Back in 2007, Robin Quivers cut out all of the animal products from her diet and began following a vegan lifestyle. Then, years later, she was diagnosed with cancer.
“I was really angry and felt that I had been let down by all the changes I had made,” the radio personality, 61, tells PEOPLE just less than a month after originally revealing her battle. “Soon, I realized however, that I was in the best shape possible to confront the disease and survive.”
She had no chronic illnesses or medication she had to take—just an appreciation for fresh produce and a big ol’ leafy salad. “There was nothing wrong that could complicate my treatment,” she adds, “or make it more difficult to heal.”
Now, more than a year since undergoing a 12-hour operation in May 2012 to remove a grapefruit-sized tumor from her pelvis, Howard Stern’s beloved broadcast partner is still eating her veggies (and drinking them, too—she says she consumes about a quart of vegetable juice a day). She’s sharing some of her favorite plant-based recipes in her book, The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life, which arrived in bookstores Tuesday.
“The best way to a small step into a healthier life style is to add a huge green salad to your daily intake,” she advises. “You will eat less, feel full faster and the salad provides fiber, vitamins and enzymes your body needs. Oh, don’t forget to chew.”
In her fridge right now? Cucumber, romaine lettuce, celery, ginger, bell peppers and lemons—the base of her daily juice, she says.
And while she isn’t craving junk food, “There are plenty of pleasures to be had eating this way,” she adds. Case in point: her chocolate coconut mousse recipe from her book. “I use coconut and tofu, [but] try it and then tell me if you miss anything.”
Chocolate Coconut Mouse
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. almond milk
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
8 oz. silken tofu
1 can coconut milk (15 oz.)
1. In a small pot, warm the almond milk over medium heat until it just begins to steam.
2. Remove from the heat, and add the chocolate, stirring to melt. Return to the heat if necessary to help it along. Cool slightly.
3. Add the milk mixture, tofu and coconut milk to a blender, and process until smooth.
4. Transfer to a bowl or serving glasses, and chill for three to four hours until set.