A 25-year-old British woman has been able to sustain herself on – not fruits, not vegetables, not water – but chicken nuggets! Surprisingly enough, according to her, she’s been perfectly healthy for 22 years.
Summer Monro, who lives in Cambridge, 100 miles northeast of London, suffers from Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) and can’t bear the thought of eating anything outside of her diet, which consists of nothing but chicken nuggets, fries, and potato chips. Just thinking about eating an apple or banana is enough to make her gag.
Her phobia began at three years old when Monro explained she’d tried to eat some apple but couldn’t bring herself simply eat it.
“I can’t remember the last time I ate a fruit or vegetable. It’s not that I don’t want to try. It just makes me feel sick, and there’s a part of my brain that physically won’t let me do it,” Monro said, according to News.com.au.
Monro believes her phobia was sparked after being forced to eat mashed potatoes against her will one night and turned out to be so severe, that she even turned down her grandfather’s offer of £1,000 ($1,310) to eat a single pea.
According to News.com.au, Monro said she can’t see herself changing.
“It’s definitely something to do with the texture. The things I do eat are crispy, which is opposite to mashed potato,” Monro theorized.
Over the years, in an effort to beat the disorder, Monro has been to therapy and hypnotherapy, but nothing has worked. To Monro, it’s not the smell of food that bothers her, but her gag reflex is enough to resist anything other than what she’s used to eating.
“I like the smell of food but if I try to eat it, it makes me physically sick. As soon as it touches my lips, I can’t do it,” Monro said.
As a result, Monro’s daily routine involves skipping breakfast and chowing down on a bag of potato chips for lunch. For dinner every night, her meal consists of six to eight nuggets with a side of tasty fries.
But shockingly, the fussy eater said she’s in great shape and doesn’t take any vitamins or supplements.
According to New York Post, the medics have been left baffled Monro has maintained her regular weight and says she is “fine” because she is getting “protein from the chicken” in the chicken nuggets.
“A lot of people say they’re surprised that I’m never ill. I’m also a very upbeat, happy person and people don’t understand how I’ve got so much energy,” Monro said. “It doesn’t affect me physically. I don’t feel lethargic or anything and I’ve had blood tests but they’re all fine.”
Luckily, Monro isn’t dealing with ARFID alone and finds support in her 26-year-old boyfriend Dean McKnight, who, according to Monro, takes it really well and makes separate meals for the two every day.
“When we first met, I didn’t tell him about ARFID and we were walking around town looking for a restaurant and I ended up having to tell him because I kept saying no,” Monro said.
Despite her support system and her “good health,” Monro said she wishes she was able to eat more exciting foods.
“I’m really bored, I don’t get excited to eat,” she admitted. “It affects me mentally, especially when I go to restaurants, and I sit with nothing. We went out for my sister’s birthday, and I sat and didn’t eat, and it made me feel crap.”
So, you might want to rethink the popular phrase, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Read more via New York Post.