Joylent – all nutrients in a tasty shakeFebruary 28, 2016
About half a year ago, Carlos approached me with the idea of trying out Joylent for a week, to see what would happen. Me being very interested in alternative ways to get nutrition, obviously said yes.
The plan was initially to do it before Christmas, but because of a lot of issues coordinating the test, which was largely my fault (ok, to be fair, every delay was because of me), we had to delay time after time.
Finally we settled for this week, or eh, last week. It wasn’t a perfect fit for me, but I didn’t want to postpone yet again, so I rolled with it. I got back from Stockholm on Sunday evening, and I started looking up on how to actually make a Joylent meal.
Yeah, you only need to add water, but I didn’t know how much powder and how much water was needed for one meal. Apparently, you need to weigh the amount of powder, and you can choose yourself how much water (i.e. thickness) you want. I don’t own a scale, or more precisely, I don’t own a kitchen scale. So I decided that I’d just wing it and add a third™ of one bag, mixed with half a liter of water.
Vanilla: This one I initially thought I’d like best, but it was actually not that good, or it was ok:ish. 2.5/5 toasters
Since I couldn’t accurately say that I had mixed the right amount, I decided that I’d start off my first day with just cheating (and having a normal lunch at work). But I did have a glass of Joylent for breakfast. I’m not the person who ever eats breakfast, so having one was at first nice, but then it threw my system way out of order and the rest of the day I felt really, really, really hungry. I had Joylent for all other meals except lunch, and since Monday left me with such a hunger. I decided to cheat every day, and have a normal lunch during work, mostly because if I get hungry, I can’t concentrate, and in my line of work, concentration is kind of important.
So because I didn’t actually do a complete Joylent week, I won’t be able to say how it feels to survive on nothing but Joylent. But I can talk about how well it works for individual meals, the consistency and the taste.
Chocolate: Remember the chocolate porridge I’ve been talking about? Take that, mix it with lots of cold water, and you’ve got joylent chocolate, 2/5 toasters.
When I ordered from joylent.eu I took one bag of every type, Vanilla, Mango, Strawberry, Chocolate and Banana, and I some how messed up my order, so I had by mistake ordered 6 bags (two of the vanillas). Since it was my first order, the mixer/shaker was on the house, but it normally costs 2,50€. The whole order set me back 51€ (including shipping costs). Not expensive, nor super cheap.
Since I didn’t have a scale, nor did I get one later on, all of my mixing was none scientific, i.e. I just measured up what felt like a third of the bag. The texture was a bit like water mixed with flour, nothing really exciting. Which is a good thing.
I mixed the water and powder with a stick blender, and when everything was mixed, I used the shaker for about a minute or two, and then let the whole thing sit for a while in the fridge. I usually added some cubes of ice, just to make it a bit colder.
Strawberry: I thought I’d hate this one, since I don’t like artificial strawberries at all, but it was pretty good, 3.5/5 toasters
A meal worked fairly well, it stopped any immediate hunger, but you never felt like you had actually eaten. And after a couple of hours, say two or three, you’d be back at feeling like you’re starving. Since one bag contains three meals, a bag would only last you for 9 hours per day (if you eat every three hours). It might get better if you only eat Joylent, but since I didn’t replace all of my meals, I can’t tell for sure.
It’s worth noting that a bag contains roughly 2200 calories, or what the average person needs, and since that’s an average value, some people use more energy (and some use less) on any given day, basically your mileage my vary depending on different factors.
Mango: Didn’t have any clue what I’d think about this, since I don’t eat a lot of mangos. Smelled like urine. At first it was kind of good actually, but at the end of a meal, I felt like throwing up. 1/5 toasters, I don’t recommend.
This isn’t my first rodeo with meal replacements. I’ve also tried Ambronite, which is an organic, something something, super healthy meal powder thing, which was down-right disgusting. Joylent on the other hand was completely edible. I can’t say that any of the meals were super tasty, but they were kind of neutral.
The thing I’ve enjoyed most this week is probably that I haven’t had to think about what I should eat during the evenings, and I haven’t had to spend a considerable time in the kitchen either, which also means I haven’t really generated any dishes. Anything that saves me from dishes is good, I really dislike doing the dishes. Have I told you how much I hate dishes?
Banana: This is also one of the meals I thought I’d dislike or be pretty neutral to, but actually, it tasted really good. Just as Carlos when I smelled it, I got instantly thrown back to my childhood when I was at the dentist and you got the banana flavoured flour tablets (or whatever it was). When I got that image in my head, I was pretty much certain that I’d hate it. But after mixing it up, it tasted like good old banana yogurt, which is something I quite like. best of the bunch, 4/5.
So I guess I’m down on the last part. What did I think of the experiment, and most importantly, can I see myself using Joylent in the future?
I kind of wish I would’ve gone the whole way, like Carlos did, but at the same time, getting really hungry at work would’ve sucked, so I think I would’ve needed a week of vacation to actually do this properly. I’m not saying it’s not doable, I’m saying I wouldn’t dare in case it didn’t work out well. However, there have been a lot of benefits eating Joylent for supper. And since I’m not the most healthy person, I think getting the correct vitamins and other nutrients, is something that would be really good for me.
I can see myself ordering more Joylent, and replacing meals every now and then, but I’m really confident that I wouldn’t order anything but the banana flavor, and possible the strawberries.