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Before I start talking about this amazingly simple and delicious summer recipe, you’ll have to excuse me while I get sentimental for a second….

When I launched this blog just over two months ago, I really had no idea what it would be like. I had a vision of what I wanted it to be and was generally optimistic, but in reality, I was severely lacking in practice. There’s a big difference between thinking about having a blog and actually having one. I think my biggest fear was that there would be no way I could produce the quality of recipes and caliber of advice that I wanted to. Sure, I was passionate about being a health coach and always made a point to create fresh, healthy meals for myself but how could that be enough? I’d been following a number of blogs (some pretty religiously over the past 5 years) and it just didn’t seem plausible that making something even nearly as great would be a relatively simple endeavor.

And guess what? It isn’t.

Thing is, as physically and emotionally draining as it’s been over the past 9 weeks, I wouldn’t exactly say it’s been hard. Not that I’ve created anything anywhere near truly great yet, but the experience itself has been so much different than I thought it would be. I quickly realized that the only way I was going to make this work was to be authentic as possible. I know, you hear that all the time, but when you’re creating something so personal and putting it out there for the first time, it definitely takes a bit of time to tear down the walls and figure out what authenticity really means for you. It’s like a hidden treasure. You know it’s there somewhere but you’re probably gonna have to do put in some serious effort to actually find it.

For me, what made this whole process so enjoyable was realizing that I actually needed to completely stop thinking about it. There certainly wasn’t going to be enough time in the entire world to try and produce something that somehow differed from the real me. Not to mention, how could I expect anyone care about what I was doing if it wasn’t coming from a genuine place?

9 weeks and just over 30 posts in and my favorite thing about this blog is that all I have to do is… nothing. All of these recipes, these posts… they’re just me, on paper. (Or screen, I guess). Every dish that I make, I make because I would anyway. I’ve never really had a plan for what I’m going to cook or write about, it just happens. (Okay so maybe there is a lot of jotting down recipes for things I’d normally just throw together, not to mention food styling, photography and well, writing). But all in all, Anya’s Eats really is just that. It’s a documented record of the things I eat, things I think and things I feel. Messy and disorganized, maybe. But at least it’s me.

My goal in creating this blog was pretty simple. I wanted to share my knowledge and passion for health, happiness and whole, nutritious foods with as many people as possible and prove that you don’t have to be an expert chef or a licensed nutritionist to lead an exceptionally healthy and nourished life. Anyone can do it.

My hope is that by sharing my authentic, yet imperfect reality, that I can inspire even just one person to try something they hadn’t tried before or learn something new about themselves. Health, happiness… even blogging. Maybe they’re just not as hard as we thought they were after all!

In honor of authenticity, I bring you this spectacular summer veggie salad smothered with dairy-free pesto. I picked up the red onion, cucumber and tomatoes at the farmers market last week and used the first batch of my Toasted Walnut Pesto to create this nearly effortless seasonal salad that lasted for days. Of course it’s been raining in San Diego for the past 4 days (including when I took these pictures) so it hasn’t exactly felt like a classic southern California summer. But, we desperately needed the rain. Plus, what would a blog be without the occasional messy and stressful photoshoot? 🙂


Summer Veggie Salad with Pesto 300x200 1


a01bddc9a844908d4bc8883a75b2f75d?s=30&d=mm&r=gAnya Kaats
Course dairy free, dairy free pesto, dairy free salad, gluten free, grain free, grain free salad, non goo, organic, organic salad, paleo, paleo pesto, paleo recipe, paleo salad, pesto, primal, summer salad, summer veggie salad, whole30


  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and medium diced
  • 3 average sized tomatoes, medium diced
  • ¼ red onion, medium diced
  • 1 avocado, medium diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ batch dairy-free pesto


  • Placed chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, olive oil and pesto in a large bowl and combine well.
  • over and place salad in the fridge and let sit for 30 minutes or more so that the veggies soak up the flavors of the sauce.
  • Remove from fridge, add avocado and combine well.



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Anya Kaats

Hi! I’m Anya, a San Diego-based Holistic Health Coach and Marketing Consultant on a mission to share good food, health & happiness with as many people as possible. I am a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and have worked in the natural & organic products industry for my entire professional career with companies such as Suja Juice, Brad’s Raw Foods, and Mamma Chia. While my life may be totally consumed with healthy food now, nutrition wasn’t always a passion of mine.

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