How a Resident Pediatrician Spent $1,000 on Wellness in New York City

yuliana noah wellness diaries

Everything featured on The Nessie is independently selected and rigorously tested. We may receive a small commission on purchases made from some of our links. Also, The Nessie is part of the Ness Card ecosystem. Since you’re here, you’d probably be into it.

What if you had $1,000 to spend on your health?

Welcome to Wellness Diaries. In this series, we send readers $1,000 to splurge on any product, service, or experience—as long as it’s something that can enhance health. Any leftover cash is donated to a charity of the diarist’s choice.

This time, we’re highlighting the healthiest cities in the United States. We found caretakers—a resident physician in pediatrics, an abortion doula, and a puppy-fostering superstar—who live in these cities so they could highlight the different products and services in the area that keep residents well. (And also just give them some cash to spend on health and wellness, because they deserve it.)

Our only requirement: In the spirit of community wellness, all purchases had to be made at local businesses. Consider it your healthy spending guide for these cities—and, of course, an invitation to live vicariously through each local, healthy buy. 

Local hero Yuliana Noah is based in New York City, and her picks prove she’s a true New Yorker: She spent her $1,000 on Rachel Comey mittens, trendy Hoka running shoes, and gluten-free bagels. 

Meet Yuliana

She’s a resident physician in pediatrics who’s particularly jazzed about rest, wellness, and emotional and social development in all humans—but particularly in children. She wears a lot of hats: She’s a caregiver, a friend, a partner, a granddaughter, a dog mom, a reader, a learner, a crafter, a mean letter writer, and she’s got an uncanny knack for remembering voices. 

Yuliana’s Diary

“To preface all my selections, I thought long and hard about the things that would benefit me most and make my job as a caregiver in a city hospital a little easier. It was surprisingly really tough to choose. I wanted to pick things that I could use every day and experiences that would benefit my body and mind.”

$175 Mittens

Rachel Comey

Rachel Comey Uma Mittens (Light Blue)

“In hospital settings, germs abound. We actually use hand sanitizer before AND after leaving patient rooms in order to prevent the spread of disease, and we wash our hands religiously dozens of times a day. On top of that, I work with children, which means they have ‘underdeveloped’ immune systems and they’re always catching some virus or other. I also live and work in NYC—not the coldest place in the world, but cold enough to develop extremely dry, chapped and scraped hands, especially in the winter. This ask is to save my hands, which are something I (and many fortunate people) use every day! I’ve had to work with dry, chapped hands in the past and it is painful.

And how lovely, toasty warm, and luxuriously soft do these mittens look?! I think slathering my hands in Vaseline and hand cream before slipping these babies on will do just the trick and save my hands this frigid winter. It’s a very extra purchase and it’s not something that I would ever be able to afford for myself, but I figure a little bit of this experience is also about ‘treating yourself.'”

$75 Massage

Long Teng

Long Teng 2 90-Minute Massage

“I am TENSE at work, after work, all the time. The stress of long hours and intensity of caring for sick children takes a toll on the body. Muscle tension affects your posture, your gait, and generally just makes you feel like shit (excuse my French, but it’s scientifically proven). I would love to be able to get a massage to work out the knots that develop not only from the stress but also from sitting in front of a computer all day, sleeping in chairs, and running around the hospital.

$495 Pottery Class

MUGI Pottery

MUGI Pottery 8-Week Wheel Class

“This is for my emotional wellness. There’s absolutely no room in my budget to nourish my soul with hobbies I enjoy. I also rarely have the time to dedicate to the things that fill me up, like creating things with my hands. The emotional burnout is very real and having activities during the week to look forward to, to have a moment to take a step back and just do something for myself, will be incredibly healing. I find that the act of wheel throwing is in itself meditative and soothing.”

$165 Running Shoes


HOKA Bondi 8 (Lilac Marble / Elderberry) from Jackrabbit

“I love Hoka sneakers for running and I hear these are the most cushiony ones to exist! I think these will become my go-to work sneakers. And the purple color is very cute.”

$90 Gluten-Free Bagels

modern bread & bagel gluten free bakery
Modern Bread & Bagel

Modern Bread & Bagel Gift Card

“There’s an entirely gluten-free bakery not too far from me that I very recently discovered. As I have Celiac disease, it’s still difficult to find food that I can eat, even in NYC! It’s also difficult to prepare meals for long work weeks, and there are times that I just can’t manage it. It would be awesome to have a little bit of wiggle room to grab a meal or even just a bagel for work or after a late shift.”

Total: $1000

Stay tuned for details on our next Wellness Diaries by subscribing to Nessie Sightings! (That’s our newsletter.)

Exploring the health and wellness world is better with a friend.

Wellness recommendations you’ll want—delivered to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe to our (free) newsletter and join our growing community!


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
In this article
Articles you might like

Want more?

Subscribe to Nessie Sightings. Wellness recommendations you’ll want—delivered to your inbox twice a week. Subscribe to our (free) newsletter and join our growing community!

The emails are free, the finds are priceless.

A dose of wellness for your inbox


Ness will process your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time.

“This card is such an exciting addition to my wallet and it’s perfect for someone who values health and wellness but hasn’t found a credit card that rewards me for that. I love getting rewarded for wellness practices like sleeping, meditating, and moving my body—plus extra points on purchases at my favorite places like Whole Foods, ClassPass and sweetgreen. The app is easy to use and the card is designed for your definition of health and wellness, which I love. It’s flexible!”

Kira's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s no secret that wellness is such an important part of my everyday life. I spend a lot of money to help fuel my love of running, recovery, nutrition and mindfulness, so the fact that I can now earn rewards for every dollar I spend with the Ness Card is amazing. My health always comes first, and the Ness Card makes that easy to do. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Andi's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As a new mum, wellness and self-care is a priority for me—so I can, in turn, be able to take care of my baby. I love the incentives that Ness offers for making healthier choices. And to be rewarded along the way for those purchases is such a plus!

Oh, and getting 5x point rewards on my Erewhon $20+ smoothie makes it a little more justifiable.”

Amrit's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I made a promise to myself to find my joy again in 2023. For the past few years, I haven’t been taking care of myself mentally and physically because I’ve just been on the go and focusing on the future instead of being present. I realized that part of the reason I wasn’t happy was because I wasn’t taking care of myself. So, now with the Ness Card—which literally rewards you for staying on top of your wellness journey—I’ve easily been able to focus on my mental and physical journey. Using the card is now a part of my weekly routine, whether I’m buying groceries, going to therapy, spending a day at the spa, or treating myself to a delicious yummy meal.”

Candace's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love life with the Ness Card! The team behind the scenes work really hard to make it valuable and to create a sense of community, which you feel in every newsletter and hand-crafted partnership. The card itself encourages me to be even more curious about where I’m spending my money. It definitely incentivizes me to spend ‘healthier’, which is really unique. On top of that, getting points for taking more steps? There is seriously nothing like it.

David's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“My favorite thing about the Ness Card is that it rewards you for your healthy habits, and not all of them require spending. Yes, you can earn 5x points when you spend at any of their approved health and wellness merchants (think Erewhon and many of your other favorites) but you also earn points for being active daily! So now your sanity walks are literally paying off :) As someone who not only works in wellness but lives and breathes it, essentially most of my expenses live in that realm and with the Ness Card I can now be rewarded nicely for those purchases.”

Kirsty's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“I love that I have rewards to look forward to when I focus on my health and wellness. As a mom of two and full time photographer/creator, it’s hard to find time to prioritize my health and—as my body ages—I want to make sure that I’m treating it to all the TLC it needs (and deserves)! The Ness Card reminds me to take care of my mental, physical, and emotional health on the daily.”

Valerie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“It’s refreshing to have a card app that is so easy to use. I can track my spending and rewards at the click of a button. I love getting a notification when I get extra points for getting a full night sleep or getting my steps in, though of course those are optional. I work a lot, and I feel like I get extra rewarded for taking the time to take care of myself – whether it’s therapy or simply cooking at home instead of dining out. The points accumulate really quickly, and I’ve already gotten a $1,000 credit at Erewhon in my first four months. I also go visit family in Europe a lot, and no one takes my card there, so it’s so convenient to be able to use my Ness Card without ever paying a fee.”

Mélanie's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“As someone who spends the majority of her money on wellness, the Ness Card is perfect for me! I love earning 5x points on purchases at healthy businesses that I was already making, anyways. The Ness Card also motivates me to get enough sleep, practice mindfulness and other healthy habits. The app is really user-friendly and I love watching my points add up. I am excited to redeem them for wellness-related items!”

Lauren's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card motivates me to keep up my healthy habits, and has helped me discover new brands and products that are in alignment with my goals. I’m not spending any more with my Ness Card, but the money I am spending on health and wellness is actually earning me rewards, benefits, and even cash back. And because Ness’s definition of a ‘healthy merchant’ is so generous, I’m able to recognize all of the small ways I practice self-care throughout the week. From buying fresh veggies to going to therapy to taking my supplements, the Ness Card is there to cheer me on: ‘Keep being healthy, girl. You deserve 5x points for that.'”

Melissa's Favorite Healthy Merchants

“The Ness Card rewards me when I spend money on health and wellness. Especially because so much of my wellness routine is spent being active, gardening, making food with my husband, getting a massage, or having some me time, it is nice to be rewarded for that with points that are with brands I shop at all the time anyway. It allows my wellness choices to work harder which I love.”

Research Based

This article was rigorously researched and fact checked. We use peer-reviewed journals and reputable medical sources (think: CDC, WHO, NIH, and the like) to back up every claim we make, and also reach out to experts in the field to ensure we’re covering things the right way. We apply these principles to everything we cover—including brands we partner with—and we’ll always disclose sponsorships, ads, and any kind of financial relationship with anything featured on The Nessie. You deserve the best, most straightforward information on health and wellness, and we think this is the right way to do it. You can read more about our testing and review process here.

If something doesn’t seem quite right, let us know at [email protected].