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. Just one question from me.

    How many grams of carbs does it take to activate fat deposition? (i.e. Mark’s carb curve is an excellent guide on a daily basis but what if I had 75g at one meal – would that have an adversely different impact than having 3x 25g meals over the course of a whole day?)

    Many thanks (btw – you look great!)


    Paul wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  2. Wow! Looking forward to your contributions!

    I am also curious as to your workout routine and carbs/calories per day.


    Lula wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  3. If I can look like you in 8 years I will be a very happy woman! I almost completely discounted MDA because one of the first pictures I saw was Mark with you and I thought “Figures! He writes all this health stuff and then goes and marries a 25 year old!” Glad I read the caption and found out the truth. I am still working on not jumping to conclusions but the eating and exercise are coming along better!

    Licarrit wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  4. WOW! A wonderful inspiration you are to all of us women out there! I’d definitely be interested in your diet…how many carbs you eat…your protein sources…calories. Can’t wait to see more of your contributions.

    Nina_70 wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  5. Another question: What is your body fat percentage in the picture at the top of this thread?

    crunchysue wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  6. I, too am a primal pescetarian and a mom to two! I have reached my goals in the past year or so and now share what I’ve learned with others through my fitness business where I incorporate primal principals into my training and nutritional counseling. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a superior role model for us all– I’m 34 and know for a fact that if I stay the course I will continue to reap the benefits and you are the proof. Awesome.
    Now share some workout with us (if you please), I’m always looking for new ideas to keep it fresh. And I hope to see you regularly on the site.

    katbarnett16 wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  7. Hi Carrie

    I am just starting this journey towards eating more paleo. I am just wondering how much I should be eating. I am a crossfit member and do their workouts about 5 times a week. I don’t know what is too much or too little as far as calories go. How can I figure out roughly how much I need without eating too much or too little and not always hungry in between meals?

    Thank you so much for helping out!

    Lindsay wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  8. I was just wondering as an almost 50 year old woman with larger breast, is there a weight lifting regiment that would help reduce or tone them before they are completely bopping my knees when I walk?

    Daisy wrote on September 22nd, 2009
    • OOOH. Great question. I think the answer is no, but interested in hearing from Carrie, because I too have WAY more than a handful!

      pauleygirl wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  9. Aw come on folks! Carrie looks great because she eats animal products! Lets stop giving the non-animal eaters undue credit. There are only two types of people in this world, those who eat animal products and those who don’t. :-)

    The red meat versus no read meat is an intramural debate among…ahem…flesh eaters. :-)

    Thanks Mark and Carrie. I’m looking forward to reading Carrie’s responses.

    Nutrition and Physical Regeneration

    Michael wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  10. WOW. You look absolutely fantastic!!!

    My only question is that of many others: what is your ab routine????

    Thank you!! :)

    fishergirl wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  11. Someone else asked about “reproductive health” and specifically cramping. I have found that eating primally has drastically reduced the discomforts of having my period.

    But what I want to know is how other women deal with the food cravings of PMS? I’ve been primal for a couple years now, but I actually feel like I spend every single month trying to get back on track after falling off the wagon during my previous pre-menstrual time! I do always get back on, then wham! The cravings, eating, and bloat of PMS hit again!

    How do others deal with this?

    jo wrote on September 22nd, 2009
    • I’m still anxiously awaiting Carrie’s first blog with answers to all these questions, but I thought I would respond to this specific one:

      I, too, have noticed a reduction in cramps and such, but still the “same old” craving. I actually deal with them by giving in to them “primal style”…or what I perceive to be, anyhow. For me, chocolate is the key, so I immediately grab more almonds and enjoy organic dark chocolate. Sometimes I eat it plain. Sometimes I melt it and do a ganache style thing (I do dairy so I add cream, but you could totally use coconut oil or whatever works). And I’ll do this every night I feel the need to help satisfy me. I really think it’s helped keep me on track.

      Lisa wrote on September 25th, 2009
  12. Mark, I’ve always thought you were in your 30s…. Haha!

    Fitness Fabulous wrote on September 23rd, 2009
  13. Have you seen this article? I thought of you and your wife when I saw it.

    jenny wrote on September 23rd, 2009
  14. Carrie, I have to echo everyone else’s comments that you look terrific (and happy! Which I think is a big part of ageing well).

    I’m 42 myself, so wanted to know if you have any experience and insight into the big “M” (aka menopause), since the thought of going through it scares the bejeezus out of me. I think I’m a way off yet but am worried about the sudden ageing effect and weight gain that a lot of women seem to suffer (not to mention the brain fog, hot flashes and other symptoms). As I’m in Britain it won’t be easy to get nature identical hormone replacements unless I suddenly get rich so I’d like to know how best to combat the side effects and stop everything heading south, so to speak.

    Indiscreet wrote on September 23rd, 2009
  15. Hi Carrie,

    You look fantastic!!! :)
    I’d like to know how is a sample menu for you? And how do you workout?


    Susana Figueiredo wrote on September 23rd, 2009
  16. Well Mark, I think you found one of the most effective “click me” FB motivators by posting such a fabu pic of your wife!! haha
    I thought I looked good for MY age, which I’m a 45 yr-young crossfitter who follows the paleo diet. I’m an Amer-Asian so good genes help my skin — but I’d also like to know what Carrie’s regimen is for that & her hair too. wrote on September 23rd, 2009
  17. Hi Carrie- how wonderful to see you!
    I second what Indiscreet says. I’d like to know how your dealt with perimenopause or menopause. I’m 47, hypothyroid, estrogen-dominant, insulin sensitive, have low testosterone, am GABA deficient, perimenopausal and despite my best efforts, am gaining weight (fat) on the PB (sigh). I eat & exercise according to Mark’s guidelines but have read that it’s really all about the hormones (not genes) and that we middle-aged gals need to work out more rather than less (yes, more that Mark recommends). You are obviously genetically blessed :) I’m curious as to how you would have handled the hormonal issues listed above. BTW- I’m on a ton of excellent supplements & take natural dessicated thyroid for my hypo.

    marcib wrote on September 23rd, 2009
  18. wow, carrie looks fantastic! I’d LOVE to know what her workout routine is like!

    reamz wrote on September 23rd, 2009
  19. Carrie, I’d like to know what your body fat percentage is, and what it was prior to becoming more primal. Thanks! :)

    JamieBelle wrote on September 24th, 2009
  20. i have a girl crush on carrie.

    missavocado wrote on September 24th, 2009
  21. Whit & Erin… I’m expereincing the same difficulties (recently posted on the forum about my episodes of dizziness)
    Tips on the transition to primal greatly appreciated :)

    Es wrote on September 24th, 2009
  22. I am 14weeks pregnant with #3. Just stared living “primal” a couple months before getting pregnant. I have been weight training for almost a year though. I am currently doing the squats, bent over row, bench press or squats, roman deadlift, overhead press. I was wondering how much is to much lifting/squatting etc during pregnancy? I am doing 7.5lb on each side of the 45lb bar at the moment for squats and less for everything else. I feel fine but don’t know when to stop adding weight?? Thanks

    Mel wrote on September 24th, 2009
  23. To all the ladies who posted about their hormonal challenges. For some it is just a transitional issue which can happen with any food changes that involve removing offending dietary substances. For others it is definitely hormonal.

    You can try getting through it just with diet and I’m sure Carrie has some great suggestions but I would highly recommend some herbal supplementation. By far the best are the female formula herbs produced by Dr. Richard Schulze. Just ignore his vegan squawking. His products are fantastic. You can google him to find his site.

    Nearly everything else herbally speaking that you can buy at retail has been greatly watered down (because of fears of the FDA) or poorly sourced. Thus they are a waste of money because they are not very effective at gently moving your body towards hormonal homeostasis in combination with a good diet.

    Nutrition and Physical Regeneration

    Michael wrote on September 26th, 2009
  24. I’m really looking forward to hearing what Carrie has to say about diet, exercise, childbearing and rearing and aging as it relates to women. I found this site indirectly by searches I was doing on nutrition. I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian, who is contemplating the need for fish, fish oil supplementation and a more carb-constricted diet.

    I’ve never been a fan of meat, but I have no real issue with others who consume it. I do however advocate for organics and also ethics in the raising and slaughtering of meat for both nutritional content, as well as decency towards animals. This is something I really respect about Mark’s perspective.

    Due to the fact that I am thoughtful about consumption, interested in health through lifestyle and diet, and because I am not a vegetarian based on political arguments, but rather for health and due to my own food preferences, I often have to morph different dietary approaches to fit my vegetarian leanings. I’m glad I poked around this site long enough to find this posting, and I’ll look forward to her rare perspective. It’s amazingly difficult to find this group of criteria being thoughtfully addressed all in one place.

    Carrie– Specific questions I hope you will find time to address are the following:

    1) Do you have concerns about contaminants in fish (mercury, etc), especially during pregnancy?

    2) Do you have concerns about overfishing, and if so, how do you meet your dietary needs while taking the environmental impact into account? Also, are you like me and have an aversion to “fishy” fish?

    3) What types of fish do you tend to eat, and do you aim to get your essential fish oil benefits through fish or supplements?

    4) How do you meet your protein requirements? Do you eat a lot of legumes, nuts, nut butters, eggs, etc., do you rely mainly on fish, or a combination?

    5) How do you think women should address hormone changes before, during and after menopause?

    Thanks in advance, looking forward to your thoughts.

    Jennifer wrote on September 27th, 2009
  25. I have been primal for about a year in a half now. Going primal has resulted in me losing a large amount of weight and now I struggle to keep it on. I am 5’3″ female weighing in at 95lbs. My body fat percentage is so low that I have concerns and would like to gain some more weight. I’ve tried increasing my fat intake, but a lot of times when I try that it seems imbalanced and doesn’t seem to digest well. I have also tried eating more fruit, but I don’t seem to do well on a lot of sugar. Do you have any suggestions for gaining weight primal style?

    Valerie wrote on September 28th, 2009
  26. Hi Carrie: I noticed that in your responses you add a lot of dairy in your diet. I too was a vegetarian and have added fish back in my diet. I currently seldom eat dairy (coffee sometimes) but used to years ago. Like the yogurt, cheese, etc. What are your thought about all the talk of how dairy is bad for us?

    Elle wrote on September 29th, 2009
  27. Isomeone told me that eating protein late at night interrupts a person’s REM sleep pattern. Do you know if this possible?

    David wrote on September 30th, 2009
  28. Wowwww :)

    VPS wrote on October 10th, 2009
  29. Men don’t have premenstrual cravings for mac and cheese or brownies, do they? How do the ladies handle this one?

    LOVING the Dear Carrie bit on MDA!

    Jen wrote on October 12th, 2009
  30. Hi Carrie-
    I enjoy your participation in the blog. Could you address two things for me?
    I am curious about the link between the Birth control pill and increased insulin sensitivity. I have PCOS but am at a healthy weight (5’8″ 155lbs). I went off the pill in 2009 went paleo/primal and use CrossFit as my workout method but nothing I could do would give me a period. After nine months the doctor put me on BCP for one month and my blood sugar has been completely uncontrollable. I’ve had carb cravings like never before. (There was a reason I went off the pill).
    For people like me having trouble regulating our cycles what more can we do in the Primal lifestyle to address this? I take supplements and try (fish oil and B vitamins) and try to get plenty of sunlight.
    Thanks a lot!!


    Johanna wrote on October 27th, 2009
  31. Hi Carrie,
    You look amazing! So much so that I had to see what you’re doing eating/exercising-wise. A question about your diet. I believe I read that you enjoy whole-fat dairy. But in your 2 sample menus, the yogurt you list contains only 3.8g of fat per cup, which makes it more like a 2% fat yogurt. Am I right? No disrespect, I really am trying to figure out how/what to eat to shed these post-50 pounds.


    Kathleen wrote on October 30th, 2009
  32. Thank you for the ideas on packing kids’ lunches. However, I have 3 children in school and will need lots more ideas to make it work for the long haul. Can you or any other readers please provide some more primal sacked lunch ideas?

    Amber Freeze wrote on November 8th, 2009
  33. Hi Carrie,
    I’m curious to know how you ate during your pregnancies and if you were able to stick a Primal diet plan. I am am about 23 weeks pregnant and was quite strict about about avoiding all grains, simple carbs and sugars prior to becoming pregnant but, have since, let a few things slide now that I’m “eating for two” and need the extra calories and energy. For example, I have oatmeal or a slice of sprouted grain bread for breakfast and often have organic brown rice with dinner. Do you recommend omitting all grain products and sticking strictly to Primal eating through out pregnancy? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

    Lisa wrote on November 12th, 2009
  34. Carrie, I wanted to get your advice on Apple Cider Vinegar. I have heard of so many diets recommending that we drink one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before meals when trying to lose fat. But I can’t find anything on your site that is either for or agianst apple cider vinegar. Can you please let mw know your take on this, Thank you!

    Kimberly wrote on December 22nd, 2009
  35. Carrie-
    I have been doing Crossfit for about 9 months and have lost 40 lbs. I have a good deal of lean muscle now but I still have extra skin from 2 things- pregnancy (3 years ago) and rapid weight loss.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to tone skin, especially around the lower abdomen area? Thanks!

    Erika wrote on April 9th, 2010
  36. Hi Carrie,

    1/ Should salad be served for breakfast and dinner as well?

    2/ Do grains and bean seeds include in this type of diet?


    Lotus wrote on June 5th, 2010
  37. Hi Carrie,

    Can you suggest some primal vegetarian recipes, that would be of great help!


    Radhakrishnan KG wrote on August 25th, 2010

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