Upcycled Décor

Old and Oh-So-Stylish

Old furniture used to go to college dorms and student apartments. At graduation, it was moved to the curb to be picked up by incoming students or the trash man. Now, with the influx of TV shows like Flea Market Flip and American Pickers, the DIY Network, HGTV and complementary books and magazines, vintage and mid-century recyclables barely touch the curb before being reinvented. Lighting, storage and seating provide ample opportunities for one-of-a-kind creations of imagination, vision and innovation.

Lighting

Search the words recycled, repurposed and upcycled on Pinterest, Etsy or any search engine to picture results ranked from simple-to-do to how-in-the-world astonishment. Light fixtures can be made from almost anything. Cookie jars and books turn into lamps, wine bottles become a chandelier—go homespun or industrial, follow a theme or incorporate a hobby. Freshen lamp shades using old sewing patterns, vintage fabrics or ribbon applied as découpage. A coat of paint transforms tacky, tarnished brass chandeliers into elegant décor.

null

At a flea market, look for boxes of stainless forks, knives and spoons—avoid costly sterling silver that can tarnish. A drill, frame, wiring and bulb later, we can have an intriguing hanging light or lamp. Combining a chafing dish, silverware and assorted tea cups in a chandelier creates artful lighting.

Seating

Chairs are plentiful in garage and whole-house sales, flea markets and on Craigslist. Sometimes all that’s needed is a coat of paint and fun fabric. New cushions, bought or made, are easy upgrades. Recovering a padded seat only requires the right amount of fabric and a sturdy staple gun. Mismatched chairs, painted a neutral color and redone with the same fabric, turn a mishmash of styles into a coordinated set. Chevron (zig zag) or checkerboard patterns in black and white are popular—understated, yet posh. Bright colors in a pop art style or 70s florals brighten any room and give the owner style points.

null

Benches created from a bookcase, shortened dresser or car parts can be padded or plain and incorporate storage capacity. A child’s bench may have been a skateboard in its former life. When buying reclaimed wood, ask about its origin; factory pieces might still retain unhealthy contaminants.

Storage

Old dressers and desks are frequent throwaway finds. Often big and bulky, scratched and ugly, it’s easier to set them out for pickup than list them for sale. Paint can transform a desk that shows its age into a welcome addition to a home office. For added interest or to hide imperfections, découpage with maps, postcards, kid’s artwork, pages from beyond-repair cookbooks or old sheet music. Need a shelf above the desk? A pair of old shutters works well; cast iron brackets add flair. Matching or complementary paint colors will make the pieces look like they belong together.

Broken pieces of furniture can live on if cobbled together. A coffee table’s sturdy legs and frame, an old window and a little paint combine to furnish a unique table with built-in storage. To protect fragile glass and create an even surface, top with a sheet of Plexiglass or sturdy beveled-edge glass.

Look beyond what is there and imagine what it could be. Ideas are everywhere, especially with spring cleanouts, garage sales and flea markets. Expect upcycling to become an obsession, because everything will become a possibility.

Connect with freelance writer Avery Mack at AveryMack@mindspring.com.

Finders Keepers

• Take cash to garage sales. Flea markets are more apt to take credit cards. Discounts may by possible with cash, which saves the seller the transaction fee.

• Negotiate. It’s expected and half the fun. But don’t offer an offensively low price. Ask, “What is the best you can do on this?” Then, making a slightly lower counteroffer is often acceptable.

• Although the general theory of, “Buy it when you see it,” is sound advice, be prepared to walk away.

• Set a budget and stick to it, especially at an auction. Smartphones can help research what price to offer.

• Watch for posted signs around town; search “garage sale finder” or “flea market finder” (there’s an iTunes app for that). Locate auction and estate sales the same way, as well as in a local newspaper. Churches and organizations like the Veterans Administration, Elks Lodge, Lions Club and Scouts often organize sales as fundraisers.

• Shop early for the best selection. Shop late for the lowest prices.

 

Posted in May 2015

Rethinking Breast Health

Natural ways to keep breasts smooth, pain-free and firm, while reducing the risk of cancer.

We’ve been conditioned to narrowly define breast health in terms of pink ribbon campaigns, cancer awareness marches and cold, steel mammography machines. Nearly 30 years after anti-cancer drug maker Imperial Chemical Industries (now AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals) established the first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 1985, many women have come to equate healthy breasts with cancer-free breasts, and assume the most important thing they can do is undergo regular screening.

But amid this chorus, some women’s health advocates are striving to get a different message across: There are a host of steps women can take to not only fend off disease in the future, but keep their breasts in optimal condition today. “We need to change the conversation about our breasts from how to avoid breast cancer and detect it early to how to have healthy breasts and enjoy them,” says Dr. Christiane Northrup, an obstetrician and gynecologist from Yarmouth, Maine, and author of the new book Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being.

Healthy Breasts, Healthy Body

In adolescence, breast changes are the first to signal the arrival of womanhood. When she’s aroused, a woman’s nipples harden and change color. When a woman gives birth, her breasts fill with life-giving milk. “In all these ways, your breasts are deeply connected to your femininity, compassion and sensuality,” says Hawaiian Naturopathic Doctor Laurie Steelsmith, co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health. Because breasts are extremely sensitive to hormonal fluctuations throughout the body, they can also serve as a barometer of overall health. “If you’re having chronic breast symptoms, it can be your body’s wisdom saying, ‘Help. Something’s wrong.’ Women need to listen.”

While some premenstrual swelling and tenderness is normal, exaggerated or persistent pain is often a sign of systemic estrogen dominance in relation to progesterone. It’s common in the years leading up to menopause, but can also hint at impaired thyroid function, because low levels of thyroid hormones have been shown to boost estrogen in breast tissue, advises Steelsmith.

Large, fluid-filled cysts or fibrous lumps, while non-cancerous, can also be a reflection of overexposure to harmful chemicals and toxin buildup, combined with poor lymph flow, notes Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan, an integrative physician in Greensboro, North Carolina. “If a woman has lumpy, bumpy breasts, they probably contain too many toxins, and those toxins are primarily estrogenic.” Addressing such symptoms is important not only to relieve discomfort, but also because excess estrogen can fuel future cancer risk, says Vaughan.

Any new, suspicious lump should be evaluated by a professional. Also, severe breast tenderness combined with nipple discharge could be a sign of infection or a problem with the pituitary gland, so it should also be checked. But typically, subtle natural healthcare steps can go a long way toward restoring breast wellness.

For nipple tenderness, Steelsmith recommends chaste-tree berry (175 milligrams [mg] of powdered extract or 40 drops daily). The herbal supplement mimics naturally occurring progesterone in the body, helping to counter estrogen dominance. Vitamin E (400 to 800 international units [IU] per day) and evening primrose oil (1,500 mg twice a day) have also been shown to alleviate breast tenderness.

For fibrous or cyst-filled breasts, Vaughan advises supplementing with iodine (up to 12.5 mg per day via kelp, seaweed or oral tablets) or applying an iodine solution to the breasts at night. A key constituent of thyroid hormones, iodine helps the liver convert unfriendly forms of estrogen into friendlier forms and flush toxins out of lymph nodes in the breast. Also, steer clear of chocolate and coffee, because caffeine is believed to interact with enzymes in the breast, exaggerating pain and lumpiness.

Also consider ditching the bra, says Vaughan. Brassieres can constrict lymph nodes and hinder blood circulation in breasts, locking toxins in and aggravating fibrocystic symptoms. The link between bras and breast cancer risk remains hotly debated, with one 2014 U.S. National Cancer Institute study of 1,400 women concluding unequivocally that, “There’s no evidence that wearing a bra increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer,” while smaller studies from the United States, China, Venezuela, Scotland and Africa suggest a link. Vaughan, the founder of BraFree.org, says the science is compelling enough that she has chosen to keep her own bra use to a minimum and advises her patients to do the same.

“Obviously, there are certain sports where you should wear a sports bra and there are certain dresses that only look right with a bra,” says Vaughan. At a minimum, avoid wearing a bra to bed and steer clear of underwires and overly tight bras that leave red marks. “This is not about guilt-tripping women into never wearing a bra. It’s about wearing a bra less.”

Beautiful Breasts Naturally

Too small or too big, lopsided or riddled with stretch marks… it seems almost every woman has a complaint about the appearance of her breasts. That’s a problem, says Northrup, because, “Healthy breasts are breasts that are loved. We have to stop beating them up.”

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of women getting breast implants for cosmetic reasons ballooned from 212,500 in 2000 to 286,254 in 2014. Physicians—including Northrup—claim that modern implants don’t, in the majority of cases, promote disease like older silicone implants did. Yet even plastic surgeons warn that having implants should be fully thought out, and at some point they’ll probably have to come out. “They are manmade devices, and are not intended to be lifelong. At some point, you will probably have to have further surgery,” says Dr. Anureet Bajaj, an Oklahoma City plastic surgeon.

Bajaj notes that implants can rupture, forming scar tissue and lending irregular shape to the breast. Often, as a woman ages and her body changes, the larger breasts she chose in her 20s no longer look right and may cause back and shoulder pain. In some cases, implants can also lead to loss of nipple sensitivity. For these and other reasons, 23,774 women—including actress Melissa Gilbert and model Victoria Beckham—had their implants removed in 2014, often following up with a breast lift (using their own tissue) to restore their shape.

Vaughan sees breast implant removal as a wise and courageous choice to restore optimal breast health. Better yet, don’t get implants in the first place. “There are a lot of other things you can do to improve the appearance of your breasts,” she advises.

Vaughan recommends breast-perking exercises like dumbbell bench presses and flys that tone the pectoral muscles beneath the breasts, making them more resilient and look larger. To prevent or reverse sagging, she again urges women to go bra-free. “We have ligaments in the upper outer quadrant of our breasts called Cooper’s ligaments, and they’re responsible for holding our breasts up. Just like your muscles atrophy when you put your arm in a sling, your Cooper’s ligaments atrophy if you wear a bra all the time.”

In one unpublished, yet highly publicized 2013 study, French Exercise Physiologist Jean-Denis Rouillon measured the busts of 330 women ages 18 to 35 over a period of 15 years and found those that regularly wore a bra had droopier breasts with lower nipples than those that didn’t. In another, smaller, Japanese study, researchers found that when women stopped wearing a bra for three months, their breasts perked up.

Those worried about stretch marks also have options. They can be a sign of inadequate copper, which promotes collagen integrity and helps skin stretch without injury, says Steelsmith. If rapid weight gain is occurring due to adolescence, pregnancy or for other reasons, try taking copper supplements or applying a topical copper spray on the breasts.

Remember to massage your breasts daily, not only as a “search and destroy mission” for early detection of cancerous lumps, says Northrup, but as a way to get waste products flowing out and loving energy flowing in.

“It concerns me that women feel pressured to think of their breasts as two potentially pre-malignant lesions sitting on their chests,” Northrup says. “These are organs of nourishment and pleasure for both ourselves and others. We need to remember that, too.”

Lisa Marshall is a freelance health writer in Boulder, CO. Connect at LisaAnnMarshall.com.

Bust Musts for Cancer Prevention

AFoods for Breast Healthccording to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly 40,000 will die annually of the disease. But at least 38 percent of those diagnoses could be prevented via diet and lifestyle changes, affirms the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

“For decades, the dominant public message about breast cancer has been about early detection,” says Medical Doctor Robert Pendergrast, an associate professor at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta, and author of Breast Cancer: Reduce Your Risk with Foods You Love. “Screening is important, but not nearly enough attention is being paid to prevention.” Here’s what we can do to keep cancer at bay or from recurring.

Eat more veggies: Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, are loaded with indole-3-carbinol, or I3C, a potent anticancer compound that helps break down excess estrogen and convert it into a more friendly, or benign form, says Steelsmith. One study in Alternative Medicine Review found that women that ate high amounts of cruciferous vegetables were 30 percent less likely to develop breast cancer over 30 years. I3C can also be taken as a supplement (300 milligrams [mg] per day).

Eat more fiber, especially flax: Fiber, via whole grains, fruits and vegetables, helps flush out toxins including unfriendly estrogen. Flax contains cancer-fighting compounds called lignans, which block the effects of excess or unfriendly estrogen on cells.

Drink less alcohol: Alcohol boosts estrogen levels in women and is broken down in the liver to acetaldehyde, a known toxin that causes cancer in laboratory animals, notes Naturopath Laurie Steelsmith. According to the AICR, a woman that has five drinks per week boosts her risk by 5 percent. Two or more drinks per day boosts such risk by more than 40 percent.

Skip the barbecue: Charring meat produces carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines. A study of 42,000 women, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that those that routinely ate welldone hamburger, beef or bacon had four times the risk of those that opted for medium or medium-rare.

Keep weight in check: Excessive estrogen, which lives in fat cells, fuels cancer risk. According to the AICR, a woman with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 (obese) has a 13 percent higher risk of cancer than a woman with a BMI of 25 (slightly overweight).

Spice up life: Curcumin from the turmeric plant has been shown in many studies to have potent immune-boosting and anticancer properties, reactivating sleeping tumor-suppressor genes that can kill cancer cells.

De-stress: Growing evidence that includes studies from Ohio State University suggest that stress can boost the risk of breast cancer and recurrence, plus heighten its aggressiveness by altering hormones and impairing immunity. One study from Finland’s University of Helsinki followed 10,808 Finnish women for 15 years and found as much as double the rate of breast cancer among those that had experienced a divorce or death of a spouse or family member.

Drink green tea: It’s loaded with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant believed to suppress new blood vessel growth in tumors and keep cancerous cells from invading healthy tissue.

Triumph Over The ‘Big C’

Fighting Cancer NaturallyWhen Sandy Messonnier was diagnosed with breast cancer, she faced scary treatment decisions as doctors pressured her to consider all means available. “I was more afraid of the treatment than the cancer itself,” says Messonnier, 52, of Plano, Texas. “I kept feeling like I was being lumped into one big category of all women that got breast cancer, rather than treated as an individual.”

With the help of her holistic veterinarian husband Shawn Messonnier, Sandy took a more measured approach, blending conventional and complementary medicine in an individualized protocol the couple describes in their book, Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How You Can Win the Battle!

After careful consideration, Sandy opted for two lumpectomies three weeks apart, instead of a mastectomy, to remove the small tumor. The second one was done to clear up a few remaining cells indicated by a biopsy. Meanwhile, she took supplements including green tea and coriolus mushrooms to impede the spread of the cancer cells. Several tests helped determine if she needed chemotherapy and the optimum dose for some of her supplements. The results prompted her to decline chemotherapy and opt for a brief stint of radiation while taking the supplements quercetin and curcumin to help combat the fatigue and other side effects. Afterward, she cleansed her body with homeopathic mistletoe, herbal milk thistle and other detoxifying supplements. Then she began the work of keeping cancer at bay.

“A lot of doctors never talk to you about what you are going to do after the poisoning [chemo], the burning and surgery,” she says. “Rather than taking a cancer-fighting drug, I chose to be more mindful of what I do with my body.”

Her regimen called for committing to keeping up with the healthy diet, plus regular walks, yoga and Pilates that she believes helped keep the cancer relatively mild to begin with. But she also made some life changes to address the one thing she believes may have driven the outbreak in the first place—stress. She made peace with her mother, which reduced a lot of stress, began to cultivate a spiritual life and now takes time to meditate or walk when she feels even lightly stressed. She also vowed to keep the fear of recurrence from overwhelming her. “Many women never stop worrying about it,” she observes. “That is toxic energy you are putting back into your body.”

As of this October, Messonnier will be five years cancer-free. Her advice for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer: “Chemotherapy, radiation and mastectomy are not among the right choices for all women. There are other options, depending on the type of cancer. Don’t be so fearful that you make hasty decisions you don’t need to make.”

 

Posted in May 2015

Pet Vaccine Alternatives

Natural Steps to Nurture Immunity

With pets, as with kids, vaccine safety and necessity are likely concerns. While holistic veterinarians tend to minimize the use of vaccines, their strongest stance is against unnecessary vaccinations. The point is to immunize only when it’s needed by individual patients while maximizing natural immunity.

In the late 1970s, amid the discovery of the canine parvo virus, vets saw many puppies under 4 months of age suffer from this mysterious disease and die or be euthanized. Once a vaccine was made, we rarely saw pets dying from the parvo virus or parvoviral infection. So, in certain cases, vaccines can be life-saving.

However, unnecessary and multiple simultaneous vaccines can also be life-taking, which doctors rarely mention. The truth is that only minimal vaccines are needed for dogs and cats over the course of a pet’s life. No pet needs all of the vaccines that are currently manufactured, and none needs vaccines every six to 12 months.

Pets do need veterinary checkups once or twice a year to screen for diseases affecting the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal and urinary systems, as well as cancer. Blood and urine testing, including blood testing for undiagnosed cancer, is vital, easy and inexpensive (every six months for pets 5 years and older and annually for those that are younger).

A good protocol is akin to that developed by Dr. Jean Dodds, founder of Hemopet, of Garden Grove, California, a holistic veterinarian and an expert in animal vaccination and immunology. Her system involves administering limited vaccines to puppies and kittens based on their individual needs, and not more often than every three weeks for those younger than 8 weeks. Following this course, by 4 months of age the pet has been injected with four to six vaccines, compared to double to triple the amount supported by vaccine manufacturers and administered by breeders and most conventional doctors.

Such a judicious, limited vaccine protocol offers protection against the diseases that are the most lethal to the puppy or kitten while doing no harm to its natural immune system. As needed, individual pets may also receive a natural detoxification protocol to minimize vaccine reactions. Antioxidant supplements can boost the immune response, as well.

Adult pet patients can also be given blood titer testing instead of vaccines. This measures the animal’s individual antibody responses to prior immunizations or common disease exposure and assures us the pet has adequate immunity against a specific disease.

All of this assures the pet owner that the pet is protected against infectious diseases without the risks of annual multiple vaccinations. In most cases a protective titer is maintained for many years, which preempts disease and further reduces the number of vaccines the animal receives over its lifetime.

Titer testing costs less than $100 for three common infectious diseases, is safer than routine immunization, protects the immune system, prevents vaccine reactions and assures owners, vets, boarding facilities, groomers and day care facilities that it’s safe to introduce the pet into such environments.

This approach of minimal vaccinations is a prime reason holistic veterinarian patients tend to be healthier and live longer than the average pet, with even larger dogs regularly living in good health up to 15 to 20 years of age.

Holistic veterinarians perform limited vaccines supplemented by titer testing to ensure levels of care that meet accepted standards. They base their approach on supportive science from institutions including the American Animal Hospital Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners to provide safe, proven, ongoing immunity for patients.

Shawn Messonnier, a doctor of veterinary medicine practicing in Plano, TX, is the award-winning author ofThe Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats and Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets. For more information, visit PetCareNaturally.com.

Posted in May 2015

Moving Beyond Survival

Our True Identity Surpasses Any Disease

“Get down off your cross.” Harsh words, especially coming from a longtime hospital chaplain when the woman she was addressing had just learned she was cancer-free.

Regardless, “Within two minutes, she started retelling the story of her diagnosis, surgery and chemo,” recounted Debra Jarvis, affectionately known as “The Irreverent Reverend”, during a TEDMED talk in Washington, D.C. “She was using words like suffering, agony, struggle… and ended with, ‘I felt crucified.’” It was then that Jarvis asked this woman to do what would likely require more of her than anything she’d done before.

Over the years, Jarvis has observed the tendency for us to identify ourselves by our wounds as “survivors” of something that does not and should not define us. “What if people decided to claim their trauma as an experience, instead of taking it on as an identity?” she queries. “Maybe it would be the start of defining ourselves by who we have become and who we are becoming.”

As Jarvis well knows, there are, in her words, “powerful forces” pushing us to do just the opposite. In 2005, she found herself in the same position as her friend, having recovered from cancer and trying to sort out what it all meant. “We don’t all have to start a foundation or write a book,” to claim meaning for ourselves, she says. “Maybe we make one small decision that can bring about a big change.”

For some, this has meant exchanging a disease-prone view of themselves for a more inspired outlook. Too often, though, mustering the humility to adopt such a perspective can seem just as difficult as climbing down from whatever tortuous experience we’re clinging to. Yet, it’s essential.

As those familiar with the Bible know, a central event of Jesus’ life, his crucifixion, was followed by his even more compelling resurrection, a term that thought leader Mary Baker Eddy describes as “spiritualization of thought; a new and higher idea of immortality, or spiritual existence; material belief yielding to spiritual understanding.”

The good news is that such transformation is not exclusive, but available to anyone. Whether it’s at the urging of a chaplain or another counselor or our own divine inspiration that’s encouraging us to move on, we owe it to ourselves to begin discovering who and what we really are.

Eric Nelson is a Christian Science healing practitioner from Petaluma, CA, who writes on the link between spiritual consciousness and health. Find more articles at norcalcs.org.

Posted in May 2015

Laura Prepon’s Journey to Health

Home Cooking, Organics and Massage Are Key

From That ‘70s Show to Orange is the New Black, actress Laura Prepon has long been considered by TV audiences to be a welcome image of health. Yet Prepon’s recent discovery that she’d been falling short in nourishing her body as effectively as possible has set in motion a complete redirection of lifestyle, from her diet to fitness routine. Now working on a book about clean living and eating due out next year, Prepon has rededicated herself to educating us just as much as she’s entertained us through the years.

How do you manage to consistently eat local organic food instead of fast food?

My mother was a gourmet chef and an advocate of organic food, so we always had amazing meals growing up. Eating organic produce that’s in season locally seems to help me assimilate nutrition more readily. Whenever I can, I also try to tap into biodynamic agriculture, which takes an even broader holistic approach to food production and nutrition. I view GMOs [genetically modified foods] as toxic to the system.

As a self-taught chef, I like to cook at least 80 percent of my food at home and bring meals to work so I don’t stress about food during the day. It feels good to get people together in the kitchen and I’ve taught friends how to cook healthy foods in simple ways, so they now bring their own meals with them to work. It’s all about preparation, so that you’re not just grabbing something on the run. Knowing what’s going into the food we’re eating is important.

Why do you include a lot of soup in your diet?

With all of the GMO food sprayed with chemicals in the typical American diet and the other environmental toxins everyone has to deal with, our gut flora, intestines and bodies in general are becoming compromised. Ten years ago, few had even heard of gluten allergies unless you had celiac disease, which was rare even then. Now, everywhere you go, there’s a gluten-free option.

I love eating soup because the healthful ingredients I use are broken down completely, so the body can immediately assimilate needed micronutrients, which help heal us from the inside out. I’m talking about homemade broth from grass-fed beef bones, so you get the marrow; I’m partial to knuckle bones. I always have soup broth in my refrigerator.

What’s key to your ability to naturally stay healthy and fit in the midst of an intense schedule of work and travel?

I love modalities like acupuncture, massage … all of that. I fully believe in keeping energy flowing to benefit the functioning of all our organs.

As school kids, we learn about the circulatory system and central nervous system, but who knows much about the lymphatic system? It’s extremely important, and people are starting to get the idea. Activities like yoga, swimming and bouncing on the trampoline can help.

Do you see society’s penchant for medicating as a way to avoid listening to and addressing our body’s real needs?

I do. That’s why I study Eastern medicine, because I feel that Western medicine treats problems and Eastern medicine prevents problems from happening. I grew up in a family of doctors and “full-on” Western medicine and respect the medical community. Unfortunately, these days, most people are continually medicated and they’re not getting better. As a society, we tend to just take a drug to handle a symptom instead of addressing the actual cause of the problem.

As a celebrity, do you see yourself as a conduit to facilitate a shift away from unnatural lifestyles?

Yes. The reason I decided to write a book was because I’ve been struggling with a bunch of different ailments in secret for a long time. When I began working with my integrated health coach, Elizabeth Troy, I started to heal for the first time in all the years of reading books on health, diet and fitness, seeing doctors, taking loads of pills and spending crazy amounts of money on all of these activities. I want to help people struggling to regain their health to get answers.

Gerry Strauss is a freelance writer in Hamilton, NJ. Connect at GerryStrauss@aol.com

Posted in May 2015