This is true before volunteering my time, my resources, my money, my talents.It's not selfish to consider my own needs before helping others. Like the flight attendants on the airplanes always say, put on your own oxygen mask before helping the person sitting next to you. Makes sense to me because I can't be much help to you if I die by ignoring my own need for oxygen.
I also ask myself "What's in it for me?" before eating. Does this bacon REALLY offer anything nutritional? Does this processed frozen dinner give me the protein, fiber, calcium, vitamins, etc. that I need? How much of the food is actual food versus filler or chemicals? These are questions I ask all the time.
I also try to find a balance between calories and nutrition. Sometimes I eat a higher calorie food in a trade-off for excellent nutrients or healthy fats. Avocados and almonds are a good example of high calorie foods that offer some excellent health benefits. Sometimes I choose lower calorie foods so that I can get more of it (going for a critical mass of quantity over quality). Sometimes I find a nice balance of calories and nutrition. I will use the label from a Tomato Basil Organic Pasta Sauce fromThe Fresh Market (love this store!) as an example of what I look for in the example below.
Okay. What's in it for me?
What's not in it? No preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors. No sugar (I prefer to buy food without sugar whenever possible.)
Just whole, wholesome, natural (and in this case organic) food, the way Mother Nature intended. (Is that a commercial? But I really mean it!)
Fat is 6 grams or 10% for the whole day. Not too shabby. There is no saturated fat and no reportable trans fat. (This doesn't mean there isn't trans fat in there, I might blog about that another day - the deceptive way the FDA lets manufacturers hide the trans fat in there.)
There is no cholesterol, but the sodium (salt) is a bit high (nearly 40%). I would make sure I don't salt anything else in that meal and as a rule, I try to avoid sodium.
Carbs aren't too bad - 16 grams or 6%. I will be eating this, most likely, atop spaghetti squash instead of real pasta, so I won't be adding a lot of carbs to the meal.
There is fiber - 4 grams is good and the sugar is low (6 grams.) There is no protein worth mentioning, but there is good bit of Vitamin C (50% for my double serving) and 30% for Vitamin A.
All in all, this is a great food to throw into the mix. I can use it in a sauce for pasta or spaghetti squash, or as a nice base for stuffed peppers, zucchini boats, galumpkis or any number of recipes
Once I find something like this, I incorporate it as a staple that I use frequently. Because what else is in it for me is the ability to run on auto pilot and not have to give shopping too much thought. It becomes less laborious and a whole lot quicker.
What's in it for me is a great question to ask before making ANY choice, if the goal is taking care of one's self. And eating worthy foods helps put us on that track.