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Life-Saving Hero Foods

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Life-Saving Hero Foods

An Edible Cure

All day and into the night, a chef uses his hands and stands on his feet.

Chop a hundred onions; peel a hundred pounds of potatoes; scale, gut and fillet 50 red snappers. And don’t sit down. Not for a second.

This was the life of Seamus Mullen, a rising star among Manhattan’s young chefs, before and after he opened Boqueria in 2006, an authentic Spanish restaurant in Nehew York’s Flatiron district.

Mullen had an athlete’s relish for pushing himself to the limit, but early one morning in his apartment, when Boqueria was just eight months old, he felt a blaze of excruciating pain in his hip joint. The agony was so fierce he could not even get to the phone to call 911. Finally, after hours of debilitating pain, he heard the footsteps of a neighbor and screamed for help. It took 10 days in the hospital, an MRI and much medical detective work before the doctor came to a diagnosis: rheumatoid arthritis. And the doc said the condition would almost certainly get worse over the course of Mullen’s life.

He was only 33 years old.

Looking back over the previous couple of years, Mullen began to sort out the times when his pain was most severe from the times when it lifted, and he eventually realized that certain foods were associated with the periods of pain relief. He started experimenting–eliminating this, adding that–until he discovered that at the heart of the traditional Spanish cuisine that he had been perfecting for years were a few simple ingredients that seemed to relieve much of his inflammation.

Parsley. Anchovies. Carrots. Olive oil. Almonds. The more he discovered and ate what he was now calling his “hero foods,”ť the better he felt.

Mullen studied Spanish literature in college, learning about classical French cuisine on the side, and then, after several years of restaurant cooking in San Francisco and New York, he found himself drawn back to Spain. By the time he returned to New York to open his own place, the culinary customs of Spain were in his blood.

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Read more: Arthritis, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, General Health, Health

By Thomas McNamee, From Experience Life

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Experience Life is the best whole-life health and fitness magazine you’ve never heard of — until now!  We aim to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenge the conventions of hype, gimmicks, and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit to explore 10-plus years of archives, to sign up for our newsletters, and to subscribe to our print or digital editions. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


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6:49PM PDT on Apr 22, 2013


10:56AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013


7:41AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Very interesting & helpful!

12:34PM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

I'm impressed with his cleverness in developing these recipes!

12:23PM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Oh, is that horse meat??? Hm, I see, it looks like HORSE MACKEREL! :))

10:50AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Don't eat any seafood but the veggies sounded good.

10:29AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

High lvls of Mercury I'm staying away from sea food sorry

9:04AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013


8:59AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013


7:55AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

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