Barrie Uncovered

Come Back to Basics -Natural Essentials

“Come back to the basics” is a mantra you’ll hear from Donna Vaillancourt time and time again.

Taking the Time...

Everyone knows something about eating healthy.  We’re all taught the Canada Food Guide as children; we all see and hear tidbits of information on a constant basis.

However, with time constraints, affordability and ease of pre-packaged food – most of us fail to a degree with food as a good lifestyle choice.

Taking our health back to the basics means feeding mind, body and soul – not just our stomachs!

Just a Few Steps to Take...

There are a few steps that are a bit easier to take with feeding the body.

  1. Shop local farmers when possible.
  2. Purchase foods that aren’t genetically modified.
  3. Try to eat “clean” food – the least amount of “pre-prep” possible.
  4. Buy organic or Non GMO foods whenever possible
  5.  Explore new spices and plant based meals.

Donna Can Help!

Taking these few steps may seem over-whelming at first, but Donna can help you make easy changes that will impact your daily life.

Keeping our body healthy becomes easier once we make healthier subtle changes.

There are so many plant-based alternatives to use now – for both skin care as well as health care.

Even these items should be as simplistic as possible!  We should try to know what exactly we’re applying to and/or ingesting into our bodies – and how many people have handled it!

Meet Donna Vaillancourt of Natural Essentials

Donna has healed past health issues with plant based medicine and her mission is to continue to be an active educator in her community.

Empowering people with knowledge on how to come back to basics is what she is all about.

With her focus on helping people she also creates a wonderful array of products as affordably priced as possible.  These are products she created during her own health journey and still uses daily.

With a wonderful skin care line and salves with extra healing properties Donna has much to teach us.

Natural Essentials

The Natural Essentials lines contain all non-chemical ingredients; organic and natural and includes a cannabis line.

Donna also has a variety of recipes that both she and her clients have used successfully in overcoming some very serious health issues.

Connecting for More Info:

You might join her for an information circle @ Sunnidale Park, once the world re-opens again or at Jeevanaya Wellness Center at one of her presentations – or at another venue in the community.

Follow Donna, Wellness Educator & Cannabis Consultant, at Natural Essentials on Facebook or email Donna at [email protected].

Donna can also accept texts at 705 309 4281.

Such knowledge is a formidable asset to getting back to the basics.

Ask Donna – She’s a Survivor!!

Written by: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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Walking into the Lazy Tulip Cafe is like coming home.  It’s bright and eclectic with a menu to match.  It’s not just the customers that are glad to be back!

Michelle Higgins, owner of the Lazy Tulip Cafe was tellig me how she felt when everything first shut down.  For the  first month of the shutdown Michelle worked her Cafe on her own for takeout orders.  Without her staff and customers she felt so depressed!  The energy wasn’t the same.  

Michelle has her COVID procedures so well embedded that she now receives compliments from her customers.  She wants everyone to know that they take every precaution to ensure safety both with their food as well as restaurant areas.

Enjoying a meal at Lazy Tulip in downtown Barrie is wonderful – no matter what your dietary needs are.  Michelle offers a wide variety of Vegan and Gluten Free choices as well as upbeat versions of traditional menu choices.

In Michelle’s words, “Everyone has to have a great experience!”  “They need to receive the quality for the money they’ve spent.”

Some things have changed at the Lazy Tulip Cafe because of the Pandemic though.  The menu has been streamlined and they encourage their customers to go on line to book a table at  Once you’ve done that you’ll receive an email with their COVID protocol and seating procedures.

One thing that Michelle is quick to mention is that Sunday Brunch fills very quickly!  The Lazy Tulip is also serving breakfast all day every day now.  Great news for those of us that love our “Eggs Benny”!!

Michelle loves her customers!  She tells me that they are so mindful about supporting their community, what they eat and where it comes from.  She takes their comments to heart, making everything possible from scratch in house.  That includes their breads, baked goods and sauces, just to name a few.  Meats and produce are locally sourced and those great breakfasts are made with free-range eggs!  The customers love the Lazy Tulip Cafe right back, having voted her restaurant “Best Brunch” in the Readers Choice Awards!!

The Lazy Tulip is now offering delivery through the usual on-line sites.  Michelle started the process during the shut-down and has continued with it as she realizes that some customers still feel nervous going out to dine.

Everything that’s done at the Lazy Tulip Cafe is to ensure that the customers still feel “The Vibe” as well as “The Love” that go into every meal.  When I asked Michelle just what the Lazy Tulip Cafe means to her she replied, “Eating Mindfully in Downtown Barrie.”

If you haven’t been in before, visit to book your table, check out the menu or order your catering needs now, then head downtown to 29 Maple Ave. in Barrie….and enjoy!!

Spotlight on Barrie Restaurants & Chefs: Kevin Isherwood, Common Good Cafe & Social House

Spotlight on Barrie Restaurants & Chefs: Common Good

This story really started when Kevin Isherwood was in Grade 10.  Young Kevin signed up for Home Economics because of, well you know; ratios.  The ratio was 26 – 2. Not bad odds for a young man full of passion with plenty of love to give.  We aren’t really sure what happened with the success of the girl to boy ratio, but what we are sure of is that Kevin discovered more passion than he was expecting.  Passion of cooking is what he took away.  We are so very thankful for that!

Read moreSpotlight on Barrie Restaurants & Chefs: Kevin Isherwood, Common Good Cafe & Social House

Fun, Fitness and the Best Healthy Restaurants in Barrie

Now, more than ever, focusing on health and wellbeing and maintaining a state of wellness within the body is critically important. Good health helps our ability to focus and concentrate, our overall energy and how we feel when we look in the mirror. Fortunately, for the health and fitness enthusiast, the outdoor lifestyle of Barrie has lots to offer, and we have embraced healthy eating as well.

Read moreFun, Fitness and the Best Healthy Restaurants in Barrie