I only eat chicken nuggets and even turned down £1,000 to swallow a single pea
A WOMAN who hasn't eaten fruit or veg for 22 years survives on a diet of chicken nuggets, chips and crisps due to a food phobia so extreme she turned down £1,000 cash to eat a SINGLE PEA.
Summer Monro suffers from avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), something she believes was triggered when she was forced to eat mashed potato when she was three.
Ever since then, the 25-year-old has survived on a diet of Birds Eye chicken nuggets, Walkers crisps and chips.
Just looking at a piece of fruit or veg is enough to make her gag and she even turned down an offer from her grandad of £1,000 if she ate a single garden pea.
Summer doesn't eat breakfast, scoffs a bag of Walkers crisps for lunch and chomps on six to eight Birds Eye chicken nuggets for dinner.
"I don't eat fruit or vegetables. I can't remember the last time I did, I'd say it was when I was about three," she said.
"I have tried to try fruit and veg, I tried to eat some apple but I physically can't. It's not that I don't want to try.
"It just makes me feel sick, there's a part of my brain that physically won't let me do it."
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The project coordinator has tried therapy twice and hypnotherapy in an attempt to banish her restrictive eating, and doesn't look forward to mealtimes because she's just so "bored" of her diet.
"I don't get excited to eat. It's worse at lunchtime when people are eating sandwiches and I have a packet of crisps.
"I just can't see myself changing. I like the smell of food but if I try to eat it, it makes me physically sick.
"It puts a lot of pressure on me. My heart tells me I want to eat it but my brain says no. As soon as it touches my lips, I can't do it."
Up until the age of three, Summer claims she relished her food and that her phobia began when she was forced to eat mashed potato, the one thing she didn't like.
Summer, who is a dress size 10, said: "The things I eat now are crispy or crunchy.
"I can only eat thin fries and they have to be really crispy. Even when I cook chicken nuggets, I have to make them crispy."
Despite her restricted eating habits, Summer insists she's perfectly healthy and doesn't take any vitamins or health supplements.
However she did hit a stumbling block last year when she discovered a vein in a chicken nugget, which put her off eating them for three months.
"A lot of people say they're surprised that I'm never ill," she said. "I'm also a very upbeat, happy person and people don't understand how I've got so much energy.
"It doesn't affect me physically but it does mentally. I don't feel lethargic or anything and I've had blood tests but they're all fine.
"Doctors don't really understand the condition. When I go to the doctors, they say I'm fine because I'm getting protein from the chicken and I'm not overweight or underweight."
Summer lives with partner Dean McKnight, 26, and they make two separate meals every day.
If the couple go on date night, Summer is only able to eat a bowl of thin chips but she says Dean is very supportive.
"My partner takes it really well," she smiled. "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.
"When his parents visit, they make all these amazing meals and I can't eat any of them.
"It's a struggle when we go out because we have to pick certain places.
"The most recent place we went to was Zizzis and I had some fries. We go to the local pub and I have some chicken nuggets.
"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."
Speaking of nuggets, this mum sparked a fierce debate online after admitting she gives her daughter KFC three times a week.
This busy mum of five cooks all her family's meals a month in advance.
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