"At first, I felt like all my body was a pain. This happened to severe attacks, such as having a knife stabbed on my shoulder. It would then give me a pain that seemed to me There was a key that passed through my joint. I had no idea what was happening. "
He did everything possible to deal with the pain, heating it until the exhaustion of long hours in the kitchen. For a new chef trying to enter the industry, the work changes of 16 hours and the weeks of 90 hours were the norm.
"It was really brutal, but that's a way to cut your teeth and learn to become a professional chef. We worked hard. Unfortunately, we did not necessarily have worked smartly."
But the hard work was to pay. Mullen's star warming up in the culinary world. Outside the work of his restaurant, he started appearing in shows such as "The Next Iron Chef" and "Chopped". He did not have time for the mysterious pains to derail his career.
Long hours and physical work, however, began to have a greater weight in Mullen's health. He gained weight and suffered more acute, since the chronic pain spread throughout the body.
Then, one morning, he woke up with a bad hip, he could not move. A trip to the ER and a magnetic resonance revealed that his hip was full of fluid. Mullen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease.
"I, like many people, thought that arthritis was a disease or an affliction of the elderly. This was surprising to know that it was a debilitating illness that would have a permanent long-term impact on my life and my well-being. it was really because ".
Fearing that his illness left him in a wheelchair or with his hands they could no longer cook, Mullen faced the wall.
"I had to choose whether I would accept being a sick person or if I were to drag my output in a way. I made a promise that I would change my life. I do not know what I was going to do, but I will take control of the my health ".
Recipe for health
So Mullen began to cook ways to improve her health, starting with her diet.
"I came from a professional background to know how to make food really delicious, but I really did not know what happened with this food. Many of the foods I ate had an inflammatory impact on my body."
Mullen stopped eating processed foods and any food known to be inflammatory. With everything he eats, he would ask: "Is this helping me or harming me?"
Those who helped, called "heroic food."
On the day of this interview, Mullen let the CNN film be eaten: a hard boiled egg and a salad of kohlrabi, radish, cucumber, spinach, avocado, anchovies and olive oil. # Extra virgin olive oil
"It's a simple salad that is very tasty and full of nuances. Healthy fats of extra virgin olive oil and anchovies as well as omega-3s and tons of vegetables."
Although these foods control the brand "hero", it says that everyone should find the right combination of food that works for them.
"For me, it could be avocado, for another person, it could be almonds. I think it is very important that everyone begins to understand foods that make them feel very good."
The change has been spectacular.
There was a time when, even, leaving the bed was a challenge for Mullen. Now it is free of pain and practices yoga, lift weights, bicycles and cooks without fear of an arthritic attack.
"I am glad that I have become ill. I'm glad that I have lived through this really difficult and horrible period of my life, because I came out with a greater sense of purpose."
He is now trying to be a hero for others with similar pain. In his cookbooks, "Real Food Heals" and "Hero Food", Mullen shares ways in which he has rediscovered his joy of cooking and eating.
"It is very important to remember that you can eat very well for health and at the same time eat well for pleasure, indulgence and joy."