#1 By: GodRaine, May 31st, 2013 23:57
I have finally completed my formula (so I think). The spreadsheet is available from my Dropbox and Google Drive.
Hey everyone - I have updated the Google Drive link. I now realize that I had to rebuild the entire workbook in Google Drive before anyone could use it!
I've spent several weeks tinkering with this formula. I noticed that many who had uploaded theirs were comfortable with allowing their intake levels of certain ingredients to hover between 75% and 90% for the purposes of cost, and thought that I could definitely do better than that. The only ingredient I have in there that is under 100% is Calcium, which is missing 7.5% of its requirement.
The spreadsheet uses a completion index and a toxicity alert system of which both tools were very helpful in ensuring that my formula was perfect. I have included links to all of the items I will be purchasing. Even though I am buying 12 / 13 of the ingredients locally, it's still important that you can see what I'm buying. Where I was unable to find the item online, I provided a picture coming from my Dropbox.
With that said, please critique the hell out of this formula. I may have spent weeks designing it and ensuring that it was perfect, but I would be happy to spend months in continuation of this effort so that I have not omitted any major information or overlooked some glaring error. I already know that it's not 100% perfect and therefore any feedback that you folks can provide would be extremely useful.
I used this nutrition guide from the NIH to determine my specific values, using Rob's Updated Recommended for those not listed (of which there were few). Under the PDF's provided at that link, I am classified as Male, 19 - 30 years old. Again, if you happen to be familiar with those values and see any errors, please let me know, as I would highly appreciate it. :)
Ultimately my goal in sharing this formula is to help other Canadians and Ontarians (sic?) find good sources for their formulas and also to provide a few tools that will make building a formula easier. I found that while many super automation apps have cropped up over the last few weeks, simply obtaining and inputting the raw data myself was a lot less of a headache and gave me greater peace of mind.
I also would like to add that keeping the cost below $5.00 / Day is something I'm very proud of so far :D
Thank you to everyone on this board for your invaluable feedback and thank you in advance for any and all feedback or input you can provide here! :)
#2 By: J_Jeffrey_Bragg, June 1st, 2013 00:32
Congratulations, GodRaine, I shall look it over carefully. Thanks for sharing your hard labour.
#3 By: Mrob, June 1st, 2013 00:37
Nice! This looks fantastic! I've been using BillCurry's (from reddit's /r/soylent) template for my own recipe building, which is unfortunately a bit dated; https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjfwMok3GC8TdHVBbEFpdU1DSWVvRElGSVB2dkZTcFE#gid=0 .
I like your method though, especially the toxicity warnings! Keep up the great work, and let us know how it goes!
#4 By: GodRaine, June 1st, 2013 00:41
Thanks @J_Jeffrey_Bragg and @mrob! :) I like BillCurry's other features in his template that it doesn't look like have been populated yet, such as servings and servings / day. I wonder what his equations are for that if any. Thanks for the link!
#5 By: Hamster, June 1st, 2013 00:50
Impressive, how is the texture and taste? Seems like people have issues with that when they do low budget/simple mixes.
Also, interested in hearing how you go drinking it for long periods.
#6 By: GodRaine, June 1st, 2013 01:05
I haven't actually sourced any of the ingredients or mixed the formula yet. I do intend on adding a good amount of flavoring to it however - I see no reason why the mixture shouldn't taste remarkably good. While the Whey Isolate comes in multiple flavors, I think I can bolster it by adding additional flavoring, whether it be cherry, strawberry, raspberry, chocolate, what have you. :)
I'll definitely be posting results when I actually build the mixture! Thanks @Hamster!
#7 By: Hamster, June 1st, 2013 01:18
OK, keep us updated. I'm considering doing a home mix, based off the several formulas going around, depending on what I can source (Australia).
#8 By: Matthew Duhamel, June 1st, 2013 12:36
Your B Vitamins look super high.
#9 By: Lauren Haman, June 1st, 2013 12:44
B Vitamins are water-soluble, so overages won't hurt you, the body will absorb what it wants and dispense the rest. The ones you have to be careful with are fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K, etc), because those will absorb in to the body regardless of how much it actually needs and overages can be dangerous.
#10 By: Lauren Haman, June 1st, 2013 12:47
I haven't seen your actual ingredients, but I haven't yet found any source of psyllium husk (or any other fiber source) that has no calories. Is that number correct? If so, I'd love to know your source.
#11 By: GodRaine, June 1st, 2013 12:50
You know what - I just realized that there are calories in my psyllium husks! You've also just made me realize that all of the hyperlinks to the sources that I had were not preserved when I moved the sheet to Google Drive - the link to mine is https://www.dropbox.com/s/ruldq44e3eqy5we/IMG_1675.JPG.
I found this in a local "Healthy Planet" store here in Toronto. Per 10g, 35 calories, 10mg sodium, 8g fiber.
#12 By: J_Jeffrey_Bragg, June 1st, 2013 13:52
Yes, GodRaine. After screwing around with Bill Gates cheapo Office Starter that refused to work, I got smart and got Google Drive so I could have a look at your formulation -- and no links to sources! Bummer. So tell me, please, what's in this Mutant Mass upon which you are relying so heavily? There seems to be no end to these bodybuilders' bulking-up products, all of them damned expensive. Right now I'm leaning more and more to relying on what I already have here, which is a substantial amount of nitrogen-packed #10 cans of dried skim milk, dried powdered eggs, dried ground peanuts, apple granules and a few other things. Overripe bananas are cheap, easy and available. So perhaps all I would need to do would be investigate the vitamins and minerals side, which you've already done nicely. I'm not about to go 100% or even 75% Soylent anyway, for me it would be an adjunct to get through "fast" days on my present 5:2 IF schedule. I could also add cooked oat powder, buckwheat powder and similar for carbs, good taste and consistency. I think I'm gonna wind up with a hybrid here.
My main comment on your formula, apart from reliance on Serious Mass for all your calories apart from the oil, is that 37.5g of psyllium husks seems a huge quantity of the stuff. How big a volume measure would that be? I've never tried taking it in that massive a quantity, probably blow the bottom out of the john! ;)
#13 By: GodRaine, June 1st, 2013 14:11
I have updated the "Source" column to show the links that I had in the xlsx document, so all of that should work now :)
Regarding the Mutant Mass, prior research into the topic of where to find the most efficient sources of protein led me to conclude that Whey Isolates are some of the most efficient in simple terms of density. Additionally, the Mutant Mass that I chose was the only one of all the whey isolates that also contained a hefty amount of calories, carbs, and potassium. Considering many of the others there were the same price without all of that, I consider it to be a pretty good deal. :)
There's nothing wrong with having a hybrid format, especially if you do not have quick access to a store that stocks stuff like this; I only prefer this because I like the idea of using no actual foods to complete the formula (with the exception of the psyllium husks).
The psyllium husks were my choice for the same reason I chose the Mutant Mass: ingredient density. For the most amount of fiber for the least amount of cost, the Psyllium husks were the best choice. From prior research I've found that they blend in well with Soylent and that shouldn't be an issue - if it is, I'll definitely find something else. I know that this formula will likely change in a major way at least once when I start to build it.
Thanks for your input again @J_Jeffrey_Bragg, your feedback is very appreciated!
#14 By: Jonathan McClare, June 1st, 2013 14:22
Personally, I avoid lactose, so the whey protein concentrate and casein in Mutant Mass make it a non-option for me. If you're already fine drinking milk daily, it could be a good protein source for you. As someone here pointed out, the whey isolate a lot of us are using is not a long lasting protein source like casein. Mutant Mass also gives you a small amount of cholesterol, which is good because it's probably your only source.
The people who use olive oil as a fat source tend to have less than you do. I didn't really like the flavour of mine when I was using as much as you are. You can switch to coconut oil to eliminate the olive oil flavour problem. You can find tasty organic coconut oil at most health food stores. Personally, I go to a Chinese grocery store downtown to buy jars of Kissan or Mr. Gouda's (the cheapest). TNT supermarket should have them too.
I didn't say this before, but I saw your other post about the salt substitute. Thanks for mentioning that. I found another brand in Loblaws downtown. Potassium gluconate was one of the few things I had to order online. I haven't tried potassium choride yet, but It should be a good replacement.
#15 By: GodRaine, June 1st, 2013 14:47
Thanks @JonathanMcClare! I haven't even considered the aspect of cholesterol, but it's worth looking into further. Rob's blog post What's in Soylent mentions that his formula does not include cholesterol, so I took him at his word. Do you think that it is important despite this?
The only reason why I'm currently using Olive Oil to such a high degree is because it is making up for the rest of my calories. I preferred to do this rather than introduce another caloric source, for the purposes of keeping the formula a little simpler. I know that many people have suggested Maltodextrin, and while I can obtain it for a relatively inexpensive cost, my calculations concluded that it would still add more than a dollar a day to my Cost Per Day and that to make up for my calories, it would give me way over my carbs. It felt wasteful for the amount I was going to be paying for it per day.
I'm definitely going to check out the coconut oil - I do hear it's very good. I know of a few really good Chinese supermarkets near me where I could source large quantities of it for a good price, so I'll definitely check that out.
And you're welcome regarding the potassium! I hope it helps. Thank you for your input!
#16 By: Jonathan McClare, June 1st, 2013 15:36
I am generally unconvinced by the common demonizing of dietary cholesterol. It's safe to say it's more complicated than that.
I haven't dug in enough to get an idea of exactly how much dietary cholesterol is optimal, but I know it's not 0. Two studies done on men show higher total testosterone in men who consume more fat and cholesterol and men on low-fat diets have lower testosterone. Just today, I found an article on low cholesterol leading to depression (sources cited within).
While it's true that the body will produce it's own cholesterol if it's not getting any in the diet, this seems to be sub-optimal (to put it mildly).
That's why I use clarified butter for some of my daily fat. When I need some extra calories and protein on my weight lifting days, I usually fry up some ground beef and eggs.
#17 By: J_Jeffrey_Bragg, June 1st, 2013 15:56
@GodRaine Another point you might need to watch -- and experiment with -- before you commit to large purchases of psyllium husk is that the stuff, like chia seed, is highly absorbent of water and swells a good bit. If you're using it in large quantity you might find that it would turn your Soylent to something like glue. I don't know this for a fact but thought I'd give you a heads-up so you know you should run a few experiments before you do any serious build.
#18 By: GodRaine, June 1st, 2013 18:42
Thank you for all of the information there. I'm rather glad then that I get at least 50mg of the stuff :)
#19 By: GodRaine, June 1st, 2013 18:45
Jeff - I just came across from my research today at the nutrition store a version of the Whole Psyllium Husks that is in full powder form. I imagine this would not have the same tendency to swell, but I will probably experiment with it before ensuring that it can go in my formula. Thank you for pointing that out, I would have totally skimmed past this product had I not known that before going in :)
#20 By: J_Jeffrey_Bragg, June 2nd, 2013 01:08
@GodRaine This afternoon I spent an hour or two messing around with CRON-O-Meter trying to input my homebrew bootleg real-food adaptation of Soylent. Not easy, too many non-standard ingredients, but I think I got close enough for government work, lol. And the result was surprising. All I need to do is play around a little with the proportions, there were no major holes or deficiencies other than some obvious vitamins that I knew I'd have to throw in. It needs work still, but I will try to get it up on Google Drive when it's all done. (There must be a downloadable open-source spreadsheet app, probably in Google Office, no? TheBill Gates starter stuff on this laptop doesn't work.) The truth is that the balancing act is a doddle when one uses food ingredients. And given my personal finances (or lack of them, more accurately) and mostly live-at-home lifestyle, I don't really need much portability or all dry-ingredients functionality. I just want something that I'm certain will TASTE GOOD so I won't hesitate to use it whenever I need it, and a reasonable cut-and-dried formula and procedure to make it up in batches which I'll probably just freeze down in plastic mugs; ice crystals don't bother me much if the taste is right. This is turning out to be a really interesting exercise that's expanding my nutritional savvy quite remarkably. A learning experience, as they say... is that what they say? ;)
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