Recommendations for DIY meal replacement shakes
January 5, 2017 11:20 AM   Subscribe

I like the idea of Soylent but it upsets my stomach. There are so many alternatives out there. Have you tried them? What were they like? Maybe you can help me figure out one I would enjoy.

I'm looking for a dead simple option for when all I want is calories without thinking. This would only be for 1 meal/day, and not every day, so I'm not necessarily worried about vitamins/minerals/micronutrients. Mostly I just want reasonable macros (high protein, low-med carb, high fat) and a smooth texture. My regular food habits tend towards paleo + dairy, if that gives any ideas.

My ideal meal replacement drink would be:
- about 700-800 calories total
- about 40 g protein (20% of calories)
- about 55-75 g carbs (30-40% of calories)
- about 35-45 g fat (40-50% of calories)
- low or no artificial sugar
- smooth texture, not grainy
- decent flavor

Soylent 2.0 fits this profile great, and I even like the taste, but it gives me upset stomach something fierce :( I feel like it might be from some of the ultra-processed ingredients.

Regular ingredients like milk and fruit/veggies are fine, protein powders and premade shakes are fine too. I could go for something like a salsa or a blended soup as well, as long as it's a full meal and I don't really have to chew it. I don't have any food allergies that I know of. I see a bajillion interesting options at but many of the recipes seem to have huge upfront costs (like $400+) so I'm hoping for personal recommendations.
posted by Questolicious to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
According to this calculator, 2 cups of yogurt, 4 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 1 cup frozen strawberries gets you 725 calories, 60 g carbs, 38 g fat, and 44 g protein. Can't get much simpler than that.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:05 PM on January 5, 2017 [7 favorites]

On the chance that it's Soylent 2.0 in particular instead of Soylent in general: I actually preferred Soylent 1.6 (powder) to 2.0. They pulled 1.6 when they got reports of bad reactions like they had to the bar (and I was very sad). I haven't tried the reformulated powder 1.7 yet, but it's shipping now.

I think there's a trick to making it super smooth. (I do it in Vitamix but can't believe that's necessary, especially if you're not blending ice in.)
* Filtered water to cover the blades, about 12-16 oz
* Start blender. Either dump the powder through feed hole, or if you can get the lid off without water going everywhere, just do that. Blend until homogenous.
* Stop blender. Add ice. You can skip this if you're going to chill it before drinking.
* Add water to fill to 2-quart line
* Blend until smooth and store in airtight container.

With these recent issues, Soylent is being super generous with customer support. I bet they would sent you a case of 1.7 powder for free if you told them about your issues with it.

There are imitators and competitors springing up too.
posted by supercres at 12:09 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

The only thing I've found that I've liked is Mealsquares, which breaks your liquid rule, unfortunately, but I mention in case the chewing thing is potentially flexible.
posted by Sequence at 12:12 PM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

I should add, I say that after having tried a lot of DIY things, but there comes a point of diminishing returns where the amount of labor required to actually make the thing starts to get well beyond "dead simple" or "calories without thinking".
posted by Sequence at 12:23 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

KetoChow is a low carb meal replacement and you can order individual flavors to try to see if you like it. Last year I lost 60lbs (215lbs -->155lbs) by using shakes twice a day and starting a weight lifting routine. They have a good amount of flavors (9? It wavers) and it's pretty easy to make (heavy cream, powder, water [MTC oil is also an option if you need more calories]) but you do have to mix it 30 minutes in advance otherwise it tastes a bit salty.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 1:53 PM on January 5, 2017

My lazy breakfast is a scoop of Idealshake powder and a scoop of soy protein powder in whole milk. This provides the approximate percentages you want, but you'd need to drink 2-3 to get the size of meal you're looking for.
posted by metasarah at 3:14 PM on January 5, 2017

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