"I watched my
life flash before my eyes and chugged."On January 12, Rhinehart measured each of his ingredients on a scale, dumped them into a pitcher, and added water. "I watched my life flash before my eyes," he says, "and chugged." He quickly realized he'd forgotten to include fiber, which helps regulate absorption; while he felt great after immediately metabolizing 800 calories, he soon crashed, feeling exhausted and out of it. After a few adjustments and a brief bout of potassium poisoning (which left Rhinehart with heart palpitations), he created a working formula. He went a month, then two, then three, ingesting almost nothing but Soylent, a name he came up with as a nod to the 1970s science-fiction film Soylent Green. He consumed three or four liquid meals a day, each of which took about a minute to prepare, drink, and clean up. To make sure he was healthy, he got occasional blood tests, and he tracked his progress on his blog, Mostly Harmless. There, he noted changes to the formula, such as replacing one third of the maltodextrin with oat powder in order to get more fiber and a lower glycemic index. He also began recording changes to his life.