Can I be on the 17 Day Diet if I’m Vegetarian or Vegan?

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Can I be on the 17 Day Diet if I'm a Vegetarian or Vegan?

While there are no “official” guidelines for protein alternatives for the diet, in my Simply Veggie plant-based meal plan for the 17 Day Diet, I’ve taken the position that plant-based, real-food protein sources are a good alternative for those who are vegetarians or vegans.

Can I be on the 17 Day Diet if I'm Vegetarian or Vegan?

Recommendations for Plant-Based Foods

My 17 Day Diet Blog believes in a “real whole-foods” approach when it comes to eating regardless if you’re a meat eater or plant-based.

My Simply Veggie meal plan mainly focuses getting proteins from a variety of legumes including beans, lentils, chickpeas and some tofu.

Simply Veggie, A Plant Powered Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet

Cycle 1 Recommendation

If you decide to incorporate more starchy types of proteins like beans while on Cycle 1, I do recommend limiting these choices to once per day before 2pm if you’re able to.

However, if it’s better for you and your family to have your starchy protein in the evening for dinner, you should go with what works best for you.

Cycles 2 and 3 Recommendations

For Cycle 2, I recommend eating your starchy protein sources before 2pm if at all possible (using the same guidelines that the 17 Day Diet has in place for natural starches).

During Cycle 3, you’re actually permitted to have starches after 2pm if you choose. The book does advise us if we want to lose more weight during Cycle 3 to eat our starches before 2pm.  At the end of the day, do what works best for you.

Other Protein Sources

Depending on what type of a vegetarian you are, other protein sources including eggs and dairy such as yogurt and cottage cheese, are good alternatives as well.

If you allow fish in your diet, there are many approved fish for all cycles.

If you’re vegan, the choices become more limited if you’re sticking to whole foods.

If you want to include protein-rich probiotics that are plant based, you may choose from a variety of soy or coconut-based yogurts as well as other plant-based probiotics on the regular cycle food lists.

Sample Vegetarian Meal Plans

17 Day Diet Vegetarian Meal Plan

To get you started, here’s a vegetarian sample menu for the 17 Day Diet if you’re a plant-based eater.

You’ll need to get creative if you want to stick with this diet. If you’re looking for a vegetarian dinner meal plan, check out Simply Veggie. Simply Veggie is a 4-week dinner meal plan for the 17 Day Diet.


How to Adapt the 17 Day Diet with Your  Plant-Based Lifestyle

Like I mentioned earlier, there are no official 17 Day Diet guidelines. For a long time, I didn’t have my own guidelines either.

However, Traci M., a blog reader from Montana wrote in some time ago to let me know that Dr. Phil’s site has a list of acceptable meat substitutions.

While the 17 Day Diet book doesn’t actually list any specific substitutions, Dr. Moreno does advise, “If you’re a vegan, you can still follow the diet. Simply use vegan meat substitutes at meals for protein and use a probiotic supplement in place of yogurt.”

Now, I realize Vegan and Vegetarian are not the same, but if Dr. Moreno allows Vegans to eat meat substitutes, then it’s fair to assume that Vegetarians can as well.

So if you follow a real whole-foods approach to a plant-based lifestyle, then some of the alternatives on this list will come in handy. If you aren’t a fan of overly processed foods, you may skip those on the list.

Here are the meat substitutes found on Dr. Phil’s site:

Meat Substitutes for Vegans and Vegetarians on the 17 Day Diet

  • One-half cup of tofu (any type)
  • One-half cup of beans, lentils or any legume
  • 1 to 2 vegetarian or black bean burgers (made from textured vegetable protein)
  • 2 to 4 ounces of any vegetarian cheese, including soy cheese
  • 2 vegetarian “sausage” links. This is a great substitute for eggs!
  • 2 scoops vegan rice protein powder. This is great for smoothies. Blend with 1 cup unsweetened almond milk and a fruit for a quick 17 Day Diet vegetarian breakfast
  • Any type of vegetarian meat substitute made from textured vegetable protein (see package for serving size)
  • For dairy substitutes: 1 serving is 1 cup unsweetened soy milk, almond milk or rice milk
  • For yogurt substitutes, it is fine to use soy milk yogurt

According to Dr. Phil’s website [link since removed from his site], all items above are acceptable for all Cycles of the 17 Day Diet.


A special “thank you” to blog reader, Traci, for finding additional information on the inter webs!

You can find Traci’s blog here.

Simply Veggie Dinner Meal Plan For The 17 Day Diet

As I mentioned earlier, I have a 4-week plant based dinner meal plan I created for the 17 Day Diet. Simply Veggie is packed full of nutrient dense, plant-based recipes that are perfect for those who are on the 17 Day Diet and follow a vegetarian lifestyle.

Simply Veggie, a 4-Week Plant-Based Dinner Meal Plan for the 17 Day Diet

I originally created my Simply Veggie dinner meal plan a few years ago for vegetarians on the 17 Day Diet who didn’t have a lot of options when it came to a plant-based menu. 

You can check out the menu below to get an idea of the recipes available for dinner time.

Simply Veggie 4-Week Calendar

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10 thoughts on “Can I be on the 17 Day Diet if I’m Vegetarian or Vegan?”

  1. Can you eat the sausage link meat substitute and eggs or are they specifically used to substitute for eggs?

  2. I make a berry spinach yogurt smoothie for weekday breakfast, will a nondairy alternative still give me my daily dairy requirement?

    • Hi Jeni! A non-dairy alternative is fine, especially if you can’t have dairy. However, the 17 Day Diet doesn’t have a dairy requirement – I’m guessing you’re referring to the probiotic requirement (two servings per day). If you use a non-dairy yogurt, if it shows strains of probiotics in the ingredients list or somewhere on the label, then it should be good to go.


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