Before-and-After Pics and a Swanson Protein Powder Review

You may recall my recent foray into the depths of hell (otherwise known as Jillian Michael’s Making The Cut program), where for 30 days I consistently peeled myself off the gym floor after an intense total-body workout. Known as her most brutal regime, I’m proud of myself for finishing the 30 days of training while also maintaining a very strict diet and yet I wish I had known then what I know now about post-workout nutrition! Not only was I forgoing any post-workout protein, my habitual espresso was hindering my muscle growth due to caffeine’s negative effect after a workout.


Now I know better and whether I’m pushing my body to the limit or just going for a light jog, I make sure to fuel my muscle repair with an immediate hit of protein (and no coffee!) so the protein synthesis process can work it’s magic.

To get more results from all that hard work in the gym, drink an easily digestible protein supplement within 30-60 minutes of exercising.

Once I swapped my post-workout java for a post-workout protein shake, I saw an amazing difference. In just two weeks I had new definition in my weakest areas that I’ve struggled for years to improve (hello abs! hello triceps!).

These were my abs when I worked out hard but without protein.

These are my abs when I work out hard AND get my protein on!

I have since experimented with many sorts of protein powders, learned why it’s important to stay away from isolated proteins, and discovered that no matter what the marketing claims say, my stomach is not a fan of any form of dairy protein.  So when Swanson Health Products, a family-owned company that sells a wide range of organic and eco-friendly health products, offered me the opportunity to review their signature Pea Protein Powder, I jumped at the chance.

I hope you know me well enough by now to know that I don’t sugar-coat anything. So in typical Domestica fashion, here’s the real deal:

    • It is said that vegan, plant-based protein powders are easily digestible for even the most sensitive tummies because of the “nearly ideal for human nutrition” amino acid profile. Whereas some proteins cause havoc during digestion, the nutritional profile of plant-based proteins have been shown to assimilate more easily. And I have to agree.  After using this product, my stomach showed no signs of cramping, bloating, or any other unladylike side effects that I typically get from protein powders.
    • One serving of Swanson’s Pea Protein Powder delivers 17 g of protein in only 80 calories. This is great because let’s be honest, who wants to work their tail off for an hour only to consume all those calories back in a post-workout shake! Cardiovascular health aside, kind of defeats the purpose.
    • Although pea proteins are known to be grainier than other protein sources, I found this one mixed well with my smoothies, shakes, and was a great addition to my baking, too. For best results, make sure you are using a blender or if on the go, a shaker cup with a built-in blender ball as it will make a big difference in how the powder breaks down. I use my Tupperware Quick Shake which is fabulous since it doesn’t see a lot of gravy these days.
    • This product is cheap. In fact, it’s so cheap that it worried me! At $8.99 a pound, it’s half the price of my other favorite plant-based protein.  But keeping in mind that this is 100% pea protein (with no other supplemental ingredients that would spike the price) and the fact that I’ve been very impressed with the quality of other Swanson products (as you read about in my drunken sailor liver post), I feel confident using it. Plus, they promise that this powder is made with 100% non-GMO yellow peas.

Domestica’s Final Word: If you’re used to the the heavily processed, sugary, milkshake-type protein powders from juice-monkey supplement shops, you’re not going to like this protein powder. But if you’ve successfully conditioned your taste buds to enjoy whole foods without chemical processing, than I’m certain you will love Swanson’s Pea Protein Powder as much I do!

In Wednesday’s post, I’ll give you my favorite post-workout protein shake, {Domestica’s Chocolata-Oomph Protein Shake} using this versatile pea protein powder. It’s perfect for mixing up at the gym or at your desk and will ensure you’re muscles are getting the fuel they need to make all your hard work pay off!

Domestically Yours,
Natasha Kay


Full Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Swanson but all opinions are truly my own. My nice words aren’t for sale!

10 thoughts on “Before-and-After Pics and a Swanson Protein Powder Review

  1. Jane says:

    I’m very lactose intolerant and all the whey proteins give me a huge stomachache even though they say they don’t contain lactose. Do you think the pea protein will work for me? Where do you buy it? Whole Foods? Thanks! I’ve been looking for a whey protein like product for a very, very long time!

  2. Natasha (Domestica) says:

    Definitely the pea protein will work for you! A plant-based protein powder is the way to go for anyone with adverse reactions to dairy. In fact, I think they are a superior protein source because the assimilation is so much easier on our bodies than animal proteins are. You can get the Swanson Pea Protein powder on their website (click the link in the “Domestica’s Final Word” paragraph of my post above) or you can get other pea-based protein powders at natural and health food stores (including WF). But I would buy it online because you’ll get a much better deal. As I mentioned, pea protein powders are known for being pasty or chalky but the Swanson one was better in that area than some others I’ve tried. 🙂

  3. Rita S says:

    I just found your site and love it – thanks for all the great info! I use a yellow pea based protein powder myself that is GMO free. It also incorporates proteins from brown rice and cranberry. It scores a 100% on the amino acid profile, and has some powerful anti oxidants as well (cancer is a concern in my family and I find this a bonus). Taste is delicious. The Swansons brand costs less per serving than the brand I am using. I went to your link but their ingredient list does not provide a listing of vitamins and minerals. Do you know if that is available somewhere? I have been on a 18 mo long mission of self-education – my family has gone the route of almost entirely whole foods, but one protein shake a day on weekdays is my on-the-go convenient breakfast – beats my old habit! Managed to lose 85 lbs in 8 mo and feel like 20 again instead of the 50 I am pushing. I will be back to your site to learn more! I had avoided whey because of the lactose, but the protein isolate info was new for me.

    • Natasha Kay says:

      Oh wow! That is SO awesome Rita! Congrats on doing weight loss the “right way” (in my opinion!). Making it a lifestyle (and not a “diet”) really is critical and I always say to people that “knowledge is power”! Re-education is a huge part of making a real lifestyle change that leads to not only lower weight but far better overall health.

      I took a look at my Swanson pea protein label and there wasn’t anything about the vitamins/minerals. In fact, there’s no ingredient list because it’s straight-up 100% pea protein. I guess you could look to see what kind of vitamins/minerals are in the type of yellow pea that it’s made from…???

  4. Jane says:

    Thank you for reviewing Swanson’s Pea Protein. I love Swanson’s Co. and wondered about this product after discovering that rice protein powders are NON-DOMESTIC and have heavy metals in them, even though they’re organic, non-GMO etc. I’ll give Swanson’s a try!

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