Hungry Girl: 5 Things You Need to Survive Black Friday

11/16/2015 at 01:39 PM ET

Hungry Girl
Nidal Naseralla/Getty; Inset: Courtesy Lisa Lillien

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of ten books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

You, brave soul, are about to venture into a mall or other superstore on the busiest shopping day of the year. Much like a warrior, you cannot go in without a plan of attack and the proper weapons. Follow my lead, and emerge victorious and with great discounts!

Parking Lot Zen
There’s always a struggle to snag the spot closest to the entrance, but let that go. Find a spot further back, and consider this day a great chance to get in a lot of walking and burn off some of that Thanksgiving feast. Use your smartphone or fitness tracker, or a simple pedometer, and see how high that number gets on your shopping excursion! It all starts with the walk from the parking lot.

Emergency Snacks
The key here is to stash items in your purse that a) won’t get smashed to bits, b) are loaded with protein, and c) don’t take up a lot of space. Your best bets for Black Friday: protein bars and jerky. Choose sturdy but chewy bars, like Quest, that can withstand getting tumbled around as you dig for your wallet. And there are so many different kinds of jerky out there: beef, chicken, turkey even soy. (The soy kind is better than it sounds!) The protein will squash your hunger, and the salty savory taste will help keep you away from those salty food-court snacks. Speaking of which…

RELATED: Hungry Girl: Get Your Diet Back on Track These Healthy Eating Strategies

A Meal Plan
All-day mall trip? There are tricks to getting a decent meal from the food court – just be ready to modify orders. Your best bet is a sub/deli shop: Get a small turkey breast sub on wheat, skip the cheese and mayo, and load up on veggies. (Wanna go lighter? Request it over shredded lettuce instead of bread.) Thinking Mexican? Have a grilled-chicken salad (no cheese or crispy toppings, and definitely no fried tortilla bowl!) with salsa instead of dressing. And a Chinese place that serves steamed chicken or shrimp with veggies is a total score.

The vibe will be hectic, but don’t get too caught up in the hurry. Give yourself plenty of time to browse. (Walking up and down the mall will help you get those steps in!) It’s easy to fall into the “I’m cranky!” trap at the mall, but that’ll only lead you right to the buttery pretzels and cinnamon buns in the food court. So chill out, and try to have some fun!

Exit Strategy
As important as it is to give yourself enough time, it’s also critical to know when to pack it up. If you didn’t already stop for a meal in the mall, don’t pull a desperation move and hit the drive-thru for a burger and fries. Have this page ready and bookmarked on your smartphone it’s a direct link to the best options at a slew of chain restaurants. Or if you’re the super-prepared, think-ahead type, set up a slow-cooker meal before you leave, so dinner will be ready when you arrive home – this mac ‘n cheese is always a winner.

RELATED: Hungry Girl: My Healthy Hacks For Fast Food Burgers

FILED UNDER: Expert Tips , Hungry Girl

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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