The Genius Way Aday’s Founders Rev up Their Minds in the Morning

Photo: Aday

Welcome to My Morning Routine, where the founders of minimal-chic athleisure brand Aday and other good-life gurus share their personal (frequently surprising, often healthy) morning rituals—to help you make your a.m.’s more awesome.

Meg He
Co-founder, Aday

I wake up between 6 and 7 a.m.—I don’t use curtains, but instead oversized bird of paradise, pachira, and monstera plants to block the window, so usually the light streaming in past the greenery wakes me up. I do set an alarm as well, but it’s a fail-safe "uh-oh you’re mega late" alarm rather than a "wake up" alarm.

The first thing I do, before even getting out of bed, is sit up and meditate for 10 to 20 minutes. Then, while brushing my teeth, I like to look at myself in the mirror and say out loud some self-affirmations depending on how I feel. You feel silly at first, but I really enjoy this part of connecting with myself. "You are enough." "You are beautiful." I also like to smile and laugh at myself just to get it going for the day.

I'm a big fan of experimenting with different diets. At the moment, I'm on the ketogenic diet, which is 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein and 5 percent carbs. I love it because it gives me so much energy—it’s based on the idea that the brain works better off ketones than on glucose, hence you need to deprive the body of carbs so it can be in ketosis and produce ketones. It requires a lot of work to stay in ketosis, so at night, I cook a lot of sausages and eat them on my way to whatever's next. I love the idea of being on a diet to boost brain function, rather than for how my body looks.

I’ve been working with dermatologist Dr. Sam Bunting since 2015 and she cured me of some pretty heinous adult acne. So I follow a pretty strict routine that I really never deviate from: a gentle skin cleanser, eye cream, vitamin C serum, and SPF. I take all of my supplements at night, but they're pretty simple—just fish oil and an all-in-one women’s supplement.

Two to three times during the week, I like to boulder at The Cliffs in Long Island City—I go as soon as they open at 7 a.m., when all the walls are empty. Otherwise, I walk to work every day from the Lower East Side to Soho and bring my pup, Forrest, with me.

Each morning, I'll try to do something that jump-starts one area of my brain. Whenever I have 10 minutes, I like to play a little piano. In the past, I used to schedule German lessons in the morning. I like starting to think hard, early.

Nina Faulhaber
Co-founder, Aday

I try to wake up sometime between 6 and 7:30 a.m., depending on when I went to bed and if I want to work out. In winter, I use three alarms, but in summer one is usually enough.

My mornings revolve around my coffee habits—there’s no treat like it. I swear by Blue Bottle Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, or I'll make my own with our beloved office French press with my Nespresso milk foamer. I take Ritual and Qualia two times a week each. I also have a shelf of vitamin D, B12 and krill oil at home.

I've been doing my own version of intermittent fasting and only have breakfast around 10 or 11 a.m. at work. Our team loves to boil eggs, so I'll have some with them at the office. I also usually have my breakfast in the evening—I love making banana-avocado smoothies with a Nutribullet before going to bed. 

If I'm working out in the morning, I like to mix it up as much as possible. I go running two to three times a week. I think natural vitamin D from the sun is so crucial throughout the entire year, so even if I don't run outside, I'll try and go for a walk or sit outside for a couple of minutes. I also do yoga one or two times a week. I've been going to Kula Yoga in Williamsburg recently, although I also love Y7 and I.Am.You.

I'm most creative and switched-on in the mornings, so I try to capitalize on that. I love to journal or write when I can. Also, I sometimes like to work for a couple of hours from home to do things I don’t get done in the office.

If you're looking for a caffeine boost with your smoothie, this avocado-coffee recipe might be the best thing to happen to your mornings. Or try the one ingredient that makes all green smoothies taste amazing, according to Nina Agdal.

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