A British woman has not had fruits or vegetables in 22 years and has been living “healthy” by consuming only chicken nuggets. Along with chicken nuggets, this woman’s diet is based on fries and potato chips. Despite consuming such a diet, she claims that she is completely healthy. Summer Monro is 25 years of age and is suffering from Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Even the thought of eating a fruit or vegetable is enough to make Monro gag. “I can’t remember the last time I ate a fruit or vegetable,” she says. “I’d say it was when I was about 3.”
It’s not like this woman has not made any efforts to eat plant-based food. “I tried to eat some apple but I physically can’t,” claims Monro. “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 was even once offered £1,000 by her grandfather to eat a single pea. But her phobia is so strong that she had to turn down this offer. “I just can’t see myself changing,” she reflects on her situation. “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.”
Summer Monro’s Everyday Diet
Therefore, all Summer Monro eats to survive is chicken nuggets and fries. The woman explained that she skips breakfast and for lunch, she eats French fries. Her dinner, every single day, contains 6 to 8 nuggets with a side of fries. The most surprising part is that Monro is in great shape and claims that she does not even consume any vitamins or supplements. “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,” she says. “It doesn’t affect me physically. I don’t feel lethargic or anything and I’ve had blood tests but they’re all fine.”
Beginning Of The Phobia
Doctors seem puzzled by Monro’s situation. They have deduced that she is completely “fine” because she is getting the required protein from the chicken. The patient thinks that her phobia was initiated back when she was 3 years old. At that time, she was forced to eat mashed potatoes against her will. The patient has tried therapies to beat the disorder, but nothing seems to work. “It’s definitely something to do with the texture. The things I do eat are crispy, which is the opposite to mashed potato,” she thinks.
Despite a supportive partner and a “good health” Monro expresses her desire to be able to eat more exciting foods. “I’m really bored, I don’t get excited to eat,” says the patient. “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 [like] crap.”