Gut Health

The Gut-Health Fixer

In less than two years, Seamus Mullen went from suffering from a severe autoimmune disease to being completely asymptomatic by doing one key thing: focusing on his gut.

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Learn to cook and eat to nourish a thriving microbiome in our exciting new Clean Eating Academy course The Gut-Health Fix with health and wellness expert, author of Real Food Heals and award-winning NYC chef and restauranteur Seamus Mullen. Learn more at

When we were looking for an instructor to teach our new online course on gut health, we wanted not only to find someone knowledgeable on the research and savvy in the kitchen, but we also wanted to work with someone who lived it. Enter Seamus Mullen, a top-tier chef with firsthand experience of the damage poor gut health can do, having suffered with a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis. Seamus sat down with us to talk about how overhauling his diet and lifestyle turned his health around – and how you can do the same for your health by focusing on your gut.

CE: What’s the connection between rheumatoid arthritis and gut health?

SM: More and more, we’re finding that poor gut health is at the heart of many chronic health issues. Leaky gut syndrome is often one of the core factors that impacts autoimmune dysfunction, so healing the gut is a sensible and zero-risk first step that often has remarkable results.

CE: Some people think that an autoimmune or inflammatory disease is a life sentence. What would you say to those people?

SM: I think it’s important to recognize that much of autoimmune dysfunction can be addressed through noninvasive, low-risk treatments, but it’s always easier to maintain health than to fix disease. If you catch an autoimmune dysfunction early on and are disciplined about caring for your gut health, there’s a good chance you can make dramatic improvements. I’m a great example of this: In 18 months, I went from suffering with severe rheumatoid arthritis and thinking I would be on multiple meds for the rest of my life (and all the issues that came with taking them) to being completely asymptomatic and off of all my meds, and I’ve stayed that way for over six years. This is because I addressed the root cause of my illness and made caring for my own health the number one priority in my life. Even now, after years of enjoying good health, caring for my gut is a part of my daily routine.

CE: What are some of the signs of poor gut health?

SM: There are many key indicators of poor gut health, from skin issues (psoriasis and eczema) to digestive issues like food sensitivities, chronic bad breath, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and even sugar cravings. Some of the more serious concerns are autoimmune dysfunction and weak immune system.

CE: What is the one thing people can do right now to start to improve the health of their gut?

SM: I would say the very first thing to do is to cut processed foods and, specifically, processed sugars out of the diet and to start to incorporate collagen- rich broths. More soup! Another great place to start is with my new course, The Gut-Health Fix.

Learn more about The Gut-Health Fix

Join Chef Seamus Mullen in our newest 7-week course. You’ll learn about the science behind gut health, lifestyle musts and targeted supplements, and most importantly, you’ll get into the kitchen to gain key gut-healing cooking skills. For more information, check out