THE BLOG
14/10/2015 13:55 BST | Updated 14/10/2016 06:12 BST

Why Nigella Lawson's Food Positive Message Is Exactly What We Need Right Now

She's back, baby. Nigella. Her of salted caramel face dripping, late night fridge scavenging and chocolate cake obsessing, with a new book, Simply Nigella. I'm thrilled.

Because in an age of nearly three million Instagram posts hashtagged #eatclean, books that deal in ditching dairy, gluten and any animal product smashing best seller lists (blogger Deliciously Ella's debut offering had to be re-printed six times before it was even published) and a worrying incline towards an over zealous attitude to healthy eating, her no-nonsense, positive attitude to food is not just welcome - but vital.

"To say that you should 'eat clean' is to say that other ways of eating are dirty, or shameful," the Domestic Goddess said on Friday's Woman's Hour. "I don't like extremes... I think food should not be used as a way of persecuting oneself, and one should look to get pleasure and revel in what's good."

I think she's totally, utterly and 100% correct.

The mood right now - all cutting out anything from a cow and banishing anything other than avocado mixed with cacao for pudding - is worrying. Eating disorders are being dressed up, re-packaged and sold back out to their main culprits: young women. (The worst case scenario of this is exemplified by the the sad case of New York-based Instagram star Jordan Younger, AKA The Blonde Vegan, who revealed that her 'clean' lifestyle, followed by 70,000 people, was, in fact a symptom of 'orthorexia,' an eating disorder first recognised by Californian Dr Steven Bratman in 1997, in which the sufferer becomes fixated on only eating certain food groups, becoming malnourished in the process.)

Don't get me wrong. Eating well is great. A load of colourful veg, fruit, pulses, fish and fats with little sugar can make you feel alive, zingy and able, physically, to deal with the mad cap working days and mental social schedules of today's life. But the branding of the unabashedly decadent and delicious as harmful/ sinful/ nasty is all the same old crap tied up in a shiny new ribbon.

Nigella's message? To eat good, wholesome, real food. "Cooking is an act of love, whether that's expressed to yourself or others," she continued on the radio. How true. Making a meal for one isn't tragic. It's showing yourself care. And as for cake? It has its place. Consumed without 'guilt' (which should be reserved for not calling your mum enough/ walking past people who need your help because you're in a rush: you know, actual, real stuff) it's a tactile pleasure.

One which, in a largely digital world made up of screens and virtual interactions, should be cherished. This is a woman who'll proudly proffer an idea for cookie dough pots while having no qualms about showing us her avocado and rye breakfast. On Woman's Hour, she explained how to make a salmon, avocado, watercress and pumpkin seed salad. She's not eating sticks of butter for snack, nor starting her day with nothing but blended banana and spinach. She's embodying the place we'd all do well to be.

The artwork for the new book - all crisp, white background and a simple shot of her offering a bowl - shows it's her. Stripped back, baggage-free and bringing her personal brand of superlative-ridden recipes to a public so in need of some food-based common sense.

There's no shady claims to nutritional know-it-all, nor totally impractical cheffy ideas involving blowtorches and elderberries picked from the mane of a unicorn. It's real, it's achievable and it encourages a genuine balance so hard to come by now.

"I'm an omnivore, and part of being an omnivore means I'll eat anything,' she says. Nigella, never leave us again. Please?