Soylent vs. Smoothies

soylent-green-20110222-123658I can’t remember where I first heard about the Soylent project, only that I pre-ordered immediately. I’m a geek trying to eat healthier. How could I NOT try Soylent? Note: this version is NOT green, and NOT made from people. This is more soylent beige. I like to think the spirit of soylent green is there, though.

So I pre-ordered, kept tabs on their progress, and waited patiently. And then, one day, the box showed up on my doorstep. It was a BIG box. It came with a very nice pitcher, 7 powder packages, and 7 little vials of oil. I eagerly blended up my first batch. The color wasn’t particularly appetizing, but I have to say, it tasted better than I expected. Not as good as a Carnation Instant Breakfast, but a lot less artificial. I would say it tasted pleasant.

The soylent website greets you with a question to ponder; what if you never had to worry about food again? But here’s the thing. I LOVE food. Textures, flavors, blending of those things. In an apocalypse, soylent would be a godsend I suppose, or if our agricultural system collapses. And it’s true, managing the perishables in our fridge is a chore, and not one we always succeed at, either. Stuff goes bad before we get to it sometimes, leading to waste. So in that sense, soylent has an advantage. In the end, though, I can’t envision myself existing on it.

Enter the NutriBullet. One morning my daughter and I were sitting on the couch watching tv, and a Magic Bullet infomercial was on. I was pointing out to her how the audience was obviously fake, just given by how “into” it they were. Looking serious, nodding, taking notes. We were having a good time giving it the Mystery Science Theater treatment. And yet, the concept… oh, dammit, they got me. I found myself online a few days later, researching the Magic Bullet, and its kin, the NutriBullet. And before I knew it, one of the darned things was on my doorstep.

nutribulletI’m well aware of the typical quality level of the junk hawked in infomercials. But the NutriBullet actually works really well, so far. I haven’t been able to get the kids to drink the results yet, but I’ve had kale-laden blended beverages several times now. The busy Mom side of me loves being able to throw whatever into the blender and just drink it. It was also very appealing to pulverize a tomato, celery, and some leafy greens with Worcesteshire and Tobasco and have it actually taste like a Bloody Mary. The key to success with it is going to be simply establishing the habit of using it regularly.

The food lover in me, once again, isn’t sure. It’s better than soylent, more real that is, but eating a b.good kale & quinoa bowl yesterday, for the most part the same things I might throw into the NutriBullet, I was struck again with the benefits of texture, and the blending of tastes not all at once, but in layers.

I’m happy with the NutriBullet, and I think it will at least get me and my husband eating more vegetables. But the conclusion I’ve reached is that no single approach will give you the solution. That’s why diets fail. I plan to keep using the NutriBullet, but also to focus on more vegetable-packed meals in between. And maybe even try adding some of the soylent powder into the smoothies. Not measured or scientific, but why not? Keeps life interesting, and I think the age-old concept of all things in moderation is really what we should all be aiming for.

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