Every year, when I go to the doctor for my annual physical, I hear the same thing: you need to change your diet. Consume less red meat, try to eat more fish, and — especially — eat more vegetables. So, as the date of my annual physical nears, I always find myself trying to choke down some green, leafy item so that I can tell my doctor, in good faith, that I’m trying. I’m like the kid who hopes to make up for months of complete inattention to dental hygiene by brushing and flossing diligently on the morning of his dentist’s appointment.
The doctor isn’t fooled by this charade, and I feel bad that I am not more compliant with his instructions. He’s a doctor, after all, and has gone through years of education and training that allow him to say, with absolute conviction and sincerity, that I should eat more vegetables. The problem is that I just don’t like vegetables! At a restaurant, I’ll always order soup rather than salad — or if the soup options are of the gazpacho variety, I’ll just eat bread until my steak, medium rare, is brought to the table.
Fortunately, my lovely wife has come up with a solution to this problem. It’s called arugula. When she first asked if I liked arugula, I thought she was referring to that part of the human body that hangs down from the roof of your mouth at the back of your throat. Instead, it is a leafy vegetable that looks like a weed from your garden and has a spicy taste. Who knew? It turns out that if you apply some tart vinaigrette dressing and add some parmesan cheese and blueberries or nuts to a bowl of arugula, it is reasonably edible.
So, we’ve been eating arugula lately, to the point where we must be mindful of arugula fatigue. Arugula farmers the world over are celebrating the arrival of another convert to arugulaism. And, when I go in to see my doctor for my check-up in a few weeks, I’ll be able to tell him I’ve been eating more vegetables — and for once my statement will have the incidental merit of being true.