The Birth of Hatch

Hatch was born out of a desire to bring a simple, one step at time, habit building and tracking system to nutrition. For years we have been asked the question “Where do I start?”, “Do I have to give up everything?”, “Where do I go to get more information?” and “Do you have a program to follow?” While we do coach clients on individual needs the basic principles remain the same and that is addressing quality and quantity.

Hatch was developed to easily and slowly introduce one nutritional habit every 30 days. It does not need to be all or nothing. Hatch is a system that not only demystifies the nutritional journey, but also gives you one thing to work on at a time. We track it, find success with it and move on to the next thing once we have that habit under control. This makes nutrition manageable and eliminates the overwhelming feeling of, “I’m either 100% strict on a diet or I’m falling off a cliff of donuts.” We all know that doesn’t work and if it does, not for very long. Stop the yo-yo dieting, stop the self-loathing, stop the crazy and start building a lifestyle of nutritional habits with one step at a time.



Paul Buono

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I sparked an interest in health and fitness at a young age. In 1989, at age 15 I became a vegetarian (I am no longer) believing that was the move I needed to make to propel me on the track team. More than that I connected with the cause due to its relationship to the environment and animal welfare. Fast forward to 2007, I had gone through many bouts of illnesses, broken bones and eventually found myself in a hospital. At this time, I was pregnant and hemorrhaging, which led to the loss of our child. I was weak and in order to heal quicker, my doctor told me I either needed a blood transfusion or to go eat a steak.

That was the first time since becoming a vegetarian that I considered my diet choices affecting my health in a negative way. (Read “The Vegetarian Myth” if this topic interests you). With these two options, I chose a steak. That launched a whole new campaign for me to determine what was a healthy diet for me. With an extra 50 pounds on me from the pregnancy and not sure where to start, I chose weight loss as my initial goal. During this time, I began Weight Watchers and saw results with decreased bodyweight. I saw the value in counting “points” or calories and wanted more information. I took some college classes on nutrition and began reading, reading, and more reading of the current information on diet and nutrition. I began to realize meat was necessary for me and within a year after converting from a plant-based diet, I was in the best health shape of my life. I no longer had consistent gas and I no longer carried the extra 10 pounds of fluff weight that I carried my whole life.

At this point I had jumped into the Zone Diet and with my Type A personality, I was 100% compliant. Until one day someone mentioned a cheat day, what is a cheat day? I had never really heard of this. I had gone 6 months of strict Zone with no cheats because I didn’t understand that was an option. The cheat day began to increase over time – from a meal, to a day, to multiple days. I now understood a lot about nutrition but not a lot about the psychology of eating. I spent a few years slowly putting on a few pounds without really noticing when or how it happened. At the peak of my obsession with nutrition I had been at 8% Body Fat (in 2008) and now was 15-20% (in 2014). Which by any means is normal but I wasn’t sure what had happened – I was eating 97% real food. Was it the cheat days? The travel? The comfort with life? The jar of almond butter? I now had a lot of knowledge, I had never stopped researching it. However, I believe I was unintentionally hiding behind that knowledge, as if knowing made my behavior okay.

The year 2007 wasn’t the only year my husband Matt and I lost a child, we also lost a son in 2009. That year I fell into a pretty deep depression that only Ben & Jerry’s could comfort. I never fully “bounced” back from the loss of our son as I had seemed to before. The weight gain in 2007 was from a lack of knowledge. So I educated myself and that fixed the problem. Well in 2009 I had the knowledge, I knew how, I just couldn’t do it? So what was the problem now? From 2009 to 2014, I ate great around 80 percent of the time. I was dialed in enough to even qualify for the 2011 CrossFit Games as an individual female. However, eating at this compliance took my body weight from 130 pounds to a new 150 pounds (above 20 percent body fat). Something was no longer working. I knew what to do, but I had no motivation to do it – no “why”. I had lost my “why” with the Ben and Jerry’s years ago. Until…I found it. I was diagnosed with a lung disease, Sarcoidosis, in 2014. I had been having trouble breathing for several years and it had progressively gotten worse until I couldn’t walk up a hill without a 2 minute coughing fit. These fits increased to every hour or two and got increasingly worse with exercise.

Once I was finally diagnosed, I had the information I needed to see if I could affect change by manipulating my diet. Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune disease, this means it is affected by inflammation. I began to eliminate inflammatory foods, which meant no more Ben and Jerry’s. After 6 months, my husband suggested a coach, so I hired a nutrition coach from the company Working Against Gravity, Adee Z, to further help me dial in my quantities with macro-counting. She was great and having the accountability and tracking proved to get me over the hump. With treatment (18 months of a strong dose of methotrexate) and diet, my symptoms are now nearly 100% gone. During the 2.5 years it took me to figure out what was going on with my lungs and heal them I had found a new why my health. It fueled me to come out of hiding and take a look at everything I was putting in my mouth. This had a profound effect on my recovery and my body composition. The last I checked my body fat was at 9 percent, weighing 135 pounds in 2016. Now (2017) waiver between 137-141 pound and find that to be my happy place. I have learned a profound amount – not only nutrition, but the layers underneath why we eat the way that we do.

I understand that nutrition is a science and it will continue to evolve so I must keep learning. However, with all the books, classes, courses, clients and personal experiments I have done over the last 10 years, I know that real food and portions matter. Quality comes first to lay the foundation and then comes quantity to dial it in. Through this knowledge “The Hatch Society” was born. I, with my partners, want to share what we have learned so that others don’t have to go through the roller coaster we’ve been through. We want to help the many with simple weekly changes that add up to a lifestyle change that is profound. I am grateful for the opportunity to share what I have learned and more importantly excited to continue the journey of learning from each of you.

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Matt originally took up CrossFit in his late 20s to help improve his endurance as a Denver area firefighter. After four Top 10 finishes at the CrossFit Games (including the runner-up slot in 2012), Chan became a full-time athlete and one of the most popular and knowledgeable veterans in the sport. Already 30 when he made his Games debut in 2008, Chan has had to battle through injuries and out-work a growing field of younger challengers to maintain his drive for the podium. In 2013, despite nagging knee problems, he showed his heart and resolve by taking first place at a Regional competition for an incredible sixth straight year. Two years later, Matt’s return from injury at the 2015 Southwest Regionals produced a Top 10 finish—not enough for a return to the Games, but a good indication that this all-time great can’t be counted out just yet.

As a member of the CrossFit Trainer Staff, Matt works CrossFit Level 1 Courses, CrossFit Level 2 Courses, and CrossFit Competitors Courses, a weekend course that he, Eric O’Connor, and Chris Spealler codeveloped. He also coaches competition-based classes at gyms in the Colorado front range.

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I’m an adventurer, a lover and a creator. I’m a family member, friend, coach and mentor. I’ve been in the fitness industry the better part of my life and through trial and error I have been able to sift through the bullshit and find out what works.

My journey started when I was 17 years old and I tore my labrum in my left shoulder during my senior year of high school football. After a season ending injury, I began working out to rehab my shoulder for the upcoming lacrosse season. In this time, I became obsessive compulsive about body image, which inevitably led to anxiety, depression and an eating disorder.

During my first couple years of college I followed the same pattern. I had learned to shut other people out around me, lean heavily on substances and place blame on others for my own problems. It wasn’t until my junior year that I began training with a more functional approach while seeking a way to cope with these issues. This allowed me to put more emphasis on the things I could get my body to do rather than a way I wanted my body to look.

To make a very long story short, this led me to manifesting a dream of going to the CrossFit Games. Over the course of the next 5 years, I had made my sole intention of making the most of every single day to optimize my performance in the gym. This led me to leaving my profession as a Civil Engineer, spending most of my money on training, and sleeping nightly on a couch, floor or spare bedroom in a friend or training partner’s house. However, all of the setbacks and shortcomings paid off when I had the opportunity to stand on the 2015 CrossFit Games Podium (Affiliate Cup). Everything I had worked for, every set back that I faced that I felt was impossible to overcome had led me right to where I wanted to be.

The reason I am telling you this? I have always known that my sole purpose in life is to help guide others. Training for the CrossFit Games was just the outlet I needed to teach me the valuable life lessons I’ve learned in order to share with others. The path I have chosen to help contribute is through nutrition. Fueling myself properly with the right quality and quantity of foods has allowed me to reach some of the goals that others told me were impossible. It is now my passion to give others the same gifts that I have learned on my journey. I am here to help inspire, motivate and give the gift of confidence to whomever is willing to work for it. Through training and nutrition I have found a better lifestyle and person beneath my top layer. I now try my best to inspire others to be their best versions of themselves.