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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 21 2009

Ask Carrie a Question

By Mark Sisson
101 Comments

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

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101 thoughts on “Ask Carrie a Question”

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  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!

  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?

    Thanks!

    1. 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.

  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!

  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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

    Thanks!

    Emily from Healthy Eating, Naturally

  7. 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

  8. Welcome, Carrie! Glad to see you become a regular contributor. Like other commenters, I’m curious to know why you avoid meat.

  9. 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!

    1. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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.

  15. I’d love to see a day of regular eating, and how much time it takes for you to prepare it.

  16. Hi Carrie, nice to meet you! And for questions… yeah, all of the above. 🙂

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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 🙂

  22. 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.

    1. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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)

  25. “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.

  26. 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?)

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. I am pretty lean but would LOVE defined abs like that. What’s Carrie’s abs routine?!

  30. 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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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!

  35. 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

  36. Wow! Looking forward to your contributions!

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

    Thanks!

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

  39. Another question: What is your body fat percentage in the picture at the top of this thread?

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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?

    1. OOOH. Great question. I think the answer is no, but interested in hearing from Carrie, because I too have WAY more than a handful!

  43. 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.

    Michael
    Nutrition and Physical Regeneration

  44. WOW. You look absolutely fantastic!!!

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

    Thank you!! 🙂

  45. 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?

    1. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. Hi Carrie,

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

    Regards,
    Susana

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. wow, carrie looks fantastic! I’d LOVE to know what her workout routine is like!

  51. Carrie, I’d like to know what your body fat percentage is, and what it was prior to becoming more primal. Thanks! 🙂

  52. 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 🙂

  53. 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

  54. 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.

    Michael
    Nutrition and Physical Regeneration

  55. 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.

  56. 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?

  57. 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?

  58. Isomeone told me that eating protein late at night interrupts a person’s REM sleep pattern. Do you know if this possible?

  59. 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!

  60. 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

  61. 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.

    Thanks!

  62. 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?

  63. 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!

  64. 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!

  65. 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!

  66. 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?

    Thanks

  67. Hi Carrie. You are truly an inspiration. I’ve stayed active and athletic all my life and I was instinctively and otherwise doing most of what you describe in the primal lifestyle for the past 10 year. I am now 50 and an Ashtanga yoga teacher. Amazingly, My body fat actually IS lower than when I was in my 30’s, doing triathlons etc. – 15%!
    I definitely credit this to the primal lifestyle.

    My question is regarding hair – yours is beautiful. I’ve always had fine hair, medium thin hair. It has felt comfortable to me so far, but won’t if it thins with age. Do you feel that hair-thinning is inevitable for women over 50, or have you experienced that your lifestyle and diet is preventing that? Any tips on supplements, etc.?

    Thank you!I was sliding into an aging crisis this year and you have reminded me that I can be strong and beautiful even after mid-life!
    Thank you!

  68. Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Thank you!

  69. Hi Carrie!
    I read Mark’s “a day in the week of” post, and was wondering what yours would look like. I have an inkling that ladies either a) don’t handle dietary fats as well or b) just don’t accept fats as necessary like men do (we still hang on to that fat=bad idea). Personally, I thrive on very high protein, moderate fat (35%) and very low carb (10%). What about you?

  70. I have a question about insulin, glucose, and fats & protein. For background, I’m at pg 95 in your husbands book. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how different fuels are metabolized in the body. Perhaps you can clear up my misconception. I’ll try and state it below.

    I understand how insulin is needed to get cells to accept glucose into them and burn them off. I also understand why a lower carb diet needs less insulin, and a higher carb diet needs more insulin. Here is what I don’t understand. Mark writes on pg 95 “While most cells in our body can easily burn both fats and glucose, there are a few select cells that function only on glucose (some brain cells, red blood cells, and kidney cells, for example). Without glucose, those cells would cease to function and we would not last very long.”

    My understanding is the ONLY thing our cells burn is glucose. If we “burn fat”, it is that fat is converted to glucose and sent to the cells as glucose. It this understanding flawed? When we go from a SAD diet to a lower carb diet and become “Fat burners”, how is this fat burnt off? Can you point me in some direction to clear up this for me?

  71. Hi Carrie! I am completely new to this site but have slowly been incorporating traditional foods into my family’s diet when I was diagnosed with 3 autoimmune disorders and my son was diagnosed with celiac disease. I have found that I need to eat some grains in my diet, too, due to low blood sugar. I eat quinoa and some rice. I am not heavy and when I tried to eliminate all grains, I lost 8 pounds in 8 days and my mood was erratic. I also have eliminated sugar-I’m way too sensitive to it now. I am 45 years old and have found as I get older, I need different things in my diet to stay balanced. Anyway, I’m glad to hear your story. I am excited to continue to browse your website and learn more! Thank you for your openness.

  72. hi, nice site but I am a little confused. Elsewhere on the site Mark says you are the parents to a 17 year old and a 15 year old. So your posting (below) obviously doesn’t make sense. As a newbie to this site I’m naturally wondering why this big anomaly between your two versions of who/what you are (mum to a 17 and 15 year old or mum with young family trying to lose baby weight). Here’s what you posted above:

    “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!”

    Just hoping for an explanation that makes sense before I decide I can trust this site I guess.

    1. I think, if you look back, that that particular paragraph was not written by Carrie, but was written by Jenn on September 21st, 2009

  73. Hi Carry,

    Nice to meet you and you look great!
    I wanted to ask you a question, and
    hope you can give me some advice.
    Two years ago i started taking cod liver oil in combination with the fermented butter oil from Green Pastures, because i had problems with my teeth. Luckily my teeth have become much better. I also started to take mory healthy fats in my diet and less carbs.
    There has since then also been a change in my weight. I think i was always too thin. I’m a mother and 37 years old. I’m 1.70 m tall and before my weight was 52 kilos. Now it has changed to 55/56 kilos, and i feel quite good, am less sick.
    I’m happy with my weight now, but feel insecure about my face. It has become thicker. People who didn’t see me for a while notice it also and when they see pictures from a year or two years ago they say i look much thinner there. In a way i feel it’s never good enough: first i’m always too thin and now people say my face has become much thicker. Of course i’m also a bit older now, maybe that’s also a reason it has changed. My question is, could it have to do something with hormones, because cod liver oil and healthy fats will also influence your hormonal balance.
    or do i have a wrong image of myself because i was always a bit too thin, so that it really shows now that i’ve become a bit thicker? My husband also seen i’ve changed but says for him it’s not too much, i’m exactly okay like this, not too thick or too thin.
    But i found my face more beautiful two years ago.
    Hope you can give me some advice. Many thanks in advance!

  74. Hello Carrie,
    First I want to tell you that you and Mark are my new heros. You are the healthiest and youngest looking for your age that I have ever seen!

    I live in the greater Seatlle area – no sun most of the time. I currently use a tanning bed – what is your opinion about this. People try to tell me I will one day look leathery – do you agree? I feel that eating primal protects us from the leathery look despite tanning. I do eat striclty primal.

    Second question – how much water do you and Mark drink per day?

    Take care,
    Thank you

  75. hi Carrie:) i just love your writing and healthy thoughts!  thank you!

    i’m putting pictures of beautiful paleo women on my site… and you are gorgeous! would it be ok if i used your picture? i’ll link the site and anything else you might want too:) oh… and a favorite quote would be awesome:)

    will you be our Gorgeous New Cavegirl tomorrow? we would love to have you this weekend if possible. you’ll be featured all day:)

    here’s the page where you would be:

    http://cavegirldiet.net/new_cavegirls.php

    ok Gorgeous Cavegirl Carey… let me know:)

    xoxo,
    sophie:) 

  76. Hello Carrie,

    I am fairly new to the primal way of living, and slowly recovering from anorexia/ exercising way too much and intaking no calories or fats. I was healthy at 120 and am 5″7″ (now at 92 pounds) 27 years old with two children. I want to take control of my life again, but am terrified that I will be gaining fat. I exercise on an elliptical for about 30 mins everyday and supposedly burn about 400 calories, then jump onto Brazil Butt lift and do some other “strength” workouts to build my butt and abs. I am trying to get back up to a healthy weight but am concerned that I don’t know enough about macros and am ultimately not following the plan correctly.

    Any advice, or help with macros and necessary calories would be so so so much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  77. Hi Carrie,

    I’m curious if you’ve done any reading on how a woman’s core is different from a man’s and how to avoid injury to the pelvic floor while still working out. From what I’ve read, over 50% of women have some form and degree of pelvic floor disorder (pelvic organ prolapse.)
    Christine Kent has a book full of information on this as well as DVDs and a forum.
    http://wholewoman.com/

    I’d like to start working out more, but am afraid of harming my pelvic floor.

    Thanks,

    Erin

  78. Carrie.

    You look truly amazing. I am inspired to follow this diet and lifestyle. I am 47 and on bioidentical hormones as well. I love it and feel great. I recently quit coffee for a 30 day caffeine cleanse. Do you drink coffee? Do you think it affects women and their hormones differently than men? I noticed you put green tea on your sample menu. Is this because you do not like coffee or you think it is not good for you? I love coffee and drank only one cup a day. Do you think I should give it up though. I do feel a sense of peace since I quit.

  79. I just purchased your Keto Reset Cookbook and unsure if your total carb count is inclusive of the fiber found in the recipes. Usually recipes will indicate the amount of fiber or clearly state Net Carbs

  80. I have been on this primal diet for 2 weeks and I am really hungry. I feel like I am not making the adjustment I am really starving. I am eating 1755 calories today and 49 grams of net carbs so it isn’t like I’m not eating enough. Perhaps this just won’t work for me as it has for others.