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

yuliana noah wellness diaries

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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

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

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