Q: Is Power Smoothie like Soylent? What are the differences?
A: Power Smoothie was inspired by Soylent but the two are based on different philosophies. Soylent seems to aim to provide a calculated “optimal” dose of many micronutrients, most of them in purified form rather than as part of whole/natural foods. Power Smoothie seeks to combine multiple (mostly) whole/natural foods aiming to optimize taste, satisfaction and nutrition – based more on “what foods are probably good for you” type reasoning than “what micronutrients do you need” type reasoning, although the latter is taken into account to some degree.
Soylent is a commercial product and Power Smoothie is not; this website is just a guide to rolling your own. Relatedly, the Soylent folks are full-time and I’m an amateur.
Once Soylent becomes conveniently commercially available, I will definitely be giving it a shot, and if it turns out to be more convenient than Power Smoothie and equally satisfying, I’ll strongly consider using it instead at least some of the time.
Q: I don’t like the texture! What do I do?
A: If it’s grainy, blend for longer. (Or get a better blender, though this probably isn’t necessary.) If it’s too thick, add more liquid base, or just add water.
Q: I don’t find Power Smoothie satisfying enough; what do I do?
A: First try eating carbohydrates along with it; it’s common for people to crave carbohydrates when consuming this very carb-light concoction. Another possibility is to put in more protein powder or oil, both of which are calorie-dense.
Q Power Smoothie is too heavy; I need a nap after having one. Can I make it lighter?
A: Yes, just do the opposite of the last question: dial back the fat and protein. The first thing to try is just skipping the oil altogether.
Q: I broke my blender trying to make Power Smoothie!
A: I’m a little surprised; Power Smoothie shouldn’t be all that hard on a blender. I know of one case of a blender breaking during Power Smoothie but I think it was on its way out anyway. That said, adding ingredients in the recommended order will make things much easier on your blender, as will using more liquid.
Q: Power Smoothie looks gross!
A: This is true. Power Smoothie is simple, cheap, convenient, ethical, healthy, and tasty, but it is not pretty. Can’t have it all.
Q: I have extreme ideological beliefs about diet: I’m paleo/low-carb/vegan/gluten-free. Will Power Smoothie work for me?
A: Probably. See the list of recipes for something up your alley. Power Smoothie is, by default, low-carb, gluten-free, very low in animal products (and there is a vegan version), and reasonably paleo-friendly (there’s also a paleo version that is more paleo friendly).
Q: Power Smoothie is fake! How can you drink that fake crap?
A: I think Power Smoothie is a lot less fake than most of the food we eat. Power Smoothie takes a lot of foods with short ingredient lists that I understand, and blends them together. It seems a lot less fake than Chicken McNuggets, probably less fake than almost all meat that you can conveniently buy.
Q: But don’t you think food is something to be enjoyed? I like real food!
A: I completely agree. I love food. I look forward to and savor my meals more than most people I know. I try to make a large percentage of my meals totally awesome and delicious. That said, I don’t want to do this 2-3x/day every single day. I often am busy and just want a low-hassle meal that I can make, consume and get on with my life. Prior to Power Smoothie, this meant going to the nearest sandwich store and having some convenient, satisfying, horrible factory-farmed meat. The new option is cheaper and almost certainly healthier, as well as more ethical. And anyway, it does taste good, esp. if you have fun with flavors.
Q: Why should I trust your claims? Who are you to be giving diet advice?
A: No one. I just made this website to try to be helpful. I tried to make the basis of most of my claims clear and to distinguish between fact and opinion. If you disagree with something I say, go ahead and disregard it.
Q: I’ve been consuming nothing but Power Smoothie for 2 months. I feel weird.
A: Try eating something else? I didn’t recommend going all-Power-Smoothie and I’ve never tried doing so. I generally find that I want to eat different sorts of things at different times.
Q: I’ve been drinking Power Smoothie religiously for 2 months and I still haven’t lost weight. What’s going on?
A: I never said Power Smoothie would help with weight loss. I have never experimented with it (or known someone to experiment with it) in this context. I think it’s about as healthy as a meal can get, but weight loss is a different goal from general health. Maybe Power Smoothie fits well into the diet that works for you, and maybe it doesn’t. It does seem like it would fit well with a lot of diets due to its lack of high-saturated-fat ingredients, lack of carbs and relatively strong micronutrient content, but who knows.
Q: Why should I drink Power Smoothie? It’s not that hard to have a healthy diet without it. Every day for lunch I go around the corner to my favorite organic restaurant and order a kale-and-quinoa salad with lentils, orange slices, and fresh, sustainable tuna. On my way home, I pick up fresh vegetables that I then stir-fry with tofu and some garbanzo beans or black beans that I started soaking the previous night. Add some fresh fruit for dessert and I’m good to go!
A: That is awesome – it sounds like you have worked out a great diet for yourself, that you don’t mind the hassle and prep time of cooking and/or the cost of restaurants, and that you are possibly some sort of model human being. I don’t see any reason for you to be reading this website. This website is intended for people who do not live or work near your favorite organic restaurant and sometimes don’t want to cook.
Q: You talk a lot about hassle and convenience, as though all you want is to save time. Yet you did all this analysis and built this website! What gives?
A: I like solving problems in creative ways that allow me to create public goods (information, analysis, ideas) that can be shared with others and alleviate their struggles. I don’t like solving problems by going through repetitive drudge work with no benefits for anyone but myself. I like sitting down and spending a concentrated chunk of time on a challenge. I don’t like having my time be leeched away from me one drip at a time. Working on Power Smoothie has been fun for me and has benefited others. Managing an inventory of fresh vegetables and cooking every night would not be fun for me.
Q: I’ve noticed that you make pretty limited claims about the benefits of Power Smoothie. But check this out. I recently started a diet consisting only of raw broccoli, cayenne pepper and whale blubber. I swear I went into it with skepticism, but the effects have been too amazing to ignore! I dropped 30 pounds and look great. A 6″ boil covering my face has disappeared, and turned out to be covering a third eye with laser vision. My skin is now perfect. I’m more awake, more alert, more … just … alive. My depression is gone, I attack the world with boundless optimism, and I’ve invented a new way of generating energy from cow manure that is going to revolutionize the world. And I’ve met the love of my life! Why drink Power Smoothie when I can follow this miracle diet?
A: I am incredibly happy for you and do not want you to consume a drop of Power Smoothie or do anything else that risks disrupting the effects you’ve gotten. To be totally honest with you, I don’t know of a single case in which someone started drinking Power Smoothie and experienced miraculous improvements in their life and health. The main immediately perceptible changes seem to be that people save time, eat less meat, and eat less junk food. Power Smoothie is targeted at people who are in fine condition and are looking for a more convenient way to get nutritious, ethical, satisfying, affordable meals. If you’re looking for miracles there are a lot of sites that make bigger promises than this one.