Complete a Whole 30 with Meredith and learn how to reduce your food waste and garbage!

#ZeroWasteWhole30 Starts May 1, 2016 – Join Me!

Join me for a May Whole 30 … zero waste (or low waste) style! 

You do not have to commit to zero waste to join in. Let’s support each other through a Whole 30 and share ways that we can reduce our waste throughout.

I’m doing a Whole 30 starting May 1, 2016. Join me and let’s share our favorite tips, recipes, and ways to complete a Whole 30 without producing a lot of waste – both in terms of packaging and food waste.

Whole 30 Rules

It’s no secret that I eat a paleo-style diet most of the time. Many of my dietary choices have come from my experience with the Whole 30. Eating a lot of vegetables, some fruit, some meat/seafood, and fats like nuts, avocado and coconut is a diet that works well for my body. I cannot eat gluten or soy, and find that legumes (beans, peanuts) and other grains (rice, corn) cause issues for me over time. Plus, sugar effects my energy levels in crazy ways. I find that I can drink an espresso and have a better time managing my energy than if I eat a few pieces of candy. Hello crazy jitters and energy crash.

I was going to do this Whole 30 on my own without making it a big thing (though you know I can’t resist posting pictures of my food on Instagram! Hehe) because there are already so many amazing resources for completing a Whole 30 on the internet.

But I’ve been inspired (and dismayed) by a recent trend I’ve seen among some paleo food bloggers encouraging more and more wasteful practices. For example, I recently saw a very popular blogger post that he regularly makes a whole roasted chicken in a disposable aluminum pan and then puts it in a big plastic garbage bag. I get it – it might be easier than scrubbing a reusable pan. But the thought of someone regularly disposing of a huge (*recyclable*) pan AND a huge plastic bag for one meal was disheartening. Healthy eating is incredibly important, so if there are single-use items that help you stay on track in terms of avoiding packaged, processed food or heading out to the drive-thru, I’m (mostly) all for it. But the line has to be drawn somewhere. If there’s an easy reusable alternative for something , there’s no reason to use something disposable. We have a ceramic roasting pan (find on eBay*) that is super easy to clean, so I will choose that over a disposable aluminum pan every time. We also love our Romertopf clay roaster (find on eBay*.) Again, super easy to wipe down after your chicken or other roast is finished cooking.

This might seem like a strange cross-over but I’m hoping there are other people out there like me who are interested in Whole 30 and care about the environment – both our own personal environment and the planet.

So, I thought I’d go “public” to showcase the kinds of meals you can make while on a Whole 30 that don’t produce a lot of garbage. I know that when I first started cooking at home more, I was shocked to see the trash bin fill up more quickly. Everything seems to come in plastic and disposable packaging these days, even vegetables and fruit. Also, while you’re primarily eating home-cooked meals, the Whole 30 can also bring on trash in the form of “emergency” food like bars or jerky.

I’m all for small steps – if you’re able to refuse a single plastic bag, plastic utensils or other single-use item during this May Whole 30, great! Please share your waste-reducing wins, no matter how small they may seem to you.

Some people might think it’s hard enough completing a Whole 30 without other “restrictions” and that might be true! For me, a zero waste Whole 30 is not impossible or too restrictive. Producing little to no trash is my lifestyle now, and I can easily make it work. Again, you do not have to commit to zero waste to join in. If you can commit to attempting low waste or reducing your trash, that’s great! If you like to use disposable items for cooking, I get it! If you cut down or cut back, that’s a win in my book. Small steps add up and I applaud progress, not perfection. Feel free to share any ways you are trying to reduce your waste while also making a commitment to your health with the hashtag #ZeroWasteWhole30.

The other aspect of this is to try and reduce food waste. Stocking your fridge with fresh, local meats and veggies is awesome … if you can cook and eat them before they go bad. Let’s also share and highlight our struggles and tips/tricks for reducing food waste during this Whole 30.

Other posts I’ve written about the Whole 30:

Book Review: It Starts With Food
Completing a Whole 30 While Breastfeeding

Here’s how to participate: 

Just do it! Haha, no really. Just start. If you can’t start on May 1, no problem, that’s just when I’ll be starting. Support during the 30 days is essential for success in my mind, but it’s okay if you don’t want to publicly post photos of your meals all the time. No need to tell me at all, but feel free to comment on Instagram or send me an email if you are participating. If you’re on Instagram and Twitter, please use the #ZeroWasteWhole30 hashtag to share your meals, struggles, tips, ask questions and more! Make steps – big or small – to reduce your garbage and your food waste during the month of May.

Why participate?

Completing a Whole 30 is like doing an experiment of one. You strip out a lot of foods that can commonly cause issues and see how you feel when you add them back in. Will you lose weight? Probably, but everyone is different. Will you gain energy? Yes! Some people get an energy boost earlier than others, be patient if you’re on Day 22 and still feeling a little tired. Will you gain insight about how food effects your body? Absolutely! The more you pay attention during the 30 days and during reintroduction (of the foods that we took out), the more you’ll know.

I am not the expert on the Whole 30, but I’ve completed maybe 5 rounds since 2012. While I certainly don’t have all the answers, I have “been around the block” enough times that I’m happy to help answer questions. For most things, though, you’ll find the best information and advice on 

psst…I’m hoping to get some prizes lined up to send out to participants, too! Stay tuned.

If you’ve never done a Whole 30 before: 

Go to and browse around.

Here are my favorite links:
Program Rules
“Paleo Poor” Your Guide to the Grocery Store

It is not necessary to buy anything. You can get all the information you need for FREE on the website. Buuuuut, I highly recommend picking up The Whole 30 Book (find new or used on eBay*) or if you want a bit more science/in-depth reasoning behind the 30 day challenge, check out It Starts With Food (buy used or new on eBay*).

If you’re a Whole 30 veteran: 

Why do ANOTHER Whole 30? Because it’s nice to “re-set” every once and a while. Even though I try to eat well for my body, I slip up on occasion and recently I’ve had more dairy/corn/etc. than I’d like and can just tell I’m a little more bloated and lethargic. We’ve completed several rounds over the last few years and while sometimes I think I don’t need to do it anymore, I always feel amazing afterwards. So, here we go again!

Preparing for your low waste Whole 30: 

If you’re new to zero waste and Whole 30, prepare yourself for success by doing research on what recipes you might want to try, and where to get your ingredients. Find out where in your area can you get meat, veggies, etc. without packaging. Is there a local farmer’s market? Butcher shop? Health food store?

Maybe you won’t be able to buy everything without packaging at first, and that’s okay. Start small and build up. Search the Bulk App for stores in your area that sell foods in bulk and fill a bottle with olive oil. Or grab some dried fruit and nuts using your own containers or bags.

I buy my vegetables and fruit from local grocery stores and farmer’s markets that don’t use plastic or other unnecessary packaging. I buy meat from two local butcher shops where I can get local grassfed ground beef, local humane raised pork, chicken and more. I hand over my glass containers (similar here), they put the meat inside and put the sticker with the price/weight on top. I can also get no-sugar-added sliced turkey from a local conventional grocery store. Same deal – I hand over my glass container and they put the sliced turkey right inside.

Please note: I would consider myself to be a conscious carnivore and I urge you to look into your food sources. I care deeply about where my meat and vegetables (and other products) come from and buy mostly local products from farms where animals, workers and the land are treated very well.

Posts coming up next: 

Zero Waste Whole 30 Grocery Shopping
My Go-To Zero Waste Whole 30 Recipes
Packageless Whole 30 “Emergency Food” (like this)

… what else do you want to see? Let me know in the comments or via email ( and I’ll do my best to write up a post about it!

*Hi friends, just a heads up that this post contains scary affiliate links and if you click, a shark will EAT YOU. Just kidding! Clicking my links just means you like my site and like reading my recommendations. Your shopping experience doesn’t change, but I might get a tiny commission. Affiliate links are indicated with an asterisk like this* If you have any questions, I’m here to talk —> … or leave a comment below. xoxo.


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