Wasn’t this a Smartwater ad years ago? I used to be a demo girl for their products about 20 summers ago. Time is funny. I can still see myself setting up my table in health food stores across NYC introducing this brand new concept in bottled water. "Vapor distilled, with added electrolytes."
The sales representative I worked with back then begged me to go into sales with him. He said he’d never seen someone with product believability like I had for Vitaminwater and Smartwater. I wish I could remember his name... I’ll call him "Vikram". Vikram was from Bangladesh and was so savvy and smart. Together we made a great team, and we sold a lot of product. His wife would make him lunch and he always wanted to share it with me because he knew I was a cook too.
Vikram believed in me. He thought I was a great actor. I told him I WAS a great actor, but I also wanted him to know that I wasn’t putting on a show. I believed in what I was saying. I loved the products. I loved sharing them with New Yorkers.
I’d probably be a zillionaire by now had I switched gears. Today, I carry my Hydro Flask nearly everywhere I go, but if I’m pressed to buy a bottle of water, I still reach for Smartwater. I still believe it is the purest water I can drink from a company that is making strides to make the world a better place. Plus, I feel like I’m raising a metaphorical cup to toast the Lisa from 20 years ago. Every time I see one of their bottles I’m reminded to believe in myself like Vikram did.
Fast forward 20 summers to this one that just passed. Man, it was a rough couple of months. So when I came across that old photo of the Smartwater advertisement, I immediately thought Yes! Things ARE looking up.
I’m happy to report that my surgery is one month behind me and I have one month of recovery in front of me. The dedicated GYN surgical team at Harlem Hospital successfully removed a cantaloupe sized amount of organs, cysts, and fibroids from my precious body.
So you better believe when I saw these melons in the farmers’ market I snatched one up. When I heard the size of what was removed, I imagined it in my mind a certain way. Smaller. Grapefruit sized. From the time I went into the hospital to when I was discharged four days later, I weighed 5.2 pounds less.
Would you believe that the melon I chose to take home from the farmers’ market weighed 5.2lbs? I am astounded by the heft and size of it, but when I look at photos I took to document the changes in my body before surgery, I’m not surprised at all. God bless the mothers that carry babies. God bless MY mother who housed all 9 pounds and 10 ounces of my large baby humanness.
So in celebration of being on the other side of this surgery and in gratitude to my angel friends and family who banded together to take care of me, I offer you an end of summer melon salad.
I hope you all had great summers and if by some chance you didn’t, the season change must have good things in store for you. Keep going, keep your mind and heart strong. Be gentle with yourself. Things will be looking up before you know it.
It turns out, I brought home a Galia melon. This melon originated in Israel and is a cross between a cantaloupe and a honeydew. It essentially looks and ripens like a cantaloupe, (aha!) but when you cut the inside of the melon, it is a pale green like a honeydew. It was incredibly sweet and refreshing.
End Of Summer Melon Salad
2 cups chopped melon (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, canary, Crenshaw, Galia, etc.)
1 cup sliced Persian cucumber
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper
Combine everything and serve chilled.