How I Survived the Most Stressful Time of My Life

3 months ago, I was having panic attacks so intense I was debating whether I should go to the emergency room. We had some very aggressive deadlines for finishing Solving Leaky Gut and I was ruining my health.

As I decompressed in March, after the project completion, I talked with Jordan. There was a much scarier reality headed towards us like a 100 foot tsunami. In 3 months, we were going to pull off our most ambitious project yet – much more complex and unknown than just building the program, a full scale product launch of it.

We had just given back a large chunk of our health by overworking, stressing and neglecting ourselves. And now, with minimal rest, we were going to shoot for a project that was about 3 times larger.

This Was Borderline Dumb For Me to Attempt

Remember, I wasn’t riding into this new stressful project high on my health horse. Most of my healthy and supportive habits had degraded away during the last project – I was a wreck.

Is Leaky Gut Making You Sicker?


As I approached the public launch of Solving Leaky Gut I knew things had to be different or I might suffer Karoshi (the Japanese term for literally working yourself to death). I started with outsourcing the two things I totally failed on in the previous 3 months: exercise and diet (more on that in a bit).

Next, I needed a different game plan for stress and the most powerful non-stimulatory supplement stack that I could think of (and afford).

I survived the launch much better than I thought possible, which when looking back proves a few things:

  1. Where there is a will there is a way with health. Only the bounds of our imagination and determination hold us back from the level of health we want regardless of external circumstances.
  2. When the stress isn’t just about me, I can endure much more than I thought possible.

What follows is how I survived the most stressful 3 months of my life. I hope that some of this might support you in your next period of high stress (it will come).

Outsourcing Your Most Important Variables to Thrive

It’s counterintuitive to think about outsourcing the most important things in your life. And until now I had never attempted it. But I knew, based on the previous 3 months, without some expert help I would fail and fall apart again. I couldn’t spend time and energy on planning food and body love. Food is of first importance for me and then second is moving my body.

During the first 3 months of this year, the variety and quality of my food intake plummeted. Anything that took extra time and prep was out – vegetable consumption, organ meats, and fermented foods were no longer parts of my diet – and my health suffered. So luckily, I found an amazing local woman who was knowledgeable about SCD, GAPS and The Wahls Diet. In other words, she got it when it comes to food. She supported me with green juices, organ meats and a whole diversity of foods during this time. It was amazing!

This step alone was one of the most powerful time and attention savers I’ve ever attempted.

Next, I outsourced exercise and body love. I hired a trainer who got it and shared with him what I was up against. I didn’t second guess him or try to direct it (which I typically do). I just let go and trusted him. He had me working out 2-3 times a week and he adjusted the intensity to match my level of fatigue.

Lastly, I did weekly massages to support my energy and relaxation levels. In my opinion, one of the most overlooked areas of health is human touch. Most of us, including myself, don’t get nearly the amount our ancestors did. My social life took a massive hit during this time period and getting some supportive human touch was very helpful.

These actions took putting my trust in perfect strangers but it was well worth it. I couldn’t have done it without them. The key here lies in the people you hire and you must have complete trust in them.

I Lowered Stress by Watching More TV Than Ever

I’ve talked before about my continued struggle to lower stress. By March of this year, most of my stress reducing activities completely disappeared from my life. Meditation, yoga, journaling, fun reading, play, sports, weightlifting – these were no longer happening on a regular basis. Because of this, my body started to shut down on me.

As I moved into the next 3 months, I tried hard to meditate but it didn’t stick. And so, exhausted and short on time and attention for the other activities, I rediscovered the television.

Typically, I don’t watch much TV or Movies, but this time around I unconsciously chose this numbing stress reduction habit. What I normally do is binge on movies, sports or a TV series every few months. I’d say dividing this out means I’d average 1-2 hrs of total TV time per week (more like 8 hrs in one week and then none the rest of the month).

During the last 2 to 3 months, though, I’ve probably watched an average of 1 hour a day (usually at night). I consumed movies and TV series at a rate unheard of for me. They were funny and lifted my spirits not to mention health (laughing helps with hormones). It also gave me a period of time each day where I was finally unplugged and not thinking. Normally I don’t believe in avoiding problems through things like TV, but in this case it worked very well for a small time.

The one stress reduction habit I did consciously choose was journaling. It’s one of the simplest, least time-consuming ones out there, but it’s remarkably powerful. Reflecting on the daily ups and downs, making gratitude lists and reminding myself there was a life at the end of this project kept me sane.

I recommend journaling to every single one of my coaching clients. I think it’s one of the most powerful tools we humans have to help us stay connected to ourselves as we live life.

I’m not suggesting that TV is the answer for everyone. There are many other activities I believe will make us healthier and happier, but it worked for me when nothing else did. I am suggesting, though, that journaling is for everyone. Take time to do it morning and night. Get to the point where you feel bad if you don’t record and reflect on your days.

Non-Stimulatory Supplement Cocktail For Stressful Times

During the first 3 months of the year I tried a supplement cocktail full of products I’d used before. These were supplements to biohack the brain, hormones and energy levels. In the past, I liked the results of the products but this time they only hurt me and made my health worse.

I didn’t need any further stimulation with the high levels of stress and overwhelm in my life. I believe this stimulatory stack was a major part of the racing heart, panic attacks and other problems I experienced. So I shoved them back in my cupboard and re-thought the next 3 months.

I decided to just support my detox and adrenals with non-stimulatory supplements only. And it worked remarkably well! Not only did I make it through the last 3 months, but my skin never broke out, I didn’t gain much weight and I didn’t get any overstimulation episodes. Stress hits everyone differently, but for me it shows up in the form of acne flares and extra weight on my belly.  Not this time, though.

Here’s what I used:

NOTE: If you wanted to try the stack above you could except for the brain support of 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine. My doses were given to me by Dr. Kalish. Anything above a daily max of 300 mg of 5-HTP and 3000 mg of L-Tyrosine should not be exceeded without practitioner guidance.

The fascinating thing is, I’ve been on the brain support, b vitamins, and magnesium for over a year. So while they are great if you haven’t tried them I don’t believe they were the needle movers for me. I was actually super impressed with the Ubiquinol at higher doses as well as the S-Acetyl-Glutathione. I could actually tell on a daily basis if I skipped either of them.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

Ubiquinol, the more bioavailable form of CoQ10, helped increase my energy and helped me think more clearly. This doesn’t really come as too much of a surprise, though, since CoQ10 is well-known as a potent antioxidant and important for energy production and brain health.

Your Body Falls Apart Without Glutathione

I’m not shocked that Glutathione worked either, but what was surprising is that a bottled supplement form of it actually worked for me. I’ve tried 99% of the brands on the market – reduced, liposomal, other acetyl-glutathione – and not one of them ever gave me noticeable benefit. I’ve read many research studies on why the liposomal form should work but they just didn’t for me. There will be an upcoming blog post all about glutathione, but for now know this…

During states of stress, disease, inflammation and high toxicity, glutathione is typically depleted quickly.

Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in the body. It is very important for liver health, DNA repair, protein synthesis, amino acid transport, and enzyme activation. In other words, it plays a major role in almost every single system in the body. But it’s especially important for GI health, brain and nerves, immune system and cellular function.

The amazing thing is it’s not just me. Jordan also used it during the launch and we use it extensively in our consulting practice. Besides Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes, it’s the one supplement that many people would never give up it helps so much.

I know that as you read this you are probably dealing with some stress. Maybe it’s from being sick, the kids or something that’s happening at work. Stress comes at us from every which way. Or maybe you are one of the millions who’s having seasonal allergies or adrenal fatigue right now.

This year, one of our goals is to expose you to different ideas and treatments that we use that might change your life. And this supplement is definitely one of them.

It’s such an important nutrient for so many areas of the body, and I’m excited to hear your feedback on how it works for you in the comments.


Steven Wright

About Steven Wright

Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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55 thoughts on “How I Survived the Most Stressful Time of My Life

  1. Avatar
    Jolene Steen says:

    I started using the Acetyl Glutathione with my 13 year old yesterday, and he complained of having a stomach ache afterward. Could this just be a detox response?. His MD wanted him taking only 300 mg daily based upon his weight. I’ll order the remaining supplements next week. I’m really hoping this helps!
    Another question I have is regarding ionic cleanse foot baths. Detox baths are an important part of this diet, based on the understanding that we can detoxify through the skin. So why is there so much controversy regarding the efficacy of this type of treatment? Does anyone out there have knowledge or experience with this?

  2. Avatar
    Jolene Steen says:

    But if the glutathione is helping chelate out metals…don’t you need fiber in the diet to help elimination? I’d like to order these supplements for my 13 year old son who has tested high for lead and Mercury.

  3. Avatar

    I would love to try the glutathione, but man is it EXPENSIVE!! And not only that, health insurance doesn’t cover purchasing alternative therapy supplements. I am thinking about the guy testifying before congress “Pharma bro Shkreli” and how he deliberately ran up prices of vital medicines in order to increase his bottom line. 900 mg a day would be 9 pills a day, which would use up the bottle in 1 week. So to do this for 1 month would be about $145*4 = $580, so for 6 months that would cost $3480. Many of us cannot work because of the health problems induced by digestive illness. How are we supposed to pay for something like that, and also have enough money left over to buy food? I fear that the natural medicine world is following the footsteps of big pharma in seeking cost over the welfare of customers, which will eventually result in some kind of backlash. I hope the company that makes citrisafe will take some steps to reduce the cost of this supplement, especially if it really is so much better than all the others.

    • Avatar

      Hi George – thanks for commenting.

      This is an issue we take really seriously because we’ve been where you are.

      Steve and Jordan have tried a ton of supplements – and what they’ve found with supplements is that there is typically a direct correlation between quality and price. They tried a ton of glutathione supplements and the Citrisafe product is the only one they recommend – despite the high price tag- because it is really effective.

      Going into 2016, we are looking for ways to make really amazing supplements like this more affordable. In the meantime, please know we wouldn’t recommend an expensive supplement if we didn’t believe it was completely worth the cost.

    • Avatar

      Hi, thanks for commenting. This article represents Steve and Jordan’s understanding that health isn’t a fixed state that you achieve and maintain but rather an ongoing journey that requires tweaking as your life and circumstances change. Steve and Jordan support people is finding the solution – be it SCD or something else – that helps them feel their best long-term.

  4. Avatar

    Forgot to say they also have a calming cream containing GABA, L-tyrosine, 5HTP, l-theanine and magnesium. Absorbs and acts quickly as doesn’t have to go through the digestive system.

  5. Avatar
    frank spenser says:


    Thanks for all the great tips. One point however people who are mercury toxic or who have amalgam fillings must not take ALA let alone in the quantities described. It will make you seriously sick. Please caution people.

  6. Avatar

    I was taking 5-HTP by itself, and not feeling very well, mentally.

    Then I heard the Paleohacks podcast interview of Dr. Kalish where he cautions against using 5-HTP without L-Tyrosine, and without the assistance of a practitioner.

    I immediately added L-Tyrosine to my routine, taking 100mg 5-HTP and 1000mg of L-Tyrosine, and feeling better. I’m now going to bump it down to 50/500, until I exhaust my supply. Then, it will be time to find a Kalish Method practitioner, and do it right.

    Here’s a link to the podcast:

  7. Avatar

    Hi, I bought a bottle from the link but there was no confirmation number or email. Do you know how long shipping takes? Many thanks, I have high hopes for this. Thanks for your hard work.

  8. Avatar
    Stephanie W. says:

    Thank you for sharing some of the supplements you use that help you. After listening to one of your leaky gut webinars where you mentioned Biocidin, I decided to try it for my dysbiosis. It seems to be working, but I have to go slowly to let my body catch up with the detoxing, etc. I’ve been on it for three weeks now.

    • Avatar
      lorin parker says:

      Stephanie W,

      I am on Biocidin, my doctor wants me to work up to 10 drops a day with breakfest and dinner. Right now I can only handle around 3.

      I can handle the mild herx at 3. How are you doing on it?

  9. Avatar

    Thanks for this post, Steven!
    Can you tell me what other ingredients are in the Citrisafe Acetyl-Glutathione?

    Next to acetyl-glutathione, are there any other vitamins/minerals/amino acids in it, and in which quantity?

    I cannot see this on the picture and I would like to know the composition…

    Kind regs,


  10. Avatar

    I’m in a similar boat right now trying to recover from adrenal fatigue and facing a huge new workload with a tight deadline. I had the closest I’ve ever been to a panic attack last night. Already doing this stack, except the Ubiquinol (yeast sensitivity = avoiding anything fermented). Taking liposomal not s-acetyl glutathione. Would love to try the s-acetyl

  11. Avatar

    gosh, i watch a lot of tv!! haha i doubt i could ever get down to one hour per day. i do a lot of other things to relax, too, but always have the tv on for background noise.

    • Steven Wright

      Bill great question, I’ve looked at Guardian before, they irritate me with their lack of information about the glutathione they use. Citrisafe is using a proprietary deliver molecule and they deliver much higher dosages than most others on the market. It’s impossible to say whether it’s all about the dose and all S-Acetyl-Glutathione is the same. My guess it’s more complicated than that.

    • Steven Wright

      Hey Debi – just click on the box above that says join the mailing list. Even if you are already signed up we need to get your email to do the random drawing so sign up again. You can then get extra entries for sharing on social media.

  12. Avatar

    Thank you for your honest email Steve. The information you provide in your blogs help me so much . It gives me hope when I feel discouraged . As a person who suffer from CFS , I will love to give Glutathione a try.

  13. Avatar

    Thanks for your candid and helpful discussion. I appreciate it when those in the health field can be real and share their own struggles. We all have them and others can learn from them. It just takes courage. You’ve got it. Thanks!

  14. Avatar
    Beatrix Willius says:

    Good luck for you health. Is it accident that you always promote the most expensive supplements? This makes me grateful that these supplements aren’t available in Europe at all. And the replacements are much more affordable.

  15. Avatar

    Just wondering about the rationale for your supplement limits. For example, Mercola’s Ubiquinol indicates 1- 100mg Ubiquinol capsule per day, far less than that noted above. Ohhh, I ditto your thoughts on Ubiquinol… many definitely notice days that it is skipped even at the 100mg/day dose.

    • Steven Wright

      They are based on research, other known dosage uses from the top practitioners I know and what I’ve experimented with in my own body. Always best to be working with a practitioner who can suggest the right amounts for you.

      As a side note I first tried using much higher dosages of Ubiquinol to try and biohack transatlantic flights and liked it a lot so I started testing it in other ways.

  16. Avatar
    Laura Conley says:

    I am so interested in how Glutathione can help my come-back from Adrenal fatigue as well as recover from exercise and training injuries faster and permanently! I’d love to give this a try!!! 🙂

    • Steven Wright

      Laura give it a shot. Dr Amy Myers is who introduced me to the this specific product and I know she’s used it with high stress athletes at higher dosages of 900-1200 mg with reportedly good results. But as with anything more is not always better, best to work with someone. Most dosages of this product are 300-600 mg a day.

  17. Avatar

    Appreciate your honesty. Needed this info as I am 75, just had PVI ablation, we’re moving, DH had a stroke in 09, have heart failure & grieving that our son has not been to see his Dad or mom in 4+ years. Perhaps your steps toward sanity will help me, particularly gluta-something!

      • Avatar

        I totally agree with taking 5htp and supplements!! I was hesitant of taking 5htp and it worked amazingly! I had panic attacks for 4 months with terrible anxiety in the morning from a break up stressful breakdown. And it’s like an awful nightmare you pray to wake up from!! I am so happy you got over your stressful situation.

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