 2014, but she’s not dead yet – and I’ll do so on Monday. We won’t do this forever, but before we can kickstart into a finer diet, we need a cleanse to break us of these ridiculous habits.

Which isn’t to say that you do. But eating is an addiction, and unlike normal addictions where you can say “Well, I Just won’t smoke crack any more,” being addicted to eating involves saying “Well, I need three puffs of crack every eight hours, but no more than that.” If I could, I’d go cold turkey, but the irony of the phrase “cold turkey” kind of says it all there, folks.

So I’ll drink goop for two weeks. And see where it goes from there.

And the irony is that the stress I am enduring is because my book The Sol Majestic is coming out in June, and I am currently planning all the ways I will dance for you and say, “Hey, my words are magnificent! You should totally buy my book!” – which is not a thing I am easeified doing, because part of me believes that I am a poor writer and how dare I promote my book when actual writers hold the field.

(…did I mention you get free swag for preordering The Sol Majestic? Well, you do. And you can win a free copy of my book for signing up for my newsletter and GAH I AM MELTING DOWN JUST TYPING THAT.)

“Where’s the irony, though?” you ask. And it’s this:

The Sol Majestic is a book about science fiction fine dining. It has lavishly-described meals made by futuristic methods, designed to make your mouth water. And my upcoming signings, if possible, will have some of this food baked in (hee), with possible drinks and restaurant stops and food blogging tie-ins…


So yeah. To combat the stress of promoting a book about food, I will reduce food to a gritty slurry. And yes, you can flavor your Soylent to make it taste good, but I don’t want my Soylent to taste good, I want it to become an obligatory background noise so I don’t reward myself with another gallon of Fruity-Loops-flavored Soylent, and so back to the nutritious grit it is.

Of course I’ll blog this journey.

But I thought you’d like to know in case you’d want to know why I’m going BACK TO THE GOOPTURE.


  1. Jesse Zimmerman
    Mar 7, 2019

    I think my Google feed presented me with this post because I’ve had a Soylent membership for years now ? I have chocolate Soylent with some added protein powder and instant coffee for lunch every day! Partly because I work through lunch but mostly because it’s a huge relief to have one less meal to worry about preparing when I’m trying to eat healthy. Soylent seriously did help me control my diet; I lost over 20 lbs. Good luck on your journey friend.

    • The Ferrett
      Mar 8, 2019

      And good luck on your continued controlling of weight on yours!

  2. ZzzzSleep
    Mar 8, 2019

    You should be fine with “expired” soylent, I think the expiry is the time that the company guarantees the drink to have 100% of the promised vitamins. So you may get slightly less vitamin C than promised.

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