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What’s New in 2015

Our experts eye 21 cultural trends to watch for in the new year

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    Fitness: HIIT or Miss?

    En español | HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is all the rage, but personal trainer Jillian Michaels says it should be incorporated into an exercise regimen rather than its sole focus. Michaels calls HIIT “the goji berry of fitness. It is definitely effective and it’s a tool I utilize. However, it’s only one tool of many.

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    Fitness: 7’s Not Enough

    The seven-minute workout has caught on over the past few years, but Michaels hopes the less-is-more exercise philosophy has run its course. In 2015, “seven minutes is simply not enough,” says Michaels. “You need an absolute minimum of 20 minutes to gain any metabolic advantage.”

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    Food: How Farro Can You Go?

    Move over, quinoa. Dietitian Ellie Krieger predicts farro — a nutty, nutritious ancient grain related to wheat — will be huge this year. Watch for it on a restaurant menu near you.

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    Food: A Homegrown Superfruit

    Dried cherries from the U.S. have been overlooked recently in favor of goji berries from Asia. But Krieger says dried cherries are just as nutritious and even more delicious. Dried cranberries are in the same camp.

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    Food: Brush Up On Brussels Sprouts

    These oft-ridiculed leafy greens have been elevated nationally by chefs who use them in fresh and modern ways, says Krieger, who suggests roasting the leaves individually until they’re crisp, like kale chips.

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    Food: Avocado Spread is the New Hummus

    Avocados aren’t just for guacamole anymore. With people looking for more sources of healthy fats, Krieger foresees avocado spread showing up on lots of menus, spread on bread instead of butter, with sweet and savory toppings.

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    Investing: Twitter as Your Morning Paper

    Investment guru Jim Cramer thinks the pithy social media site will continue its momentum in 2015. He tabs it as one of the tech stocks he favors this year. (Facebook is another.) Predicts Cramer: “Twitter will be your personal news source during the next decade.”

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    Investing: Nothing Generic About It

    Similar to the Great Depression, Cramer says the Great Recession has changed people’s spending habits, with more consumers opting for frugality. Off-brand, generic products — and companies such as Perrigo Co., Costco and TJX that produce and sell them — will benefit.

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    Investing: Dial Up Domino’s

    Cramer thinks the pizza delivery giant’s digital dominance could spur hot sales this year. “It has the best app. Half of its business is done digitally,” he says of Domino’s. “Customers put in orders, ensuring much more accurate and quick deliveries.” Another innovative company to watch: Under Armour, which is chipping away at Nike’s dominance.

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    Hot Hirers: Health Care Companies

    AARP financial expert Kerry Hannon says to expect opportunities in health care support, such as nursing assistants, physical therapists, skin care specialists and social workers.

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    Hot Hirers: Leisure and Hospitality Companies

    “This sector is expected to ride the improving economy,” Hannon says. “As people return to work, they’ll be spending money to eat out and go on vacation. Chefs, cooks, waiters, bartenders and restaurant managers will be in demand.”

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    Hot Hirers: Information Technology

    “Cybersecurity will become an even more critical concern for financial companies, the government and retailers, given the swelling number of data breaches among credit card issuers, stores and financial institutions in recent months,” Hannon says.

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    Tech: Local Delivery Quick and Easy

    Fitmob CEO Rajil Kapoor says online courier service Postmates could be a breakout app in 2015. The
 company connects customers with local couriers who 
purchase and deliver goods 
via their own transportation,
 whether bike, car or scooter, from any restaurant or store in 
a city — in an hour or less.

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  • Photo Courtesy of Lantern

    Tech: Smartphone or Psychiatrist’s Couch?

    Launched in
 2012, Lantern aims to deliver treatment programs in one of the
 most expensive and overlooked areas of health care — mental health. Designed to serve an individual’s therapeutic needs at rates Americans can afford, Lantern gives customized mental health care delivered by a therapist via a smartphone app.

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    Tech: Home Cooking and Hospitality

    Could foodie app EatWith become the Airbnb of dining? Kapoor thinks so. EatWith matches carefully vetted local hosts who are great cooks and want to monetize that talent with guests looking for a quality home-cooked meal, bright conversation and a taste of local hospitality.

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    Tech: Watch This Space?

    Led by the Apple Watch, we’re likely to be inundated with news and ads about smart watches. But David Pogue, vice president of Yahoo Tech, says not to get too excited — yet. Pogue says smart watches are “expensive, and their purpose in life is still unclear.”

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    Fashion: Jump On Board

    Model and businesswoman Beverly Johnson says that in 2015 jumpsuits will make people nostalgic for the ’70s and ’80s. “They have been tweaked, but the ease of slipping one on remains irresistible.”

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    Fashion: The New Modern

    Johnson points to the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and Nicole Miller among veteran designers to watch in 2015, and spotlights Charles Harbison as a young designer who’s changing her thinking on what’s modern. “I want tailored coats with volume,” says Johnson, “fit-and-flare A-line dresses, color, chunky low heels and flats.”

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    Fashion: Raw Beauty

    Supermodel Carol Alt says her raw food diet has her feeling better in her 50s than she did in her 30s. And she says raw food isn’t just for nutrition: It can be a beauty booster, too. She recommends using olive oil as an eye makeup remover and coconut oil as a moisturizer.

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    Travel: Smartphones as Room Keys

    Your smartphone can already be used as your boarding pass or to unlock your rental car. Travel expert Samantha Brown says it could soon be your hotel room key, too. This year, some hotel chains plan to let guests use a phone to check in, open the door and check out.

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    Travel: Air Travel Upcharges

    Brown says more airlines will continue to find new ways to charge passengers for “conveniences” such as water. But the nickel-and-diming may have a benefit, as people get smarter about traveling on the cheap.

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