The Stress Series & Three Week Challenge

by Dr David Minkoff May 02, 2024 6 min read

The Stress Series & Three Week Challenge

High stress levels are a leading problem in society today, with over half of Americans reporting they feel moderately to significantly stressed during the day.

This leads to depression and anxiety, as well as high tempers, and makes life much less enjoyable.

But it goes beyond that, because our mental stress levels affect our physical health.

Mental stress raises our cortisol levels, which in turn throws other hormones out of balance, lowers our ability to get deep, restorative sleep, causes weight gain, slows or prevents muscle building, and lowers our energy levels.

Stress also reduces our ability to recover from exercise and injury and lowers our overall health.

But while mental stress raises physical stress levels, this is not one-sided. Physical stress levels can raise and magnify mental and emotional stress levels.

In fact, our physical and mental stress levels work in tandem, each raising or lowering the other.

So what causes us to be stressed and how do we lower our overall stress levels?

How do we achieve a more even-keeled mood, more able to calmly face the challenges life presents?

How do we become the most alert and competent we can be mentally, while at the same time being able to relax when we need or want to, or when it's time to sleep?

And how do we raise our energy levels, improve hormonal balance, and increase our overall health?

Welcome to the Stress Series and 3 week challenge.

Over the next few weeks we're going to cover stress from every angle, see how it all fits together, and find out what you can do to lower stress levels in your life.

Even more, in this article we present an exact protocol to help lower physical and mental stress levels that is measurable and achievable.

Let’s dive in.


Before we dive in, we first need to define what stress is.

Many people would say it is feelings of overwhelm or “too much,” to the point that it’s "hard to cope,” or, “I just can’t deal with it all.”

That’s how it feels. It’s an overall, sometimes overwhelming feeling.

But if we want to address it in a way that achieves results, we need to break it down.

We all have problems we run into, things we’re responsible for or need to take care of, or people depending on us.

We have losses in life, failures to reach goals, financial pressures, and upsets with others or the conditions around us.

And we also have physical pressures.

We have to get up, move our bodies (whether we want to or not sometimes), be active, think and problem-solve.

We can experience low energy, brain fog, inability to sleep well or lack of sleep, hunger, soreness or exhaustion after a workout or strenuous day, pain or pain points, lessened strength, etc.

These are all daily points of pressure. When there are not too many of them, we don’t feel as much stress. But when they add up, or there is just “one too many” — then we feel stressed.

So we can call this “stress," but to address it more effectively it would be better defined as stress points —how many individual points of stress are putting pressure on us, both mentally and physically.

While we can’t take away all stress points — we can take away more than you think. And it can make quite a difference.

And the more we take away, the better we feel and the better we can deal with other stress points.


Our body is a fantastic contraption.

It has exact systems, responses and actions for pretty much anything that can occur.

But when things go wrong, because we’ve fed it the wrong foods, or taken in toxins, or eaten a lot of sugar, or didn’t give it the rest it needed to recuperate and repair daily (lack of sleep builds up), it can start to be faulty in it’s operation.

Here are key things that are raising physical stress levels today:

Lack of sleep or protein leads to thousands of tiny micro-injuries in our body that don't get a chance to heal, stacking up and raising cortisol levels.

High amounts of sugar or processed sugars in our diet feed harmful bacteria and infections, and lower energy levels while raising cortisol levels.

Our blood vessels become injured from toxins or bacteria or processed sugars.

Blue light from LED lights, fluorescent lights, phone screens, or EMFs from electrical conduits in our house or offices, or from cell towers, rev up our sympathetic nervous system — the fight or flight side of the nervous system that gets us ready for battle or emergency (whether we need to be or not).

We develop hidden infections in our bodies that use up energy stores and protein, lowering our immune health and recovery ability.

Sensitivities to food or sound or light.


Physical conditions.

Low amounts of protein needed for recovery.

High Omega 6 fatty acids (raises cortisol) in our processed foods and non-grass fed meats, and low omega 3 fatty acids (lowers cortisol) in our diet.

All of these things and more raise our physical stress levels.

And when our stress levels rise, for any reason, our body releases cortisol.

At the same time, any time we get stressed at work or home or reading the news, our body also releases cortisol.

This results in cortisol being continuously released. And when cortisol is being continuously released, it keeps our stress levels high.


The biggest factor we need to address is how many stress points we have, physically, mentally and emotionally, that are overloading our ability to cope.

Do you have to do your taxes, or do you have to do your taxes while you also have a migraine? You'll feel much more stressed if you have the latter.

Do you have to face the boss you hate, or do you have to face the boss you hate with lack of sleep and your significant other upset at you?

It's how many points we have all at once.

And the degree we feel we can’t cope with all of them is just an index of how many there are.

But usually, when we feel stressed, it’s that feeling. We’re not necessarily consciously thinking of each point.

We need to isolate each one, either physical or mental, and work to address it.

And we can isolate and address them.

Maybe not all. But remember, every point of stress we have is actively magnifying every other point. They have a cumulative effect.

And every point of stress we isolate and remove lowers our overall stress levels.

So, while we’ll dive in to different areas causing stress in our lives both physically and mentally during this series, we’re going to start out with a simple protocol you can start right now.

If you follow this protocol for the next 3 weeks, you should see a reduction in your overall stress levels, improved sleep, more energy, and improved mood.


This is a very simple protocol, so don’t look for any complexity here. That’s not what we want. We want it nice and simple and… stress-free.

For the next three weeks do this daily:

  • Eat no packaged food, only natural foods.
  • To the best of your ability avoid sugars, especially processed sugars.
  • To the best of your ability eat only organic foods.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily (dehydration raises cortisol levels).
  • If you have any elimination troubles, use Eliminate.
  • Make yourself be in bed for 7-8 hours per night.
  • No alcohol.
  • No grains or dairy.
  • In your diet, emphasize protein (natural proteins): meat, fish, eggs at each meal (low protein raises cortisol, higher protein lowers it).
  • Take 3-4 servings of PerfectAmino daily, 2 in the morning and 1-2 in the afternoon.
  • Take 2 Relief in the morning and 2 in the evening.
  • Take 2 Probiotics with breakfast and dinner.
  • Take 1-2 Digestive Enzymes with each meal.
  • Take 3 Sleep at night, 1hour before bed.
  • Take one serving of Multi Complete daily, 2 tablets with breakfast or lunch and 2 tablets with dinner.
  • Don’t read the news for the entirety of the 3 weeks.
  • Go for a 30 minute walk a couple of hours before bed daily. During this time don’t think about problems, just look out at the environment around you, the trees, the houses, everything, until you feel calm and more relaxed.
  • Keep your phone out of your bedroom. Stop looking at your phone at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Turn off the breaker to your bedroom before going to sleep.

If it seems simple, that’s because it is — intentionally.

Don’t complicate it.

Some things may be harder to do. That’s fine. Don’t stress yourself about them.

Just do your best to do as many of the above things as you can on a daily basis for the next three weeks.

We’ll dive much more into each of these, but this is your start.

By the end, you will feel, physically, mentally, and emotionally, much better.

I think you’ll like it.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.