Dear Mom,

I know. It’s really been a whirlwind since you got home from the West Coast, and time is going to fly in the next few weeks. Before we have a chance to blink, you’ll be dropping me off at the airport once again.

As I drive around Birmingham, I spot kids with backpacks and moms in minivans. Back-to-school season is in full swing, and it’s making me nervous. In high school, I used to spend the last weeks of summer planning my outfits for the first week of school. I paired new jeans with blouses in coordination with hairstyle plans—Monday will be a bun, Tuesdays and Thursdays will be a half ponytail…. How was I that person?

The reason that you cook—to leverage “control” over predictable results during a time of many unknowns—is the same reason I laid out all my outfits for the first few weeks of school. It’s bizarre that I’m getting ready to go back to school after three years. I wonder which of my old back-to-school habits will resurface. Hairstyle plans are NOT in the cards, but I have started thinking about fresh folders and crisp notebooks and a new daily planner. (Do people still use those?)

Inspired by back-to-school and the coming of autumn, I created a quick, easy and nutritious muffin recipe. But there’s a back-to-school story to this recipe as well.

When I was first presented with the opportunity to go to graduate school in Israel, I freaked out. I met with my decision-making goddess, who offered her consultation towards my decision. Her wisdom clearly helped, and in return, I developed a special a back-to-school muffin recipe for her. She has two young children and was looking for a breakfast idea that she could easily and quickly throw together before carpool.

Packed with filling protein, fiber, whole grains and vitamins, these muffins are perfect for students and parents who need something healthy and hearty to grab before heading out the door.

Eeeek! At least my back-to-school jitters led to something tasty!