Jill Ann Spaulding/FilmMagic
09/21/2008 at 04:00 PM EDT
Move over, McDonald's: After taking to the dance floor last year on Dancing with the Stars
, Heather Mills is now focusing on promoting healthy diets for children.
Saturday, Mills donated $1 million worth of veggie burgers, hot dogs and chicken cutlets at a barbecue sponsored by the Hunts Point Alliance for Children
in the Bronx, N.Y..
"My plan is to get healthy food out to kids and to get it in the service industry, get it in retail, make a fast-food chain around the world with healthy options and just keep doing my work behind the scenes," Mills, 40, told PEOPLE Sunday.
A leading advocate for the vegan lifestyle, Mills has reason to sing its praises.
After amputating Mills's leg just below the knee in 1993, doctors told her the limb was infected and they would have to amputate further. But a girlfriend stepped in with an alternative solution: a raw vegan diet.
"It sounded awful," Mills recalls. But she checked into a natural-health care facility, "and I literally just healed and my leg closed, whereas all the antibiotics hadn't worked," she says. "I ended up saving my knee."
After leaving the facility, Mills adopted a vegetarian lifestyle until four years ago, when she removed all animal products from her diet and became vegan.
Not that she's facing her menus alone. Daughter (with Mills's ex-husband Paul McCartney) Beatrice, 4, is vegan, too.