We had the good fortune of connecting with Ingrid Panameno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ingrid, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I became self-employed, I had the flexibility to set up my own schedule, however, in the first stages of setting up my business I worked more than 40 hours a week. At the beginning I lost track of how much time I was investing designing and creating content for my website, I used to wake up, work, eat, work, and then sleep late at night. Now, I’ve realized that is not the healthiest lifestyle I can follow. As I need to have time to learn, meditate, and take care of myself, because I can’t provide great results if my body and mind are not in a healthy place. I also take a day off from work every week to ensure I continue to take care of myself. I think the work life balance varies when you start to see the repercussions overworking and not sleeping can have in your health.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I used to believe sharing my food allergy struggles was not helpful, until I couldn’t hide my face rash, I started to just be open and shared my healing journey with my audience. Something I hated so much all my life, made me real and helped me empower others who knew will soon heal once the allergens were removed from their diet. Being honest makes me who I am, but even more it helps me to connect with my audience. Being able to cook and bake without my food allergens brightens my life, because I know I am able to share a safe recipe with people who had to give up that specific pastry or food when they got diagnosed with food allergies. Getting an allergen free recipe to taste and look like the real thing is challenging, but once I get it is rewarding. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that learning to embrace who I am and my struggles makes me human, sharing my real story helps me empower others and knowing your life can be used for the service of others fulfills me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We oftentimes forget to explore our own city, but Dallas Fort Worth is full of amazing spots that make you feel you are in another country, however, Fort Worth has been developing more lately and I’ve been enjoying exploring new places in this part of town. If my best friend was in town, I would take her to grab a healthy breakfast at the Original ChopShop, then I would take her to see the longhorn parade at the Stockyards in Fort Worth. For lunch, I would grab her favorite to go meal and have a picnic at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. There is a part of the garden that has a fountain and it reminds me of the Palace of Versailles, this might be my favorite spot in DFW and a must seen for new visitors. In the afternoon, we would drive back to downtown Dallas and see the sunset at the Observation Deck in the Reunion Tower, then grab tacos for dinner at Toluca organic and later end the night latin dancing.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Last year, I was going through my darkest health season, I was diagnosed with four new food allergies, which made it more difficult to learn how to take care of myself without being exposed to one of my nine food allergens. I have these two beautiful friends, who kept reminding me that God never gives us more obstacles than the ones we can handle. My friends kept checking on me and encourage me to use my voice to raise awareness about food allergies, because I was definitely not the only person who was dealing with the same health struggles and through my experience I could empower others in the food allergy community. Thanks to Mar and Faith, I decided to start my food allergy blog. it’s been a challenging and empowering journey to create safe top 8 allergen free recipes and use my platform to raise awareness. Without my friends who continuously encouraged me to pursue this project I wouldn’t be where I am today.