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The Joyous Year of Joylent, aka Jimmy Joy

№296 ~10 minutes

In which I live on Joylent, the meal replacement beverage, for a whole year.

Remember last year when I decided to live on Joylent for week?

I think we can all agree that my little experiment with Joylent was an amazing success.

Right?

Yeah, I was surprised too.

For this next part to make any sense I want to take you way back into the year 2016, to early April.

I’ve now been commuting to Cambridge since March, spending 6.5 hours in transit every day and enjoying the very best sandwiches WHSmith in Victoria Station has to offer—by which I mean, shitty shitty sandwiches with too much salt and sugar.

Struggling to keep my body fuelled with my ridiculous schedule I remember the Joylent I had.

“I could live off that, couldn’t I?” I think to myself.

You can probably see where this is going.


So, I ordered a month’s worth of the stuff. As a big box weighing in at 16.2 kg worth of Joylent powder arrived, I wondered if I had made a mistake.

What follows, is disparate and disorganised entries as I document my experience of going from, “Ooh, I’ll try this for fun,” to, “This is now my life. Fuck my life.”

I’ve gone through it, cleaned it up and tried my best to make it into a coherent story.

Enjoy.

Day 1, April 4th

Starting my morning with coffee and a serving of Joylent is fine, I’ve done that before.

Doing the same thing at 4.30am with only 30 minutes to get ready, that’s a bit rougher.

But I manage to chug it down in time to get to the train before that familiar bloated and burping feeling arises.

It takes a few days for ones body to adjust to the large volume of liquid one is digesting, and getting so much more fiber than one normally does.

I had almost completely forgotten about the excessive farting until I started farting excessively, again.

Day 8, April 11th

I swear, last time the farting had subsided by this point.

Maybe because I’m walking more and eating an additional ~ 1000 kcal every day the farting is worse.

Because it’s definitely worse.

And the smell.

Day 10, April 13th

Back when I did my first week of Joylent, both Rebecka and Lucien’s curiosity managed to get the best of them and they had little teaspoons of all the flavours as I worked my way through them.

Their reactions were a unanimous, “No fucking no no, what the fuck is this?”

So I was quite surprised when Rebecka asked me if she could have another try.

Two days later she had fallen back out of love with Joylent and gone back to her initial, “No, just fucking no,” reaction.

But I’m impressed that she gave it another try.

Day 15, April 18th

Having some meals as Joylent is a lot easier than all meals.

I’m sure that a part of why I missed food so much the first time around was because I was only having Joylent. This time, because I know I can eat actual food whenever I want to, it’s not as depressing.

Chugging down 700 kcal of Joylent in 20 minutes at 4.30am continues to be too much for my digestive system and I’m left sitting on the train trying not to kill my fellow commuters with my toxic fumes.

I’m fine the rest of the time, possibly even great but in the mornings I am Flatulence-man.

Remember how I used to prefer mixing Joylent overnight for that silky smooth texture? Those days are long gone, when one isn’t getting a whole lot of texture in ones foods, a little bit of grit goes a long way.

Day 22, April 25th

Today I sat and imagined myself five years from now.

And in this imaginary scenario, Future Carlos is still having Joylent.

This is my fucking life now.

Saying that I’m bored with it doesn’t even begin to do it justice. The sad truth is that Joylent was boring as fuck to begin with.

There’s nothing exciting about drinking a gritty milkshake with faint hints of flavour.

And whilst this might sound like I’ve lost all will to live the truth is the opposite; I have a new found appreciation for foods with all their delicate textures and flavours intertwining into the complex experience we call, “eating”.

Joylent, on the other hand, is perfunctory.

Marty McFly and Doc Brown exclaiming, 'Wow, the future tastes really great!'.
The future is perfunctory.

Eating is a multi-sensory aphrodisiac, a symphony of ingredients coming together to create a whole unlike any other.

When’s the last time you truly experienced roasted broccoli?

Any self-respecting “foodie” owe it to themselves to try Joylent, and only Joylent, for a week. If for no other reason than to gain a fresh, even spiritual perspective on real food. It will honestly change your life.

Day 30, May 3rd

Yesterday was the first day when I didn’t have any Joylent at all.

Even though I could be having normal food during the weekends I find myself starting my morning with a Joylent because it’s quick and easy.

Joylent has become a part of life now, I don’t hesitate about having it, nor do I look forward to it in any particular way. It’s just a good way to refuel.

Day 38, May 11th

A few days ago, I ordered another 16.2 kg box of Joylent.

I want to make sure I don’t run out because it’s going to fuck up my routine if I do.

I’ve officially given up thinking the farting will subside. Clearly this is as little as it gets.

Day 97, July 9th

I’ve been ill with a fever since coming back from Finland.

And aside for getting through every single episode of QI and I’ve also been having Joylent as normal. Which is really weird.

I don’t know about you, but usually when I’m sick I have no appetite. And this time’s no different. But Joylent isn’t food and because of that there’s no loss of appeal towards it.

But I’m beginning to suspect that there’s a reason for not feeling like eating, your body wants to focus on fighting an infection instead of digesting. So after having Joylent for months I’m going to have a break from it until I feel like eating again.

Like a normal sick person.

Day 157, September 7th

My ridiculous commute finally ends as we move to Cambridge.

I can start eating normal food again.

Like fuck I can.

Joylent has fundamentally changed my view on food and nourishment and as with all epiphanies, there’s no going back.

Day 188, October 8th

Joylent has recently launched their Twennybar and I’m curious to see what it’s like.

It’s 20% of your daily intake that you can sink your teeth into. Just bust that bar out of its wrapper and lunch is served. Jimmy Joy

Less for me and more for Rebecka—who doesn’t like Joylent—I thought this form could work better for me. We had talked about it and she was curious.

Imagine how thrilled she was to discover that she thought the resembled Kokosbollar a lot.

Day 392, April 30th

Which brings us to today. I’m still having Joylent and it’s unlikely to change any time soon.

When it starts running low I order a new box of powder and Twennybars.

With quiet resignation, “This is now my life.”

Summary

People have been asking me how I feel physically and mentally from having all of my meals as Joylent exclusively, so I thought it would be a good time to address that.

Joylent isn’t for everyone.

Setting aside potential health benefits that comes from having nutritionally balanced fuel regularly you still have to be in a certain state of mind to do this.

If you’re thinking about giving up food as an idea, experience and way of nourishment, then Joylent might be for you.

If you’re thinking about how much time you could save by not having to cook, eat and clean, then Joylent might be for you.

If you’re thinking about detaching yourself from the social construct that is dining together, then Joylent might be for you.

If you’re thinking about how much you love food, the act of cooking and everything related, then Joylent might be for you. But only for a week, to gain a fresh perspective on why you love it so fucking much.

If you’re thinking about farting a lot, regularly and want a new-found appreciation for the odours your digestive system can produce, then Joylent might be for you.

Change any of the above and Joylent might not be for you.

But what do I know? Maybe you don’t care about any of those things? Maybe you’re not thinking about any of those things because you hate eating.

If that’s the case, have I got news for you.

Joylent.

Feast your eyes on the succulent teat that is Joylent and drink from its nourishing bosom.

By the way, Joylent, if you need help with your marketing copy, I am available.

Anyway, the potential health concerns.

Unlike a smart person I didn’t go for a complete check up before embarking on this year journey. In hindsight, had I known it would become a whole year I would have.

But in lieu of that, what follows is anecdotal at best and figments of my nutritionally deprived mind at worst.

Take from it what you will.

I feel, for lack of a better word, good. Like really good. I completed a half marathon in 2 hours and 1 minute for fucks sake.

My poops are solid. I’m solid.

Actually, there we go. That’s a much better word, solid. I feel like my feet are firmly planted on the ground and that whatever life throws at, I will be able to handle.

And looking at the year that has been, life really has thrown all the shit it could think of. Fecking life.

When I first tried Joylent I never imagined it would become a part of my life.

Like the cricket flour and squirrel, I thought it would only happen once. I thought that once my curiousity was stilled I would return to normality.

Instead, this is now the new normality.

Current joy of living on Joylent: Perfunctory.


Joylent recently changed their name to Jimmy Joy, but because all the shipments I’ve received to date still say Joylent on the packaging I’m calling it Joylent.

Also, Jimmy Joy is probably the dumbest name that I’ve heard in my life and I just can’t take it seriously.

The Joys of Living on Joylent

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