chapter 8 – denver with vicki the detox expert, happy times with casey and tommasina

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My flight from LA to Denver felt so mixed – I was waving goodbye to Carol, my companera muy especial (Lee’s mam), yet I was back on the road again and about to start the Western leg of the tour of my dreams….so I was also excited!

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Woahhhhhhhhh…..

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The scenery from the plane blew my mind especially flying over the Grand Canyon and The Rocky mountains close to Denver. Denver airport is one of the most confusing airports I have ever been to, but my goodness, the plethora of delights there in the food and drink department was unbelievable! I bee-lined my way over to the Jamba Juice counter and ordered my second Jamba (or was it my third) since arriving in the USA! Happily I slurped the litre or so of goodness while contacting Vicki and arranging where and how to meet her off the airport sky train.

My bag felt REALLY heavy today. It was stuffed with all manner of jars of Chia seed infused Peanut butter from Trader Joe, and Tahini from Beirut that I had bought along with some juicy dates (now long gone) in an underground shop beneath the best fruit and veg market I had seen since Spain! I had faithfully carried this jar around since Boston…

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Here was the glorious Union Station in Denver – I stood amazed at the size and majesty of this old building and immersed myself for a while learning about the Gold prospectors of the Wild Wild West who came here and settled and mined. I had no idea all this happened in Colorado and so my imagination drifted off a little; a romantic idealistic view of a probably very brutal time; cowboys, saloon bars and people wandering around in Victorian clothing saying ‘howdy! and Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay’ What would old Denver have looked like?

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New Denver is unbelievably modern. Glassy tall sky scrapers are springing up all the time making a strangely beautiful modern skyline as the city copes with a mass influx of people. Industry is on the up (but I’m not sure what industry we are talking about; Colorado was the first state to make marajuana legal to anyone over the age of 21 in 2013, maybe that’s the reason to explain the dramatic population increase…)! Medicinal Marajuana, anyone?

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As soon we arrived and had greeted each other Vicki and I set off to Idaho Springs; an old fashioned and very well preserved and actually very pretty Victorian gold prospecting town set in the hills above Denver with many original buildings. Beaujo’s the now famous pizza establishment has it’s own disused mineshaft in the floor of the restaurant (real, I am assured). I loved the night, the conversation, and the pie crust pizza (something I have never had the fortune to sample before…) It’s a giant crust that makes the whole pizza look like a pie. And when you have eaten all the tomatoey bit you can then eat the crust afterwards as ‘dessert’ with honey, which they bring to the table. A very cool yummy tradition!!

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Over the table Vicki excitedly asked me about the tour so far, and told me a little about her work too – she is into detox in a big way and founded Toxin Clear several years ago; a clinic in Denver. She also represents Touchstone essentials, a company who sell some very interesting products – they use organic vegetables to make vitamin pills that are completely chemical free and able to be absorbed into the body. Vicki, who is one of the most passionate people I know on the subject of health shared with me a great deal about nutrition and this mineral Clinoptilolite, which is used internally as it attracts positive ions, hence helping us rid our bodies of toxins. Also externally in disaster zones like Chernobyl where it has drawn positively charged radiation out of the land. Wow.

Amongst many other things Vicki has been a midwife for many years, having delivered over 500 babies (had 4 babies herself), and has worked in women’s health since 1978, which is why she intuitively felt she had to host me on my tour! Vicki’s work is in helping pregnant mothers to detox; explaining that there has now been a proven link between toxins and autism which is why we need to take environmental pollutants seriously all the time.

Her website for Toxin Clear is here and her site for mamas called toxin clear moms is here

Vicki is a serious force of nature. She happily admits her age which is around the 70 mark and grandma of 8, yet she is fit and active and looks great! She often gets up at 5.30am-6.00am bounding around the house with tons of energy. If anyone can be living proof of these vitamins and supplements working then Vicki is a good advertisement for them, and I am a witness to that cos I have lived with her – I was premenstrual during my time there (a very tired version of me) and I had trouble keeping up!

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Vicki definitely kept me going with her enthusiasm and lessons on hormones (she is a hormone expert too) and day-trips to the Botanical Gardens and out to town with her friends, all around the same age, and such a blast to hang around with!

It strikes me again and again that women are great when you get ‘em together. Though I usually mean this is an sacred intentional context I couldn’t fault my day out with Vicki Sandy and Sally. We ate lunch in downtown Denver in this historical haunted Cowboy-style pub. In the cellar of the pub there is also a secret doorway to underground tunnels that extend all over the city (used for smuggling of contraband goods and prostitutes back in the day!). We chatted a lot over lunch. I asked them all to talk about what life was like when they were young, what their houses were like and where they lived and they told me a lot… I must say they seemed more interested in the handsome bartender though, Hahaha!

Over my time at Vicki’s I went to one of her presentations, we ate super-healthy salads, watched movies together at night, and I slept in the ‘bed of all beds’ that I never wanted to get out of!!

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I also gave Vicki a walk-through of the menstrual cycle workshop for her knowledge and also for her to pass onto her daughter who sadly couldn’t make it. Vicki loved the work because it focused on the emotional side of the cycle and not just the hormonal side. Vicki instantly saw it’s value for women and menstruators, and gave me enthusiastic feedback recognizing the work’s value for people with severe PMS in that it helped to explain normal day to day things better. She also loved looking at the products – my cloth pad and menstrual cup and we spent some time discussing the benefits of using these for women’s health.

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Soon it was time to leave Vicki’s and she took me to a very pretty part of town near the botanical gardens (which are some of the most stunning gardens I have ever seen) and to the home of dear Casey and Tommasina, connected to me via Anita in Washington – THANK YOU!! – a beautiful pair of peace loving vegan souls and their darling sociable purr-y and adorable ‘Buster lookalike’ cat called Ollie and their other shyer more demure sweet puss-cat Fiona.

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Many happy evenings were spent with these two beautiful individuals who kindly let me sleep on their comfy couch in their lounge surrounded by the joy, positivity and loving-vibes of their apartment.

One evening I spoke to them both in a nice chilled-out private cycle workshop and was grateful for the opportunity to do so. This was another utterly affirming experience of how speaking to a couple can be so rewarding and open up conversations about the menstrual cycle (and it’s challenging bits) in a safe and intimate way and give language to the cycle that can be understood by both people. I feel ready to take this element of my work further and continue to speak to couples because it feels right to me. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is something I want to do.

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It was really cool to hear that people are so blown away by the cycle being a tool that can be used for planning, and that you can use opposite phases to talk to another and make balance with each other. That there is actually a predictability to women’s cycles after all the societal conditioning had given us the opposite message (that women are unpredictable). Also the way the layers of the cycle can be discussed simultaneously through different lenses/levels. What really blew me away about Casey’s reaction to the workshop was that he said he felt a lot of this work was familiar somehow; it made a lot of sense, especially the mindfulness stuff around noticing our inner emotions that dictate our behavior and reactions to external circumstances. I loved that he felt more men should hear this work because that’s exactly how I feel, and I feel ready to share this with more men who would like to listen… so if you are one, or if you know one, please get in touch!!

What was also wonderful feedback was that they both loved the visual representation of the cycle with the cloth and ribbon, because it brought the cycle to life; made it turn from something not seen and abstract to something very real and present. Ollie loved it too. He couldn’t stop rolling around on it 🙂

Thanks for everything guys, from the chill-out opportunity in your beautiful space to all those lifts you gave me in your car to various buses around town. Your kindness will never be forgotten, cooking with you was so much fun, and I hold you very dear to my heart Xx

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