If you're one of the millions of Americans planning to hit the discount racks hard on Black Friday, you're going to need to optimize your energy.
Mary Shenouda, founder of The Paleo Chef, shared some of her favorite go-to energy boosting tricks with CBS News.
"If you're planning on waking up early for Friday shopping, you should start the day by making unicorn fuel. It provides instant and sustained energy."
Inspired by bulletproof coffee, unicorn fuel is coffee with a few extras. Shenouda says the fat in the drink will satiate your brain first thing in the morning and help rev up digestion. "Plus, it just tastes really freaking good."
Unicorn Fuel Recipe from Shenouda's website:
1 cup (or 2, if you're Shenouda) coffee
1 tablespoon MCT oil (optional, and if it's your first time only 1/2)
1 tablespoon grass fed butter
1 teaspoon maca
1 teaspoon cacao
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of cayenne
If some of these ingredients sound foreign to you, ask your friendly health food store or whole foods clerk to help you find them.
Shenouda says this turbo charged concoction should hold you over for 4 or 5 hours.
"It's pretty intense."
Shenouda learned about the extreme health benefits of a paleo diet through experience. She used to be riddled with health problems, including skin issues and stomach troubles that interfered with her ability to enjoy her life. She turned her life around by changing her diet. Now her skin is clear, her digestion is optimal and she's cooking up a paleo-inspired storm for private clients.
Shenouda loves dishing out lifestyle and eating advice to help others build sustained energy. "If you're one of those die-hard Black Friday shoppers, you may need something to keep you going once the unicorn fuel wears off," says Shenouda.
Her next suggestion may be a bit extreme for non-paleo people, but Shenouda swears by it. She says bring a bag of bacon with you to snack on when you start to feel hungry.
"I'm not joking. Or, if you're vegetarian bring an avocado."
Shenouda says the fat in the bacon or avocado will signal your brain that you are full and give you sustained energy without spiking your blood sugar like processed or refined carbohydrates.
If lugging a bag of bacon around the mall with you makes you cringe, try going the energy bar route.
"I carry exo bars with me all the time. They have enough calories to be a full meal if you're between meals and feeling hungry," Shenouda explains. Exo bars are a new type of energy bar made with cricket flour. (That's right: flour made from crickets, the insects.) People looking for high protein snacks can snatch up one of these bars in flavors like peanut butter and jelly, apple cinnamon or cacao nut.
Another thing to be aware of is the link between your stomach and your emotional state. If you sense yourself getting caught up in a shopper's high and not able to think clearly, take a break and snack on that protein bar or bagged bacon. Giving yourself a time out to breathe and refocus will make you able to think more clearly and remember why you're shopping in the first place.
When it's all over give yourself a pat on the back. You've made it.
"At the end of the day, let someone know one thing you crushed and one thing you're grateful for," says Shenouda. "It's important to end the day with a sense of self-accomplishment and gratitude."