In November, the #CSVANWTeam took the Notah Begay III Foundation’s Zero to 60 Challenge. A challenge that called on us to eliminate sugary drinks (sodas, sports drinks, juice drinks, sugary coffee, etc.) for 30 days and drink 60 ounces or more of water each day. Supporting our families and our communities, our CSVANW team pledged to support this challenge because we know that water is life. We support NB3F and the vision of healthy kids and healthy futures!
It is widely known that drinking water has many benefits, but it also created a broader culture of conversation within our team as we checked in on the challenge each week during our team meetings. Water increases energy and relieves fatigue. It has the power to promote weight loss, flush out toxins, improve skin complexion and boost our immune systems. This challenged even improved our office hospitality- when anyone visited our CSVANW offices, we made sure to offer them water and share with them the challenge and why we are doing it.
Here is some of the feedback that the CSVANW team provided on the NB3F Zero to Sixty Challenge:
“My family and I successfully completed the NB3 Zero to 60 challenge!! The first week was tough, but we all noticed it was a lot easier after that. For our family of 5, holding each other accountable and encouraging one another is what really helped us. We made sure we all had our water bottles before we walked out the door for work and school every day. My husband would peel and cut up fruit for infused-water which made drinking water and mixing different flavor combinations interesting and refreshing! We wouldn’t have gotten through this challenge without each other. We’ve increased our water intake and will encourage each other to keep it up as a family!”
Angel Charley (Pueblo of Laguna)
“It’s ironic that a line from, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” comes to mind when I reflect on my zero to 60 experience. “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink” sings a sailor lost at sea who is surrounded by saltwater and cannot drink it to quench his thirst. The line has transformed over the years to pay homage to a situation in which a person is surrounded by an abundance but cannot partake….and that is absolutely how it felt. I became automatically so mindful of what I would normally, absentmindedly, drink.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise with such a dramatic introduction when I tell you I didn’t last very long in the challenge. One morning [early on] I found myself eating a breakfast burrito and drinking an orange juice while checking emails…I was half way through my drink before I remembered I was on a no sugary drink challenge.
I felt a rush of guilt.
I forgave myself…and finished drinking my orange juice. After all, I’m not usually one to waste money well spent. As the month progressed, though, it did become easier to substitute water where I would normally drink a sugary drink—and that was a success. Thank you NB3!”
Kim Benally (Dine)
“Life gets busy and hectic, it happens to the best of us. I am a student in a PhD program, a Training and Development Manager, a mommy, a wife, a daughter. I embarked on the Zero to 60 Challenge not sure what to expect. I found early on that I LOVE my coffee with sugar and cream. I also found that I like my sweet tea more than I thought. In the midst of my busy life, I decided one morning that I enjoy my coffee with sugar more than the challenge I accepted. Life happens, we adjust, we make changes, and we hopefully realize our everyday choices make up our everyday habits. Although I didn’t complete the challenge, I realize water is important for our bodies and we need to do more to promote water in our communities, even more so when we get busy. Our children will learn the habits we teach them, let’s teach them being busy doesn’t mean you stop drinking water and taking care of yourself.”
Keioshiah Peter (Dine)
“I admit, first and foremost, that I did not successfully complete the NB3 Zero to 60 Challenge! Instead, I made many mistakes on the journey to transition strictly to water. What can I say? I’m a human so mistakes happen and I would also forget that I was participating in the challenge. Honestly, I probably re-committed to the challenge about 5 times during the month of November because I would drink a soda at Feast Day or my sugar craving would get the best of me at the movie theater. In all, this challenge made me see how prevalent and easily accessible sugary drinks are in our everyday life.
After this realization, I came to an understanding that we are constantly adjusting to the situations that we put as a priority in our lifestyle. I spent the latter part of November working to drink more water and say no to sugary drinks. It was encouraging to see my colleagues working through this same challenge as well – shoutout to Devona and her family for successfully completing the challenge! I believe that I came out of this challenge with more awareness on my connection to my body and to water. As someone who advocates for the protection of our Indigenous territories and people, it only makes sense that we continue to protect and fight for our right to access clean drinking water. So, I plan to continue to do my best to hold water sacred and to respect my body by drinking more water because taking care of our bodies also mean taking care of our land and community. Thank you to NB3 for this challenge and bring more awareness to our everyday habits that we normalize!”
Deleana OtherBull (Crow and Northern Cheyenne)
“My life is chaos at times. I am a mom to a 3-year-old, a full-time student, a director and a volunteer on several different boards. Between soccer Saturdays, classes, work, community events and meetings, I feel like my go-to energizer is always coffee. I love my coffee sweetened with cream. The day before the challenge started, I inventoried our family’s fridge. My son drinks almond milk- so right away, I switched to unsweetened milk. We bought an extra 5-gallon water jug for our water dispenser.
On the first day of the challenge, I immediately realized how strong my daily coffee was without cream or sugar. I must admit, I tend to drink 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day- sometimes more. This challenge really called on me to reduce my coffee intake so that I could drink more water- which was challenging but I slowly increased my water intake by reminding myself to drink 4 of my water bottles. I normally don’t drink soda or juice at all, so it was easy to cut those completely out, but it was hard to cut the sugar and cream out of my coffee and reduce my cups.
I give myself a 90% on this challenge. There definitely was a few times that I had a few sugary drinks (or three) about mid-month (on my travels to central America), but overall, I am really proud of the small changes that we have made within my family. I also noticed a change at meals- my son asks for water more often then not. We also started looking more at the nutrition labels to see added sugars. I am thankful to the NB3F for this challenge. It is important to have these challenges because it starts dialogue and conversations not only within our families, but in the spaces we exist in- like our work. Thank you NB3F!”
“The NB3 Zero to 60 Challenge was definitely time for me to rethink about what I’m putting into my body and empowering myself and my family to be healthy. The first week of no sugary drinks was difficult because I couldn’t have sugar in my coffee nor could I have an energy drink. I had to check in with myself and think: “Did your ancestors have sugar to put in their drinks? Did they need energy drinks to get through the day? NO!” As days went by it started to get easier, I looked into how much I was spending on sugary drinks and it was not good at all nor did it benefit me in anyway. Something to know about me is whatever I put into my body, makes a big impact on me physically. Drinking completely water for 28 days has reflected through my skin to become clearer and healthier, not only that but it’s helped my pocket in not spending so much. Thank you, NB3 for this challenge in reminding us to take care of ourselves and honoring our water. Water is life.”
Curtison Badonie (Dine)
“The NB3 Zero to 30 Challenge was indeed a challenge. Unfortunately, I’ve only lasted up till the 12th, my birthday. I couldn’t resist the temptation of a can of Coke in front of me. In fact, I was attending Jemez Pueblo Feast and I was offered the coke and it would be rude of me to not accept. But I was glad to have participated in this challenge because going 30 days without sugary drinks can have healthy benefits. Benefits include: an increase of physical performance, staying hydrated can have major effects on energy levels and brain functions, drinking water can prevent and help headaches, and there are more other benefits. Though I only lasted 12 days in, it really made me think of these benefits and what I am inputting into my body.”