By Shana Daniel, registered holistic nutritionist

Give one a fish and feed them for a day, teach one to fish and feed them for a lifetime. It’s a world-renowned saying, translated into thousands of languages, all to convey a very simple message.

We have entered an era where sometimes time itself needs to be duplicated. With extra-curricular activities for our children, multitasking to make ends meet and the pressures to just do all we can within time constraints we place on ourselves, we ultimately sacrifice some very basic essentials: food. Home cooking goes back to the very beginning when our ancestors hunted, gathered and prepared one of the most basic necessities of life. As a child, I reminisce over beautiful kitchen aromas which flooded our home. My parent’s passion and belief in home cooking embedded fragrant memories into compartments of my brain which have resided there ever since. I know this, since when my senses are filled with those same aromas, I am immediately drawn to the memories of my childhood comforts in all things home represented to me.

Today, we battle with the convenience of having convenience all too close. Fast food restaurants have masterfully concocted “healthy options,” grocery stores increase the size of their hot tables and salad bars have found victory, since it’s the grocery store’s way of preventing food spoilage and making their final profit on the produce being used.

Yes, we all resort to these culinary delights from time to time, but some more than others. In my practice, I have encountered many who have lost their passion to cook. They have no inspiration to impart the very essence of what sustains us, to fuel their family’s bodies or their own.

Crafty food packaging has trumped the foundation of what food is all about. We are identifying more and more with terms to describe the food rather than embrace the ingredients which constitute the final product.

If you find yourself in the rut of gravitating to convenient food all too often, challenge yourself to a minimum amount of time per week you are willing to try something new. Whether it be a recipe you’ve always wanted to create or simply using some aromatics in your pantry.

It’s hardly common to make a giant mistake when it comes to cooking. Unless you’ve poured the entire contents of your salt dispenser in. If so, try again. It’s those very mistakes which create perfection in the kitchen by using whole food ingredients, imparting respect to yours and your family’s bodies.

And trust me, while the kids are doing their homework, playing games or just being kids at home, they’ll one day thank you for the efforts you gave to their memory banks and pass it on to future generations.