If you know me in RL you know I’ve not exactly lived by a healthy diet – I’m on the heavy side of weight, and one of my favorite pastimes is doing BBQ’s. So some of my friends who I already let in what this post is about where quite surprised when I told ’em that I’ve decided to try one of those modern smart/powderfoods, and that i can actually live without eating regular meals all the time.
how I got to trying it out
You might remember soylent, which was a kickstarter several years ago? When that kickstarter happend I looked at it, and I couldn’t say if I liked the Idea, or thought it was weird – I guess a little bit of both.
The idea of having a complete food, which can be stored in space-saving powdered form, and easy give you everything that your body needs seemed very interesting, even back then, on the other hand not eating your food anymore didn’t seem to appealing to me, and soylent, right from the start seemed expensive, especially when being shipped to Europe.
Now, a few years later I read a german article where the author tested various alternatives to soylent, of which most come from central europe – and all of a sudden the stuff seemed afordable – and with trained scientists working on products, and development past the first few generations, it seemed a lot more appealing to me – so I read up on the subject, and compared various foods by what articles that i could find about them said – in the end I decided to try out a product called mana, which is produced by a company named Heaven Labs s.r.o. from the Czech Republic.
The reasons are simple: its price to value quota seemed good, they where quite transparent on what they are putting into their drinks, they are constantly developing their product, and they follow european food safety rules.
The reasons for trying it out where:
1) change my daily nutrition from a very unhealthy pattern, where i would eat at noon, and then eat (alot) again at the end of the day, to something where i would have a breakfast, and would ingest a lot less calories in the evening or at night.
2) trying to give my body more vitamins, thus rounding the profile of my nutrition to something a bit more healty and whole
3) being able to control much better how many calories i’m taking in seemed a very nice side effect
4) have it all fit within my daily life – without changing too much about it (like pooring water into the mana bottle and drinking it is done in a minute or two, i don’t have to get up early, go shop for breakfast, have breakfast, and then realize i’m late to work).
the first few days
In the first few days i still had quite mixed feelings about taking mana, at one side i had horror stories about people changing to a powderfood, and then getting flatulence-problems, and I didn’t know if I’d be able to have the discipline to “eat” the same thing every day.
I decided to go with an approach where I’d replace breakfast and dinner, but to keep lunch (for the social interaction with my co-workers), and was surprised how good it worked.
Things i learned:
1) Mana isn’t the best tasting food in the world.
2) Mana’s taste however is rounded well enough, so you can eat it every day without hating it anyways.
3) I quite quickly developed to have a lot more energy before lunch, being able to do my work more awake and perceptive.
4) I didn’t end up as one of the flatulence horror stories
5) Even thought this wasn’t my main goal, I’ve lost quite some weight (downside: my pants don’t fit that well anymore) (make no mistake, mana is not a weight reduction diet per se, but easy control on how many kalories i take in made me lose it – ive talked to people who gained weight after starting with it)
Where am I on this after 3 weeks
Since I’ve started more than 3 weeks have passed – i still do the 2 out of 3 meals thing – however i took mana with myself to GDC Europe/Gamescom, where it turned out that an easy to store and quick to prepare food is an amazing help – Even if i stop doing it on a daily basis at some point, I’ll make sure i have a stash for when going to a trade fair, or when traveling in general – it allowed me to sleep longer (by skipping solid-food-breakfast), while still having enough energy to make it through the day.
Am I going to keep taking it
Short answer: For Now.
Longer answer: Yes, but I’m thinking about trying out some other alternatives. While I like mana, I’m thinking there might be some that I might or might not like more – such as bertrand bio, which is on my to-try list, and also wundrbar or Twennybar, which have create solid, direct-to-eat bar versions of their products, which seem more practical, and easier to carry during the day (well, maybe mana creates one of those too?).
I’d definately like to try similar foods that have different taste-profiles, as while i don’t think i’ll hate mana at one point, a bit of variation in taste would be nice.
Peter is doing mana for 3 weeks now
Peter likes mana, and the increase in life performance & efficiency
Peter will stick with mana
Peter might try other soylent alternatives too.