One Pan Annie Interviews Her Kidney

By Jan Jackson –

The Interview*

*This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.

ONE PAN ANNIE: Well I look around the boardroom and see my internal organs seated around the table. What a great opportunity to get things out it the open. I’m sure I would be much healthier if I had though to call this meeting sooner. Let’s start with you Kid, I’m having some trouble with youright now. Tell us your name and what you do for my body.

KID: OK Annie. My full name is Kidney though I like it when my friends call me Kid. To be certain, I am one of your most important organs – even your heart would agree.

One of the biggest problems we kidneys have is that even though we play a crucial role in maintaining your overall health, no one really really appreciates us until we become damaged and can no longer do our job.

Here is what we do:

1. We act like a filter. We remove wastes and extra fluid from your body by filtering about 200 quarts of blood each day (it comes to about one to two quarts of urine). Keeping those wastes and fluids from building up in your body helps keep you healthy.

2. We need pressure to work properly so we can ask for higher pressure if it seems too low or try to lower it if it seems too high. We try to control the fluid levels by making a hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict.

3. We make a hormone that tells bone marrow to make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to supply all your body’s needs. If you didn’t have red blood cells you would not have the energy you need for daily activities.

4. We make an active form of vitamin D so your body can absorb calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are important minerals for making your body strong.

5. And last in this list, is the fact that we control pH levels. You know how important that is to your fish tank and your swimming pool, just think how important it is in your body. As cells break down, they make acids and the foods you eat can either increase or lower the amounts. We balance the pH by either removing or adjusting the right amounts of acid and buffering agents.

ONE PAN ANNIE: We are about out of time for today Kid, but what do you wish I had or not eaten?

KID: Well they say you can’t really reverse kidney disease, but you can improve our function by not eating the stuff that we have trouble processing. You can get that list from your doctor or find it online ( The thing that impresses me about you Annie, is the way you stopped eating out of the chemical isles of the grocery store and only buy and eat food from the produce and meat sections. I can tell you, the chemicals and processed sugar they add to the food to add color, shelf life or whatever, gives us fits. If we are to do our job, just give us the plain stuff. We were made to process real food

ONE PAN ANNIE: Thanks Kid. Now I’m going to tell the folks just how cheap, fast and easy it is to feed you plain healthy food.

How to cook real food cheap, fast, healthy

Turn the heat on high on under my favorite cast iron skillet (preferable the one with a lid – see how to order below). Drizzle a bit of olive oil in the skillet and add your favorite piece of meat and two vegetables cut to the size you like. Add a dash of salt and pepper (or any other seasonings you like), turn the heat down to medium and put the lid on the skillet. In about three or four minutes (or when your meat bubbles through), remove the lid, turn the food over, and replace the lid.

If your meat is small enough to not take much cooking, you might even be able to turn the skillet off at this point and let it finish cooking on its own (cast iron holds its heat). If not, turn it off when you know the meat is done. I like my vegetables al dente, but well-cooked vegetables are good as well. The food in the photo is a hamburger patty (buried beneath the vegetables), one (sliced but unpeeled) carrot, one (sliced but unpeeled) rutabaga and a handful of baby salad spinach. Don’t let anyone tell you that cooking healthy is complicated or time consuming. It isn’t.

Bon appetit.

One Pan Annie’s skillet of choice:

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