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I don’t know WHERE this cold weather has come from the past two weeks.

One thing I do know is that where there’s winter chill, there’s  a cold or flu a lurking!

Exhibit 1: This weekend my 3 year old nephew asked to spend the night with his favorite auntie (me) and my 2 year old son. After watching a scary movie or two (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Fast & Furious 6- you’d be amazed at what big scary rats named “Splinter” can do to a 3 yr. old pysche) my nephew was adamant about sleeping in the “big bead” with me.

*Cough! Cough! Hack!Hack! Ahh-Chew!*

All through the night, coughing and sneezing was all-I-heard. Not only did I have a potty-training-accident-prone 2 year invading my queen sized bed, I was now inhaling the “coodies” courtesy of my nephew. Turns out, the cold and rainy Houston weather had the 3 year old with a nasty cold.

Here it is Monday morning and I find myself with a running nose and budding cough. I’m too cute to have a cold, so I’ve resolved to get out in front of this thing and kill-the-cold before it grows! So is my list of what to do when you feel a cold coming on.

Now while I did recently retake Biology at the UHD, I am by no means a doctor, however I do have a few Do-It-Yourself tactics I use to ward off symptoms of the common cold, thanks to old-wives tales and home-remedies from generations past. Disclaimer: The BEST thing to do ALWAYS if you feel yourself becoming ill is to consult your family doctor. *DIFFERENT SUPPLEMENTS EFFECT PERSONS DIFFERENTLY, ACCORDING TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL HEALTH AND BODY. EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT. Try these remedies at your own risk.


Check out these DIY recipes from the classic Hot Toddy to Garlic when you feel a cold coming on:

  1. The Classic Hot Toddy

What is a hot toddy? A drink mixed with liquor, traditionally whiskey or other brown liquor (a shot portion- not meant to become drunk per se) with hot water, honey, lemon and in my case.

Spice it up:

If you want to  “spice things up” you can opt to add freshly grated cinnamon, cloves, chamomile, and ginger.

Add Fruit: for the winter you can also add your favorite fruit like pears, apples, lemon or orange zest.


  1. Eat, Drink and Soak in Garlic!

I’m all for natural remedies, especially for kids. When my son was 11 months old, he would catch a cold often, from the other kids at his daycare. One day a friend suggested that I cut up garlic (and a potato slice) and place it in each of his socks, at the soles of his feet. It sounded absolutely RIDICULOUS to me! I can’t confirm that it worked, but you know what? I TRIED IT!! When we’re sick, I increase the amount of garlic intake as well. There are studies that say garlic seems to stimulate the immune system. Garlic may also help fight viruses. Also, there is some preliminary evidence that garlic may lower the risk of catching a cold. I find more ways to incorporate garlic in what I’m cooking, whether fresh pieces chopped up or garlic powder.


3.) Thera-flu

I have yet to find another adult cold remedy that clears me up, within days. I read a few years ago that Theraflu had been removed from the shelves of stores due to its FDA rating, but apparently it is still available on the shelves at Walmart and HEB and is my #1 go to! I’ve tried all kinds of cold medicines including cough syrups to Alka Setzer Effervescent, but nothing hits it hard and fast like Theraflu to me.


4.) Take A TON of vitamin C!

I’ve tried the Emergen-C packets, loaded up with orange juice, but my favorite is simply in taking a fresh orange every day during the weeks where I have a cold. Taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms actually help shorten the duration of symptoms. I give oranges to my toddler every morning on the ride to school as well.


5.) Chicken Noodle Soup – With a soda on the side!

Ok, don’t really get the soda, but by all means grab the chicken noodle soup. Folks swear by the power of chicken soup and from what I’ve read and witnessed myself, this myth is actually true. Studies show that chicken soup may have anti-inflammatory properties that help symptoms. If you want an alternative to noodle soup,  the Neelys make quick chili with rotisserie chicken and canned white beans you can check out.


See how to make a hot toddy below: