My Morning Routine

⇾ Jay Carroll, Wonder Valley Co-Founder

My Morning Routine

⇾ Jay Carroll,
Wonder Valley Co-Founder

The all-natural, good vibes way to wake up and get moving

Wonder Valley Co-Founder Jay Carroll

I’ve known Jay Carrol for over a decade now. And he's always doing something interesting, introducing us to new things and just generally inspiring us to be more curious. He's a rambler in the truest sense of the word—a drifter with excellent taste and one of the nicest guys around. He's worked as a creative director in fashion, a photographer, curated shops and interiors, but when he met his wife Alison, she was working at the California Olive Oil council, overseeing a blind taste panel certifying Cali-produced olive oil as extra virgin. “A couple years later, we moved to LA and decided to start our own olive oil brand, Wonder Valley, with the contacts and mentors she had made during that time,” he says. “We had a lot of fun building it slowly and steadily while falling more and more in love with the history and power of olive oil as an ancient holistic superfood.” They've doubled down lately, expanding and integrating their cult-favorite oil into a growing line of skincare products. Here's how Jay spends his mornings and the all-natural approach that prepares him for the day.

The Series

Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.

Jay Carroll illustration

My Routine

On average, I’m up around 7 am everyday.

But, it really changes as the sunrise changes. I love spending summers in Maine where the sun comes up before five and you've got a long, full salty day ahead.

Any night I get a solid nine hours of sleep, I can reinvent myself and the world.

Of course, eight hours is my usual goal and seven is the target I typically hit. Six or less, and my days take a course where no one wins.

I don’t use an alarm, but wake up naturally.

I do have a snooze button in the form of my dog Lefty-boy and my beautiful wife Al. They're both good reasons to stay in bed a little longer.

My nightstand is pretty full at the moment.

Two ceramic vases—one with Iris flowers, and another with redwood trimmings and night blooming jasmine. No less than three crystals—Labradorite, Quartz and a Selenite wand. And then a bunch of books, from biographies to a history of olives. I've also got some gummies (melatonin and indica) and a little oud incense. And a photo of Lefty wearing a hat and a scarf from an RTH campaign we shot back in 2012—it always makes me laugh.

It’s going to be a good day if I do two out of these five things each morning.

Meditate, a little Wim Hof method, journal, meditate and some “To Be Magnetic” coursework. In between those, I'll feed Lefty and put the kettle on.

Then it’s time to make some tea.

I have this great Japanese green tea from a Tokyo based brand called Sakurai. I've learned the hard way that I should only drink coffee socially on days off. Otherwise ... no bueno.

Advertisement

I don’t eat breakfast most days ...

Unless it's Sunday. Then, Al cooks up an incredible greasy traditional American breakfast with eggs, pancakes, bacon and potato hash—all with ingredients fresh from the local farmers market here.

I put together my own little gym during the pandemic.

I've got dumbbells and kettlebells, some TRX bands and a stability ball. Al has dubbed it “Jay's Gym for Muscles.” Yeah, I'm looking into making T-shirts. Currently, I'm into 30-minute HITT workouts with a Tabata timer. Either that, or I run around the neighborhood a couple times, the blocks are pretty big out here and one lap is around two miles.

I’ve got to stop my mind from running before getting started on work.

It's an important part of my process, letting go of too many expectations, so I can focus.

I use lists ... maybe to a fault.

I could use some advice on how to not get caught up in the making of lists. So many handwritten lists, typed notes, random stickies, e-mailed lists to self, lists jotted down on my hand. Honestly, I need help. What do I do about all of these damn lists? Are they helping? Jury's out.

My grooming routine is simple ... and olive oil heavy.

I've been on the natural deodorant tip since first using crystals in the mid '90s (yes I've seen Jerry play). Now I use EO's lavender spray. I'm really proud of our Hinoki Body Oil. It's a best-seller that works great after a shower and it smells incredible, like a Japanese forest. And my new jam is our Oil Cleanser with the Olive and lotus exfoliant mixed in, then followed by Wonder Serum. My face has never felt so clean and moisturized. I hardly ever wear sunscreen, but when I do I use this great cream that I pick up in the summer at the farmer's market in Brunswick, Maine.

I’m pretty serious about supplements.

I'm on a heavy regiment trying to manage an autoimmune. So far so good. I also love taking Alexis Smart flower remedies, Onda CBD and an assortment of Reishi, Lions mane and skullcap mushrooms in pill or liquid form.

Advertisement

I’m a trimmer. Not a shaver.

I've shaved my face with a razor maybe four times since I was 24. I'll use an electric trimmer to trim and shape up my facial hair often, but not everyday—more like every two weeks or so.

I don’t plan what I’m going to wear.

Unless I'm packing for a trip the night before. But this past year, I've been working towards a personal uniform. I know what I like at this point and am interested in spending less time thinking about it. I've also got a couple of Al's Big Deal jumpsuits for days where I don't much leave the house. Its the perfect amount of getting dressed without feeling like you're in your sweats or PJs.

Jay Carroll's favorite grooming products

Clockwise, from top left

Oil cleanser,
$65 by Wonder Valley

Natural peppermint toothpaste,
$9.95 by Davids

Molecule 01 cologne,
$135 by Escentric Molecules

Sunsifter solar cream,
$15 by Fresh Pickins

Silk-bristle toothbrush,
$38 by Officine Universelle Buly

Olive & Lotus exfoliant,
$58 by Wonder Valley

My Personal Assistant tincture,
$42 by Alexis Smart

Organic French Lavender deodorant spray,
$6.99 by EO

Lip salve,
$8 by Fat and the Moon

Jay Carroll's favorite grooming products

Oil cleanser,
$65 by Wonder Valley

Natural peppermint
toothpaste, $9.95
by Davids

Silk-bristle
toothbrush,
$38 by Officine
Universelle Buly

Sunsifter solar cream,
$15 by Fresh Pickins

Olive & Lotus exfoliant,
$58 by Wonder Valley

My Personal Assistant
tincture, $42
by Alexis Smart

Organic
French Lavender
deodorant spray,
$6.99 by EO

Molecule 01
cologne, $135
by Escentric
Molecules

Lip salve,
$8 by Fat and the Moon

“My go-to daytime fragrance”

Clockwise, from top left

Oil cleanser,
$65 by Wonder Valley

Natural peppermint toothpaste,
$9.95 by Davids

Silk-bristle toothbrush,
$38 by Officine Universelle Buly

Sunsifter solar cream,
$15 by Fresh Pickins

Olive & Lotus exfoliant,
$58 by Wonder Valley

My Personal Assistant tincture,
$42 by Alexis Smart

Organic French Lavender deodorant spray,
$6.99 by EO

Molecule 01 cologne,
$135 by Escentric Molecules

Lip salve,
$8 by Fat and the Moon

I don’t plan what I’m going to wear.

Unless I'm packing for a trip the night before. But this past year, I've been working towards a personal uniform. I know what I like at this point and am interested in spending less time thinking about it. I've also got a couple of Al's Big Deal jumpsuits for days where I don't much leave the house. Its the perfect amount of getting dressed without feeling like you're in your sweats or PJs.

Never leave
home without ...

Never leave home without ...

I drink three liters to a gallon of water a day—which is easy in the desert and surprisingly hard in Maine. But I rarely leave without my liter bottle of water. That, and I’ve got a big Sunbody straw hat that I love.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

The Smart Way
to Start Your Day

The Daily Valet. is your cheat sheet to what you need to know right now. Never feel caught off guard again.

More Morning Routines

Advertisement