Faculty profile

Daniela Gheleva headshot

Daniela Gheleva

Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition; Director of the SPU Community Kitchen Program

Email: dgheleva@spu.edu
Phone: 206-378-5409
Office: Peterson Hall 204A


Education: BS, Texas Christian University, 1997; PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 2001. At SPU since 2005.

Prior to joining the Food and Nutrition program at SPU in 2005, Dr. Daniela Gheleva was a senior nutrition scientist at the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition at General Mills Inc. and a research coordinator at the Hypertension and Cholesterol Research Clinic at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and her research interests include the effects of plant foods on chronic disease prevention; food culture and health; environmental and psychosocial influencers of dietary patterns and food behavior; and sustainable food production.

In 2011, Dr. Gheleva started the SPU Community Kitchen program in which students explore seasonal food through cooking alongside community members. She teaches courses in “Human Nutrition,” “Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism,” “Sports and Exercise Nutrition,” “Nutrition Research,” and “Medical Nutrition Therapy,” as well as food and consumer issues, and Mediterranean food culture.

Dr. Gheleva was born and grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is an avid hiker, traveler, and bike commuter. She also loves cooking, art and design, yoga, and poetry.


Selected publications

  • Bach-Faig A, Geleva D, Carrasco JL, Ribas-Barba L, Serra-Majem L. Evaluating associations between Mediterranean diet adherence indexes and biomarkers of diet and disease, Pub Health Nutr 9(8A):1110–1117, 2007.
  • Wolever TMS, Campbell JE, Geleva D, Anderson GH. High fiber cereal reduces postprandial insulin responses in hyperinsulinemic, but not normoinsulinemic subjects, Diabetes Care, 27(6):1281–5, 2004.
  • Geleva D, Thomas W, Gannon MC, Keenan JM. A solubilized cellulose fiber decreases peak postprandial cholecystokinin concentrations after a liquid mixed meal in hypercholesterolemic men and women, J Nutr 133:2194–2203, 2003.
  • Pins JJ, Geleva D, Keenan JM, Frazel C, O’Connor PJ, Cherney LM. Do Whole-Grain Oat Cereals Reduce the Need for Antihypertensive Medications and Improve Blood Pressure Control? J Fam Prac, 353–64, April 2002.

View Dr. Daniela Gheleva’s CV (PDF) for more information.

Why I Teach at SPU

Daniela Gheleva, Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition; Director of SPU Community Kitchen Program

I teach at SPU because I am passionate about the personal and societal transformation that education brings. I believe there is a direct connection between how we nourish ourselves and the well-being of our bodies, minds, and souls. Eating well, and with care for the earth and other beings, is perhaps the simplest way to steward the world. To engage students with this idea and experience them internalizing it brings me joy and hope.