We see her every weekday morning, looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, debating the day’s issues with Ryan Seacrest on her morning talk show — but we can’t help but wonder how Kelly Ripa maintains such high levels of energy, and stays in such great shape. She’s been quite vocal about her support of the alkaline diet in the last few years, especially on a recent episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan. “It has changed my life… I swear I think it’s responsible for me not being in pain,” she’s said.
The alkaline diet is somewhat controversial among experts. While it doesn’t ask dieters to skip meals or remove food groups in its entirety, it promotes foods that supposedly work to keep your body’s pH levels low (foods that aren’t acidic or full of sugar are prioritized over others). The diet’s defenders say some foods — meat, refined or added sugars, processed foods — can lead your body to produce more acid. Most alkaline diet plans end up resembling a vegan diet, but the science behind why the alkaline diet is actually healthy isn’t clear. “Whole, real, unprocessed foods are quite beneficial to the body, but no reliable evidence suggests it has much to do with pH levels,” says Stefani Sassos, MS, RD, CDN, the registered dietitian for the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Eating more vegetables, cutting back on sugar, reducing your consumption of processed foods, and drinking more water are just general recommendations that are good for your health.”
But diet isn’t the sole reason why she’s so healthy — after all, Kelly admits she’s only human and has slip ups every once in a while. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kelly jokes that she’s been straying from her strict diet regimen with a program we all know too well: “I eat solid food. I am not on an all-liquid diet; I’m on an all-carbohydrate diet,” she said during an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live in July, after her Live co-host Ryan Seacrest described how his morning routine includes drinking lots of “different fluids” including tea, water, and coffee. “That’s whats changed during the pandemic.”
Regardless, whether she’s noshing on her favorite snack (Goldfish) or a healthy meal, Kelly is often found in the gym, and she made a personal decision in 2017 that may have revolutionized her health. Read on to learn more about Kelly Ripa’s diet, fitness routine, and wellness beliefs.
She eats clean.
The 49-year-old talk show host prefers to keep her household eating right. She told Shape that she sticks to simple meals, like a sliced chicken breast with sautéed spinach, lemon, and olive oil.
“I eat a very clean diet. I have lots of vegetables, I eat protein, but I really don’t put a ton of thought into it. It’s everything you’ve read about or heard about in any diet book – don’t eat too much crap, and I don’t,” she told ABC News. “If that’s the secret, then that’s the secret!”
She rarely eats breakfast before going live.
While the mom of three cooks her kids’ breakfast in the mornings, she’s previously shared that she won’t eat until after her Live With Kelly and Ryan taping has concluded (even though she gets up as early as 4:30 a.m.). “I never eat breakfast until after the show. I can’t seem to focus my mind if my stomach is digesting,” Kelly told Bon Appétit. “At the host chat desk, I’ll have a triple shot skim latte… I find that if I eat beforehand, I’m just making digesting sounds.”
When she does eat breakfast, however, Ripa chooses to avoid sugary staples like pastries or mixed coffee drinks and partakes in a “chocolate” chia seed pudding that’s blended together with just a few ingredients. Coconut water, pit-less dates, a bit of cacao, cashews, and coconut oil (plus a dash of salt!) come together to create a thick pudding, which is dusted with chia seeds. “If you’re constipated or just not feeling regular, this is the answer to your prayers,” Ripa said, while sharing the recipe on a recent episode of her talk show.
She loosely sticks to the alkaline diet.
Ripa is one of the many celebs that have sworn by the alkaline diet, where you only eat foods that are low in acid. While she claims this diet plan as “changed her life,” there are still certain foods that she can’t bring herself to eliminate completely from her diet.
“I like to drink coffee. I occasionally will have fish. The alkaline diet is primarily a vegan diet, but I like cream in my coffee,” Ripa told People. “So I don’t adhere to it strictly, but when I do a cleanse, it will be seven days, and then I go back to my normal life. But my normal life is not that different than the alkaline cleanse.”
And what’s included in her “normal life” meals?
“At dinner, I eat a ton of vegetables — and a salad, soup, or a light piece of fish. I try not to have too much cheese or too many high-fat foods, even though I love them,” she previously told Good Housekeeping. “I would love nothing more than to have pizza and french fries every day, but I try to limit those treats to once a week.”
She has decided to stop drinking.
In an episode of Live With Kelly and Ryan that aired in January 2020, Ripa revealed that she silently quit drinking altogether in late 2017, Delish reports. While the alkaline diet allows for a small amount of alcohol and liquor to be enjoyed sparsely, Ripa says she’s decided to forego drinking altogether.
“They’re saying that Americans bought less wine last year,” Ripa said on the show, discussing recent sales trends while joking with Seacrest. “It’s the first drop in a quarter of a century. Now, I believe this is because I quit drinking, that I caused this dip. I have influenced the market.”
She tends to snack healthy — unless there’s Goldfish crackers.
While Ripa takes her workouts seriously, she sometimes can’t resist a midday snack break. “I try not to have too much cheese or too many high-fat foods, even though I love them. I would love nothing more than to have pizza and french fries every day, but I try to limit those treats to once a week,” she tells Good Housekeeping. “After work, I’ll have a protein bar and some flaxseed snacks… For a snack, I always have Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. I cannot give them up.”
She always keeps a few staples on hand.
There are a few other must-have food items she always keeps stocked in her kitchen, such as Greek yogurt, blueberries, broccoli, and spinach.
“Non-fat Greek yogurt. Even though my children don’t enjoy it the way I do — unless I put honey and granola and make it look like some parfait — it’s a must. Also: half-and-half. For the most part, Mark and I have very clean diets. But we love cream in our coffee,” she told Bon Appétit. “We also always have leeks in the fridge. My kids love leeks. It’s that vegetable that you would be surprised children would like, but they love it.”
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