Needs Assessments and Peppermint Mochas

One paper down, two to go; part of me is begging Christmas break to hurry up while another part of me is saying “there is NO way I am going to be able to get all of my work done before the break gets here!”. I am currently working on a needs assessment paper on obesity in minority groups in the United States (including non-Hispanic African Americans, Mexican Americans and Hispanics). I have never written a paper like this, and it is definitely bringing quite the challenge. After deciding on my population group, I had to scour the current and available  research on the subject and one of the most interesting findings was that a MAJOR factor contributing to increased prevalence of obesity in minority population groups is the transition from their traditional cultures to a westernised one; way to go USA… we are helping to make the world a fatter place one group at a time. I was intrigued by the cultural and behavioural differences between minority groups that included differences in the types of foods consumed, body image, ability to self-report obesity and related diseases and socio-economic status. As a resident non-Hispanic Caucasian, I am certainly on the outside looking in for this issue, but extremely appreciative of the chance to educate myself on issues of other racial and ethnic groups. For any of you interested in doing the same, or commenting on the research findings, you can view the paper here: OBESITY.PA.IN.US.HISPANICS

So, if you are still wondering where the peppermint mochas come in, I will now explain; this weekend I finally discovered a way to make peppermint mochas in my own kitchen (thank goodness… I was spending as much on coffee per day as a “pack-a-day” smoker spends on cigarettes!). This wondrous idea came to me as I was baking cookies for thanksgiving (that turned out horribly… I had to throw them all out); I was using vanilla extract and thought “Hmm… I bet they have peppermint extract… and I bet if I mix that will my mocha mix I will get a peppermint mocha…”

I went that same day to Publix to buy my holy grail of baking extracts and after one failed try (DO NOT TRY TO DRIP THE EXTRACT INTO THE DRINK… your drink will be so full of peppermint vapours that you will think you are swallowing vicks vapor rub!) I got it right!


Oh… Pure Joy!
  1. Heat up your water in your mug of choice
  2. place your finger over the spout of the peppermint extract so that you get a teensy bit on your finger and dab your finger in the water (do not submerge your finger… remember you just pulled that steaming mug out of the microwave), just let it graze the top of the water so that the extract mixes with the water.
  3. If you lucked out and found a bottle with a dropper, just remember you only need a TINY bit of the extract
  4. stir in 2 table spoons of “Sugar Free Double Mocha Mix” (Hills Brothers Brand; can be found at most grocery stores)
  5. ENJOY your 50 cal mocha (compared to Starbucks Tall Peppermint mocha – 100 cal)

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