I'm 24, Live In New York & Spent $292.34 On My Wellness Routine This Week

Welcome to Refinery29’s Feel Good Diaries, where we chronicle the physical and mental wellness routines of women today, their costs, and whether or not these self-care rituals actually make you feel good. Have your own Feel Good Diary to submit? You can do so here!
Today: A woman who believes eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet, combined with consistent and varied exercise leads to a balanced life.
Age: 24
Location: New York
Occupation: Talent Agent Assistant
Salary: $33,000

Day One:

7 a.m. — I wake up for a 60-minute Bode NYC Hot HIIT Class. I use ClassPass, which lets you try different exercise classes around the city. After a lot of hustle, I convinced five friends to join ClassPass too, which resulted in me getting $500 worth of credits. So, technically this class was free! Right now, the ClassPass plan I use is $29 per month for 15 credits. I splurged and got an Uber there for $7.52, since I leave the house so early and didn't want to take the train. I also had to pay $2.95 for the towel rental because you need one for heated Bikram class. This is an intense, hour-long class done entirely on your yoga mat. It combines Pilates and cardio in a 105-degree room with lots of humidity. I have to be in the right mindset because the heat really gets you. But my teacher was really on track and structured the class well. It definitely works my booty and legs the most, leaving me feeling super accomplished.
8:15 a.m. — My doctor recently explained to me the importance of balancing my pH levels. Because of this, I drink lemon water, something I used to be really good about in college, but have been slacking on lately. I stop at my local bodega on my way back from class (I walked home, about 15 blocks, which is much nicer with the sun up!), and grab two lemons and two avocados for $4.85. When I get home, I make a large bottle of lemon water to go, while brewing coffee (which I'll add rice milk to shortly) and cut up the avocados to put on top of rice cakes for breakfast. I feel a spring in my step, thanks to the workout and lemon water. The rice milk I buy for myself is from Trader Joe's, it's about $3.50. My Dunkin Donuts' French Roast coffee costs $10.99.
12:45 p.m. — I'm a pretty simple eater, and my meals can get repetitive. For lunch, I like to keep it light, since I'll be at my desk for the rest of the afternoon (assistants have to be in the office at all times!). I don't want to feel sluggish. Two rolls of avocado sushi do the trick. I have it delivered from a local place for $12.40, which is actually about $4 cheaper than walking around the corner to buy Whole Foods sushi.
Daily total: $71.21

Day Two

7 a.m. — This time, I wake up for round two of Bode Hot HIIT with enough time to grab the train, saving on an Uber. This time I'm joined by my neighbor and co-worker. I used to hate working out with other people, but since moving to NYC, it's become fun to go with friends. I usually hate to go to the same kind of class two days in a row, but Bode is worth it. I rent a towel and buy a water bottle (forgot mine!) which comes to $5.25. My mat was right next to the heater this time — rookie mistake. I made it through class, but this was definitely harder than yesterday. I'm also starting to feel sore yesterday’s class.
9:25 — The coffee shop across from my apartment is locally owned, and it’s totally my obsession. Best coffee in the world (IMO!), and they carry my favorite brand of oat milk - Oatly. As a vegan, I have tried so, SO many milks, and I can say this brand of oat milk is my favorite by far. It's the 10th punch on my store card, so my large iced-coffee is free. Yay! Normally, my large iced coffee is $3.75, including tip.
10:20 p.m. — I bought my diffuser about two months ago using Amazon gift cards, and it has completely changed my sleep habits. I used to wake up every night around 4:30 a.m., but this diffuser changed everything. After doing some research, I began to wonder: If I diffuse lavender while I sleep, will that make a difference? And it did. Since the first night I tried it, I’ve slept so much more soundly. I even add tea tree oil to the lavender if I ever feel like I'm getting sick (helps to boost your immune system, supposedly). I usually buy a pack of six essential oils at a time from Amazon for $10.88. The diffuser also glows and has a nice hum that puts me right asleep. I use it religiously every night.
Daily Total: $16.13

Day Three

7:30 a.m. — It's payday! And rest day. I am definitely sore from those two workout classes back to back (mostly in my shoulders and inner thighs), so I take the morning to budget for the next two weeks. I need new probiotics and have recently been reading about Lo Bosworth's company, Love Wellness. The whole company sells pills and other items that help to balance your pH levels, aide in digestion, and keep the rest of your body in check. I took really expensive, refrigerated probiotics in college that I can't afford now, and the ones I was using from CVS didn't feel necessary anymore (or like they were making a difference), so, I stopped taking them. But recently, I've been advised by my doctor to make it a priority again. I buy a month-long supply of the Good Girl Probiotics for $32.65, which are much more affordable.
1 p.m. — We get bagels on Friday at work! I had breakfast in the morning at my place to save a little money, and then I usually grab a bagel for lunch on Fridays. Sometimes keeping your financial wellness in check is important too, especially if it reduces long-term stress.
8:45 p.m. — I was going to go out with a friend, but she isn't feeling well, so I decide a night in is not a bad idea. I watch Real Housewives, and treat myself to some expensive delivery sushi. They’re avocado, shitakke mushroom rolls, which cost $16.91. Definitely is a good way to end the week.
Daily Total: $49.56

Day Four

9:30 a.m. — There’s nothing like ClassPass baby! I go to Laughing Lotus Yoga - SOUL SWEAT Class this time. The class is free again, but I had to buy a $2 water, since I forgot mine. I love this studio, but because it's in the Flatiron District, it's hard to get to during the week. This is the only studio that I like going to that isn't heated (though it's called SOUL SWEAT). It's traditional in the sense that you chant together at the beginning and end of class. My teacher used a gong today, and played old-school soul music, not very traditional, but exactly what the class was feeling. There's no judgement in this studio — I've been doing yoga on and off for about six years, consistently for the past two, and sometimes feel pressure to be "the best yogi." But here, there is no judgement. People laugh — the teacher even laughs at himself. I accidentally kicked the guy next to me, and the woman in front of me stepped on my hand multiple times— we all apologize, but no one really cares. That’s just the kind of beautiful place this space is. Class runs about 15 minutes over, but I leave feeling really rejuvenated.
12 p.m. — I’ve recently become obsessed with skincare. The city makes you feel dirty, so I’ve started budgeting to treat myself to one facial a month. This Heyday Salon 50 Minute Facial is $114, which is a middle-ground for price, in terms of the treatments they offer. But it gets the job done. This was my first time doing the 50-minute session, and it was definitely more of a procedure than the last facial I had. It included extractions, which I don't love, but are necessary, and a neck, arm, and shoulder massage. I left glowing but a little red, whereas with half-hour sessions I’ve done, you just glow. I was sent home with three sample products to try: A serum, a cleanser, and an exfoliating gel. The exfoliating gel smells like rose petals and I'm excited to try it for the next few weeks.
4 p.m. — I meet up with a friend at a Le Pain Quotidien and order a honey, lemon ginger tea for $4.52. My facialist wanted me to focus on hydrating, so I opted out of my usual afternoon coffee. It was perfectly spicy and felt soothing to my stomach. A lot of vegans debate the topic of using honey versus agave. I used to adamantly not eat or drink honey, but have recently decided that I will not avoid it if it’s pre-made or used in a product. However, I won't buy honey or use it if I have the choice. I also consider spending quality time with friends a part of my wellness routine — especially when it’s in a calm cafe with a good vibe, where we can really talk for a few hours and sip on tea in peace. Honestly, it’s such a break from the city to have my warm ginger tea, feel myself, and relax.
Daily Total: $120.52

Day Five

11:15 p.m. — The first day of the week I let myself sleep in! I usually give myself one day on the weekend to avoid morning plans or classes. I am definitely tired from the week. I ended up walking home after my facial yesterday afternoon, so it feels good to curl up and chill out for most of the day today. Ah, the ultimate rest day!
6:15 p.m. — Going to the movies with my roommate is one of our favorite Sunday activities. The first screening we planned to watch was totally sold out when we arrived at the theater. Luckily, this is New York! So we walked about 15 blocks to another one and got there just in time. It's $16 for the ticket, and I bought a medium sparkling water fors $6.52, opting out of salty popcorn because I’ve heard salt can cause bloating. I love going to the movies with my roomie and best friend. It's one of the things that we’ve have done consistently since being in school together. We typically see dumb comedies or funky indie movies — it's a total de-stresser for both of us, and we always make a point to do it when we've had a hard week.
Daily Total: $22.52

Day Six

7:45 a.m. — I ran all through college, but had the advantage of going to school in Northern Carolina where the weather would almost always allow for outside runs. In New York, for the most part, running outside isn’t doable from November through March — for me at least. Which is also a big reason that I signed up for ClassPass. Luckily, running is free. But it's finally getting sunny again and I lace up, ready for my second run of the season. I do four miles. I'm lucky that I live a short walk from Central Park. My usual run is centered around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in the middle of the park. Sometimes I do two laps and a little bit around, sometimes I do one and then run wherever looks good. The best part about Central Park is that you can never feel like you've seen it all. I track my runs using the Map My Run app by Underarmour, which is free from the app store.
2 p.m. — My probiotics arrive — they finally came! My gut and I are so happy. I will have to take them during dinner, as I’ve already had lunch and the bottle recommends that you take them with a meal, once in the morning and once at night. I'll have to be patient.
8 p.m. — It's Bachelor Monday! My friend comes over to watch with me and my roommate. I make a quick dinner with what's in my kitchen. I tend to not be good about keeping things stocked, but I don’t want to miss any moments of the juicy show. I cut up some avocados and put them on brown rice cakes with some pepper, cumin, lemon juice, and chia seeds. I told you this twist on avocado toast was a favorite of mine, and it’s free because I already have all the ingredients. About halfway through, I take the first probiotic. They are the smallest ones I’ve have ever seen, but I like that they seem like they'll be light on my stomach.
Daily Total: $0

Day Seven

8 a.m. — I sleep in, because I do think it's important to listen to your body. If I was able to wake up on time, I was going to go for a run. But I knew I'd been up late with friends and had just gone running for the second time in months yesterday. I feel those miles, mostly in my calves, but also with my overall inability to wake up. I sleep until 8 a.m. knowing that I will wake up early the next morning for more Hot HIIT at Bode. Since I have to be at work by 10 a.m., which means leaving around 9:25 a.m., I have to balance how often I wake up early in the morning for class, so that I can still function for work. I know I have friends coming over tonight again, so I decide to just let myself sleep, which is luckily free.
12:45 p.m. — I am truly a creature of habit, and I order sushi again for lunch. Shitakke mushroom and avocado rolls for me today, which cost $12.40. Sometimes these small habits make your day — it’s the little things.
11:30 p.m. — I had a long talk with a friend of mine, and have been feeling like my glands are a little swollen, which means I could be fighting off a little virus. I add lavender to my diffuser for a quick trip into dreamland, along with the tea tree oil to boost my immune system. I turn on the diffuser and doze off.
Daily Total: $12.40
Weekly total: $292.34
Reflection: My wellness routine is very important to me. The importance of making your health a priority was instilled in me since my days as a drama major in college. That's why I wake up at 6 a.m. multiple times a week, and have been a vegan for almost five years — the benefits of both habits give me encouragement. Yoga has the most positive affect on my life. It grounds me in between intense workouts, and helps with recovery. I leave yoga feeling light-hearted and at peace, which no other class does for me.
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