The Frost Fam­ily

Raise Vegan - - Contents -

Meet the Fam­ily Build­ing a Ve­gan Em­pire

Mon­ami Frost, the in­ter­net sen­sa­tion best known for her In­sta­gram page, YouTube chan­nel and as the au­thor of a new cook­book, is tak­ing the ve­gan world by storm. Along with her hus­band, tat­too artist An­rijs Straume, and her daugh­ter, Gabriela, the Frost fam­ily is do­ing their part to make the ve­gan life­style more main­stream.

The Frost fam­ily be­came ve­gan four years ago af­ter view­ing a se­ries of doc­u­men­taries on Net­flix and look­ing into the health ben­e­fits of a plant- based diet. Straume fur­ther ex­plained, “At first it was be­cause we started re­search­ing about health and look­ing more into what we are eat­ing. We just wanted to be the best par­ents we could be for our daugh­ter and give the best to her.”

Em­bark­ing on the jour­ney to a plant­based life­style as a fam­ily can be ex­tremely dif­fi­cult; some­times kids don’t want to give up cer­tain foods, we find our­selves re­ly­ing on mock meats a lit­tle too heav­ily, and even­tu­ally, be­come stuck on din­ner ideas. How­ever, for the Frost fam­ily it came as an easy and nat­u­ral tran­si­tion.

For the first six months they stuck to a plant- based diet, “We were mostly in it for the health rea­sons,” said Straume. “We were re­ally con­cen­trat­ing on eat­ing only plant- based, whole foods and mak­ing ev­ery­thing from scratch.” How­ever, the more they read and re­searched, the more they re­al­ized how one’s life­style im­pacts the an­i­mals and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We [ saw] what was go­ing on with an­i­mal agri­cul­ture, how peo­ple ex­ploit an­i­mals in so many dis­gust­ing ways, just to fill up their stom­achs,” said Straume. No mat­ter where the meat comes from, a fac­tory farm or an or­ganic and “free- range” fam­ily farm, the poor an­i­mals still end up on some­one’s plate. “Peo­ple think they are more su­pe­rior [ and] they don’t re­al­ize that an an­i­mal’s life is more im­por­tant than [ their] tastes buds,” said Straume. “They blindly be­lieve that they need to eat an­i­mals and their byprod­ucts with­out do­ing any re­search about it.”

Once the Frost fam­ily learned more about what an­i­mals are sub­jected to, they re­al­ized that while it is im­por­tant to eat plant based for their health, is it equally im­por­tant to fight for the rights of an­i­mals and to ed­u­cate oth­ers on the re­al­i­ties of an­i­mal agri­cul­ture. “Now we can say that we are ve­gan for the an­i­mals,” said Straume.

“We are try­ing to be the voice for the voice­less. It can never be a per­sonal choice if some­one else’s life is on the line.”

Mon­ami and An­rijs are tak­ing that to a whole new level with their most re­cent busi­ness ven­ture. They are open­ing an en­tirely plant- based burger cafe, Frost Burg­ers, in Liver­pool, UK! Be­tween Mon­ami’s love of cook­ing and their pas­sion for ve­g­an­ism and ve­gan food, open­ing Frost Burg­ers was a nat­u­ral next step for the fam­ily. “Mon­ami has al­ways loved cook­ing and when we went ve­gan, she cooked even more and started film­ing her cook­ing videos and [ from there] wrote her cook­book. For a few years we have thrown around the idea of open­ing some­thing,” re­called Straume. “One or two years ago we re­al­ized we wanted to go for a burger place.”

They have spent a lot of time trav­el­ing the world and try­ing dif­fer­ent cuisines, so they knew ex­actly how they wanted to in­vest their time. “When we had a chance to start, we took it, and now, more than a year later, we are finally here with the premises in hand and it’s all mov­ing for­ward,” said Straume. “It seems un­real that all of this is hap­pen­ing!” Frost Burg­ers couldn’t be open­ing at a more per­fect time. In the past year or two, the ve­gan com­mu­nity in the UK has grown ex­po­nen­tially and it has be­come the per­fect mar­ket for a plant- based burger restau­rant.

“Su­per­mar­kets went crazy this year, of­fer­ing plant- based meats, cheeses, frozen ready- to- make meals, it feels like a com­pe­ti­tion of who will bring more ve­gan items to the shelves,” mused Frost. “It’s easier than ever nowa­days, no ex­cuses any­more!”

In ad­di­tion to the forth­com­ing restau­rant, Straume will be re­leas­ing a book about his ca­reer as a tat­too artist. “[ This is] my 10th year an­niver­sary of when I first picked up a tat­too ma­chine,” said Straume. “I thought [ it would make] a great point to look back on how I started and how my work [ has] de­vel­oped over the years.” Un­doubt­edly, many artists and fol­low­ers of Straume will pore over the in­tri­ca­cies of his ca­reer and his de­signs.

As young par­ents, Mon­ami and An­rijs weren’t al­ways taken se­ri­ously. Their daugh­ter, Gabriela, was born with gas­troschi­sis, a birth de­fect of the ab­dom­i­nal wall where the in­testines de­velop out­side of the baby’s ab­domen; the doc­tors didn’t take Mon­ami se­ri­ously enough to dis­cuss her daugh­ter’s con­di­tion with her or ex­plain what would need to be done af­ter her birth. “I was young and had tat­toos, but I did ev­ery­thing I could to prove them wrong,” said Frost. “Age doesn’t de­fine you as a par­ent.” The fam­ily only re­cently started dis­cussing Gabriela’s health on­line. Mon­ami shared a video about Gabriela’s con­di­tion and it was met by a sup­port­ive com­mu­nity of fam­i­lies who have had sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences.

“It was re­ally hard to share but I am so glad I did,” said Frost. “There have been so many other par­ents and kids that have gone through the same [ sit­u­a­tion] and I had never known that there were so many peo­ple shar­ing sim­i­lar sto­ries. Peo­ple are reach­ing out about how in­spired they are to share their own sto­ries and not hide their scars, but em­brace them. It has been a beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The Frosts also prac­tice a “straight edge” life­style. The con­cept is sim­ple yet pow­er­ful: ad­her­ents to this life­style re­frain from stim­u­lants, to­bacco, drink­ing, sex with­out a re­la­tion­ship, and drugs - pre­scribed or oth­er­wise. The Frosts said that stay­ing sober came nat­u­rally to them. “When we first started dat­ing, we had so much fun to­gether that we felt no need to use drugs to make us happy,” said Frost. “We went straight edge more than six years ago, just be­fore get­ting mar­ried. We have more time on our hands to con­cen­trate on work, clearer minds, and no wasted week­ends or evenings.”

A typ­i­cal day in the Frost house­hold is not so dif­fer­ent from the av­er­age ve­gan fam­ily’s, aside from the whole run­ning a ve­gan em­pire thing ... “When we wake up, the first thing we do is quickly check all [ so­cial me­dia]. We get out of bed and get our daugh­ter ready for school,” said Frost. “While she eats, we both take time on our lap­tops an­swer­ing emails and other things we have go­ing on.” Straume is al­ways the one who takes Gabriela to school, as­sum­ing it’s not rain­ing. “That’s how they spend time to­gether, walk­ing 25 min­utes each morn­ing to school and talk­ing,” said Frost. While Straume takes Gabriela to school, Frost pre­pares for her next video shoot, works on de­sign­ing new cloth­ing, or what­ever else they have lined up. It’s a never- end­ing amount of work! Once Straume re­turns, they have a quick break­fast to­gether and then it’s off to work for both of them. Frost does most of the cook­ing but Straume helps with prepa­ra­tion and they like to get Gabriela in­volved as well. Af­ter din­ner they have a lit­tle fam­ily time and then it’s right back to work!

Frost’s cook­book, “Ve­gan Home Cook­ing With Mon­ami Frost,” is cur­rently avail­able on­line from var­i­ous re­tail­ers. Be on the look­out for Straume’s new let­ter­ing sketch­book and be sure to fol­low @ frost. burg­ers on In­sta­gram for up­dates on their new restau­rant.

it was re­ally hard to share but I am so glad I did … I had never known that there were so many peo­ple Shar­ing sim­i­lar sto­ries. peo­ple are reach­ing out about how in­spired they are to share their own sto­ries, and not hide their scars, but em­brace them. - Mon­ami Frost

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