Are you a chocolate lover? But, do you avoid it because of the fear of excess calories and gaining weight? Well, I have something new for you to try that will satisfy your chocolaty craving but with a healthy twist! “Indulge your health with Mayesa!” It is an all natural organic cacao and hemp protein drink! I was at Whole Foods last night getting some soup for dinner and came across this remarkable beverage.

I love to try new things and then inform my clients or followers about it—the taste, the nutrition content, if it’s worth the cost, etc. This beverage is dairy free, soy free and gluten free, which also sparked my interest because Celiac disease is becoming more common everyday, along with lactose intolerance – and we all know that too much of anything (including soy) cannot be good for you!

From a NUTRITION STANDPOINT: The Mayesa beverage is made from the great superfood (cacao) and complete vegetable protein that many Vegans thrive on (hemp protein) providing all nine essential amino acids plus Omega 3 & 6. It is also a great source of fiber (3 grams per serving), protein (from the hemp seed), potassium (which helps to lower your blood pressure if it’s high), Vitamin D and calcium. It is cholesterol and trans fat free, which is heart healthy.

I agree with supplements ONLY when you are not able to get enough through your diet. For example, you may be Vitamin D deficient because you live in an area where there is not enough sunshine throughout the day or year for that matter- to get 15 minutes a day or you are avoiding egg yolks and dairy (good sources of Vitamin D) because you are lactose intolerant. This is when a Vitamin D supplement can be beneficial. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, and is a necessary component of your dietary intake. However, I feel that most of the time, you can get these essential nutrients in your diet through the foods themselves!! Always go to the source itself (food) rather than just taking a supplement. Added bonus: you get to enjoy the flavor instead of taking a plain pill!

So, if you’re looking for a new tasty beverage to try with a chocolate twist, I recommend trying the Cacao Original Mayesa beverage—shake well and enjoy chilled (similar to soy milk).

If you would like to learn more about how to include a new variety of healthy foods that are delicious into your diet, schedule an appointment with Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer (NASM) and Founder of Nutrition For Body and Mind.

Note: photo of Cacao tree seeds: the cocoa beans courtesy of Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate. Mayesa beverage photo courtesy of company (