Experimenting with Protein Powder

For the past few years, I’ve been using Prograde Protein Powder (Vanilla) for my pre workout snack.  I rarely use it as a meal repleacement.  Imagine my surprise and disappointment to find they are using soy lecithin – I try to steer clear of soy – so I now have two containers of this protein mix that are moved to th ‘back shelf’.  Part of my disapointment in finding this out has to to do with the fact that it tastes pretty good and really doesn’t have any other ‘crap or fillers’ in their protein mix.  I just sent them an email asking how much soy is truly in it, why and do they plan to remove (sent over the weekend and haven’t heard back yet).  This protein mix is gluten and GMO free – two important things to me.

Since my go to Protein powder is taking a backseat – now off to find some others to try.  I decided to try a plant-based protein mix to see if I could tolerate the taste and if it would help me with my workouts (in the past I’ve not been a fan of plant-based protein mixes).  The one that was recommended to me as being very good – both for my body and great tasting was Sun Warrior – Warrior Blend – Raw Protein – I opted for the chocolate.  This mix is gluten, soy and dairy free and non-GMO.  My standard pre workout shake is really easy – 4 ozs Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Almond Milk, 4 ozs of water and a scoop of protein mix – put all in a shaker bottle and mix it up.  Well to say I didn’t like it is an understatement – blah.  However, I found a fix – adding a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s Organic Peanut Butter – throwing it all in my vitamx and I’m able to drink it.   I’ve been given a sample of the vanilla to try and I will get around to it to see if that makes a difference (as I do believe sometimes the chocolate is what I’m having an issue with).  I feel pretty good during my workouts too.

Since I wasn’t satisfied with the plant-based protein, I really wanted to find an organic whey protein powder to see if I could find something that works for me.  You really have to do your research – the first one I found (and was planning to order) – the company was sued in a class action lawsuit becauce some of their labeling (aka marketing wasn’t true).  Here are the two I ended up buying since they both received very favorable reviews – both are organic, soy and gluten free – one is raw (meaning the whey isn’t cooked at high temperatures.)  Raw Orgnic Whey has 20 grams of protein and The Organic Whey only has 15 grams of protein.  These protein mixes require other ingredients though which is a bit of a let-down.

I started with the Raw Organic Whey with 4 tbsps of protein, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tbsp raw cacao powder (mayan superfood), 4 ozs almond milk and 4 ozs of water – put it all in the vitamix – blend it all up – tasted it – wasn’t sweet enough so I added 5 drops of sweet leaf stevia.  It tasted pretty good and I had good energy with my workout (still a bit of blah – again I think it might be the cacao).

Nutritional Information (using 4 oz water and 4 oz unsweetened almond milk):

Prograde (vanilla) (I’ve only ever used 1 scoop – it calls for two) Protein Shake:  Total Calories:    87.5  Protein:  12.5g     Sugar:  .5.  If you use the 2 full scoops:  Total Calories:  152.5  Protein:  24.5g  Sugar:  1g.  Note:  Protein Powder Calories Only:  130 (2 scoops)

SunWarrior (Chocolate) Protein Shake:  Total Calories:  201.5   Protein:   20.5   Sugar:  1.4 g   Note:  Protein Powder Calories Only:  84 (1 scoop)

Organic Whey (with ingredients mentioned above) Protein Shake:  Total Calories:  275  Protein:  27.5g   Sugar:  2.5 (this probably could be a meal replacement with a salad) – you can cut about 30 calories by only using 1 TBSP of the Cacao.  This is high to me for a pre workout snack so I’m going to have to work at modifying – maybe use a vanilla stevia and remove the cacao and peanut butter.  Note:  Protein Powder Calories Only:  97.5 (5 TBSPs)

The Organic Whey (with same ingredients as Organic Whey) Protein Shake:  Total Calories:  259.5;  Protein:  20.5g;  Sugar:  1.5 g (this probably could be a meal replacement with a salad) – you can cut about 30 calories by only using 1 TBSP of the Cacao.  This is high to me for a pre workout snack so I’m going to have to work at modifying – maybe use a vanilla stevia and remove the cacao and peanut butter.  NOTE:  I haven’t tried this one yet.  Protein Powder Calorie only:  82 (4 TBSPs)

I hadn’t really done the calorie count on this pre workout shakes until this post – imagine my surprise how high the calories were on the organic whey shakes (one I’ve made; one I’ve not).  Like I mentioned – I need to look into stevia flavors to cut about 155 calories.

I think for my pre workout protein shake I will be sticking with the Sun Warrior protein since I’m not looking for a meal replacement (until I can perfect the organic whey to be lower in calories – I’m not giving up on it).  I will definately be using the organic whey when I need to make a protein shake for breakfast – Cinnamon Roll Smoothier – YUM!

And I’m not giving up on Prograde either – It is great for travel as I don’t need to have any additives – plus it is GMO free – which means even if it has soy – it is GMO free (I will make my final decision once I hear back from them).

Looks like I’ll have another post about protein powder / shakes very soon as I continue my experiments.

PS:  I do have to say I love the fact that with the Organic Whey protein powders – I know the name of all the ingredients – both ‘Organic Whey Protein – 80% concentrate’  And I’m in control of all the ingredients for those shakes so again that makes me happy!



  1. Nicole · June 13, 2013

    Do you buy these online? Just checked, both muscle milk and Pure protein contain soy as well. I’ve been thinking about getting a vitamix – I have a juicer I haven’t used in over a year. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I realized we were just drinking juice of vegetables we’d normally eat anyway, so why waste all the pulp. I would rather see it all go into a smoothie!

    • keepingupwithkate91 · June 13, 2013

      Yes – all are available online – all but Prograde are on Amazon. I love my Vitamix (and it is made in the US). You may wan to also look at the Blendtec (I hear good things about it and it is a bit cheaper than the vitamix). I would look on http://www.qvc.com for both – they seem to have specials (and pay over time sometimes).

  2. Organic Whey · January 9, 2014

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