"Initially, it seemed to me that my whole body was inconvenient, from that to acute attacks, as if I had a knife pierced in my shoulder, and then I would get the pain that seemed to me to pass through my wrist. There is no idea what is happening" .
He tried the best he could work through the pain, by cooling him to exhaustion for long hours in the kitchen. A new chef trying to enter the industry, a 16-hour shift and a 90-hour week were the norm.
"It was really brutal, but it's like cutting your teeth and learning how to become a professional chef. We worked hard. Unfortunately, we do not have to work smartly."
But hard work pays off. The Mullen star got hot in the culinary world. Beyond his restaurant work, he began to appear on shows such as "The Next Iron Chef" and "Cetcani". He did not have time for mysterious pains to hinder his career.
However, long hours and physical labor began to take a greater decline on Mullen's health. He was gaining weight and suffered more acute attacks while chronic pain spreading through his body.
Then, one morning, he woke up so much with hip pain, he could not move. Traveling to ER and MRI showed that the hip was full of fluid. Mullen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease.
"I, like many other people, thought that arthritis was an illness or an illness of the elderly. It was shocking to learn that it was a frail disease that would have a long-term lasting impact on my life and my well-being was really terrible."
Fearing that his illness could have left him in a wheelchair or with hands that could no longer cook, Mullen was against the wall.
"I had to make a choice as to whether I want to accept to be ill or to get out of this. I made a promise to myself that I will change my life." I do not know what to do, but I was supposed to take control on my health ".
Recipe for health
So, Mullen began to cook ways to improve his health, starting with his diet.
"I came from a professional background, knowing how to make my food really tasty, but I really did not know what happened to that food. So much of the food I ate had an inflammatory effect on my body."
Mullen stopped eating processed food and any food that is known to be inflammatory. With all that he ate, he would ask, "Does this help or hurt me?"
Those who helped, he marked the "heroic foods".
On the day of this interview, Mullen allowed CNN to filter out a lunch: a small plate of hard boiled eggs and salad colbrabe, radish, cucumber, ham, avocado, seeds and extra virgin olive oil.
"It's a simple salad that's really tasty and full of good things. Healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil and anchovies, as well as omega-3 and tons of vegetables."
Although this food checks the "hero" mark, he points out that everyone needs to find the right blend of foods that work for them.
"For me, it could be an avocado, for someone else, it could be almonds. I think it's really important that everyone begins to understand food that makes them feel really good."
The change is dramatic.
There was a time when even getting out of bed was a challenge for Mullen. Now she is free from pain and practicing yoga, raising her weights, bikes and chefs without fear of an arthritic attack.
"I am glad that I got sick. I'm glad that I went through this really difficult and terrible 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 cooks, "Real Food Heal" and "Girone Food", Mullen shares the ways in which he again discovered the joy of cooking and eating.
"It is very important to remember that you can eat really good for health and at the same time eat good for pleasure, enjoyment and joy."