‘Self-care is absolutely paramount for me’. Meet Melissa Gatt, a superwoman who holds health, wellness and nature close to her heart.
Words by Lyndsey Grima
We caught up with local content creator Melissa Gatt and talked about all things wellness, self-care, and healthy, tasty recipes!
If you’re into the influencer scene, you would have heard of Melissa Gatt, local health and wellness content creator guru. In her mid-thirties, Melissa is happily married and a proud mother of three. Originally from South Africa, Melissa describes herself as always having a bit of a hippie spirit and being ready to always find joy in the simple things life has to offer.
Apart from health and wellness, nature also holds a special place in her heart, and she is a dedicated minimalist, valuing the beauty of simplicity. We found that most of what Melissa is passionate about...we are too! That is why we decided to ask her a few questions about her lifestyle, self-care, and her new e-book that features so many healthy & tasty recipes.
And, speaking of tasty and nutritious recipes, make sure that you read this blog post till the very end! Melissa is fixing us up with some exclusive scoop!
You’re an entrepreneur, a social media content creator, a wife, and a mother. Leading such a busy lifestyle, how do you maintain your balance?
I wish I could provide a clear-cut answer, but maintaining proper balance remains a challenge for me. However, over the years, I have learned to let go of the need to control every situation and have welcomed help. Whether it's assistance with the children, my work, or household tasks, I have started accepting support. Sending my twins to full-time daycare at 18 months of age has been immensely beneficial. This arrangement allows me to dedicate mornings to work and give my undivided attention to my children once they return home.
Occasionally, my husband helps me with work, which is a tremendous support. I have also made the decision to hire someone to help me with household chores, a step I would never have taken before. Ultimately, it's all about effective time management and being open to accepting help.
What’s the story behind your new e-book, The Lean Kitchen? What sparked your passion?
Since having my first child, I became hyper-focused on nutrition and living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. At that time, I began blogging about my favourite plant-based recipes. Over the years, my diet and lifestyle have evolved, but my desire to create an e-book remained constant. I had been telling myself for years to compile my favourite recipes and practices that make me feel good.
The e-book is specifically crafted for individuals leading busy lives who want to prioritise their health goals but are uncertain where to begin. Each meal in the e-book is carefully balanced, providing an intake of approximately 1,700 calories per day. Personally, I don't count calories and instead rely on intuitive eating. However, I have a thorough understanding of portion sizes and the approximate calorie content of foods. Many people lack this information and feel lost when starting their health journey. I received countless messages on social media from individuals who desired guidance on what to eat to stay within a certain calorie range. This overwhelming response inspired the creation of The Lean Kitchen.
What do you love to do for self-care?
Self-care is absolutely paramount to me. First and foremost, I prioritise healthy eating. Throughout my life, I have explored various dietary phases, including veganism, vegetarianism, and pescatarianism. These experiences have allowed me to discover what makes me feel best and what suits my body's needs. Our bodies are truly remarkable, and it is crucial to truly listen to what they require. Currently, I am focusing on mindful eating, consuming whole foods, avoiding processed foods, and reducing my intake of refined sugars as much as possible. I feel incredible as a result.
Daily physical activity is also a top priority for me and I dedicate at least 20 minutes to moving my body. The specific form of exercise doesn't matter as much as the act of simply getting it done. Whether it's a brisk walk, yoga, or a quick HIIT session, the benefits are remarkable. Not only does it boost my mood and make me feel happier, but it also brings a sense of contentment. Physical activity has a magical way of clearing my mind, allowing me to release any built-up stress or tension. Furthermore, it provides me with a renewed sense of energy, revitalising both my body and mind. Making this a regular part of my self-care routine has been incredibly rewarding, and I cherish the positive impact it has on my overall well-being.
Another self-care practice I adore is drinking a glass of celery juice every day. The benefits of celery juice are extensive and could be the subject of a separate blog post. I could talk endlessly about its positive effects on the body.
I also try to make it a priority to treat myself to a facial and a massage every 4-6 weeks. I particularly enjoy Ayurvedic facials and massages, as they leave me feeling deeply relaxed, almost as if I am in a trance.
One self-care practice that has had a profound impact on my life and significantly enhanced my overall well-being is completely eliminating alcohol from my lifestyle, two years ago. Choosing to let go of alcohol has been a transformative decision that has brought immense positive change. I have discovered that life is truly better without it—I feel happier, healthier, and more confident than ever before. The clarity and mental sharpness I experience without alcohol have allowed me to fully embrace and enjoy every moment of my life.
Lastly, I find immense pleasure in indulging in sauna sessions. There is truly nothing quite like the rejuvenating and therapeutic effects of a sauna. The idea of having my own sauna is a top priority on my bucket list. The serene environment and the soothing heat provide not only physical relaxation but also a sense of mental and emotional rejuvenation. It's a perfect way for me to unwind and recharge, leaving me feeling revitalised and ready to take on the world.
And, the moment you have all been waiting for! Melissa has kindly shared an exclusive recipe with us and we cannot wait to try it and dig in!
RAW VEGAN CARAMEL SQUARES
1 cup of dates ( I soak the dates in hot water to ensure they get nice and soft)
1⁄2 cup raw almonds
1 tsp cacao butter
NUTTY CARAMEL FILLING
1 cup dates (soaked in hot water)
1⁄2 cup cacao butter
1 1⁄2 tbsp nut butter
1⁄4 – 1⁄2 cup pure organic agave syrup
1 cup roasted cashews
CRUNCHY CHOCOLATE TOPPING
Please note: you can use coconut oil instead of cacao butter (same quantities)
Pulse dates, almonds & cacao butter in a food processor until it’s nice and
chunky. Place the mixture in a bread tin (lightly oil the bread tin with coconut oil to
ensure it does not stick) and place the tin in the freezer.
NUTTY CARAMEL FILLING
Put dates, cacao butter, nut butter, agave syrup, and cashews into a blender and
pulse until completely combined. I like it quite chunky as well, but if you prefer
the caramel inside to be smooth, add water to combine the ingredients better.
Use minimal water. Pour caramel mixture on top of the base and return it to the
freezer to set.
CRUNCHY CHOCOLATE TOPPING
Add the cacao butter, agave syrup, and cacao powder in a small saucepan on low
heat and stir until it is combined and resembles a chocolate sauce.
Pour the sauce on top of the caramel filling once the caramel is set. Place in
freezer. Once frozen, cut up into squares and ENJOY!
Follow Melissa and her journey on Instagram.