drknexus' basic v1.3 Weight Loss

Last updated December 8, 2013 Copy
AmountIngredient$ / daySource
75gGarden of Life Raw Meal$2.13Amazon
2gCholine bitartrate$0.02Amazon
55gManitoba Harvest, Hemp Hearts$1.31Amazon
29gTrader Joe's Unflavored Soy Protein$0.51Trader Joe's
35gMuscle Milk, powder$0.66Amazon
2gIodised Salt$0.00local
130gWaxy Maize Starch, Now Sports$1.65Amazon
0pillOptimum Nutrition Opti-Women Multivitamin$0.00Amazon UK
91gCytoSport 100% Whey$1.54costco
55gCereals, oats, regular and quick, not fortified$0.00
0gMorton Lite Salt Mixture$0.00Amazon
4gPotassium chloride$0.08iHerb
22gCanola Oil$0.05Walmart
Amounts for:
Total Daily Cost:
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drknexus' basic

In development, comments/guidance appreciated

I'll only increment version numbers when I've made a change & there is a new comment or response made.


  • Be complete and use few ingredients.
  • No attempt to control macros, only keep micros in a safe and healthy range. The hope is that after micros are dealt with, macros can be inflated as needed through careful decisions... or... if you trust your body to tell you what you need/have to much of you could just use the remaining calories for social eating. Note: This version breaks from this goal by using maltodextrin and flax oil to break through the 100% aims of the USDA for carbohydrate and fat. These additions aren't required, and for reasons noted elsewhere (e.g. actual blood sugar levels) this amount of maltodextrin might not be great. However, it is easy from a recipe standpoint because it doesn't contain much else other than carbohydrate (as far as I can tell). although I may feel compelled to break from this in order to reach the 100% complete goal).
  • Micro-nutrients: The goal is to use food/natural sources when possible as they appear to be less likely to be absorbed when levels are near the UTL. This may also provide the benefit of meeting needs that are not on nutrition labels. (Edit: Maltodextrin added to boost towards 100% completeness, for a number of reasons this is expected to be sub-optimal).
  • Cost: I'm trying to stay under $10 a day.
  • Form: All things being equal, I prefer powdered forms.

Subsequent headings are sources of nutritional information by ingredient and other topics of interest. Where possible values are taken from the USDA database. Nutrients not in the USDA database for given foods, are found either by inference or researcher.

Vitamin A

Yes, I blew the doors off the Vitamin A upper limit. Vitamin A measurements are a mess to do well. The IU is a direct measurement of the amount of Vitamin A but tells us little about bioavailablity. I'd be concerned if more than the upper tolerable limit came from an artificial source. However, most of it in this recipe should come from natural sources in the form of beta carotene. As I understand it, beta carotene will not become bioavailable vitamin A if there is an excess of Vitamin A. Ergo, no worry.


Potassium is scary stuff. Too much can kill you. The USDA has set limits on how much potassium can be in a dose of a supplement (~9% of the RDA). I think that the killy part of Potassium is related to the potassium/sodium balance. Until this recipe leaves the 'in development part behind' I'd recommend caution here.


This is the part I feel most conflicted about. Spices make up a big part of this recipe, primarily for their mineral contents. However, being plants their mineral contents depend on their soil. Worse yet, nutritional facts aren't available on packaging because the serving size recommendations are comparatively tiny. Therefore, nutritional information comes primarily from the USDA database. Therefore, assuming the USDA database reflects a reasonable sample of the variability in spice source nutrition one can hope that over time these values will balance out. Since minerals typically are stored, one hopes that a single batch of soylent being deficient would not result in surplus or deficiency.

  • Note: Cayenne vastly preferred over red simply for comfort purposes.

Muscle Milk

For labeling, I used the 70g serving size values in hopes for greater precision. Given the amount of nutrition in that base, I think the fine folks over there probably were trying to make something close to a powdered multi-vitamin.

  • Biotin: Biotin is not listed on the Nutrition facts, However, we can see it on the ingredients list right before potassium iodide. Therefore as a lower bound, conservatively we can assume that potassium iodide is the sole source of iodine. We know that USDA ingredient lists are ordered by weight. Therefore, there must be, by weight, as much biotin as there is potassium iodide. Referencing pure bulk we can see that 2mg of potasium iodide provides 1.5mg of iodine, at 1020% of the US DV. We can scale the 70g serving size DV for iodine, 35%, back by the pure bulk value to indicate that this is 3.4% of the pure bulk amount of 2g of potassium iodide per serving. Therefore, we expect that there is 0.068mg of potassium iodide per 70mg serving and more than 0.068mg of biotin per serving, i.e. 68 micrograms. Lacking other information at this time we assume that this is the amount of biotin present in Muscle Milk.
  • Sulfur: We know the amount of Methioine per two scoops (785mg) and Cysteine (415mg). Given the molar mass of these two proteins and the presence of sulfur in each of them we can get the percentage of weight of sulfur for each (21% and 26%) and use that. The contribution from Biotin and Thiamine are trivial.

Raw Meal

  • Chloride values unavailable for raw meal

Hemp Hearts

The Omega fat percentages are a guess. Hemp hearts supposedly contain about 47% oil, 78% of which is Omega or Essential Fats. The same source indicates that for a larger dose of hemp hearts, 15 g. polyunsaturated fat can be broken down into 11.4 g. omega 6 and 3.6 g. omega 3. This is approximately square with the producer's claim that the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratios are 3.75 to 1. So, we use this ratio in conjunction with the amount of fat that is polyunsaturated to make our guess for the hemp hearts.

It is expected that the Hemp Hearts (as an agricultural product) will have some potassium. I'd calculated that value once, but it seems to have gone missing.

Now Foods, Carbo Gain 100% Complex Carbohydrate

This must be the 12lb size, other sizes appear to have sodium content. In the long run, it should be determined whether this is a labeling oversight. That being said, being over the UTL for sodium in the western diet isn't an uncommon experience and this still is probably healthier than average.

Future Directions

  • v.1.1 follows from a mod of v1.0 I saw that dropped the floor out from under the pepper spice. This made the levels of A look far less crazy, but dropped K too low. It brought K in through soybean oil replacing the flax. This had the unfortunate consequence of making the oil required as opposed to optional. It also made a non-powdered ingredient required. I've seen some comments about parsley powder as a source of K - that might be a good next step here too.
  • Soy Lecithin could provide the Choline from a 'food source' and Lecithin but then again maybe it causes heart issues [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_lecithin#Possible_link_to_heart_disease]
  • Hi-maize seems like an interesting source of carbohydrate and despite the high fiber supposedly doesn't cause gas etc (up to 45g per day). Then again, it looks like it is 'trendy' right now - so maybe this is hype? Not in USDA and it looks like it might be near impossible to get full nutritional information on it.
  • I wonder how gross starch is... perhaps it could be used as a more complex carb than maltodextrin?

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Day
39% Carb, 32% Protein, 29% Fat
% Daily Values*
Total Carbohydrate200g
Dietary Fiber 22g
Total Fat65g
Saturated Fat11g
Monounsaturated Fat20g
Polyunsaturated Fat29g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids5g
Omega-6 Fatty Acids21g
Vitamin A
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K
Pantothenic Acid
* Percent Daily Values are based on "drknexus U.S. government DRI, male 19-50, 2000 calories Zone". You may use the Nutrient Calculator to personalise your own profile, then select it from the list on the Recipe Editor tab.
Nutrient Profile: drknexus U.S. government DRI, male 19-50, 2000 calories ZoneChange

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