APPEARING ON DR. OZ TO DISCUSS CANCER, DIET, WEIGHT LOSS AND HOWARD
Robin Quivers is definitely the “vegan-of-the-moment” as she hits the PR trail of media interviews discussing her battle with cancer and how her vegan diet helped her, while promoting her book, “The Vegucation of Robin.” A popular radio celebrity in her own right, Robin has been Howard Stern’s radio and TV show “right arm” since 1981. On their Sirius XM Radio show, she recently announced that doctors believe she is cancer-free after a one year fight following removal of grapefruit-sized tumor from her pelvic area.
As she described on a recent Dr. Oz episode, Quivers realized back in 2001 that she needed to take control of her health, with obesity, diabetes and heart disease almost certainly in her future. With these diseases running in her family and being over 80 pounds overweight, Robin turned to a plant-based diet at that time to change her life and improve her prospects for health. Her previous diet, high in fat, high in sugar, high in cholesterol and highly addictive, was dooming her to a fate that many Americans can relate to. Not only did she lose 80 pounds, but she said that, “…my plant-based diet was helping my body heal. I couldn’t believe the difference I saw. I’d never had such a dramatic shift in my health….I no longer had to rearrange my entire life around being sick.”
At 49, she was experiencing such aches, pains and exhaustion that even simply getting dressed was a “full body workout. “Gradually you realize you are not functioning at your normal level, and then you realize you’re not functioning at a level anyone considers normal,” she says of those bad old days before she discovered the power of juice, she told the New York Daily News.“I had to have rest periods between the shower and getting on the pantyhose.” While contemplating what she would have done on 9/11 had she been trapped and having to walk down hundreds of stairs, she realized, “I would not have been able to save my own life.” She credits becoming a dedicated vegan and healthy juicing, with the guidance of doctors and nutritional experts, to shedding 80 pounds and keeping it off.
At age 58, in the year 2010, she proudly ran the New York Marathon. She told People magazine then that after switching to a vegan diet, “My life totally changed and now I have this amazing amount of energy.” In her previous unhealthy lifestyle, she was so out of shape that she could “barely walk two city blocks.”
Ironically, the humorously-penned book, “The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life,” was photographed and written before the diagnosis of endometrial cancer was made.
Good Reads praises the book saying,
“By filling up on soul-quenching, cell-loving vegetables instead of damaging animal products and processed foods, Quivers left behind the injuries, aches, and pains that had plagued her for twenty years. Charting her inspiring road to wellness, The Vegucation of Robin describes her transformation inside and out, and, with the inclusion of ninety of her favorite vegan recipes, she encourages readers to join her in putting their health first. With her signature humor and wit, Quivers builds an undeniable case that the key to living the life you’ve always wanted lies not with your doctor but in your refrigerator. Putting a new face on the pro-veggie movement, Quivers’s star power is sure to dazzle readers who want to look good, feel good, and have fun doing it.”
Quivers tells Dr. Oz that she was her on her way to a wedding in Pittsburgh last year when she “couldn’t pee.” After a trip to the emergency room where she was drained of fluid, it was only ten days later that she was heading into 12-hour surgery to remove the tumor. Quivers credits her amazing team, assembled with the invaluable and generous help of Howard Stern, at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, to help her cure herself, not just prolong her life. She underwent two rounds of chemo at the beginning and end of a long course of radiation. Miraculously, she reports not feeling the usual fatigue and the “devastating…horrible things” that people go through during cancer treatment. “My oncologist told me, ‘I am going to dub you the best patient ever,’ ” she recalls. “He said he spent all his time on the phone with patients saying they couldn’t take it anymore, they couldn’t take the nausea, or other effects. I never called. None of that was happening to me.”
Robin worked from home and stayed on the air during her battle and recovery, with the undying support and love of her longtime partner, Howard Stern behind her every step of the way. About 3 months ago, she was declared cancer-free by her doctors and this week Robin has rejoined Howard in the studio.
Robin explains to Dr. Oz emphatically and undeniably that her vegan diet is the reason for her easy recovery and her strength to battle this illness successfully. The link between diet, cancer prevention and cancer treatment are very strong, she claims, “If you want your body to work with way it’s supposed to, you need to give it the nutrients it needs. The solution isn’t in a pill; it’s in what you eat.” Her book gives you 90 recipes to incorporate a plant-based diet into your healthy life, along with humorous stories and biographical anecdotes that will entertain and inform you.
I know that skeptics will bash the whole notion of plant-based nutrition and the important role it plays in preventive medicine and in helping cure diseases. I believe that Robin Quivers has shared her journey publicly for all of us to learn from her experiences, not just because she wants to sell her book, but because she’s a believer that plant-based nutrition works and that her celebrity can help the millions of people headed down the same road she was traveling.
Another very fascinating story about a woman, Kelly Binkowski, fighting breast cancer calls to mind the importance of acknowledging the strong link between food choice and disease. She tells her story of watching the documentary, Forks Over Knives, in January of 2012, 2 days before her scheduled breast surgery and being completely changed. Her husband emailed Dr. John McDougall, founder of Forks Over Knives, and he responded by advising them to seriously consider what type of post-operative treatment she would choose. Kelly explains,
“Prior to all of this, we had never considered breast cancer to be tied to diet and exercise. In fact, when we asked my breast surgeon why I needed aggressive chemo and radiation, she said, “We don’t know where the cancer comes from, and we don’t know if it will come back.” We asked the same question of my oncologist and received the same response. We also asked the oncologist if there was anything I should or shouldn’t eat to help with the cancer treatment, and he said, “This is the time for Kelly to eat whatever she wants.”
After surgery, Kelly chose to attend Dr. McDougall’s 10 day program and became his patient. “Now, after 18 months of eating the McDougall way and walking 30 minutes daily, I am cancer free, and my cholesterol has dropped another 27 points, to 130. My weight dropped from 150 to 120. I feel stronger, healthier, and more energetic. As a kindergarten teacher, having a high energy level is very necessary. I now get down on the floor and jump right up with no trouble!”
There are many uplifting and validating stories like these and, in my opinion, it’s difficult and irresponsible to deny the link between food and disease. It seems that many doctors, themselves, are unwilling to make dietary improvements to improve their own health, so how can they advocate for their patients to do what they are unwilling to do? I’m hoping that Robin Quivers’ example will give veganism yet a new face and success story for people explore and contemplate. Vegan American Princess would never presume to address anyone’s individual diagnosis, prognosis or treatment but we do feel it’s important to share these stories of how plant-based nutrition can help reach better and healthy outcomes.
To read more about Robin Quivers’ story:
To read a previous blog detailing doctor’s recommendation to adopt plant based diet