Nigella Lawson's recipe to success: balance and slow yoga

Nigella Lawson is making a comeback this week with her brand new cookbook and TV series called Simply Nigella, which will see the popular chef find a "true sense of balance between lightness and lushness". Ahead of her return to the bookshelves and the silver screen, the goddess of the kitchen has spoken about her food philosophy, explaining that she says "no" to clean eating, which has recently become a phenomenon in the diet world, and revealing what she says "yes" to…

About clean eating, the virtuous diet that boasts plenty of superfoods and nothing processed, Nigella tells Good Housekeeping magazine: "I wouldn’t want a life where I lived on chia seed pudding, just as I wouldn't want a life where I lived on eggs Benedict or steak and chips.

"I love kale and I'm an avocado obsessive. But life is about balance, it's not about being smug. You don't eat things because you think they're good for you.

The 55-year-old presenter and food writer, whose new cookbook will feature lighter meals alongside the rich recipes for which she is so famous, adds: "Also, you can guarantee that what people think will be good for you this year, they won’t next year."

The brunette beauty has slimmed down from a size 16 to a svelte size 12 in recent years but, she says, not thanks to dieting: "No-one should be put on this earth to go on a diet.

"It's certainly true my weight went up – that happens in life sometimes. I have never been on a diet to try to lose weight. I feel like I haven’t lost weight, but I’m possibly in better shape."

The celebrity chef has, however, become a fan of "a rather slow form of yoga called Iyengar", explaining: "As you get on in life, you value feeling well as opposed to looking well. Yoga certainly makes you feel great, and you want to carry on feeling great. I just do a bit in a very slow way – sometimes lying down."

On how she feels about her life right now – having gone through a rather acrimonious divorce with former husband Charles Saatchi – she says: "I'm right here, right now. That is a great place to be. I’ve always thought that, when you cook, you have to be in the present. And that’s really how you have to live in your life."