Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
21 Sep

Ask Carrie a Question

I’m not sure if I’ve ever formally introduced my wife, Carrie, to the Mark’s Daily Apple community. (That’s her to the right. 53 years strong and on her way to the gym today.) She’s shown up in some posts in the past and we’ve talked about her contributing to the blog, but it just hasn’t come together until now. I’ve done my fair share of encouraging, but it’s been your interest that finally convinced her to share her experience.

As a number of women readers mentioned, it’s nice to get feedback from the female persuasion. Carrie has lived her own version of the Primal Blueprint for years now, so she can offer some valuable, personal insight. Some of you have asked how living Primally influences women’s aging issues. Others have been interested in how she has raised two Primal seedlings. Whatever your question, this is your chance for some feedback. She’d love to receive any questions you have for her, so drop a line in the comment board. Next week she’ll be back with her own “Dear Carrie” answers. Thanks in advance for your questions, everyone! We’ll look forward to reading your comments. Have a great week!

UPDATE: Read the follow-up to this post where Carrie answers all your questions

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Some friends and I were just discussing how lifestyle can affect women as they get to that stage in life where every doctor is handing out hormones. Any thoughts on this?

    Also, please share your workout. I would kill for arms and abs like yours!

    Krys wrote on September 21st, 2009
  2. Hi Carrie, you look like a beacon of light in that doorway there!

    I wasn’t aware that you are a vegetarian because I’m somewhat new to the site, having found you all through crossfit. What kind of a vegetarian are you? Do you eat eggs and dairy? How do you follow the PB as a veg?


    Mel wrote on September 21st, 2009
    • Sorry for the early confusion. My wife eats fish, eggs and cheese, so she might technically be a Primal pescetarian??? In any case I’ve removed that bit to avoid confusion.

      Mark Sisson wrote on September 21st, 2009
  3. Hi Carrie, thanks for volunteering to share your experience. I have some questions:

    – What are your main sources of protein?
    – How much carbs do you eat on a daily basis?
    – Is your diet rich in fats?
    – What is your exercise routine?

    Thank you in advance for your answers!

    SerialSinner wrote on September 21st, 2009
  4. As a mom of two small children I’m both struggling to get back to an athletic life (and lose the baby weight) and I’m trying to figure out how to get the kids to enjoy primal foods. I’ve resorted to letting them at least keep their oatmeal breakfast to get them to eat. Any thoughts and suggestions to a young family would be very welcome!

    Jenn wrote on September 21st, 2009
  5. I don’t have any questions yet. I’m just excited that Carrie is going to start contributing! Yay!

    gilliebean wrote on September 21st, 2009
  6. I am so excited right now! So, glad Carrie that you are willing to offer your expertise on your experience here with us. and I think a HUGE HELLO! is called for in that picture-WOW! You look fabulous!

    I have a voluptuous frame. It is truly hour glass and probably the only reason I do not look like I weigh as much as I do. I have been losing weight here, but I think initially it was muscle, because I just started getting really flabby and I am always toned. So, stepped up my protein and have started filling in the gaps with fats. I have cut back on the veggies and fruit, but not necessarily as a tool to lose weight, moreso because I am tired of the same veggies and I do not always feel like having a veggie. I have not incorporated a regular workout yet and seem to be having a big problem with being motivated to do so. Let me tell you though that you are a great source of inspiration to get on the ball!

    I am 38 in 3 months and I would love to be down from my 187 pound frame to a leaner, more toned, and healthy looking frame within 6 months. This is my heaviest ever-spent my whole life, but the last 9 years a thin, hourglass shaped 125 pound single girl. Now I am a single mom of two boys 9 and 5.

    I guess what I would greatly appreciate from you are any tips on how to refine what I am doing, and easy exercise tips to fit into a busy schedule that includes working full time, full time student, and trying to squeeze in time with the boys.

    Also, you do not look like you had this problem, but I came out of my pregnancies with a few stretch marks and a bit of a spare tire (a very deflated spare tire), the tire part is disappearing, but the deflated leftovers are taking longer-wondering if you know of any other woman that may have had this and lost it completely once they got to where they wanted to be. I am just worried that I will be carrying this around with me all my life. Still not use to it as I always had a flat, cute tummy before kids.

    Thank you for any time you offer in answering these posts. It is greatly appreciated. You are truly inspiring and wish you and your family many blessings!

    pauleygirl wrote on September 21st, 2009
  7. how many calories do you take in for maintenance? for weight loss?

    D wrote on September 21st, 2009
  8. Hi Carrie,
    You look fantastic! As a vegetarian who implements many aspects of the primal diet, I’m very curious as to what your daily food intake is like. Also, out of curiosity, why do you choose to be vegetarian?


    Emily from Healthy Eating, Naturally

    Emily wrote on September 21st, 2009
    • She’s not vegetarian she eats fish…

      Dana wrote on May 1st, 2012
  9. Hi Carrie,

    I’d be really interested to know what your workouts look like, specifically. What kind of weight training do you do? How long and how often?

    Did you exclude all grains from your children’s diets?

    Also, I am curious why have you chosen to exclude red meat and poultry from your diet?

    Thanks so much for offering your unique insight and expertise!


    Shelley wrote on September 21st, 2009
  10. Welcome, Carrie! Glad to see you become a regular contributor. Like other commenters, I’m curious to know why you avoid meat.

    Sonagi wrote on September 21st, 2009
  11. Carrie, I must say I think I gulped when I saw your photo. You look incredible and I would happily take tips from you! LOL Seriously, though, I’m very glad you’re joining us and I, too, would love to get your persepective. So welcome and thank you for doing this!

    The questions I have are basically covered by other comments above…about your menu, what you feed your children, what your workouts entail, why you eat what you eat, any advice you have to balancing role of mom in the quest for health, etc. Along those lines I would love to see a “day in the life” a bit like Mark did in his book, where we see what you ate and when, etc.

    Thanks again for joining us and offering your advice and wisdom!

    P.S. Pauleygirl, you’re right, you and I really do have a lot in common (minus having a flat cute tummy, heh) – we should e-mail each other!

    Lisa wrote on September 21st, 2009
    • Lisa

      that would be great. i do not have the flat, cute tummy anymore. i hope to get it flat again, but the cuteness factor is never gonna happen.

      pauleygirl wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  12. I was a vegetarian up until last year. Now I am Zero Carb (meat only) and so much happier!

    Katelyn wrote on September 21st, 2009
  13. Carrie – we need to know everything you are doing! You look fantastic. The best thing is you look so relaxed!

    What is a typical menu and workout?

    Deborah wrote on September 21st, 2009
  14. So happy to finally hear from you on MDA, Carrie! I, too, am wondering all about your diet. I’m also wondering how old your kids were when you first turned Primal, and how it was in the beginning.

    crunchysue wrote on September 21st, 2009
  15. You look awesome, Carrie! How long have you been exercising for? Primal? What does your diet and exercise routines look like from week to week?

    Jess wrote on September 21st, 2009
  16. I second Shelley’s request. What is your exercise plan and what do you eat in a typical day? You look great – I am 50 and wish I looked half as good, but I have lots of primal catching up to do :)

    Laurie Donaldson wrote on September 21st, 2009
  17. You are an amazing specimen of a woman, Carrie!

    I’m surprised that no one asked this yet, and I hope it’s not too personal.
    We talk so much about every aspect of health here but very rarely about sexual health, which is a huge part of our overall health and what I focus on in my education/career. I have been wondering what effect living primally has had on your reproductive health. Easier periods, etc? I used to (and sometimes still do) suffer from very painful periods and I notice that when I’m strictly off grains/refined sugars, they are less so. Do you have any observations about this? I figure if living primally is good for overall health, it has to have a positive effect on a female’s reproductive health as well.

    Thank you for considering this question.

    erica wrote on September 21st, 2009
  18. I’d love to see a day of regular eating, and how much time it takes for you to prepare it.

    Jenny wrote on September 21st, 2009
  19. Hi Carrie, nice to meet you! And for questions… yeah, all of the above. :)

    Katt wrote on September 21st, 2009
  20. What do you do to take care of your skin? It looks like you have very few freckles, wrinkles, or age spots (or stretch marks!!) despite living the “Malibu lifestyle” with lots of sun.

    klcarbaugh wrote on September 21st, 2009
  21. Carrie, you look great! Pretty much just what everyone else said! Show us how you do it!

    In another post it said something about you using protein powder, which I cannot tolerate as they all seem to have artificial sweeteners. Those all give me a headache, even Stevia.

    I also do not have access to a gym and have a very tiny house. With those two small limitations, I hope I can adapt some of your diet and exercise ideas!

    Karen wrote on September 21st, 2009
  22. I’m interested in your daily routines as far as self-care and time-management go. I think many women, especially moms, have a lot of demands on their time and are under a lot of stress. It seems like you have it figured out, at least to some degree (you look happy & stress-free!). I just had my first child in June and am having a really hard time caring for myself the way I used to. I am not eating or sleeping enough and haven’t worked out at all since the birth. Even though I’ve lost the weight and look fine I feel tired, weak, and out of shape. I worry that I won’t have the strength or energy to keep up with my son when he gets bigger since I’m already so beat now and he’s only 14 wks old! I want to have more kids and wonder: how will I ever find the time to really take care of myself?! How do you do it with two kids? I’d love to hear your perspective on that. I also think a “Day in the life of Carrie” post would be helpful and inspiring as far as making time for self-care and managing time are concerned. Thanks for offering to contribute to the site, I look forward to reading your posts!

    Jessica wrote on September 21st, 2009
  23. Hi Carrie, nice to meet you. You look fabulous!

    I would love to know more about your workouts? Do you do anything specifically for your abs?

    Mark and Carrie, thank you for the inspiration.

    maba wrote on September 21st, 2009
  24. Like everybody else, I’m curious as to what your daily routine is, haha

    Mia wrote on September 21st, 2009
  25. Hi Carrie, and WOW you look incredible!! I second everyone elses questions and especially erica who has asked about female’s reproductive health as well. You and Mark are picture’s of inspiration :)

    Dollface wrote on September 21st, 2009
  26. Hello Carrie! I’m pretty new to MDA, I’ve been reading up on it for about two weeks now. It’s nice to see that this life-style is do-able with a family life. Most diet and exercise plans to look like you are impossible for the average joe (or jane!) You are beautiful by the way!

    Anyways, I don’t know if this question particularly applies to you, but I thought I’d see if you have any insight. It’s not too uncommon for women, especially young women, to have some level of hypoglycemia. I’m hypoglycemic and I’ve been trying to eat primally for the last few days. I feel better and have more energy, but by the end of the day with no grains or sugars, I feel the sick, shakey, panic feeling when my my blood sugar dips. Unless I’m misunderstanding exactly how hypoglycemia works, or I’m eating completely wrong, I don’t know what to do to feel better. I don’t know if you have any experience with hypoglycemia (probably not, you look pretty darn healthy) but any advise would be great. If it helps to know what I’m eating, here’s an example from today. Breakfast was a berry smoothie with some greek yogurt and protien powder, lunch a huge salad w/ salmon and avacado, with an oil/vinegar dressing, snack on nuts and olives. By dinner I am feeling sick. Hopefully this isn’t a completely obvious question, as I’m still new and learning…but either way I could use some pointers if you’ve got any.

    Whit wrote on September 21st, 2009
    • Hey Whit,

      I have the same exact problem as you. I know I will probably get some backlash for making this comment, but going primal didn’t help my terrible hypoglycemia.

      I am still struggling with controlling my low blood sugar. I am even getting off birth control this week to see if it has an effect (I suspect all the hormones are wreaking havoc on my blood sugar). I have found that sometimes eating small amounts of whole grains with my proteins and veggies helps. Eliminating carbs just drove my blood sugar so low that I couldn’t handle it. I just have to eat very controlled, small portions of carbs, along with eating somewhat primal, and sometimes it makes me feel better.

      Hope this helps!

      Erin wrote on September 24th, 2009
  27. Hi Carrie!

    Were you eating primal when you were pregnant? Do you know how to cope with primal diet and morning sicknees (more like 24/7 sickness). I experienced that the food most likely to cause nausea was meat and veggies. The best options seemed to be oatmeal followed by fruit and yoghurt. The more often I ate the better and the longer the time lap since last meal the more bread/oatmeal/etc was required to be able to eat something else.

    Johanna wrote on September 21st, 2009
  28. My question, as a red blooded 34 year old male, is: How lucky do you think Mark is on a scale of one to ten, to have a wife who looks as amazing as you do? (Hint: correct answer is 9 or 10)

    Chris wrote on September 21st, 2009
  29. Carrie you look amazing! Kudos! Very inspirational. :-)

    seporter003 wrote on September 21st, 2009
  30. “My question, as a red blooded 34 year old male, is: How lucky do you think Mark is on a scale of one to ten, to have a wife who looks as amazing as you do?”

    I say the correct answer is “3”.

    I have a feeling Mark quite correctly took action to meet up and court such a lovely lady. Luck wasn’t a big part of this.

    Where Mark got “lucky” is in meeting her in the first place.

    Christoph Dollis wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  31. Hi Carrie,

    You look awesome!

    This is an issue that has come up in the forums more than once.

    Since women need a higher percentage of body fat than men in order to maintain normal biological functions such as their monthly cycles, do women in general have different dietary requirements than men? (for example, more carbs? more fat?)

    Madame P wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  32. Thanks for agreeing to answer questions Carrie. You look amazing!

    I have the same question as Madame P. Do women require more carbs and fat than men?

    Also,I would like to see a 5 day meal plan for your typical day to day diet.

    Thanks again.

    Olga wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  33. Carrie,
    I like that you look fit and lean without being bulky. All of the weight lifting mags swear a woman won’t get bulky… and then proceed to show women who, though they may look hot in workout out gear, look ridiculous and unfeminine in a dress.
    So then, I would like to request that you share your workouts with us AND please, show some photos in clothes.

    Also, how do you feel? what does being fit mean to you…how does it help you in your every day life. Mark may have great ideas…but he’s still a guy. As a single mom of five, I am not spending my weekend playing ultimate frisbee :)

    Do you ever just want a huge loaf of really good bread and butter? I am a mostly vegetarian too. I wish I could eat meat, but it’s just too disgusting to me. Sometimes I can manage a little bit of chicken for a few months…then I just get too grossed out. (Fish is not a possiblity!!) I am very interested in hearing about your diet.

    Last but not least, I am really interested in how you’ve kept your skin young.

    Glad to have you aboard.

    Marie wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  34. I am pretty lean but would LOVE defined abs like that. What’s Carrie’s abs routine?!

    Allison wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  35. Hello Primals!

    Carrie, you look awesome. When I first saw the picture, I thought that you were somewhere between 20 and 30 years old. Unbelievable to me that you have already exceeded 50 years of age.

    This is what proper nutrition and exercise can do to a body. I am amazed.

    I guess your body is ‘all natural’ – you still maintain beautiful female curves at a low body fat percentage.

    My question to you is: How sensitive for carbohydrates are you really?

    In love for life

    Simon wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  36. My whole family has diabetes, then my two younger sisters are obese. I have managed to lose about 35 pound in two years but need to eat primal to keep my weight down. My questions pertain to my 16 year old daughter who is a junior in high school.

    Her kidneys never separated during development, we found this out during her freshmen year of high school when she was rushed to the emergency room after one of her kidneys burst.

    She has regained her health back after 7 months, she finally had her 1st period after 15 months; however, she is maybe 20 pounds over her healthy weight.

    I do not want her to become obese since I believe our side of the family is affected negatively by insulin, how can I approach this subject with her after the health issues she had and the young female mind.

    Ernie wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  37. No questions that haven’t been asked, really… looking forward to the “Dear Carrie” posts though!!!

    FlyNavyWife wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  38. Hi Carrie! WOW! You look amazing! Thanks for agreeing to answer questions.

    My question is more for my kids. Do you have any tips for packing them good “primal friendly” lunches for school? Some variety would be nice.

    Tye wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  39. Carrie & Mark – though I really enjoy MDA and the great (and helpful) information Mark provides, he still is a primal GUY, and we all know guys and girls are different critters. I am very interested in the primal female perspective and how it might differ, even if only slightly, from the males. Mark – I think you’ve opened Pandora’s box here!

    Linda wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  40. Carrie & Mark – though I really enjoy MDA and the great (and helpful) information Mark provides, he still is a primal GUY, and we all know guys and girls are different critters. I am very interested in the primal female perspective and how it might differ, even if only slightly, from the male’s. Mark – I think you’ve opened Pandora’s box here!

    Linda wrote on September 22nd, 2009

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