Fitness expert Alisa Profumo, co-host of Carl Lanore's groundbreaking internet radio program "Super Human Radio," is living every woman's dream of life after 50. She's smart. She's independent. She's beautiful. And above all, she is a poster woman for excellent health attained through all-natural means. She's not on any medications, not physically debilitated, and she turns the heads of men and women alike with her athletic and effervescent allure. All of this in spite of the fact that many in her family suffer – largely unnecessarily - from poor health conditions. How is it that Alisa is able to be such a shining star? Call it a perfect balance of old-fashioned clean living and new fangled female Rock Star energy! Alisa Profumo is the bedazzlng embodiment of '50s being the new attainable '30s.
"Carl calls me the classic Libra," Alisa shares with a laugh, "always balancing everything! Beauty comes from the inside out. It's not just about how you treat yourself and your body. It's about how you treat people, the earth and all that lives. It's the water you drink, the food you eat. Balance is everything!"
A key element of Alisa's balance is that vanity and desirability were NOT the primary drivers of her goals. The beauty and the body were by products of her greater desire to live a longer, healthier life and to be an inspiration to others.
She didn't have to look far for the consequences of not paying attention to her health. "With several women in my family, autoimmune disease runs rampant - one of my aunts died from it," she confesses. "One cousin was the youngest recipient of knee replacements - both knees - because of rheumatoid arthritis. Another has been in a wheelchair since the age of 18. I didn't want that for my life, so I did some research and found that lifting weights would protect my joints – long before that was the popular thing to do."
For Alisa, weight-training is not just a 2-pound dumbbell in each hand as she jogs around the block. This woman gets busy! "I've been lifting weights since I was in my '20s. I'm strong for a woman. I can leg press over 600 pounds! So many of my girlfriends think if you go to the gym you'll get bulky like a man and gain weight. So they starve themselves which starves their whole system to the point where their muscles can't support them. As they age they try to get up out of a chair but have no hamstring strength so they fall and break a hip simply because their bones are brittle from malnutrition."
"Another girlfriend once told me she thought that Beyoncé and the Kardashian sisters were all FAT, and that Madonna was too muscular. I said, 'Are you out of your mind?' She also said she'd never lift weights. Again, she's not aging very well, either. Growing up looking at waifish models like Kate Moss all the time, they think that's how they're supposed to look. However, there is such a thing as 'skinny fat' where someone can be super thin controlling their weight through not eating yet have more fat than someone who looks heavier."
Alisa did have a couple of positive role models growing up, including her mother Penny who taught her healthy eating habits and how to take care of her skin. Most indelible, however, were the precious lessons passed down to Alisa by her grandfather Papa Craig who took a keen interest and liking to her, spending quality one-on-one time for which she is eternally grateful. "I have a special place in my heart for my grandfather," she says reflectively. "He was quite the outdoors man. He won a canoe race - when he was 75! He lived in a log cabin in the woods. I drove 5 hours there by myself to visit him. We'd make dinner from only things we either picked or caught – like catfish from bank poles. We went to the library and read about mushrooms, then he took me to the woods and showed me how to tell the edible ones from the poisonous ones. We picked raspberries and wild asparagus. He taught me gardening and foraging ...like the Paleolithic diet now only back then they didn't have a name for it. A Paleolithic diet is for people who eat grass-fed beef/meat and vegetables – no grains, no dairy because those 'carbs' cause inflammation within the body and put weight on you. I don't strictly live the 'Paleo Lifestyle' – I eat dairy and eggs, which is more of a 'Primal' lifestyle. The point is, with my grandfather, everything was all natural. And when he died, he left me a very special book, 'Natural Healing': about healing with herbs and plants."
Alisa's early discoveries led her to further studies, practices and expertise that benefit her, Carl and their listeners of Super Human Radio. "In my '20s I started teaching aerobics at the University of Louisville for their health and wellness program. It was awesome to see hundreds of women take my class, lose weight, get healthier and happier. It made me happy! I recently got certified in sports nutrition. I didn't do it to practice with clients. I wanted the knowledge and certification to validate that I know what I'm talking about. That helps with the show I co-host, 'Casual Friday,' on current events."
Beyond the latest news on the horrors of Monsanto, female listeners are most keen to find out the beauty secrets of the lady whose picture on the Super Human Radio website has people swearing the 54 year-old woman is not a day over 35. But she admits even she once harbored unhealthy insecurities about her appearance. "My father was Italian with dark skin and hair. My mother was blonde and blue-eyed. She was my role model so I grew up thinking that's what I should look like except I have a real curvy figure. I never fell into the whole starve yourself thing but in the back of my mind I would think I wasn't as attractive as a blonde skinny girlfriend because of the Mediterranean in me. It took a while to get the confidence to embrace my curves. That's why I love Sofia Vergara and J-Lo. They've shown us that curviness is in! So I'm fine with anybody knowing my age. One girlfriend said, 'You should wear it on a poster board on your back!'"
"I wasn't the only one in my family generation to adopt healthier habits," Alisa continues. "My younger brother and I have been very active and athletic. When my mother married my stepfather they lived on a farm in the country so I had a place to go to when I wanted to get away from the city. I hiked in the woods and helped on the farm. He had me throwing 65 pound bales of hay! My mother once told him, 'Don't treat her like a man,' and he said, 'Well, she's as strong as one!'"
The great thing is now there is a bolder up-and-coming generation of young women that believe it absolutely 'rocks' to be able to toss some weight around.
"Take the whole Cross Fit movement," Alisa shares by example. "They're flipping tractor tires around. We have an area in our gym with sleds where I pile 45 pounds plates on them and push them around. That's a weight and cardio workout – awesome and en vogue now. I also love to run sprints. I ran track when I was younger. Being outside on a track or running hills in the neighborhood is what I love. I still go to the gym to get my resistance training in but most everything else I do is in the fresh air outdoors of Kentucky. My 15 year-old niece Ryan is a cheerleader in high school now. She runs up and shows me, 'Look I have muscles in my arms,' then drops and does push-ups - the right way – saying, 'I want to be like you!' That makes me so happy... My goals are to continue to be healthy and to pass what I've learned on to other people. "
The greatest benefit of all has been a clean bill of health from her physician. "Last time I went to my doctor's office," Alisa recalls, "they couldn't believe that, at age 54, I didn't take any kind of medication. I do take bioidentical hormones but that's just a woman taking control of her aging and staying healthy. By contrast, my stepfather is in his '70s and takes 17 different meds which is a travesty. Many from that generation still think doctors know it all but most of them get zero training on nutrition in school. They'd rather put a Band-aid on things give you a drug and get you to come back for a checkup than address the real issues. Food is what feeds our body and soul."
To that end, Alisa has a branding plan to do something to combat obesity in America. Along with a possible couples gym fitness video series that she'd do with Carl she also has a publishing goal. "I want to write a cookbook with very creative, healthy takes on recipes that usually aren't very good for you – especially snacks. When I was growing up, we never had soda in our house so we didn't get that sugar or, now, high fructose corn syrup. If I went to a friend's house that had soda, it was a treat. Today, my older brother has a son who is ADHD and munches on Cheetos all day. Who eats that?! I mean, what's in Cheetos anyway? So I'm planning to write a natural living cookbook that inspires you to grow your own herb garden. I have a rosemary plant, a lemon tree, a grapefruit tree I grew from a seed in a grapefruit that a friend sent us from California. Cooking is a personal expression of art and I love it."
Needless to say, the only new wrinkles in Alisa's life are thrilling new endeavors and challenges such as Pole Fitness and Aerial Yoga classes. She's even considering a body building bikini competition. However, the final big 'secret' of Alisa's healthy lifestyle is balancing all of that activity with generous applications of serenity. "I've always been an 'early to bed/early to rise' kind of girl - getting a full 7 to 8 hours of undisturbed beauty sleep. More times than not, I like to stay home, sit in my yard, listen to the birds and read a book. I have a sunroom. I planted bushes and milkweed that draw butterflies where monarchs lay their eggs. I feed the birds and have rabbits, chipmunks and deer in my backyard - like a lil' oasis. It's up to us as individuals to plant things in our yards that provide a haven for the birds, bees and butterflies otherwise industry is going to wipe everything out. It's all about being grounded and in touch with your inner self - being happy with yourself and knowing who you are, what you want and where you're going."
Moving forward, Alisa earned a certification last year from Bellarmine University in Holistic and Integrative Health" and is starting a course with the Herbal Academy of New England to become an herbalist. Her vision for life's second half could not have been made any clearer following an epiphany she had on a recent night out with Carl and one of their friends. "This guy was talking about how he felt himself getting older and deciding he needed to sell his house to get a bedroom on the first level so he wouldn't have to climb stairs. That is the most foreign way of planning your future to me. I want to be running up the stairs as I get older."