Mardi Gras is a once-a-year event during which the people of America head down south to jazzy New Orleans to shed their boring, everyday work garb for flashy costumes of green, purple and gold, run rampant through the streets of downtown Nola, and exchange their dignity for a string of pearly gold beads. It’s an event where crazy is normal and the party never stops. For some, this is all well and good.

But for those of us who begin to break into a panicky sweat at the thought of limited access to food while drinking for hours on end, one thought comes to mind: what happens if I get hungry?

Have no fear, mardi party-ers: I have put together for you (and myself) the ultimate Mardi Gras survival guide:

1. Stay Hydrated  

If you’re one of about 97% of college students in this country, you’re probably aware that drinking excessively for 5 days straight will dehydrate you. What you might not also know is that often times when you feel hungry you may actually be craving water. For any event that involves consecutive days of heavy drinking, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. Keep sipping on water between each penny-shot you take on Bourbon Street and avoid passing out during the chaos of a Mardi Gras parade.

Maybe Grab a Water Bottle First…

2. Eat a Good Breakfast

There is no better way to fuel up for a long day than with a hearty breakfast. Make sure that before you hit the streets, you fill up on a sizable breakfast that will keep your stomach filled – you never know when will be the next time you manage to escape the throngs of crazy paraders to grab a bite to eat. Include protein in your breakfast to give you energy for the day’s shenanigans.

3. Pack Snacks in Your Fanny Pack

What kind of Chronically Hungry person would you be if you didn’t already know this one, right? Mardy Gras is non-stop day of parades and parties – that means long periods of time without snacks and between meals. If you can’t manage escape the parades to take a pit stop at the nearest café, be sure to have a granola bar or two on hand to much on when hunger strikes.

Just Don’t Let Any Strange Animals Inside…

4. End the Day With a Spicy Cajun Meal

A long day of partying can only be celebrated in one way – a hefty, satisfying meal to soak up the day’s alcohol and replenish your waning energy levels for the night ahead. Be sure to try some of Nola’s famous Southern Cajun Creole cuisine, as the city is not only famous for partying and jazz music, but a great restaurant scene as well. Adventure with a spicy plate of Cajun Jambalaya, or indulge in fat and fried po’ boy sandwich.

Stick to this guide and you’ll be sure to avoid a personal hunger crisis at this year’s Mardi Gras.