"At first I felt like my entire body was achy, which went acutely, as if it had a knife that had been stuffed in my shoulder, and then I would get the pain that seemed to nail it through my there is no idea what's going on. "
He tried to get it through the pain, pouring it into exhaustion from the long hours in the kitchen. For a new chef trying to break into the industry, 16 hours of work and 90-hour weeklies were the norm.
"It was really brutal, but it's kind of how you cut your teeth and learned how to become a professional chef. We worked hard. Unfortunately, we did not work smart."
But the hard work was paying off. Mullen's star warmed up in the culinary world. Outside the restaurant, he started appearing on shows like "The Next Iron Chef" and "Chopped". He had no time for mysterious pains to take off his career.
Long hours and physical work, however, began to take a higher toll on Mullen's health. He increased his weight and suffered more acute attacks as chronic pain spread through his body.
Then, one morning, he woke up so painfully that he could not move. Traveling to ER and MRI revealed that his hip was full of fluid. Mullen is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease.
"And, like many people, I was thinking that arthritis is a disease or anxiety of the elderly person." Shockingly, it is a disease that will permanently affect my life and well-being in the long term, really scary. "
He fears that his illness could be left in a wheelchair or with hands that were no longer able to cook, Mullen was on the wall.
"I had to make a decision on whether to accept that I was a sick person or if I had somehow broken my way." I made a promise to change my life. "I do not know what to do but I will take control of my health."
So Mullen began cooking ways to improve her health, starting with her diet.
"I came from a professional background knowing that food was really delicious, but I did not really know what had happened to that food. The food I eat had an inflammatory effect on my body."
Mullen stopped eating processed foods and all foods known to be inflammatory. With all he had eaten, he would ask, "Did this help me or abused me?"
Those who helped, labeled "hero food".
On the day of this interview, Mullen gave CNN a film he made for lunch: a small plate of boiled egg and salad of caraboo, radish, cucumber, scampi, avocado, anchovy and extra virgin olive oil.
"It's a simple salad that is really delicious and full of great things. Healthy fat from extra virgin olive oil and onions, as well as omega-3 and tons of vegetables."
Although these foods check the "hero" sign, it points out that everyone needs to find the right mix of food that works for them.
"For me, it could be avocado, for someone else, it could be almonds. I think it's really important for everyone to begin to understand the food that makes them feel very good."
The change was dramatic.
There was a time when even leaving the bed was a challenge for Mullen. He is now painless and practicing yoga, lifting weight, bicycles and chefs without fear of arthritis.
"I'm glad I got sick, I'm glad I went through this really difficult and terrible period of my life because I came out of her with a greater sense of purpose."
Now he is trying to be a hero for others with the same pain. In his chefs, "Real Food Heals," and "Hero Food," Mullen shared the way he rediscovered his joy of cooking and eating.
"It is very important to remember that you can eat well for health and at the same time eat well for pleasure, pleasure and joy."