Hey guys, my name is Haley Werner, I am a senior at Texas Women’s University and studying nutrition with an emphasis in dietetics. Since November 2015, I have been interning with Jessica Setnick, a registered dietitian that specializes in eating disorders. To reward me for my hard work and dedication, Jessica took me to Remuda Ranch, an eating disorder treatment center in Wickenburg, Arizona. While I was there I had the opportunity to prep, cook and eat lunch with the patients, go to Screamers (a burger joint), went to the gas station for snack time, partook in equine therapy, sat in on individual nutrition consultations and participated in nutrition therapy group sessions.
For the off campus outings, each patient is allowed 2 a week, one for snack and the other is for lunch. The outings give the patients real life interactions to face their fears of food in social setting, while still having their dietitian there to monitor their intake. During the nutrition therapy group sessions, Jessica, Christina (an RD that was at Remuda Ranch), and I began a research study on whether being a “supertaster” was a contributing factor in having an eating disorder. To be classified as a “supertaster,” you have a tendency to pick up on bitter food tastes such as broccoli, coffee, and dark chocolate. Currently, Christina is running the data and we are waiting to hear the results.
Lastly, being able to join in on equine therapy brought many emotions to me. Being able to trust a horse to guide you through tough times allows you to break down barriers and find comfort within your own body. Not only did I watch this therapy but I was able to experience it and I was amazed on what an impression it left on me.
My experience at Remuda allowed me to grow, learn, and becoming more knowledgeable about the population I desire to help as a future dietitian.