Have you heard of the powerful benefits of colostrum? In this month’s Routine & Rituals, we sit down with Dr. Sarah Rahal, MD, the woman harnessing the power of colostrum and its 200+ bioactive nutrients and empowering people to face the modern world head on in the process. So, it’s not surprising that this powerful superfood makes Dr. Rahal’s list — along with healthy digital boundaries, an excellent sleep hygiene routine, and a nature first approach to health.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about ARMRA and how it came to be?
A: I am a physician with an expertise in functional medicine and environmental health. Prior to founding ARMRA, I spent most of my career as a pediatric neurologist specializing in headache and facial pain in children running a busy practice in New York. It was during this time, witnessing the boom in chronic disease in young kids and also struggling with my own gut health issues, that I uncovered the troubling role the modern environment played.
Our genes didn’t suddenly mutate; the surge in health issues we’re seeing can be traced back to an environment that rapidly changed over the past few decades with unprecedented pollutants in the air we breathe, pesticides and anti-nutrient ingredients in our food system, and unregulated chemicals in our body and home care products. They drive inflammation and we see a surge of autoimmune problems, allergies, digestive complaints, mental fog, bloating, sleep problems, and skin issues because of it.
While researching colostrum, I discovered a natural, whole food powered by over 200+ exclusive peptides, antibodies, growth factors, and bioactive molecules that had the power to strengthen the body’s defense against these modern exposures and restore foundational health. Over 5,000 research publications attested to its health benefits. And I wondered — why didn’t everybody know about it already?
ARMRA is a brand I founded with a mission to empower any person with a simple, accessible tool that can meaningfully improve her foundational health and free her to live her fullest life. My goal was not only to introduce colostrum to the mass market, but to create the best version for human health. ARMRA utilizes proprietary low-temperature technology to protect all of these bioactive nutrients in their most natural and bioavailable form and removes the dairy compounds that humans don’t need. What’s created is the most pure and potent colostrum concentrate that you can easily incorporate into your daily ritual.
Q: Do you have a consistent daily AM and/or PM routine? Or do you mix it up?
A: My body always wakes up early and I watch the sunrise. I’m sure to get early morning sunshine — in my eyes and on my body. The sun is powerfully therapeutic.
I get ready for the day and take supplements and my ARMRA.
Journal for a few minutes.
Brew anise tea, add a splash of orange blossom water, and monk fruit, and will also drink a lot of water throughout the morning.
Often I’ll have a small bowl of berries in the early morning and I always make a big breakfast later in the morning, usually with wild salmon or grass-fed meats. I don’t eat typical “breakfast food.”
My evening routine is a bit less consistent.
A few times a week I’ll catch an early evening Pilates class.
I cook my own food for almost every meal and am very intentional about it, so I’ll whip something up for dinner and am usually dancing while I do it.
I usually sneak in more work around this time (I know :/).
To wind down I like to read, listen to a podcast, or stream a show.
I don’t keep anything electronic in my bedroom — not even a light. When I hit the pillow, sleep is deep and restorative until morning.
Q: How does the natural world support your modern life?
A: I am a big believer that nature is the best chemist. My entire business innovation centers around technology that allows us to preserve a natural product, colostrum, that evolution has already spent over 300 million years perfecting through forces of antifragility. Colostrum has been harnessed for its health benefits for millenia dating back to Aryuvedic medicine — a vegan culture, it was used to treat infections before the advent of antibiotics, and is clinically backed by thousands of peer-reviewed research studies. I abide by the heuristic that when presented with an option that attempts to defy or over-engineer something Mother Nature has honed (whether it be a food or a lifestyle practice) — tread carefully.
Q: Are there any particular foods or botanicals that align with your beauty routine or self-care practice?
A: Colostrum is my go-to for so many facets of my routine. Because it restores foundational pathways in the body, the barriers, the effects manifest in the whole body. Calm, clarity, and radiance. I use it topically as well to make a face mask that does wonders for regeneration and to combat inflammation.
Along those lines, microdosing with the sacred plant psilocybin is another really powerful self-care tool and is illustrative of my point that we’ve co-evolved with other aspects of nature that possess powers we can harness. In union, they can be a tool to unlock other parts of our fullest selves.
Q: What do you wish people knew about wellness?
A: Wellness is not just freedom from “disease” — it’s the totality of your flourishing as a person. I think the focus is often around what things can you add to your life to contribute to your wellness, but for me I find it far more impactful when I find things to take away. It’s “via negativa” or wisdom through subtraction. I consider my attention my most critical resource and putting tighter guardrails around what I allow to grab my attention has made the biggest difference in my overall wellness. That may mean: getting much more comfortable saying “no” to bids for my time so that I have breathing room in my daily calendar or a complete digital detox.
ARMRA is the brainchild of Dr. Sarah Rahal, MD — a double board-certified pediatric neurologist with expertise in environmental and functional medicine. She trained at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. And prior to founding ARMRA, was Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Headache at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.