American snowboarder Brenna Huckaby is simply unstoppable. Her palmarès include two gold medals at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (snowboard cross and banked slalom), as well as three gold medals and one silver at the World Para Snowboard World Championships in 2015 and 2017. She’s even an ESPY winner and the first Paralympian to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
But despite her overwhelming successes at the highest level, snowboarding wasn’t always her sport. Growing up, Huckaby was a nationally-ranked gymnast with a promising gymnastics career ahead of her. Her trajectory changed once she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2010, which led to intense chemotherapy and the amputation of her right leg.
Fast forward to 2019, and Huckaby is now balancing her elite snowboarding career with the responsibilities of being a new mom. She’s even a celebrity ambassador for plant-based beverage company REBBL, where she pairs her passion for superfoods and healthy eating with larger issues like climate change and human trafficking.
After battling cancer and giving birth to her daughter, Huckaby became more mindful of what she was eating while trying to stay balanced, both physically and mentally. Through this, she discovered how important a diet rich in green vegetables and super herbs really is.
“Super herbs are like the superfoods of the plant world and have been traditionally used for healing and to improve body functionality in many cultures for hundreds and thousands of years,” says Huckaby. “They help fortify the body’s own adaptive resilience to stressors and can be great sources of antioxidants.”
The latter is especially important in her case, given the demand her training puts on her body. She started incorporating super herbs into her diet, and noticed a marked improvement in her well-being. Not only did she have less inflammation (combats training stress), but she had more energy, too.
Sourcing and preparing these ingredients can be tough, so Huckaby opts for REBBL’s line of super herb-infused elixirs. With no prep required, they’re the perfect grab-and-go solution for active individuals on the move.
“I really enjoy REBBL for the easy accessibility to super herbs” says Huckaby. “They even have drinks with plant-based protein, which is great when I’m training.”
What are some of Huckaby’s go-to super herbs? She includes turmeric, matcha, schizandra and reishi into her diet. Turmeric helps with inflammation and promotes joint and digestive health, matcha is a clean source of energy and boosts focus, schizandra supports heart and liver function and reishi promotes a healthy immune system.
“I love being able to grab a REBBL Schizandra Berries and Cream without having to make it into a tea myself,” says Huckaby.
While just fine by themselves, REBBL makes it easy to incorporate super herbs into everyday dishes as well. Below, Huckaby has shared one of her favorite super herb recipes — Golden Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup. It’s easy, delicious and packed with simple, health-boosting ingredients.
Speaking of functional herbs, Brenna will be celebrating National Super Herb Day on March 12 with REBBL and friends to rally around the transformational plant power that fuels us all. Join in on the #SuperHerbDay celebration by following @REBBL on social media.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the cubed butternut squash, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to the baking sheet and toss to coat. Roast for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until fork-tender.
2. Add the roasted vegetables to a blender along with the vegetable broth, REBBL Turmeric Golden-Milk, honey, turmeric, ginger, and cardamom. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your blender. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. If you have a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix), heat the soup by blending it on high for five to six minutes. Otherwise, transfer the soup to a large pot on the stove and heat until it reaches your desired temperature. Serve immediately drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with hemp seeds, pepitas and microgreens, if you like.