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.)
In this diary, we have yoga teacher, movement educator, podcaster, and author, Jesal Parikh. She spent her money on an essential oil diffuser, a sex toy, and the Fit Desi Food Guide, among other things.
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Jesal Parikh (she/they) is an Indian-American yoga teacher, movement educator, podcaster, author, and disrupter working on creative solutions for equity in yoga. She’s co-host of the Yoga is Dead podcast and offers movement education through the lens of social justice.
Through her work, Jesal aims to uplift people who may feel isolated and marginalized by the yoga industry.
“My favorite wellness ritual is walking my dog. Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with this, especially when the weather isn’t great. But if it weren’t for my fur baby, there are days I probably wouldn’t get away from the screens or get up and walk all that much. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with my dog— and my husband who usually tries to walk with us.”
Her charity of choice: Leftover funds were donated to The National Abortion Federation.
“Abortion care is healthcare and every American should have access,” Parikh says. “That access is under threat more than ever because of how access intersects with race, class, capitalism, gender, and religion. Supporting abortion access is about social wellness as well as individual wellness and liberty.”
Vitruvi Stone Essential Oil Diffuser (White)
This has been on my wish list for a while because scent can have such a powerful effect on mood. This particular diffuser is one of the most aesthetically pleasing out there because its cover is made from ceramic rather than plastic. It also has a relatively small footprint so it fits in a variety of spaces. Plus, it’s something my partner and I can both benefit from.
$34 Food Guide
The Body Boss Revolution Fit Desi Food Guide
As I near 40, I’ve become more conscious that right now is the time to invest in building and maintaining muscle mass. I chose this book because it consists of high protein, mostly vegetarian recipes (I’m a lifelong vegetarian). Because it’s written by Dee Gautham, who is herself South Asian, the recipes keep South Asian flavors and ingredients in mind. These recipes are something I can easily share with in-laws and with other members of my community who struggle to get enough protein in their diet.
$395 LED Face Mask
My face and skin scar easily as I get older, and I’m noticing more hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. As a fat, brown content creator, I have enough insecurities holding me back. On top of that, I manage psoriasis and keratosis pilaris. Having more even skin on my face would go a long way in making me feel confident, more at ease, and less anxious in front of the camera. It’s easier to feel authentic in your own skin when you’re confident in that skin—at least even in part.
Sexual health is so often overlooked even though it’s a basic component of overall wellbeing. This category of toy (air pulse vibrator) is supposed to be game-changing. Every review recommended the Womanizer Premium 2, especially for those new to the category.
Spanx Breast of Both Worlds Reversible Comfort Bra
This is the best everyday bra I’ve found for my size. It has enough support to wear most of the time while still feeling really comfortable and not giving me a uniboob—not something easily achieved when your cup size is well above G. Also, I love the reversible colors. I already have one but I really need one for every day of the week.
$30 Exfoliating Glove
Zakia’s Morocco Kessa Original Hammam Scrubbing Glove
These are the best exfoliating gloves I’ve found! They remove so much dead skin, which is great for preventing body acne and ingrown hairs.
$24 Powder Toothpaste
Primal Life Organics Powdered Mineral Toothpaste
I’ve had all sorts of dental issues over the years so I’ve had to make a big effort to take care of my teeth and gums. I brush, floss, use interdental brushes, have been tongue scraping since I was a teenager, and use an anti-inflammatory natural mouthwash. But the two things have made the biggest difference: eating raw veggies and switching to Primal Life’s toothpowder. My teeth have never felt cleaner!
$6.39 Mini Ice Cream Cones
Blue Bunny Mini Swirls Vanilla Cones
A little something sweet feeds the soul! I love that these are mini so you can have just a small treat when you want—or have more when you want that, too!
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