“Ryan likes to blame himself for me stopping drinking, he’s like, ‘I got here and you stopped drinking.’ It really was not that. I did a sober month — all my girlfriends did it, we all did it together — and I just never went back to it,” Ripa, 49, tells PEOPLE. “It wasn’t even really a thought process. It felt great, I felt like I looked great, I felt like I didn’t feel hungover. Not that I was a heavy drinker — I wasn’t someone who got drunk — but even like two glasses of wine at a girl’s night out dinner; I would feel it the next morning.”
“I just didn’t really feel the need or desire to go back to it,” she continues. “It wasn’t really a choice or a thought, it was just, ‘Yeah, I guess I don’t drink anymore.’ ”
The mom of three says it was a much easier process than when she quit smoking about 25 years ago.
“Quitting smoking I really had to think about,” she says. “I was like: ‘Smoking leads to cancer and it will kill you.’ It was a thing I had to tell myself. And I was like, ‘It gives you wrinkles.’ And that was the thing that was really terrifying [laughs]. But you don’t want to die early, needlessly, over cigarettes. Over something you don’t even like that much anyway. But drinking was very easy I didn’t really think about it at all.”
And, Ripa says, far fewer people questioned her decision when she gave up cigarettes.
“Nobody ever asked me why. But I quit drinking and everyone’s like, ‘Why did you quit drinking?’ ” she says with a laugh. “I’m not comparing cigarettes to alcohol, but for me it was just like, I don’t do that anymore. I felt better so I just stopped.”
“So much of my life has been devoted to having the perfect diet, having excellent nutrition, having a fitness routine I can get behind and practice every day, and I do, I exercise seven days a week. I rarely have a cheat day, diet-wise. I’m pretty stringent about taking care of myself a certain way. But [vitamins were] the one thing that seemed so overwhelming to me, and so mind-numbing,” she admits.
This program, Ripa says, does the thinking for her.
“They basically fill in all the gaps for you,” she says. “If you’re eating a plant-based diet, you may need supplements to fill in the gaps. If you’re not sleeping well, you may need a melatonin or a CBD supplement to fill in those gaps. I feel the difference.”