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By: Grace Gavilanes

Carolina Suki Sicoli — best known as @caro_suki to her Instagram followers — is not your average fitness influencer. Shortly after being diagnosed with celiac disease, the Argentina-born Miami resident made a conscious effort to improve her diet. She stays away from processed foods and now complements her clean lifestyle with regular workouts and a positive attitude.

Keep reading for our conversation with Sicoli and learn all about her favorite workouts, how she’d motivate someone to hit the gym when they really don’t want to, and other fun tidbits.

Thanks for chatting with Lively! Can you tell us what first got you interested in fitness?

I’ve always lived an active life, but since I was always skinny no matter what I ate, I wasn’t really conscious about my nutrition. I used to eat a lot of sweets and fried food! Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and since food was not easily labeled gluten-free like it is today, I had to study every single ingredient on every label. That’s when I discovered all the bad things I was putting in my body. So, I decided to start cleaning up my diet little by little until I finally stopped eating processed foods.

caro suki

Do you have any go-to workouts that target your arms, legs, core and booty?

I really enjoy mixing disciplines because I learn different things from each one of them. My main workouts focus on building strength. I love lifting and I’m lucky I have two of the best trainers in Florida [Allan Angeles at DBC and Luis Medal]. Dancing is my favorite thing to do, so I do all my weekly cardio at my Skybeat class with Skyler Rodgers. I also add cardio and upper body work in one-on-one boxing sessions at 5th St Gym with Mercedes Spencer and Dino Spencer.

Then for core, I rely 100% on Pilates. Although we involve the core in almost every activity we do, Pilates focuses on breathing correctly through the movement and it teaches you how to engage the transverse abdominis in every exercise. I take these classes at Pilathon with Emily Bench and at Jetset with Elisa Miller.

The reason why I mention my instructors is because they are truly the best ones here in Miami! If you are ever here, feel free to reach out to them for amazing workouts.

When it comes to nutrition, what do you usually eat before and after a workout?

I train at noon because that’s when I feel more energized. My breakfast usually includes oat bran pancakes, fruit and healthy fats. I stop eating an hour and a half before my workout and I only have one cup of Matcha Collagen or coffee with Collagen Peptides 30 minutes before.

Of course, taking care of your skin is also important. What does your post-workout skincare routine look like?

I wash my face immediately after the workout and I apply a moisturizing mist right away. I don’t wear any makeup during a session to prevent my pores from clogging. If I have a bad skin day, I just use concealer around the eye area.

RELATED: Fitness Trainer Les Alfred on the Body-Positive Mantra She Lives By

How do you overcome a workout rut?

I just listen to my body and don’t push it. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for an intense workout, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t workout at all, so I just go out for a walk. Then if I don’t feel like training because I’m sore from other workouts, I just do a recovery foam roll/stretching session at home. Not every workout has to be a killer workout. My goal is to stay active in different ways and intensities, but also to prevent injuries or overtraining. 

Do you have any words of wisdom for someone who is currently lacking motivation to hit the gym?

We will not always feel motivated, but that doesn’t mean we have to quit doing it. If you have a meeting with your boss, would you cancel it because you are not in the mood? I wouldn’t! Same thing happens with workouts. Don’t cancel on you.

caro suki

What’s your favorite body-positive mantra?

Those who matter don’t mind about how you look, and those who mind usually don’t matter! Healthy is not a body type and it looks different on everybody. I focus on growing old strong and confident, not on looking like somebody else. For me, no “perfect body type” out there can compete with a confident body!

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When do you feel your most beautiful or confident?

When I’m on my workout clothes for sure! It’s like my superheroine costume.

And we have to ask: do you have a favorite Vital Proteins product?

Well, Matcha Collagen is my absolute favorite! I drink it twice a day and it gives me the perfect energy to stay active the whole day! I also love adding the Collagen Whey to my banana breads or pancakes to add more protein and flavor.