The Frost Family
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