Pollen Project Day 1: The Journey Begins
Posted on January 2, 2019.
First day of the new year, and a good day to try new things. This year, I’m going to do something a little off the wall: seeing how long I can go getting all of my daily nutrition from bee pollen. Now, before you think I’m completely out of my mind I want to say that 1.3lbs of GloryBee Organic Spanish Bee Pollen contains roughly 1,800 calories supplying 140 grams of protein, 260 grams of carbohydrates, and 24 grams of fat. For somebody of my age and size that’s close enough on protein, high on carbs, and low on fat, but it should be enough to keep me in decent nutrition. I will be drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and taking my usual supplements (fish oil, vitamin d3, daily multivitamin, magnesium, and creatine), but my actual food calories are all pollen.
So here I am, bright and early into 2019, wondering what I’m going to do with this big bucket of pollen on the counter. I’ve divided my daily portion into 6 meals, as I think it’ll help to spread all those carbs out over the course of a day. Since I slept in I’m already one meal behind, so I poured a bowl of 200g bee pollen and grabbed a spoon. First lesson learned? Bee pollen is very dense and consuming it requires a LOT of chewing. After realizing I can’t just eat the stuff like cereal, I threw it into a mortar and pestle and tried to make pollen powder. It barely flinched after five minutes of literally smashing it with a rock. I added a bit of water and this helped with the process, so now I’ve got a lump of orangeish paste that smells vaguely cheesy not unlike Cheetos - but tastes like gritty pollen mush, very much unlike Cheetos. I added some water to my next round to give it a pre-soak to see if it’ll break up easier in a couple of hours.
I went to the gym after ‘brunch’ and did some high-volume weightlifting. Energy levels were solid throughout. An interesting side effect was that I was not hungry after the gym like I usually am. Satiety levels were high enough that I had to make myself eat ‘dinner’ several hours afterwards. This experiment is not a ‘diet’ because it’s not a smart or sustainable way to eat in the long-term, so I want to make sure to get in the calories I have planned for myself.
Pre-soaking helps. The pollen more or less dissolves in water and after running it in the blender I could easily quaff a glass of ‘dinner’ without thinking too much about it - I think the biggest challenge in getting through this is going to be mental, as this stuff is not exactly delicious in.
Important: Before starting this experiment, Jason carefully coordinated with his health care professional to ensure his own safety and nutritional needs would be met. We always recommend checking with your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet. We do not recommend pollen as a single source of nutrition.