"At the beginning I just felt like my whole body was painful, it started from acute attacks, like stabbing a knife in the shoulder, and then I got a pain that felt like a nail was going through I had no idea what was going on. "
He tried his best to work through the pain, and after long hours in the kitchen, made him ready to exhaustion. For a new cook trying to penetrate the industry, 16-hour work shifts and 90-hour weeks were the norm.
"It was really brutal, but that's how you've got your teeth cut and learned to become a professional chef, we've worked hard, and unfortunately, we have not worked wisely."
But the hard work was paying off. Mullen's star stirred in the culinary world. Outside of his restaurant work, he appeared on shows like "The Next Iron Chef" and "Chopped". He had no time for the mysterious pains to derail his career.
However, the long hours of work and physical labor began to take a larger toll on Mullen's health. He gained weight and suffered more acute seizures as the chronic pain spread throughout his body.
Then one morning, he woke up with such severe hip pain that he could not move. A trip to the emergency room and an MRI showed that his hip was full of fluid. Mullen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease.
"I thought how many people, arthritis was a disease or a disease of older people." It was shocking to learn that this is a debilitating disease that has a long-term, lasting impact on my life and well-being was really scary. "
Fearing that his illness could leave him in a wheelchair or his hands could not cook, Mullen stood against the wall.
"I had to decide if I was just going to be a sick person or if I was going to somehow crawl out of here, I promised myself that I would change my life, I did not know what I would do, but me would take control of my health. "
Prescription for Health
 So Mullen started to find ways to improve his health, starting with his diet ,
"I came from a professional background to know how to make food really tasty, but I did not really know what happened to this food, so many of the foods I ate had an inflammatory effect Mullen stopped eating processed foods and all foods known to be anti-inflammatory. In everything he ate, he would ask, "Does this help me harm?"
He called those who helped him "heroic food."